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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The day after Earth Day

In this day and age, the Portland politicians can't stop telling you how "green" and "sustainable" they are. Bio this, eco that. And so imagine my surprise when we received our occasional visit from the city Transportation Bureau's Truck of Mystery on our street yesterday.

There's no missing this occasion. I've blogged about it before. A large, motorized beast adorned with the city logo announces its approach well in advance. You can hear it coming more than a block away.

It rolls down the middle of the street, ever so slowly. It is not sweeping. There are no brooms or brushes. It is not paving. It is not maintaining anything. There are no other city vehicles working along with it.

It is spraying water out of both its sides. That is all.

In other words, it is doing nothing but wasting fuel and water. There's nothing to sweep up on our street right now. With the recent torrential showers, including lots of brief but heavy downpours and even several poundings of hail, the gutters are clear, and there's certainly no need to get the streets wet again. Far from it.

When they tell you what devoted earth stewards they are, do what I do: Laugh to keep from crying.

Comments (9)

Maybe they miss the rain so much, they have to keep everything wet?

Or could be a metaphor...they are "pissing away money."

I know....they're priming the street prior to all the potholes being filled......right?


killing moss?

Killing time.

Don't forget the cost of those "human resources".

Classic. Different agency, but several years ago while waiting for a MAX train downtown, a Tri-Met truck pulls down the middle of the street (this is at Pioneer Courthouse Square). Three guys get out of the truck. One guy starts using a tool to clean out gunk from the tracks. Second guy watches him clean out gunk from the tracks. Third guy saunters across the street and window shops. That's the day I started carrying one of those disposable cameras everywhere I go.

I saw that water-squirting truck this morning (it was blocking the streets in a well-traveled school route just as parents were trying to get kids to school). Then, a few blocks away, (in the same school traffic area) I saw its little buddy- the truck with big round brushes on its underside, busily scouring away on the now semi-wetted streets. Of course, it couldn't do much scouring along either side of the street where all the cars were parked, but it sure made a lot of noise! So now there are two useless trucks out there, doing a job (not very well) that is pointless. And on our dimes...

Maybe the scrubby truck eventually showed up on our block. I didn't see or hear it, but I didn't wait around looking for it.

I can tell you this: There was nothing to be scrubbed. Nothing.

I regularly use NW Germantown into Portland and noticed, about three weeks ago, that it had been spray-painted to mark what will be some fairly extensive repaving all the way from Skyline down to the river. No paving yet, but guess what happened this morning - they're re-striping it.

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