Guess who brought the delusional Slate reporter to town
We blogged last week about this drivel -- an article touting Portland's wonderful economy. It basically took one not very meaningful statistic and spun it into a fairy tale about economic progress in our city. To show how perceptive it was, it even glowed with the news that the city's creepy mayor is making progress on the high school dropout front.
A reader alerted us to the fact that the writer in question, Matthew Yglesias, made his brief visit to Portland at the behest of the Bus Project. Given his hearty endorsement of the status quo in Portland, it's almost as if the Bus folks, who do the bidding of mayoral wannabe Jeffer-Sten Smith, are signalling that Smith will stay the course set by the current "management," the Sam Rand Twins. Interesting.
We were also a little surprised to see that the group 1,000 Friends of Oregon was involved in bringing Yglesias to town. We've always mentally cubby-holed 1,000 Friends as a focused, old school watchdog of the state's land use laws -- laws that deserve and need fierce protectors. But a little prowling around on the organization's website shows that the group is currently mixing up and dispensing tankfuls of real estate developer Kool-Aid.
Those huge cr-apartment bunkers without parking that are wrecking Portland's inner east side neighborhoods? 1,000 Friends is applauding them:
Both Portland and Seattle have a variety of market and regulatory tools in place to incentivize good urban development. Tools such as reuse tax credits and demolition fees can promote redevelopment of existing buildings, but ultimately, many developers say removing parking minimums is the most effective way to move new infill or adaptive reuse projects forward. Zoning codes in both cities support reducing parking minimums along frequent service transit corridors, and it is an important tool to ensure that development occurs in target areas....
Along with a packed room, we discussed the economic benefits of removing parking minimums, and how urban growth boundaries have supported the type of development that is right for the Portland region. Yglesias was surprised by the disconnect of the central city and central eastside neighborhoods, and by the commitment to single family residential zoning throughout much of the city....
1000 Friends was honored to co-host Matt’s first trip to Portland, and we will consider his observations as we champion strategies that will promote a more livable, economically prosperous and walkable region.
Would Tom McCall support 100-unit apartment complexes with no parking? Would Tom McCall push to marginalize single-family houses? The Bus kids and their 1,000 Friends counterparts are twisting history, spouting gibberish, and creating a Portland that will never be anything but food carts, drum circles, and methadone clinics. The Matthew Yglesias worship should be a big-time alarm for the rest of us about where the hipsters are driving us. And it's too bad that the grownups have apparently all left 1,000 Friends.