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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 25, 2005 12:28 AM. The previous post in this blog was On the road. The next post in this blog is God bless Gus. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

How can you not blog about this place?

There are so many goofy things to blog about in Portland. I didn't even get off the pickup curb at the airport after a long weekend away before inspiration hit me. I looked up, and there, blocking my view of the multi-million-dollar glass canopy that we taxpayers built over the airport driveway (part of a $147 million construction juggernaut), are yards and yards of heavy black canvas netting, draped above to save us from being rained on by -- yes, bird poop.

You see, when designing the airport garage project (which literally turned fatal at one point -- three guys died in 1997 building the thing), no one among the Port of Portland's dozens (if not hundreds) of engineering geniuses realized that every sparrow for 50 miles around would love a perch (and a toilet) like this. Nice and dry, well-ventilated, plenty of light, soothing hiss of traffic below... mmmmm, really relaxes those birdie muscles.

So they saved us from getting rained on by rain six months out of the year, only to have us rained on by bird feces 12 months out of the year. We build a glass canopy, then have to install black canvas low ceilings so that you can't see it. Only in Portland.

Not to mention what would happen if, God forbid, some kook decided to drive a truck in there and blow themselves and the rest of us to kingdom come. All those shards of glass raining down would make one heck of a killing field. And what's to stop that from happening? Um, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security? Our well-funded, well-trained, high-morale local police force? Our seamless local mental health crisis system?

As we wait a while longer for our ride, we ponder: Now we'll spend another $160 million, for yet another airport garage. Because we've got nothing better to do with Port money.

Our ride comes, and we come home and see that there are a few bucks right in our face, on the old property tax bill, for the Port. Must be for something important.

And so right back into the blogosphere we slide. It's too easy, really.

Comments (19)

As much as I hate those damn birds and their poop, I've gotta say that when I first heard about this story a few months ago I thought it was a hilarious irony of the highest order. Kind of puts into perspective all the claims that we could, for example, "manage" our forests. Anyway, as to the poop machines, maybe the pop guns at the I-5 bridge drove them upriver. That airport canopy has to be a lot nicer than the bridge beams, what with the rain and all.

I think a better story is how IKEA gets 1200 parking spaces next to the light rail if you are looking for irony. Maybe a WalMart across the parking lot.

Heywood, thanks for mentioning "Fault" as the Fault Line that's below OH&SU has the potential of turning the Tram into one hell of a Sling- Shot and all that waterfront fill into Jell-o.

It doesn't matter.
Nothing matters.
The money, the projects the "investments".

The current expanding frenzy of spending, property giveaways, fast and loose deals with developers and crazy boondoggles is sealing the long term deal of fiscal calamity for Portland, the Region and the State.

Runaway "Urban Renewal" by jurisdictions all over the place are making long term commitments of basic services dollars which will not be back filled by additional taxation.

The inability to stop or slow the most egregious waste and recognize any failures at all is feeding the misguided momentum.

When a big box furniture store with 1200 parking spaces can be touted as evidence of Cascade Station's enormous investment in light rail and urban renewal it's game, set, match.

Today the evidence of imminent long term dysfunction pours form the pages of the Oregonian.

In an editorial, the Convention Center Hotel gets a lift from the editorial board which seems to champion every planner's boondoggle. Even while seemingly acknowledging the boondoggle of it all.

In South Waterfront the developer is coming back to the table for tax abatements for a luxury apartment tower and is about to be gifted a piece of city owned property for a condo tower.

With Diane Linn able to pretend she is pro-jail space the big picture could not be dimmer.

A 15% reduction in venture capital for the state is salt on the wounds.

The answer?

Hurry up and find the additional money for the Tram [rim shot] so OHSU can rescue us with their biotech expansion????????????????

Steve, have you ever been to Ikea? In my Ikea-shopping experience, 1200 spaces will fill up in no time flat. Houston's Ikea had so much volume they added a new garage, and Seattle's Ikea now has an extra parking garage beside the original parking garage, and they have flaggers directing traffic to whichever garage has open spaces.

What irks me most about that dumb canopy is the Port of Portland was repeatedly warned starlings would perch under it in massive numbers if built. Of course, the Port didn't want to hear any of it and ends up spending an additional $300K for netting.

I think a better story is how IKEA gets 1200 parking spaces next to the light rail if you are looking for irony.

Hey, have you ever tried lugging a skansgaard bed onto the Max? Or tried squeezing into a seat with an offenboorg desk?

Yeah, but you can take the Max to eat some meatballs and get a fartfull.

An easy solution: make the airport parking so expensive that a few suckers pay for some extra Maxes to/from for the rest of us. And the Max could go underground, so it doesn't have to stop at traffic lights.

All, the 1200 spaces are ironic since if you develop a property within walking distance of light rail CoP will allow you only an absolute min of parking spaces. I still like the WalMart idea however, now that they have health insurance.

They had health insurance before (a convenient fact the WalMartHaters always manage to omit).

Look, you don't have to look far to find taxes being wasted, but the airport is not that. The airport construction, including the canopy, is paid for by the airlines....

The airport construction, including the canopy, is paid for by the airlines....

And they pass it right on to the passengers.

Well, the airlines are businesses. They choose how to spend their money.We may agree that their choices are unwise,and th result will be bankruptcy, but that's business...

The airlines don't pay for all of the airport improvements.

Hell, Luftanza, Mexicanna and Northwest overseas flights can't even afford landing fees and still land here.
In fact I think they are also guaranteed a certain level of business on top of the waived landing fees.

Something that has yet to be followed up on and reported for the public to know if that plan has panned out.
Just another thing they keep from the public.

Like the deal they cooked up for Ikea.

Craig, next time you buy a plane ticket, try not paying the airport user fee. You won't fly.

If it were up to the airlines, there'd be no canopy at PDX, that's for sure.

Like bristles on a push broom: why can't the Port climb up there and on all top surfaces on the white pipes install those steel 'tines' or 'bristles' that stick up and prevent a bird from sittin' there?

At the Max station at the Rose Quarter (under I-5) look up, you'll see that's what keeps Blazer fans "dry" from pigeons while they're waitin' for their Fareless Square ride.

Look, it's a business arrangement. It was negotiated with the airlines. This is a matter of public record. What's the problem?

The problem is, it was a foolish project, and it was ultimately paid for by either taxpayers or passengers.


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