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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 8, 2006 8:35 AM. The previous post in this blog was Bully for Boeing. The next post in this blog is Bright lights, big city. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, December 8, 2006

The fix is still in

Well, it didn't take long to smoke out who's behind the latest push for the West Burnside "couplet" and all the rest of the shiny mass transit trinkets that go with it. Along with bookstore owner Mike "Small Fry" Powell, who stands to make multi-millions on the deal, we now have none other than Don "The Don" Mazziotti, ousted CEO of the Portland Development Commission, who these days is pulling down a paycheck over at the Schnitzer real estate shop.

Oh, and adding to the hilarity, the Catholic Archdiocese is against the idea, because it would turn the street in front of its cathedral (and attached school) into a major thoroughfare. From yesterday's Catholic Sentinel:

“It’s very concerning to put a major thoroughfare there,” says Delia Wilson, property manager for the archdiocese....

But a powerful pod of business owners and developers supports Adams’ vision. They say the couplet will help commerce, and spawn development between Northwest 15th and 19th.

“We’re going to mend the north-south divide,” says Michael Powell, owner of Powell’s, a large bookstore on West Burnside. “It’s way past time we dealt with it.”

Harsch Investment Properties, which holds 17 million square feet of office and commercial space in the western U.S., is the chief landowner on West Burnside. The firm stands to benefit if the couplet gets built, especially if the project pushes all the way to Northwest 19th.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to make improvements,” says Don Mazziotti, Harsch’s vice president for urban redevelopment and former chief of the Portland Development Commission.

It's nice to see that Sam the Tram still answers to the same people who owned his ex-boss Vera Katz. With the Goldschmidt gang now recruiting the coterie of streetcar freaks, they'll have this nine-figure boondoggle under way faster than Mazziotti can down a steak at Bluehour.

Comments (52)

What a difference a change in perspective makes. When "the Don" was PDC chief he was trash-talking the couplet. Now that he's representing one of the property owners, he's seems to have become enlightened.

Chris, pretty soon he'll be taking you out to dinner on a Harsch expense account. Try the veal.

8c)

Or play it coy and hold out for the weekend getaway to Bend.

Article in today's Portland Trib is pretty revealing: (a) Streetcar is the federal money magnet, of course (as we knew); but (b) streetcar is not intended by city planners as transportation, but as a stimulus for economic development along the route. Suddenly, it all makes sense! Now, couldn't annoying problems with the ongoing cost of operation of the streetcar (60% higher than bus cost, per the article) could be solved simply by not boarding passengers? Without passengers, the streetcars could probably be run without an operator, too, kind of like the AirTrains in Seattle and Newark. Also, without the nuisance of passengers getting on and off, the streetcars could probably meet the federal standards for average speed more easily.

"Asked about the potential for degraded air quality around the school, Adams conceded that traffic on Couch would indeed cause the air to get dirtier, but said the air on West Burnside would improve."

So how is this an improvement? Make the air dirtier on Couch so the air on Burnside will be better? I don't get the logic of Sam's comment. It is better to have dirtier air around a school?

"Or play it coy and hold out for the weekend getaway to Bend."

Now THAT was freakin' funny.

Well, I still vastly prefer Adams and Potter to Fish and Francesconi, but I do think Sam and Tom have a penchant for the "fancy hairdo" men and women like those that populate the executive levels at the PDC. (Its amusing how easy they can be spotted at council hearings). For all their good qualities, I think Sam and Tom, both from humble origins (I think), enjoy the fact that they are rubbing elbows with money, influence, and perhaps a few more academic degrees than they have. (Just speculation, but where there's a black box of disappointing actions going on, you try to fill in the missing elements).

If Fish runs again, if Francesconi runs again, I'll be out working for Tom and Sam again. But I do think that both may have just a tad bit of the "enjoying of stardom" quality. And maybe quite a bit of gullibility for the fancy suit folks who have not only expensive dress and education, but also great emotional intelligence for how to impress and manipulate the susceptible.

The Bend trip is available only on Valentine's Day weekend.

I'm afraid that the air quality at the school is primarily a function of sitting next to the I-405 freeway. Whether the westbound Burnside traffic is 200 ft or 20 ft away probably has relatively little effect.


A freeway is certainly not a good thing to be near, but I certainly would be afraid of a lot of extra traffic near any place where people are. A Burnside diversion will have a lot of traffic. My guess is that the direct proximity of this many tailpipes 20 to 100 feet from Couch is as poetntially damaging, and maybe even more, than the recessed freeway traffic 200-500 feet away.

Particularly a school with children who have a more susceptible youthful chemistry.

Our land use policies just aren't flexible enough to deal with all the many complex factors and resulting impacts of the kind of growth we're doing. For instance, TOD (Transit Oriented Development) is just putting housing near high traffic and high pollutant intersections and streets. Not good, in my opinion, for human health. Its nice to be positive, but too many times the positivity and the idealism is merely tapping, for its energy, the livability and vitality that USED to be in this area. During the gold rush, I imagine it would have been heady fun, and kind of a rush, to be a gold miner on a vein of lode that panned out. But what was left behind in the forests and streams was a total wreck.

Come on. In a couple years, all those cars will be hybrids, or biodiesels with no more pollution than the fragrance of pommes frites. Problem solved.

Damn...Dandy Don is still around. I thought he'd be sellin' cars somewhere by now.

His name involved in anything screams for the need to be very careful...maybe even withdraw from whatever it is.

Y'know, I still don't understand this "one way couplet" thing with Burnside and Couch. Isn't it already pretty much that way? So, they'll have a one-way westbound on Couch. Don't they already? How do they intend to change it and what will happen to the three lanes of westbound traffic on West Burnside? Well...two lanes westbound after Broadway. Do they intend to make all 4 to 6 lanes of West Burnside from 19th to the bridgeramp eastbound? Isn't that a bit extreme?

I suspect they're going to narrow the street and give the land away to the property owners on either side. May explain Mike Powell's intense civic interest in the matter.

Y'know, I still don't understand this "one way couplet" thing

The couplet works for cars for two reasons: you get left turns back and because the signals are progressed (like the one-ways downtown) once you hit a green and maintain a steady 15-18 mph, you keep getting greens (unlike the current stop-rush-stop madness). The travel time from the river to 15th is reduced by something like 5 minutes (not so much in the other direction).

The couplet works for pedestrians because now you only have to cross two lanes of traffic on either street and all the intersections will be signalized.

Michael Powell will get wider sidewalks and parking outside his store, but he will not get any right-of-way vacated back to his ownership.

you only have to cross two
lanes of traffic on either street

And the other three or four lanes go back to the Don Mazziotti types for condo development? How wonderful.

I'm afraid that the air quality at the school is primarily a function of
sitting next to the I-405 freeway. Whether the westbound Burnside traffic
is 200 ft or 20 ft away probably has relatively little effect.

Spoken like a prostitute.

Chris: you only have to cross two lanes of traffic on either street

JK: Just another scheme to STEAL road space. That space needs to be kept for future traffic increases as Metro crams more people into Portland.

I say three lanes in each direction or the project is just another thinly veiled giveaway to the Pearl millionaires.

Thanks
JK

And the other three or four lanes go back to the Don Mazziotti types for condo development? How wonderful.

As I already said, they go to parking and sidewalk width.

Spoken like a prostitute.

Always lovely to be welcomed to a civil discussion.

ODOT's 2002 data shows 92,000 cars per day on I-405 at Glisan St.

The Catholic Sentinal uses 20,000 per day as the projected traffic on Couch past the school.

Which do you think influences air quality.

My apologies for bring facts into the discussion.


Two things occur to me. (And I'm not a person who likes to debate---this is what I really believe). First, is that if a Couch corridor represents a big change in the upward direction for pollutants, it still is not good, even if there is a Chinese manganese mine with processing plant next door. (I've never been one to say that, for human health----"well, its already bad, so what's the problem with a little more bad now that the place is already ruined?").

Second, I would bet that if you created a graph of pollutant source distance versus pollutants remaining in an area of concern, you would get a logarithmic, not a linear, reduction of pollutants as you got further away from the pollutant source. I have little doubt that the further away you get, the higher the multiplier effect on the number of factors that come into play. (That is, the factors that will tend to disperse the polluting effect from the area you want to protect).

Do you think 20 and 200 feet are good figures? Isn't the freeway quite a bit further away from the school than that? (Would 200 feet be about a block away?) If it really is 200 feet and 20 feet, as you first suggested, I'm think I'd tend to believe that 200 feet would probably have less of an effect than 20, even with the higher freeway traffic at 200. Average freeway traffic will run faster, and cars pollute less the closer they get to approx. 43 mph. (Both over and under 43 mph the pollution increases). Also, I believe the freeway is recessed there, and many particulates will settle out in the depression. (Not so much the gases, of course). Even without a depression, the particulates will disperse much more at that distance, than at 20 feet. As the air rises from the freeway depression, it mixes with other air masses and disperses, the extent of dispersion depending on wind and weather factors. I'd be very surprised if the pollutant dispersion factor wasn't far, far greater at 200 than at 20 feet. To an extent that more than made up for the difference in distance.

Frankly, I think the biggest problem is that our land use processes don't, up front, deal with things like air quality next to schools, etc. But there is a real long list of "real cost" impacts of various kinds of development that our local gov't systems have been unable (and its players probably unwilling) to keep up with.

My biggest gripe on PROCESS is lack of conflict of interest laws for anyone on land use committees, including n-hood association people working on land use projects. I think that anyone on any such committee should be required to declare and itemize all real estate ownership, involvements, and investments. I brought that up years ago with some n-hoods, but there was little interest. Frankly, I have found that profitting on one's involvement is kind of encouraged. I once had a well known land use lawyer (and a former member of prominent city and metro land use committees) tell me that I should use my inside knowledge of the SW Plan to make a profit for myself. It was spoken as if this was common knowledge, common practice.

(Chris, I think you'd be the last person to operate like that, and I bet you would be one of the first to support such conflict of interest legislation----just a coincidence it occurred to me now----and obviously no relation to you intended).

My apologies for bring facts into the discussion.

Those that suit you.

Apologies for the harsh comment, but you have become one of Portland's biggest problems. Does Homer Williams pay you? Seriously.

It's not just an air quality issue. To increase the traffic in front of a school tenfold is not good planning because a child might be hit by a truck. In fact, it's the opposite of planning. But when it comes to making the rich people of Portland richer, not even child safety matters.

http://www.oregonlive.com/search/index.ssf?/base/business/1165553722122690.xml?oregonian?fng&coll=7

What I find amazing is that there are the mechanisms in place to deal with this stuff, and ironicly in just yesterday's paper influence peddling was the topic of the attached conviction. Yet we have Homer Williams setting the City Engineer up in private practice for the Tram Scam and nothing.

As to the Burnside deal.

There is another twist that a friend of mine's wife who dabbles in real estate overheard in a rant at a West Hills party by noneother than, Mr. Powell, seems there is sometype of zoning quirk on Burnside, someone of your faithful readers I am sure can check in and verify it, but evidently Mr. Powell's bookstore and I would assume other properties in that area fall into an overlay that requires certain setbacks and green streets if they are redeveloped. The comment made at the soiree was that this pesky overlay would make him give up 20% of his land to sidewalks and public space if he redeveloped it so it would be a cold day before he did. I wonder how modifying the roadway changes those setbacks and if the variance on that particular zoning ordinance is tucked away in the rework.

Apologies for the harsh comment, but you have become one of Portland's biggest problems. Does Homer Williams pay you? Seriously.

Seriously: No. I earn a living working for Xerox and not a penny from any of my civic involvement.

Jack, you and I may disagree sharply on a future vision for Portland, but I don't question your motivations. I would appreciate the same courtesy in return.

C'mon guys...

I don't really know Chris, but my wife Anne does, and he's an absolutely dedicated, passionate proponent of what he believes in. Just as Jack is. Just as most of us are who invest our time and energy in trying to make Portland a better place.

I'm really not sure about this couplet-stuff, but Chris --Anne says-- spent 6 years working on this, and, no, there are never simple answers, and someone's ox always seems to get gored one way or another. There's no question Burnside is a mess. It sucks for pedestrians and it's silly you can't turn left. I've twice been involved in accidents simply stopping at a marked crosswalk to let a pedestrian walk by.

That said, there's something disconcerting about the same folks always being found standing around with their hands out, looking for money from the rest of us. We develop blind spots to this. But having once faced a City Council whose every member had taken "campaign contibutions" from Homer Williams, you wonder where the balance and perspective can come from that gives every Portlander --not just the folks that hire a creep like Mazziotti-- a place at the table.

Chris Jack, you and I may disagree sharply on a future vision for Portland, but I don't question your motivations. I would appreciate the same courtesy in return.
JK: It would be easier if you could persuade the streetcar folks to cough ALL of the cost data, mainly cost per passenger mile. The total cost is available, the # of passengers is available, but the average trip length is somehow unknown. This is NOT believable since you said that they have a model of the streetcar’s operation, and such a number has to be part of it.

Alternatively, the average # of passengers on an average car would serve the same purpose since we know the daily vehicle-miles from the schedule. This number would also fall out of any reasonable model.

So the question becomes why is this being hidden? The only answer is that it somehow is to the streetcar's advantage. I can reasonable conclude that it is gods-awful cost per passenger-mile.

Probably more costly than taxi fare. If that is the case and they are hiding it, shame on them.

Chris, you have a duty to the people of Portland, as a promoter of this, to insist on full disclosure if its costs.

Thanks
JK

Jim,
If the total cost is available, as well as the total number of vehicle miles (as you say, from the schedule), and the total number of passengers, isn't the rest, in terms of averages, just arithmetic? What's missing? What's hidden? (I assume there's no record of individual trip length since that's not information that the "fare" system would track.)

What's missing?

Jim is correct that we don't measure average trip length, we simply do sample counts of boardings. I have made attempts to get at this number via other approaches, but so far have been unsuccessful.

But it's certainly possible to make reasonable estimates of this number (we've discussed such on Portland Transport). Failing that, Jim could calculate cost per passenger mile for a range of values for average trip length, and that would certainly inform the public debate.

Streetcar is comparable to a bus in cost per boarding. I accept that Streetcar almost certainly has a shorter average trip length than buses, so it will be more costly on a per-passenger-mile basis.

John Capradoe sez: There is another twist that a friend of mine's wife who dabbles in real estate overheard in a rant at a West Hills party by noneother than, Mr. Powell, seems there is sometype of zoning quirk on Burnside, someone of your faithful readers I am sure can check in and verify it, but evidently Mr. Powell's bookstore and I would assume other properties in that area fall into an overlay that requires certain setbacks and green streets if they are redeveloped. The comment made at the soiree was that this pesky overlay would make him give up 20% of his land to sidewalks and public space if he redeveloped it so it would be a cold day before he did. I wonder how modifying the roadway changes those setbacks and if the variance on that particular zoning ordinance is tucked away in the rework.

Now, that makes some sense in terms of how folks are reacting to it.

As it stands, the present land use situation would allow buildings currently located in the couplet area to be redeveloped only if they tear down and start over with a smaller footprints...due to setback requirements. By creating the couplet, they create more potential "set back space" and allow the current footprint to be developed into higher density. Thus, no 20% penalty for redevelopment. Is that a correct interpretation?

Somebody should explain this to the Catholic school and suggest they start a redevelopment fund to build out to accept more students fleeing from the public schools and retrofitting the whole kitten kaboodle with a decent air filtration system.

Also, as a graduate of Vestal Elementary School, a public school located ON 82nd Avenue, I think that any existing school should get the same benefit we did at that time...control over the pedestrian crosswalk/traffic control mechanism adjacent to their property. Pedestrian sovereignty!

"Pedestrian sovereignty! "

Over commuters steering their SUV's home toward Forest Heights? Fat chance.

Maybe we need a reverse M-37 contribution from all the property owners who will see the value of their land appreciate due to this couplet (and all the other City Hall handouts). If the taxpayer has to pay for downzoning, then they ought to profit from upzoning.

Why ask the property owner to simply contribute a portion of the couplet's cost? Taxpayers should be entitled to an equity stake in any windfall profits resulting from this de facto upzoning (assuming Godfry's information on the setbacks is correct).

Since the taxpayers' claim under 37 is ALL of the lost value, what percentage of the appreciation should go back into the kitty?
(Hint: $15 per $1,000 wouldn't seem like enough.)

you hit a green and maintain a steady 15-18 mph

Whoa! Speedy...and never out of first gear.

No wonder traffic sucks.

what will happen to the three lanes of westbound traffic on West Burnside? Well...two lanes westbound after Broadway. Do they intend to make all 4 to 6 lanes of West Burnside from 19th to the bridgeramp eastbound? Isn't that a bit extreme?

The goal is less lanes for cars, more for sidewalks, bikes, mass transit, etc.
We'll be lucky if we get 2 lanes for cars.


I don't question your motivations. I would appreciate the same courtesy in return.

O.k., you're not a prostitute. You're just a streetcar slut.

And I'm a Hawthorne Harlot for wanting the streetcar up my, uh, street.

And let's not forget the Tram Tarts, Bus Babes, Fareless Square Floozies and Light Rail Ladies of the Evening. Not to mention the ever in demand Homer's Ho's...

Now I have this image of Chris Smith in a blond wig, heavy makeup,short skirt and fishnet stockings. Thanks alot.

Frank, I love it:

Homer's Ho's

Describes the whole PDC etc.

Thanks
JK

Oh boy! What a thread.

I feel Chris Smith is right about the
couplet. I am a non-driver who lives in
NW Portland not far from Burnside, and I
know first hand all the time what it means to be a pedestrian around Burnside Street.

The couplet will be a vast improvement for
peds. and there are many in that area.

Trust me, Jack: I walk the walk, literally,
when it comes to Burnside. And, no, I am NOT "connected."

All you should need is a traffic signal on every corner. If you can't cross a busy street when there is a traffic signal there, then you are... well, a whiner.


Jack wrote: "t's not just an air quality issue. To increase the traffic in front of a school tenfold is not good planning . . ."

After lunch this morning, I drove with a friend around the area a bit. My friend's reaction was mainly about the traffic issue. I noticed also that one of my favorite concert halls is there, too (St. Mary's), and for both the school and St. Mary's I wondered about the continual noise and vibration of larger trucks, and especially Tri-Met buses, which are noisy and polluting beyond belief. (Diesel is by far the worst, and Tri Met buses are only 5% or so biodiesel at this time).

I think the couplet idea does actually sound really nice, from everything I've heard. The idea of the light timing (cruising the greens) is just what it needs, and would probably be a big improvement. I have little doubt that the couplet would radically change Burnside in a positive direction. Since Burnside has a large city-wide impact, I can see why the idea has appeal.

But I am wondering, regarding process, what consideration was ever given to the school location with respect to pollutants and traffic? If so, what was the discussion? (On school area air pollution, I'm have a hunch that almost no consideration was given to it). In addition, one has to note that generally, utilizing Couch infringes closer to what one might call "inner neighborhoods" in NW, increasing pollution, traffic and noise. What kinds of discussions occurred on the effect on inner n-hoods, as well?

Personally, I would like the couplet. But here on this blog is the first time these other factors occurred to me, so I am just wondering what kind of analyses happened.

Thank you.


As to my last message, I should have said I am directing this inquiry to Chris, since he knows the process well. I know the discussion got diverted, but I didn't notice any response from you, Chris, on the air pollution issue (please correct me if I missed it). I know that pollution estimations are just personal beliefs on our part unless there was a formal analysis, but as to the process followed for air pollution, school traffic safety, and inner neighborhood protection, I'd like to ask you if there was any analyhsis. If there were no formal analyses done, were there discussions? Thank you for any information you have on this.

I am not aware of any formal analysis that was done on air quality issues.

The point I was making earlier is not that there will not be some air quality impact but rather that it's a little disingenuous to make loud noises about 20,000 cars going by one side of your building, when 90,000 having been going by on the other side for decades.

When asked about this in the press conference, Sam's response was essentially that whatever gets worse on Couch is offset by what gets better on Burnside. In air quality this may well be a zero sum game. On other factors (pedestrian environment, traffic safety, redevelopment drivers) there seems to be little question that it's a big net win.

The traffic safety issues got more scrutiny, and Sam was careful to point these out in his press conference. The school DOES NOT use Couch for drop-off or pick-up (this happens on Davis) and in fact the playground and school entrances are all oriented toward Davis. There is some access to Couch on 17th (which has been vacated for the school's use for year), but it would not be hard to install a fence or some other barrier to control this and the City has indicated they would support this.

It has been pointed out that some older students have the freedom to leave the school property. For those who want to cross Couch, all of the intersections will be signalized, so crossing safely should not be difficult.

The Church probably has more legitimate issues about things like weddings and funerals, but as Sam pointed out, shifting loading for these types of events to 19th is not impossible.

Is this a bummer for the Church and school? Sure. Is it crippling? No.

There are a number of mitigation items the Archdiocese might reasonably ask the City to help with (e.g., soundproofing). But they won't even meet with Sam.

Chris Smith: When asked about this in the press conference, Sam's response was essentially that whatever gets worse on Couch is offset by what gets better on Burnside. In air quality this may well be a zero sum game.
JK: Actually it is only zero sum for quantity of emissions. It is not zero sum for the pollution level. The pollution level will go down because a fixed amount of pollution will be spread over a wider area.

This principle is why high density leads to higher pollution - it puts the same amount of pollution into a smaller area. Same for traffic congestion - high density puts the same number of cars into a smaller area ( a lesser number of lane miles). BTW, high density costs more too - that is why Portland is pumping a billion or so into the SoWhat.

Thanks
JK
Debunking planner’s lies

Chris: Thanks for your answer and the benefit of your experience with this process. On air quality, we'll agree to disagree. (I wish you would show some sign, though, of having at least read what I wrote, because you didn't reference any of my points on the traffic proximity and air quality factors). (But it should have been built into the process from the start---so its the fault of the lawmakers, ultimately). I think air quality is one of those areas where, just because people can't actually SEE it, it is easy to overlook.

Hey, Chris, and anyone else in the know...

The big flaw in the couplet, if it has to exist, is the turn off the birdge onto second then back onto Couch for wetbound traffic. Have they proposed a fix to that, or are they still going with the two-90-degree-turn layout? I'd be far more in favor of the couplet if it were laid out like the Hawthorne and Morrison bridges. Those at least flow right into the pattern.

Thoughts?

insideouter, I don't disagree that proximity is an issue for air quality. But from what little I know, it varies between different polutants. For example, my neighbors in NW have been tracking polution from the NW industrial area (north of Vaughn) as far south as Johnson St. I don't claim to have any knowledge of what toxics are an issue at what distance (I believe however that benzene spreads pretty quickly and is all over our airshed).

And, Don, I don't see the two 90-degree turns as a big obstacle. It's just a matter of speed. Overall the traffic is going to get a huge decrease in trip time because of the progressive signals. Get it to slow down for a few seconds at the beginning and end of the couplet should not be a big deal.

Just a little extra info re: the fact that more than just exhaust comes from cars and trucks. Non-tailpipe problems are: Tire black dust, as tires continually erode. Asbestos and the dust from many minerals that brake pads give off. Exhaust-wise, the worst is diesel soot. Personally, I don't think we even know all the health effects of these things in our air all the time.

When BurgerKing proposed a drive-in restaurant on SW Macadam, even though the zoning allowed such, I remember that PDOT had environmental airshed experts provide reports that demonstrated that the approx. 15 cars/hr at the drive-in window would exceed the PDOT/Planners pollution level. Of course, BurgerKing had their experts that refuted this data. Guess who won-PDOT/Portland Planners.

Now take this same tack with the Burnside Couplet. One would think that two additional 90 degree turns, numerous more stop lights, hang-ups, behind the trolley "with waits, waits behind Tri-Met buses, waiting for parallel parkers to park, numerous more pedestrian crossings, etc, that the pollution factor is much more severe for Burnside than Macadam.

The wait time for BurgerKing on average was estimated to be 3 min. per industry standards and National Traffic Institute Standards. Already PDOT has admitted a longer travel time for the couplet that I think is incorrect-much longer than stated. Adding in a vehicle trip volume over 1000 times greater than Macadam, I wonder where our concerned PDOT airshed scientists are. Could it be "politics", a "Commissioner's dream".

I find that "facts" are interchangeable with the political agenda in this city.


More than fascinating. You know the city doesn't WANT drive-ins, so they trot out their air quality concerns, selective and situationally. (Actually, the person most at risk I believe is the person in the car lineup who has his vent fan running while the car in front spews exhaust straight onto the vent intake atop the hood!!).

I wonder what the city's stated standard was. And the physical area they were protecting. Was it the worker behind the order window? A business next door? A school nearby? And how that standard would compare now to the prospect of all that new traffic next to the grade school on Couch.

I'm also wondering how slow the Couch traffic will be going when it gets to that school. Wouldn't that be fairly close to where the right angle turn comes? If so, the traffic might be fairly slow there, which would cause an even higher pollution level.

"I find that "facts" are interchangeable with the political agenda in this city. "

So do I. There is a laughable tendency to ignore what can be demonstrated when it conflicts or may conflict with some canned ideology. Imho, this should be confronted wherever it occurs. Arrogant people holding up baseless ideology as "fact" will be exposed and fall eventually.


Chris, it is a little disappointing that you would call my interest in pollution and the school "disingenuous." That seemed like a dodge and smokescreen of the fact that you didn't seem able to even take the subject seriously. I see you as a sensitive, responsible person, and your lack of interest and leapfrogging of the subject didn't seem at all sensitive or responsive.

As to whether my interest is genuine: I've been specifically interested in air quality issues since I was 13. In high school Portland air quality was a big concern to me and I became heavily involved in several environmental organizations through my junior year. And it's an intense interest to me even more as we densify. I think of it in relation to all the businesses, schools and residences out there, and think about it every time I see a new part of the city, or a new street. I even think about it in relation to where I fill my scuba tanks. (They just take city street air, without much filtration, most of the time, and often just take it out of their basement or back room). (One place where I fill is on a very busy intersection of TV highway, and I avoid having it done there.)

So, I was not using the issue to bash the couplet, but just curious to know what analysis was done of an extremely serious issue. Do I think there is a chance that the new traffic could seriously harm the health of some students at that school? Yes. With or without the freeway there. And I mean added, new health problems and risks, even assuming the existing pollution levels there as a baseline.


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In Vino Veritas

If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 220
At this date last year: 67
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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