Portland's City Council meets today to consider allowing more apartment buildings to be constructed without parking spots for tenants. See Jim Redden's article this week in the Portland Tribune.
City Commissioners need to take a hard look at what message they're sending if they continue the trend of "No Parking" zones around some of Portland's most crowded areas.
This message goes beyond the typical "we hate cars" mentality which inspires the car-free Sundays, disproportionate funding for bikes and the cronyism it breeds, unimproved, pothole ridden roads and roads striped with slippery street car tracks.
This is a decision in which the City of Portland will make official discrimination against certain kinds of people. A City which prides itself on having a Human Rights Commission and the attendant political correctness it gives rise to, will now make a decision that prefers one kind of citizen over another.
If the Council chooses these kinds of apartment buildings they will have shut the door on some families. They will foreclose the possibility that a suburban worker will want to live in these dense areas. They will not choose to live in the city. They will go to the burbs where they can use their cars.
There are exceptions to the rule. For instance, in his last job, my husband took the bus to Jeld Wen field to catch light rail to go to Hillsboro where he had to walk a mile to his office. Fortunately for him, I did all the shopping, cleaning, picking up of kids etc., freeing him up to indulge his nearly four hour commute to and from Hillsboro every day.
I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't do that. They'd probably hop in their car and get to work in 25 minutes.
By preferring one kind of person--car-less, probably single--to live in these new apartments, Portland has made a decision: families with cars need not bother to come.
Diversity? An echo chamber is more like it.