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Letter: Portland not example for urban planning

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Ben Jackson


Received: Feb. 25

It was with much disappointment that I read a particular passage in The Republic’s Sunday report, titled “City drives home new take on transportation safety goals.”

The report asserted that the new Columbus Transportation Safety Committee was looking toward Portland, Ore., as a shining example of successful urban development, particularly in its “reduction in crashes of all types over a 20-year period while experiencing a fivefold increase in bicycle riders during the same period.”

For the average citizen, Portland, Ore., is a disaster in urban planning.

If you were to read the stories about its heavy-handed, over-regulation of every facet of citizens’ lives, you could seriously believe you were reading a spoof on “Saturday Night Live.”

From the pretentiousness of restaurants advertising the “food miles” their ingredients traveled before making to their tables, to the actions their former mayor took to manipulate development regulations to enhance his and his fellow developers’ bank accounts (of course, all to better the lives of his poor, ignorant subjects), Portland, Ore., is an example of everything Columbus should NOT DO in urban planning.

I encourage residents of Columbus and all the city’s planners to read an amusing article by Mark Hemingway in The Weekly Standard, titled “Insufferable Portland,”

I believe it will have us all declaring, “Please save us from the good intentions of urban planners.”

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