Margie Boule has a great column in The Oregonian today about the poor folks up on Willamette Boulevard in North Portland, who have one of the most unsafe streets anywhere in the city. Cars running up on lawns, hitting houses; everybody speeding; pedestrians getting hit while waiting for a bus. Fifty miles an hour is the usual speed on that city street. You take your life in your hands up there to get across.
Everybody agrees that what Willamette Boulevard needs is some speed bumps, circles -- you know, the "traffic calming devices" that we're so good at.
But the folks up there can't have them, because you see, the city's broke. Sorry, say the municipal bureaucrats, if you want speed bumps, you'd better head down to Salem and put in for a state grant.
Now, my City of Portland B.S. meter is pretty sturdy, but on this one, it's peaking so hard that smoke's coming off it.
No money for transportation? Gentlemen of the City Council, we are spending $900,000 a year (and climbing) subsidizing the downtown Developer Welfare Streetcar -- which is actually slower than walking. We are about to spend many, many millions of dollars on streets and sidewalks for the Wall of Thirty-Story Condos in North Macadam. And, my word, you could sell one -- just one! -- of those stupid California Pizza Kitchen Faux-Art Totem Poles that we've got standing in the Pearl to raise the money it would take to pay for those speed bumps.
But no. Neighbors of NoPo, just deal with it.
And then our beloved commissioners are shocked when guys like me say we'll vote to end the "urban renewal" pork train, if given the opportunity. Well, if it ever happens, fellows, don't say we didn't tell you why.
UPDATE, 2/5/05, 3:10 a.m.: The comments to this post were temporarily lost in a relocation of the server on which this blog resides. When they were restored, the date stamps on the comments were changed.