The Mid-county Memo is your newspaper. We want to hear from you. Discuss an important issue, respond to a request for comment or address a concern you want to call to the attention of the community. Letters to the editor will always be edited for space, style, grammar and clarity. Please include your full name and identify the neighborhood in which you reside. We prefer e-mailed letters to the editor sent to Darlene Vinson at Please put “Letter to the editor” in the subject line. You may also mail your letter to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230. Deadline for the September issue is Wednesday, Aug. 15. 

Safety first
Regarding the “Windscape” redesign, I would like to suggest they turn the site into one giant orange cone.

Christopher Heck
Argay Terrace resident                                             

Enforcement a better idea
The other day, I was almost t-boned by a speeding car that had run a red light. It reminded me of the death of my neighbor just a year and a half ago, who was t-boned by a speeding car running a red light. It seems that there has been a rise in erratic drivers. Mind you, I have driven all over this country, including New York, but this takes the cake. 

As I was driving a couple of months ago, I noticed an erratic driver in my rear-view mirror. He was zigzagging. I continued to be aware of him as I approached the red light. He collided with two parked cars and began to barrel down the street towards the red light. Since there were only two lanes, I slowly drove behind an 18-wheeler truck, giving myself room to spare. The erratic driver suddenly changed lanes towards me, and as he did, I changed to the other available lane and he collided with the truck instead. 

Since last year, I have noticed more cars left behind after an accident. What has changed to cause this? Recently, the City of Portland has decided to reduce the speed limit on residential streets from 25 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour. But we have not noticed any change at all on our street. Having conversed with our neighbors, they have reported seeing vehicles speeding upwards of 70 miles per hour, two cars racing in parallel to one another, and one neighbor has even seen a racing car chasing an animal to run over. I have to ask: what has changed? Why spend the money on signs while bad behaviors are not deterred in any meaningful way? This is a street used by children going to school, and it doesn’t have any sidewalks. When the city is contacted, it proceeds to put out a van with a sign providing your current speed or run a wire across the street to see how fast the vehicles are driving, but it takes no further action. While the Multnomah Sheriff’s Department was on 122nd [Avenue], occasionally I would witness a stop or two by the officers. But since its move, we see very little of them. 

Shahab Nahvi
Wilkes resident

County sales tax is the solution
I reply to Marvin Thiessen’s letter regarding zero vision (“Vision Zero is really zero vision,” MCM June 2018).

I have to agree with him that the “Poortland” traffic thinkers are a little beyond dense.

What we need is a county sales tax to pay for free mass transit. What is astounding is the number of people who do not need to work.

The controllers could have the business operate 24-7 or have staggered work hours. That is, the businesses that do not cater to the public and do not have to be open can have very odd hours. When I worked for DuPont in Topeka, Kansas, we changed our work time by 30 minutes to avoid traffic, and traffic was not that bad.

Go to to get gas prices.

Rex R. Bahr 
Russell resident

PBOT has zero vision
I was saddened (not surprised) after reading Michael Peters’ letter “PBOT not interested in input” (MCM July 2018).

Here’s another concerned citizen attending a Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) presentation at a library, eventually realizing PBOT could care less what residents think that live in areas affected by radical traffic changes planned by a select few—residents who are absolutely clueless about what PBOT is doing to the city and its immediate future. 

When PBOT Project Manager Timur Ender was questioned (after trying to explain why four lanes were reduced to two and then brought back up to four on a main arterial road), his best answer was “safety” and “everyone having an equal opportunity.” Pathetic.

In my letter to Mid-county Memo last month, I stated that “public safety” was going to be used as a smokescreen to try and get even more cars off the streets. 

In some high-density parts of the city, there’s already a “parking lottery.” After I’m dead and gone (hopefully), an eventual “car lottery” will determine who gets to drive and where, while City Hall elites will be exempt. (They don’t ride the bus!) The transit formula that works so well in Europe will not work here. Their roads are narrower, cars are smaller, and gasoline is more expensive. In addition, Congress places zero value on getting Amtrak up to par with the high-speed rail systems used in Japan and parts of Europe. Big oil has bought off that idea. 

Is there any end to this “Zero Vision” madness, Mr. Ender? 

Marvin Thiessen
Sumner resident