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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 13, 2006 7:23 AM. The previous post in this blog was Game report: Mavericks 103, Blazers 96. The next post in this blog is Apple view. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, November 13, 2006

Better than any stinkin' affordable housing

The excitement is intense, people. Look at what all we Portland taxpayers will be paying for for decades to come:

Vid 1
Vid 2

I am so glad we didn't buy shuttle buses for a tenth of the cost and waste the rest of the money on poor people, mental health, or public safety. Pill Hill Aerial Rapid Transit -- break like the wind.

Comments (19)

Maybe they could extend this thing a bit to the east side of the river, and then we could just let the Sellwood Bridge fall down.

Wonder if it will hold cars? An aerial ferry. What a concept. Portland on the cutting edge again!

waste the rest of the money on poor people, mental health, or public safety

You could say the same thing about the Iraq invasion. From your posts, it would seem that you are 100 times angrier about the Tram than you are about the Iraq invasion. How about a little perspective?

Ahh, but Jack that's my point - the tram is not effective or efficient transport, it's art and needs to be considered in context.

The tram in these videos is moving very slowly - great from the sightseer's prespective. Seemed from the ground at the time the mechanics were fiddling with something and slowed the vehicle as it approached the station.

FYI - the trams here are doing a maintenance run. Took a couple of hours to get up the hill. They've said that the real run will take about 2 minutes.

FWIW, they're pretty much running them constantly back and forth today.

Well, since we don't have a Space Needle, or a Gateway Arch, Or a Stratosphere, or a Golden Gate Bridge (although St. Johns I think is prettier), or a Millenium Wheel, or really anything instantly recognizable as "Portland" when seen on a postcard - maybe this Tram will be an added benefit for tourism.

Every little bit helps.

But all in all - I like the tram. I don't consider it a waste of money.

I think when SoWa is completely built out it wall greatly add to Portland's asthetic beauty, skyline, and appeal.

Short term - sure, it's expensive...

I think we need something like St. Louis' arch - but over the riverm and with a huge observation deck to look at the city, the mountains, and the river... Something to put Portland on the map forever, other than Nike.

Oh, and how about a *real* hotel for our convention center / Rose Quarter? Between Memorial Coliseum, Rose Garden, and the convention center we could attract some LARGE events. But they all require a significant number of rooms within a stones throw of the site, and most all of downtown is usually just out of the allowed range...

But that's just my opinion...

Short term - sure, it's expensive...

Yeah, like 30 years.

Oh, and how about a *real* hotel for our convention center / Rose Quarter?

Sure. Just no public money for it, o.k.?

maybe this Tram will be an added benefit for tourism.

And maybe monkeys will fly out of Mayor Potter's butt.

Short term - sure, it's expensive...

And long term as up on the debt service. The "cost per rider" to operate the darn thing is no where near the $2 they will charge to ride it. I think it was closer to $65/trip IIRC. And I am sure the doctors & such wont be paying to use it.

On another note....does anyone know if that $2 will get you a time window like a bus transfer? Or is it going to be $2 ea way? And can I use my monthly TriMet pass?

Hey VR, you work for the PDC or what?

If not, you might want to pay attention to the giant sucking sound coming form SoWa, the Convention Center, The Pearl, etc.

Oh, and how about a *real* hotel for our convention center

Personally, I think its too far from the airport for large conventions. Yeah, we have airport MAX, but who wants to be shot at while riding thru da 'hood?
And if they shuttle or take a cab, after a nice long ride in bumper-to-bumper traffic to get from the airport to downtown, nobody will come back.

I recently had to go to OHSU to pick up a friend from the emergency room who was hit by a car on his bicycle. I am quite certain that the condition of the roads would not be able to accomodate very much increased traffic, especially the increased use of buses. The road is narrow, windy and slow. Moreover, the intersections near Barbur, 5th, and all those other lights by the YMCA and freeway make traveling between the Ross Island Bridge and OHSU a complete nightmare.

With that much increased traffic, roads would certainly have to be improved--a project that could easily cost well into the tens of millions. And this cost doesn't even take into account often ignored externalities such as internal combustion pollution, leaky oil pans that drain into the Willamette, and more roads which create faster and dirtier run-off.

Basically, its an inaccurate comparison to simply conclude that shuttle buses are cheaper than trams, as it fails to consider the true costs of such a project.

The original thinking was people with jobs on the hill would buy condos in the SWF and commute by the tram. That didn't pan out, people generally don't like to live close to work and only a very few OHSU-ers could afford to live down there. Certainly not their nurses. Private doctors those who make in excess of 1M/yr from their association with the hill generally prefer much fancier digs in far nicer places.

The second idea was medical/research personnel shuttling between river and hill facilities. Will OHSU severely truncating their development plans on the SFW, this is a goner too.

What remains is a few wealthy retirees going once a month for their appointments on the hill, and possibly real estate speculators seeking medical attention when the market crashes. Not enough.

They will need to convert the upper station to a properly equipped viewing platform (high power binoculars, gift shops, sugar candy, pizza outfits, etc) to attract their only potentially significant clientele - tourists.

a project that could easily cost well into the tens of millions.

$60 million (and counting) will buy you some nice roads. And they won't have to be replaced in 10 years.

Thad: A $2 dollar shuttle bus ride compared to a $68 dollar true cost tram ride doesn't quite make up for some of the ecological points you make.

The true 20 year life cycle costs for the tram as many posted in the past year that includes all the costs approaches $250M based on the hard cost of $57.5M. The $250M could go a long ways in building/improving other transportation modes to connect the two segments.

But like wg points out North Macadam isn't happening like all the planning planned for. The reasons given for the tram isn't near as absolute as PDC, PDOT, Planners, Neil, City Council, Vera, OHSU, Homer, Edlen stated.

In my view the critical thing to remember is that the SoWhat was sold as the provider of tens of thousands of booming bio-tech jobs. In actuality, it is going to be doctors offices and CONDOS CONDOS CONDOS. See Brainstorm NW archives, "Banking on Biotech", February 2003.

Once again Portland taxpayers are subjected to the old bait and switch.

There's a cool 3D animation movie with a can-do soundtrack -- Dreams Come True -- that we all paid for at The Oregonion. Click on the Bob Miller ad for a vision of the SoWhat future.

The PDC/City Planners designed SoWhat for 2000 new residents. We've already reached over 3000 new residents with the projects completed, partially built, and on the boards. And that is only on 1/12th of the land area in SoWhat. Plus we haven't provided even ONE of the 750 moderate income housing units required for SoWhat.

Since we are way over the new-resident number and haven't achieved ONE bio-tech job, I propose that the Planners, to save face and keep their jobs, stop any more residential development and start building those bio-tech buildings. What are our 450 PDC, CoP Planners doing? If I received all the approvals for a 200 unit housing project, then changed it to a commercial/housing/office project, I am sure that I could not proceed.

Plus we haven't provided even ONE of the 750 moderate income housing units required for SoWhat.

C'mon now...I saw an ad in the paper for a 1-bedroom rental down there at $1500/mo.


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Road Work

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