Paying Attention to Traffic

A common community concern that people brought up Saturday while canvassing was traffic congestion and limited parking. Throughout Lents and specifically on 82nd street there are a lot of businesses on the main road with no parking lots. People are forced to park on the street and in front of houses. It becomes an inconvenience for drivers, homeowners and is detrimental to businesses as well. Often times business are forced out of business simply from having difficult customer access and something many people in Lents cherish is their local businesses.

Traffic incidents, roadwork, and weather conditions can make the roads irritating and dangerous to drive on. Numerous people said they have had bumper-to-bumper car accidents from the constant commotion and cluster on the streets. The question is how do we fix traffic congestion? How can we construct parking lots for some of these businesses without clearing out other businesses or homes?

Neighbors said that the city recently put in a crosswalk on 82nd street that allowed for people to safely cross the street. The crosswalk is strategically placed and saves people lot of time. Now they don’t have to walk hundreds of feet just to cross the street at the next stoplight to get to their destination. Others suggestions were more to have more bike paths. Maybe then people would start riding their bikes, instead of driving their cars, especially when they need to travel only a short distance.

Portland is notorious for its public transportation system and it is able to help a lot of people in the city in their day-to-day lives. It’s great for people who don’t have cars, it makes for less traffic, it’s cheaper than spending money on gas, and its environmentally friendly. People also can relax on public transportation and not have to worry about getting in a car accident.

Others have said that public transportation can be dangerous and slow. Everybody has their own opinions and there will always be positives and negatives to newly implemented ideas. But public transportation is something that many people see as a convenience and it definitely benefits many cities. Streets years ago were not built to support many of the cities that have blossomed around us today.  I believe it’s important to find the causes of traffic congestion/problems and try to not make those same mistakes when developing new cities.

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