Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 10, 2004 2:00 AM. The previous post in this blog was Please, Mr. Postman. The next post in this blog is Where the rides are. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Thought for the day

I've got a great money-saving idea. Rather than building a $30 million aerial tram, and then spending a million dollars or so each year to operate it, why don't OHSU and the City of Portland buy, say, 100 stretch limousines for $100,000 each (total: $10 million) and drive the rich doctors up and down Pill Hill in them?

For $100,000 a year, I'm sure you could get some great snacks catered in. And Commissioner Sten could get the whole hill hooked up hot for wi fi, with monster laptops in every limo. The docs could read their stock quotes in real time. Once a week, some of foreign residents from the hospital staff could give foot massages in the back seats. Maybe patients could ride along and have their exams en route.

All this and more, with a fleet of drivers, and it would still be cheaper.

And you wouldn't be wrecking anybody's neighborhood.

And you wouldn't be gambling with very expensive, prohibitive-to-insure, unprecedented people-moving technology.

And you wouldn't be building ugly ski-lift towers.

But no.

Comments (14)

Ouch, Jack. That was snarky even for you - keep it up!

Is there any chance b!X could drop off a written copy of your proposal at a City Hall meeting. Seriously. b!X?

You're forgetting about the patients. Some of them just might use the tram too. Especially if they can take a streetcar to the lower terminal. Fewer cars on the road to compete with yours.

And the nurses. And the techs. Hey, that's starting to add up to a LOT of people.

And then there are cyclists. Not all of us cyclists have abs of steel. A tram to take us up from Macadam to Pill Hill (and then on to the Terwilliger Parkway route) would encourage more of us to take the cycling plunge. And that means less money in the House of Saud's (and Halliburton's) pocket.

As for "wrecking a neighborhood" losing the ability to sunbathe nude in your backyard, or on your roof, without gawkers, doesn't qualify as "wrecking the neighborhood" as far as I'm concerned. I certainly wouldn't mind living under the tram. But living near the I-5 noise machine, as many in that neighborhood do would be a major bummer. That doesn't change, tram or no tram.

I won't speak to the technology, since I'm not an engineer. As for the "ski tower," one man's Picasso is another man's POS.

A couple of years ago I was in a graduate transportation planning course at PSU. One of my classmates worked for Commisioner Sten and his course project was an analysis of the tram. He compared the tram to running shuttle buses from North Macadam to the Hill. Not only were the shuttle buses far less expensive, they could actually move more people (or the same number of people more quickly).

Not exactly rocket science, but didn't someone say something once about the elegance of simple solutions?

Brian's right. This is why God made the Number 8 bus.

Is the tram designed primarily to transport doctors? Are most OHSU doctors rich? How do their salaries compare with those of our local "public servants?" And how do the contributions compare?

(I don't support a public subsidy of the tram, either, though I am not unalterably opposed to it in concept. I do believe OHSU has a workforce in the neighborhood of 10,000. It has been cut, I think, by the OHP cuts. OHP, Medicare, et al are surely the largest subsidizers of the medical industry. The public subsidy will grow when a single payer plan is instituted that leaves the insurance company part of this expensive American medical equation intact. And I venture to wager that is a "when," not an "if.")

I made a similar suggestion during consideration of the Marquam Hill Plan at the Planning Commission. My concept was a fleet of Flexcar Ferraris. That would also have been cheaper and more efficient than the tram, plus shuttles or flexcars would get doctors and patients from many buildings to many others, rather than from one tram landing to the other. All the analysis showed the tram is hugely more expensive than the transportation benefits it would provide.

But the tram isn't primarily for transportation. It's a gimmick, a mega-billboard, a huge advertisement for OHSU and the investors in North Macadam. It is, and always has been, indefensible in terms of cost-effective transportation.

1) This discussion is mired in misunderstanding of the geography of pill hill. How does one get to pill hill on the bus from N. Macadam? You can go downtown on the 35, then take the 8 up to OHSU. I think that's the only way. It takes like 40 minutes if you time it perfectly. If you dedicated a line that didn't hit downtown, it would still wind through the neighborhoods in close-in southwest or up Terwilliger. If you wonder how much of a painfully slow ride that would be, ride the 40 sometime through Corbett. The narrow roads, going through the Ross Island backup, etc. None of the studies that conclude how busses would be cheaper than the tram even mention this qualitative difference in tram v. bus travel.
2) Also, can we really trust residents of LIAR HILL? No! They're all liars! That's why God is making the Tram - to punish them for their community of lies.
3) It ought to be called BITCHY HILL. Look at real estate prices in Telluride, Vail, Breckenridge, and Steamboat. Those properties adjacent to the Gondola route, even if they are not slopeside, command big premiums, probably because a gondy view invokes warm feelings of ski community. Something similar will happen in Portland. I'll bet anyone a billion dollars that properties right under the tram will appreciate big time.
4) Finally, let's call this for what it really is: EASTSIDAS v. WESTSIDAS. You eastsidas are jealous of our tram. Your dumbass boring covered reservoir idea went sideways, so you want to bring down our exciting tram. No way holmes!
x x
x x
x x x
x x x x
x x

40 mins to OHSU?? Depends on where you live, Gonjola. I lived dowtown (14th & taylor) for years and took the #8 bus up to the hill. If I remember correctly, it took about 15 minutes.

You're missing one thing, Jack. The tram has saved a half million already. They were going to call it the "Goldschmidt Memorial Tram". Now that he's hiding in disgrace, they don't have to pay him the royalty.

Since I read the Randy Gregg article "gushing" about what an unprecedented engineering marvel the tram will be... I have a new one word proposal for another unprecedented engineering marvel:


Just think of the tourist value of watching doctors and nurses jetpacking up and down Pill Hill. Plus Jetpacks have the ability (unlike the tram) to go anywhere! Need to go downtown to secure some more boondoggle funding from the PDC (now located in the Pearl District) It's probably a 45 second ride---whooooosh! funding secured!

For $40 million, you would think they could invent Land- Speeders. You know, Luke Skywalker's floating car in the first Star Wars. Or maybe a transporter...but that's probably a $50-million option.

In the meantime, I vote for the jet-packs!

Well, these are all terrific ideas... and ones those pointy-headed transportation engineers would never have come up with.

One problem, though: in every case, you'd still have to face the biggest problem. That is, whatever you try, there will be the "anything the government does is inept" crowd to pacify.

Whether it's jetpacks or trams or buses, there's always some tortured connection to be made to Neil Goldschmidt, or Vera Katz, or maybe Enron, and then the irate and ignorant bloggers of the world will throw around a half-dozen non-linear arguments against it, drag in some references to major league baseball and Ater Wynn, plus maybe some black helicopters, and reach the inescapable conclusion that it's all a scam intended to steal from taxpayers.

Thanks for the thoughtful analysis of this important public issue, Jack.

In this case, the connection to NG and Vera is far from "tortured." NG was paid many tens of thousands of dollars by Homer Williams and probably others to use his influence to push this project through. And believe me, Vera Katz does what she's told by NG -- or at least she did until recently. If you want "thoughtful analysis" of the kind you want, maybe you should try The Oregonian.

Now the NG isn't calling the shots (or at least as overtly), who is going to run this town?


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Thought for the day:

» Tram Tram Tram Went The Folly from The One True b!X's PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE
As we write this, we are watching the live webcast of the Portland City Council's consideration of various aspects of the South Waterfront development, including a large focus on the aerial tram to Oregon Health Sciences University. It's the sort of th... [Read More]


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009
Lello, Douro Tinto 2009
Quinson Fils, Cotes de Provence Rose 2011
Anindor, Pinot Gris 2010
Buenas Ondas, Syrah Rose 2010
Les Fiefs d'Anglars, Malbec 2009
14 Hands, Pinot Gris 2011
Conundrum 2012
Condes de Albarei, Albariño 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2007
Penelope Sanchez, Garnacha Syrah 2010
Canoe Ridge, Merlot 2007
Atalaya do Mar, Godello 2010
Vega Montan, Mencia
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2009

The Occasional Book

Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 111
At this date last year: 21
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics