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. Please note: These selections are not endorsements.
Given that it delved into policy, last week’s story about the struggle to get a sidewalk built on SW Gibbs Street (Traffic impact studies: shouldn’t pedestrians and cyclists count?), got a surprising number of comments. Many readers weighed in with relevant insights.
But only one commenter went “meta.” qqq read the story, in part, as a response to long-running debates in the BikePortland comments section. What a good reader! And who’s to say what the author was thinking.
Here’s what qqq wrote:
Besides the great reporting uncovering the craziness of this particular situation, I love this for touching on so many things that have come up in other articles:
–the disjointedness of City government — while some of PBOT is busy on biking and walking projects, another arm is reviewing projects under the premise that biking and walking are irrelevant to transportation
–there’ve been lots of “neighborhood associations are all NIMBYs” comments, but here’s one that brought up an issue with PBOT reviews whose correction will help the whole city
–one roadblock to testifying or commenting about issues is the “leave it to experts” stance, but here’s an example of a neighbor having obvious technical knowledge that allows them to identify a problem with PBOT reviews that all of PBOT has apparently been unaware of or unable or unwilling to fix
–the way City processes are set up so it’s easy for bad things (PBOT’s approval of no sidewalks) to slip through unless it — almost by chance — gets noticed by a neighbor or someone outside the review process who knows how to object
This line from the article really sums it up well:
“It is difficult to understand why the fate of transportation infrastructure near this economic engine depends on conversations between a PBOT middle-manager and a neighborhood volunteer.”