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Vision Zero is really zero vision

To the Editor: 
Once again, the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT’s) spokesman, Dylan Rivera, is trying to camouflage City Hall’s anti-car agenda with their Vision Zero crusade using public safety as a smokescreen. Starting with former Portland mayor Neil Goldschmidt dating back to the early 1970s, City Hall and its go-along planners envision a carless, urban utopia where the taxpayers have only three choices to commute: public transit (bus, light rail, downtown trolley), bicycle or walking. That’s it, except for a few electric cars and taxis for political elites. It reminds me of China or Russia. 

Meanwhile, PBOT is doing everything they can get away with trying to make driving in Portland worse than it already is. Chronically adding bike lanes which either take curbside parking away or reduce traffic from two lanes to one. Does PBOT even bother to assess how many people actually commute by bike? 0.02 percent? Maybe 0.05 percent during the summer at best? Compare those measly numbers to personal auto commuters and it’s almost laughable. Yet the bicycle insanity continues.

A check with DMV will reveal how many continue to relocate here, but PBOT is still determined to reduce traffic lanes on main arterial streets, dropping speed to a crawl and using traffic-flow “experts” to claim the extra time in traffic (especially on a hot day), during peak hours no less, will only result in a few more minutes in commute time—and they said this with a straight face! That’s what I call “Zero Vision.”

On a personal note, I can’t wait to retire, having the financial opportunity to move away from “The City That Hates Cars” to a city that isn’t so dysfunctional and sees cars in a positive way, as in “making life happen!”

Marvin Thiessen
Sumner resident