Comment of the Week: A southwest resident’s lament

“Southwest is the DIY part of Portland… there’s almost no bus service and no cycling or walking infrastructure.”

Welcome to the Comment of the Week, where we highlight good comments in order to inspire more of them. You can help us choose our next one by replying with “comment of the week” to any comment you think deserves recognition.

Comment of the Week

Sometimes I wish I could pick an entire comment thread for the Comment of the Week. Our article last week about the hapless BikePortland reader who followed an Apple Maps walking route onto a busy and unwalkable southwest collector street inspired some very fine comments. Maybe the archetypal Babe in the Woods narrative brought out the best in people.

I focused on warning about map apps, and plugging the SW Trails PDX organization, but many southwest readers might have been feeling something more visceral. Fred, in a comment which has a “just chatting with a neighbor over the fence” quality, captures these feelings.

Here’s what Fred wrote:

Thanks, Lisa, for pointing out the paucity of walking and cycling infrastructure in Southwest. Every time I hear people from East Portland complaining about their lack of … everything, I have to laugh. Southwest is the DIY part of Portland: maintain your own streets and get yourself places b/c there’s almost no bus service and no cycling or walking infrastructure. No wonder almost everyone drives everywhere and just a few intrepid souls walk and cycle.

Thank you Fred! You can read Fred’s Comment, and the other excellent comments too, under the original article.

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)

Lisa Caballero is on the board of SWTrails PDX, and was the chair of her neighborhood association's transportation committee. A proud graduate of the PBOT/PSU transportation class, she got interested in local transportation issues because of service cuts to her bus, the 51. Lisa has lived in Portland for 23 years and can be reached at

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1 year ago

I was turned off by “Every time I hear people from East Portland complaining about their lack of … everything, I have to laugh.” While SW certainly has transportation shortcomings, objectively there’s no comparison with East Portland. Hardly any of the High Crash streets are in SW; almost every major N/S and E/W street in East Portland is one. Almost all of the Top 30 High Crash intersections are in East Portland; SW has one (near downtown).

SW lacks sidewalks, but many SW streets are low-traffic streets without much through traffic. SW lacks cycling and walking infrastructure, but on the other hand also has incredible examples of both. When East Portlanders are “complaining about their lack of…everything” beyond transportation infrastructure–say in regard to parks acreage and access, neighborhood wealth, influence at City Hall, or any of a number of other things–they’re also right, in comparison to SW.

Any complaints about SW’s transportation shortcomings are probably best made without belittling East Portland’s. As a SW resident, I wouldn’t mind if PBOT focused almost all its safety efforts over the next few years on improving the desperately poor conditions on major streets in East Portland.

Mike Quigley
Mike Quigley
1 year ago

Hey, hold on! Time Magazine has just declared Portland, Oregon, one of the world’s greatest places!