RE: "Portland's Finally Deciding on Whether to Clamp Down on Oil Train Transport" [News, Oct 21], regarding the routing of fossil fuel through Portland.
DEAR MERCURY—Twitter Oil Train Watch is recruiting volunteers. We still don't have any Oregon tweeters. If you ride the Yellow or Orange MAX lines [or] use the Springwater path, and see a one-mile-long oil train with the 1267 hazmat placard, please tweet the direction of train travel, city/state/landmark, time, and hashtag #ORoiltrainwatch. Since the government and industry won't give the public real-time oil train data, we will tweet it in their faces!
Matt Landon, Vancouver Action Network
PORTLAND'S CRYSTAL BALL
RE: "Portland in 2025" [Feature, Oct 21], a look at what the city might very well be like, from a development standpoint, in 10 more years.
You cannot keep Portland the way it was. People will not stop moving here, and they need places to live. One thing that makes Portland great, and desirable, is our location to unparalleled natural beauty. This beauty would not exist without land-use planning laws that were enacted in the '70s, which define our urban growth boundaries and preserve the Columbia River Gorge as a national scenic area. If you want to keep Portland the way it is, work to abolish the urban growth boundary so that people can build their new homes and apartment complexes outside the boundaries, thereby possibly preserving some of the older homes and businesses in the city. But of course we don't want that, either.
posted by Billy Smith
I'd like to see more row homes and owner-occupied development taking place, also. Row homes and condos support density. At this point the city is leaving newcomers who want to buy with few options: Either purchase an overpriced detached home, or rent a shoebox.
Posted by Tom Mcroy
Have a look around at cities much older than us to see our future. The city and Metro have done a terrific job of containing sprawl. While it is an artificial boundary, we know the economics of low-density tract housing and commercial centers make for very expensive infrastructure and more congestion. Look at outer Portland compared to inner city neighborhoods. Inner city neighborhoods rebound faster and can handle much more density because the infrastructure and transportation infrastructure can handle it. The suburbs are a whole other beast—it will take tons more resources to make those communities walkable and more vibrant. So what's it going to be, Portland? Go the way of Denver, Phoenix, and Albuquerque, where the car rules, or more like Boston and older cities that grew up before the car—where density gives folks a wonderful mix of housing types, urbanity, and transportation options today and into the future? The most loved cities on the planet are the vibrant and congested ones. Get over four-story apartments coming to Division—the real challenge isn't parking, but carving off more money for affordable housing. It isn't about cars. It's about creating a city for all kinds of people.
posted by Rob Bennett
RE: Drunken people and the confused, drunken messages they leave us. Hey, it's cool. It happens.
TO THE MERCURY VIA VOICEMAIL—So, hey, so sorry. I have left you some fucking drunken messages. Um, I'm gonna kill my friend. I don't know why I didn't pick up on it, but, like, Jesus. You never have to, like, hit some fucking button to, like, leave a message for him. But anyway, so sorry, um, and... yeah. I apologize, uh, because... oh... Jesus. So sorry, um....
UMMMM... if you read this, anonymous drunken person, we'll give you this week's Mercury letter... er... voicemail of the week! You'll get two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where you can, like, take your friend... um... like, unless you really kill them. (Please don't kill your friend.)