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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 17, 2007 3:41 AM. The previous post in this blog was Pardon me, boy. The next post in this blog is Guess who's too important for jury duty?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, August 17, 2007

The next fiasco: the east side streetcar

Maybe I need to get my tinfoil helmet adjusted, but there's something about the way the City of Portland is pushing the east side streetcar extension that doesn't seem genuine. If I didn't know better, I'd say the people who run the city aren't so hot on the idea after all.

Granted, there's the big public show going on, with a lot of the trappings of a classic Portland snow job. The public-private (i.e., nonaccountable) corporation that runs the streetcars is out front and center, with city commissioner wannabe Chris Smith and his newfound buddy Mike Powell ready to drive the first platinum spike for the trolley rails. The buzzwords are flying. "It will spur $700 million in private investments," linchpin bellwether yada yada. "The route is expected to attract 2.4 million square feet of development and 15,000 new jobs, while reducing congestion and global warming..." Fifteen thousand new jobs? Don't tell me -- biotech jobs.

Pardon me while I lose my breakfast.

There's even a trumped-up deadline for a federal funding application, which we're told means that a decision has to be made wiki-wiki. No time for serious public discussion of the many other things we're sacrificing to build this, folks -- we've got to get going! (So much for "visioning," I guess.)

The developers are lining up with their apartment tower dreams along the route of the thing. Joe Weston's already shown us a monster that he's going to construct over the by the Lloyd office towers, and he's licking his chops over the land across NE Broadway from the Rose Garden, where he'd like nothing better than to punch out a couple of similar skyscrapers.

Did somebody say "Joe Weston's money"? Well, then, the deck has probably been stacked. Over on Amanda Fritz's blog, she says the streetcar's a done deal, and old Smith is right there, figuratively rubbing her back the whole time.

But there are a few features to the current campaign that are different from previous go-rounds, and they all scream "Don't do this!" Interestingly, the warnings aren't all coming from the usual anti-transit wingnuts. Many of them are emanating from the mouths of the public officials themselves.

First, they're actually laying out big, fat cost figures for public scrutiny. The current liars' budget says that the new line will cost $147 million to build. At four miles of new streetcar (and I think it may be less mileage than that), that would come to $36.8 million a mile. As Jim Redden lays it out in the Trib today:

The council is scheduled to vote Sept. 6 on whether to commit $27 million in urban renewal funds to the project, currently estimated at $147 million, including $75 million from the Federal Transit Administration and $20 million from the Oregon Lottery....

City Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams briefed the council on the streetcar project Tuesday morning. He said the council needs to commit $27 million in urban renewal funds by early next month to secure $75 million in Federal Transit Administration money for the extension.

According to the budget presented to the council, the rest of the project would be funded with $20 million in Oregon Lottery bonds, $15 million from property owners along the line, $6 million from system development charges assessed against new projects in the area and $3.7 million in federal funds administered by Metro.

As we've pointed out on this blog time and time again, those magical, mysterious "urban renewal funds" are property taxes. Nearly 20 cents of every dollar of property tax collected by the City of Portland goes toward "urban renewal." So that's $27 million from taxpayers citywide, plus another $21 million from folks old and new somewhere near the project route. Forty-eight million very local clams.

But wait, the dollars get bigger. This time, they've unveiled not only a construction budget, but also an operating budget. Now here's where this extension is starting to look different from the previous ones. You never, ever heard a peep in the media about the operating budget, which requires a heavy city subsidy, in planning discussions surrounding previous streetcar extensions. And on this one, the subsidy's a doozy: $2.2 million a year, split half-and-half between the city and Tri-Met.

A million-plus a year in city money to run the thing? Come on. The city's annual subsidy of the entire streetcar system up to this point is reportedly something like $1.6 million. This single extension is going to increase that by 68.75 percent? Gee whiz.

Capitalized at 5 percent, the present value of $1.1 million a year in perpetuity is $22 million. And so the local cost share, in present value terms, just went up from $48 million to $70 million. That's taxpayer money. From Portland. (Not to mention another $22 million from Tri-Met, which survives on payroll and self-employment taxes from throughout the tri-county area.)

Second, everyone's admitting that the preliminary budget figures that are being thrown around have at best a tenuous link to reality. They're likely to go up, and that's putting it mildly. The City Council heard this week that the budgeted figures are "low confidence estimates." Well, of course, they are -- we all know that infrastructure construction budgets are always understated. Always always always. When this project is being built, surely we'll watch that $147 million break $175 million -- it's virtually guaranteed. (Indeed, in March 2005, they said the cost was going to be "only" $85 million. It's nearly doubled in the last 29 months.) But to have someone from the city government actually come forward and rub people's noses in that fact at the outset -- well, that's new.

An amusing example of this phenomenon came this week, when even the operating subsidy suddenly shot up by 10 percent in the blink of an eye. Tri-Met had signed on for an annual $1 million cough-up, but the Portland bureaucrats jacked it up to $1.1 million for the City Council meeting without telling anyone in advance. Tri-Met boss Fred Hansen wasn't too happy about it.

Anyway, when the streetcar costs skyrocket, as we know they will, who will pay the overruns? In this case, who else is there but taxpayers -- and probably only Portland taxpayers?

Third, they've allowed comparisons to the OHSU aerial tram [rim shot] to be passed around in public discourse on the streetcar extension without refutation. "Isn't this another aerial tram?" the mayor asked (perhaps not in so many words) earlier this week. You would think the streetcar pushers would have an organized, bullet-point answer to that one ready. But they don't.

There's one difference that's easy to spot, of course. This time there's no OHSU standing by waiting to chip in more bucks for this if and when it starts to go all weird. There's just us Portland folks, and maybe we can beg a few more bucks from our good buddies in the Bush administration or from the lottery.

Fourth, a few key players in the bureaucratic machinery are voicing serious misgivings about the project, particularly the way it's being financed. Earlier this month the chair of the ever-weakening Portland Development Commission wondered aloud at a hearing whether the streetcar extension would gobble up everything in the PDC budget other than transportation and housing funds. He didn't sound pleased. The Tri-Met folks don't seem to be clicking their heels over this. The mayor's raised his eyebrow pretty high as well.

Fifth, and it's a related point, to pay for streetcar, the city's financing plan will involve raiding other urban renewal pork barrels, all of whom have their constituencies. As the O explained it Wednesday:

The city contribution would come from three urban-renewal districts: $17 million from the River District, $4 million from Convention Center and $6.2 million from the Central Eastside.

Keith Witcosky of the Portland Development Commission explained that each of the these districts has money budgeted for the streetcar extension but at much smaller amounts than Adams is asking for.

That may require the city to raise debt limits, put off other projects, and take out short-term loans backed by the city's general fund.

As noted here yesterday, the PDC already has around $600 million in debt outstanding for urban renewal. Debt and real estate are tanking at the moment, and they're taking the rest of the economy down with them. Is this a good time to leverage Portland even further, including "short-term" debt against the city's general fund -- over the freakin' streetcar? San Diego, here we come.

Sixth, the natives are getting quite restless. Not only don't the inner east side blue-collar businesses want to cough up good money to bring the yuppies into their neighborhood -- even the Holy Rosary Catholic Church (confessions held daily) is protesting the $126,000 that it will have to pay toward building the streetcar. The church's outraged letter, which of course was written in Latin, made the paper this morning. Then there are all the new parking meters that will go in on the south end, and service cuts on the no. 6 bus -- more p.r. disasters in progress.

In sum, with all the mess that's been created around this boondoggle, you couldn't make the public more uneasy about the streetcar extension if you tried. It's almost as if the city's not that interested in making it happen. Wouldn't it be something if public opposition killed it? Gee, that would mean that the streetcar ran only on the west side, where Homer Williams's money is. Wouldn't that just break everyone's heart at the University Fight Club?

But no, I'm hallucinating again. Surely this foolishness will come to pass. It's a law of nature: The stupider it is, the more the Portland City Council loves it. We'll soon have yet another wasteful project that the public never wanted and that won't perform as promised. We can all hate it as we worry about paying for it.

And isn't that the way it goes with anything that's being spearheaded by the city's dysfunctional transportation commissioner and next mayor, Sam the Tram? The guy is a walking stress machine, and it's starting to rub off on the city, big time. When he's running the whole show, we're going to long for the relatively stable, level-headed days of Vera Katz.

Comments (48)

And the LO to PDX trolley is gaining traction by the day and cost estimates for everyone in its path - those poor folk in Dunthorpe, Briarwood - who have the existing tracks in their backyards aren't happy about this. The funny thing about all this is that they keep talking about congestion on 43. I drive 43 everyday from Marylhurst into downtown on 43. The "traffic" on 43 is overblown unless you're speaking of the traffic through downtown LO and running south towards West Linn in the evening. It is annoying, but hardly qualifes as congestion in the sense of Hwy 26 in the a.m. or p.m., or I-5 northbound from Wilsonville in the a.m. or to Wilsonville in the p.m. To me, the eastside light rail is a solution in search of a problem, as is the LO/PDX run. I'd probably take it because it would be cheaper than parking downtown, but never to do shopping.

If I recall correctly the Chief of Police had an op-ed in the Big OH! about the lack of funding for detectives, over the police department's low clearance rate for crimes such as rape. Then we know that auto theft is seldom solved.

So I guess I can conclude that since the streetcar will do away with the need for cars the auto theft rate will go down and since women will be riding the streetcar in a crowded environment they will be less likely to be raped. Ya know this method of preventing crime thus doing away with the need to solve them is really creative thinking on behave of the streetcar advocates. I have only high praise for such astute thinking.

I'd love to stay on and discuss this more but I have to go to work early to pay the bills. I'm still just amazed. WOW!

BTW the was an interesting story in the N.Y. Times this week about the quality of teachers in American schools, or course that does not apply to Portland, but if it did I'd bet the "Streetcar" would solve that as well.

Will the new $200,000 illegal immigrant job center still be easily accessible?

BTW that's where the 15,000 jobs come from: 10 illegals hired for 1 days work = 10 jobs. Same 10 illegals hired tomorrow for 1 days work = 10 jobs (total job tally to date: 20 jobs). In one work week you've created 50 jobs! And in 50 weeks that's 2,500 jobs. In six years, bammo you're at 15,000 jobs, game over.

So who is going to stop them and how?

Samd Adams and his staff have been busy concocting one lie after another as a means to extend the streetcar.
Call it mean and nasty all you want but he and his agenda are sorely lacking in ethics.

Among many other lies are claims such as the streetcar spawns or "linchpins" private development and Urban Renewal can't be used for road maintenance are blatant lies. Eastside redevelopment is already happening W/O the streetcar and UR TIF has already been used for every imaginable thing by simply calling the traget "blighted" and even extending the UR district when the "Sams" want to divert a few million beyond a current district bnoundaries.

Sam's office hires consultants to cook up the propaganda he needs and public agencies run with it.
The local streetcar activists and our newspapers chip in with their contributions of bullshot making it look like the public is in full support.

And the next thing we hear is "Sam for Mayor".

Gag me, he's a con man and a fanatic car hater.

"When he's running the whole show, we're going to long for the relatively stable, level-headed days of Vera Katz."

Puh-leeze - Vera had her hand up his back for 12 years. Now that he's fallen out of her lap into public office the megalomania is getting worse. Can we slip Prozac in his food?

Hell, I'd settle for Frank Ivancie now. At least we had fewer potholes and cheap water/sewer that worked.

How do will they get the ridership they need?


"But this assumes creation of a central city fare district with streetcar fares set at $1 and also assumes savings from service cuts on TriMet Line No. 6."

Sounds like some real "savings" ...

Funny, isn't it, Jack, that us "anti-transit wingnuts" were right all along about all these rail scams.

And a correction: we are not anti-transit. We are anti rail transit.

Nevertheless, welcome. Nice to have you in the club.

Why does the street car say "Bankruptcy"? What city are we talking about here, because it's obviously not Portland, given the INCREASE in bond ratings, not the other way around.

Whose real estate market is "tanking?" Again, not Portland's, given that median home prices are up 8% over last year.

And this is utter nonsense:
"The "traffic" on 43 is overblown unless you're speaking of the traffic through downtown LO and running south towards West Linn in the evening."

When do you drive it, 3 AM? 43 is extremely clogged at rush hour, from Zupan's to the bridge, and then often right past that all the way to the LO city limits. Don't tell me it's overblown when you sit at a dead stop for minutes at a time and it takes 30 minutes to go 3 miles. And finally, the issue is not traffic in 2007; it's traffic in 2027 when tens of thousands of additional drivers will be using 43.

Ah the street car...west many years ago??? Some of us asked questions such as, "Why not use those cute little nat gas powered trolly looking busses?" and "HOW much will this cost?" and "What is an LID anyway?" and so on. Oh how innocent we all were. Most of us did not know it had all been decided for us way back in 1991!
IF the east side street car scam dies, it will happen because of the money simply doesn't exist.
As for Joe Weston's towers on the east side, no one I know wants them. We like our "blue collar" small business neighborhoods.
"NO pearls on the east side!"
Maybe we can get an "endangered species" or "protected" listing. I for one do not want to look at some 1/2 built thing that got abandoned because the developer went broke and walked away.
ps: Home Depost isn't doing so well either

"Why does the street car say "Bankruptcy"?"
Because we are eating up future prop tax revenues to support this thing instead of roads, schools and sewers. So 10 yrs from now when Mr Adams says we need another tax to fix roads again because we have no money for infrastructure.

"Whose real estate market is "tanking?""
Besides blogging at work, you should take a walk and look at all the for sale signs, we are not immune.

"When do you drive it, 3 AM? 43 is extremely clogged at rush hour, from Zupan's to the bridge,"

I drive it at 730AM and 500PM. Easy fix, put a center turn lane in from Marylhurst to Zupan's.

Now back to work unless it's a slow day at CoP!

And finally, the issue is not traffic in 2007; it's traffic in 2027 when tens of thousands of additional drivers will be using 43.

No, that's YOUR attempt to deflect the discussion from the the REAL issue - which is the inefficient use of public money.

And I can fully understand why YOU wouldn't want to discuss that issue.

"Funny, isn't it, Jack, that us "anti-transit wingnuts" were right all along about all these rail scams.

And a correction: we are not anti-transit. We are anti rail transit."

>>>> So am I, anti-rail transit here in Portland. BTW, I am a lifetime apartment-dwelling, non-driving heavy transit user. I grew up on the NYC subways and was in the "railfan" hobby for 15 years.

But Portland does not have the spatial characteristics or density for rail transit. In addition, the rail system here is one of the worst I have ever seen in terms of design and operation.

And every time a new rail line goes into operation around here, transit service is degraded for a lot of riders, usually by longer trip times and additional transfers.

Jack, I wish someone with your perspective would at least place themselves in the voter phamplet for next year's city commissioner openings. If the likes of commissioner Leonard and the others end up running unopposed, which has happened in the past, it's going to be a very disappointing election for me at least. Surely, there has to be some frugal persons willing to sacrifice and at least place themselves on the ballot against the current slate of "tax and spenders" running the city.

P.S Sure times in Portland are good now for at least some. Portland is running up its debt levels, and just like the national housing slump, Portland will likely face such pay back. The day of reckoning would likely occur even faster if it were not for the Urban Growth boundary, Metro's slowness in making land available, and Oregon's anti-road building regime. If I were an official in Vancover or west Metro (like Hillsboro), I'm thinking west-side bypass (cut out Portland city altogether).

Global warming? Anyone see the 5 day report on Rail, Energy & C02 over here?

Also, the "spur development" talk is bs. If they changed the zoning over there development would happen rapidly. Now, you watch, the trolley will go in, then zoning will change (along with some subsidies) and the development that would have happened anyway will be done by campaign contributors who give all the credit to the PDC, the trolley and city council.

Without getting into the merits of light rail in general, why don't they just have the planned new MAX line from Milwaukie end up on MLK? They would save the cost of one whole bridge, and all that Streetcar money. People could walk across the river, or hop one of the hundreds of buses that cross into downtown. Many of them would be going no farther than the "revitalized" East side anyway.

Gotta agree with Bob Clark 9:59....a Lister or BoJack or someone of their ilk has to step up and face down the lunatics who suck rail $$$ like vampires do blood.

His other point of a west side bypass is pertinent too. Read today's Daily Journal of Commerce....Metro's Robert Liberty is threatening a no vote on the CRC study....offering the planning process is broken....not exploring the sensible possibilities.

No, that's YOUR attempt to deflect the discussion from the the REAL issue - which is the inefficient use of public money.

How can any righty troll type this after what this administration and its enablers in congress have done/are doing with public money? Off topic I know, but hey, look over there, isn't that Clinton?

"The church's outraged letter, which of course was written in Latin,"

Love this part.

How can any righty troll type this after what this administration and its enablers in congress have done/are doing with public money?

Luckily, this "righty troll" has a ready response: ...that's YOUR attempt to deflect the discussion from the the REAL issue - which is the inefficient use of public money.

Do you hear an echo?

Nice to have you in the club.

Sorry. I love MAX, except to the airport, and the diesel to Wilsonville looks pretty good to me, too. As for the ant-streetcar club, the welcome is late; I've been a member from the outset.

As for "torrid" Mark Bunster, posting from his Fire Bureau job at 8:33 a.m., in violation of city rules: No, son, the real estate market really is down, way down, particularly for condos, like the ones that are supposeed to pay off the city's $600 million urban renewal debt. You might want to catch up on that news.

As for municipal bankruptcy, you might check what the bond ratings mean. They mean that the city's bonds are safe. That doesn't mean that the city will be able to pay its many other bills, including billions for pensions like yours -- default on any of which can trigger bankruptcy. Just ask the PGE retirees and ex-airline pilots. And despite what the bond rating clowns say (they've been wrong many, many times before), Sam the Tram and the head of the PDC have both informed us that indeed, there is a financial crisis in Portland, particularly as regards transportation.

Sorry to hear your commute in to Portland from Lake Grove has become such a nightmare.

torridjoe: And finally, the issue is not traffic in 2007; it's traffic in 2027 when tens of thousands of additional drivers will be using 43.
JK: Do you seriously expect “tens of thousands” of people to take the toy streetcar? Lets see, at 100 people per car, that is 100 cars. At 30 per hour, that is over three hours!! WOW that is almost as much as one lane of single occupancy cars over three hours.

Or with 51 person buses, that is 200 buses. Spread over three hours, that is one bus per minute leaving most of that one lane of road for automobiles.

But why would any sane person expect the millionaires in Lake Oswego to jam into sardine cans for their commute, when they have comfortable, air conditioned BMWs without drug dealers?

PS: One lane of road costs a whole lot less than the toy train track.

Now get back to the work the city pays you for.


I don't think that any of the numbers being thrown around include the proposed street car on the Burnside/Couch couplet, which I assumed crossed the river on Burnside Bridge. It will also only be a matter of time before they want to build a bridge over the Willamette River near OMSI so the street car will run as a huge loop around the downtown, Lloyd Center and the SoWhat district. The bridge over the river will at least double the cost of this project.


Stop already!
Don't give them any more ideas!

I wonder about the legality (not the popularity) of a ballot measure to require that all city employees live in the city.

I mean, after all...

Id like to see a ballot measure for a memorandum on rail and other exotic transit "alternatives" until such time that all of the roads, freeways, and bridges are brought up to modern standards and a level of service "A" or "B".

I'd be willing to bet that a large percentage of the people who make these budgetary decisions have never held a small business license in their lives, let alone tried to operate a small business in a place like Multnomah County.

It'd be nice to see a law demanding a prerequisite of, oh, five years experience with operating a business in Portland, before one becomes eligible for any position with major authority over budgets, taxes, and so forth.

Hey, I can dream, too...

I think Anthony has it just right when he says ...rail and other exotic transit "alternatives"....

That's what draws the moths to the flame - the exotic part.

What an opportunity; quick, get the pyrethrin!

torridjoe asks:

"When do you drive it, 3 AM? 43 is extremely clogged at rush hour, from Zupan's to the bridge, and then often right past that all the way to the LO city limits. Don't tell me it's overblown when you sit at a dead stop for minutes at a time and it takes 30 minutes to go 3 miles. And finally, the issue is not traffic in 2007; it's traffic in 2027 when tens of thousands of additional drivers will be using 43."

Hey, been driving 43 from Marylhurst to PSU for the last two years. Leave to downtown at 7:30 a.m. and return home about 4:30 p.m. Once I get to 43, whether from downtown directly, or by going over the top of Terwilliger, it usually takes me less than 10 minutes to get home about 3 miles south of downtown LO.

So, I hope that answers your question.

You've missed the biggest point of all Jack - a streetcar that runs in the street is nothing more than a glamorous (for now) immobile bus. The proposed Burnside/Eastside to OMSI route is a bad idea even if it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Someday if MAX to Milwaukie goes across its own bridge (Caruthers) there may be a need for a MAX connection between the Convention Center area and the south MAX line. But that's a long way away, and the MAX line will be worthless if it isn't separated from vehicle traffic in its own right of way.

As for the condo towers, I'll bet they would show up eventually with or without a streetcar if the city lets them. Given the current real estate market it might be a few years, but there's a growing demand for this kind of housing, despite the contrary claims of the Karlockians.

Which means, of course, that all the claimed economic development benefit from the streetcar is a myth. Change and growth would happen in that area anyway.

Indeed, "urban renewal" impedes change and growth, because as long as people think that tax money's going to be handed out at some point, they abandon all thought of developing the property on their own. They're not stupid. They wait for the pork.

It will also only be a matter of time before they want to build a bridge over the Willamette River near OMSI so the street car will run as a huge loop around the downtown, Lloyd Center and the SoWhat district. The bridge over the river will at least double the cost of this project...

Uh...that's already --and exactly-- the plan. The bridge is alone expected to cost some $250 million, to serve the East Side Loop streetcar and Milwaukie Light Rail. Some folks at METRO are re-thinking this and saying keep Light Rail on the east side and save a quarter of a billion dollars. Maybe then we could afford to stripe crosswalks in my neighborhood and build a long-promised community center. Which, after all, serves multi-modality (i.e. walking) and keeps families in the central core by giving the kids something to do besides riding the streetcar to the Pearl.

Frank, Frank, Frank...

Stop making sense!

(apologies to David Byrne et al)

They're not stupid. They wait for the pork.

That indicts most of us - donut?

Jack B. said:

"Sorry. I love MAX, except to the airport, and the diesel to Wilsonville looks pretty good to me, too."

>>>> Jack, that seems strange coming from you. If you think the trolley is a big waste of money, then the MAX (really just over-sized trolley cars) has been and will be MUCH bigger waste of money. Would you like me to enumerate the shortcomings of MAX for you?

I have ridden loads of transit systems during my lifetime, and as far Portland's situation is concerned, a bus rapid transit system would have served Portland much more elegantly.

MAX too, is just a immobile glorified bus, like somebody called the streetcar.

No, it isn't. It's on a dedicated right of way.

Would you like me to enumerate the shortcomings of MAX for you?

God, please, no!

Jack, please...

Enumeration is the way of the future...

...roll with it...

or was that numerology?

Nick writes; "MAX too, is just a immobile glorified bus, like somebody called the streetcar."

Nick there is a bus designed by Volvo that looks like and is called The Streetcar. It is used in England. I'm way to lazy to find the Url, but the idea was interesting. Volvo has designed some of the best buses in use, but this crowd of transit people here in Stumptown wouldn't pay attention if you begged them to. They have all the answers. Just ask them.


Jack --

Love the photo with the destination banner. Very nicely done. Where was the original pic taken , the one before it was photo-shopped?

Since we are suggesting ballot measures:

A constitutional amendment prohibiting TIF schemes.

Outlaw public employee unions.

Elimate METRO

Make all new transportation projects pay their own way, directly.


Interesting tidbit about the Volvo buses; a big reason the powers that be want rail so much in Portland is because it is so "Euro." (Charlie "streetcar" Hales: Portland is now the most European city in America.)

Portland is now the most European city in America

which "European" city is Portland like?

European cities are much more diverse in design that American cities, thank god. the "most European city" slogan is just marketing fluff, not reality.

like those 10,000 biotech jobs down by the river.

Where was the original pic taken

Somewhere over near the start of the line in Northwest Portland. On this day.

The sad part of this is that over the years American cities, and Portland was a leader in this, have made it difficult if not impossible for private businesses to own, or operate a transit company. Now if that was turned around the city might be able to make some money at it, by taking bids from companies to operate various transit businesses within the city. You might be able to see a Hawthorne neighborhood cab company, or the 82 St. Jitney service. Granted the city would charge a fee to operate, but that money could then be used to fund street maintenance to some degree an relieve the taxpayers of a little bit of that burden
Thus we bring private capital and innovation to the marketplace.


Thanks for that 2005 link about the streetcar vs walking race. I too experimented but I din't make the assumption that I was going to just go walk along the tracks.

I left a friend's house in NW Portland (a few blocks from the NW 23rd ave Streetcar stop) to attend a meeting at the Wells Fargo tower. I timed my entire trip there including walking to the stop, waiting for a trolley and walking from the closest trolley stop down to the tower. It took 40 minutes. After the meeting I walked back (a more direct route that along the tracks). It took 20 minutes. About a week later I timed it by car, 5 minutes.

Good for you Frank for pointing out that all this conjecture is not conjecture at all but "planninng".
The property owners in the 'east side industrial district' got a notification about 2 years ago that the LID had been formed and the assessments would be forthcoming. We even got an initial low ball estimate. It was absurd! I have heard that this has been in the works since the east side river walk was built.
I wish I knew how we could stop it and use what money is available for schools, libraries and real projects that truly benefit all the citizens of Portland in a long term and meaningful way.
Busses would be a way better alternative for mass transit, but the pork isn't there to entice those who use the system to enrich themselves.

The ignorance and dishonesty that drives this stuff is simply out of control.

Today the O editorial board jumps on board with their "opinion" that this streetcar extension "makes sense".

So friggin stupid and lying as they advise that the $27 million to be skimmed from property taxes is a good idea, oblivious to the fact that it is needed for basic services and the road maintenance backlog or anything else that is legitimate bligt.
Saying the Lloyd district awaits the streetcar, covering up the reality that light rail has been there for 20 years.
Claiming the street car will spur development, but they admit zoning changes will be needed to do it.

This editorial board, like Sam Adams office, the PDC, TriMet and Metro, have no inside secrets, special vision or understanding of complex issiues.
They are all ethically corrupted, hopelessly dishonest and just plain dumb.
Incappable of assessing and judging any public investment based on a comprehensive set of considerations they launch their pitches for new crap like snotty brats screaming they want it.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
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: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
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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