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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Let's go broke

Just what our insolvent state and local governments need -- a bullet train to the sticks.

Comments (15)

But it'll open up the entire valley to transit-oriented development from the Columbia all the way to Springfield, with tax-payer subsidies!

Sounds like WES on steroids.

Sounds like WES on steroids.

Too Funnnnnnnnnnny!

Standard MMO - Give the sheeple expensive bread and circus material to distract them from govt incompetence when it comes to actual day-to-day problems.

I've see the people in downtown Eugene, and we probably don't want any of them to have easy access to Portland. I have seen the people in downtown Portland and I doubt if Eugene wants any of them to visit anytime soon. Sounds like a lose lose.

Must be a misprint; apparently the reporter didn't realize the actual title is High Cost Rail.

Uncle Phil's football players won't have to drive 120 mph to Portland to score crack or weed now! Yippee.

That would be a Big Hit with the suicide bunch which would kill travel time as the 'Investigators' would need several hours to determine the cause of each death.

The most disturbing part of O's coverage is how these Open Houses aren't about discussing if a bullet train is wanted, is effective, the cost/benefit ratio, how/who will pay for it. Instead the ODOT Planners meetings will:

"determine future routes and stations, the number of daily trips, travel-time objectives and whether the trains will be powered by electric or diesel-electric engines."

Did we all miss something here? When was it decided and we're down to deciding the type of engines?

This is like the Portland to Sherwood lightrail: "Oh, were not here to decide if you want it, we are here to decide the location of the transit stops and how dense we want to make the housing and commercial developments around the stops." And what is even worse, they tell you we need a lot of density to help meet fed requirements and help pay for it.

I got a sinking feeling when I read about those Open Houses
for the very reasons that you just described.

I will add it is so clear this is simply not affordable! They had to dredge up every dollar they possibly could for the Milwaukie Light Rail, and bingo, several more projects coming down the tracks!!

Time to shake up the state legislature that allows and even promotes this c#*p. has everyone in government service these days been blinded by the God of Dumb Growth? Once the Feds started waving dollar bills in front of ODOT, I imagine they couldn't resist the opportunity to do some empire-building.

The lines might look good on paper, but as people in Damascas found out, regional planners making decisions based on aerial maps get things very wrong. As for cutting-edge planning, Oregon is really NOT in the forefront anymore. BRTs are being discovered nationally as less expensive alternatives to fixed rail. So why are the Feds pushing trains? Are they tres chic?

WSJ September 28, 2012

The Commute of the Future
To Get Riders, Buses Try to Be More Like Trains; Skip Red Lights


The proposal, is of course, absurd, and reflects all that is wrong with "Blue Oregon". However, Drain or Remote are "the sticks", not Eugene, despite what y'all ImPortanTantLanders may think.

At least, from this comment readers can study this: The Coming of the Railroad, Chapter 37, "History of Oregon," Charles Henry Carey.

Building a railroad from the Atlantic to the Pacific was proposed in publication as early as 1832,34. Besides that Oregon was not even a State then, (nor California, nor 'Manifest Destiny' in the vernacular), early presentations counted "Oregon country" as a different country, its own separate 'nation' not part of 'America' which was in those years defined as the Eastern seaboard of 13 colonies plus the Ohio River watershed as far west as the Mississippi. A railroad was proposed to link the two countries, and share commerce.

There were loud naysayers -- mainly spouting 'it is an engineering impossibility' -- an outsized loud minority faction. Others in Congress would squash it under leverage -- 'if Oregon deserves a railroad then we in (pick one) Ohio/Florida/Texas deserve one, too, everybody gets a railroad or nobody does ....' The most objection was funding -- 'we can't afford to build a railroad to the Pacific.'

Early in the discussions arose the conceptual idea of granting land (title) to private-wealth 'industrialist' railroad-builders, as the basis of finance; (following construction, of course, the railroad(s) would be public properties, publicly-owned utilities ... like a public-owned post office or school built by a private contractor).

Any granted lands would be along the route of the railroad. The key thought was that the speculative value of the land would appreciate as it was 'develop-able' with a railroad running to it. There were no inhabitants (except First Peoples) in the land west of the Mississippi, but if railroads were built, they would come. A key problem was that USofA did not 'own' the land (Wisc., Minn., S.& N. Dakotas, Mont., Idaho, Wash.), and did not have land 'title' to give away, hypothetically where a railroad would be built.

So the first order of business was sending abroad the USArmy to conquer the continent. Then, too, the business needed a railroad to be built (first) to transport the USArmy out West to the place where the conquering would be done
... out on hiway 61.

To make a wide story come to a point, in 1862 and 1864 Congress passed papers that traded 10 sections of land (pop quiz: How much is a 'section'?) for each mile of railroad built from Portland to the California border, (today's so-called 'O & C lands'), in exchange for money (accounts) to finance The War ... y'know, that was going on ... paying the Union soldiers. Repeat: Originally, the O&C lands grant was a War Act made (by the North) to finance fighting the Civil War.
Like Bush selling private TerrorSecurity contracts in the public airports ... ship ports, trains, buses ... to finance invading the Middle East.

Nobody lived in the Willamette Valley then but it was supposed that building a railroad through it would bring the people who would buy tickets (passenger and cargo) which would pay for building the railroad. For the most part that is what happened. But ...

The private parties who got title to the (O & C) lands, which they could sell for no more than $2.50/Acre under federal law, immediately broke the law by selling Acres for as much as $50.00. That's when & why & how the federal SHTF -- the feds prosecuted (1880s) to reclaim both the lands and the sales proceeds; Teddy R. (1900s) celebrated himself busting the Trusts which were the railroad barons; and during (1910s) OR Gov. Withycombe's and his predecessor's administrations over half (more than 1100) public employees (of the Legislature) were under indictment, convicted or incarcerated - it 'shrunk' the government in Salem - for title fraud, land theft, receiving stolen lands, and so forth. Which proves, once and for all, in the first place and everafter, the moral of the story: DO NOT put the public interest and public resources into private hands NEVER NEVER EVER because private 'businessmen' ALWAYS steal from you, me, and we the public, to make themselves rich. Mostly, so-called 'private/public partnership' is the more of the same: private greedheads having their filtching hands in the public purse. Like LarsLarson unlawfully capitalizing his own private riches by (past) violating his broadcast-license permissions in the public airwaves resource.

With that precaution against private interests involved in public finance, today (on-topic) it is a good idea to upgrade the railroad roadbed for higher speed electric locomotives, through the Willamette Valley, in anticipation and prepared readiness for the soon-coming end of diesel fuel and gasoline cars ... or at least, fuel rationing like we did around here 70 years ago.

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