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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 7, 2008 12:16 AM. The previous post in this blog was Lost wallet guy found. The next post in this blog is We were right: New Portland computer system a disaster. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sauvie Island Bridge move killed

Unless the latest reports are some sort of joke, Sam the Tram and Fireman Randy have apparently figured out that (a) the bike bridge project will never get done for $5.5 million, and (b) it's costing Sammy Boy some votes. And so now, as quickly as it appeared on the radar screen, it's gone.

Just like the street tax. Just like Cesar Chavez Boulevard.

But with this guy, who knows? Starting the day after he's elected mayor, he'll be unveiling all sorts of other stupid stuff. Some of it will go through, some of it won't. But rest assured, we're in for four years plus of unprecedented jerking around. [Via BikePortland.]

Comments (38)

I was pleased to see that Amanda Fritz was also against the moving of the Sauvie Island bridge, before Sam wised up.

Am looking forward to having her as a City Commissioner and helping to restrain the Council. (Though Lewis would be fine too.)

I would like to gloat, but this portends what we face as revenues decline and ALL the political jurisdictions act like they are identity thieves, spending in to the night with no thought of tommorrow.

Maybe the $22 million (a little bird said $40 million back in January) cost overrun on the SAP/ERP implementation is taking some wind out of the discretionary spending sails.

From the Oregonian:
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1210130725124480.xml&coll=7&thispage=1

From the Bojack Archives:
http://bojack.org/2008/02/the_temperatures_are_warming_a.html

I just love the "nothing to see here, move along folks" comment the city fed to Dave Lister...(see the last comment). Punkd'.

Jack,
I wonder if we could get Sam the Scam to support a new group, T.E.T.O.P. ( pronounced, Tea-top )

The Ethical Treatment Of Plants.

Sorry I know I shouldn't give him any more bad Ideas but then maybe Saltzman will jump at it.

Amanda took a principled stand on this issue. As a community activist and candidate, she has demonstrated great leadership and obviously she already has had impact.

Victoria Taft, too.

Hey, come to think of it, me too.

Let's all run for City Council. You can pay for it.

It is a kind of cool looking old-style bridge. Maybe there is some hike and bike trail, planned or already existing, where it would make sense to recycle it, far away from congested freeway feeder roads.

Hey, he's got to save money/political capital for the streetcar/lightrail/bike and NO car bridge by SoWa. It'll be the best seat to watch the Sellwood Bridge collapse.

To say that Fritz took a principled stand on this issue is quite a stretch. Read her Mercury Blog posting on the bridge here.
http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/2008/04/meet_the_contenders_race_for_c_37.php#more

Like usual, she asks lots of questions (12 this time), but doesn't say what her position is at all. Asking questions is great, but it does not equal taking a principled stand.

This, in her own words, is what Fritz says,"More information is needed before deciding whether the bridge relocation proposal is the best use of transportation and urban renewal taxes, or not."

No. More information is not needed. It's an awful idea that Sam put together to try and garner votes. Now that it is unpopular with the voters Sam is making it go away.

This is how the Tram got pushed down our throats when Fritz was on the Planning Commission. She had the opportunity to vote against it, but simply said it needs "more study." Pretty weak "leadership" that cost us millions of dollars. Fritz has polished the art of dancing around answering questions, but I would rather know where someone really stands.

Hey, if this is true, maybe Adams loses some of those Pearl district votes he was trying to sweep away. But, then again, maybe these voters won't realize the bridge move is dead until the bridge doesn't show as expected next year.

Jimmy -- I understand what you pointed out.

Just to clarify, Amanda did publicly come out against the bridge proposal at Willamette Week's Candidates Gone Wild event, (which I watched in a different room than where it was held). And that was in front of folks who could be expected to support it.

I thought she also might have declared publicly her opposition in another online venue, but I can't find that now. To be sure, she was clear and deliberatively thoughtful in both arriving at and in articulating her opposition to the proposal.

Why are you guys reveling in this? Do you really want Sho Dozono as mayor? A guy who dips into a child's trust fund to borrow money and who is a deadbeat on taxes owed to the city? Sam Adams has that "vision thing," which, yes, means that every now and then he will have a grand idea that doesn't work out in practice. But I'll take that any day over Tom Potter's (and likely Sho Dozono's) propensity to do nothing.

As for Fritz, her demagoguing of the Sauvie Island bridge is exactly the reason I voted against her and hope she loses.

from BikePortland:

The Sauvie span re-use project did not rely on gas tax revenue directly, but Adams added that, “on the other side of the equation, the implication of high fuel prices is that all of our projects that are energy intensive to build are coming in higher than anticipated.”

let me get this straight. after Sam's powerful PowerPoint presentation supposedly "addressed every concern of those opposed", he's suddenly decided to not do it because--gas costs too much?

so, no bike bridge to encourage reduced auto use, because of the cost of auto use?

brilliant.

"Why are you guys reveling in this? Do you really want Sho Dozono as mayor? . . ."

There is a huge difference between a propensity to do nothing and a reckless and irresponsible desire to act on that "vision thing." Yes, you win some, you lose some, but you should always be extra cautious when it's the public's money you are gambling with.

I'm not looking for a mayor with vision in the middle of a poor economy. I'm looking for a person who can handle the basics until the economy and revenues improve and we actually have the money for toy trains and other pet projects.

"so, no bike bridge to encourage reduced auto use, because of the cost of auto use?

brilliant."

Yeah, because we pay for our "alternative modes" dreams with gas tax money.

But I'm down for a cyclist tax to pay for the bridge, and miles of bike boulevards and all the rest of the Vision. Maybe then cyclists would start to understand how much we all pay to keep this 5% of commuters happy.

"Do you really want Sho Dozono as mayor?"

Yes! He won't let Portland get ripped off all the time.

Oh Sam....you are such a whore. Kinda like you're standing on the corner, waiting for your next John....then the cops (voters) drive by, and you give up your corner. Seek redemption...get outta town like Opie....join the convent.

I am sick of "Vision." Locally, we are confronting extremely disconnected individuals, groups and neighborhood associations with "Vision." This culture of insubstantial catch word and phrases is diverting sickening numbers of dollars, hours, and resources into "Visions" at the expense of the real community needs and interests. The only "Vision" any leader, elected or self-proclaimed, should initially be advocating is what he or she actually SEES with eyes wide open.

Oregon Food Bank: “For every $1 you contribute, Oregon Food Bank can collect and distribute 5 pounds of food through its food distribution program.”

Celebrate That!

Jimmy, I am with you on the endless questioning, visioning that is going on with all types of local politicians, and wantabes. After asking the 12 questions, make a decision, have an opinion. Don't play getting elected according to one's presumed electoral majority, or for one's next four years in public office.

Even on committees, or subcommittees when a member has a position contrary to the supposed majority before a vote is taken, they had better vote with the majority, or they are viewed as a contrarian, or not a player. Why do we need a high degree of consensus? Life, citizens positions don't reflect this.

In many cases, issues, a needed decision, is a setup. It is made behind closed doors by the "stakeholders", then submitted for public comment with the token promise that "a decision hasn't been made, we need your imput".

The comments in response to my post demonstrate the small-mindedness that resulted in Tom Potter's election - and this city's treading water for 4 years - in the first place. And Dozono's the man we can trust with steering the city through tough times? A guy who borrows from a child's trust fund that he is legally required to protect and administer? No way. What are you guys smoking?

"so, no bike bridge to encourage reduced auto use?

Why does this farce keeping echoing around here?

That stupid bike bridge was not going to reduce auto use one bit. Despite the presumed "encouragement".

The entirety of the irrational emphasis on bike use does not reduce ato use by any measurable and meaningful level at all.

Sam relented on the bridge because he sees, and can no longer ignore, the unraveling of many city misadventures all at the same time.

By mid summer the city will be in fiscal calamity from a broad collection of mismanaged, reckless, unfunded, over budget comittments and responsibilities without any ideas or funds to address them.

Commuting by bike is an extremely privileged opportunity available to a very few who most likely have no families (kids), no tools of a trade (Laptop at most?), no appointments to make outside of a mile radius, no shopping on a realistic scale, no emergencies, no extended family or friends to care for for, no volunteering duties that require expediency or supplies, etc., etc., etc. What an insult to the very people who have made this city such an attractive place to live, to come here and change the status quo to meet their narrow-minded, self-serving agendas. Spread the word.

"When a man builds a monument and dedicates it to the people, don't believe him; it is first and always an act of vanity." -Mark Twain.

Celebrate That!

"A guy who borrows from a child's trust fund that he is legally required to protect and administer?"

I wonder if my children could have a trust fund to look forward to if my taxes that have been flushed down the vision toilet could be returned to me thanks to these fools? Oh! Children! Sorry, so not trendy and PC!

PDX Native just made more sense in 2 posts than I have seen Sam the Sham make in all of his years of "public service"....

Howard: I agree with you on the impending revelation of city expenditures exceeding city revenues.

But Sam has already figured out the solution: raise new taxes on your water bill, increase the gasoline tax, increase the systems development charges, increase the user fees for city services, and pass a new real estate transfer tax, so they can tax you on your way out.

And when that fails to stem the rising tide of municipal deficits, they will start selling off infrastructure to the most well connected bidders (friends of Scone).

And the light rail/trolley/bike safety/skatepark construction will continue unabated, until we spook the credit agencies with our debt service ratios and unfunded liabilities.

Jeez, Burk54, you did the almost impossible, considering what my neighbors and I are going through right now: You made me smile.

I wish the best of whatever life has to offer for you.

Ding, dong, the bridge is dead, the wicked bridge of the west is dead!

He's melting it, he's melting it...

Toy trains, toy, trains, toy trains. Can't you come up with something more original?

And I suppose the answer is to build more roads, more sprawl, more cars. Gas prices are not going down and the answer is to use more gas, build more roads, increase car use?

And you guys think bicyclists are crazy? I want what you all have been smoking because it sure makes for good hallucinations.

"When a man builds a monument and dedicates it to the people, don't believe him; it is first and always an act of vanity." -Mark Twain.

glad to see my post of a Twain quote got quoted.

"When a man builds a monument and dedicates it to the people, don't believe him; it is first and always an act of vanity." -Mark Twain."

I admit to my theft of Mr. Twain's quote from your site.

For my punishment, I promise to make sure as many people as possible become familiar with it.

(Thanks for the enlightenment, by the way.)

And I suppose the answer is to build more roads, more sprawl, more cars.

maybe the answer is much less of everything.

thanks to specialization and technology, we're free from the immediate consequences of our way of life. consequences we leave to the specialists—the environment to the environmentalist, land use planning to planners, labor to Southeast Asia, food to large corporate farmers and other countries. Oregon send almost half its abundant food crop abroad, yet we're near the top of the list in child hunger.

because of this dependence, we’ve mostly severed the ties of real community--and so the connection between our way of life and its consequences. we don't do much of anything for ourselves. that would be--weird.

so when somebody says "the environment is going to shit", others say "where do i send the check to the environmentalists?"

and i ride a bicycle, and i studied urban planning.

loco,

The "Toy trains" and irrational emphasis on bikes are contirbuting to more cars, more congestion and more gas.

The delusion that the local approach is magically reducing car use and CO2 is just that.

Bicyclists aren't crazy. The pretense that they represent any meaningful alternative is.
But if you're smoking because it makes for good transportation system hallucinations I can't help you.

The Sauvie Island Bridge farce would have been as a total waste of many millions without any measurable benefit.

Cycling is great. Wish I did more of it myself. Envious of cyclists' health.
I just don't think we have $5.5 million to spare on this thing. How about schools, parks and cops?

Well PDX native. I have two kids and my daughter is in public school four miles from our home. Her brother is in pre school two miles from home pretty much between daughter's school and home. We do at least 70% of our trips to school/preschool and back by bike. We are a single income family. My wife's family arrived here on the Oregon Trail. We walk or ride for most of our groceries. We have a car and use it much more in the winter than the summer. Our costs per year to maintain our mid level bikes that we ride much more than our car is much less. No insurance or gas. Maintinance is minimal and I do most of it myself. The time difference between driving to my regular destinations and riding is never more than five minutes. A used bike can be purchased for under a hundred dollars. I pass homeless folks and business people on bikes every day. Your cracked in the head if you think a bike is transportation limited to the folks with money.

PDX Native says that "Commuting by bike is an extremely privileged opportunity available to a very few who most likely have no families (kids), no tools of a trade (Laptop at most?), no appointments to make outside of a mile radius, no shopping on a realistic scale, no emergencies, no extended family or friends to care for, no volunteering duties..."

Well...I am married with 2 small children (5 and 1.5). I take my daughter to school each day, and I'm on the exec committee of her school PTA. I'm active in our neighborhood association (I just helped set up for the big St Johns Parade this weekend - woo hoo!) I serve on the Portland’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. And I commute to work - and many of these other responsibilities - by bike a lot of the time. The rest of the time? I bus. Or I walk. Or...I even drive.

Am I privileged? Yes I am. I'm not wealthy or elite - we're a single income family, from working class backgrounds (my wife is a pdx native from east county) and I work for a non-profit. But I am privileged to live in a city that makes it easy and attractive to get around town in something other than a car for about 75% of what I do. So watch your stereotyping there, PDX Native - we bike commuters are a diverse group.

And imagine, if the city hadn't spent all this time - and a comparatively little amount of money - to create such a great bike infrastructure, I'd be one more car clogging up your commute or taking the lane on my bike instead of handily off to the side in my bike lane or over on that nice bike boulevard, allowing freight and emergency vehicles to flow much more freely than if I were another single occupancy vehicle clogging our streets.

Then there's all that money I save on gas. And I need it, because we are far from wealthy.

And as for this bridge, it has it's pros and cons (perhaps more cons). But it all goes to getting more folks out of traffic, improving safety and commerce, and that's a n honorable goal.

PDX native is very short sighted. Who is she talking about? Get away from the computer and meet some of your neighbors. You probably don't live in Portland.

My family bike commutes to save $$$ and it works, otherwise we'd be on welfare to make ends meet, so..?

I just read PDX native's comment again. What is that? So far from reality. Who doesn't have those demands on their life? A dead person? I can carry over 7 paper bags of grogeries on my bike. Do it weekly.

Extremely privileged? Hardly. With all due respect, PDX native, I think most people are much more capable than you seem to give them credit for.

I paid $400 for what was until recently my only bike. A decent used bike can be acquired from Craigslist for less than $150. Add a $20-$40 rack and a $10 milk crate with some bungies, duct tape, zip ties or velcro and you have a serviceable cargo carrier which can hold $50 in groceries. (more if you're buying all processed / packaged foods)

I paid $75 for my trailer at Wal-Mart. With that trailer I can carry up to $200 in groceries, or furniture from IKEA (or Wal-Mart / K-Mart / Target), or a large variety of other items.

For 2 years, I commuted 12 miles each way (24 miles per day) to and from work, mostly via bike. The cold and rain can be beat with a rain poncho and plastic bags for the "work" clothes. The bathroom works great as a changing room, and a spare brush and water from the bathroom sink works fine for fixing my hair. I was able to cart my laptop and other items to and from work with the milkcrate setup for 2 years until I could buy something better.

You could maintain such a bike and its equipment for less than $100 per year, if you buy a good set up tires and clean & lube it regularly. Otherwise, it might cost you at most 3-4 times that.

$400 a year is a far cry from the cost of a car - which used to average $5,700 a year, and is up to nearly $7,000 a year thanks to the rising cost of gasoline.

"Available to a very few"? I'm still 40+ pounds overweight, and if I can do, so can most other people - provided they just get off their butt and do it. A 12-mile radius from downtown Portland encompasses a million people, and at least a quarter million (probably more) workers. That's hardly "a very few".

As for time, I was able to make the 12 mile commute into town in 50 minutes, and the commute home (uphill) in 75 minutes or less. That's almost the exact same time as taking Tri-Met, and less than double the time of a car. (and saving myself the time of a gym membership in the process)

I'm not a zealot - I don't think we need to get rid of cars. But thinking that the "average person" just can't bike just isn't true.

I think most people are just afraid or unwilling to try. In any case, how is motoring at $3.75 a gallon not for the "extremely privileged"? Can you really say a $45 tank of gas each week is affordable?


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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: 113
At this date last year: 155
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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