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

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
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: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
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