Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 3, 2009 7:21 AM. The previous post in this blog was Chasse was kicked or stomped in the back. The next post in this blog is Paulson stadium: Was the "fix in" back in '07?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Portland developer malarkey goes nationwide

In 2001, Portland reversed the trend, opening a downtown streetcar line with brand new rolling stock, intent on using this mode of transportation to encourage transit-oriented development. The results have been impressive: $3.5 billion in new construction, 10,000 residential units, more than 5,000,000 square feet of office and hotel space. Politicians and transportation experts have flocked to Portland to see the results, and cities across the country are now pondering systems of their own.
Suckers. It's all about the tax dollars for the apartment towers, baby.

Ask us about the amputations that are taking place in our bus service. Ask us about how much of those 5 million square feet are empty. Ask us how much tax abatement, sweetheart loans, $1 real estate transactions, and other giveaways were needed to bring about those "results." Then, and only then, should you go by streetcar.

Comments (10)

Ask us native PDX residents whether we like the added stress of trying to drive the streets of inner PDX with inflexible trains coming into and out of traffic. Ask if the money invested in streetcars wouldn't have been better invested in new facilities to separate cars and bicycles (which are and always have been great, liberating forms of transport). Most of us rarely use streetcars preferring car, bus, taxi or bicycle transport instead. So for most of us, transport has become very stressful of late. NO THANKS TO THE STREETCAR BOONDOGLES.

"$3.5 billion in new construction, 10,000 residential units, more than 5,000,000 square feet of office and hotel space."

Because of the STREETCAR? How do officials even keep a straight face around here?

BoJack says: Suckers. It's all about the tax dollars for the apartment towers, baby.

Remember when we built streetcars to support condo towers?

It seems like yesterday.

For NOT 'asking us' anything, the blame goes on the massmedia. reporters who don't ask, and don't tell. End them.

Not politicians, so much, only.

Or, as we used to not say: Reporters will get you through times of no politicians, better than politicians will get you through times of no reporters. So much these days is riding on blogging -- good blogging (like bojack). Actually, the entire future depends on it.

Destroy established massmedia. Then do our civic stuff.

PDX Bless The Developer (apologies to Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr.)

Them thats got the campaign cash shall get
Them thats not got influence shall lose
So our history says and it still is news
Randy may have, Sammy may have
But PDX bless the developer thats got his own
Thats got his own

Yes, big business gets more
While the poor ones fade
Empty pockets dont ever make the front page
Randy may have, Sammy may have
But PDX bless the developer thats got his own
Thats got his own

Money, you open lots of doors
Holding council by the Willamette's shores
When you're gone, the influence buying ends
Politicians don't come round no more
Rich corporations give
Bits of charity and such
You might help yourself
But dont take too much
Randy may have, Sammy may have
But PDX bless the developer thats got his own
Thats got his own

the "3.5 billion" represents the Pearl and the South Waterfront.

that's right, folks--the streetcar caused the Pearl and South Waterfront development to happen.

if you can say that out loud without collapsing into fits of laughter, you've got a future in local politics. just ask Vera Katz.

I couldn't bear to read the entire article.

So when do those tax abatements down in the Pearl come to an end anyway ? I wonder what the vacancy rates are gonna be like when people who own $500,000 plus lofts are required to pay normal property taxes on them...

How is it that the grand poobahs keep getting away with this?

Some people genuinely seem to be in love with the street car thing.

It's sounds bizarre, but I am pretty sure its an actual syndrome.

Streetcars worked great 100 years ago when few people owned and drove cars. Now, we're stuck with inflexible infrastructure, and of course, after it's built, there won't be near enough money to operate our various transit systems. So, buses and Max and street cars will cannabalize each other in order to cut operating budgets every time Tri-met lifts the curtain on revenues.

And, I'm curious - how will the streetcar tracks be laid out so that bicyclists won't end up getting stuck in the tracks?


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