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Friday, June 3, 2011

Unpaved street? Here, have a free umbrella.

Portlanders no longer have to leave their homes to observe the skewed priorities of City Hall. Nowadays they can just sit back and let the mail carrier bring the evidence to their doorsteps. The other day we received yet another ditzy come-on from the city's transportation bureau, exhorting us never to drive a car again:

Notice: It's an "order form," by which one can order all sorts of free car-hater swag. Five years ago, we actually took the city up on this, and a bureaucratic minion pedaled out to our house with bike maps, brochures galore, and one of those thingies you wrap around your pants leg to keep the chain grease off it. But now the array of materials that they're hawking has expanded to the point of self-parody.

You've got your five different bike/walk maps, your copy of the crosswalk laws, your Portland-by-Cycle biking kit, your "perfectly fitted bicycle helmet guide," your free digital pedometer, your bus/MAX guide, a free ad for Zipcar, "useful information geared towards the older driver," and even a pitch from the Water Bureau -- a "SmartDrips conservation kit." All that and more, absolutely free, people -- and free is a very good price.

But the best part of all are the bonuses you'll get if you act now:

Having pondered our local government for many years now, we're beyond asking questions like "How much is this costing the taxpayers?" and "Is this what government should be doing?" We've now reached the point of "What planet am I on?" and "What did I eat to make me dream this?" and "Where are my children going to live, because there's no sane future here?"

Maybe we'll go for the umbrella. After all, we paid for it.

UPDATE,10:00 p.m.: As a smart reader points out, you can also order your swag on line. Don't take our umbrella!

Comments (19)

It's amazing how much time and money they spend preaching the same sermon over and over again to the members of the choir.

On the other hand, if the intent is to continue harrassing locals until they give up and leave while attracting true believers from afar in some misguided attempt to transform the community into a settlement of 'correct thinkers', I suppose it is possible that the choir could eventually get big enough to become the congregation itself, then the dream will finally have come true.

Jack, what part of free don't you understand! It's free, it's really free!

This makes it so obvious that the city has been taken over. Anyone who has been in Oregon for very long knows that real Oregonians don't use umbrellas.

Wasn't there a TV commercial depicting a U of O graduation ceremony where one "outsider" had an umbrella?

More style/puffery/glossy brochures in lieu of substance.

Same s**t, different day.

LOL! I went for that a few years ago, and had some nice girl pedal up to the house. Got your "Best Bike City in the USA" velcro thingie, and a "Ten-Toe Express" notepad, and some other junk. Umbrellas are a step up (more, in a strong wind).

From what I see, from several sites, this costs $10-$11 per person in the target area.

"we're beyond asking questions like" what can we do to actually get employers to locate here besides bigger tax subsidies and more staff creating PowerPoints?

"we're beyond asking questions like" Is there any way to fund SimCity projects besides stealing money from schools to help Homer?

"we're beyond asking questions like" Are Portland voters really that stupid to give these people that much leash?

"we're beyond asking questions like" Why is my freakin' water bill going up faster than my medical insurance?

Oops, I forgot, because Randy wants his own police force to guard empty green house projects.

The congregation has begun departing. Soon, the choir will be all that's left. Comfortable for the sycophants. Bad for the treasury.

Get the Metro Walk There book. It is filled with some great urban hikes and I will probably be doing one of them this weekend.

Since no one (city, Tri-Met, etc) seems to care a whit about transportation in my area, I am not surprised one of these was not in my mailbox.

I believe in urbanism and alternative transportation to the core, but I can't get over the waste of money in advertising this.

The best advertisement is one that isn't in print. You know, like better bus times and a MAX that doesn't crawl through downtown. Or gee, maybe the idea that you won't get hassled by a bunch of street youths as you board the MAX.

That's called free advertisement and marketing. The product speaks for itself.

How many of those mailed flyers would it take to fill an average-sized pothole? And, I do mean the flyers, not the money to produce them.

Of the remaining choir, and incoming like-minded souls, I hope their salaries and wages result in tax revenues higher than the mean.

Otherwise, the downward spiral and even lower tax revenues will accelerate.

Somebody has to pay for all this.

If they put a bird on it I would most certainly use that umbrella.

What, no tee shirts and tote bags this year?

When TriMet screwed up the bus shelters on the "new and improved Transit Mall" a year or two ago they decided to hand out umbrellas to those bus riders stuck in the rain, sans shelters.

My umbrella broke within a couple months.

Glad to see where my transit dollars are going. To cheap crap. Of course, thanks to TriMet's aging bus fleet, I've even been rained on inside the bus (leaky roofs).

What do you bet all this promotional sh*t is made in China?

Dear Umpire, Your suggestion of civil disobedience would be "conspiracy to litter." Hard to tell if the evidence won't wash away down the pothole to the big pipe.

The public-transportation-bike-crowd make continual fools of themselves since IT RAINS NINE MONTHS A YEAR HEAR!
Go pedal that crap in Florida.

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