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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New money pit to open

The wasteful Burnside-Couch traffic "couplet" is having a "groundbreaking" tomorrow afternoon -- at least, the east side section of it. Sources report that Mayor Creepy and Fireman Randy are scheduled to be joined on the jackhammers by Beau Breedlove, Archbishop John Vlazny, Erik Sten, Don Mazziotti, and Merritt Paulson. Chris Smith is rehearsing an interpretive dance number, and Dan Saltzman will recite a limerick he made up in his office yesterday. In a show of bipartisanship, Sen. Ron Wyden (R-N.Y.) also will participate.

There'll be some blather about pedestrian safety, sustainable this-and-that, and economic development, but it's really all about the apartment towers that the City Hall boys and their developer friends are hoping to slap up in the neighborhood eventually.

If there was ever a time to hold off on unnecessary junk like this, which is coming out of local tax money, it's now. But hey -- this is Portland. On bad ideas such as this one, common sense is nowhere to be found.

Meanwhile, over on the west side of Coupletland, Mike Powell has slowed way down in his plans to redo his flagship store as some sort of palatial development. He has been one of the big pushers of the planned major rerouting of traffic over his way. Perhaps his selfless concerns about pedestrian safety will wane now as well.

Comments (9)

Is the ground breaking taking place in front of the fence with the unicorn murals?

Your information regarding Dannyboy's literary invention is mistaken: the career commissioner hasn't exerted himself for decades. That's one reason he was the go-to for the PPB portfolio. His staff -- Grummblebum, perhaps -- may have searched for one in "Limericks for All Occasions," thumbing through those that conclude "me, too."

See, this is where Sam Adams and his buddies are trapped. There will never be enough deals. There is only the fleeting rush of the next one, then it's back to chasing the high.

The PGE Park deal was a bad batch of acid at developers' Woodstock. They had the big meeting to announce there would be a franchise. That was the rush. Everyone wore scarves and basked in the glow of success. It was one hell of a party.

But then the weird hallucinations started. Bummers like the Rose Quarter, and Lents were all just a buzz-killing hassle without the intense - if fleeting - euphoria.

So it's back to the streets for more. More ceremonies, more deals, more projects. More, more, more, more.

But now some of the old dealers with their flashy new condos have been chased out of the game. Who will step forward? A street couplet? That's it? That's all you've got? Wow, scary.

That's Panic in Condo Park. There's no buzz from that. That high will wear off before these politicians get back to the office. Where's the next big hit of PDC? Where's the next big line to snort about urban renewal districts?

"Man, we built a tram 150 feet in the air. We have condo towers that stretch to the clouds. And all you got for me is a street couplet? I need more, man, much more. I need a star portal to another part of the universe, bro. Something that'll get me stoned forever.
Wait, no don't leave, dude. If that's all you got, I'll take an ounce of street couplet. Dude, can I pay you later?"

There is no choice. When you're addicted to the deal, you are trapped. From soccer to SoWhat, the high never lasts. And without the high all that's left to do is govern.

And these people didn't get into government to govern.

Can someone get through with the current news to Portland's mayor and Council? I don't think they've heard yet about the financial crisis that started back in 2008. Go by bicycle-----in December.

"There is no choice. When you're addicted to the deal, you are trapped. From soccer to SoWhat, the high never lasts. And without the high all that's left to do is govern.

And these people didn't get into government to govern."

Bill McDonald,

Once again you nailed it. Another perfect "10" blog comment. You're right, these people are just like crack addicts. It couldn't have been said better.

Bill, your drug addict analogy is spot on. Thanks.

I own property that fronts NE Couch street and I will be impacted by the couplet. I've gone to the meetings, voiced my concerns and described how this expensive monstrosity will impact my business. Did anyone give a crap? No. As I've posted before, ask most of us who own property over here and you'll get an earful; we're overwhelmingly against this "couplet", but we also know this it isn't the interests of businesses and actual stakeholders that are considered...Sam has other plans -- he knows best.

Oh, and I'm loving that new Streetcar L.I.D. Streetcar construction starts next year!!! Yippie!

Sorry, Jack, I'm afraid I'm stuck at a Bicycle Master Plan meeting tomorrow. You'll have to catch my dance number another time :-)

They should pour some cermonial money down a hole after the Silver Shovels.

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