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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 1, 2011 12:23 PM. The previous post in this blog was Run Greg run. The next post in this blog is Have a great weekend. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, April 1, 2011

Linchpin lunacy in Cincinnati

Fortunately they have some folks in office there who see the foolishness of the streetcar.

They probably don't wear bow ties, either.

Comments (14)

Rails in the ground are harder to move than bus stops

But there's no problem blowing $30+ million to relocate the Streetcar line underneath the Marquam and Ross Island Bridges for the sake of...blowing money.

And just how many bus stops have been moved lately in Portland? Not many - and if they are moved, it's usually a block away. Some inconvenience.

The Streetcar stops around my work don't have a plethora of businesses who have signed up JUST to be near the Streetcar line; in fact several of my nearby Streetcar stops are really not next to anything at all. Meanwhile, if the appropriate money is spent to build permanent bus stops, the bus stop will be permanent. When you treat your transit system like garbage and simply put a bus stop sign in Timbuktu with no other improvements - can you really blame citizens for not riding? When between where you can safely wait for the bus, and where the bus stops, is a big huge that a service you want to use?

Living in Cincinnati, I'm glad to see this development. People ask me about streetcars knowing that I come from Portland, and I tell them exactly what we all know - streetcars are about moving property, not people.

If you like your tax dollars going into downtown real estate owners' pockets, then the streetcar plans are just your thing!

Maybe the 20 something creative, bike riding, non tax paying, kids will go to Cincinnati now and leave us alone.
The article says the street car will be "an economic boon". I say, more like an economic boondoggle.

By the way, Over-the-Rhine is "up and coming" the same way that the South Waterfront is - only in newspapers and brochures. To everyone else it's just a good place to get stabbed.

"Pointing to streetcar successes in Portland, Oregon"
What exactly is the "successes" they talk about? Just cause Sam says it is? Do they not look closer?

“Just use the word ‘streetcar’ and it gets people excited,”
Good enough! If you can slap the word "green" on anything, just call the darn buses "streetcars" Make them look like Streetcars(like they do in Walla Walla WA and they have bike racks!!)and call them "Sustainable Green Streetcars!"

I used to travel to Cincy on business a lot early in my career (circa 1997). Once, after I checked into a downtown hotel and famished for some Pad Thai, I strode down to the front desk.

"Can you tell me where I can find a Thai restaurant?" I asked the young woman.

"Oh, do you mean a place where you have to dress up?" she replied, perkily.

Too shocked and hungry to reply, I just asked for the nearest Chinese restaurant instead. General Tso's Chicken is no substitute for Pad Thai...

In Cincy's defense, by the time my business in Cincy concluded almost two years later, the downtown dining options had improved. Good Indian, Thai, and even Vietnamese food could be obtained.

It's not hard to see that a state agency whose acronym is TRAC would prefer rails over buses.

I'm thinking of starting a business promoting and selling dog's droppings as being "green" and "a boon to revitalizing" core areas of cities around the nation.

"Monorail, monorail..."

There is simply no good evidence that streetcars generate real estate or business development.

The Pearl was already redeveloping for other reasons.

Portland's very own 'developer oriented transit' is now an exportable product.

There is simply no good evidence that streetcars generate real estate or business development.

This is false. A streetcar coupled with a fat subsidy or tax break is all it takes.

Just got back from Chicago and am impressed by their modern, comfortable bus system. I rode on a high-capacity articulated bus that looked and felt like a streetcar. The bus was low to the ground for easy entry, the seats were configured like a streetcar with both front and side facing options, there were poles and bars to hag onto and multiple entrances/exits. Except for the sounds and feel of a rail system, the experience looked and felt every bit as modern and hip as our streetcars. See the buses and read news about the buses at:

I was also interested to see that Chicago is getting "free" money ( my wording) from the Feds for electric buses and enhancements to their BRT system. If one included mini stations like the BRT in Eugene, we could have a dynamite public transportation system. I would like to point out that the famed El Train was NOT able to get me into the neighborhoods where I wanted to go, but even in high volumes of traffic,with buses coming at 6-minute intervals,the trip was quick.

My impression is that people don't like the experience of riding on traditional buses so they don't realize how nice buses can be these days,and fail to realize that current and future will provide alternatives to gasoline engines. Another good reason to invest in buses -- did anyone see trains evacuating people from earthquake zones in Japan because I only saw buses. The train tracks had been destroyed while key roadways were cleared and rebuilt in days.

The comical thing, is that there is a pre-existing subway tunnel in Cincinnati. They tunneled it out, and then abandoned it.

So, instead of just using that, they want to start something new, and probably not finish that either.

My impression is that people don't like the experience of riding on traditional buses so they don't realize how nice buses can be these days

The problem with the pro-rail/anti-bus folks is that they are attached to the nostalgia of rail, and come up with flat-out excuses against the buses that were actually conceived back in the 1930s and 1940s - for example, "diesel exhaust" (I ride buses twice a day at least, and I know the smell of diesel exhaust, and I sure don't smell it anywhere on or around my buses), "noise" (yet flange squeal is a major problem on MAX despite attempts to use flange lubricators to reduce it - especially east of Beaverton TC, around the Sunset TC, near Goose Hollow, on the Steel Bridge, near the Kenton stop, near Gateway TC, and at the curve leading from Gateway onto Burnside), "ride quality" (while buses do suffer from acceleration inconsistencies that are often a matter of driver training, rail suffers from 'hunting' where the train shifts from side to side, especially at certain speeds, and if not checked properly can be quite a jerky, violent motion. The Streetcar in particular suffers from it as it passes underneath the Marquam Bridge (and as a result must travel no faster than 5 MPH); and Seattle's brand new light rail system has a major hunting problem on the viaduct leading to Sea-Tac. Meanwhile, hybrid buses in particular have a much smoother ride quality than hydraulic transmission buses - something TriMet has basically eschewed despite the popularity with virtually all other transit operators - C-Tran has a larger hybrid bus fleet than Portland (with just two buses, which TriMet received free of charge from New Flyer because of warranty claims on other buses.)

Then there is the argument that "buses aren't fixed/permanent" - how often do bus routes change? Not really all that often. Yes, they can change, and that is actually a good thing, but in general bus routes stay the same over many years. The argument that rail stations show permanence can easily be done with bus stops - it's just that TriMet refuses to spend money on decent, quality bus stops.

And rail is no symbol of permanence - the Red Electrics, for example, lasted just 15 years. True, much of the infrastructure still exists, but the trains themselves only ran for 15 years. The Oregon Electric, not much longer. Of course Portland's streetcar tracks were removed or paved over decades ago. MAX actually outlived many of Portland's historic streetcar routes.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
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Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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