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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 7, 2013 7:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was End of the world averted. The next post in this blog is Bioswales from hell. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Airport MAX: Great for stealing luggage

Oh, the many interesting "features" of living in the Portlandia fantasy world.

"When I talked to the baggage claim people, they said it’s a known problem with people on the MAX. People come in on the MAX, steal bags and go back out on the MAX," she said.

Police said the suspects are tied to several luggage thefts. The four adults face charges of theft, conspiracy and endangering welfare of a minor. They’ve been ordered to stay away from the airport for 90 days....

Port of Portland Police said thieves steal about 12 bags per month.

Comments (30)

That does it! Rip out the tracks.

(Everybody knows dirtbags and thieves don't drive cars.)

No, don't rip them out. Just admit they should never have been put in, and stop laying new ones. But no. The racket boys need the construction contracts and Earl the Pearl's gonna show everybody who's boss.

Come on. This is green theft. The low carbon footprint sets an example for the rest of us.

The Airport MAX is fine. It used to be you had to show your ID to get your luggage, but those days are long gone. Can't afford to pay somebody to watch your stuff as the airlines race to the bottom like the rest of the country.

And with everybody texting and fiddling with their cell, it is probably real easy to grab luggage.

Thanks, Jack! I'm flying back from Boise this morning!

There really is no excuse for not making you show your luggage claim check. But it's probably cheaper for the airlines to just pay the claims for the stolen luggage than to give somebody, you know, a job running the claim checks through a bar code scanner. Besides, as I recall you don't get paid near what the suitcase and the stuff in it were really worth.

Count me in the group that thinks the airport MAX was a great addition. The streetcar is a different story. Business travelers use the airport MAX all the time. I regularly see them on the red line.

I am all for checking luggage tickets. Blaming this on MAX seems like a stretch. How many bags were stolen before the MAX was installed?

12 bags a month is unfortunate but an absolute minuscule number compared to the overall volume going through the airport.

Nothing new here. Shoplifters have used the MAX for years. Steal something at one store and hop on the MAX to another and refund it.

Banned from PDX? Betcha it's a "gun-free zone", too.

That's gonna work just dandy!

"Business travelers use the airport MAX all the time. I regularly see them on the red line"

So what? Most do not and all have other, better, options.

I see people on the streetcar, Tram, WES and all the MAX lines all the time. So what? Does that mean they are all great additions?

The real reason for Airport MAX was so that some of the Usual Suspects could make a mint condo-izing Cascade Station. It was an EPIC FAIL and has been turned into Jantzen Beach II.

But it's probably cheaper for the airlines to just pay the claims for the stolen luggage than to give somebody, you know, a job running the claim checks through a bar code scanner.

I don't think it had anything to do with airlines paying for jobs at the baggage claims, and everything to do with people flipping out over getting caught in a line of 50 people to get their baggage after being on a 5 hour flight. Have you ever gone through one of those waits as a hapless clerk checks your claim clips against your luggage? It makes the DHS security checkpoints look like the Autobahn.

12 bags per month? Compared to the sheer volume of items stolen regularly by baggage handlers in that same time period, talk about chump change. (It doesn't downplay the fact that this happens. Considering how often it happens in other airports without rapid transit lines, though, this is more of an issue of requiring displaying a luggage claim check than anything else. However, with airlines too busy paying off executive retention bonuses to pay for airport crews to do just that, I'm not holding my breath for change.)

In the year 2013, with bar code technology and cell phones, there should be no lines.

In the year 2013, with bar code technology and cell phones, there should be no lines.

I agree, but it's a huge logistical undertaking. First of all, people have to receive and keep, for the duration of their flight(s), their luggage slips. So right off the bat, consider that a good % of those will be lost, and now you have to figure out a way to get luggage to people who lose their slips. Then you have to deal with the fact that, opposed to security, people are going through the baggage line at the END of their trip. They are tired, cranky, and they want to get out of the airport. Psychologically, it's more complicated than a security checkpoint at the start of your trip. I'm not saying you couldn't come up with a great system that would work really well, but it would be a far more complicated undertaking than people think.

The real reason for Airport MAX was so that some of the Usual Suspects could make a mint condo-izing Cascade Station.

. . . and?
A list of other motivations for real reasons?

"The real reason for Airport MAX was so that some of the Usual Suspects could make a mint condo-izing Cascade Station. It was an EPIC FAIL and has been turned into Jantzen Beach II.
Posted by Jack Bog | January 7, 2013 10:19 AM"

EPIC FAIL is right.
Public land was given away, a no bid contract for the MAX line was gifted and immense sums were devoured by Portland, PDC, Port of Portland and ODOT planners crafting a transit oriented development plan to adapt the area to TOD/Smart Growth concepts and uses.
Traffic capacities were assumed to be consistent with TOD theories. And all of the TOD infrastructure for Cascade Station was paid for with tax money.

It is now a heavily auto-oriented big box/retail/restaurant/hotel hub which all the planners did NOT plan for and the infrastructure was not designed for.

Has anyone faced any consequences. Not hardly.

Quite the contrary, the biggest offender and mouthpiece at the time was City Commissioner Charlie Hales.
Portland, the city where the scoundrels always win.

The real reason for Airport MAX was so that some of the Usual Suspects could make a mint condo-izing Cascade Station. It was an EPIC FAIL and has been turned into Jantzen Beach II.

Good point. I learned in litigation involving TriMet years ago that a contractor (I think it was Parsons Brinckerhoff) agreed to pay for the Red Line if Metro gave them the rights to develop Cascade Station.

Laughalot,
Do you have any figures on the value of the public land given away, the numbers of acreage, was it allowed through the city council channels? Would be interesting to have some history on that land, ownership prior to public purchase, etc.

Does anyone really think the same thieves who use the MAX train to steal luggage would do so if the train wasn't there? Do you honestly believe they'd drive to the airport, park their car, steal luggage, pay the parking fee, and drive away?

Or maybe you assume they will take a cab to the airport and ask the cabbie to "Wait two minutes!" then run in and grab a bag, only to get back in the taxi and drive away?

This specific crime is viable primarily because of the Max train.

From what I have been able to gather from a depth of analysis at the time is Bechtel was given the no bid contract for the MAX line.
Naturally they came up with their own figure and profit.
How fun!

The excuse for the no bid contract (and as part of the way to avoid any public light rail vote) Bechtel supposedly agreed to pay for a mile of the line themselves.

But they also got the development rights for the entire 120 acre Cascade Station which UR paid for all of the infrastructure.
Also quite fun!

From my earlier assessment it appeared as though $13 million was paid or credited as paid for a 100 year lease of the 120 shovel ready acres. I believe Bechtel was the no bid contractor for the whole site infrastructure. Trammel Crow weaved through the fun as well.

The subsequent sub lease to IKEA for 19 acre of it was also $13 million and for the remaining 94 years.

So the remainder of the 120 acres was essentially a gift.
More fun!

Hales has since claimed it was a tremendous success story.
As he also claims SoWhat is.

When having spent the many millions is the measurement it's easy to call anything successful.
Especially when one is spending other people's money.
And how fun it is!

The Cascade Station location was never planned for condos as residences are not allowed in the airport approach flight path along Airport Way. What was planned was a retail district patterned after 23rd Avenue with the addition of a cinema and a hotel. The development was supposed to discourage automobile traffic as a transit-oriented development.

It was funded by TriMet general fund (36%), Bechtel/CascadeStation Development Company, LLC (23%), Port of Portland (23%), and the City of Portland (18%). The project also used existing transit right-of-way along I-205. It was interestingly completed on schedule and within budget.

When that didn’t work out, Bechtel developed the area to what it is now. The area would have economically died without the magnet store of Ikea.

Benton
Whew that's lovely lipstick.

No, Cascade Station was never planned for condos.

It was planned to be a ped,bike,transit oriented mini-city with prohibitions on any BIG BOX auto-oriented use.

The foolish effort to discourage automobile traffic with transit-oriented development is what left the site fallow for 5 or 6 years.

The sleazy Airport Max/Cascade Station financing package was a Goldscmidt, Imeson and Carter concoction intended to avoid voter, line their pockets and ultimately ended up serving as the prototype for Interstate MAX, SoWa and PMLR financing shams.

It was funded by TriMet ripping off it's general fund,
Bechtel simply addingtheir share to their own paycheck,
the Port giving away property and the City of Portland ripping off essential services by using Urban Renewal.

The use of existing transit right-of-way is meaningless except for it taking away future auto lane space.

It is NOT "interesting" that Bechtel picking their own schedule and paycheck would be later characterized as being completed on schedule and within budget. It's shady.

Only when the zoning restrictions on Big Boxes were lifted did the site take off.

The area would only have "economically died" if the foolish plans Hales touted had not been thrown out..

Furthermore, no tax money or any particular anchor was needed to make that the auto-oriented success it has become.

Were it not for the scam to build MAX without allowing a public vote and the lousy TOD plan it would have been built much sooner without any public money .
Just as was Bridgeport Village where the developer paid for everything including $8.5 million for off site road and intersection improvements.

Bet you a One Day Fare that these "greenies" didn't pay for a ticket on the MAX and the only way they would get caught is if a Timber "Match" would be going on, thus Transit Cops galore outside of Multnomah... err... Civic... err... Jeld-Wen Stadium Station would be out in full force.

Yep, glad to see that others recall Bechtel's role here. All those months while that stop stood useless and empty, the MAX passing it by, Bechdel was raking it in. I kept wondering why the business couldn't have been given to somebody more local . . . who actually needed it.

There was this guy, Neil Goldschmidt, see...

Charges were dropped against two of the people. "It was all just a mistake." Doesn't that just about sum up a number of issues?

Next time Hales wants to push plans on our community,
we need to remind him of failed ones.
Question is, will he care enough to stop the agenda?

He who steals my bag from a carrousel at PDX will get just about what he deserves: a pile of dirty clothes.

From what I remember it was supposed to be a rail driven development, but was such a dismal failure they had to anchor it with an Ikea. I went to Ikea once and will never go back. They way the sluice you through there, I felt like a salmon swimming upstream.


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