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Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Electric Vehicles: The Portland Way"

It's the latest from our outgoing mayor and his transportation minions (those not yet indicted). It sure does have some moments:

For every EV that is purchased in Portland, the City will work to remove another vehicle from the transportation system through targeted programs like SmartTrips Portland and other demand management programs....

Some best practices being explored include establishing a “Clean Taxi” priority at airports and rail stations, charging for parking based on climate impact, or working with the State of Oregon to allow EVs to use carpool lanes or developing queue jumps on highway ramps....

Most EV users will charge their cars at home each night. However a significant number of homes, apartments and condominiums in Portland do not have the off-street parking that is generally required to install a home charging unit. The City believes every resident of Portland should have access to the benefits of EVs if they choose.

This is why the City is exploring a first of its kind partnership with Zipcar, the largest carshare organization in the country, to provide fast and reliable charging to all residents in Portland. Under this potential program, EV owners that are Zipcar members could use Zipcar’s reservation technology to secure time at a fast charger in one of several central locations, potentially in City-owned garages. This unique partnership will allow EV owners to charge their cars at a time that is convenient for them, and do it in less than half an hour....

To foster job growth consistent with the City’s Economic Development Strategy, the Portland Development Commission (PDC) identified an emerging cluster of EV related businesses in Portland and Oregon. PDC is working with Business Oregon to help support these businesses, grow the cluster and in turn create jobs....

The PDC is also in the process of developing a program in the City’s urban renewal areas after State and Federal tax credits to cover the “last mile” costs of installing EV charging stations in urban renewal districts in Portland. In conjunction with lending partners the program will seek to provide bridge loans to businesses wishing to install EV charging stations....

The City will continue to collaborate with Ecotality North America and actively seek to partner with other private entities, utilities and universities in support of EV adoption and infrastructure deployment.

"Grow the cluster" -- indeed.

Comments (27)

Eventually the rich uncles will get tired of funding this crap and take their money to a rational place.

I don't know. As long as people keep flocking to the world's first metro-sized eco-village by fiat, there'll be money to be made.

The people that live here that are being thrown under the bus are outta luck, though. Ha, ha, made them pay for it, too.

"The PDC is also in the process of developing a program in the City’s urban renewal areas after State and Federal tax credits to cover the “last mile” costs of installing EV charging stations in urban renewal districts in Portland."

Meanwhile, in other news, Oregon schools are fourth from the bottom in graduation rates while urban renewal districts continue to rob the state school fund....

Charing for parking based on climate impact? Does that include the manufacturing process of the car?

Sammyboy is the master of discrimination when it comes to propping up his personal and skewed priorities. Yesterday he ramrodded through the City Council his telephone land line tax that primarily will be paid by low income families and seniors, many of whom are on fixed incomes. Today he endorses free charging stations for EV owners. The picture of him surrounded by special interest activists covered in plastic bags says it all; he is the dushbag in the middle.

PDC and cluster in the same sentence makes me nauseous.

So, we build apartments and condos with no parking, then have to come up with electric charging stations for those living in those units. Why am I getting dizzy?

All this lip-flapping about reducing the impact of internal combustion engines on Portland's air, yet they are ready to pave over goodly portions of west Hayden Island in an attempt to stimulate MORE internal combustion engine usage...particularly BAD internal combustion engines (from the pollution angle): ships and large diesel tractors.

Also...I noted recently that Terwilliger Plaza, in 'downtown' Portland (SW 6th and Sherman) has been purchasing and demolishing older residential structures across from their retirement facility....FOR PARKING. Hey, older folks don't have all the much greater (and usually it is a much lesser) need for off-street parking, so this must be for the staffing. Has nobody at City Hall intervened to prevent this travesty? Can't those retirement facility staff people take the bus? It's not like there is any shortage of mass transit in that particular location (there must be more than eight different bus lines which pass within a block or two of the facility). They should be building revenue-generating cr-apartments to replace those Victorian houses they are tearing down with abandon. No new off-street parking down there, now.

That also brings up the whole placement of the cr-apartment structures along high volume mass transit lines...we've seen it on Division, but why has it not been happening along Powell? I recommend, in particular, the Safari Show Club location on Powell at 31st...Just go look at all that land! They could be able to triple the number of units they're trying to squeeze in at 37th & Division...without breaking a sweat or building a single off-street parking spot. And...There is 'frequent service' bus service right on Powell and other frequent lines crossing Powell at 26th and at Chavez. Talk about service! (Just don't mention that TriMet creates and destroys service lines in capricious fits.)

I find it more likely that the US will move to a cleaner transport system, one including electric or hydrogen personal vehicles, then to change to a bike centric and mass transit system.

I'll put my "gas guzzler" SUV up against any stinkin EV or hybrid "pious" car any day. Sure it uses gas, but the EV has batteries and those suckers are real Eco terrorist landfill hazards. And then there is the matter of the so called "clean" electricity....from the coal fired generation plants.
But I forgot...it's called "clean coal" now adays.
Off to the suburban mall I go!
And as for Terwilliger Plaza, the parking shortage there has been critical for years. It isn't just the staff who need parking, it is the relatives of the residents who drive to visit family and friends who park there. Also many of the residents are still fairly active. The minimum age to move in is 62. And many of those folks are still with their spouse and they both have cars! TP attracts a fairly affluent and still influential clientele and those folks are not going to put up with no parking.

Today Portland. Next: D.C.

Has a familiar ring, doesn't it!

These schmucks need to take their plans, go buy some acreage somewhere else and put a 12" chain link fence around their stuff.

Demand management programs do not "remove vehicles from the system". They suppress the demand for trips and/or move them to other times of day.

"Grow the cluster" -- indeed.

Didn't you leave out a word?

Additionally, I have not studied the issue in any depth, but electricity is hardly benign. I would be interested to see real comparative studies on the energy expenditures and environmental costs here. I'm persuaded of nothing except the self-satisfaction of electric-vehicle owners (and of course the banditry of oil companies and at some point a finite supply of petroleum).

"I would be interested to see real comparative studies on the energy expenditures and environmental costs here"

NY Times overview (How Green Are Electric Cars? Depends on Where You Plug In - http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/automobiles/how-green-are-electric-cars-depends-on-where-you-plug-in.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) of the Union of Concerned Scientists' study (http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/smart-transportation-solutions/advanced-vehicle-technologies/electric-cars/emissions-and-charging-costs-electric-cars.html). I think the title of the NYT story pretty well sums it up.

And then there is the matter of the so called "clean" electricity....from the coal fired generation plants.

Like Portland's landfill way out in Arlington, eastern Oregon that nobody ever hears about, the region's salmon mincing or coal-fired electricity generation is also 'out-of-sight, out-of-mind'.

Like Hollywood, when it comes to politics, it's not reality but instead what you can get people to believe that counts, and also what gets the votes.

God, every time I hear the word cluster (unless it precedes the f-word) - time to look for another lie (or chug a beer).

"charging for parking based on climate impact"

Glad they are considering free parking for everyone. (Of course they are too scientifically illiterate to realize it.)


Just a reasonable number of charging stations thank you. I'm not interested in doing business with Zipcar or the like. My Think City EV is for around town and my small SUV for longer trips and hauling stuff.

"In 2011, 80 percent of Oregon's net electricity generation was from conventional hydroelectric power plants and other renewable energy resources."

Thanks to k2 & Cary for the links, which I read. I'm a bit skeptical of scientists who are primarily advocates (UCS) but take in the information on the issue which I'll continue to do. Very dubious about the social/scientific/political re-engineering from above. Particularly when "above" is the sorts of mental midgets running places like Portland in "partnership" with companies such as "Ecotality" anything.

Though I live in Beaverton, I sometimes go to the Hillsdale Library. They have 3 electric vehicle charging stations right next to the basement elevator entrance. They were never in use or at least I never saw them in use. All of the other parking spaces were always in use so it was aggravating to see those three spaces always empty.

I don’t know when they did it, but they put up a sign over those 3 parking spaces that said: 15 minutes parking for non-EV users. Now I can park there, run in and be back in 5 minutes.

Yesterday for the first time I actually saw a Volt charging at one. That’s the first time I have seen an EV.

I'm sorry but if you think I or the rest of the tax payers should be paying to recharge your electric toy then you best be willing to pay to refuel my vehicle of choice.

I really like the part about making shopping downtown easier, as if having an EV charger will bring the masses of shoppers back

"Free" Boardman coal power, baby. You can almost smell the copious amounts of radioactive Thorium in the fly ash.

When you've legislated every power source out of town, you can plug your charger paddles where the sun shines. When it shines. If it shines.

It may take you a week to get across town, but nobody said slow-motion suicide would be convenient. Unearned moral authority has it's price.

Paid for Ecotopia, got Egotopia, left for Earth.

You can build as many coal fire plants and landfills out here as you want. We like your money and jobs. We like being able to drive to those jobs too, and park there.

"A significant number of apartments do not have off-street parking..." Really? And whose fault is that?

I find it more likely that the US will move to a cleaner transport system, one including electric or hydrogen personal vehicles, then to change to a bike centric and mass transit system.

I'm 95% sure this is sarcastic, but in case it's not: how will that play in Pendleton? Or Nebraska?

I wonder how much more environmentally friendly it would be if the city retired virtually its entire motor pool and required city employees on city business to use TriMet; eliminated employee parking and required employees to use TriMet (or walk/bike) to work; required Portland Police to use small, efficient vehicles rather than full-sized V8 powered Crown Victorias, downsized Fire Bureau vehicles, eliminated the use of a full-sized fire engine response on medic calls (so only an ambulance is dispatched)...

Or, for that matter, requiring TriMet to retire their fleet of buses over 12 years of age and replace them with buses that have EPA Tier 4 engines, with hybrid-electric drives, particulate traps, and are articulated or double-deck buses so they can run fewer buses yet carry the same number of people. Or...convert buses to trolleybuses (with overhead electric wires).

Of course, it's not "Ask not what the city can do for you, tell you what to do for the city."

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