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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 18, 2005 4:41 PM. The previous post in this blog was From our referral logs. The next post in this blog is $61K. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Nice to know

Portlanders, if you think your water and sewer bill is high, take heart: Part of your bill is going to go toward the downtown transit mall light rail project.

You'll also get to contribute through that "urban renewal" line on your property tax bill. I'm sure that's a relief to most of you.

Comments (17)

"$15 million in city bonds to be paid back by the recent increase in parking meter rates from $1 to $1.25 an hour at most meters and by extending meter hours from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m."

So people who drive and park downtown are going to pay for something they'll probably never use. Remind me never again to pay for a downtown parking meter.

So, the city council cannot force a future city council to put publicly paid election campaigning before the voters but they can force a future city council not to reduce parking meter fees without incurring a credit rating hit? The parking meter bond peddlers (revenue bond peddlers) surely would not presume to be able to reduce the scope of authority of a future city council merely by spending tomorrows revenue today?

So, an initiative to make all on-street parking free for the same period of years as for the bond would evaporate the revenue source and the obligation in one fell swoop. To cap it off the initiative sponsors could pull an OEA v. Sizemore trick and make the current city council members personally cough up for the cost of the campaign, even if the city would indemnify them.

DA stay away so that I can get my triple damages.

Or consider it this way. Because cars downtown damage the streets, we're going to use what money we can collect to pay for mitigating efforts.

"Mitigating efforts": Tearing up a perfectly decent transit mall and causing economic devastation for months (if not years) for no good reason.

I'm not that upset about the parking meter increase. Ripping up downtown for a long time, though, is the last thing it needs. And if the merchants think that adding more light rail is going to make the place easier for cars to get around in, they have lost their senses.

They ought to spend a few million to fix the bricks and the bus stops, throw some fresh paint on it, plant some flowers, add some banners, and call it good. But that doesn't fly in Stentown -- never does. On with the pork.

Would the back room calculus favoring revenue bonds for parking meters change if the money was instead directed to cover PPS's current backpay obligation to custodians rather than for tearing up downtown? It is just revenue, after all, and not inherently linked to any transit related activity.

Parking meters are said to pay for everything. At one point Vera used to say that they were paying for the streetcar. Now they're paying for the mall rip-out. Next year I'm sure they'll be paying for the aerial tram [rim shot].

Most downtown drivers would gladly pay an extra two-bits for parking if they knew the money was going to increased police and security.

Unfortunately, public transport trumps public safety in Stumptown.

Bog said,
"Next year I'm sure they'll be paying for the aerial tram [rim shot]"

They'll need it. Word is the latest $40 million estimate is still too low.

Oh well. It's Portland, where nothing matters.

Ripping up downtown for a long time, though, is the last thing it needs.

People's memories are short. MAX construction drove a lot of small business under, including, I remember vendors telling me, Yamhill Marketplace's . In this economy, you'd think we'd tread more carefully.

I know its a radical concept, but just once I'd like to see Portland actually bank a revenue stream for a FUTURE purpose instead of always borrowing against the future, which adds interest and bond sale costs.

"Bank"? Bwahahahahahah!

"All or any portion of [] revenues" (ORS 288.825(1)(c) on revenue bonds) shall be fully bonded to provide for a network of aerial trams [rim shot] notwithstanding any limits imposed by local budget law or any other competing public purpose. [See, When Laissez-faire Hooks-up With Government Officials].

I am happy to pay taxes for such projects. Moreover, I can only hope that the use of cars in downtown Portland's core will become more difficult as a result.

As we move towards an increase in mass transit in our urban core, with a corresponding decrease in car traffic, we may, as has happened in many a German city over the past 30 years, see a marked increase in economic activity in this more foot traffic friendly area. People walking about not only increases their economic activity, but also increases saftey.

Also, cars are directly and indirectly, they create the need for roads which are responsible for much of our runoff, responsible for the city's sewer needs. Thus, using sewer proceeds to pay to reduce the city's need for sewers seems like a clever plan indeed.

People walking about not only increases their economic activity, but also increases saftey.

This ain't Germany.

Also, cars are directly and indirectly, they create the need for roads which are responsible for much of our runoff, responsible for the city's sewer needs.

And when the water hits the light rail tracks, it evaporates? Enjoy your Kool-Aid.

Eric writes I am happy to pay taxes for such projects. Moreover, I can only hope that the use of cars in downtown Portland's core will become more difficult as a result.

But the City is counting on INCREASES in parking meter revenue to pay for this...so it better not get TOO tough. Sorta reminds me of how we use traffic infraction fines to pay for traffic safety improvements...like we COUNT on folks breaking the law. That doesn't seem like good public policy...

More news on transportation money flying around, courtesy of today's Oregonian's "Washington County Weekly" section:

The infamous Round at Beaverton Central is getting $200k in a "grant" from Metro to design a garden comemmorating Beaverton's *five* Sister Cities, and to add decorative stones to cover the "plain concrete face" of a fountain near the light rail.

The money comes from federal transportation funds in Metro's "Transit-Oriented Development" program. The total "grant" is $600k and while the city of Beaverton thinks they might spend the other $400k in other parts of downtown Beaverton, a spokesperson for Metro says the entire amount has to be spent at the Round.

Will the taxpayer-funded sinkhole known as the Round ever stop sucking in money?

Jack-
No, this is not Germany. You, however, drew a parralel with St. Louis, and this is not St. Louis. Why do you draw an arbitrary line at our national borders when looking at the function of a given policy or Urban Planning method. Also, are you saying that mass transit needs just as much property as a car based transit culture to serve the same amount of people?

Franks-
I would agree with you, though I am willing to pay it, but policies that seek to defeat their funding sources always seem a bit silly.


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