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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 8, 2006 2:11 AM. The previous post in this blog was Warning. The next post in this blog is Meme myself I. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Dear Lars Larson

I know it's still two days 'til First Amendment Friday, where anyone who agrees with you gets to call in and say what's on your mind, but I can't wait. What do you think of your hero, George Bush's, new budget? I'm thinking especially about the $107 million that's going for more MAX light rail in Portland. I'd say old W is doing a heck of a job, wouldn't you agree?

And it's a good thing he's cutting education funding, health care for the poor, and food for starving old people. Let 'em eat bullets!

Comments (75)

Jack, I thought you knew by now -- Lars doesn't give an damn about those "freeloaders". Hey, unless it has to do with illegal aliens, don't expect Lars to say anything negative about the President's policies. Talk about a single issue voter.


Your post just shows how screwed up and bought and paid for the whole political system is whether it be the R's or the D's, this whole business of taxes in a democracy was supposed to be a way for folks to unite to collaboratively fund public works and services that the people wanted by pooling thier resouces and paying a fair share based on net worth and benefit. It has been so bastardized, and the left and right wing zealots are just making it impossible to have an intelligent converstation and people in government who refuse to play that sick game and pander to the special interests are given the bums rush, while others are so blatently being rewarded for thier collusion. What I want to know is how we start an intelligent conversation. PBA(Portland Business Alliance) and the Poor both have valid points and interests that need to be represented for this City to regain its charm and livability, yet both are floundering right now.

I appreciated Jim Hill's tears on the news, I don't know the man well enough to know whether they are crocidile or real, but I also want to cry when I think too much about the current state of affairs in Oregon.

amen Swimmer (and Jack)!

And the alternatives to GW are?

I know Portlandites are so busy they can't venture outside of the City limits to learn what the Illegal Aliens are all about, so why not check out Marion and Washington counties jail rosters and gain an idea of what's going on and the names of the evil doers.

http://pswebpub.co.washington.or.us/jms/incustody/

http://sheriff.co.marion.or.us/jail.asp

Abd as the big O pointed out in the editorial there are going to be a lot of Republicans outside of the metro area in the timber counties etc. who are going to get it right in the shorts with this budget.

So to the repubs "you voted for him, now suck it up".

And you know what, if I worked for Weiden and Kennedy and am basking in getting another fat account (with bonuses and goodies to follow)I'm going to raise my next latte to the lumbermen and the farmers and shout "god, guns, gays and guts....hahahahahaha"

I certainly can't speak for Lars, just for myself as a fiscal conservative. I've heard Lars say much the same thing, however:

This President is hardly a fiscal hawk, and I have been highly critical of his budget priorities. He has regularly played the same old constituency-buying game that has infected federal politics for decades, no matter which party is in control.

Having Republican control of both houses and the executive branch has revealed a painful reality: a lot of Republican congressmen are not fiscal conservatives.

They make the morally bankrupt pitch to their voters: "elect me to congress and I will use the power of that office to take money from another American and give it to you."

GW Bush has done nothing to stop this behavior in five years in office, and at times he has led the looting.

I believe it is one of the major failures of his administration, which I generally support. The current funding in his budget for more light rail in Portland is just another illustration of this malaise.

I know you want to make Lars look bad, Jack, but I've heard him criticize Bush's reckless spending many times. He's been neither silent nor hypocritical on this issue.

Where was Earl? With all this transit funding coming into the metro area, why wouldn't the feds pick up the cost-overrun for the Tram [rim shot]?

Don't bother Lars right now. He's down hiding roses and candy around Pioneer Square to protest the War on Valentine's Day.

http://www.larslarson.com/HotTopics/131847.aspx
Lar's take on The Tram Travesty (drum roll, rim shot, bike horn).

Westside Rail:

They expect 3,000 riders per day. Assuming a $2 per-trip fare, it will take 50 years for the ridership to pay for the project. Of course, suggesting that ridership pay for the project is beside the point, isn't it? This is being built with "other people's money." Since the fed's kicking in half for the project (and assuming it doesn't tram [rimshot] out of control), it doesn't matter how much it costs to run OR build. There's some federal tax money in it, so it must be a worthwhile project.

Does anyone out there question the utility of light rail? Or is it just me? I have never understood why putting rails in the ground was a better option than expanding roads and offering bus service that is more flexible with its timing and routes or even decentralizing transit altogether and allowing private companies to operate jitney services or rickshaws or whatever the market will bear...

Oh, from the PDC's Tram [rimshot] Report - they left out a key modfier...

4. FURTHER DELAY MOST SIGNIFICANT [POLITICAL] RISK: The tram project is too far along to stop or slow down. Delay is now the single largest risk to the final tram cost.

Don: The main two advantages rail has over bus IMO:

1) rail is FASTER. It's not stuck in traffic (except downtown, ick). But coming from the burbs, it's much, much faster than a bus or car.

2) people are AFRAID OF BUSES. It's dumb, but it's true. For some reason suburbanites are afraid to get on a bus. Many of them will not hop on a free bus from south downtown to north, but will gladly hop on MAX to go from east downtown to west.

What this means is that way more people ride MAX than would ever ride a bus. We had buses from the westside to downtown for a long time, but once westside MAX opened up, a lot more people started taking transit downtown.

Rail is faster? Someone should look into that.

No one:

I get that. My wife's the same way. I ask her, and she says "The MAX/Streetcar is cool. It's pretty." I guess that's just hard for me to get my head around. We pay through the nose for a "prettier" option. Oh, well. Keep Portland Weird.

Back to the Tram [rimshot]:

I know this has been mentioned, but I'm hoping our city commissioners are reading this and will reject the Pinnell-Busch's report for the PDC on grounds that it is completely biased in favor of completion. To wit:

1. Summary of Risks
The Portland Aerial Tram, when complete, will be a dramatic, one-of-a-kind facility that will
become a Portland landmark – easily overshadowing its earlier history of budget and schedule
problems.
{are you kidding me?! But it continues...}

It is also a difficult public works project to build and has some exposure to risk, which
may increase construction duration and costs. {Like the fact that it's being built on a hill that will slide in an earthquake?} Minimizing these risks is contingent on full
implementation of the recommendations below.
{here's the kicker} The project is too far along now to stop or even slow down, as the biggest risk for increased
cost is delay.
In fact, a moderate acceleration effort may be possible, which could begin as soon as the proposed changes outlined below are in place and a clear picture is available of how best to reduce the remaining cost and time.

Are they just angling to get the project management contract from the city, since the city has proven incapable of managing this multi-million-dollar venture?

IMO, it's not that people are afraid of the bus, it's that it's much more difficult to determine a bus route than a rail route. With rail, you know where you're going, and you're fairly certain when you'll get there. With bus, not so much.

That said, I used to live in Northern Virginia and commute into DC, and in the morning the bus was packed with professionals. Why? Because it was cheaper and faster than driving.

"They expect 3,000 riders per day. Assuming a $2 per-trip fare, it will take 50 years for the ridership to pay for the project"

How long will it take "the drivership" to pay back the cost for construction of I-5? Or the renovation of the Hawthorne Bridge? Or any of the billions (trillions?) spent on road building?

Why do people expect light rail to pay for itself? Nobody expects that of roads. Part of what our government does with our money is make it easier for us to get around. It's called "infrastructure."

I am as excited for the war against cheap lettuce as I am for the war against the iron horse!

Light rail is faster than driving in your dreams. I did a paper on it for a class last spring, and for example on the eastside, actual transit time for MAX from Gresham to downtown was 49 minutes or an average speed of 14.5 mph, and was comparable to a non-express bus route, while car speed on the Banfield during the same years was 27 mph (Oregon Transportation Institute).

Apples to oranges. You need to factor in the time spent parking the car, just as the train's (or bus's) time includes the stops you don't use. The main real, objective advantage of rail, which is noted above, is the graphics provided by the steel ribbons. You can see where it goes. The subjective one is interesting: if people like it better, they'll use it more. Maybe that makes it worth the extra cost. Rail makes a city more interesting. You can't say that about a bus.

Yes....we like our cars....that's why we use them.

And "Part of what our government does with our money is make it easier for us to get around. It's called "infrastructure."....this is just plain silly, Josh. Government's sinfully negligent failure to maintain and improve our roads and highway infrastructure makes it more difficult for us to get around...damn near impossible. And, once we've overbuilt the streetcars and light rail, the government is clueless as to how to collect fares or enforce the fare policy.

Gawd help us all! The loonies are runnin' the nervous hospital.

Car vs. Bus vs. Max: In my commute into town, I have both driven and taken the bus for years. Public transportation here always takes longer than driving in one's own car with all the stops and people getting in and out. And it can be quite inconvenent as well. What if you need to run into Fred's on the way home to pick up some things? Can't do that on public transportation. What if one of the kids gets sick at school? Can't get there quick enough via TriMet. What if you need to work a little late, but the next bus doesn't come for an hour? Yuck!

There are certain people in Portland who support public transportation and will adjust their lives to meet the TriMet schedule, and have alternate plans in the works in the event of emergencies. There's another set of people who can't afford to drive a car, and there's another set of people who simply can't make the sacrifice it takes to ride public transportation. Until we hit complete gridlock on our roads, it will be hard to influence people to get on board.

Don't worry...all of these traffic problems will be solved by the tram....

Allan L:

"Apples to oranges. You need to factor in the time spent parking the car, just as the train's (or bus's) time includes the stops you don't use."

What??? Okay, I'll factor in the 2 minutes it takes me to park the car if you factor in the 10 minutes it takes me to walk to my office from the nearest max stop. In the rain.

As far as comparing compute times go, I agree that a bus sitting in traffic sucks. But what about the idea of dedicated busways? This way you get the speed you need, without the cost of sinking rails. Another nice benefit is that when 1 bus breaks down, then ALLLLLLL the other busses behind it don't get stuck for hours, as happens with max. And if the routes ever need to change, which can never happen with rail, you can use the busways for normal traffic. Or even for bike paths, for that matter, if that sounds better to Portlanders.

Another advantage to rail is that (normally) it actually shows up at a stop when its scheduled to. I'm a daily bus rider who hates the fact that bus schedules are exceedingly unreliable. I'd love to be able to take MAX, especially during rush hour. At least then I'd know when I'm getting home.

Transit times using actual data:
I take the Red line from downtown to Parkrose. 32 minutes from the time I leave my office to being in my car at Parkrose. If I drive, it's over 40 minutes to cover the same distance. That's just the time advantage of the train.
Let's factor in how the time is spent: 40 minutes in the car is wasted. Time spent on the train is either relaxation, or beginning or finishing my workday (leading to an earlier departure from work, or an extra 50 bucks in my pocket).
Another advantage to the time on the train: in two years, the train has been late 3 times. On the freeway, the commute is over an hour at least once every other week.
Anyone that can argue car over train, hasn't compared the two recently. Unless you commute off-hours (as I did today), the train is the clear winner on time, convenience, and cost. If you calculate the commute based just on transit time, you'll always think the train is bad, but if you consider overall transit time and other variables, there's no comparison.

One needs only to wade into the local rail transit agenda up to their ankles to discover the wholesale dishonesty and unethical politics which ushers it along.
The deeper one wades the worse the stench gets.

The outright lies and peripheral nonsense used to justify it never rises to the level of fiduciary responsibility or genuine transportation planning.

Far from it. Yet, not a single elected official in sight ever speaks out in opposition to it. Not one. That alone is a fatal flaw.

In regard to the President and other local Republicans they are fiscal pigs right along with the liberal dominated planning cabal which is sentencing this region to decades of transportation chaos and across the board budgetary crisis.

Who needs President Bush, Gordon Smith, Bruce Starr, Bill Kennemer, Tom Brian and other republicans for transportation around here when they embrace all things guaranteed to waste and fail.

The high public cost and low numbers of people served by light rail makes it a fiscal crime.

The lack of positive impact on growing congestion makes it a traffic crime.

The use of it as a cloak to obscure additional public spending on high density private development makes it a budget crime.

The failure of it to increase transit use makes it a transit crime.

The failure of it to attract and spur private and compatible development makes it a planning crime.

The Washington County Commuter rail is even worse.
With 14 miles from no where, to no where, and so unneeded no buses currently serve the corridor it promises to deliver zero transportation benefit while spawning countless millions in public spending on private development along it's entire path. Most of which will be diverted from basic services property tax revenues.

No speculation necessary.

That's exactly what has happened on every one of our previous light rail lines.

Josh et al.:

I'm not necessarily opposed to light rail. In fact, I see places like New York and Chicago who have rail systems that are integral to their cities. However, we need to be honest about what it'll do and why we're doing it. I don't think it's valuable to put in, oh, say, a streetcar, with general fund money, operated by general fund money, so that PSU students and West Hills and Pearl District (and soon to be SoWhat) residents dont have to ride a bus to get around.

The Wilsonville-Beaverton commuter line at least makes some sense. As a commuter line, it runs quickly between destinations. If it were a local transit system, no one would use it to get from W-ville to B-ton because it would stop too frequently. Perhaps MAX should be more of a commuter system, with express trains to downtown that don't stop every third block during rush hour.

We just don't have skeptical enough leadership to question what goes in front of them. I believe a good leader questions EVERYthing that goes in front of him. If the answers aren't good enough, even on pet projects, they should be sent back until they are good enough. If its defensible, so be it. This tram [rimshot] wouldn't be where it is if anyone had questioned what they were seeing.

People get on Bush for not being intellectually curious. I think that fault applies to most of our leadership. They get there and put their feet up on their desks...

Larry sez:

"As far as comparing compute times go, I agree that a bus sitting in traffic sucks. But what about the idea of dedicated busways? This way you get the speed you need, without the cost of sinking rails. Another nice benefit is that when 1 bus breaks down, then ALLLLLLL the other busses behind it don't get stuck for hours, as happens with max. And if the routes ever need to change, which can never happen with rail, you can use the busways for normal traffic. Or even for bike paths, for that matter, if that sounds better to Portlanders."

The need to change routes as the urban landscape changes is exactly why the old Rose City Transit, the precursor to Tri-Met, switched from rail to rubber tired buses. First, with cabled electric power, and then to diesel, to obtain even greater versatility.

Personally, I'm very happy with MAX, even though I consider it to be a "white elephant". The reason? Had MAX not been built, my house would be overlooking the east-bound lane of the Mt. Hood Freeway, an even more expensive boondoogle.

I have found it interesting over the years that public support for MAX, and for mass transit generally, has been generated with the "it takes automobiles off the road." The net result? Folks voted for that kind of funding to get "those other drivers out of my way." When everybody thinks this, you get an underutilized mass transit system and gridlock, because nobody gets out of their car. That's because it was supposed to be "the other guy."

IIRC, transportation research has shown that if you build a freeway, it will soon reach gridlock. If you widen it to accomodate the growth in use, it will soon result in gridlock. If you need to commute in your car from east Portland to downtown, stay the hell off of I-84. I think you'll find that using the major east-west arterials will accomodate faster transport, even with all the traffic control measures. That's because the freeways are in gridlock.

Dedicated bus lanes on major artierials, along with adequate enforcement, would go a long way towards convincing drivers to switch to mass transit.

Still, mass transit cannot offer a private space unsullied by any of the "unwashed". This is a major problem for many. For many, the irritation of being stuck in gridlock is far better than having an aromatic denizen of Portland's streets take the seat next to you.

So, I'd have to agree with the other poster who intimated that mass transit will not truly be successful until the powers that be stop subsidizing the automobile through expansion of existing road systems (particularly inner city freeways that should _never_ have happened) and of parking in destination locations.

Larry:
"2 minutes it takes me to park" - an unrealistic time frame for most people, especially downtown in parking structures

"10 minutes it takes me to walk to my office from the nearest max stop"
put that in your exercise/wellness time budget (and it's faster in the rain)

Lars will agree with the President on absolutely anything, but by golly, if you say you think so much as one sniff of the President's proposals for immigration sound ok, Lars will push little old ladies under the Light Rail in order to get at your throat.

"The Washington County Commuter rail is even worse. With 14 miles from no where, to no where"

Must be nice to live in a bubble there Steve. Beaverton and Wilsonville are two of the largest employment centers in the Portland Metro Area and are going to keep on growing.

Have you ever driven on I-5 or 217 during rush hour? Although that commute is awful in a car, it is even worse on a bus because it take twice as long with multiple transfers.

""""mass transit will not truly be successful until the powers that be stop subsidizing the automobile through expansion of existing road systems"""""""""

Why is this nonsense so common? Gas taxes pay for road improvements and expansions. AKA "user fees".
Gas Taxes from road users, which are frequently taken and used for transit and floating sidewalks.

You must have not noticed the lack of road and freeway expansion in this region as well as the disproportionate spending on rail which is used by a less than 1% of commuters.

The claim that "if you build a freeway, it will soon reach gridlock" has been long ago thoroughly debunked and is as foolish as if I said if we build a new school to help over crowded schools it will just fill up so let's not build it.

There is NOT a single benefit from our rail system. None. Not cleaner air, not congestion relief, not increased transit use, not spurred development.

The Washington County commuter rail is worse
despite the impression some may have.
This is a peak hour only commuter rail line. Hence, the census
journey-to-work data tells us what we need to know about origins and
destinations from Wilsonville to Beaverton. The census show almost no trips
along that route. The route passes on the other side of 217 from Washington
Square, a mega-mall. But the line doesn't operate when the line stops
operations in the AM. If people have to drive to get there, they won't use
it in the PM for the return trip.
In Portland, this line has been described as the line between Incredible
Universe and the Round. Incredible Universe was a failed appliance
mega-store in Wilsonville. The Round is a failed transit oriented
development in Beaverton. The Round's original developers went bankrupt.
Those trying to make something of the millions poured into the area have
totally changed the project from a mixed-use residential development having no parking on the line to a business development with more parking than a mega-mall.
The predicted ridership has NO basis in fact. Because there is not even a demand for a bus doing the same.

The idea that fixed rail can service our region is ridiculous as demonstrated by the low percentage of people who can effectively access our current lines.
Track record folks. We know exactly what more will do.
It's as asinine as if we had costly Limousine buses running only on one street without any means to enter from or leave to any adjacent neighborhoods or communities. Only light rail costs more.

Adding a line to Clackamas will provide not a single nano transit or transportation benefit.
The downtown light rail mall promises to be a farce beyond our imaginations. A massive boondoggle making the Tram look wise by comparison.
The Mt. Hood Freeway would not have been more expensive and would not have been any more of a Boondoggle than I-205 and the Glenn Jackson Bridge. Now congested because of decades of road transportation neglect by those enamored and delusional over rail.

While a car may beat MAX during off-peak hours, all I know is MAX fucking KILLS highway 26 during rush hour. I take it the OPPOSITE DIRECTION (I live in NE, work in the suburbs) and the MAX still gets me home faster than when I drive (and that's even though I have to ride MAX all the way through downtown, which takes half my transit time).

If I was going in the DIRECTION of the bulk of traffic, I bet MAX would get me home in half the time or better. I see those cars on 26 and they're often barely even moving. There's no way they ever come close 14.5 miles an hour.

I can't speak to I84 because I never go out to Gresham.

Hey Allan -

While I agree that the 10 minute walk would be shortened when raining, I hope you didn't miss my point. Which was that you wanted to add the time to park the car to the auto commute but didn't say a thing about adding ancilliary time requirements to the max commute. If you're gonna do it for one, ya gotta do it for the other.

And while we're on that topic, let's go ahead and add in the time it takes to find a parking spot in a Park and Ride onto the max commute as well. Ever have to park OUT of a PnR lot, a couple blocks away because the lot is full? I have...

And let's add these monetary considerations onto the max commute - I've had my stereo stolen twice (broken window one time and broken door lock the next) and another time my entire "dream" truck was stolen from a max lot. This whole max commuting thang is gettin' expensive...

As far as my exercise/wellness time budgets go, I'd rather spend the time hiking or paddling (exercise) or swilling beer at Sassys (wellness)... Funny how those two work against each other.

I'd ride asked,
""""Have you ever driven on I-5 or 217 during rush hour? """""""

Every day for years. That's why I'm for real congestion relief.
Commuter rail will not effect congestion at all.
In fact if you ask TriMet they will provide you with nothing but the repeated claim based upon a self serving presumption that it will.

They and Metro know themselves it will not help congestion. They are lying to get it built, just as with the Tram, so they can expand massive public subsidies for high density private development along the line. Development like the Beaverton Round.

We need more road and freeway capacity to divert traffic from clogged neighborhood arterials and relieve overburdened highways. More cars will not magically appear to fill everything up. That is another lie.

Larry writes:
"Hey Allan -

While I agree that the 10 minute walk would be shortened when raining..."

Well, if the 10 minute walk goes in the "wellness budget", then the 25 mins spent flirting with the MAX cuties (you know, all those hot girls who love to ride the MAX) goes in the "dating budget". A few more "budgets" and I can get everywhere on a MAX train in no time at all!!!!! I love the logic!!!! Just find a new budget!!!! Maybe it works for money also?!!!! LOL

Schopp's voice and take on this issue/thread is the sanest and most cogent, spot-on observation and analysis than any of the other participants. Somehow....somewhere...there has to be enough of us who can really make a fight out of this, and stop the effing insanity. Trams [rimshot] transit malls, Wilsonville/Beaverton boondoggles, 205 light rail, fareless streetcars, bike lanes.....none has eased the congestion...it only gets worse, as well as bumpier, as the infrastructure is allowed to deteriorate further.

Not a real leader anywhere....cities...metro....salem.

Waht a pathetic, sorry, criminally negligent expensive mess.

Liars says nothing to believe. His actions prove he IS Bush. He should have respected one piddly insignificant funeral for a Liars/Bush victim -- Salem's Matthews would have been nice, who Lynde was ordered to be the 'cut out' for, condemning her a second time, and doubling his heroism -- when Liars/Bush had a chance. Now it's too late for them, of course, now that kismet has come full circle around to find Liars/Boy IS the scene of the war crimes. Liars propaganda killed our brave citizens of Oregon.

Liars/O'Reilly/Lamebrain/Rumsfeld/Cheney/Bush whatever you want to name the inhuman monster, killed the dead. Because they acted toward it. And if they had not acted, (did not defraud voters, was not on the radio), no deadly invasion of Iraq. (If Gore's votes had been counted, 9/11 would not have happened -- that's what it means to see Liars/.../Bush did it.)

If he had gone to a funeral before people came around to see Liars started the war, it likely was safe. Now it's too late. People are grief stricken, and the Liars/Boys with their swastika words are voodoo magnets. Bad juju. What he put around has come around him.

The monster's gonna run to the law for rescue and there will be no law. Which lawlessness, if law means tyranny's austerity, is what Jack's post is about -- where's the discipline and restraint on the Liars/Bush since all is gone wrong.
Johnny Too Bad -- Lyrics and Music: Winston Bailey, Hy Beckford


Walking down the road with a pistol in your waist
Johnny you're too bad
Walking down the road with a ratchet in your waist
Johnny you're too bad
You're just robbing and stabbing and looting and shooting
Now you're too bad
You're just robbing and stabbing and looting and shooting
Now you're too bad
One of these days when you hear a voice say come
Where you gonna run to
One of these days when you hear a voice say come
Where you gonna run to
You gonna run to the rock for rescue
There will be no rock
You gonna run to the rock for rescue
There will be no rock

How did it all talk public transportation after Jack's post charges Liars/Boy budget is war crimes indictment for starving scholars, starving homeless, starving aged and infirm, in the name of Jesus Christ amen? Just like Adolph.
DETENTION CAMPS IN THE USA?, Peter Dale Scott writes on Pacific News Service

A Halliburton subsidiary has just received a $385 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to provide "temporary detention and processing capabilities.
The contract -- announced Jan. 24 by the engineering and construction firm KBR -- calls for preparing for "an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs" in the event of other emergencies, such as "a natural disaster." The release offered no details about where Halliburton was to build these facilities, or when.

In a week, Feb. 15, KBOO broadcasts all night on the streets with the homeless, to bring attention to them among us and to hear their voices aired to us. Hurt on, tune in, drop by. http://KBOO.fm

Steve S sez: "The claim that "if you build a freeway, it will soon reach gridlock" has been long ago thoroughly debunked and is as foolish as if I said if we build a new school to help over crowded schools it will just fill up so let's not build it."

Yeah? Can you provide the study that shows this?

Your analogy sucks, too.

As soon as the I-84 expansion was done, it was in gridlock, just like it was before the expansion. But, hey, east-west thoroughfares like Glisan, Burnside, Stark, Powell and Holgate all improved in their ability to carry rush-hour traffic. That's because all the bozos who thought that an expanded I-84 was the answer to their dreams took it there and left the arterials relatively lightly travelled.

This, too, will end, so long as the population in the Portland area, along with the "I have a right to drive my car where I want, when I want, how I want" attitude comes to an end.

More surface parking breeds urban flooding. More and wider roads do the same, but add to the pollutants in the air. The easiest thing to apply to the commuter gridlock is to start pushing flex time and break everybody of the 9 to 5 rat race. Our surface transportation system is just fine for every time of day but rush hours.

Oops...

My statement above:

"This, too, will end, so long as the population in the Portland area, along with the "I have a right to drive my car where I want, when I want, how I want" attitude comes to an end."

should read as;

"This, too, will end, so long as the population growth in the Portland area continues, and the 'I have a right to drive my car where I want, when I want, how I want' attitude continues unabated."

The best thing for gridlock would be a tripling of the gasoline prices.

Folks need to set aside the sensitivities and break their reliance on the planners around here.
They are lying about light rail as much as they have about the Tram.

From--- www.publicpurpose.com ----a complete
source on the truth about light rail and "smart growth"

http://www.publicpurpose.com/pp58-toronto.htm

"The view is also peddled that expanding roads is futile, because they are soon filled up by the "induced traffic effect" --- the assumption that more roads create more traffic. This is as absurd as arguing that building maternity wards increases the birth rate. In fact, new roads encourage little additional driving, according to research by the US Federal Highway Administration."

Urban Rail: Less to Lease Cars for New Riders
http://publicpurpose.com/ut-2000rail.htm

PORTLAND & SEATTLE:SPRAWLING TOGETHER
Portland: No Different Despite Reputation
http://publicpurpose.com/dmseapor.htm

When the MAX was built initially, light rail was kind of a novelty. There was a lot of federal transportation money for it and Portland jumped to the head of the pack, thanks to Mark Hatfield, among others. Because of its novelety status, I don't think the MAX lines were planned that well, especially in the core of the city.

That's where the line really slows down to a crawl, with stops about every two or three blocks. I've never figured out why there is a stop in Chinatown and another at the Skidmore Fountain. I can throw a softball from one stop to the other, and I have a weenie arm. Same thing for the stop at MLK and the next at the Rose Quarter. And there also are two at PGE Park.

Add to this the fact the Portland's 200-foot blocks make it impossible to have trains with more than two cars. I've also been told by Tri-Met people that they can't add any more trains on the East and West side routes because of logistical reasons. So they are at capacity and can't accomodate any more passengers at rush hour. Which is quite obvious at 7:30 a.m.

Ray Polani, who is a big advocate for rail and a big critic of Tri-Met, has lobbied for years for a subway through the heart of the city. Yeah, it would cost a bundle, but the train would actually be way faster and you could run as many as needed.
The route could also be planned so as to have a stop right under Pill Hill and another at SoWhat, thus eliminating the need for the tram [rimshot]. And also avoid screwing up the downtown transit mall.
More info from the Association of Oregon Rail Transportation Advocates here: http://www.trainweb.org/aorta/rapidtrans.htm

Myself, I can bike from anywhere on the eastside inside of 60th to downtown faster than car, bus or MAX. Going back is a bit slower (it's up hill).

the Skidmoor stop is partially for Saturday Market .. the place is busy all weekend when it is open ...just wait til gas prices go up again ...Peak oil and global warming may eventually make Max and maybe even buses attractive to commuters

Schopp wrote, "More cars will not magically appear to fill everything up."

Sure they will. It's the law of triple convergence.

When people travel, they travel on a particular route, at a particular time, using a particular mode of transport. If their preferred route/time/mode is persistently too slow, they will change one of those variables - they'll take another route, or they'll go later/earlier, or they'll ride the max, take the bus, carpool, etc.

Easiest way to ponder that: Imagine the 26 during a typical rush hour. The only people on that road right then are the people who either (a) didn't know it would be jammed, or (b) have no choice when to travel. Everyone else who would prefer to travel then, but has some choices, is taking another road, going later or earlier, or riding the max or bus.

If you suddenly expanded capacity by 25% by adding a lane, you wouldn't see less traffic *at rush hour*. More people would choose to travel at their preferred route/time/mode combo.

Sure, you might see less traffic on the edges of rush hour, or on other routes, or less crowding on the max/bus - but you won't see the peak preferred route/time/mode drop at all.... and that's the political issue that most people are most upset about.

I didn't make this up. It's a well-known transporation policy theory.

The only ways to really reduce traffic and congestion is to stop expanding the city or grow the transportation infrastructure to match the increas in population. Quit bringing more people into to the metro area, maybe even encourage people to move to other states, or get a job somewhere else. Of course that'll collapse our economy in this area so IMO the second option is more acceptable.
Like it or not, we need mass transit, bycicles, pedestrians, and vehicles and they all need to work as effeciently as possible.
I work residential and commercial construction, I have since 1984. 205 and I-84 used to be relatively easy to use. In the last 10 years both have become nightmares. Light rail is nice, but unless you live and work within walking distance of the line it's going to take you longer to take light rail than it will to drive. I used to live right on the Burnside line. It was literally right outside my door. I lived on Burnside just before Gresham. At the time I was working on a lot of buildings in downtown Portland and decided to try out the MAX train instead of driving as I already had all my equipment and materials on the jobsite. It took a little longer to take the MAX than it took to drive, I was not reimbursed for the ticket, where I was for parking fees, and the looks I got from people on the train were irritating to say the least, so light rail and the bus weren't options for me even then. I went to highschool at Clevelend, over on SE Powell and 26th. I used to take Tri-met to school. Because there was a transfer ivolved it took 45 minutes on an average day to get to school on the bus. When I would go in early with my father on his way to work, it would take 10-15 minutes to get to school. If I walked it took me 45 minutes to get from school to home. So on the days when I could I rode with my dad, on nice days I walked and put the bus money in my pocket, and on rainy days when dad couldn't give me a ride I took the bus.
Now I live in Mulino, with a work area covering an area from Salem to Vancouver and Troutdale to Forrest Grove. I have to carry tools and materials in my truck, sometimes as much as a ton of tile, stone or setting/finishing materials.
Like it or not, there will always be auto traffic, that is unless people want to learn to install their own tile, stone, drywall, hardwood floors, carpet, etc. and would be content to walk to a rail head to pick up their groceries instead of having them trucked to the local store.
What I see contributing to the congestion of the freeways is an increase in population, but an inadequate increase in the infrastructure to handle it. It would be helpful if the OSP and local departments would expidite the clean up of accidents when they occur on the freeways too, as this is the most common cause of traffic backups when I'm commuting. Commet is a step in the right direction, but the relevant agencies need to do better. Also, the roads need to be maintained, I cringe when I have to work on anything along west Burnside. That road would be smoother if they tore up the pavement and put packed gravel down. It would have been nice if the city had taken some of the federal highway money they spend on the snazzy east side esplanade, and used it to fix streets like west Burnside, but apparently that wouldn't have been as sexy a project and an esplanade for joggers and bycicle riders, to say nothing of the boat traffic.
I drive through down town Portland, west side, quite often and I'm seeing better behavior on the part of the pedestrians as far as jaywalking now compared to what I had to deal with even 5 years ago, and I have noticed that bycicles are getting along a little better with both the peds and the cars, and both of those go a long way towards reducing congestion.
We need all of these different types of transportation - cars, mass transit, pedestian, bycicle, and they all need to work together and give to each other. Transportation shouldn't be about pretty,it shouldn't be about 'leaving a legacy', it should be about efficiency.

Kari,

Nice cherry picking. Good way to avoid reality and the fatal flaws of light rail.
Of course people will find the better route when a better way arrives.
That's what we want. Adequate freeway and arterial capacity to pull vehicles out of the our neighborhoods and provide better traffic and commerce mobility. Which is exactly what happened when 84 and 205 opened.

I was addressing the farce of "induced demand" where the overall number of vehicles is supposed to increase due to capacity increases.
I provided the proof.

What you and yours does is completely ignore the realities of our track record, and that of other cities, in attempting to address congestion with high cost-low service light rail.

Two decades of ignoring capacity demands has rendered our region near gridlock. More light rail will only contribute to it worsening.
Publicpurpose.com details the real world of light rail and high density "smart growth" causing the worst congestion in the country.
But you're too dreamy about bikes and sprawl to apply any level of curiosity, scrutiny or objective study to the myths you have so willingly bought into.

Of course better transit would help.
Unfortunately, because of it's high cost and low service light rail is anti-transit and will provide less service with fewer cars pulled from our roads because of it.

This ulterior motive driven, money grubbing, political, pork barrel massive waste of public monies will equate to no more than the Alaska bridge to no where.

You and all the conflicts of interest, influence peddling, lobbying, fat cat campaign feeding and government bureaucrats are forcing upon the region a bill goods which will amount to a transportation nightmare and fiscal calamity. Just as the abundant and readily available data and track record clearly shows.
And you're all for it.

If the planners in the 'burbs required new develpments follow a traditional block system/grid pattern, we wouldn't have half the traffic problems we do now. That isn't theory, that's a fact. The portland neighborhoods have much higher density but much less congestion. Why? Because you can travel from point A to B a thousand different ways.

Did I mention a block system adds character and long-term property investment security? I used to live on a cul-de-sac, in a development that seems comparatively 'disposable'. Houses that last 40 years (tops) and seem dated after 10. Sure they appreciate, but only because the market can't do otherwise. To satiate the modern taste, they keep building newer disposable homes on the fringes, while older tract homes become the new suburban ghetto. It's a cycle that won't stop unless more thought is put into how to expand in a smart way.

Steve Schopp writes into this blog regularly and at great length to express his hatred of all forms of mass transit. He think Portland has it all wrong by planning for and funding methods of transportation other than the automobile. I wonder, Steve, what city do you regard as doing things right when it comes to transit? Los Angeles? Houston? Tigard? Can you name your model city, or do you just like to complain about Portland?

Many in Portland don't want to follow the car-dependent, polluted, ugly, unhealthy model that is so prevalent in the United States. The great cities of the world all have extensive, publicly subsidized mass transit systems. I'm glad that some of our city leaders, and many citizens, have had the forethought over the past 30 years to recognize that we need to re-invest in alternatives to private automobile travel.

Richard, if anything you just wrote were accurate or responding to anything real it might mean more than empty blather it is.
You bring nothing but the same attack the messenger tactics so commonly used by the local
unethical planning cabal.

Leading with "Steve Schopp hates of all forms of mass transit" was a perfect display of the dishonesty you represent.
I have, not once, ever written anything in opposition to public transportation.

It isn't me that merely "thinks" Portland has it all wrong.
The track record speaks for itself.
You may be ignorant of the track record and circumstances we are now facing because of the lack of genuine planning but that doesn't entirely explain either your attitude or accusatory falsehoods.
Transportation planning throughout the Metro region has failed miserably to accommodate the needs of growth. As I have said many times, effective transit, which could have been paid for many times over if it were not for rail, is needed along with road and freeway capacity increases.
Your narrow-minded encapsulating the issue into "who's doing it right" is the means to ignore any comprehensive measurement of what our planners are actually doing.
You simply buy the whole charade.
Even though Portland is indeed following what you call "the car-dependent, polluted, ugly, unhealthy model" while defrauding the public that the reverse is happening.
If you think light rail will lead the Portland region to becoming a "great city of the world" you are blind as a bat to the chaos and nonsustainable fiscal mess we now have.
If the rail you enamor over truly provided any of the benefits you seem to think it does it would be easy to show and validate.
Instead we get the garbage in-garbage out trashing talking you provided.

Calling the last 30 Years "forethought" is just more cover up by dishonest people crafting abhorrent policies, is no substitution for
addressing the many pitfalls.
Since the so-called "alternative" does not provide what is needed it is not a genuine alternative at all. It is fanstasy.

Does the former head of Metro also "hate" transit?

From Metro Executive Mike Burton's State of the Region Speech, 2000

"Traffic congestion is bad and getting worse.
It is a nightmare for commuters and it is choking freight mobility.
There is no more clear illustration of our inability to meet growth needs than our failure to address our transportation needs.
Within the transportation arena we are facing utter chaos."

Good thing we have all this "forethought" around here.
Be sure and stay away from www.publicpurpose.com
It might clear your fog.

The source which Kari referred to is not a description of a "well-known theory." It is the address by a speaker at an anti-road group containing the usual discredited statements.

Road building has not kept up with population or auto availability for the last 30 years. The results are the increases in congestion. Transit, during the same period, has increased dramatically but have done nothing to stem congestion. Portland is the leading example of this as shown by the annual reporting of the Texas Transportation Institute (see http://www.tamu.org/).
Since 1986, the Portland metro area has had the largest increase in congestion in the US. During this period, no new arterials were built and billions have been spent for rail lines. See http://www.hevanet.com/oti/portlandcongestion.htm

In the State of Oregon, road lanes have, actually, decreased as lane miles of roads have been converted to widened sidewalks, bike lanes, medians, etc. ODOT's publication Oregon Road Mileage shows this even though it doesn't reduce the amount of lane miles reduced for bike lanes.

Yes, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus; there is no "induced demand; and triple convergence is 1) more money for light rail, 2) more money for trolleys and 3) more congestion.

Hey, I know! Let's build another freeway 'ring' around Portland! Everyone knows that the true measure of a great city is how many freeway 'rings' it has. Why, who even NEEDS to go to that filthy downtown core of secular liberalism??

Hey Columbia Sportswear! Portland wasn't willing to bend to your wishes, and soon Beaverton is gonna start getting all uppity. But hey, I'm sure North Plains has a great untapped workforce for ya...

HAAA-HA-ha. HaAAHH-ha ha ... whew, ha, heh heh, whoa, easy, whoa, ... wwHAAA HA HA HA Ha ha, whoa, HAAA HAA, whoa, HA. Ha. Easy. heh heh. 'Scuse me. Just a second. Heh heh. I heard a good one.

This post is about big Liars and all the little liars not being able to fabricate a reality for themselves as fast as their last one is crumbling, right? (Kinda gives new meaning to the superTOPsecret classified 'able' danger study, when it's put that way -- 'Liars not being able' to lie fast enough. That'd be a danger, all right.) Did I come to the right place? Ho. Ha.

So this Liars man sucks his lips up on Paul Allen's microphone today and says: There was a terrorist, on an airplane, with bad intent, ready to blast open the cockpit door with a shoe bomb .. ho. ho. Ha Ha, wait, wait ... yeah, with a shoe bomb, open the cockpit. Then; commandeer the plane -- obviously a pilot terrorist, heh. haha -- and so then fly the plane into the TALLest building in L.A. HAAAAAAAAAA HAAAA HA, oh, HAAAAAAAA HAAA HA HA Ha, whoa, HAAAAAAAAA HAaa HA Ha. Oh. Oh, ha. Oh, whoa, HAAAAA HAA HA, Wo. Wo. Whoa.

"TALLest building in L.A." That's like 'the biggest iceberg in Hawaii,' right? The warmest lizard in Antarctica. The misunderestimated president HAAAA HAAAA HAaaa ha ha, whoa, ha. Ha.

As I heard it: There's this beatnik on the street corner snapping his fingers. Incessantly. Man says, "That's annoying. Why are you snapping your fingers all the time?" Beatnik says, "Hey, daddy-o, I'm, like, keeping the tigers away." Man says, "There ain't a tiger within five hundred miles of here." Beatnik says, "See, it's working."

So Liars says, today, 'the scrotum POTUS went back to talking about terrorusts, which is good because that issue hurts the Democrats.'

Also he said, "IF I ever went to a funeral," [and where could that word have come from worming into his mind? Hmmm...?], and Liars bumped into Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski there, [he's always been there for those who sacrifice of themselves for us], Liars says, "I would keep my mouth shut." Ha.

And this truth, heading out the door for a Thanksgiving vacation, quote Liars Larson: "Cindy Sheehan is a nothing."

TK: What was that? Please add to the discussion or lurk.

What has been lacking here is a discussion of toll-based alternatives. I believe asphalt is the best transit mode. Buses, bikes, cars, trucks, trolleys, and other rubber-wheeled forms of transportation can use asphalt. Lines can always be restriped to accommodate changes. Bus-only, bike-only, toll-payers, free-riders, etc., can all be accomodated in future years on an asphalt-based thoroughfare.

Brainstorm NW has a great piece in the February issue (not yet online) by John Charles of the Cascade Policy Institute on using toll roads to solve our transit problems. Well, to alleviate our transit problems.

Where in place, electronic toll systems massively boost capacities and minimize the need for additional lanes. Rail has its place, but in our city, the MAX is designed to force people out of their cars. Forcing people to do something they don't want to do is not a recipe for long-term success. See, business community exodus, e.g.

We are a personal-freedom society. Cars are the ultimate manifestation of that. We can drive wherever, whenever, with whomever we want. Trains can't do that. Therefore, there will always be a lifestyle friction there. The trains and buses are great when you know you have to be somewhere at and until a specific time and can get on and off near your origin or destination. However, many of us don't have that option (see all the idiots on 26 in the morning). They don't WANT to be there. They have to. Building rails won't stop that. Urban planners currently have the stated, overt goal to get people out of their cars. To make it ugly to be in a car.

That's just un-American to me. We're a freedom society. Make cars cleaner if you want. But you aren't going to get people out of them. Not without a law.

Don-

First of all, it's called snark, sarcasm, humor, etc. If that wasn't apparent in my tone, well...

Second, it wouldn't surprise me that Cascade Policy Institute would present these findings, being that they're a Libertarian think-tank. You're kidding yourself if you think the best solution doesn't incorporate the best of mass transportation AND road design. MAX doesn't force people from cars. We don't have laws on the books, the last time i checked, that forbid your personal driving pleasure. But if you work downtown, paying $3+ roundtrip and not paying for gas or wear-and-tear is plenty motivation enough. Maybe if you're sitting in your Tahoe with a wage large enough to pay for gas and $8 parking each day, MAX probably seems like a chump's choice.

Also...

If the best excercise of our national liberty is the freedom to commute 26.8 miles daily, with 18" chrome wheels, Lars on the radio, and non-california emissions, then we're all screwed.

This isn't bold thinking, foreward thought, or long-term planning. This is the lazy, me-first attitiude that's killing this town and nearly every other community. Spare me the un-american bullsh*t... what's truly un-American is starving public works, schools, public transportation, and other essential services.

TK,

You just don't get it.
We have the worst of mass transportation (high cost-few served) AND a near total abandonment of road designing and building.

MAX is not a choice. We did choose to vote it down, got it anyway and express bus routes were canceled so many people have no choice but MAX.

Many neighborhoods want the choice of more transit service but due to the high cost of rail requests for bus service are continually rejected. Ironic too, because the reason TriMet gives in the they can't justify the cost of adding the requested bus service.
Funny they never make a case for the cost of rail.
Even when they divert school and other basic service's dollars to pay for it.

""""Spare me the un-american bullsh*t... what's truly un-American is starving public works, schools, public transportation, and other essential services."""""""

Do you have any idea how much of essential service's budgets are diverted because of Urban Renewal and the boondoggles it funds?

Interstate MAX alone is taking $40 million in property taxes from 3744 acres of real estate in North Portland.
SoWa's climbing budget started at $1/2 Billion in property taxes to be diverted from 409 acres of real estate in SW Portland. All of which would otherwise be going to essential services.

If you think this is OK you are no friend of essential services.

No Steve, you don't get it.

Public transportation is not a money-making endeavor. It costs money to build, maintain and run. It's an expense. And it's necessary. Even if it only serves 20, 30 or 50 percent of the populace.

Few served? No one uses MAX? I dare you to ride it at 8am with a large down/feather coat and a bulky laptop bag. Once aboard, I dare you to turn 360 degrees without knocking down an old lady.

Do I really need to remind you the bus system serves inner portland well, but MAX is designed primarily for outer-reach commuters who find the bus system 'scary' or the ride too lengthy? I too have some questions for the Interstate MAX and its need, but the East-West line is a proven winner.

If you're still not convinced MAX is needed at the present day, then think about the future. These expensive projects address future needs and growth. MAX doesn't have a shelf life of 20 years, you know.

Steve:

Please answer your own question about property tax diversion, but answer it honestly. Please include the fact that the diversion of property taxes is temporary and partial. And then acknowledge that the PDC's investment in urban renewal infrastructure (e.g., MAX on Interstate; roads, park and tram in SoWa) is designed to spur development and eventually increase property tax revenues, which go to city coffers after the urban renewal period is over. From what I can tell in North Portland, property values (and therefore tax revenues) are rising fast, and MAX has contributed to that. I expect the same will happen in SoWa, which wouldn't have been developed in the same high-density, high-tax-generating way without the city's involvement.

If you can show that urban renewal investments haven't and aren't succeeding in eventually increasing property tax revenues, then by all means demonstrate that. But to simply say that the URDs are diversions of taxes is a gross distortion.

(By the way, I'm not "attacking the messenger," now or earlier. I'm challenging your message.)

The City Club of Portland did a pretty comprehensive analysis on the PDC and Urban Renewal Districts. They concluded that there is no evidence URDs produce more tax revenue than if the properties were left alone.

Personally, with money-losing fiascos like the Round in Beaverton, Cascade Station and PGE Park, I don't trust the whole Urban Renewal idea.

A $1/2 billion is going into SoWa (some estimate $650 million). That's a pretty big gamble on an idea based on no real proof that it'll pan out.

TK,
Yes, few served. As always the lame argument disputing this is someone's ride on MAX.
Full cars at a given time is not a measurement of ridership.
Your perception is not a measurement.
The real measurement is how many commuters are able to use MAX and it's less than 1%.

They is very few and does not help with congestion or Transit.

If you want to feel otherwise fine.
The truth is the high cost of our MAX makes it a detriment to out transit and transportation system regardless of how much some people like it.

Richard,
You want honesty? Don't go to the PDC. They refuse to prepare yearly UR impact to basic services reports as required by State Law. They haven't even a department or staff looking at the total costs.
The SoWa Urban Renewal Advisory Committee voted to request a genuine full life cycle cost for the Tram and the PDC refused.
I know how much is diverted by UR and currently it is somewhere around $65 million in property taxes this year alone. And growing.
Yes the diversion of property taxes is temporary and partial. Temporary but long term with decades to break even. Could be as much as 40 or more years to pay back all that is lost with basic services suffering the whole time.
Partial? Sure, but it's nearly all of the property taxes from the UR development sites themselves and every year's increase from all the property which UR sweeps up within the districts surrounding the targeted development. It's not just the target development which has it's property taxes diverted away from basic services.
It's also big swaths of real estate adjacent to and surrounding the sites.
Something the PDC and others NEVER make clear to the public.
12,000 acres of real estate is now having most or a portion of it's property taxes diverted from basic services.
The free UR infrastructure, tax abatements, low interest loans, waved fees and on-demand sweeping zoning changes do the spurring for developers.
Not the Tram or rail.
Let's see, which "spurs" the fat cat, campaign packing developers and non taxpaying OHSU the most?
$55 Tram or $1/2 Billion in tax subsidies.
The Tram and rail are smoke screens to obscure the greater spending to promote high density at all costs. And all costs we are paying.
The Alexan Tax abatement was all about spurring high density at all costs.
A $10 million property tax giveaway with nothing in return but another high density project. $10 million from basic services.
You see the Tram and rail are designed to spur massive spending of property tax dollars without any oversight, accountability or regard for where those tax dollars are needed and should be going.
Worse yet, the diverting is all but hidden from the public as the rhetoric you use nurses it along.
MAX hasn't spurred North Interstate. The massive subsidy programs have while property taxes from the 3744 acres UR district must pay it back with debt service all of it.
Of course over the years there will be an increase property tax revenues.
As it does throughout the city, Urban Renewal or not.
Of course there's the other deception that nothing would be developed in the district without the help of public investment. Sure some stagnant and truly blighted areas could use some help top stimulate a clean up and redevelopment. But blight is now prime river front property and the investment has morphed into a cash cow for private developers. The objective is no longer cleaning up legitimate blight. It's a political and social judgment to pack in high density and a willingness to hand over any amounts of public money to do so.
Again, at all costs.
The only way MAX has contributed to rising property values is through it being used to spawn the massive UR spending and as a tool to help lock up land supplies and create the false shortage.
What ever you expect from SoWa it's too bad you and the PDC don't require accurate budget information to determine validity, merit and worth.
But with the whole plan taking the same path as the Tram, with budget items soaring one thing is becoming abundantly clear around here.
Cost doesn't matter.
Neither does traffic as SoWa has no plan to address the added demands on the area.
Genuine affordable housing doesn't matter either as only intent and the pretense will be provided.
"""SoWa, which wouldn't have been developed in the same high-density"""
You got it, but with decades of monies pouring into basic services from lesser but better fitting development the city would have been far better off.
Fiscally and with livability.
Urban renewal investments haven't and aren't succeeding in eventually increasing property tax revenues in many cases.
Over $200 million for Cascade Station and Airport MAX brought nothing. And the crazy scheme to make it happen may not bring in revenue to over a 100 years or more. Again the PDC hasn't come clean on exactly what took place there. Just about any other options would have been preferable.
The best I can tell is Bechtel, in addition to getting a no bid contract to built Airport MAX, paid 14 million for 100 year rights to occupy and develop the 120 acre Cascade Station and got free infrastructure for it.
They since have subleased 19 acres for 94 years at $13 million to Ikea.
Meaning they got a huge no bid contract for light rail and 100 acres essentially for free. Nice deal for the Port, PDC and the public hey?
Does that also not matter because we got Airport MAX?
The examples of Urban Renewal abuse around here are plentiful.
If you have never ventured into any of them then you accepting whatever pitch the PDC makes. Similar to the pitch PDC made on behalf of Trammel Crow in pursuit of their $10 million tax abatement. And what a crazy dishonest pitch it was.
URDs are indeed a massive diverting or skimming of property taxes which are desperately needed by growing basic services' costs.

For the PDC to say URDs don't use general fund dollars is a bald faced lie.
They are WORSE. They borrow, long term, then require property taxes to be taken just prior to arriving in those general fund budgets to pay back the spending with interest. At least $165 million in interest from the first 20 years of SoWa alone. With many years and millions more before the debt is clear and revenues return to the general fund. Keep in mind that most of this spending was not for the public improvements such as the parks or greenway, but to benefit private development.
The opposite of requiring developers to pay as we grow, it's forcing the taxpayers to pay the developers as we grow.
SoWhat. It's worth it right?

You know, there are just as many good examples as bad. The Round was a rediculous idea to start with (oooh look honey, the Ford dealership downstairs is giving away free hot dogs!). But there seems to be 10 lower-budget renewal projects for every high-profile project. Look no further than MLK Jr Blvd storefronts as evidence the renewal funds are making a difference and an impact.

"""there are just as many good examples as bad""""

No, there isn't. And the bad is massive misappropriation of public money without the public knowing. The PDC is a hide it if you can agency hell bent on playing real estate speculators, with other peoples money, until the well runs dry.
Which by the way it is.

Some legitimate Urban Renewal has and does occur but it is drowning in the sea of ulterior motives and conflicts of interest driving the many illegitimate uses.

Here's what's that's.

Jack posts notice of more Bush lying in misrepresenting the budgets he got rightwing anti-tax smallminds to vote for him with, as different from the budgets he blows up in our face after being elected. Quoting Jack:
What do you think of your [Liars'] hero, George Bush's, new budget?

Bush lies and lies and lies and Liars Larson and all the wannabe neo-cons never get it.

Then today, Bush is at it again with a cock-and-bull story -- complete fiction, what part of IT'S A LIE don't you understand, Liars? -- about having caught a terrorist on an airplane 3 or 4 years ago. HAAAAAA HA HA.

And Liars repeated every line of the Bush LIE on the public airwaves.

I see the efforts here aiming to make some sort of debate about private auto vs. public transportation. That's funny, too.

There ain't no debate. The oil age is over. Private auto is dead. Get a bike. Expect to live your life where you are standing because you ain't going anywhere -- no gasoline. Oh, and the martial law roadblocks, those put a crimp in travel plans, too.

And you're all on and on about light rail or freeway, like you are talking about reality. Hell-O-O-O?

Besides, Jack's post includes comment about Bush starving academics (see, Jack's profession sort of depends on students enrolling in college), and Bush starving homeless people, and Bush starving the elderly, and I threw in Bush starving the sick and infirm.

Which was how Hitler did it.

And I brought in the news item that a contract HAS BEEN LET, to Kellogg Brown & Root, to build detention centers also known as concentration camps, location(s) is classified information, (for $385 million, btw, which is the money you road pavers would otherwise have for your obsession, except, Bush earmarked it for building concentration camps), and the neo-con BLOCK the TALK here just tries to go on like nobody sees how ridiculous you are. I'll give you this, though: Most of your words are spelled correctly and the sentences have gooder syntax and bully grammar, which makes you a better person than I.

But I really think that carrying on about 300, 600, 800 million whatever it is for public transportation, (which, btw again, is far far from actual factual news -- the House has to put the amount in the appropriations bill, that's not before October, then the Senate has to not remove it, then stufflebutt himself has to sign it, THEN local districts have to pony up their 'matching funds' share and THAT's about not likely, so sillier than a tempest in a teacup, it is much ado about nothing), is all aside from a more salient budget point: that these fascists the Republicans voted for, are spending more than the amounts you're all bantering over for public transportation, on building CONCENTRATION CAMPS.

Just what part of a budget for concentration camps escapes your understanding? How about starving poor people, can you understand those numbers?

Have you ever heard of this guy named Hitler?

Joanne R: good for you! Very thoughtful post. Imagine spending transportation dollars on road improvements: I think you're way ahead of the bureaucrats on this one.

Is Tenskwatawa really a native american, or is that just an assumed personality?

That wild tens,
"""Private auto is dead"""""

I must have missed that news cast. All I hear is the shfiting of vehicles to alternative fuels, hybrids and other technologies which will transition private auto's (and commerce vehicles)long before the "oil age is over".

""""Just what part of a budget for concentration camps escapes your understanding? How about starving poor people, can you understand those numbers?"""""""

You need to get a grip on local spending and local numbers. You'll find it is more than "much ado about nothing".

BTW
The city is offering up another $2.5 million for the Tram.

Steve: what's your source on another $2.5 million for the Tram? I assume the City Council would have to authorize it, or can PDC ante up without CoP approval?

I think we should ask Tenskey if we can put the commissioners who vote Aye into his detention centers. It's a crime against THE CHILDREN!

"""Steve: what's your source on another $2.5 million for the Tram? """"""

Today, Oregonian, Sam Adams guest column.
"The city could reduce fees to save OHSU $2.5 million"

",,,along with the $5 million the PDC already provided OHSU".

This is the $5 million I tried to call attention to months ago and which WW's Nigel Jaquiss a wrote about.
For this is proof of corruption.
The $5 million appeared on an interim budget at the Urban Renewal Advisory Committee meeting back when the Tram costs soared from $15 million to $28 million.
The line item was labeled bioscience research. I contend it was a back door way to contribute $5 million towards the Tram while claiming the public's share did not rise.
Further mystery, or signs of corruption, is the creation of a story to pitch that the $5 million was to make plumbing preparations in the first OHSU building to allow the clinic/office space to be converted to wet lab research space if it were ever needed. Of course that could have cost very little if done at all.
Not to mention the first building is owned by the OHSU doctors group and will be clinics, offices and a health club while paying no TriMet, property or business taxes.

See how easy it is to shift money and hide it.

Bottom line is the city is paying $3.5 million + $5 million + $2.5 million+ long term interest + the land the lower terminal sits on+ maintenance/operating costs and other costs still hidden by the corrupt agencies now pushing for downtown to be torn up for a Transit Mall.

You ain't seen nothing yet if you think this Tram scam is bad.

Looking across the plater of major issues where the region faces tremendous challenges the house of cards is becoming more evident than ever.

I wonder if the poll taken by PPS polled the same people Metro polled recently.

My take on all of this polling is we are supposed to believe that the public is willing to pay more for light rail and open spaces but not for schools?

Anyone else find that curious?

correction

For ME this is proof of corruption.

Poor Steve Schopp. Duped by Wendell Cox (the man behind publicpurpose.com) and he doesn't even know it.

Perhaps you would be interested to know that the "studies" published by Wendell Cox and Randall O'Toole have been found to systematically cherry-pick data, take it out of context, and "conveniently" misrepresent numbers? Perhaps you would be interested to know that Cox and O'Toole routinely fail to present their methodologies? Or that they make a living by being hired by pro-road/anti-transit interest groups? Or that NO ONE who is respected in the fields of transportation (whether in the area of public transportation OR traffic engineering, which combined represent "both sides of the fence" in this debate), economics, or public policy takes them seriously, since they are known for selling sound bytes without substance?

I hold a Master's degree in transportation engineering from a prestigious university. During my studies I was introduced to the Lewis-Mogridge Position, which states that added capacity will induce demand. I have yet to see any reputable study (and, for your information, publicpurpose.com is NOT reputable) which disproves it.

Until you can cite some reputable sources to support your claims, I am afraid that your arguments will fall on deaf ears much as Wendell Cox's and Randall O'Toole's deservedly have.

(I have "assumed" my person who walks this soil and is born of this dirt and returns to it.)

"The memo" circulates daily. Today's, (with apology for leaving links out; ref. original):

The Permanent Energy Crisis, by Michael T. Klare (February 10, 2006 - TomDispatch )

President Bush's State of the Union comment that the United States is "addicted to oil" can be read as pure political opportunism.

Although we cannot hope to foresee all the ways such forces will affect the global human community, the primary vectors of the permanent energy crisis can be identified and charted. Three such vectors, in particular, demand attention: a slowing in the growth of energy supplies at a time of accelerating worldwide demand; rising political instability provoked by geopolitical competition for those supplies; and mounting environmental woes produced by our continuing addiction to oil, natural gas, and coal. Each of these would be cause enough for worry, but it is their intersection that we need to fear above all.

Emphasis added. A fourth 'vector' also important, indeed: vital, is food harvest loss, without oil for machinery fuel and without natural gas for fertilizer.

Energy experts have long warned that global oil and gas supplies are not likely to be sufficiently expandable to meet anticipated demand. As far back as the mid-1990s, peak-oil theorists like Kenneth Deffeyes of Princeton University and Colin Campbell of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) insisted that the world was heading for a peak-oil moment and would soon face declining petroleum output. At first, most mainstream experts dismissed these claims as simplistic and erroneous, while government officials and representatives of the big oil companies derided them. Recently, however, a sea-change in elite opinion has been evident. First Matthew Simmons, the chairman of Simmons and Company International of Houston, America's leading energy-industry investment bank, and then David O'Reilly, CEO of Chevron, the country's second largest oil firm, broke ranks with their fellow oil magnates and embraced the peak-oil thesis. O'Reilly has been particularly outspoken, taking full-page ads in the New York Times and other papers to declare, "One thing is clear: the era of easy oil is over."
...
The sole way out of this trap is to bite the bullet and adopt heroic measures to curb our fossil-fuel consumption while embarking upon a massive program to develop alternative energy systems -- an effort comparable to, and in some sense a reversal of, the coal-and-oil-fueled industrial revolution of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the United States, this would, at an utter minimum, entail the imposition of a hefty tax on gasoline consumption, with the resulting proceeds used to fund the rapid development of renewable energy systems. All funds now slated for highway construction should instead be devoted to public transit and high-speed inter-city rail lines and all new cars sold in America after 2010 should have minimum average fuel efficiencies of 50 MPG or higher. This will prove costly and disruptive -- but what other choice is there if we want to have some hope of exiting the permanent global energy crisis before the global economy collapses or the planet becomes uninhabitable by humans.

Basically, and life-or-death is fairly basic -- confined to choose between human freedoms or a free market, that is to say, between socialism living or capitalism death, I think I can speak for everyone alive that the capitalism supremacists don't need to be.

Well now, Here's James the expert without a single expert piece of anything.

1)"""Duped by Wendell Cox"??????

How's that? His data is broad, much of it comes from sources such as the census bureau and USDOT, and is consistent with many other sources.
What no example of duping?

2)'""and he doesn't even know it"""
You obviously "assumed" or made up that one. Did you think that accusation spiced up your rhetoric? Are you young?

3)"""been found to systematically cherry-pick data, take it out of context, and "conveniently" misrepresent numbers?""""

Let me guess. Someone at TriMet told you that.
What no example?

4)"""routinely fail to present their methodologies""""

You have the trashing talking from the rail/planning lobby down. Nothing else?
No example?
Apparently you have never looked into the methodology TriMet uses. Or the Portland Office of Sustainable Development with their "emissions report"?
Have you heard of the emissions report? The one where no emissions measuring ever took place? Is that good methodology?

5)"""they make a living by being hired by pro-road/anti-transit interest groups"""

How do you know how they make their living?
Where is an anti-transit group? Is there a name of one? How about any name of any group you think is paying them to misrepresent anything?
Just one name?

6)"""NO ONE who is respected takes them seriously""""

7) I thought you were an expert?
Just off the top of my head I'm quite certain PSU professor of urban studies takes them seriously. Along with countless others, in the fields you mentioned, across the country.

8)"""since they are known for selling sound bytes without substance""""
You've been hanging with the swindlers from the light rail/smart growth lobby too long.

9)"""I hold a Master's degree in transportation engineering from a prestigious university""""

Go get your money back.

10)""""Lewis-Mogridge Position,,, induce demand. I have yet to see any reputable study which disproves it""""

You need some continuing education away from the coolaid. There are those in your camp who say the same thing even after they have learned of it's
debunking. It's calling lying. And in context.

11) """Until you can cite some reputable sources to support your claims"""""

There are plenty of sources including PublicPurpose.com, but I Know you too well. You aren't looking for sources, data, science or facts. That's why you brought nothing.

What you want is to shut up the opposition to the insanity you embrace.

Who do you work for? One of the local trusted and respected agencies pushing the planned Transit Mall/light rail insanity?
The PDC?
Now there's some nice methodology.

I've gathered specific information and numbers from the PDC and others and shared it.
I'm surprised you didn't say everything I post is invented and exaggerated.

Or should have just said, "nuh huh, is not".

Tens said,
""""All funds now slated for highway construction should instead be devoted to public transit""""
Oregon's a model for the nation.

Pull out of it James.
The idea that added capacity will simply induce demand is so absurd it is surprising that anyone ever believed it. It is a great example
of the big lie -- say something stupid often enough and people will come to believe it.

Contact Alan Pisarski, the nation's leading expert on commuting in America, and check on Cox and O'Toole.

Reveal any actual errors or misrepresentations in O'Toole's work.
http://ti.org/vaupdates.html ,
http://americandreamcoalition.org/rail2005.html
http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5345
http://www.reason.org/ps309.pdf

The only anti-transit groups are groups like STPP and APTA that promote rail transit even though it does more harm than good to transit riders.

James, February 11 I hold a Master's degree in transportation engineering from a prestigious university. During my studies I was introduced to the Lewis-Mogridge Position, which states that added capacity will induce demand.
JK: Do you really believe that people would drive to work TWICE each morning if we doubled our road capacity? If you ever believed that induced demand crap, I suggest that you ask for your money back from that unnamed “prestigious university”.

James, February 11 I have yet to see any reputable study (and, for your information, publicpurpose.com is NOT reputable) which disproves it.
JK: I take it you aren’t familiar with Access.

BTW: Do you have a real name?
BTW2: Which transit related company or consulting organization do you work for?

Be sure to see how cars save energy compared to transit
Thanks
JK

For openers, jameswa should start his education on the subject of "induced demand" by reading "Assessing the Issue of Induced Travel: A Briefing on Evidence & Implications from the Literature Prepared for Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments" by Transtech Management Inc. & Hagler Bailly.

Every one of the "induced demand" studies stating added capacity does little to relieve congestion, right up through the most recent have a flawed methodology. In fact, they never try to measure actual congestion at specific places and time (that's when congestion occurs). They all just ignore where the new capacity comes from. Every one of the authors have admitted that their methodology did not account for the trip redistribution among other major factors.

All of these "induced demand" studies are based on regional data or as Hanson and Wang state "at the metropolitan level." They did not measure the increase in congestion or capacity of individual corridors. Thus, there is no way they could show that the increased regional capacity (VMT) was directly attributable to the increased lanes in one specific corridor as opposed to increases in other corridors where capacity was not increased.

Congestion is TIME and LOCATION specific. Adding VMT's between midnight and 6:AM do not create congested roads. Adding VMT's in remote locations in a corridor do not create congested conditions.

"Induced demand" war-cries imply that the added lanes will quickly fill up with no offsetting implications elsewhere. This is not true. Lanes in corridors not affected by different land uses will fill up, like all other infrastructure, with growth in population (which is relatively slow) in that corridor. That is constantly mitigated, as shown by Gordon and Richardson, by changes in habits and preferences in residential and employment location. There is no better evidence of this occurring than the census journey-to-work trips changes from suburb to central city to suburb to suburb.

A third flaw is the failure to account for VMT increases due to longer trips as opposed to MORE trips. For example, if you add lanes (or build a whole new freeway) on a freeway from "downtown" to the east, and, in a short time, VMT's in the metro area climb, were the added VMT's from that addition or from developments in corridors going in all directions to new developments located further away?

NHTS and NPTS have shown us that trip lengths have increased, both for personal and commute trips. As businesses have departed the central city, longer trips (increased VMT's) occur while the number of trips do not increase.

Before there were freeways, vehicles used the parallel arterials, sometimes called "main streets." When the freeways opened, vehicle shifted from one type of road to a safer, faster type of road. A negligible number of new trips came into being. There was little new demand created.

The failure to increase road lanes as population has increased results in a condition of latent demand. Thus, when a new highway is built or lanes are added, we are not creating new demand. We are simply trying to catch-up with existing latent demand and relieving unsafe conditions on minor arterials built to satisfy volumes and trip patterns of the 1930's and 1940's.

Mel

The Federal Highway Administration/USDOT has a page on induced demand that is mostly rational, middle of the road and informative:

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/itfaq.htm

Thanks
JK

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Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
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Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
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Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
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14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
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Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
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Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
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Miles run year to date: 225
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