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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Brains behind WES leaves his Portland State gig

If I had anything to do with the WES rail line between Beaverton and Wilsonville -- one of the biggest mass transit failures in history -- I would be slinking off into a dark corner somewhere and keeping my name out of the limelight. But here in Portland, nothing succeeds like failure, and so a lazy, gushy tribute for a weak track record is always available.

Comments (6)

Zen = really bad idea?

(Sorry, I posted this on the wrong page!)

Mike Burton made a proposal long ago I liked a lot: Include premiums for "uninsured driver" auto insurance with the state motor fuel tax.

Some fraction of Oregon drivers shirk responsibility by not having insurance -- forcing the rest of us to purchase extra coverage. Including it in with the road tax seemed to be a great idea...unless you are in the insurance business. Sure, the details of assigning insurance pools and costs would have been tricky. And it would have been a tad too close to the dreaded "Single Payer Option."

The guy with the Ph.D. from "Columbia." No, not that Columbia. The diploma mill in New Orleans.

Several decades ago I was pondering whether to pursue an MBA. This was when Burton was at Marylhurst.

Although, I already had an undergrad degree, I figured an undergrad class in business would give me a sense of whether or not I'd be interested in pursuing an MBA. Burton was my "professor" and he was an eff up.

Since my employer at that time would pay for classes with business relevance when grades were B or higher, I enrolled in the class with the expectation of a grade. I also wanted an A so I undertook the extra credit work to ensure I got it.

However, Burton apparently thought I was on a Pass-Fail plan and sent a Pass as my grade to the registrar. I had to protest it to get reimbursed. Since Burton had already skipped out of town for awhile, Marylhurst decided a B (with no documentation of the work I had done - papers, tests, extra-credit work, etc.) was in order. Just enough to get my reimbursement.

I can see that nothing about him has changed (though until I read the OP, I had no idea he was behind the failure known as WES.).

What logic was used to sell that thing is beyond me. I see it most mornings passing me at Hall and 217, one car most of the time about 60-70% full. Absurd. We were all questioning the logic behind it before it was built why wasn't anyone else?

I see it most mornings passing me at Hall and 217, one car most of the time about 60-70% full

Are you sure about that?

Whenever I see WES, or the few times I've ridden it (most often with my now seven-year-old son), "full" is one person per row of seats, about 75% of them are "full".

Of course, each row has four seats. So, if there are...oh, 30 rows, 75% of them have just one person in them...

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