Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 23, 2012 5:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was Canadian pennies going the way of the dinosaur. The next post in this blog is Wal-Mart: They really *are* sleazebags. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

It's too late to turn back now

Tri-Met held its "Big Pour" for the new Milwaukie light rail bridge Friday night. From the looks of things, it went exactly as planned.

Comments (10)

I bet that's what they said when they built the Marquam Bridge too with the off ramp that connected I-5 to the Mt. Hood Freeway.

Jack, that can't be the correct photo. I see that money going straight into the toilet, without anybody at Tri-Met wiping their butts with it first. That's just not the Portland Way.

In the old days of corruption there would be a few bodies laid into the concrete along with the re-bar, this time I fear they have put our future in there.

Rode the MAX for the first time in months yesterday. No problems but once again, not a fare inspector in sight. It's sad to see the MAX used as a mobile homeless shelter, but with no fare inspection, that's one of its functions.

According to Rob Barnard, TM Project Director, a draft FFGA (Full Funding Grant Agreement) f or the Portland to Milwaukie Light Rail was sent to Congress for a courtesy “60-day review” on March 19. They expect this to be rubber-stamped (if read at all). Then it will take them a few weeks to physically round up all the dignitaries to sign the doc, so they are expecting to break out the champagne in early June for the signing ceremony.

That would trigger all the local match money, which would be due within 60 days. So that will make things interesting for Clackamas County commissioners, if they hand over their $25 million share just a few weeks before the 9/18 Rail Vote 3-401 election. Things are already heating up over that.

It's difficult to see how TriMet lawyers can allow the agency to sign the agreement The FFGA has a provision in which TriMet states they have identified adequate revenue needed to operate the new line for 20 years. That's pure fantasy.
Another provision states there are no pending legislative actions that would prevent any of the partners from peforming their obligations.

There is a county Rail Vote measure 3-401 on the ballot in September.

The US House Ways and Means Committee voted to stop dedicating 20 percent of the federal gas tax to transit projects. If the change is approved by Congress, it would require all such projects to compete with other federal programs for general fund support.

Behind the scenes Clackamas County officials are plotting to and over their $25 million. They've been getting grief for plans to use Urban Renewal funds scheduled to return to their general fund with a retiring Clackamas Town Center UR district in 2013.
The expected $1.4 to $1.8 million/year is just enough to debt service the %25 million. 41% of that general fund money would typically go to the Sheriff Office that is having to cut back in the face of rising costs and a revenue neutral levy renewal.

The word is commissioners are looking at using a chunk of their reserve they have grown from $4 million to $15 million in the last few years.

Clackistani rebels have been demanding to see all of the plans for that $25 million and will no doubt erupt if a move is made to hand it over. Besides the County share, TriMet, Metro, the Governor, the House Transportation committee, Peter Rogoff of FTA should be told why the FFGA should not be approved by FTA and not funded by Congress even if FTA does approve it.

At $1.5 billion this project if by far the most offensive in Oregon history and at the very least should be rolled back to stay out of Milwaukie and Clackamas County where residents reject it.

$236 million has been spent to date on Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail. 40% of the project is under contract. The Candlelight Café on the PSU campus is being demolished.

PMLR is reminding me of the tram project, but on a much, much larger scale... local govt tries to sell the public on a project that will bring them untold public benefit and only cost x amount of dollars... public doesn't buy it, smells something fishy, tries to block it... local govt then raises middle finger to public and does it anyways at 4x over budget... project gets completed at public expense... 'untold' public benefits never materialize... most benefit is to large, private business interests.

Coincidence?

Look how dire things were before PMLR.
Yet they pushed forward and insist on continuing in the face of insanity.

http://www.localdailynews.com/news/story.php?story_id=118065302018049900

"TriMet knows that frequency is the key to increasing bus ridership.

Since 2002, the regional mass transit agency has seen almost all of its bus ridership increase on its frequent-service lines that run every 15 minutes.

Despite that, TriMet cannot substantially increase bus service for at least another five years because of commitments to help fund new rail lines and increases in senior and disabled citizen services.

TriMet has committed to helping fund the Portland Mall/Interstate 205 MAX project, the Washington County commuter rail project and Portland streetcar extensions in the South Waterfront area."

Could the "insanity" actually be a clever maneuver to get the people of Portland to approve a takeover of a failing Tri-Met, thus giving it total control over public transit in the region?

Sometimes things are just stupidity, and other times there are clever people with money and power manipulating public opinion.

Could the "insanity" actually be a clever maneuver to get the people of Portland to approve a takeover of a failing Tri-Met, thus giving it total control over public transit in the region?

Portland can't. Metro, however, can.

Why can't Portland? It wouldn't be the first time the city sneered at a state law, ordinance, or statue that stood in the way of its big ideas.

Or have Portland and Metro become as one?


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If You See Kay, Red 2011
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Road Work

Miles run year to date: 212
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Total run in 2013: 257
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In 2006: 100
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In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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