This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 25, 2012 11:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was Take an Alka Seltzer -- here comes another helping. The next post in this blog is On the shady side of the street. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why car hating is the only answer

Here's a comedy piece: Streetcar Smith and a real estate operator, preaching the "multi-modal" gospel.

And the "millennials" -- the generation that will provide our next cohort of well-educated entrepreneurs -- show a marked preference for smartphone ownership over auto ownership as they migrate to central city areas.

They ought to phone home and ask Mom and Dad to buy them a car so that they can maybe get a job.

But the real doozy is up near the top:

First, this is an issue of equity. Cars are expensive to own, insure, maintain and drive. Not all Portlanders can afford to own, much less drive, a car. A strategy focused solely on autos marginalizes the most vulnerable people in our community.

Chase out the people with real lives, and all private business. Watch as the city is taken over by mentally ill street people, hard-core unemployables on bicycles, and hordes of government bureaucrats. Then start refusing to provide services to people with real lives, citing "equity," thus causing further flight of anyone who might be part of a real economy. It's a classic circle game.

One thing's for sure: The "most vulnerable" will need cr-apartments, and guess who will be there to build them. With the occasional earnest dupe like Streetcar Smith helping the process along.

Comments (40)

It's a religion. Backed up by a lot of half-baked rationalizations and anecdotal arguments.

Like most proponents of this stuff, I'm sure these two authors use their cars all the time. They aren't talking about themselves, or any of the actual people they know. But somehow, despite what they are told by their own lyin' eyes, they just "know" that there are legions of people out there who don't own cars, and can't wait to live in 300 square-foot boxes over a bar.

I am off to Washington Square in my SUV. Free parking, no hassles from drugged out, street punks, and better, higher end merchandise, which is my preference, since I can afford it, having worked reasonably hard most of my working life.
I know from friends who have higher end businesses downtown that they now make "house calls" to people who are simply afraid to come downtown and walk out of a high end business carrying a shopping bag with the business name on it.
Sorry Char-LIE....only punks will be left if you continue the SamRand policies.

This mentality and the actions that result merely create a more polarized society. The haves will continue to have, and the have-nots will lose incentive. Someday they will see they have been cheated out of many opportunities for greater success.

If only it were that simple.
However the facts are that downtown Portland is not a pleasant place to to shop or to try to run a business these days.
Unless and until there is adequate, reasonably priced and safe parking those of us with cars will avoid going there. As to the relentless and sometimes downright frightening pan-handling that is another major deterant to being downtown, especially in the wintertime when darkness arrives at 4:30 pm. Portland is one of the worst places I have seen recently and we have been traveling quite a bit this fall.
In the cities we have visited in Southern CA recently pan-handling is simply not tolerated. There are lots of homeless folks around but they do not accost one demanding money and being threatening.
As for the great economic devide, building cr-apartments and banning cars in the inner cities will not solve that issue. Large employers, like Wal-Mart need to start paying living wages, provide health care and stop their practices of corporate welfare.
The government needs to tax people like me more and improve education to ensure that more people educated for skilled jobs. When more people make more money all of us benefit.
Building stupid trolleys to nowhere, and demanding we sort our garbage does little or nothing improve anyone's lifestyle.
So being a senior citizen until I can feel safe walking on the streets of downtown I will continue to drive my SUV to Washington Square.

"And the "millennials" -- the generation that will provide our next cohort of well-educated entrepreneurs -- show a marked preference for smartphone ownership over auto ownership as they migrate to central city areas."

Hmmm, a high end smartphone costs ... um, what $500 for one with everything and the bag of chips. And a new car costs, $35,000; a used one anywhere from $2000 to $20,000. Maybe it's not a preference, maybe it's on a barista's salary or a panhandlers salary they can't afford even a used car. Nice contrast and compare guys ... go back to high school.

That crowd has never been able to look at real data and realize that cars cost less than mass transit. Especially streetcars - cars are about 1/6 the cost of streetcars.

If we all switched to transit, our transportation bill would be shifted from individuals to general taxes and at least triple, hurting the whole region’s economy. The wasted time (transit is slower than driving) will add more loss to society..

Few people realize that Trimet spends MORE on each regular rider than the average mid income person spends owning and operating a car (ALL costs included - do the math!). Even worse, the cost of Trimet’s highly subsidized fare is still more than the cost of driving a car for trips about from Gresham to downtown Portland.

If we all switched to bikes, we'd save money, but waste more money in wasted time (and medical bills) than we saved.

If we all packed tightly enough to make bikes practical, our housing costs would skyrocket, like NYC or SFO - affordable only to the 1%. Even a 200 sq ft unit would be over $1000/mo. (That must take a lot of panhandling to afford!) Already these crackpot schemes have caused our cost of housing to double or triple compared to areas that DO NOT have Oregon’s stupid “smart growth” policies that our progressives love so much.

Their whole wasteful fascist agenda will just make us all less productive and especially hurts low income people. (Have they not noticed the exodus of low income from Portland?) And further stagnate our city and state.

That they promote this shows that they don't really care about the downtrodden. If they really cared they would propose solutions that really worked, like helping them get cars. And increasing the housing supply by stopping their artificial shortage of land that only benefits a small elite group of rich landowners.

See www.DebunkingPorltand.com for lots of details and links to actual data.


Problem is, the floundering city fathers are being short sighted. Cars will get cleaner and cheaper. They have enjoyed popularity for over 100 years for a reason. People like to communte in them. Cities who provide easy access for them will thrive. Those who don't, won't.

"Still, escaping sprawl is only part of the explanation. There are also the distinct lifestyle advantages of setting up shop in the hurly-burly of real urban districts. Compared with previous generations, today's younger techies are less interested in owning cars and big houses. They prefer to live in central locations, where they can rent an apartment and use transit or walk or bike to work, and where there are plenty of nearby options for socializing during nonwork hours."


The quote above is from our friend, Richard Florida, the one who championed the concept of the "creative class" being the economic engine for a vibrant city. Column was in WSJ 8/31/12.

We know where these ideas are coming from, we just can't figure out why anyone listens! Florida and others conviently ignore the obvious issues of young people with mounds of college debt, fewer career-level jobs, no ability to buy homes or cars, so they assume the kids want to be riding bikes their whole lives. And living in 220 sf studios. Get real!

I moved to Portland. I earned, I paid (then paid some more), I suffered, and I flew. I will NOT go back. Also, yet it really is more dangerous down there now. This is no exaggeration. Heck, they rioted near my Eastside home.

I'm pleasantly surprised at how few are the compromises way out in the back of beyond. Now I still earn, I pay less, I suffer much less, and I can work out most issues with my neighbors without an idiotic bureaucratic intermediary.

My nick here is now almost entirely ironic - I rarely spend a buck downtown. I hear that uber-Progressive hipsters and millenial smart-phone owners are into irony. Let them choke on it, soon it may be the only meal they get.

Native Oregonian,

You nailed it. Our town used to be a blue collar working class town, full of living wage jobs for high school graduates.

Our leaders, along with hand-picked collaborators, preach the car-free, eco-friendly, density housing lifestyle to mask the new reality of a complete lack of economic opportunity. But if you live five or six to an apartment and don't own an automobile, you might be able to barely skimp along and enjoy the food carts and bars in this really cool town.

Government is the only growth industry and the government class has it made. As long as the electeds can con the "millenials" into buying into their new reality they will remain in power. And if the "millenials" really believe this crap, there will be no dissent.

And speaking of collaborators, did you hear the Portland Business Alliance on the radio talking about the big boom in downtown employment?

Showing a preference for smart phones over cars?

Like it's a zero sum game? HA!

A) Smart Phone.
B) Car.


Sorry, I meant to write "Yes, it is more dangerous". In a city where the police are expressly forbidden from doing their jobs, they have nothing to do but cite those who are obviously able (and sufficiently law-abiding) to pay up. Not interested any longer.

"today's younger techies are less interested in owning cars and big houses. They prefer to live in central locations, where they can rent an apartment and use transit or walk or bike to work"

It's strange how this analysis ignores life stages. The oldest millenials are now over 30. They'll never want kids, and a lawn, and a car to manage a busier life with responsibilities?

This whole argument seems to boil down to: "young people are more likely to live in a city and rent." Hardly earth shattering. But they also continue to age.

Gibby - One of the rare times where you and I will agree without reservation. So there is hope! :-)

Not all Portlanders can afford to own, much less drive, a car. A strategy focused solely on autos marginalizes the most vulnerable people in our community.

Yet, not all Portlanders can afford to live downtown near the Streetcar line - many of them must live in more affordable digs, near TriMet bus lines in outer southeast, or northeast, or north Portland, where Streetcar Chris has had no problem demanding TriMet pay $10 million a year to subsidize the downtown Streetcar in Circles...which of course means TriMet had to cut $10 million elsewhere. And that means lower quality, less frequent bus service, or in some cases no more bus service, to those areas that serve the affordable housing.

Nevermind - all of the Streetcar areas already had excellent service. In fact most of the "CL Loop" Streetcar line is served, directly, by the #6 M.L.K. Bus. Multiple buses serve South Waterfront. The 15 line serves the northern end of the original Streetcar Line, as does the 77 line. But the Streetcar proponents apparently are too good for buses - they not only want their Streetcar, but want others to pay for it, by taking away their buses AND forcing them, the same folks who can't afford cars, to drive a car.

If the root argument is to make transit more accessible to the lower income population, then here's the steps to do it:

1. Eliminate the unfair TriMet subsidy to the Streetcar. Make all Streetcar rides $5.00 (or more) per boarding, NO TRANSFER. You pay the $5 each time you get on the train. And no $100 annual pass discount either, it's $5.00 per ride, PERIOD.

2. Adapt mileage-based fares for MAX and WES. The further you travel the more you pay. It's ridiculous that someone can pay $2.50 and ride from Hillsboro to Gresham, but that same $2.50 won't get you half the distance on a bus.

3. Require paid parking at all TriMet parking facilities. Should be at least $6.00 per day if not more (especially at the close-in parking lots like Sunset TC and Gateway).

4. Adapt rush hour fares - the 8-5ers can pay a higher fare. Same with those who ride express buses (that includes me).

Ta da. TriMet now has a huge amount of money that can go to RESTORING BUS SERVICE to the poor folks, both restoring cancelled routes AND trips, as well as ensuring that the quality of buses themselves are on par with TriMet's new, low-floor and air conditioned MAX trains.

Of course, Chris will come up with a bazillion reasons why we shouldn't do that...instead, his argument is that the "exurbans" should pay more. Of course, the "poor" are forced to live in the "exurbs" because that's where housing is affordable...so...his entire argument is nothing but a circular argument.

Ah I see another meeting of the grumpy ol man club has convened. I ran into a friend walking thru the North Park Blocks the other day [he is 65ish] and he was quite excited because he is moving his company TO downtown. He has 70 staff and is now going to hire more. He pays very good salaries, and gives his folks free trimet passes. He walks to work everyday and loves the central city streetlife, shops and eateries. This gent is worth a significant fortune, and he could easily do the Lake O life , but he hates the snooty boring suburban life full of traffic. To each his own , Eh?

Wait. Cars *are* expensive to own and operate, and largely out of the reach of the poor. Why not support public transportation and bikes, for those who can't afford cars? If cars were much cheaper, and everyone 16 and over had one, where would we fit them all? Can we actually build more and more freeways in Portland? Do we really want that?

tda wrote: Ah I see another meeting of the grumpy ol man club has convened.

tda, trying to do it Portland's way for many years is what made me grumpy. For more details on this, please read: http://bojack.org/2012/01/portland_burnout.html

he was quite excited because he is moving his company TO downtown.

Your friend is only able to afford to move downtown because he already has a "signifigant fortune", which will now be less signifigant than it should be, since he's paying extra to make a lifestyle choice.

It's his choice to make, but it may not be very good business either. The City of Portland counts on people like your friend to keep the scam going. Bring your fortune here... and leave it!

The other possibility is that he's getting some sort of tax break or other fee leniency from the City to make the move more attractive. In this case, the beleaguered taxpayers of Portland are now subsidizing your friend's "signifigant fortune".

As I said in the linked post, you're welcome to stay if you like... just don't make others pay for your expensive choices.

Isaak wrote: Wait. Cars *are* expensive to own and operate, and largely out of the reach of the poor.

I call BS. Drive through Lents or Rockwood, and see how many cars are parked in driveways, out driving around, &c. They aren't all old cars either. The automakers certainly want them to be able to buy cars, and they do.

Why not support public transportation and bikes, for those who can't afford cars?

We do support public transportation, involuntarily through the Tri-Met Tax, and voluntarily through ever-spiraling farebox fees. They just waste it all. Tri-Met is first a pension plan, second a construction lever, and third (and lastly) an operating transit agency.

If cars were much cheaper, and everyone 16 and over had one, where would we fit them all?

Look around, I see plenty of working class kids with cars, they are proud of owning them. Everybody starts out with a beater, I know I did. Then I moved up when I could.

Can we actually build more and more freeways in Portland? Do we really want that?

Yes. Yes, we do. Space is limited, and construction is expensive... but yes this is an important part of the overall transit solution.

I lived without a car for quite a number of years. I did it because cars are very expensive to own & operate (so are transit systems though I personally prefer them to a point -- not including Portland's silly streetcars or exorbitant MAX) and I do not like to drive.

I never asked or expected anyone to redesign a town for me; I organized and positioned my life to accommodate that way of life. In some small towns I walked everywhere and in larger ones I also took the bus. I found places to live that accommodated that already. It was a "religion" of my own and I adapted myself to the places I lived. The only thing I would advocate for is sidewalks, crosswalks and public respect for them.

Redesigning entire cities is the kind of command authoritarianism -- in this case, neo-lefty -- I dislike regarding anything. And I also think the point of almost every enterprise that requires and creates bureaucracies and new government employees is almost entirely for those enterprises, those employees, and those new empires, regardless of the stated rationale.

Name the business to which you are referring. No business owner is going to mind the publicity. If you can't name the business, I don't believe it exists.

Sally, thanks -- this is well said.

My household gave up the second car for a number of years. This worked well enough, with a few exceptions. I took the bus most everywhere (and I still do, most days).

Part of the reason we gave up car #2 was a lack of convenient parking, due to the small driveways and non-expandable garages in my Portland neighborhood. Street parking is not always recommended, even when it's possible.

Now with the lower taxes and fees out here, I can afford the second car. I also have plenty of room to park it. It often stays parked -- I still take the bus, so please people don't dismiss me as a transit hater.

These aren't luxury cars. Downsizing and simplifying were always part of our strategy for moving out of Portland and Multnomah County. Adding back the second car was always part of that strategy, though. It certainly makes my life simpler.

We thought over the options, and arranged things to make it affordable. Roads out here are far from perfect; but they are maintained better than Portland's, and generally I have fewer problems getting around. When TriMet finally collapses, I'll be ready.

The market for sub $1000 running cars with good tags is pretty hot right now... telling me the "poor" who "cant afford to own, much less drive, a car," are still driving.

In fact, I have been driving my 93' Taurus beater I picked up for $800 since 2006 with no major expenses outside a tune up, alternator, and oil changes.

"Wait. Cars *are* expensive to own and operate, and largely out of the reach of the poor. Why not support public transportation and bikes, for those who can't afford cars? "

Portland has it exactly backward. Bikes and mass transit would be doable and more accepted if we had good jobs and services close-in - where they're accessible by these other "modes" of transit. Instead, Portland has imposed the bike/train thing on everyone, and the jobs are fleeing, making it more and more necessary for many to have a car -- to commute to their job outside of the core. To keep forcing the bike/train think when there are no jobs and crappy schools is the height of planner stupidity.

Because of the wide geographical expanse most must travel to get to a job and childcare / school - a car is a necessity and a much cheaper form of transit.

Way to go, "planners".

Both Chris and Randy live in their own little fantasy bubble. Neither one of them understands the true meaning of equity, Cars are expensive, and so is constructing .specialized infrastructure for slackers and freeloaders who pay little to nothing for what they utilize. The truth is the Chris/Randy types are just are just fine with making driving and owning a car even more expensive so their preferred mode(s) can continue there free and highly taxpayer subsidized ride. When bicyclists start paying user and registration fees that cover 60 to 80 percent of the price tag for constructing and maintaining bicycle infrastructure; and until transit fares on average cover the same percentage of TriMet’s operating and capitol costs; only then will equity truly exist.

Cortright is also off base. The average auto dealership employs about 60 people - the average bicycle shop considerably less. Then add in all the other private sector auto related jobs – auto parts stores, fuel providers, independent garages and mechanics, etc, - along with DMV in the public sector and public-private sector jobs building and maintaining streets, roads and highways, and that equals roughly eight to ten percent of the workforce. Other hand there is TriMet where all the jobs are in the public sector sucking up tax dollars. The reality: the Chris-Randy-Sammyboy fantasy bubble is financially unsustainable. Hopefully Charlie will see the light and jettison Chris from the planning commission at the same time he tells Randy “you’re fired.”

Well of course the young unemployed hipster couch surfing poor cannot afford cars! But they can barely afford to ride Tri-Met either.
And those of us who get stuck with the Tri-Met taxes are feeling the effects of the increased taxes and mismanagement of that so called transit agency, that provides nothing more than overpaid management, bloated pensions, insurance payouts, and increasingly bad to no transportation services.
I remember when the buses were a private company; itwas called Rose City Transit and the system worked!
When those of us who actually pay the bills have either died or
moved, who will be left pay the taxes then?


You state, "Government is the only growth industry and the government class has it made." Do you have some city stats on that? Because it's not true for Oregon as a whole, according to the latest jobs report:

"Over the past year, the BLS estimates from October 2011 to October 2012 show a seasonally adjusted job gain of 15,300, or 0.9 percent, for Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment. During that time the private sector added an estimated 17,500 jobs (+1.3%), while government lost 2,200 jobs ( 0.8%)."


Yep just keep holding you're nose and voting "D" this is your life. You receive what you deserve!

Time to pay attention, I realize it is hard but git off your bike and pay attention

The ruining of Portland by the planners and developers is not a D or R issue. Many of us who consider ourselves to be democrats abhor what has happened and continues to happen in Portland.
Many of us have businesses we are trying to keep alive in spite of all the BS promoted and forced upon us by the city government.
I don't believe that the major developers, construction company owners or the other weasels of the 1%, who seem to get all perks and money from the city and the PDC are registered democrats. They were probably attending Mitt Romney fundraisers. As a matter of fact I am aquatinted with a couple of folks who did just that!


In Multnomah County since 1997 there has been negative private sector job growth and the county ranks third from the bottom of all 240 counties in the western United States. BLS covered employment and payroll statistics. The county saw positive government sector job growth over that period. Data to the city level are not reported. Statewide there is private sector job growth and it is substantial with Clackamas and Washington counties sharply higher. It is just a fact. Portland has not recovered from the loss of the corporate timber industry related jobs and growth is occurring in a ring around Multnomah County. Probably for many reasons. And it is not just because it is a city. King County private sector job growth is up dramatically since 1997. So to most other urban counties in the western USA.

I'm 27, so I'd technically be considered a millennial. I have a car, but no smartphone, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I prefer my chronogeographic freedom, as opposed to being rendered zombie-like by some infernal device, and I am actually a bit offended by Smith and Miller's broad stereotyping.

Most of the people I know my age who seek out lifestyles of the type Smith and Miller describe tend to be pretty well-to-do or on their way, actually. Some are sucked in by the pseudo-environmentalist/urban romantic PR machine that produces pieces like this. Others just go because that's where they can find a job. Car affordability isn't really the issue at that point. And in fact, I'd say it's only really an issue for teenagers/early-twentysomethings, and the big barrier is the insurance, more than the price of the car. Provided one keeps a relatively clean driving record, once one hits your mid-20s and has a college degree or two under their belt, the cost drops considerably, but it's obscene before that.

There's plenty of us my age, however, who aren't dying to become urbanites and pay exorbitant rents to live in platinum LEED cardboard boxes, and ride bicycles in that overcrowded environment.

It's not reality. It's a PR campaign, and they're selling something.

Dr. Alex - from my limited (baby-boomer) perspective, my millenial children and their college-educated and mostly single friends prefer living in the city because that's where all the other young people are. Once that decision is made, auto ownership becomes a luxury for many who pay high rent and have student loans and are perhaps under-employed. For people of that certain age (which we old folks used to call "marriagble"), the lure of being in close proximity to where the action is is undeniable. When my grad student child comes home to visit, many of her friends will not come all the way out to LO even if they do have cars because all the good hang-out spots and all their other friends are in Portland.

The suburbs may be fine for the married-ready-to-start-a-new-life set, but singlehood is a huge factor in keeping the young married to city life. BTW, what is the average age of first marriage and the % of people married now? These demographic trends are not insignificant. For us old guys - remember how the baby-boomers thought everything was all about us and that our ideas were superior to our parents? Looks like the chickens have come home to roost. What is the age of the average planner?

Side note: I was told that in LO, all but one of the planners live in PDX and they would rather see downtown LO become more like the big city so they can continue their downtown lunches and breaks. If the city hall ever moved to Lake Grove which is far more practicle, they would probably die - they'd have to walk a lot further to get something to eat! Or bicycle! Much better to re-make LO than to learn to love suburbia. They will learn what they lost only when they are older and it is all gone.

I think 82nd Ave. is more vibrant and diverse then downtown Portland.

I've recently noticed that the grumpy old guys are no longer silent about their opinion of the social/economic experiment known as Portlandia.

Downtown is dead, but sometimes still an interesting place to visit. Just not as interesting as it once was.

We drove into Portland on Sunday to see the Christmas tree in Pioneer Square.

Parking on-street was quite convenient. We typically drive down 12th, and look for a 3 hour spot. The spot closest in at the corner of Yamhill was available. Heck, almost every 3 hour spot between Market and Yamhill was available.

First thing we did was walk over to Pioneer Square to see the tree. Unfortunately, the workers had the tree surrounded by tents and scaffolding for the upcoming holiday beer festival, so tree viewing was a disappointment.

The sidewalks and stores were not crowded at all. We were surprised, and concluded that most everyone must have been out at the malls.

We had a nice walk thru the downtown area and then the Pearl. This is something that is mostly pleasant, but walking or browsing doesn't pay the rent for the merchants. Though we visited many stores, not much jumped out at us saying "buy me!".

The other shoppers we saw had few, if any bags. The restaurants were uncrowded.

If I had not looked at the calendar, I would not know that this was supposed to be one of the most crowded shopping weekends.

I contrast this with our walk in NYC last week, down Broadway from W 96th down to Times Square, and then around City Hall and the 911 Memorial. The sidewalks and stores were quite crowded and most of my fellow walkers were overloaded with shopping bags.

Panhandler count in P-Town: 11
Panhandler count in NYC: 0

Seemed to be a lot more empty storefronts in P-Town, than in my journey down Broadway. Sure, around the 911 Memorial, a lot of empty places, but they are rebuilding. Thousands of construction workers!

Sure, just an anecdote, but another sign that our city is not very healthy.

I fear for my P-Town's future. Just who will be left in town to pay for running this city?

Do what I did and move to the hinterlands where there are no streetcars for hundreds of miles. Live with your own well, septic, roads built and maintained by homeowners association (dues) and pay less because the neighbors are calling their own shots, you're not subsidizing developer pipe dreams and aren't funding fantasy pension plans. Plenty of bike riding by the young and the healthy, including those who can't afford cars, yet. Drive into town (2 miles to the center) for most any amenity. Sometimes you may have to park as much as a block away from the final destination. If you have to use the only parking garage in town, the first two hours are free (a dollar per hour thereafter), as are nights and weekends. And as for vehicle affordability, there are plenty of 20 year-old plus operating vehicles puttering around town that can be had for a song.

So, just so I understand: the people they build the trains and streetcars for are people that can't afford to own, operate, and maintain a car; but can afford to live downtown? See where I'm going with this?

Did they forget that they stopped marketing the Streetcar as a transit solution, but instead as a development tool to buoy property values for retail? Guess what happens when the property values go up? So does the rent, and all your low income riders move to where you've destroyed the bus service to pay for this boondoggle. And then they buy cars because the bus service sucks out there, and they still are clinging to one of the few jobs left downtown.

The Streetcar has probably done more for car ownership in the lower classes than any freeway project ever did by suffocating the bus service and forcing people into auto ownership.

Fred - the density is there because the planners believe the Earth will fall into ruins if people keep gobbling up the countryside and spewing exhaust into the atmosphere. They don't much care about how people get around or how happy they are as long as they are living where they are supposed to. As the cr-apartments take up more of Portland's livable neighborhoods, families will move out. It won't be a racial thing, but the city will be deserted by the people it needs the most. There is just no balance in their plans unless you count subsidized senior housing as a balance to the young adults. Why do people think they can create Utopia forgetting entirely that humans have their own minds about what they want and how they respond to their environment. Someone should tell them Utopia doesn't exist, and if it did, it wouldn't look anything like the lock-step, sameness of Smart Growth.

The Streetcar has probably done more for car ownership in the lower classes than any freeway project ever did by suffocating the bus service and forcing people into auto ownership.

And ironically, the used car industry is having several banner years, thanks to increasing demand for used cars and a constrained supply...

So, fewer people can own NEW cars (thanks to environmental regulations), things like the Streetcar and light rail are gentrifying formerly working class neighborhoods and pushing out lower income residents to distant neighborhoods...streetcars/light rail reducing regional bus service, increasing demands for auto transport...fewer used cars = higher prices...

MachineShedFred is right on the money here. Of course, for the planners it's easier to banish the poor folk out to Vancouver, and then blame them for all of society's ills. At what point will all the poor folk (anyone making less than $100K) finally just stand against government, refuse to work downtown, and let's see how quickly downtown screeches to a halt. Now what will the planners do?

So, fewer people can own NEW cars (thanks to environmental regulations)...

Portland - the new Cuba.

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