October 3rd, 2012

sketchface

a letter i just sent to my mayor and the head of our bureau of transportation

I love my town.

Hello, my beloved elected and appointed leaders!

This is a little long winded but it has a point and I hope it'll make you feel good about yourselves and your work.

I'm a transportation wonk and a full-time cyclist--I ride to work, I ride for transportation, I ride for fun, I took the Portland transportation class at PSU, and I'm an organizer of much bike fun in Portland and in particular the world naked bike ride Portland edition. Thank you for enhancing all of the things I love to do on my bike! You -- yes, you two specifically -- make my life so incredibly great that I bought my first house in Portland after waffling for 12 years in other cities across America that I tried living in. And I love paying my property taxes, and leaf removal fees, and income taxes, and vote for bonds to improve our city--because your leadership so totally jives with my way of thinking. You truly are representing my interests, 100% of the time. You are spending my money wisely. You rock!

And you've done it again. I'm a daily bike commuter over the Broadway bridge from my home in Nopo to downtown, at least one and sometimes two round trips in a day. Whenever the sidewalk is being repaired, I stop taking the Broadway bridge, since the two-way traffic on the sidewalk is dangerous. So, I detour to the Steel, lose 5-10 minutes of my life, and thank the powers that be (and the powers that have been) for having options.

Your arrangement of a first-class treatment of detoured cyclists on the bridge means a lot to me--not just the time saved, which in reality only adds up to maybe a couple of hours during this repair cycle. But that you thought about it, worked with the BTA and Trimet, and made a precedent-setting, politically tough call to defend the safety of the meek in exchange for the inconvenience of the majority...yeah. This is a great example of why I love you and this town.

Sam, I'm going to miss you a lot when you go (and I look forward to seeing what you do next. You'll have a staunch supporter in any forum). Tom, I hope the new mayor keeps you around. You guys deepen my love for Portland and make my life better. Please know that your hard work is *extremely* appreciated.

With love,

me