Another solution would be to designate a few spaces in key areas "two wheels only." A modest fee could be charged for a citywide motorcycle parking pass that would grant access to these spaces.
I do have one complaint about the column. So often, people discuss scooters and bicycles as being the only alternative to the automobile. As an avid motorcyclist, however, I have to disagree.
Wessels mentions "Harley owners smugly grinning," but by grouping many Harley-Davidson riders in with the entire community he fuels the unfair perception that many have of motorcyclists. Scooters are a great alternative, but my Honda VFR gets fuel milage that's nearly as good as most scooters. I average a little over 50 mpg on most tanks.
Additionally, most scooters -- especially the Vespas and other Italian models the hipsters lust for -- are powered by two-stroke engines. These engines might get better fuel economy but are much more harmful to the environment than many car engines.
My 800-cc engine is four stroke and equipped with a catalytic converter like all modern cars. This makes my motorcycle both more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Motorcycles also offer more safety in the form of better braking ability and more power to get away from hazardous situations. Unlike scooters, they're also legal to ride on interstate highways.
If you'd like a good reference on practical two-wheel travel, I suggest checking out www.ridetowork.org.
-- Darryn Fessel firstname.lastname@example.org
Pizza for a Good Cause
Two blocks! That's it. Just two blocks further up Vine Street on Katie Laur's "Crossing the Rhine" trek (Living Out Loud, issue of Jan. 9) would have gotten her to Venice on Vine on the corner of Vine and 13th streets.
We're a very special place, so I hope on one of Laur's future walks she'll come visit. Venice on Vine has pizza featuring Sister Barbara's special recipe sauce, our own homemade sausage hoagies, salads and beloved sock-it-to-me cake.
Venice on Vine is a social enterprise of Power Inspires Progress, a nonprofit employment education organization. We're an employment education program that serves inner city adults by helping them to build the work history and skills they need.
As you know, it's easier to get a job when you have a job. Folks in our program live in neighborhoods where there are no jobs. They grew up in families where no one got or kept a job, and they've experienced failures in our educational, medical and criminal justice systems as well.
At Venice, everyone does every job, and everyone works on an educational goal as well. Our expectation is that our trainees will work in structured, paid work environment with support and high expectations, they'll learn to love working and after a year they leave us for something better.
When we moved into Over-the-Rhine in 2006, we were the first new business in the neighborhood for over 15 years. In addition to the restaurant, our Venice Catering offers a full menu of home-style cooking for nonprofit organizations, schools, churches and clubs. We're a clean, well-lighted place where everyone is welcome. Our prices are great, and it's truly "Good Food for a Good Cause."
-- Rina Saperstein, Executive Director Power Inspires Progress