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Meters do businesses few favors

City Commissioner Sam Adams' plan for putting metered parking into some of Portland's busier neighborhood districts shows his lack of understanding of business (TribTown: Plan for meters not an easy sell, May 30). These business districts are doing well because enterprisers located there are making good individual business decisions and benefit from no parking meters.

Adams claims: 'It's about business development. É It potentially means more customers and more money for business district improvement.' But his ideas about neighborhood enhancements might be counterproductive. Good marketing is finding what potential customers want and providing it at a price they are willing to pay.

Adams made this highly presumptuous statement: 'Our job is to educate the business owners, neighbors and customers about this opportunity.' This is not a proper function of city government. It's the other way around.

Charles Sauvie

Northeast Portland

A dramatic response may be just the ticket

You may not approve of Mayor Potter's slightly dramatic response to the FBI's attempt to recruit a spy in City Hall, but I sure do (Editorial: FBI, Potter both made bad calls, May 30).

If only the U.S. Congress would react with some drama when neutered by another Bush scheme toward a 'unitary' presidency; if only the media would recoil in even limited horror when the state Legislature uses money for new prisons rather than for stable school funding or when the administration sends our citizens off to elective war in Iraq.

Why promote fear with the statement 'with all the dangers of the modern world and vile criminal activities occurring right here in Oregon,' when, just opposite, your sensible article 'Crime down, but who notices?' (May 30) notes that crime is down but people are unaccountably fearful?

Dramatic defense of liberty reminds us to stay strong and unafraid.

Robert E. Reynolds

Northeast Portland

Who decides what's good for neighbors?

So Mr. Hunnicutt thinks that the 'Help us stick it to your neighbors to help yourself' approach would be 'offensive' to most people (Leonard takes up Lents hot potato, May 26).

But isn't that exactly what the property-transfer rights for Measure 37 that he is fighting so hard for do? Allowing someone to move in and do whatever they want regardless of the neighbors' concerns, just because that makes the sale worth more money to the current owner?

Of course it is. I guess it's easier to claim you're right when you cover both sides of the issue.

Gene Blick

Tigard

Police priorities appear misplaced

Can anyone explain to me why the Portland police have enough available officers downtown to dispatch two or three at a time to confront an old man violating the open-container law or a homeless person sleeping on a park bench, but can't seem to do anything about the flagrant drug dealing that takes place on the Fifth Avenue bus mall 24 hours a day?

Dale Hill

Southwest Portland

Past transit decisions leave us poor options

The article about the 'absolutely essential' nature of MAX service to the South Waterfront development demonstrates the unfortunate nature of the last 15 years of transportation planning in Portland (Transit puzzle presents itself, May 5).

• Proposals for the Portland-to-Milwaukie MAX line would split several bus routes, including the busy No. 33 and No. 99 to Clackamas County; the transfer at Milwaukie would make transit times longer and split successful existing transit routes.

• Proposed routing directly through Portland's east-side neighborhoods would further lengthen transit times. Similar segments of existing lines move at slightly faster than jogging speed. In contrast, existing bus service on Highway 99E runs at 45 mph with very few stops. Some of Siemens' current light-rail car designs are capable of nearly 70 mph, but unfortunately, MAX lines are not planned for speeds faster than standard highway speeds.

• The service to the South Waterfront area is presented as an 'absolutely essential' part of the regional plan, even though it passes quite far north of the development's core.

MAX trains and the Portland Streetcar are capable of operating on the same tracks. In fact, the streetcars already operate over the MAX line when the streetcars go to the maintenance facility. If MAX service to the South Waterfront development is so vitally important, then far better service, with far less overcrowding and cost, could be accomplished by simply planning the Portland Streetcar route through the South Waterfront to accommodate both the streetcars and MAX cars.

Unfortunately, due to really bad transportation planning on the part of Metro and the city of Portland, this won't happen.

Glenn Laubaugh

Southeast Portland