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Vote against creation of water and sewer district

Ballot Measure 26-156 sets up a new government bureaucracy to manage water and sewer utilities in Portland. There is no guarantee that this new bureaucracy will reduce rates. It may actually harm water quality by eliminating many of the watershed improvement projects that benefit our neighborhoods, such as planting native plants in place of invasive blackberries and ivy, and constructing storm water facilities that use natural systems to filter rainwater before it drains into our local creeks. Many suggestions have been made by the City Club and others to improve operations in the existing bureaus. Measure 26-156 is poorly structured and some provisions make no sense, creating more problems than it would solve. I urge you to vote ‘no’ on Measure 26-156 May 20.

Marianne Fitzgerald

Ashcreek

The writer is president of Southwest Neighborhoods Inc.

Driver agrees with Drew’s views

I read your column on road rules and Southwest traffic and appreciated what you described. Four-way stop intersections such as the one at Taylors Ferry and Capitol Highway (which I confront often) are always a little consternating for some drivers. So I always remember that when two cars arrive at the same time, the one on the right gets to go first; when three cars arrive at the same time, the one on the far right goes first then the one in the middle; and when four cars arrive at the same time, the one that goes first is the California driver who doesn’t stop.

Warren W. Aney

Tigard

To make commute safer, city should add more turn lanes

Drew Dakessian sounds like a very conscientious driver, but she’s mistaken about the purpose of the ‘no left turn’ sign at the 400 block of Taylors Ferry Road. It has nothing to do with right of way — nobody making a left turn without a protected turn signal has the right of way. It’s about preventing a backup behind a stopped driver waiting for a gap to turn left through. This cheap, lazy alternative to painting turn lanes in the middle of narrow, winding roads makes our traffic problems worse, forcing traffic through a single ‘main’ route to residential streets, instead of providing multiple routes as more grid-like street systems do. This exacerbates backup at signaled intersections, especially in the left turn lanes where the maneuver is allowed. I bet many of the cars illegally shooting a gap at that ‘no left turn’ sign are driven by my Collins View neighbors, sick of being herded up and over the Terwilliger Boulevard-Taylors Ferry intersection.

Another sign designed to prevent vehicle backup behind a left-turner waiting for a gap is the ‘do not block intersection’ sign, such as the one at Primrose Street and Terwilliger. If drivers heading north on Terwilliger heed this sign, I am provided a gap to turn onto my street. Otherwise, cars behind me back up all the way to the intersection I’d been forced through after being blocked access to my street earlier in my commute. Adding a turn lane would solve this problem and remove the danger from countless intersections in our fair quadrant of Portland. Southwest’s driving woes won’t be solved by more patient, law-abiding drivers, but by the city, when it finally realizes that these streets aren’t used as back roads, but rather as surface highways, and starts investing in improvements to facilitate such use.

Jennifer Nichols

Collins View

Say ‘no’ to new taxes, please

No new taxes. No more extra taxes so little kids can do art and tambourine. No new taxes to create sidewalks. Yes to requiring builders and contractors to put in sidewalks in front of new homes. It is time for the city of Portland to stop giving out waivers that allow the builder to skip the sidewalk installation. The logic until now has been to not require new home sidewalks because no sidewalks are on that street, block, etc.

Every section of sidewalk already in place decreases the amount of area needed for sidewalks. If every builder/contractor had put in sidewalks for houses built in the past 50 years, we would have less to complain about. No new taxes! Be prudent with the funds that I already sent. Portland and Multnomah County residents are already over-taxed so no new taxes!

Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen

Multnomah

Handicapped parking in the “new/old” Multnomah

If the sidewalks in Multnomah were changed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, as we were told, why then is there only one handicapped parking spot in the Village? One spot, and it isn’t even van-accessible!

Unless rules have changed, if there is only one spot, it should be van-accessible. Someone special to me has a small van with a ramp on the passenger side that accommodates a small scooter. She used to be able to meet me in Multnomah. Now that the van-accessible spots have been removed, she is shut out.

How can this be ADA-compliant? Someone needs to investigate.

Nancy Carlin

Hayhurst

Food Front deservers greater neighborhood support

I would like to second Mike Roach’s comments about Food Front in your March issue (and thank him for all he does for Hillsdale). I take issue with one of his comments though. He says Food Front isn’t “New Seasons or Fred Meyer.” This statement suggests that you won’t be able to get everything you need at Food Front. On the contrary, my wife and I buy all our groceries at Food Front. We rarely step into New Seasons and even more rarely Fred Meyer. The only times we stray are to get local produce at the Hillsdale or Portland Farmer’s Market —and in truth, many of these vendors supply Food Front with their produce.

I would encourage everyone in the neighborhood to buy more of their groceries at Food Front. Having lived in Hillsdale since 1989, I remember only too well the times when we didn’t have a food market in the shopping center. Food Front is the best of all those we’ve had.

Mark Scantlebury

Hillsdale