I am writing in regards to the recent cover story “Urban Visionary” in fall 2008 Portland State Magazine. The notion that biking to work with Sam Adams reinforces the university's commitment to "sustainability" is embarrassing, as is the photo on page one. Bicycles are nice, and there is a niche market for them in Portland. But motor vehicles (cars, trucks and buses) do the heavy lifting for the daily movement of people and freight in Portland and will for the foreseeable future. Leaders who want to be taken seriously should acknowledge that.
Moreover, motor vehicles pay their own way for the infrastructure needed, unlike the bikes, streetcars, and light rail so favored by many PSU academics. If a mode of transport generates negative cash flow, then it's not really sustainable.
John A. Charles, Jr., MPA '91
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