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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

There oughta be a law against you comin' around

I don't get it. It's an interstate freeway. It's a bridge that connects two states. We have federal highway experts. We have state transportation experts. Even if he were competent (and we all know that he is far from it), why would the mayor of one city, on one side of the bridge, parade around as though he had the authority to say anything significant about it?

We've blown $100 million on this thing already, and so far all we have are some drawings that should have "massive cost overrun" written on every page. It's time to let the grownups drive. And whoever it is that Mayor Creepy has promised a gig to, needs to wake up and realize that they've been dealing with the wrong person. Aside from occasionally crashing his truck in the vicinity, while allegedly reeking of beer and with his shorts unzipped, the guy has no credentials on this project whatsoever.

Comments (40)

Da mayor needs to grandstand on this issue to placate the same folks he is pissing off with the West Hayden Island Port proposal.

But what does Fireman Randy say?

Bless you, BoJack. An island of reason in a vast sea of politically correct idiots.

Adams makes the pointy haired manager in Dilbert look brilliant.

Mayor McCreepy just want to make sure the bridge's bike lane is wide enough to fit his ever expanding gut.

The article is too kind!

What do you expect? Whoever runs the transportation department couldn't pour pee out of a boot if the directions were etched on the bottom. Just take one example, someone decided to put in a 3 mile carpool lane northbound I-5. As soon as it was implemented traffic that used to start backing up around Columbia Ave, backed up across the Fremont Bridge. Vancouver Wa also put in a carpool lane southbound I-5 and shortly realized all it did was cause a major backup all the way to Hazeldel. Vancouver removed the carpool lane and traffic started to flow again.

Portland transportation people can not admit to making any mistakes because THEY are the experts.

An expert is nothing more than a past drip under pressure, and that's who is handling this project.

The only way this project goes forward is to wait out Sam's term as mayor. The project requires local approval to be funded, and he's not going to give it unless he gets everything he wants; and giving him what he wants will cause Clark County and Vancouver to withdraw their approval because what they want is opposed to what Creepy wants.

He either will have to give in, or get booted out. They've already tried the recall thing, twice; it's up to whoever else runs for Mayor in 2012.

Because he is as mean and small as most of his thoughts. Hubris reigns in Portland politics.

This is all fine anyways, by the time they stop arguing about how big the conference table should be it will be 2105. Nothing will get done and the Sellwood bridge will be a fond memory to those of us who can afford cars after paying our $10,000/month water bill to Randy's grandkids.

$100 million spent already.....for what?

Don't count on the next mayor. It will be Creepy again, or Randy, or Jeff Cogan. All from the same political gene pool. Randy is just biding time running the city hoping for Creepy to implode.

I don't think you're being fair to the mayor by searching for deep reasons why Sam needs to be attached to the bridge.
Here he is addicted to spending projects, chasing that high that comes when a project is finagled and then carried out - even after the true details emerge. But that high is fleeting, so it's an endless search for the next buzz.

Yes, the tram was a pretty big rush, but how much of a high can you get from the Burnside/Couch couplet? It even looks ridiculous. You've already redone most of downtown. Everything that can be an urban renewal district has been gone over ten times.
You need more, more, more and now even the Feds are cutting back on your most reliable supply. You press on but the choo-choo trains and streetcars that are so intoxicating now seem as desperate as a junkie knocking over a convenience store for a quick fix.
Your world is collapsing. These are scary times for visionaries. The drug you have to have is heading for a double dip drought. This is Panic in PGE Park.

But then you look up and see a spending project where even the phony estimates are $3.6 billion? BILLION!

Of course Sam wants in. This is the spending rush of all time around here.

Hey Bill, is a "fatal overdose" of spending possible?
We live in hope!

No, portland native, I don't wish harm on anybody. I just wish they'd get the help they need.

Adams is the go-fer of a very dysfunctional, but greedy, political family. Let's call them the Goldbugs.

Go by stationwagon! ("Don't make me stop this bridge project!")

Adams has no authority or influence over the project. It's there in the details--he can "propose" ideas repeatedly, and "ask" for things, but it's an interstate project, which means state and federal governments run the show--and Adams is not respected in any meaningful way at the Oregon state government level. In fact, he's privately considered a bit of a joke.

The project requires local approval to be funded

No, not at all.

What did Sam say when he saw a model make-up of the bridge?

"WHAT IS THIS? A bridge for ANTS?!"

This weekend I talked to one of the CRC Consultants who's firm is making a bundle off of the $100M so far spent. She stated that they are just as frustrated with the lack of leadership, the endless planning process, and the waste of money as bloggers here.

Most of the consultants feel the present plan which is over two years old in concept should proceed, and to forget the stupidity of the Mayors, they don't really have a vote anyway. They are just trying to have the voters think they are in the driver seat for political hay.

This $100million cluster____ is an exemplar of this region's total lack of real leadership. Salem and Olympia should step up to the plate, create a regional authority to manage the project, and appoint a bright, aggressive, experienced leader to run the show.

Strip away the light rail, bike lanes and other "planners'pie-in-the-sky dreams" and build the damn bridge. Toll both I-5 and I-205 crossings at the same time.

Just get on with it.....puh-leeze!

"Is a fatal overdose of spending possible?"

Sorry, Bill, I couldn't resist hitting this one as it was so perfectly teed up.

Unfortunately, the only fatalities will be the taxpayers and not the spending junkie.

Everything about the project stinks, starting with demoing the current bridge.

In NYC recently, there was a great Art Nouveau section at the Met. In a corner stood a fabulous cement gargoyle-cum-urn cum-COOL architectural facade construct that had been salvaged from an amazing Frank Lloyd Wright hotel in Tokyo. The Emperor Hotel, I think it was called. There was a photo displaying this majestic building on the wall behind the piece of cement salvage. Guess what, in the 60's the hotel was no longer cool, or profitable, or sustainable, or whatever. They tore it down and added to the hideous jumble of styles that make modern day Tokyo one of the ugliest cities I have ever seen.

A plan that can't fix the region's transportation needs without demolitioning an example of gutsy, graceful turn of the century American architecture should be used to wipe Sam's rear end and then composted in his chicken coop.

Bill McDonald:Here he is addicted to spending projects, chasing that high that comes when a project is finagled and then carried out - even after the true details emerge. But that high is fleeting, so it's an endless search for the next buzz.

Yes, it does seem like an addiction to a high on the projects. I would add, in my opinion the addiction goes even further and getting more buzz from manipulation and retaliation.

Then again, they can get another great high when the chambers of council are filled with citizens who say No and they on their power perches ignore them and vote Yes.

Have a suggestion, next time why bother to go into their chambers. Boycott the hearing, we know what they will do anyway.
Wean them off their buzz.

Funny how the folks who endlessly slam waste here all want to pour billions into an unnecessary megabridge that will do nothing whatsoever to relieve congestion other than move it a few miles south into Portland proper, so that the air quality in NoPo gets even worse.

The fiscally conservative and smart thing to do is redo the railroad bridge to the west of the Interstate Bridge -- double track it and raise it so that barges can proceed under it on the Portland side ... once that happens, boats that now require bridge lifts can pass under the I-5 bridge under the elevated section (they can't do this now because they can't make it back to pass under the RR bridge in time).

Eliminating bridge lifts would mean that the bridge is no longer the constraint on auto traffic and, ergo, would no longer need to be replaced or enlarged at all (since increasing the capacity of a non-constraining element in a network does not increase the network capacity at all).

Presto -- several billions saved, improved traffic flow. Of course, that means the contractors and the consultants and the highway departments don't get to play with all that money . . .

The CRC is kinda like Afghanistan -- takes way too long, costs way too much, and we've kinda forgotten what it was all for in the first place ... and now you find out that it's all about funneling money to the contractors. Very similar.

It's frustrating enough to watch Adams, and the utopian planners and the bike nazis screw around in our local sandbox.

When I see them using Metro to tell Oregon City or Forest Grove how to behave, I start to get angry.

When I see these naive, bumbling airheads trying to tell the State what to do, steam comes out of my ears.

These people actually remind me of GW Bush: twice the self-righteousness and half the common sense. Utterly convinced they're smarter than everyone and doing the right thing, as they plow ahead with the wrong thing, at huge expense. "But we have a planning study that says we're right!"

Airheads driving us into a ditch.

gaye harris,
Unfortunately, Portland has destroyed much of what could have been treasures that people from all over would have come to visit.
The Lewis and Clark Expo
The Portland Hotel that was taken down for a parking lot in the 1950’s

A website with many great old photos:
We know how the story ends. Portland's first downtown, its iron-fronted steam punk version of an old European city, done in by apathy, bridge approaches, a freeway and most of all, surface parking lots. By the 1970s, less than thirty of the two hundred seventy cast iron buildings downtown remained. But how did it begin? When did Portland start to trade its most unique built feature for acres and acres of pay by the hour asphalt?

If those 270 buildings were still in our downtown, wow! People would come from all over the world to behold!

Contemporary architecture can be done well and sited well, but treasures should also be preserved.

[What did Sam say when he saw a model make-up of the bridge?

"WHAT IS THIS? A bridge for ANTS?!"]

Love the Zoolander reference. Gasoline fight anyone?

[The CRC is kinda like Afghanistan -- takes way too long, costs way too much, and we've kinda forgotten what it was all for in the first place ... and now you find out that it's all about funneling money to the contractors. Very similar.]

I couldn't agree more. We have a throw away mentality in our society that drives us to keep building/doing things just because that seems to be the thing to do. I constantly shake my head at all the otherwise perfectly good things I have to throw in the garbage for the want of a $1 or $2 replacement part. Common sense has nothing to do with it. Selling more products and churning for corporate profits seems to be the order of the day.

"The two governors released a report by an independent review panel they appointed to assess the project in April."
Aren't the two words: "Indepenent and Appointed" an oxymoron in this context?

I really feel sorry for the residents of the Portland-Vancouver region. Usually, the only people who suffer the consequences of Adams' decisions are the residents of CoP, and at least some of them voted for him. But now his arrogance and stupidity are affecting people throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Mayor Tramwhore is a legend in his own mind and since the bridge goes into the city of PDX that he mistakenly believes he owns, he will try to insert himself to boost his ego and sense of authority. He has a large ego and very little true authority.

Maybe he wants a special exit ramp just for the Northbank Tavern.

Amen, Bojack! West Coast Governors and the Feds should just say: We've heard your concerns, and we are taking full control and moving ahead. Many of the Portland electorate seem drunk on state, federal subsides, and borrowed monies; driving a sense of superiority.

nature abhors a vacuum , if our elected federal leaders won't do anything [wyden/defazio] then small fry will wade into the pool and make a mess. Remember when we had guys who got it done , like Hatfield/McCall.

I don't understand why we have to replace the existing bridge with a 6 lane auto bridge. Oh well, I think it's all George Bush's fault.

MikeC - Seriously dude, have you been the I-5 bridge recently during rush hour? I bet not. Some of us have. If I had to do it very often something would have to give.

What's really, really, really scary is when the estimate and/or bid eventually comes in, it will be 30% under the final cost. It's gov't ya know............

fred - real project managers are considered failures if their projects are that far out of whack... but then the morons that ran the tram project actually told a professional group (PMPs) how very successful their project was.... I guess using majorly revised numbers and timelines doesn't count against budget and timeline adherence.

All I know is that last thursday I was stuck on I-5 near the MLK Blvd. Offramp during a bridge lift; and basically sat motionless for almost 15 minutes. I don't want to even think about what that does to the local air quality.
Oh - and on friday afternoon, vehicle traffic was pretty much paralyzed in all directions on the Portland area's freeways. A great example of how the area has outgrown it's current 1960s-era freeway system.

LucsAdvo, You're getting stuck in traffic in the current *_6 LANE_* bridge.

The proposal is to replace it with a new *_6 LANE_* bridge. So what's going to change?

You're still going to get stuck in traffic.

If you want to improve the flow of traffic, they need to add more car lanes.

"If you want to improve the flow of traffic, they need to add more car lanes."

I have a suggestion for anyone who believes that:

Take 12" of 1" PVC and couple it to 3' of 2" PVC and measure the time required to pump 100 gallons through it.

Then change the 2" PVC to 3" ... or 4" or whatever diameter you like, and repeat the measurement.

Repeated often enough, eventually everyone could understand why adding lanes to the Interstate Bridge is a fool's errand.

The bridge capacity is adequate for the network in which it operates, PROVIDED THAT it doesn't lift.

The way to eliminate the bridge lifts is to fix the downstream RR bridge so that barges can pass under the Interstate Bridge at its highest point and then proceed directly under the new, higher RR bridge (which they can't do today because the passage points are misaligned and they can't make it across the river fast enough).

Weld the I-5 bridge spans in the down position and it's suddenly obvious that the three lanes each way are no more constricting than all the other three lane sections of I-5.

Or I suppose we could just let government waste billions to accomplish nothing while we continue to complain about the millions spent on the aerial tram.

Dave A.All I know is that last thursday I was stuck on I-5 near the MLK Blvd. Offramp during a bridge lift; and basically sat motionless for almost 15 minutes. I don't want to even think about what that does to the local air quality.
Oh - and on friday afternoon, vehicle traffic was pretty much paralyzed in all directions on the Portland area's freeways. A great example of how the area has outgrown it's current 1960s-era freeway system.

A great example of how the agenda of the UGB has outgrown its “usefulness” and needs to be readdressed.
This circle of density containment has turned into a negative scene in more ways than one.


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