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Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Wake up and smell the couplet"

The folks who, like us, think the Burnside-Couch traffic couplet is a colossally bad idea have gotten organized to the point of this website. Their main pitch seems to be that the proposed one-way streets would be too friendly to cars. That may be an appealing come-on to attract the hipsters, and we applaud it for that reason. But don't expect Mike Powell and the developer sharks who want the couplet to take this lying down. Soon they'll be bombarding us with reasons why the couplet is the greenest thing since spinach.

The fact that the city is essentially broke and can't afford this useless make-work project will be a mere peep in the debate, if it's heard at all.

Comments (12)

My favorite quote:

The ambiance of Couch Street, “a highly pedestrian-friendly street where human activity predominates over vehicular circulation,” where “richness in street life is aided by not having the burden of pushing through high volumes of through traffic,”

Have they ever been on NW Couch? Most of the pedestrians are crack dealers and users. The human activity that predominates is dealing crack. That's some ambiance!

"Have they ever been on NW Couch? Most of the pedestrians are crack dealers and users. The human activity that predominates is dealing crack. That's some ambiance!"

Ya, But they are on foot or maybe a stolen bike so that counts.

The eastside version is the most screwed up mess and, yeah, I now avoid it like the plague. I think westside version will discourage traffic if it in anyway it resembles the eastside couplet. There were 2 traffic lights on Burnside before and now there are like six. What a bunch of crap they pulled on us. I wish someone would keelhaul Sam and company.

A friend of mine was talking with the folks (friends of burnside) trying to push the Local Improvement District. He said that those folks were close to having enough signatures to bring it to City Council for the couplet.

Knowing Mayor McButter - he probably has something else up his sleeve. But knowing how City Council works - the alternative is probably worse.

Go by streetcar or bicycle?

Why in questionable economic times such a hurry to do these couplets?

Wake up and smell the couplet
Might be put as wake up and take a very close look at the couplet plans with a fine tooth comb.

What kind of work has been done or will be done "underneath" the couplet? . . .or what is behind the couplet having to be done now?
That which we cannot see.

We need transparency in the process and in the work that is being done in these projects around the city and "underneath" the city. Especially any projects by the light rail.

We need a Columbo!
Columbo hanging around city hall day after day might prove more irritating to them than we the citizens.

On the Eastside, it's unclear which property owners are benefitting from this expensive gas tax project. The Westside is a little more obvious. We saps are again lining the pockets of the wealthy class with our hard-earned pennies. Does saltzman have any property interest around this area?

Mary, you must be mistaken ...

Sam Adams we don't enough gas tax money to maintain roads. That's why we need more bike lanes.

I hadn't been through the "couplet construction" area since the teardown began when I rode Tri-Met to a destination on Sandy Blvd. The bus just goes as little beyond the couplet as it can and turns left onto Sandy. My impression is that any businesses unlucky enough to be within the bypassed area (and who can only attract westbound traffic) will be hurt.

It all seems so unnecessary. But then so do any number of "make work" Portland projects inappropriate to time and economic climate.

Lately, most of the jobs these projects create are temporary construction jobs. When the stimulus stops, the jobs are gone and (if retail or luxury condos) there may be no one willing to locate or live there.

My uncle calls this "French tickler" stimulus. You can get a tremendous temporary response but it doesn't last . . .

Dear Mary,
Just check out the major property holders on E Burnside, starting with the Wentworths, Randy Miller, the people who own the land that was supposed to be developed 5 years ago with the Burnside Bridge Head; a man named Parker who owns the finance company over there; AND Peter Findley Fry, who got stuck with the old Templeton building when the Burnside Bridge Head/Home Depot got squashed. That is only a partial list.
Those folks are simply delusional that somehow some way the CES will be the next Pearl and they will all make a ton of money on their real estate. And if not, then the city will have to finance their bailout.
The small businesses who happen to own their property will get to pay for the LID that does not benefit them in any meaningful way.
The folks at city hall do not care that there are still good jobs, and financially sound small businesses in the CES. It seems like they would just like everyone to shuffle paper (while riding a bike) rather than produce real goods and services.
SamRand will happily tax those businesses out of business and then wonder why there are so many folks on the sidewalks, camped out in the doorways of abandoned buildings, and "causing trouble" in front of the Sisters of the Road on 4th and NW Davis.
That is my rant for today...

And who is going to buy a "luxury condo" on the 'wrong side of the ditch', next to the Hooper House???
Especially when for the same money you can buy a really, really, nice, and fancy house on King's Heights?
This made NO economic sense to me when the Pearl was developed, and then again with So What.
This is just one scam after another. When??? is someone with some power, money and political standing, who cares about the real needs of the city going to call a stop to this?
Oh...silly me...there is no one like that here.
Drink the Kool-Aide folks and go by streetcar.

portland native:This is just one scam after another. When??? is someone with some power, money and political standing, who cares about the real needs of the city going to call a stop to this?

Doesn't bode well for the leaders in our community who give a pass on these scams. This may be too tight knit, no one wants to question too much any associates they know. These associates may be neighbors or ones they do business with. Some depend on these short term jobs being repeated so will not speak out as it is their bread and butter.

On the other hand, some like it just the way it is as they and their families benefit. They make certain only insiders who continue the agenda stay in decision-making positions.

What then does it say about the citizens in general in our community?

Some are watchdogs and are concerned and try to make a difference.

Some are simply indifferent.
Are they not informed, therefore not engaged? Do they not care? Have they given up? Are some wrapped up in their own lives and will not or cannot extend to caring about the society they live in? What???

I think there are quite a few people who do care, many of them here on this blog. Unfortunately none of us has enough power or money to change things.
However, "the powers that be" are making sure that we are not heard, and for those of us who do dare to speak out publicly, there are serious consequences for doing so. Randy's HIT squad is only one of many ways "the powers" get even with small business and land holders. Unless and until the big businesses and land holders get mad and put these folks out of power the status quo will remain.
Barry Manashe's refusal to pay his 'clean and safe' dues may be a first step.

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