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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 1, 2013 1:46 PM. The previous post in this blog was Shoni Schimmel. The next post in this blog is Using up your free New York Times clicks. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Eastside streetcar bombshell

This is nothing short of ridiculous. Watch 'em all run for political cover, too. Will Hales, Fritz, and Saltzman own up to this blunder? Of course not. Nor will Earl the Pearl, whose track record of pouring public money into rat holes is unparallelled. The screwed-up scene Portland has become is basically his "vision" come true.

The east side streetcar was a monumental mistake. As we said it would be all along. The only question now is how bad the money hemorrhage will be, and when (if ever) the public will force the charade to stop.

Comments (20)

I think I see a special streetcar "tax" on the horizon to keep this anchor floating.

The City of Portland should hold TriMet to its contract to provide the services for the contracted amount, just as TriMet is suing to hold Clackamas County to its contract. The City could even plagiarize TriMet's complaint and legal reasoning.

Wait for "the future(TM)" citizen.

Th Emperor seem like his new clothes so much that he's buying more from the same tailor. It's really sad that the fourth estate is in bed with the emperor.

I'd like to propose a ballot initiative that any public works project that exceeds original budget by a given % can only have funding increased by a majority vote of the public.

TriMet should be ridden out of town on a rail.

First of all, this item WILL NOT be discussed at the council meeting on Wednesday. Why? Because they claim they have NO IDEA why the costs have ballooned.

Second, Tri-Met needs a bunch of dough fast. Why not pad the costs of the streetcar to get cash without any public process?

Keep Portland Broke!

None of the morons responsible will ever admit a mistake. Their egos are so large that they can't even imagine the concept of making a mistake, much less admitting one.

And they agreed to pay the higher amount ?
Is the city council full of morons ?
Issac has it right, refuse to pay and cite the agreement.

Boy, I sure hope somebody takes up filling in for BoJack's blog after this Friday. This website keeps its pulse on the city, state and other local government better than any other website and newspaper (and by the way the Tribune has lost its way, and has become nothing but a mouth piece for local government).


Several years ago I was doing a lot of research about Oregon Department of Transportation's early years. Prior to the recruitment of a State Highway Engineer and establishment of a state department, every city and county dealt directly with whatever bridge peddler or road builder happened to make the most persuasive argument. This often resulted in a city getting an overbuilt and expensive bridge, a poorly built bridge or cattle passes that wouldn't hold up more than a winter. The people who dealt with the bridge and road hucksters were usually not engineers nor did they know much about what they were buying. The reason I mention this is that eventually, with standardization, licensing and the comparing of information with other states and municipalities, things got better and people began to see a process and know what to expect.

From that I can see, there's no such restraint involved in the streetcar mania currently the rage in the US. Nor much serious fiscal control. Nor much accountability.

You can't tell me that somewhere out there, someone hasn't set up a competent business to scope out, make recommendations, set up contacts for purchases and generally save a city money and trouble if they insist upon getting into the streetcar business.

Yet if there is such a responsible, dependable company Portland has apparently not availed itself of its services.

House of cards falling down!

What's the saying? In for a dime, in for a dollar? There is no bottom to this money pit (or ego fit).

I hope you guys watch out. Speaking from experience with these shenanigans, which are practically part of the Dallas city charter, the argument now will be "We have no idea why the costs jumped so much over our original estimates, but we need to keep going. You don't want to waste the money that's already been spent, do you?"

Just like the tram (rim shot)...
The CESID is still waiting for the "improvement district" levy promised...oh so long ago...
There was an "estimate" of cost...HA! HA! Look for the vacancy signs to appear as soon as the final cost is revealed and the tenants on and near the trolley route will be ass-essed.

Sure, it sounds outrageous, but does it really matter? City Hall burns our money as fast as they can, and TriMet does the same. If our beloved City Council wants to shovel some of their cash onto the TriMet bonfire, are the taxpayers really harmed? A cynical question, and somewhat sarcastic, but I'm half-way serious. What if Portland didn't hand this cash to TriMet? Would they do something productive with it, or just squander it on something as stupid as the streetcar?

. . . and when (if ever) the public will force the charade to stop.

Read about the three plans we are to select.

http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/134931-metros-drive-less-campaign-fuels-up

Public's help sought on survey to reduce vehicles on the road

Oregon wants you to drive less, and Metro has to make that happen.

The easiest way to "drive less" in sparsely populated Oregon is to move across the river to sparsely populated Washington State. Just make sure you're beyond the influence of Metro.

Bob,

There's a reason why the Trib has gone down the tubes. Pamplin makes a lot of cash peddling cement and gravel to Tri-Met and the other developers.

The City of Portland should hold TriMet to its contract to provide the services for the contracted amount, just as TriMet is suing to hold Clackamas County to its contract. The City could even plagiarize TriMet's complaint and legal reasoning.

Followed by a lawsuit against TriMet by every city and county EXCEPT Portland accusing the agency of financial malfeasence by subsidizing a transit system (the City of Portland Streetcar) while cutting regional service.

That'll be great - one court telling TriMet to honor a contract; another court saying TriMet legally shouldn't have entered into the contract. Let's just cut to the chase - take every TriMet Board member and General Manager over the last 20 years and throw them in a hard labor camp in North Korea. Then let TriMet declare Chapter 9 to absolve itself of every and all obligation and debt...then shut the agency down.


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