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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 15, 2009 2:36 PM. The previous post in this blog was Brandon Roy sighting. The next post in this blog is A Saturday in August. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Saturday, August 15, 2009

How it's done

We have enough money for a new $110 million* bridge so that new commuter trains and bicycle riders can get from the empty canyons of SoWhat to the wasteland surrounding OMSI. But if you don't pay another $10 or $20 a year to register your car, we'll have to let the Sellwood Bridge, which carries more than 30,000 vehicles a day, fall down.

* - Liars' budget figure. Actual cost will be greater. Does not include finance charges.

Comments (20)

Does anyone know how many Multnomah County Commissioners, that voted FOR the income tax, kept their seats?


Let's just surcharge politicians and lobbyists for each lie, half-truth, scandal, and broken promise -- could build bridges and tunnels of pure platinum at that rate.

I'm sure they have no problem smugly telling themselves that supposedly encouraging and rewarding train riders and bike riders and punishing and thereby discouraging auto drivers is the right public policy.

The legislature was kind enough to hand over $250 + interest from the lottery to make the new SoWa/Max bridge possible.

Good call legislators.

Mayor Creepy is also taking $30 million from SoWa Urban Renewal to help complete the funding package.
What a perfect fit for this town Creepy is.

The bike bridge comes courtesy of Trimet, while the Sellwood Bridge seems to fall under the jurisdiction of Mult County. Does anyone know how these different jurisdictions affect funding and implementation?

portland native...

thanks for the constructive comment. you simply repeating phrases previously made by Jack is a solid contribution to this blog.

Who do you mean by 'we'? As in, "WE have enough money for..." This is a serious question.

'Cuz I think the money for the project is like 50% federal, 50% state/local.

So if 'we' are the American taxpayers, than yes, apparently we have $110m. (though of course it's only being spent right here in Portland metro area)

If 'we' are Oregonians, then I guess we have $55m, plus our small portion of the other federal $55m. (though of course it's only being spent right here in Portland metro area)

If 'we' are the residents of Multnomah and Clackamas County, and you are comparing the tax dollars from these 2 counties spent on the Trimet bridge vs. taxes spent on the Sellwood, than we are talking about much less than $110m.

Not saying I like where the money is being spent or not, but is it really $110m of Multnomah and Clackamas taxpayers dollars being spent on the Trimet bridge? Jus' askin'.

Love 'em or hate 'em, Trimet is amazing and winning federal transit dollars! But maybe that's what that's game's about, after all?

Hmmmm.... do you think sending all our elected officials and their flunky bureaucrats to classes to learn critical thinking and decision making skills would help?


The bridge and Milwaukie MAX will cost $1.6 billion.

The only thing amazing is the use of the identical rhetoric used to advance prior MAX/WES/Round/SoWa/Cascade Station/Interstate/Gatewa/Villebois boondoggles.

Why not fund everything with a Bike registration. Count the Bikes, multiply that number until we have X dollars needed, and sell bonds backed the projected revenue. Everyone will be happy if the city (or county) doesn't start a new bureau to collect the fees. No worries until the bonds come due and then we can refinance them by raising fees and selling bonds.

Trimet is amazing and winning federal transit dollars! But maybe that's what that's game's about, after all?

Unfortunately, they're good at getting capital project funds, not operating revenue. So while they continue to build new projects, existing service --especially bus service-- continues to be cut back. And fares continue to rise. And now we're cutting the buses from Fareless Square.

If Clackamas county accounts for 75% of the traffic why is Multnomah county raising $118 million via this new tax but they only expect Clackamas county to raise $22 million?

lets just toll the 'new'sellwood
, and while we are at it , lets pay bikes to cross , then the strreeet kids downtown would come out and ride back and forth all day collectin the $$$

Ben -

The Thief in Chief, aka Sam the Scam, also looted $ 10 million from SDCs levied in SoWhat for street / sidewalk construction and tossed that into the Milwaukie light rail pot.

I'm surprised to be the only commenter so far who is for it. Just because we've gotten used to driving cars to work for the last 65 years doesn't mean that's permanent, immutable reality. A whole lot of people will eventually have to move closer to work and use public transit or bikes, and that transit infrastructure that looks expensive today will come in handy. And $110 million? Compared with the $4 billion Columbia River boondoggle, that's small change.

And now we're cutting the buses from Fareless Square.

They are cutting them? I thought they just said no more free rides.


Why exactly do "a whole lot of people" have to move closer to work? Says who? If you want to sell your house and move into a condo bunker downtown, be my guest.

I suspect there will still be plenty of tax-paying employed folks living outside of downtown, the Pearl District, and South Waterfront who will need the basic transportation services that they already pay for with their property taxes and income taxes.

Those same people are the ones getting hit again for these "projects of the future" that will supposedly help with the millions moving to Portland in the next 20 years (you know, the ones moving here without jobs).

Jon, I believe you are right -- it's confusing to suggest that buses are being "cut" when it is the free ride that we're losing. At the same time, there's no question in my mind that bus service suffers from the emphasis and attention put on rail, and that's not a good thing at all.

Joey: The bike bridge comes courtesy of Trimet, while the Sellwood Bridge seems to fall under the jurisdiction of Mult County. Does anyone know how these different jurisdictions affect funding and implementation?

Ultimately, major transportation funding decisions come from Metro.

It is no secret that Multnomah County wants to be out of the bridge business (since the Willamette River bridges, with the exception of the Sauvie Island Bridge, all fall well within Portland city limits) and doesn't exert as much political pressure to fund the bridges.

It is no secret that TriMet is a capital budget hoard and loves its rail projects.

It is no secret that Metro loves choo-choo trains.

And it is no secret that the City of Portland loves choo-choo trains too.

So Metro + TriMet + Portland = choo-choo trains. Multnomah County? A non-issue. ODOT has some influence, but the Sellwood Bridge isn't an ODOT bridge so they don't really care. (Whereas Metro, TriMet and the City love to push their opinions on outside jurisdictions like Cornelius and Vancouver and Tualatin.)

So...that's why the Sellwood Bridge is going to fall in the river and we're going to build a new choo-choo and bike bridge.

Our alleged mayor, our county commissioners, and our Metro Five have been polishing their apologies for the loss of the bridge and those on it at the moment of its failure. Sooner than we might imagine, we may have opportunity to compare and critique their sincerely dishonest performances.


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In Vino Veritas

Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
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Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
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Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012
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Decoy, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Marqués de Murrieta, Reserva Rioja 2010
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Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
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Road Work

Miles run year to date: 144
At this date last year: 203
Total run in 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
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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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