Re: “Two-way traffic urged for Portland’s State and High streets” (June 9):

The proposal to turn State and High Streets into two-way roads is absurd on its face. The proposed solution will not solve the problem of urbanization, as the constant traffic on both roads, crawling along, will increase the sense of urban density and reduce the atmosphere of historic charm purported to be part of the aim of the plan.

If the further desire is to slow traffic, that can be accomplished by the simple expedients of installing speed bumps and pedestrian crossing lights at appropriate places along the roads and changing light timings to calm traffic.

The two-way solution will certainly slow traffic: There will be a line of cars virtually stalled by left turns from Deering Oaks across the bridge to the South Portland side. Traffic is heavy because Portland is a vibrant, living city, not because there is two-way traffic.

At a time when the City Council is being forced to consider the closing of the overflow shelter and stop providing General Assistance to asylum seekers – both unconscionable acts – spending $3.2 million on redesigning two roads in unsustainable ways for an illusory goal of returning to an era long gone by is not only foolish but also unethical.

Donald J. Rudalevige

Cape Elizabeth