RE: Bikes! Cars! Attitudes!
For all the bicyclists and pedestrians in Portland who think their shit doesn't stink, who look daggers at a professional motorist who dares to peek out into a crosswalk or green area to see if it's safe to make a right turn on a red: Your bicycle was delivered to you by a professional motorist. A professional motorist is driving your gramma to her doctor's appointment. When a professional motorist with his right-turn signal on righteously puts you and your fixed -gear bike on the ground when you ridiculously try to pass him on the right, who is going to take you to the ER? That's right, a professional motorist. So get over yourselves.
Brian Allan Cobb, professional motorist since 1979
RE: "It's a Doggy Dog World" [The Pets Issue, Feature, April 10], debunking common stereotypes of shelter dogs.
Thanks so much for publishing this article. I am a regular volunteer at Multnomah County Animal Shelter and I can absolutely attest to the fact that there are many fabulous animals waiting for homes. Before I started immersing myself in the world of shelter animals, I didn't give it a second thought if someone expressed an interest in purchasing a pet from a store or a breeder. Now that I know that there are loads of loveable, goofy, smart, affectionate animals in shelters just waiting for someone to give them a chance, I implore anyone looking for a new pet to swing by a shelter first.
posted by Lauren Ulmer
RE: "Minimum Effect" [News, April 10], regarding potentially regressive parking minimums being required of new developments, spurred by a parking-free complex going up in Southeast Portland's Richmond neighborhood.
Everyone in Richmond has a driveway. Many have garages. And yet they have this entitlement to the space in front of their house. I'd like to see it all metered and generating revenue for the city. Want to park for free? Park on your own property.
posted by Ben Salzberg
I can't believe that [Richmond Neighbors for Responsible Growth] can now sway development policy for the entire city. Upending decades of planning efforts because some whiny NIMBYs live in a popular neighborhood? Stop trying to turn Portland into Nashville. What's that? Nashville just did away with parking minimums?! You don't say...
posted by Rick Weber
If you have money to live in a desirable neighborhood, or especially if you have money to move into a brand-new condominium/apartment building, you have money to own a car. And you likely will, because while you shop at New Seasons, separate your recycling, and vote for feel-good ballot measures, you're not going to commit to this "car-free lifestyle" we all keep hearing about so much. Even though you don't have kids and you work three miles from your front door... man, what a hassle that would be come skiing season! Sure, you own a bike, maybe three, but do you actually use one to commute? Maybe 20 percent of the year, if the weather's nice and you're feeling especially concerned about your appearance. TriMet takes soooo long to get you to work, and the last time you tried that, a black teenager made eye contact with you and it was awkward. Plus it's the dumb old bus, not one of the cool transit modes like the streetcar or aerial tram. But it's fine, because you can just circle the block 20 times when you need a spot.
posted by Chunty McHutchence
RE: Trees that smell like semen. Yes, really.
HI THERE—There are trees in the Pacific Northwest whose blossoms smell like semen—have you noticed? My friends and I call them the Cum Trees and, well, they came early this year (haha). I wrote this little ditty about them:
April came early
A boy's bedroom in bloom—
Lap of my lover!
ORDINARILY, as regular readers should know, the Mercury imposes a ban on poetry within its pages. However, haikus are the ironic T-shirts of the poetry world, especially when they're done wrong, and therefore we'll allow it. Because hipsters. And semen. And wrong.