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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 15, 2011 1:44 PM. The previous post in this blog was You're losing us, kids. The next post in this blog is 'Dogs over the hump. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tri-Met admits: We're all about the condos now

Here's a breathtaking document that's been lying around for a year now, but we just noticed it and it's worth your doing so as well. It's a slick, 124-page book produced by Tri-Met, Portland's moribund mass transit agency, touting how Tri-Met is promoting the region's "planning" agenda.

The thing just oozes with misleading discussion and outright deceit. It's page after page of the official party line about one abusive "urban renewal" or "transit-oriented development" project after another. Apartments, apartments, apartments. Plastic and particle board where there once were real neighborhoods. What they're doing to Portland is pretty depressing. But they positively brag about it.

Now, one might complain about the expense of producing and publishing this volume, but we think it was money well spent. It shows exactly what Tri-Met thinks it's about these days. And it's obviously not about helping middle-class people in the city's existing neighborhoods get to work or school. It's all about pushing the "behavior change" that the planning cabal has in store for all of us -- apartment bunkers, streetcars, and bicycles.

It's important for residents to see how the transit agency has lost all sense of its actual mission. When the bankruptcy comes, and it is most definitely coming, there will be that much less sympathy.

Comments (22)

TriMet is all about Development-Oriented Transit.

Not People-Oriented Transit.

It's so bad that now the suburbs are worried about not getting funding, so they are submitting to the Metro/TriMet/City of Portland demands to plan for high densities, condos and mixed-uses...simply out of fear that if they say no, Metro/TriMet will simply zero out any transportation funding whatsoever.

Time to end Metro, and at this point dissolve TriMet as well. What is going on in Seattle works well - county-specific transit agencies (plus Everett with its city system), plus a truly regional system that is required by law to spend equally per its sub-districts so one area can't get a mega-project at the expense of another district. And despite being a mostly bus-only transit system, Seattle's transit ridership is just as high as Portland's on a per-capita or percentage-of-trips-taken basis...so that disproves Portland's mantra that it's all light rail.

Reminiscent of the little red book episode, in china, before they came to their senses.

An inside look at the City of Portland & Tri-Met joint risk management think tank --
http://www.gocomics.com/frankandernest/2011/11/15

This is about the 4th iteration of this document published over the last decade. Each is a nice time capsule revealing whatever the planner fads were of the day.

The project shown in your post -- Russellville Commons at NE Burnside and 102nd -- is supposed to be a showcase for transit use. But it's overrun with cars and actual transit use is not much higher than the "unplanned" SFH neighborhoods just north of Burnside that somehow managed to escape artificial densification. I measured transit use in both neighborhoods last June.

But it doesn't matter, there is no learning going on by local planners. About 300 yards to the east on Burnside there is a single family home for sale on a large wooded lot, about .64 acres. There is a big sign in the front yard advertising that the lot is within an Urban Renewal district and therefore has been re-zoned for a 55-unit apartment complex, and shows a sketch drawing of future development. Those pesky trees and that useless backyard will be filled in with more apartments and cars parked everywhere, because we're "fighting sprawl" and creating "sustainable neighborhoods."

I lived in Seattle some years ago and found the transit system so useful I sold my car to save money. Then I moved to Portland and found the transit system here so abysmal and poorly thought out I was forced to buy a car, and that was before all the cuts.

It was funny over the summer when Clackamas County and their "partners" held a public work session with interactive polling on the various elements of the McLoughlin Area Plan.

The least favorite item offered up for approval was the very TODs in that pic. There was essentially NO support for it at all as shaken "staff" moved on.

The only way these tyrants advance this agenda and their schemes is with 124 page propaganda pieces and prohibiting public votes.

By coincidence there is a public meeting tonight for the Miulwaukie Light Rail-Park Avenue Staion plan.

Guess what the plan looks like? Yep.
Here it is www.save-oakgrove.com

Public Meeting Notice
Tuesday November 15th, 5:30-8:00PM
Park Avenue (Urban Renewal) Station Plan
Come view the County's plan, and talk with the County, Metro, and Tri-Met.
Tell them what you think!
Milwaukie Elks
13121 S.E. McLoughlin
Oak Grove, Oregon

Fortunately the 70% victory of 3-386 requires a county wide public vote to pay for it.

"Now"? This isn't new. Their own vision and mission page first lists "To make the Portland region the most livable in the country" before anything mentioning transit. The transportation part is just incidental.

Meanwhile back in bus division on the west side of the district they struggle daily to keep the old rickety jalopy's (oldest in the USA) in service.

What a shame, the people that pay the most for this are the people that actually need transit to get around.

Kind of the text book case of corporate takeover of a public service.

It's far more important to facilitate the developers pocket book than to get people to work or school.

Fits in nicely with the rest of Portland's phony persona.

As one of my colleagues said to me, looks all nice a shiny on first glance, but a closer look will reveal nothing but diminution.

I am very familiar with the pictured neighborhood. That particular TOD has not spawned anything in the way of new business & employment there. If anything, more business has disappeared, although that can probably be blamed on the larger economic downturn. Most of the real estate in the photo was formerly a school & grounds. I don't see this particular development as an improvement.

Thanks for speaking out al m
I hope the union is strong enough so you don't loose your day job anytime soon.

A new condo complex just opened up for sale by me on light rail on N Interstate. I wonder how long it will take before I won't have any place to park...

That picture shown above, interesting that recently a resident told me that they got thousands of signatures for the project they preferred there, a Community Center, a Mt. Hood Community College building and some housing. David Douglas owned property on that site, a grade school. The school district wasn’t in favor of that proposed project, said it had too much housing??

Anyway, I remember that at the corner of 102/Burnside, was a lovely well-kept white house surrounded by Douglas Firs. An insurance business was located there.
I am sure others will remember how nice that corner looked.
But Tri-Met and planners only have one version of nice – theirs!

I got an uneasy feeling looking over that pdf link, as it looks like Portland will become a cookie cutter vision and the character is going going and gone if people don’t get outraged about what is going on. So we not only have been “taken” for the money for this but our City of Roses has been taken as well!

On the front page: is that bird crap on a rock in the background?

The project shown in your post -- Russellville Commons at NE Burnside and 102nd -- is supposed to be a showcase for transit use.

Much like Orenco Village...supposed to be a showcase for Transit-Oriented Development; instead all of the development is centered around Cornell Road and Cornelius Pass Roads (not the MAX line); the land closest to the MAX line remains undeveloped; many of the roads had to be widened in the area to five lanes; the commercial center is a cookie-cutter strip mall (a lot like Cascade Station as well, whose two MAX stations look like abandoned relics but the IKEA parking lot sure is busy at all times)...

The best way to attract ridership is to build a system people want to and will use. The Portland way of building transit is telling people where they should live, work and how to spend their free time...and it's no coincidence that transit usage, as a percentage of trips taken, has stayed constant. Because for every MAX ride added, a bus ride is eliminated. And not necessary because the bus rider is now riding MAX.

On the front page: is that bird crap on a rock in the background?

I think that's supposed to be Mt. Hood. Kind of a scary picture, a giant Max train originating from downtown ready to assimilate another suburban neighborhood into the transit-oriented collective.

...ready to assimilate another suburban neighborhood into the transit-oriented collective.

The "machinery" won't stop...until the web of power and tentacles and propaganda stop.

The followers of the "machinery" need to stop looking through rose colored glasses on this.

We will eventually become an example of a folly cookie-cutter region, people from other areas I talk to cannot believe the way we have mowed down douglas firs for development as if they were merely toothpicks, building two houses in backyards of another called flag lot development. City does not care about livability, only more revenue money for them, and those who are into the smart growth "religion" think all of this is OK?

OK to be shoved in here like bees in a hive, but McMansions and estates outside the UGB?

I was shocked when I first saw that picture up there, I remarked that the housing in the background looked like army barracks... thought it was a model,
then I realized it is reality.
Could carry on more, but enough for now.

Will add, that for those who currently live in a single family home, that is affordable, in a modest neighborhood, beware that several years ago, I was told (did not see) that a document existed that describes avenues to take when the land under those single family homes becomes more valuable than the existing affordable homes.

There are nice vernacular architectural bungalows in various neighborhoods, and real affordable housing I might add, and older apartment buildings, most likely with more room for people and better built than the new ghetto housing brought into some neighborhoods.

What is the plan "smart growthers" to raze those modest but nice affordable homes and neighborhoods to make room for more cookie-cutter density?
Then to put the people into planners version of "affordable" housing, which is subsidized public housing??

A couple of years ago my brother and I drove by the old family home in SE. This was a big old house set on a 2+ acre corner lot and included evergreens, a generous backyard with a fireplace, an outlying detached garage and shop and an old orchard. It was being marketed as a property that could be developed for multiple occupancy dwellings.

I haven't been back again.

Don't even get me started on the abomination that Gresham has become.

Every politician, planner and developer who advocates transit-centered housing or makes any money off of the deals should be required to live in them. Exclude penthouses.

Nolo,
That would be just great, especially to have Blumenauer come back to his old neighborhood and be required to live in as you say not penthouses, I will add not glitzy pearl, but the ghetto type housing put in some areas. He also should be required to ride the Max line (whether day or night)for his form of transportation and bike.
Quite a different scene than his DC digs.

Isn't it what is good enough for others is not for them?

Too bad the same rewards aren't in place for building a community center or a park.

Every politician, planner and developer who advocates transit-centered housing or makes any money off of the deals should be required to live in them

Quite a few City of Portland employees live outside the city; I see quite a few of them on my 94 bus each day out to Tigard and Sherwood.

And I believe one of Metro's high-up managers lived in one of those McMansions outside of the UGB somewhere out west of West Linn and north of Canby...the ones with the half-mile long driveway with the electric gate at the bottom of it, the four and five car garage, and absolutely no public transit to speak of.

Every CoP and Metro employee should be:

1. Required to live in their jurisdiction,
2. Required to use public transit or bike,
3. Not allowed to own any automobiles. (They can, however, have a ZipCar account, but cannot use the ZipCar if their trip could have been taken by TriMet.)
4. Must have a home is smaller than the average for their family size; their electrical and natural gas use must be below the average for their family and home size; must enroll in the green power option; cannot use any garbage service (composting and recycling only), and grow their own food.


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