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Friday, May 27, 2011

Fairmont Boulevard as an OHSU park-and-hike?

We get all sorts of email messages from fascinating people. Here's one that came in from a reader yesterday:

I'm a cyclist who can't deal with Portland's overreaching cycling policies. I'm also a hiker who is driven nuts by the city's development of trails, which inevitably will result in restrictions.

I attended a meeting Wednesday evening where the city was asking for input on a series of trails being developed in the OHSU area. Would you believe the budget for the project is $740,000, with the initial project plan weighing in at $971,500? These are trails, for god sake. 10,000 feet of trails.

Furthermore, one trail (#9 on the map) was proposed primarily to provide a "commuting" option for OHSU types who might park up on Fairmont and hike the trail to work.

The city's taking comments until June 8th, not on the validity of the expense, but which trails to prioritize to fit within the "budget."

2007 Prelim Report
Public Information Plan
Trail Assessment

The concept turning a toney West Hills neighborhood into an OHSU parking lot strikes us as one of the funniest to come out of City Hall in a while. When the brahmins who live up that way get wind of this one, we imagine that old "Legend" Saltzman's phone's going to be ringing off the hook.

Comments (14)

Hey, that's less than $2 million. Whats all the fuss?

Isn't anyone incensed by the project schedule? A year and a half of bureaucrat/lawyer/activist busy work and less than two months of "real work". This is the Columbia Crossing boondoggle all over again. Minus the Max, but still.

All together now: "We can't afford not to."

I was at that same meeting last night.

I am not one of the "true believers" in the group, and ask what the group's chair often thinks - and doesn't like - are impertinent questions.

This is typical city insanity, with an insane budget of up to $ 114 per liner foot for 12 inch wide "trails".

There are serious unmet pedestrian safety needs on arterials all over Portland. The City needs to deal with those before spending a dime on any more eletist exercise trails that don't get anyone anywhere.

SW LUradel and SW Barbur intersection is prime example of what should be fixed first.

But the game goes on. The committee chair - and extraordinary ego without a single actual accomplishment - justifies this as "Parks" not "PBOT" money, and the product of a "Metro and foundation gran", thus money of the wrong color to be used to fix roads.

In so far as it is Metro pr PDX money, its color is green - not in an environmental sense - and its taxpayer dollars, and it needs to go to streets. Not bikes. Sidewalks on arterials and streets.

Bah, humbug.

Trails can actually be quite expensive:
Trail Planner $80,000
Trail Blogger $70,000
Trail Tweeter $60,000
Trail Manager $103,000
Trail Assistant Manager $85,000
Trail Policy Specialist $75,000
Trail Public Relations Specialist $69,000
Trail Website Administrator $90,000

Before you know it, we're into it for serious money.

I have a friend who is adding a bathroom in a piece of commercial property downtown.
One wall. One toilet. One sink. All handicapped of course.
BES charges? $1,600!
No wonder trails cost $2million! Randy's sewer rapists will demand toilets every 50 feet.

And we wonder why bridges, roads, and schools are falling apart.

Up against the voter avoided, vote prohibited $1.5 billion transit bridge and Milwaukie Light Rail that is petty cash.

And if it were 10 times that amount it would still move forward.

When the bureaucracy and politicians don't care how much anything costs and they can't be stopped or removed why would cost ever matter?

A million here, a million there, they do not care.

Some serious, very serious money Council voted for last Wednesday, $80 Million for the Powell Butte Storage tank that is not needed.
Compliments of PWB and Council to corporations.
Businesses, organizations, and citizens pleaded to delay and not go forward, but to no avail.

This Council absolutely does not care, and look at that long term debt meter go up and up until what??

Parking on Fairmont Blvd.? Whose stupid idea is that? As a kid I would bike on Fairmont because it was fairly level as opposed to the hilly streets in the neighborhoods - this was Back in the days when 3-speed bikes were elite and 1-speed behemoth steel bikes were the norm. There were slim shoulders then and I don't suppose the road has been widened in the intervening years. What idiot would suggest people park on a narrow, hilly, winding road?

Like any living thing, the first priority of any beaurocracy is to survive. The second is to grow. One way to kill a parasite is to starve it. The non-profit grants and Metro, state and Federal funds that are earmarked for someone's agenda but not real pulic needs are keeping these parasites alive. we need to control the money and get hold of our government.

we need to control the money and get hold of our government.

Step 1. An initiative to dismantle Metro. Return any/all Metro facilities to their originating bodies (i.e. Blue Lake to Multnomah County, PCPA and the Zoo to City of Portland, Expo Center to the County, etc.)

Step 2. An initiative to force TriMet to change its Board of Directors from Governor-appointed to voter-elected. Nine board members, no more than four shall be elected from the City of Portland.

Step 3. An initiative that clearly requires voter approval for any transit project that costs more than $10 million, regardless of the funding source (even if 100% of the funding is from federal sources). The only exception is for spending to replace currently operating but obsolete transportation equipment or other basic maintenance needs for the existing level of service.

Step 4. Break up the Port of Portland into the following:
* Portland International Airport Authority - operates PDX and Troutdale Airport.
* Hillsboro Airport Authority - operates HIO.
* (New) Port of Portland - operates the maritime ports (Terminals 2, 4, 5, 6).

Erik -

I love your second point, but it is rife with problems.

The "one man one vote" cases from the US Sgupreme ourt back in the 60s and 70s are going to make it extremely difficult to assure that Portland (and to a lesser extent Multnomah County) districts won't dominate an elected TriMet Board. Districts are going to have to have an approximately equal number of voters, and once that is done, whether one has 9 or 7 or 5 TriMet districts electing Board Members it is very hard to avoid a majority of Board members c being elected from Portland.

And we know what the general political bent is of folks tend to win Portland sited elections.

Looks like another reason to vote against the Parks bond we'll apparently have thrown at us next year. This will be something else they'll claim they can't afford to maintain without more of your money.

I have been thinking about how to get rid of Metro. I'm not sure if or how that can happen, but it's a tantelizing prospect.

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