Make clear who has right of way
- Portland Tribune - Opinion
Green bike boxes painted on streets are wasted money, a PR gesture and a make-work maintenance project (Not all cyclists go bonkers for boxes, May 2).
They are not invisible shields for cyclists (as calling them 'boxes' implies). They create the impression that outside the magic green areas cyclists are fair game for motorists - that cyclists no longer have the right of way. What about skateboarders, inline skaters or, perhaps, Segways?
Ask the city to paint a crosswalk at an intersection and the bureaucrats will deny it on grounds it creates a false sense of security. The elegant, inexpensive and proper solution is to enforce clear priorities of rights of way between pedestrians, cyclists (skateboarders, inline skaters, etc.), and cars, trucks and buses.
In any conflict between people, in one of the three classes, the least-powered person wins unless the other has a good excuse.
For example, if a cyclist runs a red light and is struck by a truck, then the truck driver has a compelling excuse. Similarly for other kinds of cases, of which there are many - as cyclists like myself know - yet not enough green paint, time or government workers to go around.
M2 Consulting president
Good intentions for bike safety fall short
When a goal to improve bicycle transportation is crafted, it requires a complete and wholehearted effort to reach it. That is why the Portland Tribune article 'Not all cyclists go bonkers for boxes' (May 2) raises the issue about the poorly marketed and explained green bike boxes in Portland.
The intentions of the city and Commissioner Sam Adams are good, but it is unfair to expect an entire city of motorists and bikers to suddenly comprehend the reasoning and function of the new green boxes.
If the city wants to implement such a trend in road design, it first needs to establish the normal course of action associated with encountering one of the new boxes.
The only way that other forms of visible traffic signs are effective is due to the basic knowledge of their function and existence. A red light warrants a stop because it has been previously established and accepted.
These green boxes were a rash decision that required more planning and effort to make the long-term goal achievable. It is clear there is a problem when the group you are trying to help is in opposition to the current plan.
Cascadia's problems at management level
As a licensed professional counselor and a certified addictions counselor in Oregon, I often have interacted with a variety of clients being served by Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare over the five years that I have been in private practice.
I also have had some substantial contact and discussions with various staff members of that agency. The overall result of these interactions has generated two key observations:
• There is a confusing, somewhat puzzling overlap of services provided within the agency, leading to redundancy and hiring of extraneous staff
• An apparently bloated senior management and executive staff exists, with titles and functions that seem unnecessarily duplicative, and all with rather high salaries.
This is simply a huge waste of money that should have gone directly to providing client services (including needed psychotropic medications and resource materials).
I fault the senior management, as orchestrated by departing Leslie Ford, for this very poor agency management. This fiasco also points out the dangers of funding huge 'superagencies' to provide public human services.
I urge the county to look constructively at awarding service contracts to much smaller agencies and independent practitioners so that there is more efficiency and easier, more comprehensive county auditing can be conducted.
Vincent P. Dimone
Rugby warrants more coverage in paper
I'm disappointed with the lack of coverage of high school rugby in the Portland Tribune. Now that the paper has gone daily, it seems there should be a sufficient amount of time and space to put in a blurb about the sport.
I understand that rugby is a fringe sport here in the U.S., but its growth is rapid and the support of the player's families is fantastic.
Being a product of Northeast Portland myself, I love all the coverage of PIL prep athletics. In contrast to the other guys, I feel like this is my newspaper. However, that is what makes the lack of rugby coverage all the more frustrating.
Rugby Oregon is the governing body for K-12 rugby here in the state and is the template that the national rugby association, USA Rugby, wants other states to follow.
I know they have reached out to the local media to spread the word of our sport. They just need a forward thinking media outlet to listen. I feel that could be - and should be - the Portland Tribune.