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Friday, October 26, 2012

Good money after bad -- it's the Portland way

The Portland "planning" mafia -- they mostly "plan" cushy retirements for themselves and their developer and construction industry puppeteers -- are determined that inner northeast Portland is going to become pedestrian-friendly. They've now built an infernal streetcar that runs around, extremely infrequently and usually with a half-dozen passengers or fewer, on Broadway and Weidler west of Seventh, on MLK, and on Grand.

Those stretches have never exactly been nice to walk on, and they still aren't. There are too many cars and trucks going too fast. But the Bluemauerites just won't give up. They will pour hundreds of millions into that hole -- trying to make them a "Main Street" fit for strolling or skateboarding or cartwheeling or whatever-so-long-as-it's-not-in-a-car. The folks who own the property along the route have dollar signs in their eyes, but it's an illusion, at least any time soon. By the time there's money to condo-ize most of those blocks, the streetcars will be worn out and need replacement.

The next avenue to get the treatment is Multnomah Street in the nearby Lloyd District. The transportation "planners" are determined that people are going to mostly walk and bike on that thoroughfare, which is currently dominated by cars. The developer overlords are preparing to slap up giant cr-apartment towers, just like in the failed SoWhat District, and it will supposedly be another wonderland of urban livability -- if only the taxpayers blow seven or eight figures converting Multnomah into a multi-modal theme park. The spending and the ripping up have begun.

Meanwhile, our schools rot, the local private sector economy is on life support, and a legion of the mentally ill roams the streets. We were out jogging the other night, passing through Seventh and Weidler, and there was some old creepy guy standing on the corner wearing nothing but a raincoat and looking for all the world like he was about to kill somebody. If the city would do something about him, maybe the Lloyd District would be a place that someone would actually want to go, even without the bike treatment.

Comments (27)

"...some old creepy guy standing on the corner wearing nothing but a raincoat and looking for all the world like he was about to kill somebody"

If he was wearing a Fedora it was probably Frank Ivancie.

. . . Or a developer disguised panning the landscape figuring out how to make a killing.

I don't know about that, Tom. My recollection is that Ivancie was the last mayor we had where there weren't a bunch of creepy guys standing on the steet corners.

The New Era is already beginning!

Saw a cop yesterday on Multnomah with lights on, clearly needing to go somewhere, and unable to move, since there was no way for the other cars to move aside to let the cop through.

Wonder how quickly it will take the gangbangers to figure out that police response times along Multnomah have just taken a major hit.

Not to worry, it's not like a fire engine would ever have to travel down the street or anything...

Sounds like more of the Big Plan being implemented to restrict personal movemement in order to force people to live in the "walk/bike work-live-play" neighborhood.

Some people think this is a great idea... others think it through and realize...

a) If you want to go somewhere like that special shop you heard about or visit a friend or relative across town, you're supposed to ride a bike there.

b) Or, you're supposed to walk there.

c) Or, you can take public transit run by a government monopoly which dictates when you can go and how much it'll cost you, and that's only if it even goes near where you want to go in the first place, otherwise you can't leave your neighborhood.

d) You'll have to quit your job and find another one located near the residence you've chosen.

e) Or, you'll need leave your residence and find another one located near the job you've chosen.

f) "Workers" housing will be provided by a "public-private partnership" between the government and selected developers to make things easier for you to find new residences and adjust to your new way of life.

Because certain government workers high in the decision-making chain will need space for important meetings and important decisions, they will of course be allowed to live in private homes outside of "workers" areas and will have private transportation.

The world has gone down this path before believing it was for a good cause and it ended it epic failure because of greed and a stifling of public thought and creativity.

In Portland, it's already about greed and we're being told it's for a good cause.

And just to reiterate what's been said here before on this topic: Multnomah already had bike lanes in both directions.

This project removes car lanes to add... nothing!

We are making. Plans to spend the cold gray wet winters in a more southerly state. It's broke too but at least we'll save money on heat!

To understand the idiocy and downright maliciousness know this: The infantile and corrupt "planners" act in regards to the belief there are no automobiles.

Of course reality collides (many times literally) with this view - but it is nevertheless how these idiotic and dangerous projects are done from conception to completion.

"And just to reiterate what's been said here before on this topic: Multnomah already had bike lanes in both directions.

This project removes car lanes to add... nothing!"

The bike lanes have clearly been improved. I looked through the CoP materials on this, and one thing I didn't see was current traffic counts of cars vs. bicycles on Multnomah. (0.25% bikes 1% bikes? 2% bikes?)

Moreover, this is officially a two year test (yeah, right), and I also didn't see how the test would be evaluated. Is there a target level of bike riders that the project is supposed to generate? What are the CoP criteria for determining whether the test was successful? If 5% of the traffic on Multnomah is bikes two years from now, is that a success? Is 2% bikes success? Is there any criteria for "success" at all?

CoP's criteria for success is any reduction in vehicular traffic, regardless of the reason, even if it's destructive.

Look at downtown, they call that a "success".

Did they forget to put in bio-swales, I mean drainage-ditches?? What a stupid idea those things are. Spend billions on the big pipe & then take out tons of onstreet parking for those things. Take a good look @ the insane Burnside-Couch couplet. many many parking spaces eliminated, thanks to CoP...crazy...

Don't worry you guys, we were assured here just the other day that it's still easy to drive around inner Portland, not a problem really. If you ever get stuck, then you just might not be a good driver, or something.

So glad I moved out. Wish I had done it much sooner. Join us...

Bad as it is, this project won't seem like such a big deal when inner Northeast is totally paralyzed by the "$400 million" I-5 widening project between the Minnesota Freeway and I-84.

City Council endorsed this yesterday. Work would include capping the freeway around the Rose Quarter. Now those main street scams don't seem so impactful. I may not visit NE for years...

Ironically they are removing bus stops, so you're forced to walk/bike and if you're unable, too bad so sad.

I'm not quite sure what the point of this whole project is...since the street is surrounded almost entirely by parking lots.

In that photo, it looks like they're turning the bike lane into an obstacle course. Fun times!

I am bike friendly, but this one I don't understand. Multnomah was already pretty darn good for bike commuters. Well marked bike lanes and enough pedestrian traffic and signals to keep MV traffic speeds down. I'm sure they are not finished, but the preliminary striping and traffic diversions are a lot more confusing than what was there before. When you have to think about what the lane markings and signs and diversions mean, while at the same time driving or biking, there's something wrong with the plan.

If the goal is to force people out of their cars, the solution seems easy.

Make travel by car intolerable, frustrating, expensive and difficult... and slowly... like death of a thousand cuts.

It seems to be working.

The creepy guy is Homer Williams.

I guess a Portland IndyCar street race is out of the question.

It only works on people who aren't able to pack up their belongings, their assets, their families, their businesses, their payrolls, their corporate headquarters, or their tax contributions, and move somewhere else.

For others, it's just more ol' fashioned demographic engineering.

After seeing projects like this, how can anyone honestly say that the Portland bureaucrats have not shifted from being just pro-bicycle to full on anti-car?

If one reads the Portland Climate Action Plan approved uninamously by the entire city council a couple of years ago, the Portland bureacrats have shifted to full-on anti-car and anti-single family home. It's execution is just starting to become obvious.

Just wait till its all painted green..
And don't forget about Oak and Stark.. I think its because
of a new Mayor coming to office soon that might not be as
friendly to bikes as NAMBLA Sam..

Why was the Mayor at Seventh and Weidler ?

Portland ought to just cut to the chase and ban automobiles. The only roads would be state highways that the city can't ban cars on, and even then the city would take over state highways like U.S. 30 Bypass (a.k.a. Lombard Street), Oregon 213 (a.k.a. 82nd Avenue), U.S. 26 (a.k.a. Powell Boulevard), and Oregon 99W (a.k.a. Barbur Boulevard)...

...the Portland bureacrats have shifted to full-on anti-car and anti-single family home.

Is the plan then to propagandize people out of single family homes or to tax them out? Can't pay the tax, bring in PDC, call a section of the neighborhood blight and voila, more people left to go where?
What is the plan?
Moving masses into "subsidized affordable housing?"

By blocking traffic entering and leaving the Lloyd Center it will cost the City of Portland a great deal of money in tax revenue. The traffic will get so bad during the holiday shopping period; many people will not want to try to come back to the Lloyd Center, costing businesses sales, the Mall ownership income, and people’s jobs when businesses have to eliminate employees due to reduced sales. The traffic will get so bad that police and emergency vehicles may not be able to get to Lloyd Center in emergencies; I just hope nobody dies because of this! Even without the lane reduction we had virtual gridlock during busy shopping times, now it will be totally intolerable. The city and its’ bike friendly position is going way too far when they do this sort of thing that will damage people and businesses.

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