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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 1, 2009 3:30 PM. The previous post in this blog was Lents stadium foes to meet Wednesday night. The next post in this blog is Did Chávez Boulevard group submit enough signatures?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, June 1, 2009

Would you like a Caesar salad with that?

What's up with the Portland Water Bureau? First they take charge of putting a neon sign in a city park -- I thought that was the Parks Bureau's domain. Now they're teaching us bike safety -- I thought that was the Transportation Bureau's domain.

Some people don't know how to do their own jobs and let others do their own, too.

Comments (16)

How about a Cesar salad?

Doing all they can to circumvent Darwin's Law.

Not sure what's wrong with giving cyclists the opportunity to sit in a truck and learn why drivers can't see them when they're flitting around like idiots.

I don't have a problem with the bike/truck training being conducted by the bureau running the trucks. It's actually a pretty good move, both from an ethical standpoint and from a loss prevention standpoint. It's cheap and may save some lives and reduce a lot of heartache for bikers, their families, truck drivers and their families.

On the other hand, the link to Pele's website led me to this:

The report takes the vexing approach of weighing the stadium against the impact of not assessing taxes and concludes that the construction of a stadium in Lents would comparitively result in fewer jobs than relinquishing taxes collected for urban renewal to taxpayers.

“Our analysis suggests that the construction of the proposed Lents stadium will create fewer jobs in the City of Portland than would otherwise be created if the public money from taxes were left with households and businesses to spend on private consumption and investment activities.” ECONorthwest Economic Impact of Proposed Baseball Stadium, Section 4.2, May 12, 2009

While it is a seductive conclusion for opponents of the Lents stadium proposal, it is based on an alternate reality in which property taxes otherwise reserved for urban renewal would be retained by taxpayers to spend and invest. This approach gives the impression of a false choice between a stadium and lower taxes, because there is no scenario under which the taxing jurisdictions would consider relinquishing property tax revenues.

It's enough to turn you into a Don McIntire or someone of that ilk -- is there really NO scenario under which we would think about reducing taxes, no matter how stupid the things they were being spent on?

This really is a bush league thing -- complaining that the study compares two logically related alternatives (taxing folks and building a sports playpen for use by multimillionaire sports owners or leaving the taxes where they originate). Pele apparently wants them to compare building a playpen in Lents and blowing the money on something that generates no return whatsoever, like an aerial tram or something. What a maroon.

I think bike safety training is a good idea. Why it is being done by the Water Bureau remains a mystery, however. They're not the only bureau with big trucks.

Any study that doesn't agree with Fireman Randy is wrong. Any study that does agree with Fireman Randy is right.

"Comparitively" is a good one, though.

Very revealing post about Pele's views on taxes. He sees tax revenue as a government entitlement. Not all taxing authorities in oregon see it his way though. Contrary to his assertion, there are indeed taxing jurisdictions that "relinquish property tax revenues", and assess less than their permanent rate. Of course, Pele would consider this outlandish. He knows better ways to spend our money than do we, and he's gonna spend every last nickel.


We are doing this as a proactive measure as a bureau because we have had some incidents and accidents involving bikes and trucks. Our Interstate facility is just around the corner from a very busy bike route and there have been a number of very close calls involving bikes and our trucks.

In addition, we are going to be involved in a major construction project this summer out at Powell Butte when we start construction on our second underground drinking water reservoir. We anticipate that while we are digging the hole, there will be one dump truck exiting the park every 2 to 4 minutes.

This means an estimated 100 truck trips per day for approximately 30,000 trips to and from Powell Butte over six to eight months. The trucks will travel on SE 162nd Avenue and SE Division Street to deposit the soil at a local quarry. Bike safety will be especially important to riders who choose to use these streets in outer southeast Portland.

In addition, Water Bureau trucks roll through the City every day. Bikes and big trucks can co-exist, but everyone (my drivers and the bike riders) should know what the challenges are when it comes to bike/truck safety.

David Shaff, Administrator
Portland Water Bureau

"Why it is being done by the Water Bureau remains a mystery, however."

Back and fill politics, you have a blogmaster that costs us $80K a year and another water bureau employee sitting around doing nothing. This way they can claim they are doing something to justify their jobs.

Something they learned from BDS which needs 50% more reviews when they have 50% less permit work to do.

"Any study that doesn't agree with Fireman Randy is wrong. Any study that does agree with Fireman Randy is right."

I'd be curious on who paid for the ECONetics study (like it will be the last one they ever get.)

The govt agencies usually have a clause in the contract that says something like if we don't agree with the conclusions drawn we don't have to pay for it.

Folks, I work at the Water Bureau and although I don't know why other bureaus that operate big trucks don't host events like this -(I'm sure someone will let me know ) we did the first one for a couple of reasons:

-our Interstate facility on the East side is near one of many dangerous bike / vehicle intersections (Wheeler). Our first step was to stop our Water Vehicle rigs from using Wheeler, thus to avoid potential collisions with cyclists;

-our heavy equipment drivers received extensive safety training to be very aware of cyclists;

-a couple of ardent Water Bureau cyclists proposed this safety event, which was held last year and it was very successful so they wanted to do it again;

While I'm sure that although the City as a whole could coordinate an event together, that would involve a whole 'nother layer of coordination and it is probably being discussed. (Again, I'm sure someone who is involved in this will let me know.) In the meantime, the Water Bureau is just going to do it.

As a Water Bureau employee, I'm proud to see this kind of initiative because it shows that we can think and do outside the box in ways that benefit the community.

As a cyclist, I've learned a lot from events like this. I have learned all kinds of tips from various safety events. I want to ride safe, avoid accidents, not cause accidents, and I want my Water Bureau brethren to get home to their own families each night without mishap. I see many examples of unsafe cycling on my daily commute. While some cyclists eschew the rules of the road and just plain common sense, I'd hate to see someone get injured or killed. And I'd hate for the person at the wheel to be one of my co-workers, who was practicing safe driving skills. Thus, I think having a safety event to spread safety awareness is marvelous.

This is my personal opinion.

"Any study that doesn't agree with Fireman Randy is wrong. Any study that does agree with Fireman Randy is right."

Jack, you left out an important clarification:

Any study that doesn't agree with Fireman Randy is wrong, but convinces him even more that he is right.

Sarah Bott, do you think it is good policy for the Water Bureau (or any bureau) not to use an intersection, or any vehicular street because of potential conflict with bikes? I question this policy that is forming. What about training, educating bikers on use of common sense, traffic laws, the reality of 2000 lbs vs. 200 lbs?

lw, this particular intersection is very dangerous to begin with (w/ cars making high speed right turns across a bike lane, among other problems), it's one of two entrances to the Water Bureau truck parking lot, and the main route for most cyclists commuting downtown from North and inner Northeast Portland.

All the Bureau did was require the drivers to use the other parking lot entrance. Easy problem solving.

And my 87 Honda Civic hatchback weighs about 2000 lbs, with a full tank and the driver - my bike about 250. Trucks are much bigger.

Iw, I think Zach explained the Water Bureau's policy quite well. The bureau had another option for trucks to enter and exit our facility, and closing Wheeler to our rigs reduces the number of heavy vehicles entering Broadway and crossing a much used bike path. Furthermore, most of the trucks -- and there are a lot of them -- are entering and exiting at rush hour, when the begin and end their work day.

As for training and educating cyclists about the realities of comingling with big trucks -- that's part of the reason we're doing this event in the first place. Cyclists are invited to step up into the truck to see what it's like from the truck driver's perspective. Hopefully, those that do will get a better understanding of things like the potentially deadly "right hook."

Thanks for listening.

"Cyclists are invited to step up into the truck to see what it's like from the truck driver's perspective."

Do they get to sit behind the wheel and go VROOM-VROOM?

BTW, shouldn't we put them behind the wheel of TriMet buses? If nothing else to disprove the theory of whether or not the wheels go round and round and the people go up and down all through the town?

I see limitless possibilties to spend taxpayer dollars. Maybe another $80K a year to do a blog? How about a PWB bake sale for the schools after driver training?


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