This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 19, 2011 1:47 PM. The previous post in this blog was Bus Project goes all "us vs. them" on its elders. The next post in this blog is Hi ho, hi ho, to Chapter 9 we go. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Barbur Boulevard MAX looking like a done deal

The light rail mafia has emerged from the back room, and there's little doubt that they're hellbent on building another train, down Barbur Boulevard from Portland to Sherwood. The bobbleheads at Metro have drawn up the glossy brochure, and so now we're in for a couple of years of them acting like the decision isn't already made while the "public-private partnership" corruption gets nailed down out of public view.

Here's a wonderful piece of hypnosis that is supposed to keep us distracted while the secret deals are cut. Stare at it while taking deep breaths. On every other exhale, say "livable..." and alternate that on every other exhale with "sustainable..." Try it:

After about five minutes of this, you'll be ready to listen to Earl Blumenauer explain the details to you.

We may not have an economy in this town, but we are going to have trains! Because the people who run this town want trains! And they have puppets in every corner of government to hand out tax money to the people who build them.

Comments (33)

Just another technicolor Portland flustercluck.

You are getting sustainable, sustainable. You are feeling very creative, very greeeeeen. You are a leader, a leader! Repeat after me: "It's only a fee, only a fee"...again, again. Yes, yes. That's it. Now, beg for it like a cute little puppy dog -- you want it, want it. Now say it, say it: "Bond me, bond me...yesss. Yesss. YES!"

And now, when I snap my fingers, you'll vote for the nice candidates whose pretty pictures I will show you....

That's kind of a pretty flower but WTF does it mean, man?

We are running out of money!
Next step?
City needs more volunteers!
Volunteers to mow the parks that are left and haven't been sold for lack of money.
Volunteers for citizen patrols to watch for crime for lack of money for adequate officers needed.
Volunteers for yada yada yada....

...but Portland will be viewed in glossy brochures and magazines with those shiny new trains!

See the debt column on this blog now:
Your share - $11,059.54

Still think we need trains?

Why subsidize the bus service for $1.25/ticket when you can subsidize 19th century technology for $200/ticket!

The Railiban (think Rail Taliban) are going to destroy transportation as we know it. And we are going to pay for the privilege of enriching the companies and execs involved in all of this.

Effing up Barbur will impact me since the traffic will be moving to Beaverton-Hillsdale to some degree.

Thanks for nothing, kiddie council and TriTrains.

Once again we should applaud our City staff for proposing improvements to our regions transportation infrastructure.

Won't mess up your traffic if they do it underground, LucsAdvo. I think even MAX haters are agreeing that a tunnel may actually be more affordable than trying to hit all the destinations with any kind of surface alignment over there.

I will selfishly support any plan that buys my property and its prerecession value through the 99W corridor. The "done deal" attitude ensures that the required property purchases will be my golden parachute. Bye Bye Metro as soon as financially possible.

Well then, will tax abated housing be allowed next to the tunnels?

...I think even MAX haters are agreeing that a tunnel may actually be more affordable...

Unless of course it happens to be another Tunnel of Deception.
Been through that tunnel there and it doesn't bode well for the people.
How many times has it used to channel people through our city council hearings and it doesn't look like it will stop!

I don't think I've passed through that one, clinamen. Or is that the nature of the Tunnel of Deception?

Like it was ever in doubt.


You're worse than nuts if you think adding light rail to Barbur/99 would be an improvement to our region's transportation infrastructure.

Where and how does one get convinced of such a ludicrous idea?


I've been noting for a couple of years that this was going to be their next step.

Interesting perspective here: http://portlandtransport.com/archives/2011/09/governance_refo.html

Unfortunately, it involves learning from Seattle, so it'll never happen here.

I think the proposed tunnel was just to get under the OHSU hill, it will still be at the surface on the other side.

The fix is very much in on this one. Only our impending federal insolvency might save us, since they still pay for most of the construction. They pay zero for ongoing maintenance and operation, of course.

You nailed it on this one. Another 'Field of Rails'. "If you build it, they will ride". Unless of course they don't. But it will always be there if they ever want to.

I really have to wonder where TrainMet is going to find all the dough for this line since they seem to have stolen all the money they could from schools and other essential services, put off replacing their rickety old buses for another 6 years, bonded against a bunch of their operating revenue, and on top of that will probably be insolvent in the next few years when their retiree benefits/healthcare payouts exceed all the other revenue. This plus the possibility of the feds slashing funding in the next transportation bill by 30% as proposed by Rep. John Mica. With a tunnel under OHSU to serve the respective constituents of the train mafia, this line is guaranteed to exceed $1 billion, might even exceed the Milwaukie Train of Mystery. I mean, what's left to borrow against or steal from other tax sources? I can't think of much, but the train mafia is pretty clever...

Maybe they've put something up as collateral for a loan they don't want us to know about.

It would be fitting if the US Dollar collapsed around the same time they broke ground on the Barbur Blvd. MAX line.

Then the USDOT and PDOT could pay their for their pretend mass transit system with pretend US Dollars.

Everybody pretends to get paid. Everybody pretends we made progress.

Since urban renewal is the only mechanism that can cover a large portion of Portland's share, I predict that the proposed Barbur Lightrail will be the impetus to require public voting for any urban renewal. Just like Clackamas.

Thanks Planners for bringing urban renewal to a vote.

Under what definition of "blighted" should a URD exist along Barbur Blvd? Do they just assume that the condos built along any rail path to be highly desirable in this or any part of the area that doesn't have a Pearl in it? Perhaps if all they build is high-rise public-privately funded condos to replace the few older motels one might see how the RMV would go up, but try developing without public subsides. We need a state-wide referendum on UR districts. Now!

I see that in that pretty Technicolor diagram that they conveniently left out the I-5 to 99W Project (the proposed highway between Sherwood and Wilsonville that will replace Tualatin-Sherwood Road as the major through route, and will likely end up built as a freeway post-MAX), I-5 and Highway 217 widening projects, the proposal to shut down half of the Highway 217 on/off-ramps...and the Newberg-Dundee Bypass could even be considered part of the project.

Of course, we could streamline the entire project once and for all. Just turn freakin' Highway 99W into what it should be: A FREEWAY from I-5 in Tigard, all the way to Dayton, switch to Highway 18, and continue the freeway all the way to the edge of the Van Duzer Corridor just past Grand Ronde.

Transit-oriented development, development-oriented transit, oriented development-transit, etc, aka URD, besides lining the pockets of the same pre-selected developers over and over, is meant to artificially increase the population density along unwanted rail transit lines. Otherwise, the project when completed wouldn't have enough riders and its construction would appear obviously misguided and unjustified.

The City of Roses to The City that Works (so well for some)to The City of Puppets!

choo-choo many public projects with choo-choo few private sector jobs = big, big train wreck coming

The brochure delightfully says that the travel time from the central city to Sherwood is 42 minutes in the evening peak period. This is implied to be a problem.

However, a good anti-sprawl advocate would say that this is an opportunity to discourage people who work in the central city from living in Sherwood. Anything that TriMet does to make it faster to get from Portland to Sherwood in the morning and evening peak hours encourages sprawl and congestion by making it easier for people to live farther from their work.

Question is, why is it that people want to get away from pdx?
In my view, Portland has become a sacrifice zone for the agenda and people want to get away from living under this controlled and negative situation.
Paying more and more and getting less and less isn't helping matters either.
Living in a hypocritical arena is disgusting!

Ah, but I no longer believe there isn't an influential entity of some kind or another that isn't milking resident turnover and low property values for some sort of gain.

Our local officials act like people who've sold their souls to an unseen dæmon.

It's the only explanation left that makes much sense.

I used to have an office out near Barbur and Hamilton for 6 years. That street is always busy with traffic from 7-9 every weekdy morning and even busier from 4-7 weekday evenings. Not to mention it is the only really viable "escape route" when something happens on Portland's 1960s-era freeways. (Sorry - but most larger cities have 4/5 lane freeways now.)
I simply can't imagine two highway lanes being taken up by slow moving light rail on that road. If these planner jerks think traffic is bad there now - it will be impossible with their 19th century choo choo train.

This is very interesting in light of what Trimet General Manager Neil Macfarlane has recently said:
""Last week, I began a round of employee brown bags to discuss TriMet’s 5-Year Plan. What I have been calling the MORE and BETTER Plan. As part of my introduction, I outlined a number of “threats” facing TriMet – some in and some out of our control.
Those threats really are a list of the many budget uncertainties we face. First, there is the economy as a whole. It doesn’t take an economic expert to know that the economy is not rebounding as it should. As you know, unemployment affects our bottom line – generating fewer payroll tax dollars.
It doesn’t take a governmental affairs expert to know that Congress is in turmoil and that places our federal funding in jeopardy. Add to this rising costs in fuel and healthcare and you have, what I believe, is a pending crisis. We also have the uncertainty surrounding our labor contract. Each of these items adds to our financial stress.""


In light of the above, where the hell is the money going to come from to sustain this?

From the last drips of the gravy bowl....
even if it takes every last asset we have here, our parks, our water, our school property, you name it, more parking meters until we have been metered out of the city!

Maybe they've put something up as collateral for a loan they don't want us to know about.

As usual, you are on to something there, Mr. Grumpy.

Nolo and others, a good example of misuse of "blight" is to once again visit SoWhat and PSU and PDC using urban renewal to capture the Red Lion business, way west from SoWhat proper, on SW Lincoln near PSU. A fine example of the UR "tenacle" phenomenon.

I attended PDC hearings on the later land grab to extend the boundaries up Lincoln to this business. Red Lion had over 110 employees with a large restaurant, convention and lodging services.

Red Lion testified that it was generating over $1 Million of tax benefits through property taxes, employee taxes and other,PSU that benefited our city. But PDC and PSU forced its closure with this monetary and job lose, since PSU doesn't pay property taxes and they only have a few jobs from the property now-student housing.

But we don't get this kind of analysis of urban renewal, or many of the things this city does. It's all Planned, so don't ask questions or analysis or have auditing, performance data. Just do It!

Lee - Just Do It is a very bad analogy... that catch phrase and the company behind it nets over 11 figures in real revenue every year. Planners cannot even count that high. And there is a reason why Nike is not located in Portland and pulled their OR warehouse out of the city and moved it to Wilsonville in the 80s (and now even that is gone). Just sayin'

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