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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Breaking news: Sellwood Bridge still falling down

And who's going to pay to fix it? Nobody knows.

Comments (16)

I think I'll become an Illegal Alien. Then I won't need to pay for no stink'en bridge.

At some point, some leader should just close it and say enough. I happened to be underneath there shooting a scene with my camera this past summer and the bridge didn't inspire much confidence. It looked like Minnesota - the Before Shot.

One obvious point being made by the Sellwood Bridge fiasco is how local governments comprise CACs. These committees are not even close to representing cross sections of the electorate, and many cases even other politicos that are affected by the mission of a CAC. Sam and others form committees that align to their agenda, call it broad support, then get angry when any chance is given for comment, endorsement, or a vote.

Also, this blog has several times had comments that gave Wheeler, Sam, Multnomah Commission clear examples of how setting priorities on tax dollars we do have could finance the bridge to acquire matching dollars. The Milwaukie Light Rail is one of the prime examples that it's proposed bridge (Hawthorne was refurbished to accommodate a future Clackamas/Milwaukie line-why not use it?)has been made a higher priority than Sellwood with $250M of local taxpayer lottery money.

Wheeler needs to listen to what citizens are saying. Sam hasn't and won't listen. Wheeler is making a mistake aligning himself with Sam's agenda and his methods of fake public involvement.

Next step? More consultants. Consultants' high priced recommendation? Some package of funding that includes significant revenues from tolls.

Bill's suggestion would bring the issue to a raging boil. Which might be a good thing.

You're right and it's not only Sam and Wheeler. Metro is doling out fed highway money for greenstreet makeovers and other lower priorities without regard for vital transportation needs such as the Sellwood Bridge. I don't know why Metro is always getting a pass on these issues.

Between Metro, TriMet, CoP, Mult. Co. and the legislature there's no excuse for the Sellwood Bridge faux funding crunch.

With all of the countless millions easily flowing to multiple agency, endless planning and one boondoggle after another it's just plain dishonest for these officials to be then concocting this phony inability to pay for something so basic.
The insulting excuses including the "different pools of money" and "restricted funds" among others is more dishonesty.
With diverting and backfilling revenue being used to pay for all sorts of things all the time the buck needs to stop at the Sellwood bridge.

Of the many projects listed and funded the Sellwood bridge should be at or near the top already.

Unfortunately it's the same public officials who have long neglected the bridge who are now neglecting to prioritize it.

I posted this on the Tribune's blog:

How to pay for a new Sellwood bridge.

Metro is going to spend $1400 million on the Milwaukee toy train. Ridership, in 2030, is projected to be 22,000-27,000 “riders on the line per day”

Lets take a closer look:
First, a note about counting riders. The transit industry counts boardings, which is each time a person steps on (boards) a transit vehicle. If one person starts a trip on a bus then transfers to MAX, that is two boardings. If that one person repeats this on the way back home, that is FOUR boardings for one round trip. Trimet reports boardings as "riders". MAX has an average of 1.2 boardings per trip (2.4 per round trip.)

Using the midpoint of that 22,000-27,000 riders, 24,500 riders:
1. 24,500 riders is 12,250 round trips.
2. Some trips involve transfers, so the 12,500 trips, at 1.2 boardings/trip, is 10,208 full trips.
3. On average, only 1/3 of the riders are drawn out of cars, so that is 3403 people taken out of cars.
4. On average there are 1.3 people per car, so that is 2617 cars taken off of the road.
5. Spread over a three hour rush hour, that is 872 cars per hour.
6. A typical lane of freeway carries 1800 cars / hour, so that is 48% of one lane of freeway.
7. A lane of freeway costs $5-10 million per mile.
8. Adding two lanes to the 4.5 miles of McLaughlin between the MLK-Grand split to Milwaukee would cost between $45 and $90 million and would carry twice as many cars as MAX would take off the road.

Now here is the really interesting part:
The Feds would pay about ½ of that $1400 million and Portland/Oregon would pay the other $700 million. But for about 1/10 the cost of the local match alone, we can accommodate twice as many people as MAX would. And that is in 2030.

Further, if we can come up with that $700 mil, then we would have $600 mil left over to build a brand new four lane bridge to replace the Sellwood bridge. Since the locals don’t want four lanes, lets close the current bridge and put the new one upstream. Perhaps near where highway 224 intersects McLaughlin. We would probably still have enough left over to add a pair of lanes to MacAdam all the way to Oswego and a few more congestion relievers!

How about it Metro? You know light rail is a waste of money - its time to quit trying to shove it down our throats. Transit doesn’t work in Europe, why would you expect it to work here? (In the EU15 countries, 78% of person-kilometers is by private car and all forms of mass transit have lost about 20% of its market share in the last 20 years.)

Cars are cheaper, more convenient, safer and can get you a better job (because it broadens the jobshed) than transit. Thus cars increase people’s standard of living, while transit turns people into welfare users for their transportation (riders only pay 20% of their real cost - that $1.75 ticket actually costs $8.75)


Jim Karlock -

You can't go telling the truth about mass transit / light rail in Europe like that.

You'll burst the bubble that comprises the brains of Chris Smith, Amanda fritz and Sam Adams.

Shame on you.

We need to start driving our cars more if we're going to combat the imminent threat of Global Cooling.


Fight the Ice Age, Drive a Car.

Cars are cheaper, more convenient, safer and can get you a better job

Doritos and 7-11 chili dogs are cheaper and more convenient too, but that doesn't mean they're good for us.

Yo, listen to this, y'know that just didn't work for me. You left out the "safer" part in Jim's comment. Which makes your whole comeback a little pitchy.

Keep it real, eco ;-)

you're right, cc. chili dogs are definitely not safe, and they can't get you a better job.

you're right, cc. chili dogs are definitely not safe, and they can't get you a better job.

Not to mention the mileage, given the frequent stops required.

....excuse me!

ecohuman Cars are cheaper, more convenient, safer and can get you a better job
Doritos and 7-11 chili dogs are cheaper and more convenient too, but that doesn't mean they're good for us.
JK: What is your problem with cars?
Do you have something against people saving time?
Do you have something against people being able to get a better job?
Do you have something against mobility freedom?
Do you have something against people paying for their own transportation?
Do prefer other people pay 80% of your transportation cost on Trimet?


yes, Jim, i'm against all of that. mostly, i post here because i want my fellow humans to suffer and go broke. why do I hate America?


a= 90 year old bridge
b= $ embargoed per year
c= interest on B (1910-2008 @ 2.5%)
d= cost of new bridge in 1965 dollars vs 2008 dollars
e= reaction of public to incompetence
f= the type of word used to describe E

can someone do the equation for me?

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