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Monday, June 20, 2011

Clackamas "urban renewal" revolt getting serious

A reader who's been hyperactive in the quest to stop Clackamas County from blowing tens of millions of property tax dollars on the Mystery Train to Milwaukie sends along this document -- the text of a petition that would require new "urban renewal" schemes to come up for a public vote. Who knows whether it will succeed? But it's an encouraging sign that somebody's trying to end the horrible distortion that "urban renewal" has become, in the Portland area and elsewhere.

Comments (10)

And unlike Congress, these authors included a separation clause.

I remember a couple of years ago the proprietor of this blog, in response to a question, stated in a comment thread that he supported MAX, as opposed to the useless streetcar system.

But now, the blog has a pretty constant stream of abuse against the Milwaukie MAX extension, not to mention any possible extension up Barbur Blvd. However, I don't see much difference between the Milwaukie extension and the lines to Hillsboro, Gresham, the Airport, and North Portland. It's on a grade-separated right of way (meaning it will be speedy, unlike the streetcar), serving already fairly densely populated areas like Brooklyn, Sellwood, and Milwaukie.

What's changed? Was it the tearing up of the transit mall? The "no cars" new bridge? Demonstrated Tri-Met incompetence? All of the above? Or something else?

It's pretty much all of the above, plus the mindless empire-building of Earl the Pearl and Tri-Met.

MAX to Gresham and Hillsboro made sense. The airport, less so. Interstate Avenue, not at all. And farookin' Milwaukie? Come on.

Besides, downtown Portland is dying, and there's no sign it's ever coming back. A downtown-centric rail line to anywhere makes no sense in 2011.

The streetcar is whole 'nother level of stupidity.

Coolaide much for Gordon.

It's amaxing he hasn't picked more that it's "Speedy".

What Nonsense.

The $1.5 billion MLR farce isn't even actually funded. It's fanancing scheme is the worst in Oregon history and will devour countless millions to pay massive debt this project is not worth creating.

The $90 million alone for light Rail Vehicles could provide luxury state of the art/wifi bus service to many more more place for many more people.

The idea that Hillsboro and Gresham are better places because of MAX is pure lunacy.

Nothing that MAX has to offer will be anything but a negative for Milwaukie and McLoughlin. Barbur even worse.

CRC/light rail the biggest whopper ever.

More freeways for us all, eh Ben?

I bet your house isn't anywhere near any of those freeways. Otherwise you might think otherwise.

But guess what, Ben? To get enough freeways for all the traffic that would occur once you and your ilk destroy mass transit - there's probably gonna be a freeway right through or right next to your house too.

Destroy our city in order to save it - Ben's motto.

Actually you've got that backwards Gordon. The only time a transit-or-freeways dilemma ever presented itself in Portland was when the Feds allowed cities to cancel urban interstate construction and instead spend the money on transit capital improvements. Portland did that with the Mt. Hood freeway, cancelling the freeway and instead building the Gresham light-rail line through a bunch of neighborhoods and houses. Congress repealed the law shortly after that, but that didn't stop Portland from building other lines through quiet neighborhoods. MLR will continue the tradition, condemning a sizable amount of private property to obtain needed right-of-way to ram light rail into sleepy downtown Milwaukie.

If the destruction of transit service is what you're concerned about, then I think Ben's "ilk" is the least of your worries as Trimet's preference for massively expensive and inefficient light-rail has been thoroughly destroying bus service (and overall transit service) region-wide for several years now.

Ryan, are you seriously claiming that MAX lines have the same impact as a freeway?

According to this site, http://mthoodfreeway.blogspot.com/, the Mt. Hood freeway, all five miles of it, would have destroyed 1,500 homes and numerous businesses. That Clinton Street neighborhood that's so popular and prosperous right now? Gone.

That's called destroying a city in order to save it, IMHO.

My comment on the "impact" of LRT compared to the Mt. Hood freeway was purely facetious, which you apparently didn't pick up on.

My main point was that you are constructing a false dilemma. A neighborhood-destroying freeway is a bad idea just like a super-expensive low-capacity rail line to a sleepy suburb; neither should be built. You can build good freeways and good transit service all the same.

Try and come up with more intelligent arguments.

Whether or not you like Milwaukie light rail, there is no reason to throw out urban renewal, which, if done right is one of the few tools available to stimulate development. It pays for itself through increased property values, and the money goes to the private sector to get things built like roads. Clackamas County has to to pay its 1.66% share of Milwaukie Light Rail with or without urban renewal.

Too funny -- "Dan's" posting from a county computer:

IP Information for
IP Location: United States United States Oregon City Clackamas County
ASN: AS18995
IP Address:
NetRange: -
NetHandle: NET-198-245-128-0-1
Parent: NET-198-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Assignment
RegDate: 1994-06-21
Updated: 2005-10-11
Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-198-245-128-0-1

OrgName: Clackamas County
Address: 121 Library Ct.
City: Oregon City
StateProv: OR
PostalCode: 97045
Country: US
RegDate: 1994-06-21
Updated: 2008-12-17
Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/org/CLACKA

Yeah, "Dan." "Urban renewal" is swell.

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