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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 26, 2010 1:45 PM. The previous post in this blog was Esperanza rocks the Big Apple. The next post in this blog is The final countdown. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let me know if you find anything good

The final environmental impact study on the insane Portland-to-Milwaukie light rail project has been released. Go ahead and read the whole thing here; I can't bring myself to look at it today.

Comments (20)

In short, it's a due diligence document required if you've got Federal money involved. They do.

It's also an advocacy piece: There's freedom to expound upon all the virtues and benefits of your project. For example:

The project would benefit the regional transportation system by reducing vehicle use, as measured in changes in vehicle miles traveled (VMT), vehicle hours traveled (VHT), and vehicle
hours of delay (VHD). The project would reduce VMT by as much as 70,000 miles daily, VHT by up to 6,500 hours,and VHD by about 400 hours per average weekday compared to the No-Build Alternative.

The problem with that statement, of course, is that it proved to be entirely false for all of the previously built light rail (including the Streetcar).

Beyond that, it offers the usual flowery phrases promising "up to 14,500
additional person-year jobs and up to $573 million more in additional personal income", "Greenhouse gas production due to regional travel would also be lower", "the project would reduce total regional energy consumption", and several other choice promises--none of which were ever met by the current light rail development.

Oh, and a tremendous number of environmental impacts, all of which will be "mitigated".

In other words: there's nothing to see here, folks. Move along. This is a formality. Thank you for your "public participation".

Jack,
Same here, don't know if I can bring myself to look at it either today. Maybe later. This week after week of abuse is over the top.

Ben,
You may be reading it now.
I appreciate your hanging in there on the topic and reporting.


ecohuman, all of your observations should be addressed, in interrogatory form, to Metro commissioner Liberty, who has made the Milwaukie light rail his primary endeavor. Do not anticipate responses.

The next meeting of the Citizens' Advisory Board will convene on Thursday (28th), 6-7:30:
http://www.trimet.org/pm/getinvolved/index.htm#currentmeetings

Meanwhile, Lynn Zinser notes in today's NYTimes:

"On a cheerier note, the rescued Chilean miners played a soccer match against their rescuers and government officials, including President Sebastián Piñera."

She did not record whether either side won.

Great to see the Light Rail Project Committee has allotted 10 minutes for public comment this Thursday.

http://www.trimet.org/pdfs/pm/CAC/2010/October_28_2010/CAC_Agenda_10_28_10.pdf

Public comment 10 minutes!!

I imagine these 10 minutes are at the end of the meeting again as usual, after decisions have been made, etc.

I did manage to get a peek at this, no wonder Jack said he couldn't look at it, filled with Chapters and Chapters, etc.

Mitigation? usually not in the public's interest.


Gardiner, I hear you, but--it doesn't matter, and Liberty isn't the heavyweight behind this effort. I don't say this lightly, but--there are too many monied interests and promises lined up behind this one for the public to stop it--even if there was loud and sustained public outcry.

The only way the project won't move foward is if funding fails dramatically.

Wanna bet that any negative public comments do not mention the cost of the thing or not doing it, but rather how to do it faster?

Ecohuman..always the bearer of good news. If you want to see it stopped get off of your behind and start by getting in the game. Always an excuse why you can't make a change.

All you whiney people need to get involved if you want to make something happen. Things can be stopped if you speak up en masse.

Susan K.
What actions have you taken?

We stopped the Willamette water from coming into Tigard...and you?

Well, one thing I'm not doing is whining.

As Chairman of the Board of a non-profit retreat center, stopping the re-opening of a gravel pit and it's attendant heavy truck traffic on HW 224.

Good, you know what I'm talking about. The others can take a lesson.

Sure, the environmental impact study won't stop MLR, but the funding aspect will. Many of you can join in the efforts to stop the primary use of urban renewal to fund the local matching dollars. Speak up and join the effort.

Susan K is right, but I can't call you "whiney people". It will take an all-out effort from all diverse interests, and it isn't a democrat or republican issue.

The results of Tuesday's election will help the effort. The retraction of the $250 Million in Oregon Lottery dollars will help. Plus, even the interest of those in Clark Co. opposing light rail, tolls , and the use of over $4 Billion of total tax dollars from all sources to implement MLR helps energize even the friends in WA. They realize that any tax dollars used for MLR affects their interest of solving the CRC, Clark Co. light rail, and construction of highways to alleviate the regions interstate transportation issues.

It's all one big pie, and citizens are tired of the shell games pols, consultants and special interests are using. They are tired of the reasoning that "if we don't take the federal dollars someone else will"-all entities are broke and we know it.

Susan K,
Thank you, I happen to know that some of the others have done the same and more, they are not just whiners.

Vehicle hours traveled (VHT), and vehicle
hours of delay (VHD), numbers which skyrocket with every multi-hour, freeway closing Traffic Accident Reconstruction Investigation.

Taxpayers are shelling out enormous amounts in investigation expenses which are only going to help build the case for more light rail.

Follow the money on this, and you will find that the efforts are funded by the firms that will be getting the construction and engineering contracts. Check on Stacy Witbeck's contributions.

Ecohuman..always the bearer of good news. If you want to see it stopped get off of your behind and start by getting in the game. Always an excuse why you can't make a change.

Susan, I have. A transportation project like this is fundamentally different from the Tigard effort and resulting initiative to force a majority vote on using river water. Public input against the project doesn't have a place to go, because (a)it's being pushed from the Federal level on down, thanks to Blumenauer and others, and (b)there is no way to prevent it by voicing dissent at "meetings" and "design sessions". Those are mandated meetings that don't have any influence on a build/no build option.

There's more, of course. I'm disappointed that you think that someone can't have both done something *and* complain about it--because that's exactly what many have done. Including me. What are *you* doing to stop it?

Many of you can join in the efforts to stop the primary use of urban renewal to fund the local matching dollars. Speak up and join the effort.

Urban renewal funding changes won't meaningfully affect this project.

Urban Renewal is the only way that Clackamas County has to get their $25 million share of Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail.
That's not going to happen.
Same story for Milwaukie and their $5 million share.
That $30 million unplanned shortage is meaningful.

If Portlanders get busy with some similar action this project can be stopped.

According to the EIS, construction will cause numerous heavy-moderate impacts on several watersheds, including filling over an acre of wetlands. The mitigation argument relies essentially on saying first that the habitat is already degraded, that it will only get worse with global warming and future development anyway, and the fish are already extinct or in a genetic dead end, so it doesn't really matter how much worse the construction of the light rail makes things. The language is shocking, really, but it's complicated, so not many people will read it. I agree with those comments that call this a puff-piece. It's advocacy, not disinterested analysis.


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