This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 6, 2012 9:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Running the last real industry out of Portland. The next post in this blog is Charlie Hales: "I am a Portland treasure". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Atlanta gets a sermonette from guess who

Streetcars are so wonderful. They're catalysts! They're linchpins! Did you know the SoWhat District would not have been built if it hadn't been for the streetcar? Honest! This guy has told us so.

You’re also going to have some detractors. When we started, we had them, too. They were afraid that it would be too expensive and people wouldn’t ride it. We don’t hear that so much these days.

Really? Maybe he would if he knew how to listen.

Comments (18)

Well, the clock's ticking. Looks like that's the only sound he can hear right now; he's busy looking for his next gig.

You have to understand that I'm laughing harder than most, because I understand some of the context. Atlanta right now is in a world of hurt, caused mostly by being one of the poster children for the real estate bubble. Downtown resembles "The Walking Dead" more than you know: at my day job, I've heard several of the sales and marketing people talk about the likelihood of a big trade show moving out of Atlanta. It's not that people in the business don't like the trade show, but the nearly universal comment is "I'd like to go outside without being accosted by bums wanting spare change." Second on the list is "I'd like to go somewhere to eat that didn't require having to rent a car to do so."

Now, downtown Atlanta could be fixed up, but the city government, dysfunctional under the best of circumstances, can't come up with a compromise that benefits the most campaign contributors. Instead, they're all looking for a quick cure. Guess what? A new shiny streetcar system would help compensate for not having any place along its route worth visiting, right?

Now, considering Sam's insistence upon a new convention center hotel in Portland, his playing booster for Atlanta's streetcar delusions is even funnier. Let's set up an infrastructure to haul around conventioneers, without giving them a reason to come out there in the first place. Better yet, let's just pretend that the biggest complaints made by conventioneers aren't indicative of serious issues that need to be fixed first. Make it even easier for developers to build whatever the hell they want, sell out any actual infrastructure in order to pay off those developers, let the police run amok, and get snippy if anyone dares note that the Emperor doesn't even have tattoos any more. Before you know it, you'll have turned Portland and Atlanta into...Houston.

It's easy to say you don't hear complaints when you can't hear at all.

Haters gonna hate, so f**k 'em and full speed ahead. The same arrogance is on display this morning in The O, where Charlie Hales has an op-ed bashing Dave Lister for daring to poke a little hole in the bubble of fatuousness surrounding SoWhat.

Absolutely true, Mr. Grumpy. Sam makes sure he doesn't hear those complaints by having lots of colon tissue blocking his ears. Heck, if he shoves his head any further up his butt, he'll become a Klein bottle with legs.

What's next; "Forty years of playing dress-up looks good on Darcelle" how about it Samantha?

I have an idea.
Since Sammy obviously knows how to fix Atlanta's problems he would resign as mayor of Portland and move down south.
Today works for me, how about everyone else ?

Tankfixer, good luck on that. Atlantans have an understandable loathing of the term "carpetbagger", and Sam looks the part without trying.

"Streetcars are attractive?" I don't think so. I find downtown Portland less attractive w/ the streetcars and Max trains. I find them imposing and feel that they cut me off from the "landscape." I don't like big trains rolling in front of me while I'm waiting to cross the street. Downtown was more pedestrian friendly without the trains in my opinion. Oh well. I'm just a guy who used to spend money downtown and now finds himself visiting the malls more often.

Anyone want to bet on whether Sam has a job lined up as a streetcar salesman, like Hales did after resigning his couoncil seat?


In Portland, we can steamroll over the black population and nobody thinks about it...that's why Portland is frequently voted as the whitest city in America, and gentrification is seen as business-as-usual.

Just TRY to run that scheme in Atlanta. I dare Sam to do it. He won't last two days. That'd be a good thing for him to experience because he needs to learn a lesson in that while Portland might be a push-over city, Atlanta won't take that crap.

It's a cinch he's not going to be preaching bicycling in downtown Atlanta.

Time to write those letter to the editor of the Atlanta paper.

I'm with JK as to Sam's future job. He must be wanting to warm up Charlie's old seat in the toy train biz.

Fear not! Omce "Trey" Scarpitti gets outta the MultCo jail and goes on the win the election, all will be Roses.


I had a good discussion with a lead planner for Tucson's coming streetcar. He was glorifying how streetcars brought $Millions of development and other attributes to Portland.

I informed I was from Portland and went through the list of over 7 subsidies that really were the contributing factors to all the numbers he seemed to be able to cite.

Obviously he was getting his PR from Sam/Matt Brown (former PDC/PBOT who became a consultant to Tucson) planner that helped bring the streetcar to SoWhat. The Tucson planner said, "Gosh, I never of heard of those facts and figures-interesing."

I'm sure Charlie gave the same spiel to Tucson through his Streetcar Company. And Sam certainly did. We're a exporter of the streetcar myth. Beware Atlanta.

Thanks, T. triff, I'm going to have nightmares about that image -- which would be a triffid that looks like Sam.

In that airline miles have about the same carbon footprint as driving a fuel efficient car, doubt exists that Sammyboy peddled his bike all the way to Atlanta just so he could take some bows and make an ego inspired speech. Likewise he probably again forgot to mention the likely million dollar annual taxpayer funded subsidy undoubtedly needed to keep the Atlanta’s toy train rolling. What a hypocritical jerk!

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