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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Your tax dollars at work

A reader sends along these photos from Friday morning on Grand Avenue in Portland. Seems that there was a fire truck on the streetcar tracks, which means that the streetcar comes to a screeching halt. Had it been a bus, there would have been a slight delay as the driver changed lanes or pursued a detour. But buses don't sell apartments, and so everybody gets to sit:


It's funny that there's already signage built into the streetcar computer for this eventuality. Of course, the motorists who need to get the message are behind the streetcar, not in front of it. But hey -- it's cool anyway. Go by streetcar! When it isn't blocked.

Comments (16)

Several of these messages were pre-programmed for public information and safety purposes....

"Streetcar blocked"
"Please go around"
"Keep your wallet hidden"
"Keep your children away from the riders"
"Keep your firearm close"
"Enjoy the view, it's costing you plenty"
"Remember to thank your smart planners"

FYI, the streetcars have the same sign in the back, too (they can travel in either direction) so affected motorists would see the message

Yes, but in the wisdom consistent with Portlandia, it reads "dekcolb racteertS"

"...everybody gets to sit"?

That's wonderful!

That's progress!

Means they actually had passengers!

Who woulda' thunk!

Streetcars are SO obsolete, esp. ones that run in mixed traffic.

New iPortland App: "Streetcar Blocked -- PLEASE LET ME OUT!"

Just a reminder:
Charlie Hales caused our streetcar infestation.
Charlie started the practice of giving road money to streetcars.
Charlie promoted giving property tax abatements to developer buddies to build high density housing.


After about 50 years, and after Huntington's real estate developments were up and running, SoCal dumped the Red Cars.

Last week there was a medical emergency on one of the MAX trains; our exchange student was on the next train, which was stuck in place for about 1/2 an hour while EMT's worked on the guy in the 1st train.

I was on a Max train that had stop, let out all the passengers, and pull over to the siding ... All because someone got on with a bloddy nose and dripped some blood on the floor -- BIOHAZARD!

But this is Portland, according to the Planners, in times like this you're supposed to be willing to walk to to airport in the rain or better yet, pull a bike out of your a** and ride it there.

What if you're on one of those streets in downtown that are two-way with one lane in each direction and a double yellow line? Are the PoPo going to write you tickets (provided you are driving, not a bicyclist) for illegal passing?

Coming home from the Winterhawks game last night, there was one passenger at 8:45 on the streetcar turning south at NE 7th and Weidler. But, hey, it was running on Sunday night, unlike a lot of bus lines.

I've also had the experience of having to get off Max and board the next train when someone puked on the second car. Everyone on both cars had to vacate the Max.

To paraphrase a recent commercial. The bus is a vehicle with one button, these street cars have buttons within buttons, a streetcar has many buttons (substitute messages if it makes more sense that way). The comedy continues.

A sharp city hall candidate can jump on this situation and propose spending, oh, say, a half million dollars to install big, flashy signs on the back of every streetcar to inform those stuck in traffic behind them just what the problem is.

Maybe someday someone in office will stop treating Portland as an amusement park. Street cars? trams? I suppose someone in city hall has a plan for clown cars and unicycles next. I would settle for filling a few pot holes and making people use the cross walk.

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