This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 4, 2011 10:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was Two more years for Moyer's Hole. The next post in this blog is Tall skinny come-on. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Kitzhaber endorses Barbur Boulevard MAX

There's no other way to interpret this. The folks who despise what Tri-Met has done to itself -- and to the Portland area generally -- have got to be apoplectic about the news. But that's who ultimately runs mass transit in the city: the governor. And for many decades, that's meant the Goldschmidt party. Too bad.

Speaking of Tri-Met, does anybody know what the heck this is all about?

Comments (36)

Marqueta? Is it merely another room-temperature-IQ marketing major's idea to grow the next GroupOn, or is it data mining as well? Who can tell?

Hi there. I work with Marqeta, a startup that launched in Portland this week.

Marqeta partnered with TriMet to help get you more to spend from local Portland merchants and to introduce Portland to Marqeta.

If you visit www.marqeta.com/trimet you can get $5 to spend on a marqeta card at one of the Portland merchants listed just for riding TriMet.

We'd be happy to talk to you and answer any questions that you may have. Call 1-888-4-Marqeta and ask for Omri.

Looks like Michael Andersen has the right idea but for the wrong reason.

We're all sitting on the tracks and the train ran us all over and took all of our money for the next stupid train to nowhere.

That's what it is about (look at the comments)!

But I still don't get it.

It's all about money from the Feds.

The Clackamas Co. M336 vote on urban renewal, the local fund matching source that funds mass transit, is why Kitzhaber is coming out for Barbur Lightrail so early. It looks like it may pass. Salem even recently sent out Sec. of State Kate Brown to the pols of Clackamas Co. to lecture them on need to better listen to citizens, or at least pretend to.

I thought the Barbur Plan was a transparent process where Nothing and ExpressBus was still on the table. Barbur Lightrail may be the beginnings of Portland citizens voting on urban renewal to counter Kitzhaber's ignorance of the 99%. Can citizens force a crack in the Goldschmidt party?

Hi Adri,

Check out our FAQ - https://www.marqeta.com/faqs

You specifically asked…what is Marqeta?

The quick answer: Marqeta is a pre-paid card that allows you to get more money to spend by making a prepaid commitment to a specific merchant.  In return for that prepaid commitment, we reward you with more money to spend.

For example, one of the Portland merchants is Finnegan's Toys and Gifts. They give you the opportunity to pre-pay $50 to get $10 more to spend. Because Marqeta is a card, you can then spend your money on one visit or several visits…and you can spend it on whatever you would like.  And when you’re ready to pay, you simply use your Marqeta card, just like you would with any other card.  But Marqeta isn’t limited JUST to Finnegan’s…you can store offers from any number of our merchant partners all on a single Marqeta card.

The TriMet partnership enables Portland consumers to get more to spend immediately – with $5 credits at merchants like Sisters Coffee in The Pearl and the Oregon Historical Society.

If you have questions email me at janderson (at) marqeta (dot) com or call 1-888-4-Marqeta

I have to say the plan seems to be working flawlessly, I mean, engineer the artificial congestion for 10 years or more to create a problem and then wait patiently for a friendly administration in the White House. Next thing, presto! you're qualified for federal funding to fix the "problem" and you can then build your dream nobody wanted.

The problem is, I don't believe for one minute that close to 2 million people actually want to restructure their lives around transportation that works like an automotive factory conveyor belt that by the way, also happens to be designed to always make you go through the downtown shoppping district before you can go anywhere else.

I won't live in Portland. Now, do I have to move out of Washington County because TriMet walks all over another part of our community. Good luck to Clackamas County and their vote to shut down the Milwaukee line. Hopefully that will happen then let's go to work on stopping the Westside Corridor plan of destroying Barbur Blvd. and beyond. Does anybody realize when some politician says, "But it's federal money" that it's still tax dollars from our pockets? Whether it's local, state, or federal, it all costs the same. It's like me walking up to a checkout stand at the market, but I reach into the wallet of the person at the other checkout stand and that person reaches over and grabs money out of my purse. We then each pay for our goods and walk away saying, "I just got everything free because I used the other guys money."

Quite frankly, the Portland area looks targeted to be the largest social/behavioral engineering experiment ever undertaken in the US and perhaps one of the largest in the world since Soviet times.

Just great. Let's take the state's most heavily used five-lane road (Oregon 99W between I-5 and Oregon 217), remove two of its travel lanes and replace it with MAX, but only to downtown Tigard (which is not a destination by any defintion - never has been.) Then, take those 50,000 plus cars - most of which come from the southern part of Tigard, King City, Sherwood, Yamhill and Lincoln Counties - and give them nowhere to go. As a result, Tualatin-Sherwood Road will be a parking lot at all hours of the day, along with I-5 south of Portland will start to look just like I-5 north of Portland and into Vancouver.

Then, tell Tigard residents that there will be no transit unless they live downtown - since in order to pay for MAX, TriMet will have to eliminate bus service that services the entire region.

Throw in the fact that with no bus service, there'll be no way to get from Tigard to Beaverton except during the rush hours when WES is in operation - and thus no transit service to Washington Square or Bridgeport Village (Tigard's largest destinations). So what's the point of MAX? And no bus service to the office parks of Kruse Way.

Lynn Peterson is Kitzhaber's transportation advisor and is responsible for this extreme choice.

It's important to know that this Boared position is the one intended to represent Clackamas County.

Vacant- Clackamas County

Meanwhile SoS Kate Brown is out in Clackamas County taking shots at the public voting too much.

"Brown seemed to be speaking to the possibility of a Nov. 8 mandate by Clackamas County citizens that future urban renewal decisions would face approval on the ballot rather than just by five elected commissioners. Brown, who was majority leader of the Oregon Senate prior to her election to the statewide office in 2008, argued that there was a reason voters elect representatives.
“We could essentially hold continuous elections, but that wouldn’t solve all the problems we have,” she told local leaders and business people at the gathering."

"Verne Duncan, former state senator and school superintendent, asked, “How in the world do I discern who is a bad guy and who is the good guy in a situation where everyone looks like the bad guy?”


I doubt any Republicans and not all Democrats will vote to confirm this guy.

He's such a bad choice it might as well been Lynn Peterson herself, Rex Burkholder or any other light rail zealot.

Barbur MAX is coming. It has been on regional maps for a long time.

We just have to go through the sham of collecting public opinion and doing feasibility analyses as if our "leaders" give a damn about either public opinion or the project's budget.

If only there were someone in Salem with the guts and power to protect Barbur from this nonsense. In truth, ODOT is one of the few remaining institutions which will protect auto capacity of their roads. If they aren't shanked in the back by the Governor that is.

How about a Tram from Tigard to Vancouver so I don't have to hire a moving truck?

Tri-Met already diminished Hwy. 99's capacity by creating the "Bus Only" lane where Northbound Barbur Blvd crosses over I-5. There are other places along the way where a bus will partially block the right-hand lane while embarking or disembarking passengers.

If they remove automotive lanes from Barbur Blvd for MAX, I will move to Vancouver. I already work there, and the income tax savings will pay for the move. WE HAVE CHOICES WHERE TO LIVE!!!

Marqeta sounds like a way for stores to sit on your money for you and collect interest until you spend it in their stores.

What about a tunnel?

The area is being made into a giant settlement for people who'll pay to come live in it. Residents be damned.

Jeana - I don't need another card. You doubtless have great intentions, but Marqueta's total lifespan will likely be about two years.

There's really only one thing that I do need - and that's for politicians to quit riding us into bankruptcy.

Jon, actually it will likely be Marqueta sitting on your money.

...Residents be damned.

You got that right as usual Mr. Grumpy.

As far as your earlier comment about our area being an experiment of social/behavior,
I think it would be interesting to compare what is going on here and with other cities -
how many have UGB's?
how many have entities such as PDC?
how many have as many light rails?
how many URA's do other cities have compared to Portland?
how many planners and/or city staff do we have compared to other citys of same size?
how many have the debt we have?
and so forth...

All I know is that when I have people who visit here from other places, they generally have a puzzled look on their faces when I relate to them what is going on here...
and some that come from time to time cannot believe the changes (not good)they see that has happened to our city!

Mister Tee There are other places along the way where a bus will partially block the right-hand lane while embarking or disembarking passengers.
JK: That is why cars have horns.

Let the bus know it is NOT OK to block traffic. (Trimet has declared war on cars, return the favor.)


In truth, ODOT is one of the few remaining institutions which will protect auto capacity of their roads. If they aren't shanked in the back by the Governor that is.

ODOT is also a sham. There's so many Gov K and Goldschmidt cronies (and other assorted clowns) in there, and right now, they seem most occupied with CRC tomfoolery, silly "Drive Less, Save More" schemes, and rigging traffic signals so they get cash from Redflex (shadowy Australian red light camera/photo radar vendor, who owns and operates every red light camera in Oregon outside Portland).

I blame Tri-Met, not their passengers.

Plus, I think horn honking is overrated. Nobody really knows if you're honking at them or not. Unless you're menacing them, which can quickly escalate.

...and rigging traffic signals so they get cash from Redflex (shadowy Australian red light camera/photo radar vendor, who owns and operates every red light camera in Oregon outside Portland).

Who owns and operates the red light cameras in Portland?

Tri-Met already diminished Hwy. 99's capacity by creating the "Bus Only" lane where Northbound Barbur Blvd crosses over I-5.

Well, not quite. Although it used to be that either lane could continue straight on Barbur and only the right lane could take I-5, the majority of traffic actually goes to/from I-5 (the traffic counts do in fact show that more than 50% of the traffic south of I-5 does not exist north of I-5).

What SHOULD exist is three through lanes in each direction on 99W from I-5 south to at least downtown Tigard, and possibly all the way to the Tualatin River Bridge (the city limit between Tigard, King City and Tualatin). Thus, at the north end at I-5, there would be two lanes for either direction (you could take either Barbur or I-5 from the center lane). However the pro-MAX/anti-everything else cabal won't allow that to happen, even though REPEATED public opinion surveys of Tigard residents support such a proposal.) Because Tigard residents know that most of the 99W traffic wouldn't be served by MAX.

Who owns and operates the red light cameras in Portland?

Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), which is a subsidiary of Xerox.

The same Xerox run by super-patriots who love our country but threatened to offshore the Wilsonville facility and traded the engineers to Hindustan Computing Limited for a bunch of underpaid H-1B visa workers? That Xerox?

Soon-to-be-Dr. Alex,
Thank you.
Do you have any idea how much revenue ACS makes on these red light cameras in pdx?

Some of us have noticed that the timing of these lights change and have wondered if it is deliberate.

It would take a lot more than a streetcar down barbur blvd to make vancouver or WaCo a more desirable place to live.

You don't live in PDX vs. the Burbs for the streets and bridges and parks, you do it because of the people that live in Portland and what goes on here.

Have you ever done a lot of interacting with the locals out there on the outskirts? They could tear up all the streets in pdx and plant grass for 24-hour drum circles and it'd still be better than being forced to interact on daily basis with the citizens of 'couve.

Now of course if you got big $$$ and can go live out in the actual country somewhere with a little of a spread, yeah, I can see it. There are some nice places anywhere you go, if you got the dough. But if your a social person who's not satisfied with the multi-plex you'd still have fight your way through the burbs to get any culture.

If I'm going to live in the city, I'm going to live in the city. Either that or way out in the sticks. That in-between space, with all it's vast CostCos and endless strip malls and cul de sacs, sucks the interesting right out of a person. Like in just a few years, a non-reversible process. Nothing left to do at that point but purchase a lawn edger and wait to die.

Nobody bothered to mention that Trimet is cutting $17 million in bus service. (again)

But then again they could be lying about the budget problem, lying (or just plain stupid I guess) seems to be part of the corporate executive culture.

Ktzhaber is one of the good old boys, just another example of the corrupted 'two' party phony democracy we live in.

We had a great choice for governor, the 'good old boy' or 'Scott Walker'

al m,
I am very concerned about the two party phony democracy you mentioned.
I think people are waking up to this, the "arrangement" of choices!


61% Favor Idea of an Independent Presidential Candidate Running

...This poll clearly shows the reason we don’t have more than two political parties nationally isn’t because the American people think our current choices are sufficient. The reason we face the choice of only a Democrat or a Republican in almost every election is that the two parties have worked together to rig the election laws to favor either of these parties, or both, but not others. The two parties worked together to reduce choice so they only need to be slightly less worse than each other to win an election....

Erik H.

If you commuted the route every morning (as I do), then you would see that painting Buses Only on the right hand lane creates 50% less capacity, and that it is the bottleneck that can back up to three stoplights prior.

As for your contention that "the majority of traffic actually goes to/from I-5"...I can only wonder what the counts looked like before they eliminated half of northbound Barbur Blvd?

Most of us aren't interested in taking the freeway at that point, because it's usually more crowded than Barbur (past the Tri-Met installed bottleneck).

The bottom line: Barbur Blvd is frequently a better option than I-5, especially if there is a wreck...If you reduce automotive lanes AT ALL in order to add MAX, then the 94% who drive to work will suffer...which reminds me:


Mister Tee,

I live in Tigard. I go through that interchange twice a day - AT A MINIMUM. So I know what I'm talking about.

I've seen the ODOT traffic counts. Consistently they show that more than 50% of the traffic takes I-5. Don't believe me? Here's the data:


I know just as well that the bottleneck in the area is not because of your supposed "50% reduction" but:

1. The ODOT project that reduced the on-ramp from 99W northbound to I-5 northbound from two lanes to one lane,

2. Poor ramp signal timing on the ramp from 99W northbound to I-5 northbound,

3. Poor traffic signal timing for Barbur Boulevard southbound (the phase for traffic coming off of I-5 is much longer, even though the traffic from Barbur is pulsed because of the preceding signal at 60th Avenue and the two signals are not interconnected)

4. Poor signal timing throughout Tigard on 99W, which has actually gotten worse despite the new signal controlling system that was recently installed

5. Inadequate capacity all along Barbur,

6. Too many driveway accesses

7. The reduction from seven lanes to four lanes at Greenburg Road

I could go on. The only time I have a problem northbound is when some asshole scrambles up the left lane of 99W, and then slams to a full stop because he wants I-5 and doesn't follow the line. So the left lane is stopped waiting for him, the right lane is stopped waiting for him... But the ramp onto I-5 was ALWAYS one lane.

You're right in that Barbur is often faster than I-5 at rush hour. I frequently will take Barbur (and in fact each morning I do on the bus, and frequently pass traffic on I-5.) But you're wrong when you cite that removing the through lane causes the backup. Because all the cars in that right lane are going to I-5 - they wouldn't be in the through lane (which is now the bus stop).

And as you seemed to gloss over, the solution would be to have THREE lanes of traffic on Barbur, with two lanes going straight and two lanes taking I-5 (the center lane having an option for either route)...and restoring the lost lane on the on-ramp that ODOT removed earlier this year or last year (that had absolutely nothing to do with TriMet) that causes so many problems when cars entering the freeway don't understand that they need to be doing 55, causing a long line of cars entering the freeway at the same time dodging cars to the left of them and trucks to the right of them.

And...I AM opposed to MAX in Tigard BECAUSE of the reduction it will force onto 99W. There were two alternate routes I suggested in the past for a MAX route (not that I support MAX to begin with, but simply as alternatives to a Barbur routing) - one of which would use Multnomah Boulevard to Garden Home, to Washington Square, and then along what is now WES to Tualatin (but of course WES is now there), the second an below surface or subway route from where the old Metro YMCA center is in downtown Portland, underneath OHSU, Hillsdale, Multnomah Village, Barbur TC, PCC Sylvania, and then surfacing near 68th Parkway just below I-5 and taking the drainage to the Tigard Cinemas (existing TriMet Park & Ride Lot), then coming up to the south side of 99W (parallel to, using the frontage road right-of-way between Car Toys and Dutch Brothers Coffee), then crossing 217 on a viaduct to Hall Boulevard, and ending across the street from the Tigard Transit Center next to Crown Carpets and behind the Post Office - a route that would require absolutely ZERO reduction in Highway 99W capacity.

However, Bus Rapid Transit would provide all the benefits of light rail, and do so for 1/10th of the cost of light rail.


Clearly you have done your homework. I maintain that having two lanes of auto traffic squeezed thru one lane (at the bus stop located on the south side of the bridge over I-5) constitutes a bottleneck.

A manufactured bottleneck at that. The answer would be to take rightaway from the Fantasy Adult video and the defunct lumber yard and add a dedicated right turn lane to the sorthbound I-5 on ramp. That would permit two dedicated lanes to the northbound I-5 on ramp and (if you dedicated a cutout for buses to exit vehicular traffic) two dedicated lanes for northbound Hwy. 99.

We agree that any further reduction of vehicular capacity in favor of MAX would be an unmitigated disaster.

We must assume that Kitz doesn't plan on having to use Barbur Blvd. during drive time, or he would understand how ill conceived it is.

As I sit in traffic at the other known bottlenecks (none of which are scheduled for improvement, sans the CRC), I take solace in the fact that Kulongoski, Katz, Adams, Kitz, and Goldschmidt (and their families) must wind up sitting in traffic a fair bit. Perhaps they wonder if the moratoriam on freeway construction has outlived its usefulness.

Soon-to-be-Dr. Alex,
Thank you.
Do you have any idea how much revenue ACS makes on these red light cameras in pdx?

Some of us have noticed that the timing of these lights change and have wondered if it is deliberate.

You're most welcome!

The info is in the "Fiscal Accounting" part of the city's last biennial camera report to the state legislature (2009), on page 17 (page 18 of the PDF):


The city took in about $2.65 million in revenue between 2002-2008 from the program. It's hard to tell exactly what CoP paid ACS due to the breakdown, but the "Lease Fees" (~$1.1 million) definitely all went to ACS to lease the cameras, and it's safe to say at least a substantial part of the "Citation Processing Expense" ($978,000) went to ACS as well. They're getting a 40% cut just on the lease fees alone.

They've more than doubled the number of cameras in Portland since this report, the fine seems to have gone up, and there were a number of system upgrades done, so it'll be interesting to see what the 2011 report says. It looks to me like ACS is getting most of the money out of it, though.

As far as lights being rigged, at best, there's some negligent engineering going on if not outright manipulation. ODOT and the City of Sherwood actually got busted on it back at the end of September, when an ODOT engineer "unknowingly wiped out" the signal control software, causing the green-light timing to become extremely erratic.

As far as Barbur MAX goes, it takes the cake on boondoggles and will create so many more problems than it would cause. It'd be a travesty, to say the least. I've driven that section of road before, and it needs all the vehicular capacity it can get. If ODOT were more intelligent, they'd look into whether or not 217 is eligible to become an interstate spur, too--instead, they go around with the "we can't widen it until 2089 without tolls" nonsense.

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