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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 21, 2008 7:37 AM. The previous post in this blog was It's the babe, stupid. The next post in this blog is Happy day. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Build it up with silver and gold

The Rose City never ceases to amaze. It seems you can't fix the Sellwood Bridge if the town councils in either Troutdale (pop. 14,000) or Maywood Park (pop. 800) won't give their approval to the way you want to pay for it. Is that not the height of absurdity -- especially when you consider that twice as many cars pass over that rickety span every day as the populations of both those hamlets combined?

If the county's efforts fail, and it appears they very well may, we could be heading toward the establishment of a regional transportation authority. Cue the Network Formerly Known as Goldschmidt to cash in on that one -- the best of both Tri-Met and Metro.

I hope nobody dies on the bridge while we continue to screw around with this, year after year. Go by streetcar!

Comments (39)

This is insanity--the hillbilly city councils of Mayberry and Troutdale can put thousands of motorists' lives in danger every day. They must be so proud to save their voters a quarter-a-day.

Where's Robert Moses when you really need him?

How many "hillbillies" from Maywood Park and Troutdale use the Sellwood bridge? Maybe we should hire a consultant and find out. That'd only take a couple of years.

This is all so very sickening.
The various angles used to delay and avoid a "road-car" piece of major infrastructure are red flags.

The Sellwood bridge has been so long neglected that it allows no trucks or buses.
Although it's a main thoroughfare, there's a nonsensicle push to prohibit a rebuilding the bridge with four vehicle travel lanes.
Then we have the prioritizing of a new bridge just down river for the $1.4 BILLION light rail to Milwaukie.
Then we have the suggestion to build that new bridge to accomodate buses but not cars or trucks.
The legislature already directed $250 million for the light rail bridge/extension.
Local officials never even asked the legislature for Sellwood Bridge money.
Metro routinely hands out Fed Highway money to cities and counties but none for the Sellwood Bridege or other road projects.
The new light rail bridge has no obstackles at all.
And the public has no choice in the matter of rail bridge or Sellwood bridge.
Sam Adams' new tax has no no money for Sellwood Bridge.
Adams and other politicians use excuses such as the Sellwood bridge is a County responsibility yet greenlight all things rail.

The real idiocy of the Sellwood Bridge problem is the absolute refusal of Clackamas County to own up to its responsibility.

More than half of the Sellwood bridge traffic is Clackamas resident commuters going to PDX.

A toll bridge looks so good

If you don't like the positon of the Troutdale and Maywood Park councils, change state law and the Mult Co charter, which require unanimus agreement on the tax proposals.

Troutdale especially has unmet road
replaceent / improvement projects that it can't gtunded or uilt because OT and Mult Co wont come o the tale with money. Why shouldn't Troutdale use its leverage to get what it thinks it needs.

You can be darn sre that there are more PDX residents driving Troutdale roads to get to the outlet mall or McMenamins or the Sandy River swimming holes than there are Troutdale residents driviing acoss the Sellwood. Troutdale has a better claim to Mul C moy for is roads and bridges than Pdx does for Troutdale residents' money for Sellwood repairs.

Full disclosure: I dpon live n Trotdale or work there or own prperty there. I do know and am a friend of the Paul Thalhofer who is a lawyer in Canby, whom I understand is the nephew of the Troutdale Mayor of the same name. I never have discussed the Sellwood issue with the lawyer from Canby.

Maybe there is an opportunity here...for a good old fashioned ferry service!
When the bridge either collapses or is declared totally unsafe, an enterprising group could get something underway to transport everyone.
It could happen...

And then you have this:

http://wweek.com/editorial/3415/10418/

Huh?

I think the Sellwood Bridge belongs to the county, not to the city, so isn't it up to the county to find the bucks to fix it?

What exactly is Wheeler's option? Tell Maywood Park and Troutdale to take a flying leap?

A toll bridge is a fine idea. One should bear in mind, though, that a toll on one bridge will divert traffic to the others. Unless . . . . no, that's unthinkable.

Jack,
I agree that the Sellwood Bridge needs to be replaced or fully renovated. However, Wheeler’s plan doesn’t raise enough money to do so. The county intends to raise $100 million in seed money with the increased vehicle registration fees. Wheeler said the county might also be able to get $30 to $50 million in federal matching funds.

However, Wheeler told us the estimated cost to replace/renovate the Sellwood Bridge could be $300 million. Based on my experience with “rough estimates,” the actual cost could be closer to $500 to $600 million. Wheeler’s plan comes up at least $150 million short. Troutdale residents shouldn’t be asked to vote for a Sellwood Bridge replacement plan that has no chance of success due to insufficient revenue to complete the project.

We also had problems with Multnomah County's proposed intergovernmental agreement. It said the increased vehicle registration fee would be in place "in perpetuity". It didn't specifically mention replacement of the Sellwood bridge. It only stated that 100% of the funds would be used for reconstruction and/or maintenance of County bridges over the Willamette River.

While the Sellwood bridge is in danger of imminent collapse, a light rail bridge is being planned just down the river. From the Portland Tribune:
(http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=120060105274871800)
"According to a preliminary draft environmental impact study released by TriMet last week, the Portland-to-Milwaukie line could cost up to $1.4 billion, nearly double the $757 million being spent on the South Corridor Light Rail project, which is scheduled to be completed next year. . ."

"According to both Liberty and TriMet officials, a major factor in the cost is the new bridge across the Willamette River that will connect the South Waterfront urban renewal area to the Central Eastside Industrial District."
"The study estimates the cost of the section of the project that includes the bridge at nearly $340 million — almost one-fourth of the entire project."

"The bridge — which is not a replacement for the existing Sellwood Bridge — also is expected to provide an east-west connection for the Portland streetcar, and to carry pedestrians and bicyclists across the river."

The money to replace the Sellwood Bridge is already available. But Oregon's congressional leadership, our state legislature, and Metro have other priorities. They have already decided that spending $1.4 billion for light rail to Milwaukie, and a BRAND NEW light rail/ bike bridge over the Willamette River is more important than preventing a disaster at the Sellwood bridge.

Whatever happened to government's highest reason for existence- public safety? Blaming the Troutdale City Council for not "playing ball" by rejecting Multnomah County's proposed vehicle registration fee increase is ridiculous. We said "no thank you" to the vehicle registration fee increase because it's unfair to Multnomah County residents. It won't raise enough money to replace the Sellwood Bridge. And it ignores the elephant in the room- the region's leaders have ignored their responsibility to provide safe streets and bridges by making light rail a higher priority.(Disiclaimer: this is my opinion and not necessarily the opinion of the Troutdale City Council)

We said "no thank you" to the vehicle registration fee increase because it's unfair to Multnomah County residents.

That is certainly one interpretation.

The Clackamas County responsibility is just another pathetic and IMO dishonest excuse.

Why is it that none of these excuses come up when Light Rail is advanced?

Ever hear this?
"Clackamas County's absolute refusal to own up to its responsibility.More than half of the I-205 and Milwaukie Light Rail users are Clackamas resident commuters going to PDX."

We never hear that?
And funding is always available for light rail. Even when other desperate needs exist such as an adjacent bridge in need of replacement.

We haven't even hear any mention of a light rail/Sellwood bridge combination.

Why not?

Why doesn't light rail hinge on a new toll or Clackamas County funding?

The Troutdale and Maywood Park councils, are simply another convenient excuse.

Can anyone imagine any council holding up a streetcar or light rail project.
Or any other nonroad expenditure?

The Sellwood Bridge is a vital link for road traffic. Therefore is is low priority for any routine, creative or engergized funding plans.

What could be more clear?

This pathetic mess just gets patheticer and patheticer. Three layers of government....COP, MultCo and Trimet....and none can get the job done, while continuing to dither about the carless/truckless bridge for a light rail system that no one wants.

Someone must say STOP the insanity. All rail money expenditures should be stopped....light and streetcar....until roads and bridges are properly addressed/repaired/improved/built. Is there no one or group in the region who can stand up and begin a true revolt? What does it take to amplify the concerns of so many of us who say enough is enough?

To do nothing is unacceptable. It's time to put a stop to the silliness.

"the hillbilly city councils of Mayberry and Troutdale"

I don't see CoP lining up to pay either. Yes, I know it is not their repsonsibility (even though they can build a bike bridge), but per capita I am sure there a lot more CoP residents using that bridge than anyone else. So I guess in the future, we'll all either work for the state or Walsh construction?

Besides, you really shouldn't slander hillbillies that way.

When I ran for council in '06 someone ended up putting Lister lawn signs within the boundaries of Maywood Park. I got a call from one of their council members. You would have thought I'd wandered through the Brandenburg gate in 1949 based on the tongue lashing I got. Sheesh. The guy was an aarogant a**. I guess it's tough to be the Lichtenstein of Portland.

Joel said: "I think the Sellwood Bridge belongs to the county, not to the city, so isn't it up to the county to find the bucks to fix it?

What exactly is Wheeler's option? Tell Maywood Park and Troutdale to take a flying leap?"

So I wonder: Can inmate work crews build bridges???
Can't wait to see how the county will run the jails.

Is that not the height of absurdity...?

Nope.

Not even in the top ten.

Yes, it is true that in committee meetings concerning the Sellwood Bridge, there is discussion of light rail/trolley provisions besides bike and pedestrian lanes. That is one reason things are in slow motion even though the bridge is in critical condition.

There is also a committee deep into studying how to extend the trolley from SoWhat down past/over Sellwood Bridge (into Sellwood) and down to L.O. This all reviewed at the last SoWhat URAC meeting.

The Johns Landing area should be aware that the proposed trolley extension would be accompanied with extensive rezoning of the area into higher density like what is happening in NoPo because of the light rail line there. The 35 ft height limits in the southern section of Johns Landing could easily become 125 ft with 10-12 story buildings. Goodbye to river/mt. views and hello massive traffic congestion on Macadam which is already exceeding D level of service at most intersections. Jack, you won't even be able to get to Lewis and Clark, because you'll be stuck behind the trolley on Macadam. The CAC doesn't want to place the trolley on the present trolley tracks to the east of Macadam in the Johns Landing area.

The trolley line to LO PDOT CAC studies already show low usage (less than 4000 trips/day) for trolley and that the present bus service has more ridership. But everyone on the CAC advocates for the trolley.

Now, wouldn't it be odd if the trolley line to LO is built before the Sellwood is ever built/repaired. I would put money on it. It is reality because Mult. Co Commissioners (Rojo de Steffey) determined that the replacement, not the repair of the Sauvie Island bridge was more important. The new Sauvie still has just two lanes but with major two lanes of bike/pedestrian access, and its "condition scale" was in the mid 50s vs Sellwoods 4 out of 100.

I wouldn't be surprised that the Milwaukie Light Rail bridge with bike/pedestrian lanes will be built before the Sellwood.

Why didn't Sam the Tram lobby the legislature for money for Sellwood out of the $250 Million given to the Milwaukie line since he and Wheeler agree that the Sellwood is dangerous?

Troutdale and Maywood are correct to question Mult. Co priorities-it is about priorities, for themselves and other parts of the metro area and not just about trolleys and mass transit.

It should be noted that Macadam has about 54,000 trips/day and level of service is down to F (failure) at Bancroft, Nebraska and SW Taylors Ferry. Also Macadam along several cross streets in SoWhat are also F because of the newer fixes adding lights for trying to accommodate the I-5 off-ramp. But according to PDOT's studies the mass transit service (bus) on Macadam is about 5000 trips based on TriMet ridership formula, meaning about 40 bus trips/day. This is equivalent to vehicles using Macadam 1350 times more than mass transit. The Sellwood Bridge fix and Macadam to Lake Oswego trolley should be discussed with this comparison.

Why is this major usage difference not considered in setting priorities? I am not against mass transit, but for common sense.

The City of Portland and Multnomah County are at cross purposes over the Sellwood Bridge. The county wants to replace the bridge. The city's policy, however, is to reduce traffic capacity on SE Tacoma Street, the through street that leads to the bridge. It's not clear what bridge the city wants people to use instead of the Sellwood Bridge.

They don't want you to use any bridge... they want you to walk [or bike] to the bus stop, take the bus to the MAX, take the MAX to the street car, take the street car to the store and shop for organic groceries.

Conform already!

Toll-bridge is the way to go. Those who use it will be paying for it. Those who don't use it won't be paying for it. How many consultant dollars will it take for them to figure this out?

Yo, Jack: I hope that Earl the Pearl doesn't pick up on your Regional-Transit-Authority idea. He's the guy that started CRAG/MSD/Metro and TriMet . . . and you Podunkers love him!

When the Sellwood Bridge does actually collapse into the water (likely during rush hour), I wonder how many politicoes will be willing to say they "had no idea" how dilapidated the bridge was.

Perhaps Sam Adams, Metro, and Tri-Met will be willing to forego the next light rail expansion to pay the million dollar settlements to the families of the deceased.

Remember, we're "self-insured"!

He's the guy that started CRAG/MSD/Metro and TriMet . . .

No, that was Mr. Goldschmidt.

Toll-bridge is the way to go. Those who use it will be paying for it. Those who don't use it won't be paying for it.

Too bad they dont use that logic with light rail.

Too bad they dont use that logic with light rail.

or roads.

"Too bad they dont use that logic with light rail.or roads."

Too bad you're confused like so many.

Those who use the roads pay for them through gas taxes and registration/
title fees.

The more gas one drives and burns more gas the more one pays using our roads.

The Sellwood Bridge will find no remedy in the current state of regionwide confusion. Policy makers have completely lost all sense of basic infrastructure when it comes to traffic.
All plans by every jurisdiction include nothing for increasing traffic. Nothing.
All the wheels are in motion to make things far worse for many years to come.

The only hope is to join in the delusion and play make believe that we are witnessing the creation of utopia.

Grab your bike, get an TriMet pass, volunteer at Portland's hippie farm and
get a government job where you can blog from work about how wonderful tings are.


Road users pay. Bus users pay. Helicopter users pay. None of them pays his or her share of the costs.

None of them pays his or her share of the costs.

Least of all the bicyclists. But I'm just grumpy because I get to go avoid running the little scofflaws over while they break every traffic law on the books for 12 straight hours tonight.

Seriously. Portland's out-of-control, holier-than-thou, saving-the-world cyclists need to be licensed, registered, and insured, if they intend to use the roads with every right that drivers pay for. They also need to be rigorously policed, and fined each and every time they break the law.

I guarantee that there will be several times tonight that I have to slam on the brakes to avoid grinding one under my wheels, after they blow a red light or zip the wrong way up a one-way street.

the little scofflaws

Come to my neighborhood (NW) and watch how many motorists blow through stop signs, turn without signalling, ignore pedestrian right-of-way and exceed the speed limit. These are violations with consequences. Biker traffic infractions, while annoying, rank up there with jaywalking on the scale of hazards.

Multnomah County's vehicle registration fee increase to pay for replacement of the Sellwood bridge is probably dead. The Gresham city council declined to even address the issue at its meeting this week, effectively killing it.

Biker traffic infractions, while annoying, rank up there with jaywalking on the scale of hazards.

I'm the one that's going to have to live with running one of the little scofflaws over when they blow a red light, not you, and I'm not going to be real pleased about it, as strange as that might sound. 12 hours a night, night after night, 12 months a year...it's only a matter of time. Can't wait, lemme tell ya. Well, back to it...

Be careful Cabbie: the Bike Nazis will be screaming premeditated murder if they can tie your identity to the above comments.

I just assume that all cyclists are deaf and high on meth (or listening to their I-pods and trying to enforce their "Share the Road" doctrine), and drive accordingly. Which is another way of saying I go out of my way (even switching lanes whenever possible) to avoid proximity to cyclists.

I am amazed by the Spandex-clad Italian speed racers who are flying past all the cars stuck in traffic (usually going downhill) with seeming disregard for the possibility that vehicles change lanes when stuck in traffic.

"Didn't even see him coming"...would be an appropriate defense, because your review mirrors aren't much use when canted 30 degrees. Especially if speed racer is going coast-to-coast.

Cabbie, leaving aside for now Mister Tee's inflammatory fantasies, I want to say that I wish more drivers had your concern for your own welfare in the event you do injury to another road user. Heck, when you think about it, that's maybe almost as good as having regard for actual other road users. I pay some attention to press reports of accidents involving cyclists. My memory is fallible, but I can't recall one in the last ten years or so that was caused by a cyclist's committing a traffic violation. Many come to mind that involved impaired drivers, failure by drivers to obey traffic laws, and driver negligence.

Mister Tee: as to the whacked-out, spandex-wearing, drug-impaired, reckless Italian speed racers: I think you're projecting.

Oh, and Mister Tee: "share the road" is not doctrine of iPod-owning deaf cyclists. It's the law.

My memory is fallible, but I can't recall one in the last ten years or so that was caused by a cyclist's committing a traffic violation.

Your memory is poor indeed. I see and hear about incidents caused by cyclists obstinate refusal to obey traffic laws all the time. Just last year, not far from where I live, a young woman flew through the stop sign at 15th and Skidmore into the path of a truck, with no lights on her bike at night, and put herself right into the emergency room with her own stupidity. Came out she was drunk as hell, too...it was all over the news. Don't know how you missed that one, among dozens of others.

At any rate, I ride a bike myself sometimes, and it has a camping lantern wired to the front that takes 5 "D" cells. It's as bright as the sun. I take the side streets, too, and check intersections religiously, even when I have the right of way.

How did I learn this behavior ? Why, by being the victim of a hit-and-run myself 16 years ago. What a painful lesson, that the laws of physics apply to you, even though you are doing your part to save the world.

You sure showed me Allan. But you've misunderstood my point of view: I go out of my way to cede the road, which is better than sharing.

As for irresponsible two wheeled kamikazes, have you ever heard of "zoobombing". How about the BTA Friday afternoon rides (where they blow through all the red lights, takin' it to the Man).

I don't want to hit a cyclist because I don't want to deal with the financial liability or the gooey mess. Worse yet, I'd feel guilty even if was ENTIRELY the cyclist's fault. It's very unlikely that I will hit a cyclist or a pedestrian, because I'm going out of my way to avoid proximity to them.

Tat said, the city code or state statutes doesn't trump the law of physics. My million dollar umbrella policy isn't large enough when the I-pod (instead of a bike helmet) BTA kamikaze decides to play Dale Earnhart with my wife's Jeep.

Yes, I've heard of zoobombing, and it sounds pretty stupid, right up there with many of the Darwin awards. I'd give it a wide berth, too. They're lucky there hasn't been an injury or fatality.


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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: 92
At this date last year: 144
Total run 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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