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Saturday, November 6, 2010


From Portland's own Isaac Laquedem: "TriMet's voters didn't vote against new buses; they voted against Milwaukie light rail."

Comments (19)

It's going to take, and be worth, some effort to get that message delivered to the TriMet board and management. People seem to like to construct their own election messages. I can't imagine why.

Agreed w/Isaac's analysis.

That's a new blog I will read read more often.

I voted against TriMet because they treat the public so poorly.
Light rail makes sense. I like light rail.

Now watch the new executive and legislature slide around the people to give the Tri-Mettlers what they want (to give to their pocket pals).

Don't think it will happen? Think public-financed stadiums, nationwide. Or, just cruise by the construction site at http://www.pgepark.com/

I agree mostly, but I think the recent protest over health insurance left a sour taste for a lot of folks as well. Complaining about having to chip in a little for health insurance that most of us can only dream of, came across as a bit entitled and out of touch. It was on my mind as I decided how to vote.

I voted against it because Trimet poorly manages my tax dollars--and the focus on bankrupting us via inefficient, expensive light rail like the one planned for Milwaukie is part of that.

It's become clear to me that I'm not going to see local and regional government be efficient, or thrifty, or even conservative (in the sense of practicing conservation) when it comes to making decisions about the region.

And, I knew that Adams was a hot breeze without any substance, but I've also come to realize that his type of inept, ADHD-style public service is the rule, not the excception. There are enough critical, long-term issues to occupy every member of city government for decades--but for some mysterious reason, nobody's got the guts and desire for the public good to tackle them. Instead, we get angry, vindictive, dishonest manchildren with poor impulse control feeling up teenagers in the *City Hall* men's room, then refusing to acknowlege how fundamentally wrong and public trust-breaking that is, and relinquish the privilege of service.

So now, all we're left with is a mixed bag of people like this and do-nothings, and so we vent our ashamedness of them and our anger at their greedy grasp on power.

Just like the convention center hotel, Milwuakie light rail will not die. They will continue to sink millions into consultants, faux studies, bogus public surveys and endless PR until they are able to thwart the will of the taxpayer. Think "interim financing", "temporary lines of credit"

I rarely use public transit anymore. When I do, I am amazed at how many homeless/mentally ill are riding it with me. Frequently, they bring their hefty bags and/or dogs along for the ride.

Maybe I'm a snob, but I don't want to share my morning commute with your body odor, your pit bull, or your detailed cellphone conversation about your ex-boyfriend's skanky new girlfriend.

I prefer just listening to the radio, or James Taylor, and driving when and where I want to, without standing in the rain.

I voted no on Tri-Met: I will always vote no on Tri-Met bond measures.

It would take a real visionary to make a public announcement that MLR is on the back-burner because the region and the state have bigger problems to solve...so, you can bet that that's not gonna happen.

Every streetcar and light rail proponent that I talk to quickly points to the fact that there is a 50% dollar match by the feds, so these projects are a "good deal" and we'd better "jump on it". My theory, as with other government subsidy programs, is that subsidies themselves inflate the prices..not reduce them. I'd be willing to bet (are you listening Stacy and Witbeck) that without federal intervention, there wouldn't be as much corruption (think gravy) in these projects, and the out-of-pocket costs to the regional taxpayer would actually be much less.

The federal government has truly made this a "gravy train" in every sense of the word.

It's really hard to me to understand a lot of these govt types. DO they really know what peopel think or are they in a bubble?

Just based on the recent comments by Kitz (we need to worry about trees not jobs) and Obama (I just didn't communicate my message right.)

As far as TriMet, why do I get the feeling there is a bucket of money somewhere at PDC or METRO that is gonna get tapped? One of those METRO transport contingency sludh funds they seem to have lying around?

PD: You didn't even menton the almost constant cost over-runs in all these "public" projects. In fact, a couple weeks ago the Wall Street Journal published an article about the costs of public projects they surveyed. Basically, all these deals seem to fall into the same routine.
A) Optomistic. low-ball cost estimates
B) In early or middle stages, it's
realized the "estimates" were mostly
wishful thinking.
C) Project gets completed with lots of
cost over-runs
It also doesn't help to keep costs down
by requiring union workers for all stages of these projects.

TM board meeting next week, over at PSU. http://trimet.org/meetings/board/index.htm

Neil McFarlane is asking for a formal endorsement by the TM board of Milwaukie LR and will have a panel of cheerleaders to back him up, including CC chair Lynn Peterson.
Here is the resolution.

Peterson will have to bring one big pile of BS with her. She has no source for her county's $25 million share.

What a pack of dishonest manipulators they all are.

Raiding every essential service to push forward their insanity.

I work with one fellow who uses TM Lift to get into work. Without it, he'd have to take over two hours to get in, since he lives in the Oatfield area and the bus service late is just so damn poor.

We've talked at some length about MAX to Milwaukie, and we both don't get it. A train out to McLoughlin and SE Park Avenue? Nothing against SE Park Avenue specifically, but that terminus just doesn't make any sense - if you're going to build a rail line. IF (and only if) you think that building a rail line makes any sense, then it ought to go to a major destination, like ... Oregon City, maybe?

But if my cow-orker is any indication (and by the polling he well may be) what the working folks out there want isn't a train. It's more bus service, on a few more streets, that runs more frequently when they're trying to get to work. And TM is tone deaf there.

"what the working folks out there want isn't a train. It's more bus service, on a few more streets, that runs more frequently when they're trying to get to work."

That's exactly right and Clackamas County has a survey showing it. They want more and better local bus service.

But just like with the $1.5 billion price tag TriMet and Metro do not care.

I've already agreed with Isaac. In Jack's post on Nov 2, "TriMet loses" I posted:

"This bond measure in various ways was made a referendum on lightrail, since it was equated with the Milwaukie Light Rail and the Lake Oswego Trolley line in many ways through the campaign and the media."

And like I additionally wrote, citizens should apply the "TriMet Theory" in reverse, where TriMet in the past justified building several lightrail lines based on separating the votes of Multnomah Co. from the other two counties.

We should demand that the "no" votes of Clackamas and Washington Co. be applied in reverse to stop Milwaukie Lightrail. It's only fair.

I once had a TriMet planning employee (not a manager, a lower level folk) tell me, with an absolute straight face, that TriMet does not see citizens/riders as its' "customers".

TriMet's "customers" are the governments that provide it with grants to build rail lines.

Sadly, it is so true - TriMet makes a huge deal about light rail projects (as well as streetcar and WES) under construction and spends huge amounts of money and public relations to these projects.

When the bus is late...they'd just as soon you not ever ride the bus.

I truly believe that TriMet's intention with the ballot measure was not to actually buy new buses, but to attempt to obtain a public referendum on the bus system as a whole - and failure of the measure would result in massive bus service cuts. I am somewhat relieved, that I believe TriMet is starting to get the message that there is very strong support for the bus system, even from many fiscal conservatives who do understand the value of public transit in an urbanized area.

Further, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Ohio have all killed major rail related projects in just the last week.

It would be bold, and visionary, for TriMet to step up and finally admit that it has overreached with light rail expansion, and it's time to return to basics. We have a decent light rail system. What we need is a decent transit system, and lacking a properly invested in bus system we don't have good transit, we have good light rail. Great if you are getting somewhere along the rail line, but the overwhelming majority of TriMet's residents don't live or work along light rail.

TriMet's "customers" are the governments that provide it with grants to build rail lines.

That's right, because those are the customers that actually buy Tri-Met's products. Riders don't pay costs (often don't pay at all).

Just like Facebook or Google mail, if you don't pay for what you're receiving then you are the product, not the customer. For FB and Gmail, the product is our eyeballs on ads and our personal information--the advertisers are the customers. For Tri-Met, the pols get shiny new medals shaped like a light rail station to wear on their uniforms.

Erik hit it dead on:

We're not customers -- we're cargo.

Let me make something clear here.

Most of us drivers are perfectly willing to chip in for our health insurance, even though allowing TRIMET give backs after 40 years of gains is basically unconscionable.

And the fact that there are so many of our fellow American's that seem to believe that decent health insurance is not a right but a luxury is deeply saddening as it tells the tale of a culture that values very little. It's a race to the bottom now, pretty soon nobody will have employer sponsored health insurance all the while the insurance industry makes billions off all of us!

However, the union has agreed to no strike legislation that was supposedly able to enforce the same type of negotiating tactics as the police and fire.

It turns out however, that the union has been DUPED!

The company does not have to use binding arbitration after all, they can impose contract terms simply by declaring an impasse!

If it's not completely illegal then it certainly is completely unethical and really illustrates what TRIMET management is willing to do to get it's way.

That is the reason there are demonstrations, because the management has violated the labor relations act by imposing terms before the arbitrator ruled.

To quote a comment that tells the story:

What a pack of dishonest manipulators they all are.

Raiding every essential service to push forward their insanity.

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