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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 16, 2012 8:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was Happy Martin Luther King Day. The next post in this blog is Reader poll: Final Four -- who will win Super Bowl 46?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Clackistani rebels going for the gusto

The folks in Clackamas County who are fighting the takeover of their turf by the Portland apartment bunker pushers are pulling out all the stops. Not only are they circulating petitions for a ballot measure that would prohibit the county from spending another penny on the insane MAX train from Portland to Milwaukie, but now they're gearing up for another measure that would place the same restrictions on the City of Milwaukie itself. The real estate sharpies who are trying to ram the rail project through in the name of the almighty "smart growth" must be freaking out.

Apparently the disparate groups of rebels are coming together for a first-ever general meeting this evening at an Elks Club in Oak Grove. Let's hope the roads stay dry and clear enough for them to hold their confab.

Meanwhile, at the other extreme, the Portland "planning" cabal is now sending delegations to Vietnam to export Blumenauerism to the unsuspecting communities there. But they won't be holding a charrette -- no, this time it's an atelier. Wonder if Homer and Dike will be on hand. Those poor people -- as if we haven't done enough harm over there.

Comments (26)

If the SamRand Twins had access to a drone strike aircraft, the Clackistani rebels' meeting at the Elks Club would be about as safe as an Afghan wedding party.

This is hilarious.

That's the same place Metro and the County distributed their tax funded propaganda and got slammed by the public.


"Residents slam plan for MAX station"
"Angry crowd cries foul on proposal for McLoughlin area"
http://www.portlandtribune.com/metro_news/story.php?story_id=132208230879491400

I know many of the Clackistanis and they welcome anyone supportive of the far better future they're going to deliver.
And they are on a relentless march to do so.
Should be a very interesting and upbeat event tonight.

If planners are meeting to promote public transportation at the expense of private cars, wouldn't it be more appropriate to call that meeting an "auto-da-fe?"

I've actually been to Hoi An and its kinda of a tourist town without much business besides.

Maybe they're trying to see if the can get included in the SoWa URD?

My first question is how much is this "atelier" costing our taxpayers?
The second question I have is, what constitutes a "stakeholder"? I see that specific buzz word touted for almost every venue I read about from soup to nuts. I envision a vampiric scene with blood dripping off the stake. Creepy.

I really appreciate your site. I learn a lot of fantastic information from you and your followers. Thank You!

atelier:A workshop; an artist's or sculptor's studio.

It is where planners push, pull, and spin the electorate to sculpt a masterpiece of fiscal irresponsibility.

From link above:

The city of Hoi An, Vietnam, has tapped urban planning expertise from Portland State and the city of Portland to help it become a model "eco-city" in southeast Asia.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/higher-education/2012/01/psu-led_transportation_researc.html#incart_mrt

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Portland State University $3.5 million for research and education on sustainable transportation topics, the department announced today. The Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC), the university transportation center based at PSU, will administer the grant.

I value a University for fostering independent thinking.
I am very concerned about this “close” relationship between our city planners/agenda
and PSU. I would like to be wrong about my observation on this matter.

I have to agree with Reader above. Is that "Flight of the Valkyries" I hear coming over the hills?

I am thrilled to see what the Clackistani are doing. I just hope their enthusiasm can make it over to "the WC" and prevent the likes of The Don from messin' with The 'Tron, amongst other things.

Not to mention killing Barbur/99W MAX.

My son worked in downtown Milwaukie for a year and was always proclaiming it a complete dump - literally - the kind of place where he would see a dump left by a homeless person right on a downtown street.

Last month I went myself for a look when I went to the movie theater there. My son was right - it's a wasteland.

And THAT's what the Milwaukie-ites want to preserve ...???

"I love the smell of facepalm in the morning"

Voters have said no to Milwaukie Light Rail twice. Yet here it comes.

When will our local elected "leaders" figure out that it's better to have government FOR the people instead of AT the people.

I totally get why the Lake Oswego light rail was silly. But, at least on its face, Milwaukie transit doesn't seem so bad.

The public utility goal of public transit, at its heart, is to quickly and efficiently get the workforce to where they work. Workers in Milwaukie have to get to Portland. In practice, it gets done if it also works for developers. Hard to get anything done without both.

I have no idea about the details of the plan. And maybe more bus service is a better long term solution here.

But not every light rail plan is idiotic. No? And if you buy that, then maybe it's not such a bad idea to spend a substantial amount of money trying to figure out which routes make sense.

PSU students are also going to the Netherlands to advise the natives there with flooding on their low-lying lands. Like Hans Brinker maybe? The hubris of the planning cabal is beyond description.

For a jolly good time, google "eco-city" and take a look at the images of the future of Portlandia -- and everywhere else. According to the planners.

Benjamin,

Nice try. But BS.

No the neglect in Milwaukie is not what anyone wants to preserve.

Quite the contrary the long pattern of neglect while billions were wasted will only get worse with more Light Rail.

Those elements you observed to be a dump should have and could have been addressed years ago.

Instead billions of local, regional, state and federal dollars were mis-spent by inept politicians.

Now those same politicans are claiming Light Rail will clean up the mess? Yeah sure.

The voters know better and have grown sick and tired at that phony pitch.

Max Rocklin

PMLT is far worse than the LO Streetcar or WES.

This isn't about Milwaukie "transit" either. Milwaukie already has transit and the new MAX would slow it down and cause more cuts to service.

There is nothing quick or efficient about MAX getting the workforce to where they work. It's stuck on tracks and voters get it.

In practice, it sucks and triggers millions more in subsidized development in an endless and futile pursuit of making it do what they claim it does.

The details of the plan are $200 million per mile to produce a slow train and the hideous eyesore of obstructions.

TriMet is cutting bus service everywhere. Stopping them is the only thing to fix their madness.

Yes every light rail plan around here is insane. It's not high capacity not high speed and too expensive.

It's a horrible idea to spend millions plotting more of it anywhere around here. There are no routes that make sense.

TriMet has admitted WES was a bad idea, admitted the Green Line was built in the wrong place and now they are repeating the same insanity.


BUT the bottom line is the people do NOT want it and will vote it down by a huge margin.

Ben - have you been to downtown Gresham or downtown Hillsboro lately? I have, and both look like they are in much better shape than downtown Milwaukie. Is that because of the light rail terminus there? Maybe not.

The attitude of the "hell no to light rail in Milwaukie" crowd seems to be "we like our downtown just as it is." And that beggars belief.

There are those of us who don't necessarily think stopping light rail is to "protect" downtown, but more a question of the economic viability of the light rail system as a whole.

For me:

1. Voters said no. Now tax money is being spent on a project voters don't want.

2. If the money could be put toward the Sellwood bridge, instead of the $1 billion light rail line, wouldn't that be a better investment?

Nolo,
I took a look at it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eco-cities

Additionally, the “greenspaces” that constitute the infrastructure of eco-cities provide a unique method of reducing air pollution and promoting clean air. Urban foliage naturally cleans the air by absorbing carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Green spaces also absorb airborne particulates and reduce heat, allowing for improved levels of public health.[21]

Increased access to affordable vegetation via urban agriculture also permits the improvement of public health conditions by making healthy foods more available and affordable.

Why is it that there seems to be a disconnect with what eco cities promote and what happens as a result of the “smart growth” and/or urban linear policies?

For example, smart growth by the very nature of infill density takes away huge groves of existing trees for that density, takes away the most fertile agricultural land here anyway for gardens within our UGB.

Take a look at the photograph of an example in Brazil, of urban growth development versus surrounding residential area. Does not look like enough space surrounding or enough rooftops for growing food for the huge population living in the dense housing projects. Then there is the matter of more energy needs with air conditioning needed in those high rises than in homes that have trees and cross ventilation.
I imagine those issues are being worked on, but I question whether this kind of urban density is really healthy in the final analysis, or whether this is just the latest buzz word for planners to promote.

Perhaps the term "smart growth" is a bit dated and has morphed into "eco-city?"

And THAT's what the Milwaukie-ites want to preserve ...???

Benjamin - you are suggesting that the ONLY way to preserve a downtown center is with light rail.

May I suggest any of the following examples of communities that revitalized their downtowns - WITHOUT expensive rail projects:

1. Astoria
2. Seaside
3. Newport
4. Corvallis
5. Albany
6. Salem
7. Dallas
8. McMinnville
9. Forest Grove
10. Troutdale
11. Hood River
12. Eugene (in fact it had to remove a pedestrian mall AND re-introduce automobiles to make it happen!)
13. Tacoma
14. Spokane
15. Moscow, Idaho
16. Pullman, Washington
17. Whitefish, Montana
18. Leavenworth, Washington
19. Oregon City
20. Camas, Washington

Those are just examples I can personally attest to. There are many, many others.

The point is that revitalization doesn't happen because of rail. It happens because the downtown itself is repurposed, rebuilt, revitalized. Look at St. Louis to see how light rail DIDN'T improve the city (it is one of America's most crime-ridden cities.) Can you honestly say that Gresham, Hillsboro and Beaverton are so much better BECAUSE of light rail - why do you visit any of those three cities? Hillsboro is a government center, and after 5:00 PM on a Friday that downtown core dies until 8:30 AM on Monday. (There is the hospital...I guess it's a happening place, but not because of light rail.) Beaverton...is urban renewal gone bad. A wasteland of abandoned, empty lots bulldozed for the promise of transit-oriented development unrealized. Gresham - it's downtown is actually slightly removed from MAX, and the closest transit-oriented development is an auto-centric strip mall (the back wall of which faces MAX) and a series of government buildings. Even in downtown Portland, the MAX line is littered with vacant lots, disused buildings or other failed blocks...the Lloyd Center area is continued to be hampered by gang activity and drug dealing out in the open, and even TriMet itself is guilty of maintaining a parking lot filled with TriMet decalled vehicles right next to a MAX station - why would TriMet need fleet vehicles when it has such a great transit system, and why right next to a MAX station? Even TriMet itself is hypocritical of its own desires.

Any community can rebuild itself. Even Vancouver is trying really hard to do so (although it's failing - because it's trying to build out, rather than rebuild its existing downtown.) Milwaukie has made some strides without the light rail in town. All it takes is a committment to improve, find tenants willing to locate (especially anchor tenants - large entities that draw large numbers of people and ancillary businesses), and a way for people to get there (which usually means parking lots - even the developers of South Waterfront admit there is too little parking, and insufficient vehicular access - resulting in several businesses having closed up, and several housing units failing to sell.)

Clinamen,
The verbiage you quoted sounds soooo smooth and seductive, who would object? But the multiple goals are impossible to achieve. More people in ever dense spaces AND urban agriculture? How many acres (or square feet) does it take to feed one person? And if the number of people multiply, won't there be a need for more and more urban agriculture? And at what point is it not called urban anymore?

My sense is that planners in general do not like people. They live in their heads, and put people into patterns and boxes that look somewhat good on paper. But planners clearly do not understand human nature or care about the damage they do. What I want to know is, where is all the money coming from to keep all these people employed? This is big business, but who is the client? Who is paying for all of this and who is profiting?

Nolo,
It does seem like the human element is not considered much into the equation, as though we are just numbers and commodities led into the cities to live eventually in patterns and boxes as you mentioned.

A good question, who is the client and why?

I do not know what to make of this, in my view, things are not as they seem.
Removing people from nature and putting them in settings of man made "urban nature" I find unsettling.

"have you been to downtown Gresham or downtown Hillsboro lately?"

Have you been to NW 23rd, Sellwood or SE Hawthorne? They seem to do just fine without streetcars and attract a lot of foot traffic.

I think what you're implying with mass transit is more coincidence than causal.

Benjaimin,
"have you been to downtown Gresham or downtown Hillsboro lately?"

Both and the worst thing about both of them is the eyesore obstructions of Light Rail.
But your comparing them to Milwaukie is meaningless. Milwaukie downtown is s small is hardly exists.
And packing in a bunch of heavily subsidized high density mixed use development that the voters don't want won't make it any bigger or better at all.

Especially with Light Rail they also do not want.

Are you trying to gin up persuasive reason for supporting this typical TriMet/Metro madness or excuses for forcing it upon the public.


euseless I have, and both look like they are in much better shape than downtown Milwaukie. Is that because of the light rail terminus there? Maybe not.

The attitude of the "hell no to light rail in Milwaukie" crowd seems to be "we like our downtown just as it is." And that beggars belief.

Oops. Left part of Benjamin's post on there.

FYI 250 Clackisanis showed up at there gathering last night at the Miwlaukie Elks.

Half of which raised their hand when asked who was experienced at signature gathering.

My sense is that the folks from Oregon City see Portland in a rear view mirror, and for the most part, they have no need for or love for it. OC is a hub city in itself and has developed into quite a booming town on the hill. The attitude about PDX is, keep your urban design and urban problems to yourself - we are doing fine.


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