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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Getting in bed with Mayor Creepy?

Better sleep with one eye open. The folks in the 'Couv are finding that out. Here's a piece of a transcript of a story yesterday on OPB:

[Y]ou remember a week ago Friday, when the mayors of Portland and Vancouver sat down with Clark County and Metro, the regional tri-county government got together – calling themselves the L4? They signed a letter indicating they wanted to move forward together?

It’s been just over a week, for cracks to show in that agreement. The Columbian newspaper published a story Monday that mentioned Portland planners were working on a re-visioning of the bridge.

The bridge is frequently understood as 10 or 12 lanes – but this plan has it as a six-lane structure. Not exactly what Commissioner Steve Stuart of Clark County has in mind.

Steve Stuart: "We’d just got done working as local elected officials on a project to move forward together. So, us finding out there’d be work done individually by the city of Portland cut across the grain of what we’d already talked about. And we didn’t know about it."

Stuart says this was no deal-breaker. But he did call Portland Mayor Sam Adams to ask what was going on.

I hope he didn't believe whatever answer he got.

Comments (25)

Getting this group of sub-100 IQs to agree much less actually represent what the people who pay for it want? Faggedaboutit.

Updating the Keystone Kops, as an entertainment venue???

"The Columbian newspaper published a story Monday that mentioned Portland planners were working on a re-visioning of the bridge."

Re-visioning is not a word.

The idea that the same people and institutions which perpetrated every asinine boondoggle around would somehow develop a well thought out plan for the CRC is so ridiculous I could cry.
You want to see how and why the CRC is doomed to be a fiscal and transportation catastrophe?
Just go look at the rhetoric in the discussions which guide the process.

It's hopeless, because the Creepy army has it's tentacles everywhere the decision process turns.

As for Creepy himself, the head of the CRC planning beast could not be worse. Creepy has all of those traits which make certain the parasite wins.

DOT has spent 3 years getting one lane added southbound at Delta Park from 2 lanes to a whopping 3 lanes. They can make the CRC 57 lanes if they want, and the end result will be gridlock at Delta Park. If they build a new CRC at the same rate they added the one lane southbound, which by the way is 200 yards long, no one living today will see the stupid thing completed, more studies please with politicians involved. That should take a few more years.

Note from the Portland Planners Manual: The word "vision" is used to convey the impression that your latest crazy scheme is more than just an idea.
Anyone can have an idea. Even good ideas don't sound as impressive as a vision.
You want it to sound like a beam of light came down from the sky and slammed right into your forehead.
You want the citizens to feel like you're some sort of bureaucratic shaman with special powers ordinary folks don't have.

This also helps when the project turns out to be a total failure. What could you do? You were just a medium through which a Higher Planner had spoken.

So how do you handle it when a vision falls apart before the all-important scam budget deal?

Lately, we're using a pattern of adding "re" on words like "purpose" to give us "re-purpose." Now, that's an example of a good use of the "re-" device.
Let's say you want to take funds that were supposed to be spent on one thing and spend them on something else. Saying you are "re-purposing" the funds helps to take any sleazy and perhaps criminal tones out of it.

However, there are some cases where this device does not work. For example, you should never use the phrase "re-visioning." It sounds too much like "revising" or "revision" and negates the magic vision properties we're trying to promote.

In this case, you should just say you've had a "new vision" or an "epiphany."
That way you will not be admitting that your last crazy scheme was really just a bad idea.

Phil .... Even considering the process and cost problems with adding additional lanes to highways and surface streets, those problems pale in comparison with adding additional lanes to a bridge after it's built. The difference in cost between building a six-lane bridge and one that is twelve lanes is relatively small when compared with the cost of adding six additional lanes to an already-existing structure.

The anti-car faction knows that. That's why they'd make the bridge one lane if they could.

Portland planners want to kill the bridge altogether.

I know these people. It may sound like a conspiracy theory, but it isn't. Planners/bike advocates really do want to kill the bridge, eliminate car lanes and parking, institute congestion pricing and tolls and the like. They see this as progress and they are very much inside of the Metro/City of Portland planning establishment.

Again, when you see some project eliminate a bunch of street parking, or narrow driving lanes, or the like, don't assume this is some sort of unfortunate fluke. This is very intentional.

And Metro is dead-set against encouraging any more growth whatsoever on the Washington side of the river. I find it shocking that elected officials over there don't understand that Metro is very much their adversary.

At last count, Mayor Twitter has publicly called for a 12-lane bridge, a 10-lane bridge, a six-lane bridge, and an 8 or 9-lane bridge.

In other words, he doesn't know what he's doing. But, as always, he's trying very, very hard to manage the message it sends about him.

The real truth is--like the half-billion dollar "Bicycle Plan", it's all political posturing. Neither mayor has a meaningful say in the bridge project, and they're not likely to coax either governor into doing what they want.

And that bike plan? It's going nowhere, despite a full-court press effort by project staff (see today's Oregonian "In My Opinion"). Looks good on a political resume though, doesn't it?

Posted by Bill McDonald | February 3, 2010 9:20 AM


The word "vision" is used to convey the impression that your latest crazy scheme is more than just an idea.
Anyone can have an idea. Even good ideas don't sound as impressive as a vision.
You want it to sound like a beam of light came down from the sky and slammed right into your forehead.
You want the citizens to feel like you're some sort of bureaucratic shaman with special powers ordinary folks don't have.

This also applies to Evangelical Pastors and their many "visions".

Sally: and your point would be - ?

"Sally: and your point would be - ?"

I hate made-up words that puff up people and positions, most often observed in public agencies playing with public funds.

They are "a crime against life."

See if you like this delicious piece I happened along for you, Mr. Glass:


Sally, so what does that have to do with Evangelical Pastors?

Seymour, I can only think that you have my post confused with Justin's. The poster's name is after (not preceding) the post. I misunderstood that you were asking why I cared that "re-visioning" was not a word. Lest he missed it, I thoroughly enjoyed Bill McDonald's elaboration.

I see Nick Fish hopped on in today too.

Snards you nailed the Answer..
we should have 12 lanes 6 ft wide!

Sally: right you are. My apologies. Am missing my glasses - obviously need them.

When considering the number of lanes, don't forget that not every lane is a straight-up I-5 through-lane. The other lanes count, too.

You have dedicated lanes for street-level access to Hayden Island, or for rail (another topic), or those long onramps, &c. So even with 12 lanes, you might only still have six lanes that are I-5 through lanes.

So 12 lanes really aren't all that much. I just don't see why any design should cost $4B -- that just seems excessive, pre-stuffed with waste and graft.

Anything less than 10 lanes makes no sense... if your goal is to allow for the free flow of traffic. If OTOH you don't want anybody to drive anywhere, then the now proposed six lanes is ideal.

The central planners won't be happy until we're discouraged enough to give up driving altogether. We'll ban Wal-Mart, so we don't need any freight traffic either. Go back to cave living please.

This is when I get nostalgic for the bad old days of planning when the cigars and whiskey were right there in the government offices. The governor, who had to be a well connected junk yard dog to get elected, picked someone with a big brain and an imagination with a 100 year horizon who was at least as mean a junk yard dog as they were. The big brain told the governor what should be done and the governor made it happen and that was the end of it.

We've moved from fat cats to technocrats, but the current circus of competing technocratic fools and foolishness makes direct democracy look like a really sane way to decide this stuff. How many lanes? Let's vote!!

I know Nothing, Nothing, Nothing about the making of cities. But the very smart man who fixed my sewer recently said aloud what I have always thought and wondered but, knowing nothing, didn't bother to ever ask anyone else about.

Why not a third bridge over the Columbia, shared by bikes and trucks? (and light rail, if it's not too late already).

Keep our work-horse steel awesome art nouveau-era bridge as is, for all the yucky cars we love and live in. And plan to trade in for Leafs so we never have another mark on our conscience for supporting Hugo Chavez, or countries that sentence women to death by stoning for adultery.

Better yet, put the third bridge at Kalama. Put in a new freeway from the new bridge to St. Helens to Hillsboro to Newberg to Woodburn. Keep all the Seattle to California traffic out of the I-5 corridor through Delta Park and the Terwilliger curves. But that would take real vision and political courage.

Why not a third bridge over the Columbia, shared by bikes and trucks?

I'd pay good (until it's worthless next year) money to see that......

No lane markings, no barriers, no sharrows - just a Darwinian free-for-all. Think of the spectacle!

Forget tolls - we could sell tickets.

Of course, all thirteen interstate bike "commuters" would file a class action suit.

To settle that, we could arrange for a human powered (rowed) bike "ferry" for them. Maybe anchor a cable at both ends. I'm also thinking a masked drummer and shackles for the BDSM bikers.

How green, how sustainable, how appropriate.

How Fun!!!

The CRC project is a terrible mess, and not for the reasons that are being published.

I've been a resident of Clark County for almost 40 years. I've seen the massive influx of california money, and the wholesale destruction that came with that. Does any of the readers here remember prior to the I-205 bridge being opened? They sold that on the idea that there wouldn't be traffic problems on I-5 anymore, because of all these magical new lanes to the east. Instead, all of east Clark County became a development free-for-all. Now that area is some of the worst urban un-planning imaginable. The entire reason, for creating a massive 12 lane bridge on I-5, is to sell thousands of "as of yet unbuilt" homesites, in Ridgefield, LaCenter, Woodland, and Battleground. Yes, it's all about creating a massive sprawl, that covers all of the flat areas of Clark County.

Those of us, that live in Vancouver proper, will be treated to massive amounts of new traffic. As more of these "ugly little boxes" are sold, and filled with people avoiding Oregon taxes, traffic on the new bridge, will slow to a crawl once again.

I asked Mayor Adams, about his initial support for the 12 lane monster, during a conference about Portland's environmental progress. I asked, if this bridge, was just "Outsourcing" Portland's pollution problem to Clark County. His answer was disheartening, to say the least. "Vancouver has always been Portland's safety valve, when it comes to growth" was his reply. At least he was honest. My home, is a dumping ground, for Portland's "less-wanted". Just like when a convention is in town in Portland, Homeless people show up with one way bus passes in Leverich Park.

For those of you folks, that are anti-tax, anti-bicycle, anti-transit, why don't you just move over here, to Vancouver, where bicycles are worth points, pedestrians are taking their lives into their own hands, and the MAX is called "The Crime Train". Just don't complain, with all the cheap-ass California-publican's clog up your roads with shiny SUV's.

cc, if you are as funny in person as you are in prose, you should consider a stand-up routine. I haven't laughed so hard in days. I especially liked the Ben-Hur row-the-boat and gladiator imagery.

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