As reported on wweek.com, Portland transportation officials will install more than 80 barrels at intersections this week to discourage car traffic on city streets they hope Portlanders will use for exercise. Cars won't be entirely banned from the chosen streets, but city officials want to prioritize walking, bicycling and skating, with enough room for people to stay 6 feet apart. That means closing the streets to all but local traffic—that is, drivers who live or work on those blocks. Here's what our readers had to say:

Terry Lee Coughran, via Facebook: "As primarily only residents regularly drive along these residential streets, this seems like a good idea. I certainly hope that these slower-paced pathways can become a part of Portland's permanent ambience."

RJ Shepard, via Twitter: "Cars get so much space! Why not have 1 percent of our roads so nurses, doctors, and essential workers can safely bike to their jobs, and so walkers and kids can safely recreate?"

Dustin Ddraig, via wweek.com: "I'm all for social distancing, wearing masks in public, etc. But this is getting to the point where we're being treated like children. What's next? Will they be issuing hall passes?"

Old man in training, via Twitter: "At least East Portland wasn't completely forgotten, I guess. Sure would be nice to get some kind of slowdown measure on my sidewalkless street that the neighborhood pot store customers speed down, though."

Carrie Conner Holly, via Facebook: "Nice how Woodstock and Brentwood-Darlington are totally left out of this. We don't even have sidewalks on most streets, and some are unpaved gravel/mud pits. Come on! Give us some love, Portland!"

Jim, via wweek.com: "Signs mounted on the barrels will read: 'Local access only.' Yeah, and unless those barrels are bolted down and there are cops at every road where these are at, people will just move them or toss them to the curb and drive on through."

Terry Keeler, via Facebook: "The social experiment of 2020 continues. Keep the masses under control. First the pandemic, then murder bees, now blocking our vehicles and forcing us to the streets."

Gamba is better choice in 5th District

The tepid endorsement of Kurt Schrader over Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba was disappointing to read ["Democracy, Delivered," WW, April 29, 2020], and took some serious mental gymnastics to understand. The story that this is a swing district—one Schrader actually lobbied to have during the last redistricting—is put on its head in a year when the R's don't have a viable challenger for this seat.

As stated by WW, he's the fifth-most conservative Democrat in all of Congress—no small feat, thought Pelosi was too liberal to vote for her as speaker of the House, and was reticent to impeach Trump until his arm was twisted by House leadership. He's also a supporter of oil, gas and pharmaceutical interests, who have donated significantly to his campaigns. That's a person out of touch with the district and our state who has poor values and allies. Not someone worth supporting.

Mark Gamba brings new energy and a focus on issues that matter to the 5th District and our state. Attention on the Green New Deal, affordable health care, gun control and affordable housing make him primed to enhance the Oregon delegation if he is elected.

—Robin Denburg

Letters to the editor must include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words.
Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.
Email: mzusman@wweek.com