This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 11, 2007 4:39 PM. The previous post in this blog was Must be all those eco-roofs. The next post in this blog is Happy birthday. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, February 11, 2007

PHART stopped

A reader writes with a question about the Pill Hill Aerial Rapid Transit system:

As I was driving to church this morning, one tram car was stopped over I-5, the other almost at the top of the hill. When I returned 2 hours later, it still appeared to be in the same place. I can't get anything coming up on Google about it. Do any of your sources have anything to say about it?
Of course, this wonderful piece of "public" transportation doesn't run on Sunday, and so perhaps it was some kind of maintenance or test. Anyone?

Comments (15)

They were just trying to get the funny smell from the financing to dissipate a little.

b!x recently reported the south car was making a noise while traveling up and down the hill. The two could be connected.

Closed on Sunday so it was parked over I-5 to say,
"Look at me, look at me, I'm like the space needle"

Well, when I go to work tomorrow, I'll let you know if the squeak and the rattle have stopped, in which case perhaps that indeed is what they were doing.

If it were stuck while empty, does anybody think they would admit it?

I suspect they're "storing" them on the lines while the tram is inactive, to discourage vandals, etc.

Someone once said that if a lie is told often enough people will eventually accept it as the truth.

In an Oregonian editorial Saturday, 2/10/2007, A Generous Gift to Portland: "Yes, the city and OHSU wildly underestimated the cost of the tram."

Apparently, the editorial board of The Oregonian has fallen prey to this false statement. The cost of the tram was not wildly underestimated. The cost of the tram was based on false and material misrepresentations to our political body, City Council, to begin with. In a word, FRAUD.

In 2006, The Oregonian reported, "The sad story is, tram managers knew early on that the original budget wouldn't cover it. But no one made that clear to the council until later."
("Tram Anxiety" Jan 12, 2006).

The same Oregonian further headlined on Sunday, April 2, 2006, "Tram's price tag unrealistic from the get-go." The article even names those responsible for the fraud.

On April 12, 2006 Commissioner Leonard, in casting the only NO vote for even more additional tram funding, stated that OHSU representatives and certain city employees knew of the increased costs back in 2002 and did not reveal that information to Council.

In his remarks, Commissioner Leonard stated, "... various financial sweetheart deals with OHSU amount to a MINIMUM of $14.15 million total direct taxpayer subsidy of OHSU and its tram."

All to no avail.

Council approved the additional funding, disregarding the public information in the Oregonian, disregarding the findings of their fellow council member, disregarding the January 10, 2004 Southwest Neighborhood (SWNI) formal request to reevaluate the justification for the tram, in part, because of "...significantly escalating costs."

And our City Council, City Auditor, or our District Attorney do nothing to seek the recovery of the "...MINIMUM $14.15 million..." taxpayer funds committed to this project based on fraud.

All this leaves one with the impression that Council believes the end justifies the means. If that is true, has Council solidified itself as an irresponsible steward of our taxes?

And for what future projects will Council accept fraudulent statements to allocate our moneys? After all, in the same 2/10/2007 editorial extolling the anonymous donation,the Oregonian editors state, "It will take several years, and almost certainly some additional public money, ..." Check your wallets!

So,if the editorial board of the Oregonian repeats the lie often enough will its readers now accept it as the truth?

Or rather, do birds of a feather flock together? And the taxpayers are the birdseed.




Or rather, do birds of a feather flock together? And the taxpayers are the birdseed.

No, we're the newspaper on the bottom of the cage.


To answer the question posed, it's my understanding from OHSU Campus Security that the day the tram cars were seen dangling over the freeway was Sunday, and Sundays are "maintenance day". The supposition was that the tram cars were parked in midair because work was being done on the docking stations.

Whatever kind of maintenance day Sundays are, it's dfinitly not one where thy address Tootie's squeaking and rattling, because she's still doing that.

PHART is the funniest tram-related thing since Phil Stanford's suggestion for naming the two tram cars (Up and Yours).
For us old timers, I'd like to add one more possible description: Whoops on Wires.

Both cars repeatedly banged into their docking armatures the {Windy} day we rode PHART. That can't be good for their long term structural integrity.

Perhaps the "value engineering" initiatives affected the aerodynamics of the docking facilities?

As for hanging a stationary object over a I-5...It sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. If nothing else, it's going to distract a large number of motorists who otherwise would have passed under the cables with nary a look. Why not hang them closer to Barbur Blvd?

Clicky Web Analytics