My family bought our home (a block and a half off Interstate Avenue) so that we could take the MAX to work (The state of Interstate, Aug. 24). This seemed like the ethical way to live in an urban area - out of a car, interacting with neighbors, and walking as much as possible.
We are happier because we don't drive much. We know our neighbors better here than anywhere we have ever lived. We and others around us are constantly out on the streets, walking and biking places.
I applaud any zoning changes that make Interstate Avenue less of a place to drive through and more of a place to walk to. People living here, invested in here, can only improve things.
People are what make neighborhoods
I grew up in this neighborhood, lived here over 20 years, and have seen a great deal of change (The state of Interstate, Aug. 24). I still choose to stay.
I bike, take the MAX, drive and walk. There is traffic and many more opportunities for growth and infrastructure.
But when I travel to larger cities, I've noticed how the density can help the life, safety and creation of strong neighborhoods - people are what make neighborhoods, not density.
So let the density occur, but allow the community to have a voice. Noncorporate shops, companies and stores should have better access to loans and incentives to help grow Interstate Avenue - they enhance the local character of this area. Together, the community and local zoning codes can help decide what is allowed in the future.
The past had been set - we can't change that. But we can impact the future of our great neighborhood.
Industrial growth poses a conundrum
I had a mixed reaction to Lee van der Voo's article on harbor growth (Harbor growth stalls, Aug. 28), perhaps due to the apparent pro-growth bent of the author.
I would hope the Portland Tribune, with its focus on sustainability, would present a more measured piece on the issue of industrial infrastructure investment to accommodate population growth.
Adding more fuel to the fire of overpopulation should not be in Portland's best interests if we truly value sustainability. Growth is inherently unsustainable. It is perhaps fitting that market forces - ever hungry for increased profits - have reached a point of resource scarcity (in the form of rail capacity and harbor acreage) that will strain the steady-growth model.
With precious rail capacity held captive by private interests, and having profit as their only motive, perhaps the snake is eating its own tail?
The double-edged sword of rail capacity on the sustainability of our region could not be more critical. On one hand, we see the deterioration of public health and manufacturing efficiency as diesel trucks become the preferred mode for freight movement.
On the other hand, the higher cost of limited freight capacity discourages industrial-sector growth and, with it, lessens the impact of population growth on the region's limited resources.
TV's focus on meth could change a life
I believe that this documentary (TV stations go on meth offensive, Aug. 31) will impact our neighbors and friends.
It might not stop meth from being on the streets, but it might allow someone to look at the disease in a different light and maybe change one person's life.
Hooray for PICA and TBA!
Hooray for the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, especially Jörg Jakoby, Kristan Kennedy and everyone else who makes the Time-Based Art Festival a must-see event (Behind scenes at PICA, a Berliner keeps things ticking, Aug. 31).
Readers who want to access those thousands of photos and videos Jakoby compiles of TBA performances can do so by joining PICA - members have free access to this media in the PICA Resource Room. And if you go to www.pica.org and join soon, your contribution will be matched by the Collins Foundation.
The festival ends this weekend, so hurry and come see the shows. Visit www.pica.org or the TBA blog at www.urbanhonking.com/pica
Hunters have little in common with Vick
After reading Dwight Jaynes' recent column on Michael Vick (Vick case is just a sign of the times, Aug. 24), I was shocked to see dogfighting compared to the sport of hunting.
Hunting is a carefully regulated activity. Hunters help stabilize game populations by harvesting animals that would otherwise die of starvation or disease. Furthermore, hunters are trained to kill game as quickly and humanely as possible.
Contrary to statements in the article, hunters always must make full use of their catch, since it is illegal in Oregon to allow game to be wasted.
Perhaps Jaynes has encountered individuals who have poorly represented hunters through wasteful and illegal practices. There are such people out there, and their behavior is reprehensible.
But please don't confuse such people with lawful hunters who respect the outdoors and their sport.
Two bridges are the answer
I've been following the Sellwood Bridge debate for some time now, attended some open houses, and done the Build a Bridge exercise (www.sellwoodbridge.org/BuildABridge.aspx).
My two cents - the rehabilitation of the existing bridge to serve bikes/pedestrians and construction of a new two- or three-lane bridge for vehicles only at the 'teal' alignment makes the most sense.
Points in favor of this approach, in no particular order, are:
1. Teal alignment won't hurt the parks. Case in point is Cathedral Park under the St. Johns Bridge.
2. Teal alignment doesn't displace homeowners. Why displace people from their homes if it isn't necessary?
3. Smaller deck minimizes impact on Tacoma Street.
4. Teal alignment addresses concerns about a west-side landslide.
5. Teal alignment keeps existing bridge open during construction.
6. Teal alignment minimizes noise effects.
7. Three lanes provide for flex lane in direction of rush-hour traffic.
8. Three lanes address concerns about emergency vehicle traffic.
9. Keeping existing bridge for bikes/pedestrians eliminates cost and waste of demolition.
10. Keeping existing bridge for bikes/pedestrians preserves ecosystem under existing bridge.
11. Smaller bridge is less expensive and uses fewer resources.
12. Building a smaller bridge solves the current needs for Multnomah County while keeping pressure on Clackamas County to build a bridge to serve its needs.
13. Keeping existing bridge preserves an important part of Portland's history.