My Letter to the Editor

Of the Oregonian:

I am befuddled by your editorial’s skepticism at the synergy between the Bureau of Environmental Services’ “green streets” program and bicycle boulevards (“Sewer money for bikeways: Does it pass the smell test?” March 15).

We are under a mandate from the federal government to better manage our stormwater. We have several ways we can do this:

1) Build expensive pipes underground. 2) Create green streets that manage runoff with bioswales and other treatments that improve our streetscapes at the same time. 3) Create those green streets strategically so that they also define and protect safe and comfortable bicycle boulevards.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Of course we need to be vigilant that sewer rate dollars are spent on water quality. But I’d be upset if the City Council were not looking for every way possible to make sure that each dollar spent is delivering as many different benefits as possible. Our tax and rate dollars are too precious to do otherwise.

We should be congratulating the City Council for this “twofer,” not chiding it.

CHRIS SMITH
Northwest Portland

Appearing in the paper and online today.

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