‘Green’ doesn’t mean it’s good

Green, green, it’s green they say on the far side of the hill. It seems if someone wants to look smart or sound smart there is always the word “green.” We are going “green.” Hire us, we build “green.” It’s a buzz word whose meaning few really know.

Now the great city of Seattle is going even “greener” by tearing up residential streets and installing curbside water holes disguised under the name of “landscape drainage systems.” On page B4 of Monday’s Herald is the article, “Seattle takes greener approach to sewer overflows.” The city will spend millions of dollars to put these in place. They will put them on streets already too narrow and they will go right in front of a home that has limited parking.

One can’t get upset because it’s “greener.” I have seen these all over southeast Portland, and they definitely are hazards. They come out into the streets and upon parking strips. They take up the homeowners’ only street parking in front of their home.

In many cases they are close to the end of the block, making it difficult for side traffic to see any oncoming cars. There is no protection keeping bicycles, tricycles or wheelchairs from going off the sidewalk into them. They are messy and very unappealing looking. As far as I could tell, Portland does not regularly maintain these and they become overgrown. Eventually they could plug up and overflow, making yet more of a mess.

King County’s Project Manager Mary Wohleb is all for them, stating “the project has environmental benefits by curbing polluted runoff.” Hmm, I wonder if she would like to have one placed in front of her home. It is not something that will go out for citizens to vote on, it will just happen. How about for starters they go in front of the homes of all county officials who live in King County as a test to see how well they work and how well they are maintained. I am glad I don’t live in the city and have one in front of my home.

Gene Goosman