This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 18, 2006 8:09 PM. The previous post in this blog was Spoof of the day. The next post in this blog is God help America. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Coming soon

Here's a glimpse of Portland's future.

Might be interesting to ask, Who do you hope will be on board when it happens?

Comments (21)

Not again? This happened before leaving the cars in New York swinging wildly. I asked the Mayor and Sam Adams personally what we have if something goes wrong. Will we have an emergency tram car that goes and gets the stuck one? No answer on the question of what happens when something goes wrong, although Sam mentioned that they'd take a look at it.
The most dramatic Roosevelt Island Tram incident involved a crane swinging into one of the cars, tearing a big hole in it, with passengers onboard.
The reason I'm against the tram is that it exposes us to many potential problems. What would it take to cause a disaster here? How much will we end up paying in lawsuits? That vaunted 36 million to get out of this mess would have been money well spent. It's on these people: Dan Saltzman, Mayor Potter, and Sam Adams, plus a host of other minor players. Their vision might end up being one of the worse plans ever to happen to Portland. All this because a shuttle bus is too much of a hassle? Where's the risk-reward part of this scheme?

I work with Kathleen....a true dear.

The Trib wrote about her plight as a homeowner affected by the tram.


I turned her to this wonderful blog. Jack, you're a lawyer....help her!

Is there a place for disillussioned democrats, not-ready-to-be-republican's to go?

Bill sez: "All this because a shuttle bus is too much of a hassle? Where's the risk-reward part of this scheme?"

Or the return-on-investment? I hate to link two unrelated items... I have heard people say that light rail is millions more costly than a system of buses. And buses allow for changing routes due to changes in demographics.

The same can be said for this tram. It has to be the most expensive way to move 70 people up a hill.

I understand why Jackson Hole did it, you can't drive a bus up 4100 vertical feet up to the 10000 foot level of the steepest ski mountain in America, but you could drive a bus full of people less than 1 mile up a paved road at 500 feet elevation to PillHill.

Why does Portland have to spend the most money for least benefit?

Why does Portland have to spend the most money for least benefit?

Oh that this truth might supplant the slogan now blazened on every police car and city vehicle.

Absolutely no one.

Or at a minimum an EMT or IAFF member trained in rescue. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when something unfortunate will happen. This whole ignorance of safety ain't funny. What are they gonna have, big huge airbags the size of the Cirque du Soleil tent that instantly inflate that you can bungy jump down onto? (never mind, that sounds cool).

There's no 'risk-free' transportation mode: planes crash, cars crash, trucks crash, skiers hit trees, boats and ferries sink, chutes fail to open. Just spend time in any ER (I worked in one for 3 years). West Side MAX had 5 pedestrian fatalities in its first year of operation alone.

It is interesting to look at the financials from the NYC TRAM.


Page 37/39 depending on what page you want details the expense.

Dopplemeyer is getting paid $183,000 a month to operate it. The financials for 2005 were an operating cost of $4,417,915 for the year. There were revenues of $2.1 million for 2005 up from $1.2 million the year before when the contractor was collecting fares as planned in Portland, fare collection was transfered to electronic prepaid swipe cards operated by the transit agency free of charge this year. The net operating costs of the TRAM was $2.3 million.

Dopplemeyer is involved with the OHSU tram, and was one of the two bidders I believe for the operating contract, that final interviews were supposed to be held in Mid-March.

I would think before Dan changed his vote on the TRAM along with the rest of council would have at least looked at the Bids turned in for the TRAM Operation, and done a preliminary Life cycle cost analysis. The prelimary bids were turned in the end of February according to the RFP. But then there is that pesky election coming up.

Does page 37/39 (or anywhere in there) detail out who will get to pay for the rescue that's underway right now in NYC?

The City Fire Department I believe will undertake any rescues, that is the way it is done for the one existing TRAM, they drill twice a year for a rescue, that may be the way it will be handled here.

Harry at April 18, 09:09 PM Why does Portland have to spend the most money for least benefit?
JK: But, the benefit is the spending, not the particular project. The reason for the spending it to gain power by rewarding friends: the money goes mostly to friends and campaign donors.

Repeating: The benefit is the spending!


I look forward to seeing your estimate.

I look forward to seeing you calm down before you post here again.

(Estimate? I must have missed that part.)

I'm not entirely familiar with wind patterns in that neighborhood but, having grown up in the Gorge, I have some well-earned fear of swiftly moving air. Just imagine being in that sucker when a 60 mph gust picks up and wooooooo...

Will the cost of the rescue drill time be counted in the tram operating budget?

Ahahahahahahahaha, of course not. Bwahahahahehehehehe!

ellie writes: "Just imagine being in that sucker when a 60 mph gust picks up and wooooooo... "

I think that the Jackson Hole tram is a Dopplemeyer (not positive), but the operators say that they run the tram regularly in up to 70mph winds.

I agree with the Dopplemeyer choice...if you absolutely need a tram, go with the best. But I guess I missed the memo on why exactly we needed a tram, rather than other alternatives.

I rode the Roosevelt Island Tram last July with my family. I remember how high it was, and just thinking about being rescued from it makes my stomach queasy.

But...at least they had a rescue plan of sorts, a self-propelled gondola to help retrieve those folks. What do we have in Portland? (Well, aside from a destination on the hill that's on an earthquake fault?)

The "O" has the AP story


Its not only wind, but the Tram cannot operate during Thunderstroms in the close proximity. This isn't a much of a problem in at winter ski resorts, as they tend to be a summer time event.

The bids should be in from the RFP it closed in February, why hasn't the operations cost bids from that contract been shared?

It would make doing a Life Cycle Cost much easier, and it would have been good to know the true owning and operating cost of this before taking a vote to insure it is built. It would seem this would be due dilligence, or is it easier to claim one didn't know about the costs until is too late to do anything to mitigate it.

I wonder how comfortable it must have been for those having to go to the bathroom during their 12 hour stay.

Perhaps our Tram should have a shower curtain/hoop and trap door included for emergency ejection of unwanted matter.

Of course, with that potential for messy windshields and a slick freeway, may come an impediment to the Federal apporval.

Which reminds me, where is that federal approval?

Is the city facing a high cost insurance bond for that approval?

I have to figure it can't be cheap if it must cover the possibility of fallen cables and the Tram blocking an interstate freeway.

It's unfortunate so much speculation has to take place over things which should have long ago been clearly defined and made public.

Ah, the naysayers...Remember, the tram is the LYNCHPIN for the entire development. Have another glass of Portland Kool Aid and you will understand.

Don't forget to pack your parachute!


"the tram is the LINCHPIN...""

I prefer Bill M.'s version:
"the tram is the UNDERPANTS..."

Is there a place for disillussioned democrats, not-ready-to-be-republican's to go?

Libertarian party anyone? It's not just for Ayn Rand anymore....

Heh..."Libertarian party"...now, isn't that a oxymoron?

That i an alternative, though. And Ms. Rand still concerns me. How about just being "libertarian" and "democrat" and "republican"? I try to be a citizen.

What each and every party needs to understand is that just because you are in power doesn't mean your purpose is to enrich your friends. Unfortunately, it seems to be a time-honored tradition in most representative democracy of which I'm aware. The public's trust is seemingly always under siege by those to whom it has been entrusted. I think that's why diligence is the price of liberty.

I am now officially a man of no party.

Actually, it feels kinda okay...

It seems I missed all the hootin' and hollerin' about the Roosevelt Island thing. And, I see Swimmer has aprised everyone of the bid situation for the operation of the tram. Is OHSU not going to announce the winning bid? Make public the agreed upon contract and memorandums of understanding regarding the operation and maintenance of the tram.

As note elsewhere here, this tram poses a large increase in the risk of a catastrophic event, not to mention just ordinary kinks in operation (like in the Roosevelt Island case - they had problems earlier this year. I seem to remember a claim by a city official that the underlying problem is inadequate maintenance of the tram). Also, note the cost of operation...that's nothing similar to the newer, recently installed, high above the region's major freeway, and fraught with design issues related to the uniqueness of the upper tower and the constraints upon it. (Can anyone say "How much torque was that again?") Is this going to be any cheaper? Yet, OHSU has been telling people that it's going to cost anywhere from $750,000 to $2 million a year. Who pays the difference? Where is that money coming from? What's the difference? You compare.

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