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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Like a cyclone ranger

The Portland City Hall Green Tweet Brigade is pretty funny. In their RSS feed last night, they linked to two New York Times stories that noted that post-tsunami, Japanese consumers are buying more bicycles and electric cars than before. Deep down, they seem jealous! It's almost as if they're just praying for a devastating earthquake here, so that their odd vision of how we should all live can become a reality.

We recall Earl Blumenauer's remark years ago that the Marquam Bridge was "just one major earthquake away" from collapse. He seemed to relish the prospect.

The bicycles make some sense, but people in Japan who are buying electric anything don't seem too swift. Without new nukes, they're going to be browned out, permanently.

Comments (11)

They are buying more electric cars, after losing a power plant to charge them?
Im sure that makes sense to people here. Here they want more electric cars, but they also want to shut down hydro-electric power plants.

Of course they're jealous. The urban planner ideal is regressive to around 1900. Bikes, streetcars, "charming urban tenaments" (i.e. slums.)

In their dreamworld, we're all wearing knickers and working at peanut carts. Except for them of course. They have well-paid jobs telling us what to do, and what is wrong with us. And of course they still own cars and live in detached homes.

Portlandonline ought to go by Pravda.

Maybe some of the coal to China via Portland could be diverted to Japan?
Clean Coal™ is Green™!

Anyone figuring that the 1900s were a great period should take a look at the book The Good Old Days...They Were Terrible and take its lessons to heart. Yeah, the idea of giving up everything and living in some odd post-apocalyptic nirvana sounds wonderful...only to the people who will never have to live in it.

Earl Blumenauer's remark years ago that the Marquam Bridge was "just one major earthquake away" from collapse

KGW did a story with an engineer that stated the Marquam Bridge was likely to be the only bridge that would survive a major earthquake here in Portland.

Whom do I trust...greedy, lying politician? Engineer? Politician? Engineer? Someone who loves bikes and hates all other forms of transport, or someone that just builds what he's told to?

Let's set the urban planning clock not just to 1900, but 1800. Portland's a low-lying marshland, Guilds Lake is actually a lake, Balch Creek is actually a creek, and the first British soldiers are a few years away from setting up a trading post in Vancouver.

Folks in Japan frequently ride bikes as far as the bus or rail station. Remember its freezing cold and snowing in the winter. Not good cycling weather.

Thanks for the always interesting history, Erik. And isn't the Willamette flowing in a big oxbow along the base of Mock's Bottom?

I seem to recall that the Marquam underwent a 5-year seismic retrofit in the '90s, where they also removed the ghost ramps to the never-to-happen Mt. Hood Freeway from the upper deck.

Did Earl not get the memo? I mean, he was on the City Council still when they did it...

That happened in the early '90's I believe, along with deck widening along the SE side, which you can see from OMSI down below.

Yeah, I kind of remember there being an island around there. I think it was called "Swan Island" or something like that...

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