13th Avenue: A Tradeoff That Works

Regarding Don Richey’s complaint about the 13th Avenue redesign (“The Dems Have Us Going in Circles,” Letters, March 9), I, too, grumbled as I drove that new section the first few times. Then, one day riding my bike, I ended up on 13th Avenue heading home. For the first time ever on that street, I felt safe, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much more efficiently the bike traffic-light system moved me along, block to block, rarely having to stop and wait for cross-traffic — a lot more like driving a car.

It’s a trade-off: Give bike riders some of the privileges that car drivers take for granted, at the expense of a modest reduction in car traffic efficiency. Which raises that pesky entitlement question: When sitting in a two-ton vehicle, are Richey and I somehow, magically, entitled to maximum possible traffic efficiency at other travelers’ expense?

Then there are those proposed traffic circles for Franklin Boulevard, which Richey apparently misunderstands. The more efficient traffic circles will replace less efficient traffic light intersections, moving us along faster to our destination, emitting less carbon, because we only have to yield, rarely having to stop.

If ol’ Joe Biden really were moonlighting as a traffic engineer for Eugene, I’d definitely vote for that guy again!

Peter Straton