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Thursday, July 3, 2008

PDX expansion pitch gets louder, stupider by the day

Let's see... Air traffic is dropping to 2002 levels... Forecast even gloomier... Diesel fuel prices skyrocketing... Routes being trimmed... Carriers heading back to bankruptcy... Jet aircraft identified as a major source of greenhouse gases...

Hey, I've got an idea! Let's make the Portland Airport, which is already overbuilt, even bigger!

It would be funny if it weren't where Ted Kulongoski's cronies at the Port of Portland are taking us next. In addition to the "green, sustainable" cover for the new runway known as "Airport Futures," we are now getting events like the "PDX Air Fair," where you're supposed to bring the kiddies and have the time of your life.

Yeah, it's a regular Wildlife Safari out there.

I know there are no fiscal conservatives within miles of the Port of Portland. But what galls me most about this is, Where are the greenies? Airport expansion should be a top target of theirs. But if they're concerned about it, they're sure being quiet.

Comments (24)

One way is to never allow the zone change for Colwood golf course. Keeping Colwood and Broadmoore intact would curtail any expansion of the airport runway wise, unless they went into the Columbia River. And I am not even a golfer. Gave it up years ago.

I suspect the greenies are quietly digesting the news that their computer monitors, televisions, and even their fancy picture frames are produced using nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), a gas nearly 17,000 times as potent as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas (which I'm guessing puts it right up there pretty close to water vapor).

Even better: it's not covered by Kyoto.

Planes at PDX have likely taken a sudden back seat for now.

Air Fair...and Ikea on the way as well.
Go by Max and street car and get hassled by the rent-a-cops on the way, or mugged.
Sounds like a real family fun day to me!
Or just pop some mind altering drug or other and ride the escalators, for a "moving experience".

Jet aircraft are not a "major" source of greenhouse gases. They're responsible for only about 3% of manmade GHGs.

Where are the greenies?

They are bought and paid for in the CoP and region. Take a look at where they get a lot of their funding. One government agency after another.

How do you think the 325ft glass towers at SoWa across from eagle nests on Ross Island never got a peep out of any of them?

You don't get it. The greenies have to fly to other towns to tell other greenies how green they are, and this goes for the convention center hotels. They want their out-of-town green friends to be able to lounge at their most green convention hotel, subsidized by joe and jill sixpack who need to be educated on how to be green no matter how much it sets them back.

I recently golfed at Colwood, and I really wouldn't miss this course if it were annexed by the airport. To play it you have to cross congested roads several different times. And besides, by the time new airport capacity is built, there will be a lot more greenies in the neighborhood needing to fly to other cities to tell others about their greenie holiness.

Where are the greenies? Airport expansion should be a top target of theirs. But if they're concerned about it, they're sure being quiet.

I haven't heard a peep out my friends at Sierra Club about this--and they are my friends. The big transportation issue on their plate today is CRC--they should be making noise about this airport nonsense too.

Build a fast train to Sea-Tac and you can convert PDX back to strawberry fields.

Ditto on John's comment.

If the City Council moves to change the zoning on either of these areas, they will become the home of future Port facilities including a third runway. And yes, that will result in the permanent loss of open space and habitat along the Columbia Slough.

The Port has its eye squarely on Colwood right now but no doubt Broadmoor is also in its sites.

The bottom-line is that in addition to the environmental and livability issues, the infrastructure constraints in the area, and the lack of a compelling business reason for airport expansion - as noted by Jack, allowing development by the Port on the Colwood site is not supported by any existing or historic land use regulations for this area.

The City’s comprehensive plan zones the area as open space and the County zoning that preceded it (into the 1980's) was as an agricultural district - F2-CS.

Additionally, as noted by the Hearings Officer, rezoning to industrial is not supported by Metro's plans or neighborhood plans.

These some of the many reasons why the Hearings Officer recommended that the rezone request for Colwood be denied. Arguably the same reasoning should apply to any move to rezone Broadmoor.

That said, the move to change Colwood's zoning to industrial may ultimately go to the Portland Council for a decision. The Council has the discretion to rule on the matter as they see fit given their review of the evidence. As such, despite the Hearings Officer's ruling, the future of Colwood remains uncertain.

A few environmental groups have publicly voiced their support for keeping Colwood green:

* Urban Greenspaces Institute
* Audubon Society
* Friends of Smith and Bybee Lakes
* Oregon Recreation and Park Association

I think we can expect more formal action and support from other environmental groups as this issue moves toward Council.

Maybe it could be zoned "smart-growth-strip-mall" like the cascade station development and have a couple streetcar lines routed through it.

only about 3% of manmade GHGs.

That's not major?

Alan wrote,

Build a fast train to Sea-Tac and you can convert PDX back to strawberry fields.

Because everybody wants to spend an hour on a fast train before they can get their boarding pass?

Or is Seattle the only place you visit?

Move the whole damn thing to Hillsboro and be done with it.


is Seattle the only place you visit

or do you just not care for strawberries?

The Port-o-Port has many stories of office building packed full of engineering staff with nothing to do and there is nothing we can do to stop them.

The Port, just like the PDC, must continually be constructing multi million dollar boongdoggles so that they can skim off management and administrations fees to pay own bills and excessive salaries.

They're crooked, get it?

Also, the 3% figure is deceptive -- until the recent reversals, air travel emissions were the single fastest-growing category of emissions of all. Moreover, the 3% just counts emissions as if they were all equal; lots of science suggests that jet emissions are about 2-3x more powerful than the same emissions would be at ground level.

The simple gross emissions can be thought of as the long-term damage done, but in the short run the water vapor pumped into the stratosphere carries extra heat-trapping umph.

The refusal of environmentalists to recognize the costs of jet travel is a big black mark against them. They babble about phony offset schemes, which are a scam.

Don't we need a bigger airport for all the conventioneers flocking in to stay at the new hotel?

The fast train to Seattle idea is right on. About one in six airplanes at PDX either just came from Seattle or are headed there.

I'd rather have raspberries, though.

I suppose no journalist will bother looking at what the Port's subsidized international direct flights brought Portland.

Waved airport landing fees and guaranteed numbers of ticketed seats subsidizes the Luftanza, Mexicanna and Northwest/Delta direct flight for years now.

Mexicanna recently stopped direct flights.

But what of the whole program?

Did the Port follow their brilliant giveaway of our public shipyards and drydocks for nothing stunt with another in subsidized direct flights?

The efforts was supposed to attract more business and tourism.

Is this just another program that won't get any public assessment of effectiveness because the agency can simply conceal the results?

Now several times daily jetliners can be seen swooping within a few thousand feet of Mt. Tabor. This creates a noisy mess and more air pollution in a place the is supposed to be a public green and peacescape. As long as there is more jet fuel exhaust swoshing overhead Portland will remain pseudo-green.

According to the United Nations:

When emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9 per cent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.

So if we all become vegans, we can increase our jet travel by 300%, without increase Greenhouse Gases.

More peanuts, please.

Perhaps the "greenies" have concluded that the airport expansion is such an obvious boondoggle at this point that it will collapse on it's own, without major lobbying to kill it.

But then, the CRC seems like another boondoggle in light of rising oil and gas prices and an already-happening reduction in auto travel (at least in Oregon), and most government bodies seem ready to endorse it, at least half-heartedly.


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