As a Southeast Stumptown homeowner, I notice that folks in single-family dwellings tend to assume "rights" to the street—aka the commons—in front of their homes ["Paranoid Parking," WW, April 3, 2013]. I've heard that sentiment in my own house and from neighbors, like it's a sort of unwritten perk for paying property taxes, or for getting here first, or something.

Americans were sold a bill of goods right after WWII, when developers, banks and Congress sanctified the American dream of single-family dwellings, along with the vision of a car in every driveway and a chicken in every pot. Postwar industry boomed. Capitalism flourished as homes, gadgets and gizmos filled the land. Exurban and suburban sprawl gobbled up the countryside.

Fast-forward 60 years, and here we are. The population has doubled, density is increasing, and the climate is crashing. Clearly, the old rules and assumptions no longer serve, if they ever did.

So, maybe all neighborhood street parking should be open to block-by-block lotteries. Maybe all spots on each block should be divvied up annually, or rotated monthly, based on residency.

Maybe whoever gets a spot, gets a spot, and everyone else needs to take a deep breath, and another. The city's policy based on the idyllic fantasy of forcing an all-bike-and-transit-riding population is absurd, but it raises issues we all need to think about long and hard. It's 2013, not 1963, and the good old days aren't coming back.

Betty Toll
Southeast Portland

With fears of a lawsuit by the developer of the outsized Southeast 37th Avenue & Division Street "slum of tomorrow," the City Council moves to not require off-street parking for yet another 80 apartments, thereby continuing the decline of livability in the Richmond neighborhood. This City Council continues to build Portland's reputation as Podunk on the Willamette. Where has courage gone?

Frank DiMarco
Southeast Portland


How about this? You go to the drunk tank twice, your driver's license or state ID gets a stamp, saying "do not serve" ["Tanked," WW, April 3, 2013]. Servers and retail sellers are not allowed to sell [alcohol] to these folks. They are treated like underage kids in that regard.

If they go six months without readmission to the drunk tank, the stamp is voided. I know there are lots of legal hurdles, but it's the start of a conversation.


Cutting the budget for [the Central City Concern Sobering Station] is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard. Why would you cut off your nose to spite your face? The funds are there and need to be maintained.

—"Jurgen Procklater"

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