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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 10, 2010 2:47 PM. The previous post in this blog was Metro chief: Area needs more public boondoggles. The next post in this blog is What they like about Sam the Tram. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Merge the Ports of Portland and the 'Couv?

Here's an idea that makes a lot of sense:

I say let West Hayden Island stay a natural area, and instead merge the Port of Portland and the Port of Vancouver into one regional body. After all, it's silly to expand Portland's industrial acreage into a natural deemed important to wildlife and the environment when the city across the river in Washington has that amount of land and more.

As enumerated in Scott Learn's Oregonian article, the Vancouver port has about 350 acres available for new terminals in its Columbia Gateway project. The Port of Portland says West Hayden Island, which it owns, is the only place it can develop large new terminals, and the 300-acre footprint is the smallest it can go. Aren't these guys and gals talking to each other at all? You have one river separating the two cities, and then you have one calling for cutting trees and laying concrete when the exact thing that's needed is available with people eager to develop it just across the water?

Now, just figure out a way that the West Hills overlords can get richer by going along with this, and you've got a done deal.

Comments (16)

Have the overlords set up a branch office in Vancouver.

Makes eminent sense to me, and I'm sure our Portland fat cats can meet with Vancouver's fat cats and work something out.

Hats off to Mr. Libby! Working together to use existing facilities and protect natural areas! Unheard of! But we can hope . . .

You don't get it. There is no real need for the amount of build-out PoP wants for a shallow-water port like Portland.

If they include Vancouver someone might actually notice the emperor has no clothes and that would really wreck plans for the next PoP palace due to be built in about, oh, 5 years - Once the revenue stream (i.e. fees get jacked up) gets large enough to justify.

Besides you think these ego-maniacs want to give up control or acutally have their judgment questioned?

What is the Port building at 33rd and Marine drive next to the National Guard Armory? It looks like a big tank. They are also digging up and piling dirt all around the runways. Anybody have a clue?

Much as Portlanders and 'Couverites love to bash each other, the two cities are, happily or not, intertwined and interconnected in the same economic ecosystem. A regional port authority that pooled both cities' assets (ample terminal expansion space and rail access in Vancouver, PDX in Portland) and coordinated investment to mutual benefit could make the region a maritime powerhouse to rival Long Beach and Vancouver, BC.

It would not be easy, and many parochial interests and egos would have to be stepped on on both sides of the river, but there are precedents.

The Ports of Portland and Vancouver will NEVER rival LA/Long Beach or Vancouver BC or Seattle / Tacoma.

John-

Not sure if you and I are thinking of the same building, but the PoP has a mantainence bulding/ equipment shed down there.... that's where most of there equipment, vehicles, plows etc live.

The construction on the runway at PDX is due to an expansion project on the North (riverside) runway.

Hmmm, what environmental consequences exist for building this in Vancouver?

Why not also merge the cities of Portland and Vancouver into a megacity? They wouldnt have to pay sales tax, and remove the reason to come to Portland, other than to work. Coverites would be exempt from State income tax, and benefit there.
Its really not any more unrealistic than merging ports.. but who said reality has anything to do with this conversation?

Jack -

There is a mode. We both grew up with it. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey/ Interstate operation. Big interstate operation.

A real port, on a real harbor, handling serious tonnage. of course, not an upriver joke like PDX / Vanc, which owes its existence to the wheat trade, the Columbia River and eastern Oregon / Washington farmers.

If I still vaguely recall havy "current" events from almost 50 years ago, neither the NY or NJ governors nor Legislatures
were overly thrilled by the independence and arrogance of the "Port Authority", which then seemed to operate totally beyond any influence save that of the shipping lines and the ILA.

Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.

I imagine that expanding the Port of Vancouver would require more bridge capacity between Vancouver and Portland. That's something that isn't going to happen any time soon, due to the meddling of everyone's favorite mayor...

JA , merge are you kidding , around here we annex what we want... [except Nike , they fight back...] The city does not yet include the land the port project is on , they want to annex it , I say keep going and annex the Couv ,
54 40 or fight !

NOOOOOO! Keep your whackos in Portland where they belong. I can't wait for them to slam tolls on both bridges to discourage people from Portland driving up here-- we don't need POP people screwing things up up here.

MS Fred, most freight to west coast ports is not destined to remain in the inbound port cities; rather, the containers are put on rail or eastbound truck.

The whole port expansion is absurd, but at least the damage is limited if it's done in Vancouver through a merged PDX/VAN port authority, and Hayden Island isn't sacrificed to a grandiose scheme to pretend that we're going back to the boom times of globalization.

I remember taking riding lessons at the Columbia Riding Academy on Hayden Island, back in the 1950's. The island was great nature place then and I assume part of it still is. Hey, POP, leave Hayden Island undeveloped!


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