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Saturday, December 2, 2006

Why? Because they're better than you

Interesting tidibit at the end of this story on LocalNewsDaily:

OHSU staff will begin riding the tram in mid-December.

It will open to the public in late January.

Six weeks to have it all to themselves. And promptly thereafter, the whining by OHSU will begin. "There are too many tourists... We have to restrict the public to our off-hours... We need to give rush-rush priority seating to OHSU personnel and patients... Especially the ones using the three new surface lots down in SoWhat as a park-and-ride..."

You paid for much of it, Portlanders, and technically you own it. But. There's always a but.

Comments (18)

More cynical OHSU employees assume "allowing" staff to ride the tram before the general public is more in the spirit of laboratory mice, or canaries in the mines.

Jack cited:
"three new surface lots down in SoWhat as park-and-ride"

Wouldn't it be more accurate to describe these SoWhat parking lots as "PORK-and-ride" ???

Just a thought, considering all the public money that has gone into this "amenity."

Just remember folks--the more OHSU rides, the more they pay.

IIRC, after the first year (or 3 years, something like that), the operating costs are allocated to OHSU based on ridership.

How long before OHSU gets sick of cutting checks and decides that the operating costs should be shared by all?

And the public can ride the tram for the low, low price of $2 to $5 per trip (depending, I guess, on how deep a budget hole they have to fill).

$2 to $5, and the tri met pass won't work?? seriously?? (I really did think it was going to be the same price as a tri met pass, and I do think they should keep it at that). I had planned to use it for dates, recreation, etc. This was my consolation prize because in all honesty I think that, for the non-OHSU public, it will be a fun recreational amenity for Portland. Not that it was worth it for that, but only because it's been built and there's no more choice. It is very upsetting that they seem to be selling out and going to condos instead of the "10,000 jobs" that will probably never materialize. Toy for condo dwellers, I guess. Tram to OHSU to hike Terwilliger. Tram to OHSU to skateboard down. Tram to OHSU to bike down. (etc etc.) Because of what might be the rapid conversion of purpose in the district (to condos), maybe it will end up being very little an OHSU thing.

How many blocks does OHSU really have reserved?----honest question, because I don't know. I heard a couple of weeks ago that they had only 3 blocks locked up. I would imagine that if they don't own it as of right now, there's no guarantee all the rest won't end up condos.

The original sales point for SoWa at planning "charrettes" (or "charades") was that it would be 10,000 jobs and 3,000 living units. That was a big part of how they got it through the public process to this point, cause it was only recently that council and planning staff started saying that they might change the balance to residential. Gee, it doesn't take much pressure to get council and planning staff to cave on a fundamental premise, eh? This change means 10,000 + NEW, DE NOVO cars in the region (condos), compared to what new jobsites would so----that is, help distribute a set number of cars to more jobsites. A huge setback to Portland air quality because of smog, benzene levels, etc. to the area.

To me, this conversion of purpose taints the process almost as much as any of the other well known problems in the SoWa planning process. It muted a lot of potential public criticism.

So I'm just getting my skateboard lubed up, after years of retirement. But I'm very sorry it will be so expensive. (I'm sure if $2 to $5 has been stated, it will end up at $7 or so dollars for the non-condo, non-OHSU public. (I'm sure they'll take care of the condo owners with cheaper tram rides----too good of a selling point until they get all the condos sold, and the developers have SUCH good city council contacts).

Knowing how controversial the public funding for the Tram is today, I wonder if OHSU would choose to build it exclusively with their own funds, if they had it to do over again.

BONUS: They could charge non-OHSU employees Disneyland ticket prices, having a monopoly on Tram Rides.

PORTLAND BONUS: They probably could have "purchased" $57 million worth of land for $9.99 without a public hearing.

Here's what I don't quite get about all the anti-OHSU talk: It is an inanimate public corporation without a brain or will.

It is exclusively controlled by it's president at the pleasure of it's board of directors, who sit at the pleasure of the governor.

Each of those living entities has a human identity. That is, a handful of people control what OHSU does.

Confusing the entity with the people who control it, simply displaces all power and responsiblity into an unidentifiable fog and serves to obscure the fact that specific people are completely responsible for all the actions attributed to OHSU.

I vote you all start naming names.

Tidbit schmidbit. I had this in October. ;)

I vote you all start naming names.

Where ya been? We've been doing it for years. On the tram, it was Kohler, Homer Williams, Goldschmidts (both), Lindberg, Francesconi, and their dupes, Vera and Sten. "High-tech jobs, affordable housing," it was all bullsh*t. It was a ludicrous, out-of-scale condo farm with a toy tram to match the toy streetcar.

Speaking of names, now Sam the Tram has taken up the mantle, but unlike his former boss, he's totally aware and in on the scam.

Most embarrassing moment in 30 years of Portland history, and that's saying a lot.

Woodburn Bob wrote: "Here's what I don't quite get about all the anti-OHSU talk: It is an inanimate public corporation without a brain or will."

I think it is okay, and sometimes quite useful, to talk about institutional patterns of behavior, and characterize them qualitatively in certain ways. I'm willing to say "the Soviet Union" was a monster, "Nazi Germany was racist", "the City is obsessed with high rise condos", etc. Sure, it is personification and not completely correct, but everyone knows that you're talking about patterns of behavior of an insitution or entity.

Where ya been? We've been doing it for years. On the tram, it was Kohler, Homer Williams, Goldschmidts (both), Lindberg, Francesconi, and their dupes, Vera and Sten. "High-tech jobs, affordable housing," it was all bullsh*t. It was a ludicrous, out-of-scale condo farm with a toy tram to match the toy streetcar.

Speaking of names, now Sam the Tram has taken up the mantle, but unlike his former boss, he's totally aware and in on the scam.

Most embarrassing moment in 30 years of Portland history, and that's saying a lot.

Posted by Jack Bog

yeah, and now your fireman randy has his new vintage choo-choo's approved in on nov.29 to match all the other toys.

Can't wait 'til the city's annual financial statements come out. Should be any day now. I suspect the appetite for toys may subside somewhat if anyone takes those seriously.

There's no question, Jack, you've relentlessly covered the specific players from city/local government and from developer/magnate circles regarding SoWa and the tram. Forgive me, I've only been reading your blog about 6 months.

I'd simply like to also see illumination of who's in the shadows behind the OHSU curtain.

For instance, if you conger up a general idea of what the public expects OHSU to be, what is the relationship between that idea and the specific people with ultimate authority over the stewardship of that more than $1 Billion per year Oregon PUBLIC corporation.

Here's OHSU's board. I can only wonder what and who these people actually represent.

Everyone at OHSU ultimately answers to Dr. Robertson now. He answers to the board. To whom do they answer?

$1 Billion seems like real money to me. Maybe I'm naïve, but where does that sum go each year? More importantly, who decides?

Boards are funny. Technically the CEO reports to the board, but the board members are typically really busy or really old and tired. A lot of what they hear from staff is often thoroughly pre-digested, and they can be led and misled. They also have their own constituencies and interests that they bring to the table, and good bureaucrats know how to play those cards hard and well.

At OHSU, I suspect the power base is about a dozen of the old guy doctors, a bunch of moneyed people from the West Hills, the governor, a few of the puppets in the Legislature, and a handful of top administrators, at least one of whom is grossly overpaid -- all of whom hate public scrutiny.

Seeing Charles Wilhoite, the second-newest member of the PDC board, on the OHSU board is not a confidence-inspiring moment.

Seeing Charles Wilhoite, the second-newest member of the PDC board, on the OHSU board is not a confidence-inspiring moment.

hahaha...he's a five-tool player!

Jack, thanks for the analysis.

I was erroneously trying to fit what I see at OHSU into the model of a Machiavellian monarchy.

I can see that a closeted oligarchy dancing to the music of Byzantine group dynamics would be a more realistic model.

I guess my wish is to read a crushing exposé along the lines of Watergate, the S&L scandal or Enron, where in fact something much more mundane is at play.

Wait until the animal rights anarchists take the tram hostage until all the political prisoners in the primate center are released.

Is there a place to donate funds for street people to ride the tram? A mix of lifestyles is good is it not.


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