Milwaukie Light Rail

Deborah Barnes

In my free time from teaching high school, I have the honor of representing the citizens of Milwaukie on the City Council. Our hot button issue is bringing light rail south from Portland through Milwaukie. Unfortunately, this has brought out a campaign of misinformation from some of our local residents (and a few folks that don't even live in Milwaukie.) The Oregonian weighed in on the debate in their Clackamas County Weekly section.
So, what do the opponents of light rail want? They have bombarded my email box with a form letter urging the Council and Metro to reconsider the location of the light rail line. Their argument is based on fear and misinformation. They want our residents to believe we will have new crack houses popping up in Milwaukie. They tell local folks they can expect their property values go down. They say no one will ride light rail. They say Metro is pushing the issue down their throats.
Milwaukie is a beautiful City that is changing. Our downtown is growing and we all know Clackamas County continues to expect to see a growth in folks moving into our communities in the years ahead. So, what makes light rail so scary? What is it I can share with my fellow residents of Milwaukie to help them as we move through this issue once again.

Comments

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hang in there Deborah, you're about to get a wild ride on the Internets! :-)

    Personally I'm in favor of LRT to Milwaukie (which should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the many debates over at PortlandTransport).

    I like some of the recently proposed alternatives such as extending all the way south to Park Ave. I'm not fond, however, of the idea of running the system behind the industrial area (Southgate Theater site) rather than along 99E. I'd prefer the more direct highway route remain, along with a stop to serve the industrial area.

    • Bob R.
  • (Show?)

    Is there some huge rise in crack houses and declining property values in Beaverton since the MAX line opened up there that the world failed to notice?

    /snark

    My only complaint about extending light-rail to Milwaukee is that it doesn't continue on South to Wilsonville and back around to Tigard/Tualatin (where I live) and closing a loop with Beaverton.

  • john (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Anyone have an actual statistical analysis of crime rates as they are related to light rail? I'd like to see whether it makes a difference one way or the other.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Its interesting that Metro removed light rail from the table and it was residents of Milwaukie and Southeast Portland who put it back on again. The crack house argument ought to make it clear that this opposition is at least partially fear mongering by people with a hidden agenda.

    I suspect there are two things going on here. One is the ideological crazies who helped kill light rail in the past are back. The other is that there are a bunch of economic interests elsewhere in the region who want to push in front of Milwaukie. They want light rail to boost the value of property in the communities where they have speculated. And the first place to start is by derailing (sorry) the Milwaukie line.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    John -

    You could try these two documents (on a Sacramento transit agency web site) as a starting point... the PDFs list other published studies:

    http://www.slp2.org/documents/crimefs04.pdf http://www.slp2.org/documents/propertyvalfs04.pdf

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I also attempted to post links to the official TriMet and Metro South Corridor pages, but Movable Type intercepted them... perhaps a moderator can usher the comments through?

    • Bob R.
  • (Show?)

    Deb,

    I don't know if you remember me, but I have also been involved in Milwaukie Elections in the past. Even though I am not a resident of Milwaukie anymore, I still care deeply about the area and hope to end up back there someday when I return to the US.

    It seems like since the light rail measure went down in flames years ago that the light rail to Milwaukie has become the lowest priority. I think that's sad and hope that one of these days it actually gets finished.

    Ross has a good point, some issues seem to pull the loonies out of the closet better then others. For Milwaukie, light rail is one of those issues. As long as opponents are screaming as loud as they can pitching the fear angle, light rail will not happen.

  • (Show?)

    The argument that the light rail would decrease property values was also used in my neighborhood, now home to the Interstate line.

    Even with the rapid appreciation in the rest of the city, my area has consistently outpaced pretty much everywhere else since the light rail was built. There are reasons besides the light rail for that, but it's pretty clear that it hasn't hurt.

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Yeah Hang in there Deborah, Just make sure you do your part to help Metro, TriMet and the CoP avoid any public vote.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Janice -

    Deborah is an elected representative in a position which carries the authority to influence these kinds of decisions.

    If you are a constituent, I encourage you to present your arguments, as I would encourage any constituent regardless of whether they favor or oppose a particular light rail proposal.

    • Bob R.
  • Jennifer (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Deb. I've lived in Milwaukie for several years although I just moved out of town into unincorporated Clackamas County. I still think of downtown Milwaukie as my local downtown and I love the Milwaukie Farmers Market on Sundays. Everyone in Milwaukie I talk to supports light rail and thinks the angst displayed by the anti-everything crowd is just ridiculous. The region is growing, global warming is real, and the era of cheap oil is over. We'd be fools not to invest now in expanding light rail. I think you and the other councilors deserve an award for leadership and I hope that you dont back down.

    Clackamas County is ten years behind the rest of the region in expanding public transit. I am hopeful that we can change this in the next ten years through progressive leadership from people like you. Good luck and don't let a few loud voices mislead you into thinking that the majority of us in Clackamas County dont support light rail. Even my 72 year old republican neighbor supports more transit!

  • lw (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I encourage Deborah to put the Milwaukie lightrail on the ballot so that all those who pay for it gets to vote. A good idea should have real public support.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    lw-

    Do you think that we should start voting on all significant expenditures? Highway interchanges, lane additions, water pipe replacements- or is it just for things you don't like? Why bother to have representative democracy?

  • (Show?)

    Deborah--

    Part of it might be the news coverage the occasional incident on a MAX line receives. Sure makes it seem like that kind of stuff happens a lot more often.

    Lots of luck on the project. I'd really like to see mass transit expanded in the area. A lot of the people willing to use it live in areas that aren't very well served. When the nearest bus is a distance away and only runs once an hour, it sure makes using public transportation early. I always hated it -- I'd get there to the stop early, yet many times I'd still miss the bus. Which meant I was out of luck for another hour... which meant I was driving the car to work.

    With gas prices continuing to climb, and no one doing anything about it, we've got to look at other options. There are a lot of people out there who can't afford $60+ per week to fill up their tank to drive back and forth to work. Without transit options, they're going to be in a lot of trouble.

    We're lucky, as where we moved is within walking distance of a grocery store (unfortunately it's an expensive Albertsons), a movie theater, a few fast food restaurants, and our favorite Mexican restaurant. So my daughter and I regularly go for walks to these places. But plenty of people don't have that option.

  • (Show?)

    Janice, I would have responded directly to you via email but your personal information didn't allow me to. Please let me know if you live in Milwaukie so I can chat with you directly. I had a question about your post...what is "CoP"? In addition, I hope you have had the opportunity to go to the information sessions we have held so you can voice your concerns. I would rather have an informed electorate who can explain their position to me so I can better understand your concerns. I would be more than happy to hear from you.

  • Jay Lake (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I'm a parent of a child at the Portland Waldorf School in Milwaukie, and am currently purchasing a home in Milwaukie. There's a lot of opposition to the current version of the light rail plan from the school's parent body -- who may be "the few folks that don't even live in Milwaukie" you refer to with apparent casual disparagement. That opposition isn't based on an opposition to light rail in principle, or light rail in Milwaukie in specific, but on the fact that one of the most likely sites for a station will severely impair the viability and safety of a school campus that is the educational home to hundreds of children. I think you'd find that with some plan adjustments, the school parents would largely be enthusiastic supporters of the light rail.

    This is a legitimate issue of both private and public interest, not some Luddite reaction to public transit issues.

  • (Show?)

    Jay,

    I do understand your concerns regarding Waldorf School. I want you to know I am not taking your concerns lightly. I would love the opportunity to work with you and the other parents through this process. I know our staff and Council will continue to work on developing the right solution for this situation.

    I apologize if my comments appeared to be too casual. I believe we all want to work toward a good solution and making sure everyone has all the facts so there are no misunderstandings. Thank you for caring about your new city. We look forward to working with you in the future.

  • nuovorecord (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Deborah:

    CoP = City of Portland.

    Keep up the good work!

  • WantAnAnswer (unverified)
    (Show?)

    On first read, the smug condescension and cartoonish representations in the dismissal of other views by a scripted light rail partisan like Deborah seemed to just be that very common character flaw one encounters in these parts that one learns one has to just to shrug off. However, after her extremely patronizing but factually vacuous answer, to this very reasonable and respectfully made point:

    That opposition isn't based on an opposition to light rail in principle, or light rail in Milwaukie in specific, but on the fact that one of the most likely sites for a station will severely impair the viability and safety of a school campus that is the educational home to hundreds of children.

    the issue to which I would like to hear someone speak in detail who is more responsible, respectful, and apparently more honest, than Deborah are the specific alignment and station siting decisions being made, including this specific case, and the actual deals that have to be cut in each case.

    Also, this argument by another advocate that one frequently hears demonstrates a typical level of meaninglessness:

    When the nearest bus is a distance away and only runs once an hour, it sure makes using public transportation early. I always hated it -- I'd get there to the stop early, yet many times I'd still miss the bus. Which meant I was out of luck for another hour... which meant I was driving the car to work.

    1) most people are not going to live any closer to a light rail stop than a bus stop because light rail. Light rail, after all, run on a single path just as a bus runs down a single street.

    2) - and buses can be made to run more and more busses can be put into service, cheaper than building a single light rail line.

    The light rail solution to public transportation is just an expensive life-style choice by a certain group of people in these times, and a business opportunity for a certain market sector. If it were fairly and honestly discussed on that basis, we would actually get good public policy that may or may not include light rail, and perhaps would make for a genuinely more harmonious community. However, that is the last thing a lot of folks want. (And by the way, I too have always preferred to take light rail, the bus, or the streetcar any chance I can instead of drive):

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob R., Who the heck are you with your "Deborah is an elected representative in a position which carries the authority to influence these kinds of decisions"?

    Could you be a little more condescending? I mean no kidding? She's elected?

    Who are you to "encourage" anything?

    What difference does is make if am one of her "constituents"? Her constituents aren't paying for the light rail. And none of them, like anyone else will be voting on it.
    What's the point of "presenting arguments" with people like you ambushing the opposition and providing cover for politicians working the anti-voting schemes for more light rail? Presenting opposition arguments in this rigged process, of which you area clearly a part, is a total waste of time. This is all a time tested process launched after light rail was voter defeated and the Airport MAX and Cascade Station Urban Renewal scheme developed. And you know it. Little good it will do but I would encourage you to keep your transparent insults to yourself.

    Deborah, There is no need to respond directly to one taxpayer. "CoP" is the City of Portland. Having been to many "information sessions" I know they are for distribution of propaganda to justify the predetermined policies. Voicing concerns is a not so funny joke and a waste of the taxpayer's and voters time. I am an exceedingly informed voter/taxpayer who recognizes the familiar rhetoric which signals this deal is done. With all the usual activists trotting out their handy work our politicians find comfort is avoiding a public vote. It's really quite a slick effort equating the propagandized public support to an actual election and public vote. Me? I say there's nothing quite like the authentic public support signaled by a genuine election. But here at Blue that's just me.

    Hawthorne threw in the so very predictable "Do you think that we should start voting on all significant expenditures?" line suggesting our "representative democracy" was preserved once our regional politicians figured out how to get around the voters for more light rail. I look forward to hearing from you touting a new round of Milwaukee Urban Renewal spending on the heels of this done deal light rail extension. Of course Milwaukee, like other locales in the region, will need to siphon away many millions from basic services to "spur" (that's subsidize to the layperson) the development which Light Rail always fails to "spur". Having grown up in SE Portland and Milwaukee I know the area. Having studied all of our light rail and TODs I know that this Light Rail extension you support will not produce any of the traffic relief or private development you wrongly believe will occur because of it. And when you get done diverting countless millions in property taxes meant for basic services you'll be busy dreaming up every money grabbing tax and fees increase possible to backfill the revenue you recklessly spent on private development and light rail schemes. You'll claim no general fund will be spent on Urban Renewal. That's not true with any UR int he region. You'll claim all of the Urban Renewal money will be generated by the new development. That's not true at any UR in the region. With each and every politician touted UR district large swaths of adjacent real estate gets thrown into the district "plan" in order to siphon away and spend more property taxes. For decades this money which would have fed the rising costs of basic services will be used instead to retire the massive debt created by the Urban Renewal subsidized development and light rail. So yes indeed you are advocating the diverting of Milwaukee's' general fund revenue to be spent on light rail and private development. But with Bob R.'s (et al. help you don't quite say it that way while blocking any chance of a public vote. Instead you politely invite your constituents to "information sessions" which don't quite say it like it is either.
    Out in Rockwood along the first MAX light rail line a massive Urban Renewal spending plan is needed these 20 some years later, in part, to "deal with the crime and blight along the Max Line" Gresham Station to this day has two Metro owned parcels sitting idle and about to be handed over for a song, along with additional subsidy to "spur" something to be built. On the heals of 205 MAX approval Clackamas County approved a $25 million Urban Renewal plan to expand Clackamas Town center and to do the same "spurring" along 82nd avenue which County Commissioners had just used to justify light rail.

  • Mel (unverified)
    (Show?)

    This is the line that was VOTED DOWN twice in Oregon and once inn Clark County.

    Concerned politicians and voters should get the McLouglin EIS prepared by ODOT to see what would be a real solution for Milwaukie.

    Mel

  • (Show?)

    "the development which Light Rail always fails to "spur"."

    Come again? Do you even LIVE here?

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Do you suppoort having a vote of the people on this, or to continue the current strategy (pushed by those who will make money off these projects, including the family Serena Cruz-Walsh married into) of bypassing voters?

    If there is any misinformation, it cvomes from those pro-rail project people who stand to gain a great deal from the construction and post-construction corporate welfare projects along the line. Ridership figures mean nothing to them.

    How about more buses for a fraction of the money this line would cost? Oh, that's right -- transit advocates started to trash buses as part of the campaign to get light rail lines. Fat Cats get more money from light rail projects, so they use all light rail supporters (including those who mean well) to pass on their propaganda and then they laugh all the way to the bank.

    Bob Tiernan Bob Tiernan

  • (Show?)

    "Ridership figures mean nothing to them."

    On the contrary--ridership figures make the case. Opponents with rational objections to the PSU line showed their concern in part based on OVERCROWDING of trains, not empty ones.

    Buses are certainly better than cars, but they've got nothing on light rail for efficiency, speed and environmental soundness.

  • WantAnAnswer (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "the development which Light Rail always fails to "spur"."

    Come again? Do you even LIVE here?

    There is little evidence light rail spurred actual causes an increase in the total level of development of a region.

    Light rails does, however, radically alter development patterns in the ways we see in Portland.

    The best example I've heard is that a diversified and spatially distributed public transportation system is like the capillary system of healthy tissue. Light rail kills that capillary system, and leaves just the larger vein/artery system to the heart (the urban center). As a result, gentrified development happens along the light rail vein/artery, displacing healthier true socio-economic diversity away from the light rail line. The economic health of a particular neighborhood decreases proportional to the distance it is from the light rail line out in territory increasingly underserved by a capillary public transportation systems.

    There are economic winners both in business and in the community under that pattern of development, that's why we have it in Portland. Light rail is the transportation component of a certain approach to planning that has all kinds of implications for the distribution of political and social power, there are alternate planning approaches which support equal urban density, and arguably healthier patterns of economic, political, and social development, that rely on alternate, more flexible, public transportation models. The NW just happens to be a place where the self-serving naivete of those who think they are pretty smart, like torridjoe, makes them particularly amenable to the corrupting influences of those who benefit economically from one particular approach to urban planning. Their values of the advocates and the business interests are hardly what anyone would label "progressive", but that is another issue.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Fat Cats get more money from light rail projects

    Bob Tiernan: Could you supply a list of elected officials, lobbyist, and others who got rich off the last extentions and those who will get rich via no-bid contracts and the like from the Milwaukee extensions?

    Thank you in advance.

  • (Show?)

    I really do appreciate the dialogue this topic has brought forth. For the record, my being polite should not be construed as being:

    "On first read, the smug condescension and cartoonish representations in the dismissal of other views by a scripted light rail partisan like Deborah seemed to just be that very common character flaw one encounters in these parts that one learns one has to just to shrug off.

    Because I live in Milwaukie, I would appreciate folks to not confuse my city with that of the one found in Wisconsin.

  • VR (unverified)
    (Show?)

    We can't vote on every expenditure - because if we did, nothing at all would get done.

    A true democracy, where we all vote on every issue - cannot ever be implemented in a real world. Especially not one where we have hundreds of thousands, or millions of "voters".

    That is why we have a representative form of government.

    If we are going to start demanding a vote on expenditures - I want a public vote on Iraq.

    I suspect that the average person would be quite surprised on how much money is spent in various areas. All over the place. Light-Rail is simply an easy target - but government is expensive all over.

    More money is spent every year on abstinence only sex education, or faith based government initiatives - than has been spent in Oregon on light-rail. Why didn't I get to vote on those?

    There are always objections to any development plan. There were on the red line in Hillsboro, I remember signs in people's back yards "THANKS MAX FOR RUINING OUR LIVES" and things like that.

    But those are usually extreme emotional responses that have little basis in reality. I have lived near the Red Line in Hillsboro - in fact purposely bought there because I wanted to be near the MAX. It was great.

    Now I live in Southeast PDX, near where the Milwaukie line would come through. I support it fully.

    There are people in Forest Grove that claim that if they extend the red line into Forest Grove that the trains will bring crime. Well, busses already go there - and so do roads. Should we get rid of roads if we find out that a criminal might use them?

    Get real people.

    The things that we should be focusing on is route alignment, station location, and station design. I agree that if a station could harm a school, it should be looked into. However - I am not sure that the claims that the station would harm the Waldorf school are well founded. They may just be knee-jerk reactionary type statements without much reality involved. I just don't know. I would need to see the station designs and hear what about them concerns the parents.

    The public should have input. Absolutely.

    But we can't vote on everything. It just doesn't work.

    In my opinion the biggest criticism of the Milwaukie line is that it doesn't go all the way to Oregon City.

    Here is what I would do if I were able to make the future plans:

    Yellow line from Vancouver WA to Oregon City - without going through downtown, stay on the east side.

    Blue Line - Forest Grove to Sandy. Plan for a station or two in between Gresham and Sandy - but keep it "express" at the current time.

    Extend red line service to at least 185th in Beaverton / Hillsboro - and cross the river into Vancouver.

    Green line extend from Clackamas to Oregon City, meeting up with Yellow Line.

    Switch Washington County commuter rail to regular service - not just peak hours or peak directions.

    New light rail line down Barbur / 99W corridor to Sherwood - possible future service to Newberg.

    Streetcar to Lake Oswego. Streetcar down Powell / Foster. Streetcar on Hawthorne. Streetcar on Broadway to Sandy blvd, Sandy blvd to Park Rose.

    Express bus service in 217 corridor - connecting St Vincents hospital, Sunset transit center, Beaverton Town Center, Washington Square, Tigard Triangle, Kruse Way / Kruse Meadows, Lake Oswego transit center and the streetcar line. 8 to 10 stops maximum. Regular service (not just peak hours).

    And I would add several suburb to suburb express routes (cross town). Gresham to Clackamas to Oregon City, to Tualatin, to Hillsboro.

    Eventually - we should start planning now - for a regional high speed subway type rail, with larger distances between stops.

    Those changes with existing bus service - I think we would do pretty well.

    But I am just dreaming...

  • (Show?)

    Now I've heard it all--light rail is a pernicious power play!

    The NW just happens to be a place where the self-serving naivete of those who think they are pretty smart, like torridjoe, makes them particularly amenable to the corrupting influences of those who benefit economically from one particular approach to urban planning.

    Self-serving how? I take the bus, and will have to continue to do so without other public options for the next decade, at a minimum. How does backing the Clackamas/PSU or Milwaukie lines serve me??

    Just because I am not convinced by the cassandras who repeatedly throw factless absurdities around on this topic, does not make me naive. You'd have to be naive to believe some of the things anti-transit people say, like driving a car is better for congestion than taking a bus, or that TODs have no positive development effect. I've read the reports; I know different.

  • (Show?)

    VR, I like your thinking! Except that I might run the Lake Oswego line down through West Linn and across to OC that way, rather than down through Milwaukie and Gladstone. (Of course, better still would be to link them both and create a loop).

  • Garlynn - http://undergroundscience.blogspot.com (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hi Deborah, and thanks for coming to BlueOregon for counsel on this matter!

    I'm not sure where the evidence is that light rail reduces property values. All of the evidence in the Portland region suggests that light rail causes property values to rise significantly above the natural level of increase for properties with redevelopment potential, and stay flat or rise slightly for existing developed properties (see here: http://www.urban.uiuc.edu/projects/portland/lincoln.html and here: http://www.lgc.org/freepub/land_use/articles/whybuild/page01.html) and of course the classic: http://trimet.org/pdfs/publications/beyonddreams.pdf)

    I'm not sure what it is about light rail that might be scary. I'd love to have a new light rail line built within a half mile of my house. I'm sure that my land value would go up, that it would cause transit-oriented development that would bring new services and amenities to my neighborhood, and that my ability to get places within the region comfortably would increase.

    I wish you all the best with this effort. Light rail could really be the best thing to happen to Milwaukie in a long time.

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "Their argument is based on fear and misinformation..."

    Oh really? Sounds like a real objective conclusion you've drawn there.

    What has light rail done for the area? I'll tell you:

    -It has lined the pocket of developers with TOD tax breaks and subsidies.

    -It does nothing to ease vehicle congestion. Is HWY-26 or I-84 any less congested then before MAX?

    -It sucks up millions of tax dollars and transports a small fraction of the populace.

    Light rail has been voted down time and time again, but you Dems still push it on us. Just like M7 and M37 -- we vote it in, you try and usurp the will of the people.

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Torrid, "the development which Light Rail always fails to "spur"." "Come again? Do you even LIVE here?"

    For someone who pretends to be at some higher level of awareness your ignorance on light rail, TOD's (Transit Oriented Development) and Urban Renewal is stunning. You can't even read so it's "come again" from you.

    Light rail did not spur anything but the same government agencies and their advocates to then spend countless millions to spur what the light rail did not do, anywhere around here. Every single UR plan and TOD devours millions in tax subsidies for high density experiments which don't deliver the promised accommodations for growth. Then at the end of the day we get the same car oriented rat race which you all condemn while the working "alternative" you tout never materializes as a legitimate substitute for accommodating growth. And the public is out the countless millions used to subsidize your high density experiments. Heavily tax subsidized Gresham Station is a car-oriented shopping center not much different from privately built Bridgeport Village. Gresham Station having a MAX stop has meant nothing anywhere near proportionate to the tax expense, if at all. And the subsidy is about to soar these two decades later with Metro handing over millions more in real estate and cash. But if you don't know this, don't want to know this and are attempting to mislead people well,,,, come again yourself.
    Heavily tax subsidized Airport Way Cascade Station is becoming the very car-oriented BIG BOX cluster it was intended to avoid and prohibit. MAX will mean little and the $200 million Urban Renewal Plan for a ped/bike/transit oriented mini-city was a total failure.
    Tax subsidized Orenco Station is a car oriented rat race similar to any suburb of LA. Land adjacent to MAX was some of the last to develop. Hillsboro Transit Oriented Development plans for market rate housing have been canceled and is being replaced with a parking garage. The Beaverton Round is another MAX stop and it's plans have so changed after millions in tax subsidies that it now hosts Beaverton's tallest building. A 7 story parking garage. In stark contrast to the Round, Beaverton Town Center shopping center, well away from MAX, is always a bustling pedestrian center, most of which arrived by car.
    Now those are some kind of transit oriented success stories eh? Now tell us again the "theory" of what light rail "spurs" and what it will spur in Milwaukie - editor changed spelling. This is about Milwaukie. - editor changed spelling. While you're at it go ahead and propagandize how SoWa is a shinning success of biotech jobs or how successful the voter defeated, yet built anyway, convention center expansion has been and how a cc hotel is now needed. Throw in a lecture on how Washington County commuter rail will serve Washington Square. From the wrong side of 217????? I could go on and on with the loony tune plans of yesterday today and tomorrow.
    But you first Joe, come again.

    Come again Joe.

    Scott in Damascus, MAX is always a no bid contract, as was the Tram. Former politicians and bureaucrats find themselves working as lobbyists and consultants for the industry and campaign coffers are forever stuffed with the money from the beneficiaries of these light rail, street car, Tram, TOD and Urban Renewal schemes. Is you are new to these matters you may want to google and bone up yourself and not rely on others to use their non tax funded time walking you by hand through the issues. I hear Torrid and others are getting paid with tax dollars while they propagandize. How about you?

  • VR (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "we vote it in, you try and usurp the will of the people"

    The will of the people is not always the best option.

    It was once the "will of the people" to own slaves. It was once the "will of the people" to not let women vote.

    The majority of people want cheap clothes, new video games, unhealthy snacks, and a good TV show. Throw in beer and a sporting event.

    While none of those things are bad - I am simply trying to point out that most people don't ACTIVELY concern themselves with things other than what is comfortable and easy.

    Which is why when confronted with questions like "should we raise taxes by 1% to pay for a transit system that you might not even use" they will almost always answer no. Because they have not studied the benefits and downsides, or done research or anything like that. They simply take 30 seconds and mark a box on a form.

    I have lived lots of places that did not have light rail, and a couple that didn't even have busses.

    Let me tell you why I think light rail is nicer and better than busses for the general population. No numbers, just general observations.

    1. Light Rail runs clean and quiet.
    2. Light Rail rides smoothly.
    3. Light Rail routes are well defined and it is easy to learn where the stops are.
    4. Light Rail - in most cases - is not affected by traffic.
    5. Light Rail is larger and more convenient to board and ride than busses.
    6. Light Rail stations can be more easily "secured" or "patrolled" than endless numbers of stops along a bus line.
    7. Light Rail stops can have better amenities - like seating, rain cover, and even vending.

    There you go, my complete unscientific analysis on why people like Light rail compared to busses.

    But I bet that the operational costs of busses compared to Light Rail is a lot closer than Light Rail opposition thinks. I don't have numbers though.

    And finally, one last tidbit of my own thinking. If we have trains that are run by electricity - we can change how we generate that electricity or where we get it from without changing the transportation infrastructure. If we have busses that we want to change their energy source - it may not be possible, and if it is it would take changing thousands of power-trains in thousands of busses. So while electric powered transport may not be the absolute cleanest or most efficient NOW - it is very very upgradable.

    Also, while Light Rail trains are expensive, their life-span is much longer than most busses.

    So all in all, that is why I, as a taxpayer, and a transit rider - prefer rail systems to bus systems.

  • (Show?)

    It does nothing to ease vehicle congestion. Is HWY-26 or I-84 any less congested then before MAX?

    Chris, that's hardly the point. A better question: Are 26 and 84 less congested than they would be without MAX?

    Don't forget, we've also added people.

    Also, it's worth some time studying and understanding the Law of Triple Displacement. Basically, when there's congestion, people change their time, mode, and route of travel.

    If you ponder that, it means that if there's more demand than there is capacity - then the peak time/mode/route (i.e. the Sunset Hwy at 5:30 in a car) will always stay full. When you add or subtract capacity, that peak will stay the same... but you'll see reductions in demand at other times, modes, or routes.

    To put it more bluntly, if you were to suddenly double the capacity of light rail, the peak (Sunset/5:30/car) would stay the same... but you'd see less traffic at non-peak times and on alternate routes.

    If that doesn't work for you, try the reverse: If you were to suddenly remove a lane of traffic, the peak (Sunset/5:30/car) would still be just as bumper-to-bumper as before. But the traffic would extend earlier and later, you'd get more people spilling onto side streets, and yes, some people would shift to other modes (light rail).

    It's really not that complicated. And efforts to pretend otherwise ("But wait! Light rail didn't reduce traffic at 5:30 on the Sunset!") are just plain silly.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | May 11, 2007 10:21:04 AM VR, I like your thinking! Except that I might run the Lake Oswego line down through West Linn and across to OC that way, rather than down through Milwaukie and Gladstone. (Of course, better still would be to link them both and create a loop).

    I posted up-thread that continuing south and closing a loop that extended down to Wilsonville and Tualatin/Tigard would make sense as well. Wilsonville is rapidly growing and would serve as the ideal Southern end/loop turn point. In essence making a wide-area bottom half of a clover leaf that tied to a Clackmas Town Center line with one "loop" circuit and another that "loops" west to make a circuit with the west Beaverton line.

  • (Show?)
    For someone who pretends to be at some higher level of awareness your ignorance on light rail, TOD's (Transit Oriented Development) and Urban Renewal is stunning. You can't even read so it's "come again" from you.

    I've done the reading--it doesn't sound like you have: http://www.urban.uiuc.edu/projects/portland/lincoln.html http://trimet.org/pdfs/publications/beyonddreams.pdf

    and a new one I hadn't seen before: http://www.lgc.org/freepub/land_use/articles/whybuild/page01.html)

    I think the sputtering misinformation you provide here is best exemplified by your comment that somehow a MAX station with development finally occuring as intended, now becomes "car-oriented." I wasn't aware that only cars now ran out to that station. And beyond that, it's not called the Cascade Station Line, it's called the AIRPORT line. And yeah, the million people that used the airport station last year must really be thinking what a waste of time THAT project was!

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Chris McMullen | May 11, 2007 at 10:37 AM Light rail did not spur anything but the same government agencies and their advocates to then spend countless millions to spur what the light rail did not do, anywhere around here

    Yet in, North Portland along the Interstate line is one of the most upwardly developed areas around and the MAX line has a lot to do with it. I know numerious peopel who work dowtown who have moved into North Portland becuase of the access the MAX gives them to their jobs and because the housing there was more affordable and has resulted in what amounts to a non-predatory style gentrification boom.

    MAX had a lot to do with it.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Light rail has been voted down time and time again

    I believe the west side light rail line was funded with voter approval.

    Voters in the region approved funding for south/north, then a statewide measure that included south/north was defeated (although it won support in the Portland region), then the region defeated raising taxes across the region to fund south/north.

    The fact is the voters have never "voted down light rail" on any level. In fact they have approved raising their taxes to pay extra for it on two occasions - three if you look just at the Metro region. The fact that they found a way to fund both the Interstate line and the I-205 line without additional taxes may indicate the voters were on to something.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: torridjoe | May 11, 2007 11:23:16 AM And yeah, the million people that used the airport station last year must really be thinking what a waste of time THAT project was!

    I personally know of hundreds of business travelers (out-of-town) that weekly would love to be able take easy, efficient, hassle free MAX line service type to Wilsonville instead of arranging car rental/shuttle transportation.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Janice: Stop spewing your strawman arguement of "lobbyists and consultants for the industry and campaign coffers are forever stuffed with the money" blah blah blah bullcrap. YOU do your homework and if there is corruption - spell it out.

    And as far as your "Light rail did not spur anything" all I can add is "BWWWAAHHHHHHH" as I sit in my corner office across from Rasmussen BMW in D/T Portland and watch them putting up another office building and condo complex on in-fill property directly on the Max line. Land that had been a vacant lot for the last 15 years I've been here.

    But I guess you would prefer to pave another farm further and further out until we look like Houston or Atlanta with a dry cleaner, yogurt shop, and 7/11 on every corner.

  • (Show?)

    Kari, Actually a more accurate question would be:

    Are I-84 and 26 more congested now than they would be if there had been another lane of traffic or even a bus express lane built. At a fraction of the cost.

    Light Rail does not in any study, move more people than does a lane for cars.

    Another question one might ask is: Would all of this mythical development along LR lines have taken place WITHOUT the tax breaks given to those at TODs?

    Will the politicians promise that if they build the line south to M there will be no extra use of taxpayer dollars to in essence pay developers to develop in areas they would not develop without said taxpayer dollars.

    They won't promise that because development will not follow LR without the giveaways...cough...Beaverton Round...cough...

    I am just wondering if Bechtel is one of those companies again who will be on the recieving end of those no-bid contracts. After all Bechtel has done very well with the LR projects in Portland and as most folks may know, has done pretty well under the Bush administration no-bid contracts as well.

    Rest assured LR will go down south into the Portland suburbs. Because the Portland metro area politicians have done a fine job at creating a perfect Hydra as it relates to this issue. They can effectively rob money from schools, police and fire (through TIF) and hide that money shift quite well.

    However thankfully the city of Spokane Washington caught on to the gig when they realized there would be no development without additional taxpayer dollars. Once the people of Spokane heard that they would be required to not only pay for the line but that they would also have to pay the developers for the "economic development" around the line they killed the project.

    Yip Yip

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob T: Ridership figures mean nothing to them.

    Torrid Joe: On the contrary--ridership figures make the case.

    Bob T: People making money off of the projects and subsidized follow-up developments will do well even if the trains carry no one. That's the point. Oh, they'll cite BS statistics that inflate ridership because they want the line to be built and must do that, but in the end they don't give a rip -- they just want it built.

    Torrid Joe: Buses are certainly better than cars, but they've got nothing on light rail for efficiency, speed and environmental soundness.

    Bob T: Their main "flaw", as the establishment see it, is that they aren't sexy like light rail, and make for poor photo-ops and ribbon-cutting ceremonies -- important things to politicians (remember the dreadful Mark Hatfield with the giant scissors cutting the ribbon for West Side light rail?).

    Anyway, please don't demonize buses in order to get more expensive rail projects. You're only helping the Fat Cats. Jeez, didn't you learn anything from "Roger & Me" ?

    Bob Tiernan

  • (Show?)

    "After all Bechtel has done very well with the LR projects in Portland"

    they also provided 25% of the funding for the Airport line, allowing it to be built with no new tax dollars.

  • (Show?)

    Ross, What?

    The voters killed LR in portland in 1998. It was measure 26-74 and they spent over $2 million dollars trying to pass it.

    I know, I am looking at a plaque hanging on my wall right now that says "Thank You" and is from our "Don't Buy The Lie" campaign.

    The issue is that you can't believe the Raillies even when they have over $2 million dollars to tell you they don't have the money to build it without taxpayer support.

    It has lost hard anytime there has been a solid debate. The time is has won is when there was no opposition around to bring to the fore the data that debunks the Rallie argument.

    Heck, I remember sitting in the WWeek editorial meeting with three members of the 26-74 campaign. We began confronting the pro campaign with real data that debunked any "trasnportation" value that the north LR was supposed to provide. The three folks began getting more and more frustrated in that the data did not support their argument.

    Finally, I think it was Shragg? (was that his name) One of the WWeek editorial board members turned to the pro rail campaign and said something like "so what you are saying is that there is really no transportation value to LR and it is merely an aesthetic and economic development tool?"

    After a pregnant silence the answer was "Yes."

    A week later WWeek recommended a "NO" vote on the measure.

    I just wish the whole debate in that room could have been on video tape. It was classic.

    Yip Yip

  • (Show?)

    "Bob T: Their main "flaw", as the establishment see it, is that they aren't sexy like light rail, and make for poor photo-ops and ribbon-cutting ceremonies -- important things to politicians (remember the dreadful Mark Hatfield with the giant scissors cutting the ribbon for West Side light rail?).

    Anyway, please don't demonize buses in order to get more expensive rail projects. You're only helping the Fat Cats. Jeez, didn't you learn anything from "Roger & Me" ?

    Actually, their main flaws are that they're noisy and polluting, and don't carry as many people.

    Who's demonizing buses? I believe buses are a necessary core for any city's transportation plan, and I use them every day I commute (unless I use the scooter instead). But you do better when buses also feed more efficient rail lines, such as we have here.

  • Brian Newman (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hi Debra. As chair of the project steering committee, I have received many of the same emails you received. While there is a vocal minority of people who are opposed to any public transit in Milwaukie, the majority of emails that I have received are thoughtful and constructive from concerned parents at the Waldorf school. Most of them even indicate their support for light rail. I am optimistic that most if not all of their concerns can be addressed though the design process when we evaluate station locations and safety issues.

    When the Waldorf community purchased the school site, the alignment behind the school was already selected. The school president at that time indicated their support for light rail, but also made clear their concerns about a station adjacent to the building. This concern is fair and certainly worth evaluating during this phase of the project. Since day one, the Waldorf School has been a positive and thoughful presence in the Milwaukie community.

    Thanks for your post Debra and I look forward to working with you and the rest of the city council to resolve these design issues. Have a good weekend. Brian Newman

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Coyote -

    You state that light rail does not move as much as a single vehicle lane. "Studies" which have purported to show this simply divide ridership over the entire 24 hour day.

    What matters is peak hour. At peak hour, 11 trains per hour move in one direction Westbound along US26. (4 Red Line + 7 Blue Line).

    Fully loaded (check them out at 5PM) each 2-car train carries 300-400+ people. At minimum, that's 3,000 people in one direction at the peak. (Design load of a single MAX Type-I light rail car is 211 people, 256 people "crush" load).

    Cars in the Portland area, on average, carry 1.27 people per vehicle (ODOT figures).

    Thus, at minimum, peak hour MAX service is providing a level of service similar to at least 2,360 cars. (And how much would it have cost to widen the US26 Vista Ridge tunnels to add a lane?)

    That's way more than a single lane of vehicle traffic, possibly 2 lanes depending on the conditions.

    Simply added to US-26, 2,360 cars is a new car entering the freeway every 6.5 seconds.

    While it would be theoretically possible to build a 3rd automobile tunnel with two flexible peak-direction lanes, the cost wouldn't necessarily be any cheaper than MAX, and you'd also have to upgrade many local roads and parking areas to handle all those additional cars.

    • Bob R.
  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "Land that had been a vacant lot for the last 15 years I've been here."

    You better study harder Scotty. Your naievity has you hoodwinked. That land being vacant had nothing to do with a MAX line or streetcar. And there is no new MAX line so why the building now? Likely Urban Renewal subsidies or the free market and nothing to do with MAX. If it's Riverplace there are zoning changes, subsidies and the Streetcar not MAX. SoWa sat idle for years because the city itself blocked previous private plans which would not have required millions in tax subsidies.

    lestatdelt, I can assuure you those 100s of business travelers you personally know, would prefer free limosene service. Why not have the taxpayers provide that?

    You defenders don't understand anything do you? You don't understand anything mentioned about Gresham Station or Cascade Station or anything else. Your dodge ball tactics are ridiculous as well. Andecdotal jibberish and quoting TriMet propaganda. Marvelous.

    Ross, you are piece of work.
    The ways they found to fund the Airport, Interstate and the I-205 line without additional taxes was by among other things, stealing money from property taxes desdined for basic services. Countless millions. The voters turned down light rail any way you look at it. Your spin is Karl Rove-like propaganda. Worse, your stuff is right out of Metro's boiler room.

    Torrid, What's wrong with you? The Max stations haven't development as intended. What planet are you on? As I stated and you know very well. I can only concude that you are hopelessly dishonest. Cascade Station is now going to be a BIG BOX cluster.

    Here "Ill go slower.

    Cascade Station is now going to be a car-oriented or car-dominant BIG BOX cluster.

    The opposite of what was intended.

    Urban Renewal at it's worst.

    What game of yours is this "I wasn't aware that only cars now ran out to that station"

    "only"? "now"? Did you add that to make some stupid point? What is it with you?

    If you don't think Cascade Station is a complete failure to bring about what is intended, then you have never read the condemnation BIG BOXES got when the plan was hatched. A plan which prohibited BIG BOXES because they were perceived and presented by public officials and planners as auto dominated horrible outcomes.

    NOW we are to told by TriMet, who you like to quote, that MAX helped attract the BIG BOXES.

    Now can you stay focused, for once, long enough to actually respond to my central point about Cascade Station failure? Or any other failure I mentioned and you dodged around?

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Here are some facts about light rail:

    1. Light rail DOE NOT REDUCE CONGESTION because 2/3 or more of the riders would be in a bus and light rial sucks up money that otherwise could have been used to reduce traffic congestion. Bottom line is that MAX on US 26 & I84 relieves about 1/4 of one lane of traffic at a cost greater than building several new lanes. It simply costs too much and does too little see PortlandFacts.com/RailAttractsDrivers2.htm

    2. Light raid DID NOT CAUSE DEVELOPMENT along MAX, tax breaks did as this testimony to Portland’s city council shows: Mr . Saba [planning bureau] said during the 10 years MAX has been in existence, the City has seen no mixed-use developments adjacent to the light rail lines . Most of those that occurred were in the Central City, Lloyd Center and Gresham .

    Wayne Rembold, Portland contractor, said tax abatements are essential to getting these projects built as otherwise they do not pencil out

    See PortlandFacts.com/Transit/LightRailDevelopment.htm for the full story. Some claim that this is no longer true and development can occur without the tax subsidies. If so, why are they still giving subsidies?

    1. Light rail HAS INCREASED TRAFFIC CONGESTION on Interstate avenue. First two lanes of the four were replaced with tracks. Second light rail controls ALL traffic signals, breaking up the smooth flow of traffic.

    2. Traffic congestion will get much worse as high density housing puts more cars on the road. Only a small percentage of the new people will be using MAX, the rest will be in cars on the grid locked streets. See PortlandFacts.com/Smart/DensityCongestion.htm

    3. Tax abatements and REZONING to high density are the driving force behind the development and increased property values along Interstate Ave. The toy train is merely and excuse. See portlandstreetcar.org/pdf/development.pdf

    4. Light rail divides neighborhoods. For safety reasons, they put a fence down the middle of Interstate ave. Crosswalks are now several blocks apart instead of every block.

    5. Bus stops used to be every block or so, now they are much further apart (1 mile?). Some people quit using transit because of the longer walking distance.

    6. Light rail kills people at about THREE times the rate of buses. see PortlandFacts.com/Transit/MAXSafetyChart.html

    7. Light rail is electrically powered which means that it is powered about 50% by coal which emits Uranium, Thorium and Mercury into the air. See ornl.gov/ORNLReview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html

    8. Who really profits form light rail? Here is a list. In 1996, the voters rejected the building of a north-south light rail system.

    Here is a list of big contributors ($5000 and over) who were in favor of building light rail. Their contributions totaled $980,000 . All pro-rail contributions totaled over $1,156,340.

    The light rail opponents spent about $110,000 and won.

    <h2>NAME OF CONTRIBUTOR AMOUNT</h2>

    Portland General Electric............................................$52,500 Pacific Power..............................................................$52,500 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers........$50,640 Fred Meyer..................................................................$50.000 International Union of Operating Engineers...............$44,710 U.S. Bancorp...............................................................$35,000 First Interstate Bank....................................................$30,000 Siemens Duewag Corporation.....................................$30,000 Oregon Public Employees Union................................$27,400 Legacy Health..............................................................$25,000 Portland Trail Blazers..................................................$22,750 Local Union Legal Foundation....................................$20,000 Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas....................$20,000 Bridge Structural, & Ornamental Iron Workers...........$17,400 Sheet Metal Workers....................................................$16,350 Bank of America..........................................................$15,000 Intel Corporation..........................................................$15,000 Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen...................................$14,000 LTK Engineering Services...........................................$13,400 BRW Inc.......................................................................$12,500 Middleton & Compauy.................................................$12,000 Greenbriar Company....................................................$10,000 Tom Walsh....................................................................$10,000 Zummer Grinnel Frasca Partnership.............................$10,000 Goldman Sachs & G.)...................................................$10,000 Nike, Inc.......................................................................$10,000 Kiewit Pacific...............................................................$10,000 Morse Brothers.............................................................$10,000 Union Pacific Railroad.................................................$10,000 Hanley Industrial properties.........................................$10,000 Bombardiere Corporation.............................................$10,000 City Center Parking......................................................$10,000 Obie Outdoor Advertising............................................$10,000 OTAK Architects.........................................................$10,000 Standard Insurance.......................................................$10,000 U.S. West Communications.........................................$10,000 United Infrastructure....................................................$10,000 Amalgamated Tran it Union..........................................$8,100 Cement Masons.............................................................$7,650 Hoffman Corporation....................................................$7,500 CH2M Hill....................................................................$6,000 O'Brien Kreizberg.........................................................$5,600 James Furman & Co-....................................................$5,000

    Dames & Moore...........................................................$5,000 Providence Health Systems..........................................$5,000 Slayden Construction....................................................$5,000 Kaiser Permanente........................................................$5,000 David Evans & Associates............................................$5,000 Class PAC.....................................................................$5,000 CFI Pro Services...........................................................$5,000 Davis, Wright, Tremaine..............................................$5,000 NW Natural Gas Co-....................................................$5,000 Zidell, Inc-....................................................................$5,000 Stoel, Rives, Boley, Jones, & Gray..............................$5,000 Yeon Properties............................................................$5,000 Pacific Gas Transmission.............................................$5,000 AT & T Wireless..........................................................$5,000 Block 216 Partners.......................................................$5,000 Keylorp Management..................................................$5,000

    <hr/>

    TOTAL, CONTRIBUTIONS OVER $5,000...........................................$884,800 PERCENTAGE OF ALL CONTRIBUTIONS............................... 76.5%

    TOTAL, CONTRIBUTIONS OVER $1,000............................................$980,640 PERCENTAGE OF ALL CONTRIBUTIONS............................... 84.8%

    TOTAL, ALL CONTRIBUTIONS.........................................................$1,156,340

    Source: Records for Oregonians for Roads and Rails and for Oregonians for Local Control at Secretary of State's Office, Elections Division, Salem, Oregon.

    Bottom line: If you want to destroy Milwaukie as you know it, then go for the toy train.

    Thanks JK

  • janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Metro Counselor Newman,

    Can you name me even one person who is "opposed to ANY PUBLIC TRANSIT in Milwaukie"? No you cannot. You made that up. And you think it is OK to distort. You, like your peers, like to cast light rail oppostion as opposed to all transit. One of your many misrepresentations. There is much thoughtful and constructive opposition to our light rail system with plenty of non-biased non-TriMet, non-Metro data to back it up.

    You should always identify yourself as Metro councilor.

    And you too should openly pronounce that you are opposed to any public votes on light rail.

  • (Show?)
    What game of yours is this "I wasn't aware that only cars now ran out to that station" "only"? "now"? Did you add that to make some stupid point? What is it with you?

    Yes, it was to make the stupid point that you can't call it car-oriented development when there's a TRANSIT STATION THERE, that directly instigated the development. That's rather the point--if you put alternate transport near by, cars need not dominate access methods.

    And let's not forget that buildout is scheduled to continue until 2015; we're not able to evaluate the project fully for a while.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob: You state that light rail does not move as much as a single vehicle lane. "Studies" which have purported to show this simply divide ridership over the entire 24 hour day.

    What matters is peak hour. At peak hour, 11 trains per hour move in one direction Westbound along US26. (4 Red Line + 7 Blue Line).

    Fully loaded (check them out at 5PM) each 2-car train carries 300-400+ people. At minimum, that's 3,000 people in one direction at the peak. (Design load of a single MAX Type-I light rail car is 211 people, 256 people "crush" load).

    JK:Nice throry, but that is not the reality. The reality is that Trimet istelf only claims carrying a number of people equal to 1.2 lanes of US 26, but the neglect to admit that 2/3 (maybe even 80%) of those people would be in buses if they hadn’t spent a BILLION on that toy train. When you discount for the majority who woul dbe in buses, the number of cars actually removed from the road is about 1/3 of one lane of traffic. see PortlandFacts.com/Transit/RailAttractsDrivers2.htm

    And that is not counting those that gave up on transit and went back to cars because light rail turned out to be slower and less convenient than the bus that it replaced.

    Thanks JK

  • Brian Newman (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Janice-

    A) I didn't misrepresent myself in the email. I used my real name, I said I was chair of the project steering committee, and I said "we" when I referred to Metro. I post here enough that most people know I am a Metro Councilor, but thanks for making that clear if you thought I was hiding my identity. B) There is certainly a small group of people that I have encountered who oppose light rail, oppose bus transit centers, oppose park and rides (for buses), and oppose new bus stops whenever they are proposed in Milwaukie. I think it is fair to characterize them as anti-public transit, not just light rail. C) I am not against public votes on funding transit or roads. In fact, I am working on one right now for the November 2008 ballot. This is not being done in secret as the Metro Council just adopted a resolution yesterday (in public session and on TV) authorizing me to do this work.
    Thanks. Brian Newman (aka Metro Councilor Brian Newman)

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Janice spewed: That land being vacant had nothing to do with a MAX line or streetcar.

    That one little piece of vile you spewed up post (along with all the name calling) just showed everyone how very little you know or understand about development in downtown.

    So here's your homework Bitter Janice (wow, this name calling is really easy to do!) - find me one building owner along Max who didn't 1) love having the tracks at their front door, 2) choose not to develop because of the Max, or 3) did not do significant upgrades because of the Max Line.

    Otherwise, Pfffft, I'm done with you. Dismissed.

    Oh, and one other thing Bitter Janice, when you pepper you post with "What's wrong with you", "I'll go slower", and "You are a piece of work", you are showing everyone that your argument is void of any facts and that, well frankly, you're an assclown.

  • pam (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Light rail costs $100 million per mile. Enough said really. Those of us who are opposed to it are not crazy or "loonies" on the right. We simply do not see how the cost can be justified. The metro bus system is excellent for the 3% who actually use public transportation.

  • VR (unverified)
    (Show?)

    It is specifically arguments like these that bring out the best in people.

    Why is it we can't discuss differing opinions without resorting to personal attacks?

    It seems to me that there is a legitimate disconnect on both sides. Both sides have an agenda and statistics.

    But despite what the anti light rail crowd would have you believe - the Portland metro area is growing and prospering. Everyone I know who has come here in the last 10 years loves Portland, and uses Light-Rail in some way or form. People who have come here from Detroit, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Albuquerque, and other places.

    So apparently MAX isn't destroying the city the way some people would make it sound... Real estate values across the region are climbing and remain strong - unlike some locations in the country.

    They wouldn't be that way if it MAX was destroying the city.

  • Eric J. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    The only viewpoint I have is this: While it is probable that there will be lots of commuters during rush hours on this line proposed for Milwaukie, it is the times in between those commutes that you should be worried about. Those are the times when the real Rif-Raff get on board. I used to ride the rails from East Portland to the City Center, but I got so fed up with Tri-Met excusing away the very rude and innapropriate behavior of the riff-raff (mostly the foul language, foul human odors, and threatinging others to shut thier mouths or suffer beatings)that I stopped and went to the buses. The drivers of the rail cars have no control over their vehicules as does the bus drivers. The question is: do you want to have your children learn offensive language and offensive behavior? If you do, ride the Max! Its a great tool to show how offensive and rude the human being can be.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Light rail costs $100 million per mile. Enough said really.

    The current Green Line project is $67 million per route mile, including new rail cars, new stations, 8.3 miles of double-tracked route and the complete reconstruction of 44 blocks of the downtown transit mall.

    The Interstate MAX Yellow Line cost $60 million per route mile including about 2/3 of a mile of elevated viaduct. (2004 dollars).

    No MAX project has yet exceeded the $100 million per route-mile figure, however by the time the Milwaukie extension is finally built along with a brand new bridge across the Willamette (serving Light Rail and other transit, possibly peds/bikes/cars as well), your "enough said" $100 million figure may finally come true.

    The metro bus system is excellent for the 3% who actually use public transportation.

    Although the percentage of people in the region who utilize transit on a given day may be low (it is higher than 3%), the percentage of people who use transit in a given period such as a month is far, far higher. According to TriMet, 43% of adults in the region use TriMet at least twice a month.

    "Enough said."

    • Bob R.
  • Chris McMullen (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "According to TriMet, 43% of adults in the region use TriMet at least twice a month."

    Yeah right, Bob. Let's all believe Tri-Met's numbers. They won't even release ridership info because of "security rules."

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1177295119198741.xml&coll=7

    Enough said.

  • pam (unverified)
    (Show?)

    43% monthly ridership by adults is the most laughable statistic I've ever heard. There is no way on earth it is true. I live in Milwaukie, and I don't know anyone personally who uses trimet. I have lived here for 21 years and never used public transportation, althought I am glad it is available for the few who need it.

  • The Unsilent Majority (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "They won't even release ridership info because of "security rules."

    Actually, they do release ridership numbers:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1178069126270410.xml&coll=7

    You = wrong again. Is that enough said?

  • Eric J. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Tri Met won't release ridership numbers because they are so severely inflated due to Fareless Square riders and the Bums who abuse the fareless sqare concept. We could get more true numbers if Tri Met would eliminate fareless square. Besides - Homeland Security thinks Fareless Square is a nightmare to begin with.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Eric -

    TriMet does release ridership numbers including stop-by-stop boarding counts. They have never refused to do it. The only issue under contention was whether time-of-day at specific location boardings could be released under security rules. They probably over-reacted a bit. Nonetheless, the are now releasing that information as well. (And if you check over at PortlandTransport, every transit advocate posting there supported the release of the information.) Tempest over.

    Pam -

    I'm sorry you don't know any adults that utilize transit. Everyone I know does, even my parents, from time-to-time. My own household is two car yet we use transit multiple times a week both for commuting and shopping/recreation trips. TriMet has among the highest Saturday and Sunday ridership, for example (as a percentage of total ridership) of any transit agency.

    • Bob R.
  • Eric J. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Still - the ridership totals are WAY over inflated because of Fareless sqaure. Most of those free riders are the riff-raff that make MAX unsafe for any child or God-fearing citizen.

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Nowhere in that article does it state Tri-Met will be releasing the data, Unsilent.

    Take another shot at it and try reading for comprehension next time.

  • The Unsilent Majority (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Reality: "TriMet required to release ridership data! TriMet to release ridership data! Extra, extra!"

    Chris: "Yeah, well it doesn't say they are actually going to do it."

    Reality: "TriMet places ridership in envelope, stamps envelope, puts envelope in mailbox."

    Chris: "There was no proof it was actually deilvered."

    Did you read Bob's explanation above? I can't believe I'm wasting my time talking to you.

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)
    (Show?)

    It's not my fault you have substandard reading comprehension abilities, Unsilent.

  • (Show?)

    Scott In Damascus,

    You said: "- find me one building owner along Max who didn't 1) love having the tracks at their front door, 2) choose not to develop because of the Max, or 3) did not do significant upgrades because of the Max Line."

    Perhaps you are only referring to downtown Portland and if so then I can only think of one. He was the fellow who used to own the Portland Music Store. Pffft... Can I get an "ok you are right?"

    I am more familiar with the Interstate line and there were at least three that I remember.

    One was the owner of the Nighthawk reseraunt. However the Portland Development Commission paid him off with some goodies. So, yes he wanted it, but only after the taxpayers ponied up some money. He did not want it on it's face.

    A second was the owner of the gas station on Killingsworth (it was a BP station at the time) and he was dead set against it. Again, maybe in the end the PDC had to ante up more taxpayer dollars to pay him off I'm not sure. But I know he did not it on it's face. Pffft... (that is the term you used right? Pfft?)

    A third property owner was a vacum cleaner sales and service store on Interstate. His name escapes me but I remember he was irate in that Light Rail killed his business on Burnside so he moved to Interstate Ave. Then in his words "they followed me."... Pfffft....

    So you asked for property owners. However why do I have this funny feeling that you either won't respond or that somehow you will dismiss the examples that I have given?

    Yip Yip

  • The Unsilent Majority (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Ooh, snap! Insult my reading comprehension. That'll learn me not to provide you with an update to the newspaper article you read a month ago! You know, the one that totally invalidates your point? Sorry, I'll never do that again!

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Coyote: Wow, three businesses or so that expressed displeasure years ago when it went in. Well, at least you provided actually data unlike most of the postings here.

    Now, would you like a full list of all the businesses who love having light rail? It numbers in the hundreds.

    Add to that list my business. All of my employees at one time or another take LR at least once a week (and that is even with free paid parking). I also built bike rakes for $350 and those fill up all summer long. And if you think we're all a poor bunch of "riff raff" that clog up the system in fareless square - you need a Masters degree to work here with a minimum 5 years experience.

    And if you think LR is used just during rush hour, I always know when an event is happening D/T based on the extreme ridership coming and going to the event - something most of the restaurant owners thrive on mid-week.

  • (Show?)

    "Tri Met won't release ridership numbers because they are so severely inflated due to Fareless Square riders and the Bums who abuse the fareless sqare concept."

    Is the implication here that they are somehow riding without actually riding? Why does a ridership figure that includes people who ride, become 'inflated?'

    Nightmare for Homeland Security = cops can't use a fare check as a pretext for a suspicionless stop.

  • Bitter? Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Councilor Newman,

    Having trouble reading ? I never said you A)misrepresented yourself, obviously you used your real name, and it doesn't matter how much you post here. You were speaking as a Metro Councilor without identifying yourself as such. No I did not think you "hiding your identity", I suggested you were neglectful in identifying your elected position.

    On your "B)" No you did not "fairly characterize" rail opposition when you claimed there is a small minority who oppose "any transit for Milwaukee". There is no group opposing "ANY transit for Milwaukee". Again, you made that up, as Metro does best, and offer not a single name of anyone in that group who opposes "any" transit for Milwaukee. Even your new version, referring to the "group" as "anti-public transit" is a deliberate mischaracterization. As is always the case with Metro addressing the opposition to light rail.

    Your "C)" made me laugh. You must have been working tirelessly for the vote than never happened with the I-205 MAX. Transit Mall. You being all for votes on light rail and all. I notice you were careful and said you are "am not against public votes on funding transit or roads" versus not against voting on light rail.

    If you are "in fact working on one right now for the November 2008 ballot" it is only because there is little chance of the schemes used to fund Airport and Interstate MAX being available for Milwaukee. You won't be able to raid schools, police, fire, libraries, parks and other basic services for millions in funding. I believe Airport took $57 million and Interstate took $40 million from general fund property taxes.

    Whatever you are crafting now for public vote will likely be anything but an up or down vote on light rail. You'll bundle it together, under the banner of congestion relief, with needed road improvements and hold hostage real traffic relief for light rail approval. This scheming is absolutely done in semi-secret and when the "package" comes out it will be mischaracterized by all the usual suspects in the push for voter approval.

    Scott in Damascus,

    What a whopper load you deliver and funny as can be. You haven't the slightest idea how much of downtown Portland is inside an Urban Renewal Districts and heavily subsidized. You don't even know whether or not the one building you cite is being subsidized. How about an address? Someone else will do the work to find out. But then it won't matter how much the public money was diverted from schools to help that high rise will it?

    "Bitter Janice" ? That's so Blue and so planner like. Funny though.

    On North Interstate there was nothing wrong with the street and bus lines before. The PDC doled out millions more in school, park money etc. to pay for the makeover upgrades. Newman and company have misled people into believing property owners just did it because of the Max Line.

    That's all part of the perpetual campaign to mislead and misrepresent.

    Boy does it ever work on guys like you.

    Oh, and one other thing. When you pepper your post with things that are completely false you are showing everyone that your argument is void of everything but Metro/TriMet propaganda.

    But you're probably a good guy and that makes this troublesome.

    There is not even a slight chance Newman or anyone at Metro or TriMet will be advocating a public vote for Milwaukee light rail. They, their bureaucrats and helpful activists are busy behind the scenes brainstorming how to fund this light rail without a light rail public vote of approval.

    They'll stop at nothing, say anything and do anything. Just as TriMet's Fred Hanson claimed MAX attracted BIG BOXES to Cascade Station the truth is always optional.

    No go google " PDC light rail urban renewal" and study up there fella.

    You're weak, very weak.

  • Brian Newman (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Janice (if that is your name), its MilwaukIE not MilwaukEE. Where do you live?

  • Mel (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Scott, Check the C & E's for each light rail vote and the undervaluation of the property give-away for the airport line.

    Mel

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Yeah right Milwaukie, sorry

    And it's an election, not a poll, that is a vote.

    Brian, you could very easily, right now, tell us if you will be working on enabling a stand alone public vote on Milwaukie light rail. If you are not and will not please clarify?

  • (Show?)

    On your "B)" No you did not "fairly characterize" rail opposition when you claimed there is a small minority who oppose "any transit for Milwaukee". There is no group opposing "ANY transit for Milwaukee". Again, you made that up, as Metro does best, and offer not a single name of anyone in that group who opposes "any" transit for Milwaukee.

    Janice...it appears YOU are opposed to light rail in Milwaukie.
    And please, it is MILWAUKIE.

    Would you like a chance to chat with our staff or me or other members of Council? Your drive could help us do so much in Milwaukie.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Deborah Barnes Would you like a chance to chat with our staff or me or other members of Council? Your drive could help us do so much in Milwaukie. JK: If you truly have an open mind and care about your city I urge you to look into information from the rail critics. Many of the rail proponents are profiting from rail, while all of the critics that I know personally are just sick of the waste of rail’s high cost and ineffectiveness at congestion relief. (Yes, I do know that congestion relief is not a goal of Metro’s transportation policy.)

    PortlandFacts.com americandreamcoalition.org ti.org/antiplanner demographia.com publicpurpose.com cato.org reason.org saveportland.com

    Also, if interested in both sides, the americandreamcoalition.org has speakers available. Note that two of them are from the Portland area (Cox & O’Toole), although they now reside elsewhere.

    Thanks JK

  • (Show?)

    WantAnAnswer said:

    Also, this argument by another advocate that one frequently hears demonstrates a typical level of meaninglessness: in response to my post on this issue, citing that the MAX wouldn't make people any closer to the bus.

    Apparently, this person need to read closer. You'll see I specifically said:

    "I'd really like to see mass transit expanded in the area. A lot of the people willing to use it live in areas that aren't very well served. When the nearest bus is a distance away..."

    It's pretty obvious I'm not just talking about MAX, I am talking about expanding mass transit. When I mean just light rail, I'll say light rail. But when I say "mass transit," it is pretty obvious that I am meaning it in its various forms -- bus, light rail, etc.

    The light rail solution to public transportation is just an expensive life-style choice by a certain group of people in these times...

    I'd like to know which group of people this is. Could it be those who live on one side of town, are unemployed, and the jobs they need to get to are 2 hours away by bus, but 45 minutes away by MAX? Or those who would like to cut down their driving, but the bus ride is just too long?

    There are a lot of people who would use MAX, but not the bus. They may not be close, but they can take a quick trip in their car to a park and ride (yes, it is a use of a car, but much less than driving into work, adding to street congestion, parking, etc.). Or they could catch a ride with a neighbor and be dropped off near a stop. Or maybe they're close enough to walk. Or their spouse, driving age teenager, etc. drops them off.

    I used to get my husband to drop me off at the 182nd/Burnside MAX stop in the morning for my commute to work. If I could get him on the phone, he'd also pick me up (we had dial-up internet at the time), or I'd catch whichever bus came first and go home that way. It might mean I got dropped off in front of our place (if I was early enough to catch the once an hour bus), or was dropped off on Powell and got to walk up the butte home.

    There are a lot of people out there who use MAX. I'd just like to know who you think this "group" of people are.

  • (Show?)

    JK...

    I believe I am open minded enough to do the research to understand both sides of the issue. I appreciated the links you provided. I went to your webpage and actually went to the Hibbits poll. Ironically, it actually indicated those polled supported the expansion of light rail as a priority.

    Higgins Poll

    I will continue to review the links you provided and appreciate your voice in the discussion.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    JK has suggested that his perspective is without bias and that light rail proponents are beholden to corporate funding. For a perspective on who is funding some of the people JK points to, try this:

    http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_lrt_2007-01a.htm

    As far as I know JK has refused to answer whether he recieves income from any of these groups or others with interests in planning, public policy, transportation, etc- even though he often demands to know this of others

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Deborah, With all due respect I can't imagine how any dialogue will serve an purpose when right here I can't get anyone to repond to the most germane points I raised. I asked you for instance if the city of Milwaukie was preparing another or more Urban Renewal to align with the upcoming light rail? Others here have steered clear of addressing my very cogent points of how other areas responded to light rial and what role UR played. Can you please tell what is it in the region which Milwaukie hopes to duplicate? Are you planning some significant additional use of Urban Renewal to fund development along the upcoming light rail line?

    Brian hasn't answered, but can you please tell me if YOU would support a stand alone up or down vote on the Milwaukie light rail? A vote by EVERYONE who wil be asked to pay for it?

    Watch now as not a single elected official in either Portland, Milwaukie or Metro will advocate an up or down stand alone vote. Not one.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Janice said "With all due respect I can't imagine how any dialogue will serve an purpose when right here I can't get anyone to repond to the most germane points I raised."

    Err Janice, it's not what you say so much as how you say it. I suggest you take a look in the mirror, consider the names you call and then think about why no rationale person would not want to engage you in honest discourse. If you act with little integrity you can't expect people to treat you with respect.

  • (Show?)
    Others here have steered clear of addressing my very cogent points of how other areas responded to light rial and what role UR played.

    Horseshit. The information was provided to you--TWICE--and you simply ignored it.

    It seems you've already fallen under his thrall, but once you free yourself from the contortionist scribbles of Jim Karlock and the Cascade Policy Institute, you'll notice things become much more rational and clear. Give it a try.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Deborah Barnes Ironically, it actually indicated those polled supported the expansion of light rail as a priority.

    JK: Did you miss this: Knowing that financial resources are limited, what priority should local and regional governments give to each goal: ..........................................................................Priority:...Urgent....High.....Med...Low.......DK 22. Building new roads and highways-------------------------11% --- 35% -----31% -- 22%---- 2% 27. Building light rail extensions ------------------------------- 5%---- 33% -----29% -- 31%---- 2%

    Or did you miss this: 30. Which of these goals is most important? Building new roads and highways --------------------------------------16% Building light rail extensions --------------------------------------------- 7%

    Or did you miss this: 31. Second most important? Building new roads and highways --------------------------------------- 6% Building light rail extensions --------------------------------------------- 4%

    (Of course, the main reason that people want any rail at all is because they have been led to believe that it will relieve congestion. See questions 1 & 2.)

    If you did not miss the above items and in view of your comment, I’m sorry have wasted both of our times.

    Thanks JK

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hawthorne, That's the biggest load of bull. I get plenty of response but most of it's diverting and avoids the greater points. Look above in the posts. For crying out loud, this is such a dysfunctional conversation that Ross, who lives in Minnesota I think says light rail was never voted down here. What a spin.
    You don't think that is insulting?

    But you play this worn out bit about the "tone" as if kindness reigns supreme with your side. Give me a break. That's such a lame old song you sing.

    Any one of you could easily point to a model Milwaukie hopes to duplicate. Any of you could respond to my comments about Gresham Station, the Beaverton Round, Cascade Station etc. or even the commuter rail on the wrong side of 217 to serve Washington Square.
    How about all the money in property taxes diverted from schools and other basic services to pay for light rail and the development it doesn't "spur" on it's own. I haven't called names to any extent at all while you and yours evade, avoid and insult in your own manner.

    This whole light rail-Urban Renewal high density scheme is a snow job boondoggle that does not and will not provide for the needs of growth, ever. There will not be an end to the automobile and the so-called "alternatives" are no substitute. Not in Gresham, not in Hillsboro, not in Beaverton not in Portland and will not be in Milwaukie. The vision and theories are stuck in fantasy mode without at authentic plan to accommodate the real needs of growth in sight. Our elected officials can't play it straight on what they are planning. We fund probably 500 planners in the Metro region and another 100 full time PR/spokes persons to conjure up fresh doses of rhetoric to push the agenda.

    And it aint making the region work. From the pretty little Pearl to the milked for far more than it was ever worth Orenco Station the irrational exuberance for rail transit and overcrowded high density development is just plain wrong. At the end of the days Beaverton builds a massive parking garage because the Round is a farce, Cascade Station welcomes BIG BOXES because the mini-city was a fantasy, Gresham/Metro has to give away land at a 20 year old light rail station, and Rockwood needs millions to deal with blight and crime along the Eastside MAX. On and on the beat goes on.
    Defend one of these, advocate for the convention center hotel, call SoWa a biotech research jobs boost, tell us Milwaukie MAX will do for Milwaukie what it did for Beaverton. But hold on to you wallets and get ready to cough up much more to back fill what is taken from schools, libraries, parks police and fire to pay for this chaos in the making.

    This choice quote from the former head of Metro, 7 years ago, says it all. Be sure and ignore it.
    "Traffic congestion is bad and getting worse. It is a nightmare for commuters and it is choking freight mobility. There is no more clear illustration of our inability to meet growth needs than our failure to address our transportation needs. Within the transportation arena we are facing utter chaos." from Metro head, Mike Burton's State of the Region Speech, 2000

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    JK,

    You don't seem to every mind wasting people's time. What is your point? People are supportive of both new roads and light rail (and other transit). Is this a shock to you? Why is this a reason to not support a light rail extension? It's not like we are not undertaking improvements to the road infrastructure. We should do both. You seem to think we should only build roads. In this opinion you are in the minority.

    You're Welcome.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Janice,

    Cry me a river you poor down trod upon one. At least you have learned how to spell Milwaukie. There is hope. Are you Jim Gridlock's wife, or do you just play one on the internet?

    Seriously, you are all bluster. Take your meds and chill. If you think that the way you conduct yourself is going to get a rationale reply, you need to take a double dose.

    In the meantime, I hear that Houston is a nice place for people of your persuasion. You might consider it.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hawthorne (to Janice)Are you Jim Gridlock's wife JK: I see you are back to childish name calling again.

    Hawthorne JK has suggested that his perspective is without bias and that light rail proponents are beholden to corporate funding. jk: Many are. see file:///k:/DebunkingPortland.com/Transit/WhoWantsRail.htm

    Hawthorne For a perspective on who is funding some of the people JK points to, try this:

    http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_lrt_2007-01a.htm jk: You have to forgive Hawthorne, he is one of those people who cannot look at clear, credable, data and make a decision. Instead he has to look at the funding of the person who pointed out the data. Sad, really.

    Hawthorne As far as I know JK has refused to answer whether he recieves income from any of these groups or others with interests in planning, public policy, transportation, etc- even though he often demands to know this of others jk: Why don’t you start by using your real name. Then assure us that you don’t receive any money from government (employment, grants or in any form) or industries associated with government contracts, transportation etc.

    In case some here missed it, Jack’s blog caught a number of Portland city employees blogging in support of the city’s policies to give the false impression that those policies have wide support.

    Thanks JK (who receives no income from city planning, city policy, city projects or smart growth, social engineering, or driving people out of their cars - can you say the same?)

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    JK (who receives no income from city planning, city policy, city projects or smart growth, social engineering, or driving people out of their cars - can you say the same?)

    Yes I can. And I can also say that I don't get money from politically related activities. Can you say the same?

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    jk: You have to forgive Hawthorne, he is one of those people who cannot look at clear, credable, data and make a decision. Instead he has to look at the funding of the person who pointed out the data. Sad, really.

    Dude, you can't have it both ways. You can't contend that people who support light rail are beholden to commerical interests and then, when I point out your beholden interests suggests otherwise.

    What is sad is your ability to reason (and spell).

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Well, Deborah, your predecessors in the light rail fight in Milwaukie got run out of the Council on a recall.

    I sincerely hope this doesn't happen to you. If it does, it will show me that the people of Milwaukie are just as stupid as they were 10 years ago.

    Here's hoping they are not.

    www.urbanplanningoverlord.blogspot.com

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Urban Planning Overlord Well, Deborah, your predecessors in the light rail fight in Milwaukie got run out of the Council on a recall. JK: That’s what I hear, but that was before I was politically active.

    Which leads me to this for Deborah Barnes, Did you know that once light rail arrives, metro has density targets for the area around EVERY station?

    Here is the relent section of Metro code: 3.07.170 Design Type Density Recommendations A. For the area of each of the 2040 Growth Concept design types, the following average densities for housing and employment are recommended to cities and counties: Central City - 250 persons per acre Regional Centers - 60 persons per acre Station Communities - 45 persons per acre Town Centers - 40 persons per acre (bold added) ... (from metro code at metro-region.org/library_docs/about/chap307.pdf )

    Note that many of those station areas are now low density single family neighborhoods and they may not like having high densities imposed on their neighborhoods.

    Although the above are NOT mandates, I assume that you already know that if your city doesn’t meet its Metro MANDATED density targets, Metro can FORCE YOU.

    And, I hope that you know that increased density is a direct cause of increased traffic congestion. See PortlandFacts.com/Smart/DensityCongestion.htm

    OK, Hawthorne, your turn. (BTW, do you have a real name?)

    Thanks JK

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hawthorne -

    Don't worry about JK's taunts. He's asked me multiple times in multiple forums to disclose my real name and any potential external biases, and I have done so repeatedly. Sadly, JK has failed to disclose all his interests in return.

    • Bob Richardson

    (Who receives no funding and has no contracts with any government agency or pro-transit organization, although my company did once bid to operate Milwaukie's cable access program. My main business is software development, web design, and a hint of video production. Recently, I began serving on Portland's streetcar citizen advisory committee. I've attended two meetings hand have received the following perks: A streetcar pass, two one-time tram courtesy tickets, coffee, and cookies. Other than that, I'm clean.)

    PS... The coffee, cookies, and tram passes were made available to anyone who attended the public meetings, no matter what their opinion.

    Double PS... Thus far, there has been no Portland Kool-aid served at any meeting I've ever attended.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    And one additional disclosure: I am the webmaster for the Rose City Park Neighborhood Association ( rcpna.org ). I invoice that organization periodically for actual costs incurred, and I receive zero profit from the arrangement.

    Clearly, my support of transit and especially rail transit is biased (I'm part of the cabal now, you know... don't tell anybody) because of this.

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Oh, and I once took a bus to Milwaukie and transferred to another bus to Oak Grove because my previous car was broken down. Without that service, I would have had to pay for a very expensive cab ride. Clearly I am permanently maliciously biased toward transit because of this immense public subsidy. I beg forgiveness.

    • Bob R.
  • Michael Wilson (unverified)
    (Show?)

    BusRapid Transit can be built for about one-tenth the cost of light rail and provide the same level of service. Lot's of good info on BRT available. MW

  • (Show?)

    Scott In Damascus, Thanks for proving my point that you would simply dismiss the examples I provided. Funny how reality gets in the way of what you thought was an incredibly bold strategic move.

    I will tell you this about the Interstate LR. I used to publish a community newspaper in the area. I worked up and down Interstate with virtually every business on the strip and I don't remember ONE of them being in favor of the construction. I do remember a land owner though I forget his name. He was a balding fellow who wore bow ties. HE was in favor of it and tried to push it from the Overlook Neighborhood perspective. Then it came out that he owned a bare piece of land near where one of the stops would be. Of course he stood to make bank on that little gold rush.

    Hawthorne, Your retorts regarding who's backing who are just plain silly. So Randall O'toole works for a non-profit that receives some funding from businesses who are indirectly interested in transportation. In receiving said funding ROT points out that 2+2 does indeed equal 4. OOOHHH big surprise.

    Meanwhile you are able to dismiss the direct conflicts of interest from businesses and landowners who attempt, in their rush to the gold, to say that 2+2 equals 5?

    As with Scott in Damascus: Move along here folks... Nothing to see... Move along.

    Yip Yip

  • Steve (unverified)
    (Show?)

    THe real issue is that, yes, it would be nice to have light-rail running everywhere, even Milwaukie. However, there is a limited amount of money from the one source that pays for it, taxpayers.

    When we see lousy schools, not enough jails/police and yet unlimited money for light-rail, it is annoying. Please, don't giver me the different buckets of money stuff since there always seems to be a way to transfer money to light-rail, but never the other direction. As far as METRO support, since when do they care about schools/police (as evidenced by doing anything about it?)

    Light-rail is becoming a monomanical pursuit for the backers. It's a simple fix for all of society's ills. I am just waiting for the statement that light-rail will cure cancer in the next couple of years.

  • Max (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Metro Councilor Newman presents yet another disingenuous argument: "Why, I didn't hide my identiy!" Yes, Councilor, you did. As one who has a dog in this fight, as you do, it is wilfully deceptive and, I suggest, unethical to fail to fully identify yourself and your affiliation to the great unwashed masses.

    Moreover, your text contains misrepresentations which can only be construed as deliberate. Remember, Councilor, that according to your own HR department: "It doesn't matter what your intent was. All that matters is the perception of the recipient."

    Please bear it in mind.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    BusRapid Transit can be built for about one-tenth the cost of light rail and provide the same level of service.

    BRT systems can be constructed for less money than light rail systems, but only if they do NOT provide the same level of service.

    Once you provide completely dedicated lanes (for example, Eugene has limited segments of concrete "tracks" for their BRT buses), large covered stations with multiple boarding doors (for faster boarding), boarding doors on both sides, viaducts and tunnels, etc., your costs are about the same as light rail and your operating costs are higher (more operators needed because even the largest BRT buses are smaller than 2-car light rail trains.)

    BRT systems can indeed be the answer for a number of transportation problems, and they are usually superior to standard bus service. They also offer some degree of route flexibility (but in reality high capacity bus routes seldom change). But they do not inherently offer the same level of service a light rail.

    In the specific case of the proposed Milwaukie line, you'd still have to build a dedicated bridge over the Willamette and pave two additional lanes along-side 99E, construct stations, etc. To avoid doing so means you are NOT providing the same level of service.

    • Bob R.
  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    The most revealing comment by Councilor Newman is this classic Metro double speak. "I am not against public votes on funding transit or roads. In fact, I am working on one right now for the November 2008 ballot."

    Is that the same as being in favor of the public being allowed to vote on Milwaukie light rail? Of course not.

    I asked him to clarify his stance on "public votes".

    I'll ask again. Brian will you be working on enabling a stand alone public vote on Milwaukie light rail. If you are not and will not please clarify? Are you actually working behind the scenes to craft a "package" that holds hostage roads for a light rail approval vote? Please explain and justify why you cannot reveal what you are working on and what your intent is.

    Deborah, Likewise, can you explain your position on allowing public vote for Milwaukie Light Rail?
    What discussions have you had with Newman on voting? What advice has Metro given you when discussing light rail and voting? Is Milwaukie planning on spending millions in Urban Renewal to help fund light rail and development? Have you been asked to not publicly discuss Metro/Milwaukie plans and intentions?

    There is no excuse for not revealing the objectives, plans, intentions and discussions that are happening behind the scenes. You are public officials using public monies and public agencies.

    I would like to know exactly, verbatim, what Newman and Metro tells a City Councilor. Perhaps you can post an e-mail you received from Brian. I'm sure it would be enlightening.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Incidentally, Bus Rapid Transit systems are not unfettered by a degree of public opposition either:

    Gearing up for EmX fight: Eugene residents and LTD officials clash on the future of transit line

    Quotes from the article:

    • But the way Ilona Koleszar sees it, the EmX is a "scary" thing to behold. "There's a lot of concrete involved and a lot of construction involved and a lot of widening involved," she said.
    • But none of those options are satisfactory to many Jefferson-Westside residents, who fear that an EmX line through or along any portion of their tree-lined neighborhood would be ruinous, Koleszar said.
    • Extending EmX to Thurston would make the system "Springfield-centric"
    • Snyder said bus rapid transit systems require infrastructure that is inappropriate for residential areas, resulting in a loss of street trees and parking, which lowers property values.

    Same kinds of arguments used against light rail: Lowers property values, "scary", Portland-centric, "ruinous" to neighborhoods, etc.

    Food for thought.

    • Bob R.
  • WantAnAnswer (unverified)
    (Show?)

    It is interesting to read the arguments proponents make about "property values" and the economic development value of light rail. I don't see where any critic ever argued anything about decreased property value. I do see where the proponents have failed to produce a single fact that light rail actually drives equitable increased economic development, and thereby contributes to general well-being of all the people.

    And there actually is no reason for an intelligent person to believe it would, since that is not a personal value that proponents like Deborah, Kari, torridjoe, Hawthorne, Bob R., or urbanplanningoverlord, actually hold, or are seeking to further through light rail. They are not bashful about telling us that rather directly in their statements, and they are not even close to having above sufficiently average intellectual power or relevant knowledge to speak to these issues. (In fact, one is frequently struck by just how happy they are to plunge ahead and make it clear just how lacking they are in those relevant qualities.)

    Their support for light rail is mainly because it is a component in their vision of a metro area that works best personally for them, and for relatively privileged people like them. It is a gentrification tool. That's certainly their right as citizens to do. And that is about the most that can be said about their quality and value of their advocacy.

    As far as the question whether light rail actually does drive equitable increased economic development, and thereby contributes to general well-being of all the people, this much can be said: The proponents always side-step that unambiguous and relevant question with various ambiguating claims about the growth of the metro area (again without demonstrating any link) and the increased cost-of-living, including housing costs.

    High housing costs are not an direct indicator of economic health. High housing costs in fact can be an indicator of very fragile economic conditions. One has to look at why the housing costs are high, and in the NW it is very hard to come by data that actually is explanatory. Not the least of the reasons for that is because there are a lot of vested interests who stand to loose, starting with the very powerful real estate lobby and other business interests, in not studying that question too hard. However, as we see here, light rail proponents and the pseudo-progressives who constitute the bulk of Blue Oregon commentariat benefit from this lack of hard data because they can always assert without foundation that economic conditions are favorable to their civic agenda.

    One just has to remember how we are always affected late in national economic up and down cycles, and frequently the busts are more painful and the recoveries less robust, when the luxury of that delay should give us the opportunity to dampen the bust and improve the recovery, to have an idea that the guilty parties aren't exactly acting in the best interest of the whole, diverse, public.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    WantAnAnswer wrote (regarding me specifically and several other light rail supporters):

    ... and they are not even close to having above sufficiently average intellectual power or relevant knowledge to speak to these issues.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. What test may I take to prove my intellect to you, oh arbiter of factual discourse? Or would simply becoming anti-light rail suddenly make me seem more intelligent to you?

    Your comments reveal that you and many (but not all) of the anti-LRT folk in this thread nurture a seething resentment of LRT supporters, and you have the predilection to demonize rather than engage.

    Best wishes, Bob R.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I don't see where any critic ever argued anything about decreased property value.

    I just quoted directly from the Eugene Register Guard article where a transit critic was concerned about BRT lowering property values, did you miss it?

  • WantAnAnswer (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hey Bob R., this is as easy one:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. What test may I take to prove my intellect to you, oh arbiter of factual discourse?

    1) Define equitable economic development.

    2) Advance a hypothesis of the causative mechanism by which light rail would actually cause an increase in equitable economic development sufficient to justify the public expenditure and other non-monetary civic costs required to build it.

    3) Assume a null hypothesis that your hypothesized causative mechanism does not produce an increase in equitable economic development sufficient to justify the public expenditure and other non-monetary civic costs required to build it.

    4) Cite verifiable facts (since you can't run an experiment, these will have to measureable properties of real-life examples, not surveys of opinions about the veracity of the null hypothesis) that prove the null hypothesis can't be true.

    Clear enough? Recognize this form of proof? Notice how I don't arbitrate anything there?

    Your comments reveal that you and many (but not all) of the anti-LRT folk in this thread nurture a seething resentment of LRT supporters, and you have the predilection to demonize rather than engage.

    There has to be something of intellectual merit and reflective of a commitment to making a genuine contribution to the community to engage. LRT supporters actually refuse to be engaged on an intelligent level because they resent the fact that their particular self-serving values are not indulged. One just has to read the comments by LRT supporters to those replete with facts and figures by critics, (some of those critics with whom I don't agree politically by the way), to understand how LRT supporters are largely incapable of viewing the issue as anything but a social engineering problem in getting their way. Statements of relevant factual characterizations such as that are not demonizing by any accepted definition of the term. However, your unfactual negative disparagement of those statements certainly is verging on demonization.

    You've been given the formula how it works, get of your high hobby horse, and prove you actually have something of merit to add to the debate.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Define equitable economic development.

    I have never used the phrase "equitable economic development" -- it is not incumbent upon me to define something I haven't been arguing.

    My arguments primarily relate to ridership statistics, travel times, construction costs, selection of modes and routes, and the occasional debunking of factually untrue statements when I see them.

    Everything that follows in your comments is a straw-man argument because I haven't been making the assertions you now demand I define and prove.

    Nonetheless, I'll address one thing: Demanding that economic development activity be purely "equitable" is an impossibly high standard in the real world. A reasonable goal can be net economic gain for most people in an affected area, with safety constraints to prevent the most vulnerable from being left behind.

    The communist states spent much of the last century chasing after pure equitable economic development -- it didn't get them very far.

    • Bob R.
  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hey Janice, if you don't like what Councilor Brian Newman is doing, why don't you run against him to test the level of support for his views vs. yours?

    Until you're willing to do that, let's just let him make the decisions we elected him for, and not demand ridculous votes on everything.

  • WantAnAnswer (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob R,

    Thanks for your comment

    I have never used the phrase "equitable economic development" -- it is not incumbent upon me to define something I haven't been arguing.

    confirming my point about LRT proponents that:

    Their support for light rail is mainly because it is a component in their vision of a metro area that works best personally for them, and for relatively privileged people like them

    and that

    As far as the question whether light rail actually does drive equitable increased economic development, and thereby contributes to general well-being of all the people, this much can be said: The proponents always side-step that unambiguous and relevant question with various ambiguating claims about the growth of the metro area (again without demonstrating any link) and the increased cost-of-living, including housing costs.

    Of course, your comment that:

    Everything that follows in your comments is a straw-man argument

    betrays you don't know what a straw-man argument is, just like you didn't know what "demonize" means. I wasn't making an argument, I was providing an tutorial explanation about how a convincing logical argumentation would be made, in response to your question

    What test may I take to prove my intellect to you, oh arbiter of factual discourse?

    in your comment taking issue with my original point about the actual motives already noted above and generally low skills of LRT supporters like you.

    Finally, this comment further reflects that snarly, low-quality character trait one frequently finds amongt LRT supporters and others that I also commented about early on:

    Demanding that economic development activity be purely "equitable" is an impossibly high standard in the real world.

    No one got even close to demanding that absurd standard. (By the way, yours is an example of a true strawman argument: Misstating what someone says and then trying to refute that.) I'll repeat, the point was that self-serving LRT proponents don't state that equitable community development (no extreme argument about "purely" there, is there?), sufficient to justify the high costs to the entire community of building and running LRT, is one of their goals.

    The truth is you have demonstrated my points quite nicely. You've also demonstrating there is no need to demonize LRT supporters, given the chance you guys do quite well demonstrating your decidly not progressive, and less-than-admirable goals and values. Thanks for helping.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    WantAnAnswer -

    Thank you for proving my point... you presented a false case for me to "prove", then because I refuse to "prove" it, you accuse me of being disingenuous, "snarly", "self-serving", and having "low quality" character traits. Meanwhile, your posts continue to be fact-free. Nice job.

    Thanks also for attacking my motives (nice to know that you are a mind reader) while continuing to post anonymously.

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    UrbanPlanningOverlord -

    Thank you for bringing up the point about elected office-holders.

    I had tried earlier, very politely, to suggest to Janice that she contact Deborah, who is serving in an elected position, and engage in a discussion. Janice's response was to call me "condescending".

    Deborah also posted a comment encouraging Janice to get in touch. Interestingly, Janice repeatedly used the misspelling "Milwaukee", indicating that she wasn't actually one of Deborah's constituents and perhaps is a bit unfamiliar with the city names in this region.

    • Bob R.
  • WantAnAnswer (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob R.,

    Meanwhile, your posts continue to be fact-free.

    The only fact required with regard to my comments, which were observations about the self-serving goals of LRT advocates such as yourself based on the comments they posted here up to that point, are the very statements you provided demonstrating your negative feelings towards the idea of the primacy of equitable economic development as justification for LRT.

    Thanks also for attacking my motives (nice to know that you are a mind reader) while continuing to post anonymously.

    Your juvenile whining about a false case, untied as it is to anything specific, is simply childish whining as far as I can tell. Get this straight: No one asked you to prove anything you didn't believe and no one attacked your motives and beliefs. Letting you state what you believe, which you did, and drawing attention to what that tells us about motive, is really just letting you prove just how unflattering your position is.

    Not that you'll take it, you've already amply proven you really are kind of a dull-witted and mean-spirited fellow, quite typical of a certain class of folks one runs into in the NW and around PDX actually, but sometimes the best thing to do when you are digging yourself into a hole is to just quit digging.

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Urban planner,

    Is there some problem asking Newman a simple question? Are you providing comfort for him? Why would I run against him? I just want him to come clean on his position. You want him to hide is views? You want conniving schemers behind the scenes cooking up ways to push this past the public? Whatever it takes? Why don't you come clean?
    I can only assume you too are in favor of scheming behind the scenes to avoid public votes on light rail. Running against him wouldn't test at all any level of support. Where have you been? Any time a status quo politician is challenged the entire region's electeds and newspapers hammer the challenger. Big surpise on the results. Apparently you think the only way one should challenge an elected is to run against him.

    Well then why don't all of you shut up and let Bush make the decisions we elected him for, and not demand ridculous impeachments on everything?

    How is it that you anti-vote people spew the "vote on everything" line? What is that anyway? No one advocated voting on everything. What's the point of saying such a ridiculous thing?

    Like so many other things. You need to make things up versus addressing the specific crtisism raised.

    Why don't you share you view on voting? I understand the public should not vote on everthing. Any nitwit gets that. Why don't you want a vote on a half or billion dollar light rail? Why won't Newman simply say he is against it? Why won't Deborah do the same? Why won't either of them say what the intentions are?

    You see how dysfunctional conversations with you and them are? Simple questions and honest answers are not part of the dialogue.

    Instead we get saps like you telling people to basically shut up, run for office, we're not going to vote on everything and let him so what every he wants.

    I want to know what they are planning and working on. I want to know what they discuss, what they are plotting and what we can expect. Obvioulsy they do not want the public to know.

    Bob, what difference would it make calling them up? And I misspelled Milwaukie, big deal. But you concluded I am not famillair with cities around here? Ross Willaims, above, who posted that light rail has never been turned down her by voters, lives in Minnesota. Newman and the rest of you know darn well light rsil got defeated by voters at least twice here.
    But you like his dishonest spin, you don't care that HE lives in another state and you'll add to the propaganda as much as you can. Brian Newman et al will never correct any falsehood they run across if it helps their mission. That's the rub here. Misinformation and misrepresentation are entirely acceptable to our true blue locals.

  • (Show?)

    Janice,

    I guess I was warned from the first post that I was in for a wild ride but frankly, I am disappointed that this stream of responses, in many cases, turned into a lack of civil discourse.

    I would be more than happy to answer your questions and again invite you to meet with me to discuss your concerns. I have always believed that an honest discussion helps all of us better understand. Blue Oregon is a great place to share opinions but meeting face to face leads to better understanding.

    Here are the answers to the questions you posed to me:

    Likewise, can you explain your position on allowing public vote for Milwaukie Light Rail?

    1. I am still reviewing all information and have not yet made a decision regarding an option for sending this to a vote. Sometimes elected officials have to make tough decisions. Our Council had to make a choice about improving roads in Milwaukie and we voted as a Council to raise the funds to do so. We had to upgrade our sewer system and had to raise our utility bills. We had to strengthen our water system and had to raise our fees. I make those decisions based on facts because Milwaukie residents have asked me to make the best decisions I can. We have held open houses and have had two public surveys on transportation and we do have information regarding the input of Milwaukie residents. We will continue to seek more input as we always do.

    What discussions have you had with Newman on voting 2. None.

    What advice has Metro given you when discussing light rail and voting? 3. Metro has never had a discussion with me in regards to discussing light rail or voting. The only time I have chatted with a Metro representative on light-rail has been at the public open house held earlier this year and at Council (which is on live television and recorded for public access television). In neither case have I been involved in a discussion regarding voting.

    Is Milwaukie planning on spending millions in Urban Renewal to help fund light rail and development? 4. Janice, this is Milwaukie. We don't have millions of dollars laying around. We just finished our budget meetings (also recorded live in Council chambers and recorded). When we meet I will be more than happy to share my copy of our budget for next year so you can review any and all propose expenditures(which must still be voted on by the Council).

    Have you been asked to not publicly discuss Metro/Milwaukie plans and intentions? 5. You don't know me very well but NO one tells me not to discuss Milwaukie's plans and intentions.

    Finally, there is no conspiracy. I have not had back room meetings with folks. I guess I knew there would be some heated discussions regarding this topic but I was hoping it would be more civil. I respect your opinions but hope the name calling and innuendo come to an end so we can work on solving a critical transportation situation in our region.

    If you have more questions please let me know when you would like to meet...otherwise...I am spending my day enjoying my family on Mother's Day.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Deborah -

    Thank you for continuing to participate in this thread. I know it can be tough dealing with the misplaced negativity, but participation by public officials in various online forums is an increasingly important way to stay in touch with the electorate.

    I'm just a small business owner who likes to comment on various transportation issues (caveat: I recently began serving on the Portland Streetcar Citizens Advisory Committee), but thus far in this very thread I've been characterized as:

    • "Condescending"
    • Having no "right to encourage" anyone
    • "Clearly" being part of a "rigged process"
    • Being "not even close to having above sufficient, average intellectual power"
    • "Self-serving"
    • Having "generally low skills"
    • Being a "juvenile" and "childish" whiner
    • "Dull Witted"
    • "Mean Spirited"

    (Interestingly, one of the anonymous insult hurlers also had the audacity to claim, just this morning, "no one attacked your motives and beliefs")

    Is it any wonder that so few people are involved in the public process anymore? To speak in favor of something as a member of the public, even when you have nothing personal to gain from it, brings out all kinds of invective. But nonetheless, I'm happy to be involved as a citizen and will continue to be so... one of the things I love about our region is that there are so many opportunities for the public to become involved.

    • Bob R.
  • (Show?)

    My God, the tin foil has gotten especially shiny with the last several comments! To wit:

    In case some here missed it, Jack’s blog caught a number of Portland city employees blogging in support of the city’s policies to give the false impression that those policies have wide support.

    This is a favored chestnut of JK--that there's a movement afoot among city employees to make City policies look better. First of all, City employees are likely to be the ones most conversant with what the REAL problems in City government are, and to be quickest with criticism about how things could be done better. To pretend a conspiracy to bolster City policy strains credulity worse than Lance Armstrong's hammies after a long day's ride.

    I'm not sure if it's a conspiracy theory, but this next one is a pretty good literary pretzel:

    Although the above are NOT mandates, I assume that you already know that if your city doesn’t meet its Metro MANDATED density targets, Metro can FORCE YOU.
    Ah yes--they can't force you, but if you're not careful they'll force you.

    Are you actually working behind the scenes to craft a "package" that holds hostage roads for a light rail approval vote? Please explain and justify why you cannot reveal what you are working on and what your intent is.

    Notice the clever way in which Janice asks a totally unsubstantiated question--and then answers it by asking for an explanation to the answer she provided (METRO is holding secret meetings to "hold roads hostage." Then she ropes Milwaukie's Council into the cabal!) "Have you been asked to not publicly discuss Metro/Milwaukie plans and intentions?" Love it--and again, she answers her own question: "There is no excuse for not revealing the objectives, plans, intentions and discussions that are happening behind the scenes."

    Moving on:

    Their support for light rail is mainly because it is a component in their vision of a metro area that works best personally for them, and for relatively privileged people like them.
    Dude, I don't live within 5-6 miles of ANY MAX station, minimum. They are a minor part, at best, of my work commute (if I take an I-5 express bus, the mall construction forces me to walk and change to MAX to get to work), so I fail to see how supporting LRT based on the facts makes me personally selfish. This is more of the same bizarrely oxymoronic stuff as before, where people who make the determination that LRT works best for the region's people as a whole, are being personally "selfish."

    LRT supporters actually refuse to be engaged on an intelligent level because they resent the fact that their particular self-serving values are not indulged.

    I beg everyone to read the breadth of commentary on this issue and describe which group is the one most seething with resentment. But beyond that, once again we have the argument made that it can't be based on their interpretation of the facts that LRT supporters express their support; it MUST be some kind of pernicious character flaw that drives it. :rolleyes:

    And once more back to Janice, who broadens the LRT Illuminati even further:

    You want conniving schemers behind the scenes cooking up ways to push this past the public? Whatever it takes? Why don't you come clean?I can only assume you too are in favor of scheming behind the scenes to avoid public votes on light rail.

    OK Janice, you broke me down. Sorry, guys, she's forcing me to come clean. I have Brian, Deborah, and UPO meeting in my basement every other Tuesday under a Cone of Silence, where we plot the removal of all asphalt, to be secretly replaced--with work done only between 2 and 4 AM--with gold-plated hovercraft that run on the blood of babies. But you've figured us out! Damn.

  • (Show?)

    And let's refer WantAnAnswer back to the citing of multiple studies indicating quantitative evidence to back the link between transit siting and economic development. The listings have appeared twice now; I'm happy to direct them to the examples provided again...

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I have Brian, Deborah, and UPO meeting in my basement every other Tuesday under a Cone of Silence

    Joe! Why wasn't I invited? Did I miss the memo? :-)

    • Bob R.
  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    In a basement? No. But the conniving is underway. Just as it was to fund Airport MAX, Interstate MAX and the Convention Center expansion after voters turned them down. Conniving which spawns "creative" funding methods which diverts millions in school funding to light rail.

    Torrid, jump on this and lie once again about Urban Renewal.

    The "package" Brian is working on will not be a stand alone vote on Milwaukie light rail despite his transparent pretense that he is not opposed to a vote. I don't care if you all cast this as less then civil discourse. Despite the phony tone, I find Newman's/Metro's methods far more insulting.

    Deborah, You appear to be conveniently hyper sensitive and over reacting to the inquiries while avoiding answering my questions.
    Newman won't clarify his stance on light rail voting because if he came clean he would say he and the Metro council is strongly opposed to any up or down vote and they will never allow it.

    I asked you, Deborah, if Milwaukie was planning some additional "Urban Renewal" spending to help fund or follow light rail. I didn't ask about your routine municipal budget. I asked about URBAN RENEWAL.

    You responded with your budget.

    It's not the "wild ride" standing in the way of an answer. It appears you are more "disappointed" that this stream of questions has turned difficult to answer. If you would be "more than happy to answer" then answer. I posed an honest question and expected an honest answer. Not a diversion into your city budget. BlueOregon is a great place to share opinions but straight questions and answers are at times impossible. We need not meet to understand my questions and this public forum is a perfect place to get on record your and Newman's answers. If you would just answer. So far you haven't said whether or not you favor a stand alone public vote on light rail. If track record and history are anything it's safe to assume you will join every other elected official in sight and quietly oppose a vote.

    History also makes it easy me to charge that Newman, et al. are working on the "option for sending this to a vote". The only tough decision you'll have to make in this regard is to go along with whatever "package" they produce. It won't be a stand alone vote and it will be easy to go along with as the only choice. "Tough choice"? Not so much.

    As far as your other routine decisions to raise bills, fees and taxes? What is so tough about raising these? From my perspective this has been the easiest thing municipalities do around here. Except when they try and push levies by the voters. Then many times those stupid voters just won't cooperate. Thus, forget about a vote on light rail. I get this. I just want the Brians to admit up front that this is their game.

    Instead of a genuine vote it's "Open houses and public surveys" to create the impression of public support. It aint a vote. If you really want to "seek more input" lead the way for a public vote. Not on "everything", but on this very costly light rail extension.

    You may not have had talks with Newman on light rail votes but you will certainly be getting and discussing the usual Metro plot to move this forward and it will indeed have all the components of avoiding a public light rail vote, obscured funding sources and propaganda similar to what we witness daily on all sorts of Urban Renewal, TODs, SoWa, Convention Center Hotel, the PDC and everything boiled up out of the activists minds. The parade of misinformation such as Scott saying North Interstate businesses chose to spend money on makeovers because of light rail, when the PDC gave then school money to do it. Here Joe tell another one of your city employee lies about Urban Renewal. Out of stater Ross saying light rail was never turned down by a vote.

    I asked what Milwaukie hoped to duplicate and got no answer. Why? Is there a huge tax increment financing theft of basic services dollars just around the corner? No sense giving the heads up to the voting public?

    Again , I asked "is Milwaukie planning on spending millions in Urban Renewal to help fund light rail and development? You said, "This is Milwaukie. We don't have millions of dollars laying around." I must assume you are familiar with "Urban Renewal" TIF (tax increment financing) , so what am I supposed to think about your line about not having millions of dollars laying around"?

    You either didn't understand that my question was about UR, or you are purposefully confusing your budget with UR, or you aren't familiar with tax increment financing.

    Please, which is it?

    Portland, Gresham, Tigard, Wilsonville and many other cities have abused UR-TIF and decimated funding for basic services. Property taxes are indeed millions of dollars. Every year property tax revenue rises, on average, by 5% and it's need to keep pace with rising cost of all basic services. Unfortunately many cities, with full blessings from the League of Oregon Cities, have quietly diverted many decades of property tax revenue, and the yearly increases, into light rail, development and boondoggle voters would never approve if given the straight story and a chance to vote.

    School money for light rail? Let's see???????

    If Milwaukie follows the UR model, you will soon be facing huge budget shortfalls requiring new taxes to back fill the losses.

    The status quo is not about "solving a critical transportation situation in our region". Quite the contrary. It's all about finding, taking and spending to advance the same things we have seen during the past 20 years.

    "Solving" ? Solving what? What are you planning on solving for Milwaukie with light rail? Traffic congestion? Or make part of it pretty by essentially taking school money covertly?

  • WantAnAnswer (unverified)
    (Show?)

    And let's refer WantAnAnswer back to the citing of multiple studies indicating quantitative evidence to back the link between transit siting and economic development.

    The question has never been about alleged economic returns associated with LRT connected interests around the alignment, but about the values reflected in economic development patterns and whose selfish interests they favor. That's the question genuine progressives, who believe equity is a key value we must make progress towards achieving in our society, care about.

    A lot of LRT advocates typified by torridjoe and Bob R. really do seem to lack the ability to understand the difference, based on their own comments demonstrating LRT is about advancing their own interests and beliefs, and how they honestly believe is the way the world should be.

  • (Show?)

    Wow. Could we get to 200 comments on this before the tinfoil runs out?

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Yes we may get the 200 comments but no clear answers from the politicians.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    JK I posted some pictures for Deborah Barnes and others interested in what effect light rail might have on your neighborhood at portlandfacts.com/Transit/RailNeighborhhod.html

    Hawthorne, please don’t accuse these pictures of being made up by an oil company - all you have to do is take a drive out Burnside or on Interstate Ave to see for yourself.

    Thanks JK

  • (Show?)

    I don't see anything horrible in those pictures. Maybe some captions might help?

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
    (Show?)

    janice: Metro Counselor Newman,

    Can you name me even one person who is "opposed to ANY PUBLIC TRANSIT in Milwaukie"?

    No you cannot. You made that up. And you think it is OK to distort.

    Bob Tiernan: Of course he made it up. He's just another Light Rail Kool-Aid drinker. Full steam ahead no matter what.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob T: Fat Cats get more money from light rail projects

    Scott in Damascus: Could you supply a list of elected officials, lobbyist, and others who got rich off the last extentions and those who will get rich via no-bid contracts and the like from the Milwaukee extensions?

    Bob T: I relied on JK to post the long list taken directly from the C&E reports from the pro-rail pacs. Did you see it? Whaddya say now, Scotty?

    Now I defy you to show me a list of the, well, people who'd make more money by killing the project (road users). Most I ever came up with was a donation from a delivery service that sells washers and dryers.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    JK's pictures look fine to me.

    Rather than being a barrier to pedestrians along Interstate Avenue, the yellow line has greatly enhanced the pedestrian environment by creating many new fully protected pedestrian crossings and several new signalized intersections.

    Some of JK's pictures show a chain across the middle of the road, but about every block or so there is now a protected pedestrian crossing which allows someone to cross the street by crossing just one lane of traffic to a protected area, then cross the MAX tracks, then one lane of traffic again. Each of these steps is simple and often uninterrupted. Prior to MAX, a pedestrian crossing in many of those areas would have had no crosswalk, no signal, and would have had to cross 4 lanes of busy traffic all at once, or worse, stand in the middle of the road with no protection and wait for an opportunity to complete the crossing.

    I've personally walked the 5 mile Yellow Line from Rose Quarter to the Delta Park station many times, both before and after the Yellow Line opened, and for the pedestrian the difference is like night and day. (With one key exception: North of the Denver Ave. station, where MAX becomes elevated and grade separated, pedestrians must still walk along the old roadway where the sidewalks completely disappear prior to reaching the Delta Park station. However, I understand that this may be addressed during the I-5/Delta Park widening project.)

    • Bob R.

    PS... JK has once again dodged the question about influence/support/conflict-of-interest that he demands light rail supporters answer.

  • (Show?)
    The question has never been about alleged economic returns associated with LRT connected interests around the alignment, but about the values reflected in economic development patterns and whose selfish interests they favor. That's the question genuine progressives, who believe equity is a key value we must make progress towards achieving in our society, care about.

    Right--and no one with any sense would argue that LRT isn't a boon for equitable economic development, considering that it greatly broadens the opportunity for people of lesser means to traverse the city, given that they do not effectively need a car to work but cannot afford housing in the city center, as is the case in many cities across the country. It also reduces vehicle pollution, which as we know disproportionately impacts lower socioeconomic classes, consisting of people who can often only afford to live more cheaply near highways and interstates.

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob said, "PS... JK has once again dodged the question about influence/support/conflict-of-interest that he demands light rail supporters answer."

    JK is laughing at you because he gets zero support, isn't influenced, and has no conflicts of interests.
    Unlike your fat cat, SoWa, no bid contracts, Bechtel, Goldschmidt cronnie politicians, Hommer Williams, PDC, Trammel Crow Tax abatement, Metro/TriMet scheming snow jobers that are ripe with shady influence peddling and conflicts of interest. All of which is fine like wine with you because it perpetrates rail transit and high density subsidized development.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Janice -

    JK has demanded proof of no-conflicts of interest from light rail supporters in nearly every forum where the topic has come up, including this one, yet when asked for such answers himself, he claims he doesn't have to answer to anonymous folk. However, when I've asked him, using my real name, to provide such answers (as have others, using their real names), he's on various occasions:

    1. Claimed that he doesn't know who I am (even though we've communicated privately, and I've emailed him public documents that he's asked for)
    2. Claimed that I hadn't disclosed my own interests (I had, multiple times.)
    3. Claimed that I haven't used my full name in a particular thread (even though he only needed to read up a few lines to see it)
    4. Viewed my complete resume, and commented publicly upon it, still without answering the original questions.

    JK can laugh all he wants (glad to know that you two hang out together), but it still doesn't change the fact that he is dodging his own line of questioning, and has been doing so for years.

    • Bob R.
  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob R. JK's pictures look fine to me. JK: Thanks

    Bob R. Rather than being a barrier to pedestrians along Interstate Avenue, the yellow line has greatly enhanced the pedestrian environment by creating many new fully protected pedestrian crossings and several new signalized intersections. JK: Could have been done for less than the $350 million that the toy train cost. And with less increased traffic congestion. And without the fence.

    Bob R. Some of JK's pictures show a chain across the middle of the road, but about every block or so JK: NO, Bob, it is every several blocks, not “every block or so”. Cross anywhere else and you have to hop over the chain fence. Guess I’ll have to go back and make a list of the crosswalks before and after.

    Bob R. Prior to MAX, a pedestrian crossing in many of those areas would have had no crosswalk, no signal, and would have had to cross 4 lanes of busy traffic... JK: Oh, give me a break. Interstate was a little used, not very busy street in most places with smooth flowing traffic until the toy train took away two lanes and made the traffic lights untimed. Any pedestrian improvements could have been done for a lot less than the $350 million that the toy train cost. And with less traffic congestion.

    Thanks JK (who receives no income from city planning, city policy, city projects or smart growth, social engineering, or driving people out of their cars - can you say the same?)

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    JK (who receives no income from city planning, city policy, city projects or smart growth, social engineering, or driving people out of their cars - can you say the same?)

    See how JK, yet again, asks this question of me (which I've already answered multiple times over the years, including here), and yet fails to disclose any potential conflicts of interest of his own.

    Why does JK never answer the question?

    • Bob R.
  • Garlynn - http://undergroundscience.blogspot.com (unverified)
    (Show?)

    My, how this discussion has de-volved. I'll attempt to get it back on track, so to speak...

    I seem to remember that ballot-box votes on light-rail have always passed within Multnomah County. Granted, Milwaukie is technically within Clackamas County, but there still seems to be a lot of public support for light rail by those people who actually live in a place that has allowed them to use it.

    Light rail, no matter which way you slice or dice the situation, once installed, has resulted in better, denser, more livable communities surrounding its station areas, in comparison to those same areas prior to installation. Especially when it is not installed in a freeway median. Not everything has been perfect, for sure -- I kind of think that the eastside alignment up Burnside is a bit drab, and Cascade Station has proven to be a bit of a money-loser for Bechtel -- but hey, that's their money, we the riding public have the first direct light-rail connection to the airport on the west coast. And the Westside and Interstate alignments are really top-notch projects, providing hope that any future alignment through Milwaukie would certainly be held to the same high standards of quality.

    Naysayers may say what they will, but it certainly seems clear that light rail to Milwaukie would improve the quality of life, as well as provide greater transit service quality, to that community. No, it probably won't be perfect, and no, it probably won't be the do-all end-all solution to every problem in the city, but I'm willing to bet that it will leave the city a better and more vibrant place following installation than it is now.

    Isn't that the point? Shouldn't government be doing projects that improve the lives of citizens?

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Senior citizen KILLED at Lombard and North Interstate

    Bob, You are all theory and no reality.

    Bob R. "Prior to MAX, a pedestrian crossing in many of those areas would have had no crosswalk, no signal, and would have had to cross 4 lanes of busy traffic."

    $350 million later, and $50 million of it from schools and other basic services, we have light rail on Interstate and a senior citizen was just killed at the North Interstate-Lombard intersetion. An intersection which is very dangerous according to those who use it.

    The rest of Interstate is a rat's nest of obstruction, visual pollution and sick comedy. The vehicle travel lanes, turn lanes and signals are a joke. Driving on it is ridiculous. And it doesn't take "busy traffic". Just what our demented planners, rail advocates and Bob like. Chaos.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Senior citizen KILLED at Lombard and North Interstate

    A tragic situation... a hit & run driver, a pedestrian in a crosswalk late at night apparently against the light... at least the MAX station security cameras caught images of the fleeing truck.

    See: Man turns himself in after fatal hit-and-run (KOMO TV)

    How, exactly, is this the fault of light rail?

    Nobody has ever claimed that light rail would eliminate hit-and-run drivers.

    As for Interstate now being a "sick comedy", well, that's pretty subjective. I for one don't mind driving along it, and I certainly don't mind walking along it.

    • Bob R.
  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Garlynn Light rail, no matter which way you slice or dice the situation, once installed, has resulted in better, denser, more livable communities surrounding its station areas, in comparison to those same areas prior to installation. JK: WOW, what a bunch of assumptions! Since when is denser better? In what way? Are people happier? Is it cheaper? Does it reduce pollution? Does it reduce congestion?

    Please define livable.

    Thanks JK

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    NO, Bob, it is every several blocks, not “every block or so”. Cross anywhere else and you have to hop over the chain fence. Guess I’ll have to go back and make a list of the crosswalks before and after.

    No need to create a list of "after", although I'd love to see a list of marked crosswalks "before".

    Through the miracle of Google Maps, I've created a map of all marked crossings between Overlook and Denver Ave. (the principal commercial/residential stretch of the line). You can zoom in and scroll around, too.

    If I could waive my magic wand, I'd add a crossing at Failing and maybe one at Kilpatrick, and maybe convert a couple of the station-access-only crossings into full crossings, but that's about it.

    Any pedestrian improvements could have been done for a lot less than the $350 million that the toy train cost.

    Well, yes, that's obvious, isn't it? And it's being done in other places. I'm quite pleased with the numerous pedestrian improvements now underway along Sandy Blvd and Hawthorne St. Similar improvements have occurred on streets like NE Alberta and others.

    You're welcome, Bob R.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Typo above, "waive" should be "wave". I would never forego my magic wand! :-)

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    And one more example of some really great pedestrian improvements, to tie this discussion back to Milwaukie: The riverfront access, sidewalk, signal, and streetscape updates along McLoughlin Blvd. through Milwaukie.

    • Bob R.
  • Garlynn - http://undergroundscience.blogspot.com (unverified)
    (Show?)
    Garlynn Light rail, no matter which way you slice or dice the situation, once installed, has resulted in better, denser, more livable communities surrounding its station areas, in comparison to those same areas prior to installation. JK: WOW, what a bunch of assumptions! Since when is denser better? In what way? Are people happier? Is it cheaper? Does it reduce pollution? Does it reduce congestion?

    OK, I'll bite. According to Wikipedia:

    The well-being or quality of life of a population is an important concern in economics and political science. It is measured by -bulid-(sp=built), social and economic environment. There are many components to well-being. A large part is standard of living, the amount of money and access to goods and services that a person has; these numbers are fairly easily measured. Others like freedom, happiness, art, environmental health, and innovation are far harder to measure. This has created an inevitable imbalance as programs and policies are created to fit the easily available economic numbers while ignoring the other measures, that are very difficult to plan for or assess. Debate on quality of life is millennia-old, with Aristotle giving it much thought in his Nicomachean Ethics and eventually settling on the notion of eudaimonia, a Greek term often translated as happiness, as central. The neologism liveability (or livability), from the adjective liv(e)able, is an abstract noun now often applied to the built environment or a town or city, meaning its overall contribution to the quality of life of inhabitants.

    So, the livability of a place is related to the quality of life. Does light rail make people happier? Maybe. I would argue that, in some small way, it does. It encourages more goods and service to be located in a smaller area, such that people living in or visiting that area may travel a shorter distance, on foot, to reach a higher density of destinations (grocery store, pub, coffee shop, etc.). There are many people who might attempt to quantify this, but I'm not necessarily making a quantitative, but rather a qualitative argument here. Does a light rail station here have a higher innate level of quality than, say, your average intersection? I would argue that the well-designed ones do (Orenco Station, downtown Hillsboro, downtown Portland, Interstate Avenue), while the less well-designed ones (say, 185th Ave) are at least land-banking for a future community in that area.

    Indeed, I think that may be a very good lesson for the Milwaukie extension: Try to limit park & ride lots as much as possible, in favor of actual neighborhoods immediately adjacent to the station.

    If possible, locate park & rides a couple of blocks away from the station, so that park & ride transit customers walk through the station area neighborhood on their way to and from the station, rather than dominating the immediate station area with a park & ride rather than a neighborhood.

    Have Tri-Met, Metro and the various cities always done station-area development perfectly?

    No, and I think it's easy to point to examples of this.

    Has light rail allowed them to get it right in some places that otherwise would not have been such vibrant places?

    Yes, and I think this is the real point -- that light rail adds tools to the urban toolbox that otherwise would not be there, and these tools can be used to make communities more liveable.

  • (Show?)

    Speaking of livability, the newest rankings of the best cities to live in just came out. The Portland metro area ranked third in the nation.

    And of course, some of the items taken into consideration included transportation and commute times.

    It would be interesting to see exactly what they had to say about Portland in the book. Maybe next time I'm at the bookstore I'll take a look.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    A couple of notes:

    JK is interesting to see you argue across threads. You indicate above that you support pedistrian improvements, but on lots of other threads have suggested that the kinds of pedestrian improvements (such as along Hawthorne) being done here terrible. In fact, I remember you suggesting that street trees should be removed to promote safety.

    Livability. Despite the rose colored glasses of some old timers the Portland of the 70's wasn't pulling any rankings as one of the best cities in the US. Coincidence to the kinds of planning that have been happening here? I don't think so.

    Happiness. Interestingly a recent study showed that commuting by bike had a signifigant positive impact on how happy people were. Despite the thrill that a few here seem to get at the thought of rolling down the highway for miles and miles, those commuting by car- not so happy. I'd argue that density, done well, allows for many people to live close enough to work to walk or bike...and live a happier life.

  • andy (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I'm glad I don't live in the city with all of you chattering morons and your stupid light rail system and the stinky buses.

    Go ahead and build more of the stupid light rail system, just pay for it yourself. That is right, no federal money, no money sucked out of rural areas. If you want it so bad then suck it up and pay for it yourself.

    Of course that won't happen since the vision that the planners have for the city requires that you force someone other people who don't even live in Portland to pay for it.

    Hey, I have a vision like that too. If I could just force other people to send me money then I could build my own little perfect world out here in the sticks.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Andy -

    I suggest you take a look at this white paper prepared for the Portland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce back in 1999. It addresses several of the points you make about the split between urban/rural revenues and expenditures, although the results appear contrary to your assertions. For example:

    The Myth: Government redistributes income from hard working, self-reliant types (found mostly in rural Oregon) to the indolent and bureaucrats (found mostly in urban Oregon). Taxes from throughout the state support expensive public services that disproportionately benefit the Portland metropolitan area.
    The Reality: Portland taxes support state services throughout the state: The Portland area takes a smaller than proportionate share of most state services, and pays a much larger than proportionate share of state costs. In 1996, personal income tax receipts from the Portland metropolitan area (including the taxes paid by Clark County residents on their Oregon earnings), amounted to 55 percent of state personal income tax receipts. From the biggest item of state expenditure, K-12 education, Portland area schools get 41 percent of the total. Taxes raised in the urban area pay the costs of poor rural school districts throughout the state.

    Also:

    The Myth: Rural Oregon is populated with hard working, self-sufficient families, who are less likely to take a government hand out than their urban brethren.
    The Reality: Non-metro Oregon depends on government payments (welfare, food stamps, unemployment, Medicaid and Medicare) far more than does the Portland area. Government transfer payments—Social Security, Medicare, welfare, unemployment and other payments—account for 20 percent of personal income outside the metropolitan area, but only about 13 percent of Portland area income. With about 45 percent of the state's population, the metro area has only 37 percent of Oregon Health Plan expenditures.

    There's a lot more in the paper, take a look.

    Best wishes, Bob R.

  • Ken (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Dear Andy, You probably are one of those that drives a HONKEN GAS GUZZLING SUV and doesn't have the foresite to come in out of the rain. What a Shame!!!

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    And, in the interest of fairness and openness, here is a report (apparently from the same consulting firm) which backs up one of Andy's points: Portland does receive a bit more in transportation funding than it pays out. However, that is the only category in the entire report where Portland wins. In all other categories examined, Portland is a net donor, to the tune of over $500 million per cycle.

    • Bob R.
  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hawthorne A couple of notes: JK is interesting to see you argue across threads. You indicate above that you support pedistrian improvements, JK: Where was that? I usually ONLY argue for pedestrian improvements that make sense, which leaves out much of what Portland does. For instance, I have yet to see data that is safe to encourage pedestrians to stand close to fast moving traffic on bubble curbs. I have yet to see data that marked crosswalks improve safety and the data clearly shows a decrease in safety in some situations.

    (And please don’t feed me a bunch of planner’s BS comments a proof of safety.)

    Hawthorne In fact, I remember you suggesting that street trees should be removed to promote safety. JK: Do you have any safety data on them? They certainly block the drivers view of things on the sidewalks that may end up in the street. They provide hiding places for criminals to jump passers by. But, what the hack, they look nice and that is the main criteria for doing things in Portland.

    Hawthorne Livability. Despite the rose colored glasses of some old timers the Portland of the 70's wasn't pulling any rankings as one of the best cities in the US. JK: Naw, it just had good schools, affordable housing and good jobs. All of which is (or has been) lost, mostly through listening to idiot planners. But planning organizations don’t give awards for such things, instead the award things like the tram.

    Thanks JK

  • (Show?)

    Another Karlock gem, on trees:

    They provide hiding places for criminals to jump passers by.

    I hear they cause pollution too. But I know what you mean about hiding places; I guess that explains why the highest crime rate for assault in the city is actually in Forest Park. Assailants could be ANYWHERE!

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I have yet to see data that is safe to encourage pedestrians to stand close to fast moving traffic on bubble curbs.

    PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IMPACTS OF CURB EXTENSIONS: A CASE STUDY Department of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University for ODOT and the Federal Highway Administration. (2005)

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    JK's wisdom on street trees: They provide hiding places for criminals to jump passers by.

    Those must be some pretty skinny criminals.

    But, as you like to say, I have yet to see data that it is safe to encourage cities to cut down street trees in order to discourage crime.

    (But you're welcome to put it up for a vote.)

    • Bob R.
  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob R I have yet to see data that is safe to encourage pedestrians to stand close to fast moving traffic on bubble curbs.

    PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IMPACTS OF CURB EXTENSIONS: A CASE STUDY Department of Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering, Oregon State University for ODOT and the Federal Highway Administration. (2005)

    • Bob R.

    JK: Still waiting, Bob. That report is not about safety (despite its title) it is about the chances of motorists yielding to pedestrians. Please read this crap before you waste our time by sending it out.

    BTW did you notice these items about how crosswalks can get people killed:

    A common pedestrian safety hazard that occurs on a one-way multi-lane street is when the motorist in the near lane yields at the edge of the crosswalk marking. This blocks the view of the pedestrian already in the crosswalk from the motorist in the far lane, often resulting in a failure to yield and an increase in the potential for a pedestrian-vehicle collision. This type of collision is known as a “multi-threat” collision (Zegeer, et al. 2001).

    On several occasions, semi-trucks were observed abruptly stopping to yield to pedestrians. While these drivers were obeying traffic laws, this situation increased the risk of a “multiplethreat” collision when the truck yielded in the near lane. Even when these trucks did yield at the advance stop bar, the size of the trucks blocked the sight distance for both the pedestrian and any motorists in the far lane. Some pedestrians were observed stopping mid-crossing and “peeking” around the truck to see if the far lane was clear. One near “multiple-threat” crash was observed when a school bus yielded in the near lane and a vehicle in the far lane nearly collided with the crossing pedestrian. (bold added)

    Then there was this: Bicycle volumes through this intersection were low, but some common behaviors are noteworthy. On multiple occasions, bicyclists were observed using the sidewalks to travel southbound against traffic instead of continuing one block over and then traveling with the direction of traffic.

    No Thanks JK

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I call cars yielding sooner and more often "safe to encourage"... clearly, you don't.

    I am frequently a pedestrian, and I know from personal experience that the results of this study reflect reality: Cars are more likely to see you and to yield when you stand on an extended curb, especially if there are cars parked in the same block. (Because oncoming cars can't see you behind parked cars in situations where there are not extended curbs.)

    Dismiss my experience as anecdotal if you like, but then you'll have to drop all your speculative remarks as well, such as those fabulous lines about street trees.

    • Bob R.

    (Who has frequently and promptly responded to requests about my influences and conflicts of interest when JK has asked, even though he dodges similar questions in return, including several times already in this very thread.)

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    PS... The problems the report mentions about "multi-threat" collisions on multi-lane streets are real, but this has nothing to do with curb extensions or crosswalks... wherever one car is stopped and other cars continue to travel in the adjacent lane, there is a threat to pedestrians.

    All that proves is that cars pose a threat to pedestrians, but we knew that already.

    • Bob R.
  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob R. I call cars yielding sooner and more often "safe to encourage"... clearly, you don't. JK: Not if it gets people killed by being closer to traffic. I have heard of an incident where kids were pushing and shoving and one ended up stepping off the curb. Not into a parked car, but into a moving one since they were on a “transit supportive extended curb”. (Don’t you just love those bullshit names coming out of the bureaucracy.)

    But as I said, safety never seems to get in the way of Portland’s planners’ idiot ideas.

    Thanks JK

  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob R. All that proves is that cars pose a threat to pedestrians, but we knew that already. JK: Yes, but look at all the people still demanding marked crosswalks on such streets. And jump on me for suggesting that there might be a danger.

    Thanks JK

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    JK has posted no evidence that the installation of curb extensions leads to increased pedestrian injuries or deaths.

    The one serious study on the matter (see link, above) shows a direct and measurable reduction in the amount of lawbreaking (failure to stop, failure to yield right-of-way) on the part of motorists.

    (I don't believe that all of the lawbreaking is intentional -- as a motorist myself I know it is far easier to spot pedestrians waiting to cross at an extension in a marked crosswalk than it is to spot someone hidden behind an SUV. It also makes it easier to distinguish pedestrians who intend to cross from those who are merely standing. Whatever the reason, curb extensions are proven to reduce these traffic violations.)

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Since this discussion is giving such scrutiny to pedestrian crossings, I'd like to revisit JK's assertion that marked pedestrian crossings along Interstate Avenue after the Yellow Line went in, "NO, Bob, it is every several blocks, not 'every block or so'."

    JK also said, "Guess I’ll have to go back and make a list of the crosswalks before and after. ".

    In response to that, I created for him this Google map of marked pedestrian crossings along Interstate Max.

    Now, I am pleased to report, I have also compiled a list of "before" crossings using PortlandMaps.com satellite images from 2001. To navigate, you have to change the X and Y values in the URL... I recommend incrementing the Y axis in steps of 750-900 and adjusting the X axis as needed by about 250.

    In summary, here is what I found...

    Marked Crossings "Before MAX":

    • Fremont St. South
    • Fremont St. North
    • Shaver St. South
    • Shaver St. North
    • Going St. South
    • Going St. North
    • Alberta St. South
    • Alberta St. North
    • Killingsworth St. South
    • Killingsworth St. North
    • Ainsworth St. South
    • Ainsworth St. North
    • Portland Blvd. South
    • Portland Blvd. North
    • Buffalo St. South
    • Buffalo St. North
    • Lombard St. South
    • Lombard St. North
    • Argyle St. North Only

    Total "Before" Crossings: 19

    Marked Crossings "After MAX":

    • Fremont St. South
    • Fremont St. North
    • Overlook Blvd. South
    • Overlook Blvd. North
    • Shaver St. South
    • Shaver St. North
    • Mason St. North
    • Skidmore St. South
    • Skidmore St. North
    • Prescott St. North
    • Going St. South
    • Going St. North
    • Wygant St.
    • Alberta St. South
    • Alberta St. North
    • Sumner St. North
    • Willamette Blvd. North
    • Killingsworth St. South
    • Killingsworth St. North
    • Jarrett St. South
    • Ainsworth St. South
    • Ainsworth St. North
    • Colfax St. North
    • Portland Blvd. South
    • Portland Blvd. North
    • Dekum St. North
    • Bryant St. South
    • Buffalo St. South
    • Buffalo St. North
    • Lombard St. South
    • Lombard St. North
    • Terry St. North
    • Winchell St. North
    • Interstate Pl. West
    • Fenwick Ave. East
    • Fenwick Ave. West
    • Denver Ave. East
    • Argyle St. South
    • Argyle St. North

    Total "After" Crossings: 39 (That's more than double!)

    Note that the above list excludes MAX station access crossings, which are provided at several stations in addition to the main crossings.

    Getting back to JK's assertion that crossings are now "every several blocks, not 'every block or so'", I've prepared the following list of distances between the current crossings. Feel free to follow along on the map if you like...

    • Fremont to Overlook: 1 (long) block
    • Overlook to Shaver: 2 blocks
    • Shaver to Mason: 1 block
    • Mason to Skidmore: 1 block
    • Skidmore to Prescott: 1 block
    • Prescott to Going: 1 block
    • Going to Wygant: 2 blocks
    • Wygant to Alberta: 2 blocks
    • Alberta to Sumner: 2 blocks
    • Sumner to Willamette: 2 blocks
    • Willamette to Killingsworth: 1 block
    • Killingsworth to Jarrett: 3 blocks
    • Jarrett to Ainsworth: 2 blocks
    • Ainsworth to Colfax: 1 block
    • Colfax to Portland: 3 blocks
    • Portland to Dekum: 2 blocks
    • Dekum to Bryant: 2 blocks
    • Bryant to Buffalo: 1 (long) block
    • Buffalo to Lombard: 1 (long) block
    • Lombard to Terry: 3 blocks
    • Terry to Winchell: 2 blocks
    • Winchell to Interstate Pl.: 3 blocks
    • Interstate Pl. to Fenwick: 1 block
    • Fenwick to Denver: 1 block
    • Denver to Argyle: 1 block

    It is interesting to note the wide variation in block sizes on either side of Interstate... I've tried to indicate where I think a 1-block stretch is a bit "long" even though there are no intermediate streets to break up the pattern.

    The American Heritage Dictionary defines "several" as "Being of a number more than two or three but not many"... in the above list there are only 3 instances of a distance of 3 blocks. The majority of the distances are 1 block, hence my characterization of "every block or so" still stands. (I've also previously recommended a few extra crossing opportunities I believe should be developed which would break up the 3-block stretches where they do exist.)

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Just for kicks, I've also created a Google map of Interstate 5 pedestrian crossings along the same corridor as the Interstate Ave. comparisons, above. Here are all of the crossing opportunities:

    • Failing St. Pedestrian Bridge
    • Skidmore St. South
    • Skidmore St. North
    • Alberta St. South
    • Alberta St. North
    • Killingsworth St. South
    • Killingsworth St. North
    • Ainsworth St. South
    • Ainsworth St. North
    • Portland Blvd. South
    • Portland Blvd. North
    • Saratoga / Bryant Pedestrian Bridge
    • Lombard St. South
    • Lombard St. North

    Total crossing opportunities: 14 -- Now that's what I call a barrier that divides neighborhoods!

    It gets worse for I-5 if you just look at street names instead of crosswalks/sidewalks:

    Interstate Ave. Crossing Streets before MAX: 10 Interstate Ave. Crossing Streets after MAX: 26 I-5 Crossing Streets: 8

    Thanks to the design of MAX, there are now more than 2.5 times as many streets where pedestrians may cross in a marked, protected area than before, and more than 3 times as many as along I-5. (At least the I-5 crossings are completely grade-separated, although pedestrians must deal with traffic entering and emerging from ramps in many cases.)

    • Bob R.
  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob R. JK has posted no evidence that the installation of curb extensions leads to increased pedestrian injuries or deaths. JK: As usual, Bob slips and slides sideways when he is wrong. I was asking for evidence, and Bob turns it around to try to make it my duty to support his assumptions. Sorry Bob. Lets review: I said: * I have yet to see data that is safe to encourage pedestrians to stand close to fast moving traffic on bubble curbs. Bob conjurs up a study that shows that vehicles are more likely to stop for pedestrians on bubble curbs. Somehow he wrongly thinks that this constitutes safety data. It doesn’t.

    Bob R. The one serious study on the matter (see link, above) shows a direct and measurable reduction in the amount of lawbreaking (failure to stop, failure to yield right-of-way) on the part of motorists. JK: See how Bob is trying to peddle his assumed, speculated and unproven relationship between the likeyhood of stopping with safety. Likelyhood of stopping is about obeying the law and courtesy. The one in a million that NOT ONLY don’t stop, but also hits the pedestrian is about safety. The study is silent on that and Bob knows it, but is trying to convince us otherwise.

    Interestingly, the study does mention one way that stopping for pedestrians can get them killed. (see previous post)

    Thanks JK

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Yes, JK, I feel that cars stopping for pedestrians is safer than cars not stopping for pedestrians. That you would argue against such, and with absolutely no evidence, is indicative of so much.

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    And speaking of slipping and sliding sideways, here we are 160+ comments into this thread and JK still avoids answering the same line of questioning about biases, supporters, and conflicts of interests that he demands others answer.

    (Plus he failed to acknowledge his complete and total wrongness about pedestrian crossings along Interstate MAX.)

    • Bob R.
  • jim karlock (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob. Interstate Ave. Crossing Streets before MAX: 10 Interstate Ave. Crossing Streets after MAX: 26 JK: Again Bob is redefining my original statement which was: 6. Light rail divides neighborhoods. For safety reasons, they put a fence down the middle of Interstate ave. Crosswalks are now several blocks apart instead of every block.

    Notice the LACK of the word marked which Bob had to insert to make his deceptive case.

    Or maybe transportation expert, Bob, didn’t know that both sides of every intersection is a crosswalk under Oregon law. Even “T”, offset and other strange configurations.

    The fact is that you used to be able to legally cross interstate at both sides of EVERY intersecting street. Now it is only one side of a few streets.

    I counted 47 intersections between Kaiser and Kenton. That is OVER 94 crosswalks (some of the intersections were offset and thus has 3 legal crossings, so the actual number is higher.) MAX cut off over 70% of the crosswalks!

    I also counted twenty intersections that had no MAX crossing, so if you give Bob the benefit of the doubt, MAX has still reduced crossing locations by almost half.

    Bob Thanks to the design of MAX, there are now more than 2.5 times as many streets where pedestrians may cross in a marked, protected area than before, JK Thanks to the design of MAX, there are now only 28% as many legal crosswalks than before,

    BTW Bob, I liked your little table of distance to the nearest crossing. People should note that a one block distance is likely a two block walk because you have to walk one block over and one block back. OR four blocks for those that Bob listed a two. Of course transit advocates just love to dismiss walking distances as something that doesn’t matter because in their fantasy world transit is just so attractive and everyone is young and healthy.

    Bob is wrong again. Light rail divides neighborhoods.

    Thanks JK

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    JK wants people to believe that crossing at an unmarked, unsignalized intersection across 4 through-traffic lanes and one median lane without any kind of signage or protection is equivalent to marked, signalized crossings, or one-lane-at crossings with median refuges.

    Fine for sharp-eyed, fast running teenagers perhaps (at least at off-peak hours), but not for pedestrians interested in walking -- not dodging cars.

    JK also engaged in yet another "slip & slide" dodge by ignoring how much I-5 divides the neighborhood. Or does he expect kids to just walk across the freeway lanes instead?

    I'm confident in the veracity and the honesty of the data I've presented: I've shown satellite images, drawn maps, and listed distances, and stated caveats and suggested areas where I think crossings could still be improved. JK merely derides and obfuscates, as usual.

    • Bob R.
  • (Show?)

    Most drivers do not stop at unmarked crossings. They don't even realize that there is a legal crossing for pedestrians at every intersection. It's hard enough to get them to stop for the clearly marked crosswalks unless there's a red light telling them to do so.

    I know this from having to cross such intersections quite regularly. In the thousands of crossings I've made in Portland and in Gresham, I could count on one hand the number of times a car stopped to let me cross at a non-marked crosswalk.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    It's not from Portland, but here is a great video report on the failure of cars to stop at unsignalized crosswalks, found on YouTube.

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    And here's another video of cars ignoring a group of pedestrians in a different town, produced by the same reporter.

    • Bob R.
  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob,

    You effort here is impressive. It's hard for me to take JK as anything more than a propagandist at this point. He appears to be interested in data when it serves his ideology and he answers questions as they suit his aims. The fact that he so quickly slides into name calling and avoids certain questions is indicative of the integrity of his argumentation.

  • (Show?)

    It's impossible to live in North Portland and argue honestly that Interstate MAX divides neighborhoods anywhere near as much as I-5 does. In my neighborhood (Kenton), for example, there are 5 marked crosswalks on Bob's list that cross Interstate north of the big intersection at Lombard. There are no I-5 crossings in that stretch.

    I use the intersection at N. Lombard and N. Interstate on a regular basis. It certainly feels like a dangerous intersection--there are lots of pedestrians and lots of cars--but it doesn't seem to me to be more dangerous than before the MAX. Three frequent service bus lines stop there now and the MAX replaced a fourth and there is a fair amount of pedestrian traffic between the transit stops and Fred Meyer. Being typical Portland pedestrians, people on foot tend to ignore the crossing signals and too many drivers tend to ignore the pedestrians--even when they have the signal and the right-of-way--but none of that is new.

    As a pedestrian who regularly crosses Interstate, Lombard and Denver--all wide, busy streets--there is no question in my mind that marked crosswalks, even ones without signals, are significantly safer than unmarked ones. We just got marked crosswalks with pedestrian islands on Denver between Lombard and Schofield and crossing Denver is a much less scary experience than it was before.

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    It's impossible to live in this region, post on BlueOregon and get straight answers from politicians.

    Today in the Oregonian I see I was right about Newman's schemeing for light rail funding without a public light rail vote. I suspect I am right about Milwaukie also preparing to take school funding (basic service property taxes) to spend it on light rail and/or Urban Renewal private development along the line.

    Brian and Deborah failed to come clean with clear answers because that's how it's done around here.

    I'll again charge that they are opposed to any stand alone public vote on light rail, that our planning community and other politicians will avoid and block any such vote and Newman is indeed working on a package to hold hostage any and all road/traffic relieve and make it dependent upon voters also approving light rail funding. I can already hear the rhetoric about "balance". New polls, like old ones, will be used to twist out a perception of light rail support while poll after poll across the region shows traffic to be the number one concern. Traffic, not light rail or transit. Of course the polls are twisted enough in their questions to allow Metro to spin out a false preference for transit as if people want more light rail to address rising congestion. More blatant dishonesty. But it's anything goes when pushing for more light rail.

    And if politicians have to hide and distort what they are doing so be it.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Brian and Deborah failed to come clean with clear answers because that's how it's done around here.

    and

    And if politicians have to hide and distort what they are doing so be it. (emphasis added)

    Janice, you were publicly invited multiple times to have a private meeting with Deborah Barnes. At such a meeting, you could have interactively rephrased questions, express your dissatisfaction with particular answers, and pressed for clarifications.

    Have you scheduled that meeting yet?

    Before you pronounce that it will be a grand failure, preordained sham, or whatever characterization you'd like to come up with, why don't you give it a try? The worst that could happen is that you still don't get answers to your satisfaction, and you can come back here and tell us more about just how awful these people are.

    I can think of more than a few politicians whom I think A) won't listen to me, B) are being disingenuous, and C) I personally dislike. Nonetheless, I'd welcome a private meeting and the chance to clearly articulate my views and interactively try to counter them when they give BS answers. It's sadly difficult these days even to get some elected officials' staffers to return calls and emails -- much less arrange a meeting.

    So, are you going to meet, or do you prefer merely to whine here and not engage directly?

    • Bob R.
  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob, Are yo not the most cover providing activist around?J

    Give me a break with your frigging groupie tripe. Brian and Deborah were right here and free to answer publicly and clearly the few simple questions I posed.

    All you are doing is helping them run and hide from doing so. Why should it take a private meeting? To answer simple question in a forum they are already, or were, engaged in?

    You find admiration that I was "publicly invited multiple times to have a private meeting", yet don't even recognize that she and Brian could have simply publicly answered right here and now.

    This game playing with otherwise simple questions having simple answers serves only to bolster my view of the cabal you so gleefully participate in.

    Then you attempt to put the onnus on me for not scheduling an appointment and suggest I am not interested in engaging directly.

    I was "engaged directly" here in the open for all to read. Brian and Deborah then refused to answer my re-stated questions. They remain silent. Perhaps in your wisdom you can explain why? And leave out any play about the tone not being pleasant enough. I've got a better idea. Why don't you suggest to Brian and Deborah that they simply answer the questions? Why don't YOU give THAT a try? The worst that could happen is that they still refuse to answer. Or is that what you are helping them avoid? After all it would be far more unacceptable for them to refuse to answer a few pleanstly put questions from one of their own. So instead you pull what I have seen many times in public forums and hearings when officials or staff don't like where a discussion is heading. "Let's get together later and talk about that", "I'll go over that with you later" etc. Oh and goody-two-shoes you who "welcomes a private meeting".
    It's sadly difficult these days to get elected officials to publicly answer simple questions. With guys like you helping them avoid answering it's very easy for them to do so.
    This thread is dead and gone. You've suscessfuly helped to make sure the answers did not appear and the officials were not challenged for not answering. Your work is done here. Move along now to your next cover job.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Janice,

    If there is a reluctance from public officials to engage, my take is that scorched earth types with agendas- such as yourself- have a great deal to do with it.

    Why anyone would want to engage in a conversation with you is beyond me. Try a little less shouting, less name calling, fewer conspiracy theories and see if you might be able to hide that outsized ego (and grudge) you carry around- it might help.

    In the meantime you come across as a mean spirited person. I'll take an apologist over that anytime- at least you can talk to Bob without being shouted at.

    Peace to you.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    This thread is dead and gone.

    OK, seeya later then.

    Best wishes, Bob R.

  • Clackablog (unverified)
    (Show?)

    torridjoe | May 11, 2007 9:37:21 AM <snip> Buses are certainly better than cars, but they've got nothing on light rail for efficiency, speed and environmental soundness.

    That's because Light Rail has a fixed right-of-way. Give an express bus system a dedicated right-of-way with hundred-year composite paving, and exclusion from intermediary stops, and it's far less expensive to operate as well as far faster.

    Hundred-year paving's far cheaper than railbed, diesel buses are far cheaper than electric trains, and diesel mechanics are far cheaper than train mechanics.

    Don't take my word for it, though; use the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN data from when they covered the Express Bus system in Curitiba, Brazil. That city got an express bus system for 0.7% of the cost of light rail. Yes, 7/10 of one percent of the cost of an equivalent light rail system, with the same frequency of service.

    Another salient point even more important here above the 45th Parallel: Ice storms shut the MAX down flat, but buses keep running.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Clackablog -

    Thank you for bringing up the popular express bus system in Curitiba, Brazil.

    I think you may find it difficult, however, to match such capital and labor costs within the US... Can you identify a current vendor of double or triple articulated buses with US pricing similar to that experienced in Curitiba, Brazil.

    For example, the city of Eugene's new BRT-style buses (much smaller than a MAX train or a Curitiba-style bus) cost about $1M each.

    These buses feature left-side and right-side boarding, low floors, and multiple doors, similar to a LRV.

    The cost, however, begins to approach that of an LRV. Currently, one BRT bus carries about 55% of the capacity of a single-car MAX LRV at 27% of the cost. But, will the bus last as long as an LRV? Typically, buses last only 1/3 as long. If this holds true for these special buses, then over the life of the LRV, 3 buses would have to be purchased, bringing the capital costs roughly even (at approx. $3 to $3.5mil each) while only providing 55% of the capacity.

    You are correct that Diesel mechanics are cheaper than train mechanics, but a single light rail operator in a 2-car train serves the same peak capacity as 3 to 4 BRT drivers, or 5 standard bus drivers. (The real ratio is less than that in off-peak hours, of course, but still superior.)

    Curitiba also achieves their passenger loading efficiency by having far lower standards for "crush" loads... cramming many people shoulder-to-shoulder, far beyond what people would accept in the US.

    (This isn't just a jab at Curitiba -- the factory specifications of the Czech-built Portland Streetcars state a far higher maximum carrying capacity than the local agency actually operates with, because the older eastern European standards for what is considered "crush" are less stringent than the standards used by Bombardier and Siemens LRVs.)

    Applying the same standards of about 3.5 sq. ft of passenger area per person across multiple vehicle types, you get (approximately):

    • Standard 40' Bus: 82 (New Flyer D40LF)
    • BRT 60' Bus: 115 (New Flyer DE60LF)
    • Portland Streetcar: 150
    • 2-car LRV train (Existing MAX): 400 (211 for Type I, about 200 for Type II/III)
    • 2-car LRV train (New MAX cars on order): 424 (212 x 2, Houston S70 specs)

    Regarding costs again:

    • Cost of a Siemens S70 LRV for the new Green Line project: $3.5 million. ($7 million for a 2-car train)
    • Cost of a standard 40' transit bus: $354,000 ("New Flyer" brand, 2005 price, very common)
    • Cost of an articulated BRT bus: $960,000 ("New Flyer" hybrid BRT bus actual cost for Eugene's new BRT system.)

    BRT routes face the risk of less public acceptance than light rail (Eugene is already experiencing criticism from neighborhood groups who do not want BRT extended near them), more noise and more local emissions.

    I think that BRT has an important role to fill, especially where regular bus service needs to be upgraded but the ridership isn't there to justify light rail (Eugene's entire BRT system, for example, achieves less than half of the ridership of the Portland Streetcar and 1/3 of the ridership of Interstate MAX.)

    But in corridors where there is sufficient ridership and room/desire for growth, BRT may not be sufficient or may even cost the same once scaled to match the capacity and capabilities of rail.

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    PS... I forgot to respond to your comment about ice: Articulated buses (especially Curitiba-style double and triple articulated buses) don't deal well with ice. In such circumstances, operators usually do what TriMet does for MAX -- run substitute service with conventional 40' buses and tire chains.

    • Bob R.
  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hawthorne, There is a reluctance from public officials to answer questions. Especai8lly around here when it comes to stealing from schools to pay for light rail and high density development. "scorched earth types with agendas" If there is a scorched earth around here it's by the Newman cabal and their agenda.

    I really don't care to play the "enagage" game and get no answers. If you want to call it engaging fine. You're a demagogue pure ans simple. What's going on here is avoiding and evading as a means to advance the light rail agenda. You're just as dishonest as those officials hiding behind your rhetoric.
    It doesn't take "conspiracy theories" to know the track record around here and how Metro, TriMet and the League of Oregon Cities operate. It' doesn' take an "outsized ego or grudge" either.

    The methods and policies Bob and you support are far more meanspirited than the tone in my inquiries. Despite the phony pretense of pleasantry.

    All that said, Newman and Deborah will not answwer the revealing questions because they don't want to reveal what their objectives and means are.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    First of all, welcome back, Janice.

    I was out along Interstate Ave. today, taking photos for an article I am working on for PortlandTransport.

    I remembered the discussion here about pedestrian safety, and the two videos from YouTube that I already linked to (above)... then it dawned on me that my digital camera could take video clips.

    I decided to do an experiment and try to cross Portland Blvd. at a legal, unmarked crossing (there was a yellow sign but no painted crosswalk.) These are the kinds of crossing that JK laments are no longer along Interstate Ave.

    The end results (you can read the complete description on the YouTube video page):

    Crossing attempt #1: 33 cars did not stop (in fact, none did stop for me). Crossing attempt #2: 14 cars did not stop (none did here either)

    Then on the way back to Interstate Ave., I tried to cross at one of the unsignalized station access crosswalks. One car passed me by, but the 2nd stopped immediately.

    (The video is very shaky - I left the camera hanging low around my neck so driver's wouldn't pass me by thinking I was merely taking pictures.)

    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F7qrDNmIj4

    It would be interesting to do this as a formal experiment and have someone appear at the crossing every 5 minutes or so and see how many cars (if any) ever stop.

    • Bob R.
  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob,

    I fail to see how any of that has any significance to the policies discussed here. Granted the thread evolved into a discussion about Interstate MAX. Unfortunately it narrowed into near irrelevency while the greater issues of overall cost, taking money from schools and other basic services for light rail and the net benefit or payback for the area after all the massive spending isn't discussed at all. It seems to me many of you don't really want to get into the real costs and real outcomes because you want expand light rail no matter what. Among other tax money there will likely be an excess of $50 million taken directly from property taxes for Interstate MAX. Taxes Urban Renewal did not create.
    Up thread Scott stated that businesses chose to makeover their buildings because of MAX. That was false. Transit service for the corridor has not seen any worthwhile improvement to the former buses. The PDC continues to find ways to spend more money chasing the previous millions. Along with Metro and TriMet pretending to be spurring things they are not and addressing congestion which they are worsening. Deborah apparently wants to duplicate the myths for Milwaukie. And do so essentially covertly with the same methods and bogus claims made for every other MAX and UR scheme.

  • (Show?)

    Ok...we have been off-topic for quite awhile. Thank you all for your insight and input.
    For those of you who answered my original post with a thoughtful response, thank you.

    Janice - one final time - the offer to meet stands. It's easy to hide behind a pseudonym but it takes courage to stand in front of another human being to stand up for your convictions. I answered your questions. You chose not to accept them. If you really want a conversation my real email address is linked to my post.

  • (Show?)

    The moral in this thread appears to be "don't fuck with Bob R on transit issues." He has consistently spanked all comers with superior initiative, factual substantiation, and thorough rebuttal.

    And one other thing: you can't take ANYONE seriously who tries to tell you they'd rather hear from a politician in text form on a message board, than to meet face-to-face, one-on-one with them. The former is akin in efficiency to chess by mail, comparatively. Janice doesn't want to understand anything; she wants to bitch. No surprise there.

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Deborah, A already responded to your so-called answers above. I aksed about any UR spending the city is talking about or planning not your city budget. I asked about a stand alone public vote for Milwaukie light rail. You had no answer really. Newman did not either. Then I read in the paper he is working on a new tax for "roads and transit". That's the package I expected and he will in no way be even talking about any public vote for light rail. He just doesn't want to state clearly that Metro and TriMet are against light rail votes. It's obvious you won't be advocating any such vote either. Nor will any other elected official.

    You won't clarify you views on funding light rail or Urban Renewal. But for those who ask you questions you're willing to answer they are "thoughtful responses".

    Deborah one final time, as a member of the voting and taxed public who will be forced to pay for this MAX extension I ask if you would support a stand alone public vote. If you are waiting to support whatever Newman comes up with that's fine, just say so. Is Milwaukie discussing or planning additional of new Urban Renewal to fund light rail or TOD development?

    It's easy to hide the answers to these questions with such a supporting blog, activists and local newspapers helping you do so. But it takes courage to stand up in public and state clearly your possitons and what is being discussed and planned.

    Torrid, The moral in this thread torrid had no morals. Bob and you have evaded all UR content and every bad outcome from the massive spending. In your case you have lied repeatedly about UR-TIF and what it has amounted to. Those same lies will be used to propegate more of the same for Milwaikie UR and light rail.

    The real laugher in this thread is the excuse making and your phony loftiness of a meet face-to-face, one-on-one with a politician. Get real.

    The only way this is similar to chess by mail is the games versus answers the status quo operates by.

    I'll charge again, or "bitch" if you like, that Nemwan Metro-TriMet-PDX-and Milwaukie, with lobbyists and legislators are indeed crafting a packaged scheme similar to Airport Way and Interstate UR-MAX schemes and not a single politician will reveal it ahead of the schemed timing for fear of drawing attention and opppotion.

    If ALL of you have a aversion to open and frank governance well color me shocked.

    Meeting with Newman or Deborah would be as productive as tesitfying in one of the done deal public hearings ahead of the complete approval light rail will get. And at the end of the day they'll claim they involved the public, answered every question and responded to the every concern.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Although this thread is "dead and gone", I feel I should update my recent remarks about the Eugene "EmX" Bus Rapid Transit service ridership with new information...

    In a Register-Guard article today, it is stated that ridership topped 5,000 on 11 occasions in April, with over 5,300 on May 4th.

    • Bob R.
  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Well let's go folks, only 15 more after this and it's 200 posts.

    And there won't be anything resembling a straight answer from Newman or Deborah. Bob and Hawthorne have provided the neccessary cover, Brian has adequately demagogued, Deborah and Brian have avoided answering and the public record this forum would have provided and the same old beat goes on. When Newman and Metro finish their funding "package" proposal every single elected official in sight will be entirely in favor of it. And it won't take any individual independent "studying" as Deborah suggests. She will go along with the group, period. It will be 100% of electeds on board regardless of the public split.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Well let's go folks, only 15 more after this and it's 200 posts.

    Why do you keep coming back to a thread that you have pronounced "Dead and Gone", especially just to say "well, let's go", or do you mean we should all chime in again to get the number over 200?

  • Debby Patten (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Deborah, I'm not sure how requesting a consideration of a different alignment is the same as being afraid of change and an opponent of light rail.

    And so what if my opinion differs from yours? Why do those with differing opinions always get attacked here in Milwaukie? This country is founded on differences of opinions. So I disagree. Who cares? Whether light rail comes to Milwaukie or not, the world will continue to spin. I am still a human being whose opinion should be respected, even if it doesn't make sense to you.

    And by the way, you don't live anywhere near the proposed alignment, do you?

  • (Show?)

    Debby, Glad to hear you are feeling better. Susanna told us you had become ill from light rail construction near your work place.
    I have no problems with different opinions. I actually chatted with the folks from Waldorf last week and after a great discussion I learned a great deal about their concerns and support the Mayor's position on looking into a possible realignment. I respect your opinion. I also hope that you feel you get all the information you want and need. I know Pat was a great staffer with a great deal of history for your NDA. BTW, my daughter goes to Milwaukie High School. I understand from the students that they are hoping for a chance to use light rail in the future. Thanks for reiterating your thoughts. I look forward to seeing you at some of the information sessions and council meetings.

  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Oh Bob,

    What I meant by "Dead and Gone" is this thread is long gone in terms of blog viewing. It's now on the back page of posts and few people ever go back to old threads.

    So it's "Dead and Gone" to most viewers of BlueOregon.

    But you and I can run it up over 200.

    Deborah showed up again. That helps. But she didn't answer my questions.

    Let's try again.

    What in the region does Milwaukie hope to duplicate?

    Is there a huge Urban Renewal, tax increment financing theft of basic services dollars just around the corner?

    Is Milwaukie planning on spending millions in Urban Renewal to help fund light rail and development?

    Are you familiar with "Urban Renewal" TIF (tax increment financing)? Do you understand my questions?

    What are you planning on solving for Milwaukie with light rail?

    11 more after this and it's 200!

    Brian, where did you go?

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Janice -

    Please don't accuse me yet again of answering for Deborah, or providing cover, or whatever other ridiculous charges you have to level. Instead, I will take your questions seriously and provide my own answers, just in case you care to know...

    What in the region does Milwaukie hope to duplicate?

    A town center area that is walkable, transit oriented, and features a community of residents as well as small and medium businesses. Similar perhaps to the long-established close-in streetcar-suburb communities such as Sellwood but more densely populated like Hawthorne Blvd.

    Is there a huge Urban Renewal, tax increment financing theft of basic services dollars just around the corner?

    Urban renewal and tax increment financing, done properly, do not represent "theft" of basic services dollars. As to what financing methods will be used for Milwaukie LRT, that remains to be seen.

    Is Milwaukie planning on spending millions in Urban Renewal to help fund light rail and development?

    I don't know the final answer to that question. See above.

    Are you familiar with "Urban Renewal" TIF (tax increment financing)?

    Yes.

    Do you understand my questions?

    Yes.

    What are you planning on solving for Milwaukie with light rail?

    Providing solutions for the transportation needs of future population growth. To ease the rate of increase of automobile travel (and therefore ease pressure on congestion, which is not the same thing as claiming a reduction in congestion), and stabilize or reduce VMT-per-capita in the corridor.

    To provide more energy-efficient, local-emissions-free transportation which is more comfortable for passengers as well as being more time-efficient.

    To facilitate an increase in development density along transportation corridors, which in turn will ease demand on existing low-density neighborhoods.

    • Bob R.
  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob, What a pack of theories and non-answers. Perfect cover for Deborah and Brian. No need for them to respond with guys like you distributing their propaganda.

    That was truly text book Metro gibberish. All theory and no substance.

    Yes, of course you did answer for Deborah. When you could have simply asked her and Brian to both respond.

    How can you claim it's a "ridiculous charge" that you answered for her when you answered for her?

    What a complete nut you are. Probably a good guy but what a nut.

    You took my questions seriously???????

    I did want them answered, but answer you did not. Further demonstrating the near impossible task it is to make the most simple point or ask the most simple question with you folks.

    I asked what in the region does Milwaukie hope to duplicate? Did you give a locale? No. You gave me that same canned lecture about a "town center area that is a walkable, transit oriented" community of happy people.

    How can you possibly,,,, be so out of something,,,, that you think my persistence and questions were a beckoning to hear, yet AGAIN, that same old song. Honestly, having memorized that speech long ago I can do that as well as you. A speech that ran long as Charlie Hales and company lectured the region on the envisioned ped/bike/transit mini-city which millions in school thieving Urban Renewal spending was supposed to "facilitate". And was supposed to prohibit BIG BOXES. Well I guess it's safe to assume Milwaukie is not wanting to duplicate that little failure. You couldn't give me a single spot on all of our light rail lines that Milwaukie hopes to duplicate?

    Sellwood? Hawthorne Blvd.? Neither of which has light?

    I asked if there a huge Urban Renewal, tax increment financing theft of basic services dollars just around the corner? I asked that because that IS THE TRACK RECORD around here. Did you answer? NO. You cited the lame theory used every single time a new UR plan around here gets approved and then immediately starts the "theft" of basic services dollars. Airport MAX and North Interstate MAX both took many millions in UR funding and will be needing the theft of basic services dollars for decades to retire the debt. It is nearly certain that this pattern will continue in Milwaukie. That's why I am asking these questions. I don't need a lecture on the theories of how UR TIF can be "done right". I charge that Milwaukie and Metro have indeed discussed UR TIF as funding for light rail and the development that follows.

    You admit that you don't know if Milwaukie is planning on spending millions in Urban Renewal to help fund light rail and development.

    Well, that's terrific. But since you don't know why not ask Deborah yourself?

    I asked Deborah if "she" was familiar with "Urban Renewal" TIF (tax increment financing)? She did not answer.

    I asked her if she understood my questions? You answered "Yes" then did not answer.

    I asked Deborah "what are you planning on solving for Milwaukie with light rail?

    You answered for Deborah, "Providing solutions for the transportation needs of future population growth"

    That isn't an answer. "Providing solutions" ???????????

    We know that not to be the case anyway. Light rail, UR and high density TODs are NOT accommodating the needs of growth. We've known that for years. Yet you stick to them as "providing solutions"? Solutions to what?

    What is Deborah thinking will be solved?

    The only thing that flies in the least is the often used bit about somewhere out in the distance some sprawl is avoided. Of course that's so subjective, vague and demagogued it's all feelings without reason. But the light rail/TOD plan is not a genuine substitute for anything.

    7 years ago we were told this. Deborah, where were you? Bob, why do you pretend we are "providing solutions" when we are getting chaos?

    "Traffic congestion is bad and getting worse. It is a nightmare for commuters and it is choking freight mobility. There is no more clear illustration of our inability to meet growth needs than our failure to address our transportation needs. Within the transportation arena we are facing utter chaos." from Metro head, Mike Burton's State of the Region Speech, 2000

    We aren't easing the rate of increase of automobile travel. And certainly we are experiencing some of the fastest increasing congestion in the country. Why do you insist on telling people we are "therefore easing pressure on congestion"?

    Really Bob, why do you have nothing but Metro Brochure speak?

    We don't "facilitate" an increase in development density along transportation corridors. We pay for it with school and other basic service money. That's why I asked the question about UR for Milwaukie. In addition our existing low-density neighborhoods are being attacked with haphazard infill and adjacent development that doesn't fit and over crowds.

    Are you completely oblivious to all of these outcomes we witness daily?

    What about you Deborah and Brian?

    Deborah, I guess Bob would also like to know if Milwaukie is talking about using UR TIF for light rail or development. At least he said he didn't know. Is that the same thing? ,,,Bob?

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Thanks, Janice, for the thoughtful reply. I think most of what you just shouted speaks for itself, but I found two examples particularly glaring:

    I asked what in the region does Milwaukie hope to duplicate? Did you give a locale?

    In fact I gave you two locales. Thanks for reading.

    We aren't easing the rate of increase of automobile travel.

    FWHA numbers for Portland-Vancouver (Urbanized Area 27) are available for 1990-2003.

    In 1990, daily VMT was 22.4 million miles. In 2003, VMT grew to 32.5 million miles, an increase of 45%. This increase is mostly explained by population growth, as per-capita daily VMT grew from 18.7 miles in 1990 to 19.3 miles in 2003 (with some peaks over 20 in other years), an increase of 3.2%.

    So, even though our population has grown a lot, people aren't individually taking a lot more auto trips, and they aren't driving a lot further than they used to.

    The numbers for transit are interesting:

    In 1990, TriMet delivered 199,524,715 passenger miles of service to 39,661,200 originating rides. In 2003, TriMet delivered 366,088,200 passenger miles to 69,591,600 originating rides.

    The passenger miles travelled per originating ride went from 5.03 miles in 1990 to 5.26 miles in 2003, a change of just 4.5%. Clearly, transit is mostly serving relatively short trips compared to cars, and people aren't generally taking longer trips on transit today than they used to.

    But the growth in ridership is stunning: While auto trips per day remained relatively flat with population growth, originating rides on transit in the same period went up 75% and passenger miles delivered went up 83%, compared to total VMT growth of 45%.

    Generalized another way, regional transit usage has been growing at twice the rate of automobile usage.

    • Bob R.
  • Janice (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Bob,

    Get off your high sensitive horse and stop the pretending you're the judge of thoughtful.

    There was no shouting, and you ran away from the critiquing as you always do.

    As I said your two examples were not light rail and TOD-like as is the apparent intent of Milwaukie. I can only assume you use Sellwood and Hawthorne becasue you don't want to draw any focus on that Milwaukie is looking to duplcate one of the costly experiments such as the Beaverton Round or tax thieving North Interstate.

    So you did not "find" two examples and you didn't make any demonstration that Milwaukie is looking at either. You simply coughed up disconnected speculation.

    This just shows how insanly difficult it is to have a dialogue with you and yours.

    Milwaukie is pursuing light rail and the associated development patterning. I asked you for a locale they hope to model after and you give me two with no light rail.

    Then you make yet another leap into the naive world of TriMet ridership propaganda.

    The Tri Met numbers and counts by others for the Interstate line show 60% of the rides in fareless square. Fareless square miles accomplish nothing except eliminating walk and bike trips and making government employees downtown fatter by eliminating their walk to lunch.

    Tri Met passenger miles and originating trips are very biased estimates. Independent estimates by folks like John Kain (Harvard's recently deceased transportation guru) show very different numbers.

    The main thing to look at is the posting at Wendell Cox's site showing the modal split between auto and transit to show the lowest ever in this region.

    NHTS shows auto trips are longer but trip times are not much longer.

    There is no stunning increase in transit use. And certainly nothing at TriMet or Metro doing anything but deliberately making congestion worse.

    What's stunning is your allegiance to misinformation, distortion and outright deceit by our public agencies.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    As I said your two examples were not light rail and TOD-like as is the apparent intent of Milwaukie.

    The Hawthorne district especially represents TOD-like development... it was originally a streetcar suburb, with streetcar service operating from 1889 through 1936. This was primarily a linear development and not a nodal development, but the primary urban form ideal remains the same in both cases: Dense, multi-story mixed-use development within a short walking distance of transit, tapering off to detached-single family homes as you move further out. The idea is neither radical or new... it is simply an idea which was briefly lost during a few decades of purely auto-centric development.

    There was no shouting,

    If you don't characterize typing out statements like "You took my questions seriously???????" and "Providing solutions" ??????????? as the blogging-equivalent of shouting, that's fine.

    I remind you that your first response to me in this thread, after I politely encouraged you to contact Ms. Barnes (and I was quite serious about it), included:

    • Who the heck are you...
    • Who are you to "encourage" anything?
    • Little good it will do but I would encourage you to keep your transparent insults to yourself.

    Frankly, Janice, you have been rude from the beginning and short on facts... hurling insults at all those who do not agree with you, accusing them of "providing cover" or worse. You alternate between accusing people of "answering for" the politicians, or "avoiding criticism" when they don't answer you. You can't have it both ways, nor do you (or I) own BlueOregon... this thread can't be all about you and other LRT opponents wanting a private argument with Deborah. LRT supporters are free to chime in as well, whether you like it or not.

    This just shows how insanly difficult it is to have a dialogue with you and yours.

    Maybe if you hadn't stated off with snarks and insults, and then continued with that practice even when others tried to engage in a conversation with you, it wouldn't be so "insanely difficult."

    Then you make yet another leap into the naive world of TriMet ridership propaganda.

    Another content-free insult. I give you actual figures from both TriMet and federal agencies, and you counter with nothing.

    The Tri Met numbers and counts by others for the Interstate line show 60% of the rides in fareless square.

    Just plain wrong. 60% of the rides on Interstate MAX are NOT fareless.

    Some rides originate or terminate within fareless square, but that does not make them free. Only rides which both originate and terminate within the square are "fareless", and my own of boardings and alightings (soon to be posted over at PortlandTransport, probably late this week) shows the range of entirely fareless rides to be between 10 and 14%.

    NHTS shows auto trips are longer but trip times are not much longer.

    I thought you were worried that our congestion was causing chaos? If trip times are not much longer and trips are longer, then the effects of congestion must be less egregious than light rail opponents state. (Also, please note that in my post, above, I did note that VMT per capita is up slightly, which can indicate longer-distance trips. No disagreement there.)

    There is no stunning increase in transit use.

    Originating rides (not just simple boardings) and passenger-miles (not just short fareless trips) have grown faster than VMT and faster than population. "Stunning" may be a subjective term, but I think it applies here.

    What's stunning is your allegiance to misinformation, distortion and outright deceit by our public agencies.

    You can't seem to resist hurling multiple insults not only in one post, but even in a single sentence.

    It may not help the conversation to say this, but there are several important political issues where I've been on the "losing" side or the unpopular side, and yet I manage to engage in arguments and debates with supporters of the opposite position without getting hung up on insults.

    Just because you're not getting your way right now on transportation issues doesn't mean that your opponents are deceivers or are giving their allegiance to some kind of nefarious cabal. Try taking it easy for a change.

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    An update on developments in Milwaukie: According to the Clackamas Review today, it appears the Mayor has requested a pause in the SDEIS so that officials can evaluate the petition from citizens seeking an alternate route for the light rail line. See the full article for details.

    I am curious if anyone remembers the history of the alignment proposals... It seems to me that 10+ years ago, light rail was slated to go through the heart of Milwaukie's downtown, but local opposition at the time got the proposal shifted to behind the school. If so, this would represent an interesting turn of events.

    • Bob R.
  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    The article I mentioned a few days ago regarding Interstate MAX Yellow Line ridership has been posted over at PortlandTransport.com

    • Bob R.
  • Ed P (unverified)
    (Show?)

    To clarify Bob R... the petition is not seeking another alignment,,, it is asking for another alignment be STUDIED in addition to the original alignment proposed by METRO and TRIMET. (Please be gentle, this is my first post to this forum and I just want to make sure the details remain accurate... thanks)

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    I get this. What I don't understand is why the school is protesting this. My understanding is that they knew about this allignment when they purchased the school site. Frankly, it's behavior that seems very un-Waldorfian.

  • Ed P. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Knowing about the alignment and understanding the impacts are two different issues. METRO and TRIMET are about to spend over $4MM to find out what the impacts to the proposed alignment really are (the SDEIS). Surely you are not suggesting that Waldorf would have known the impacts back in 2002/2003? We are not protesting the alignment. We are protesting the fact that this would have been the ONLY alignment studied for the next year.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    "Knowing about the alignment and understanding the impacts are two different issues. "

    You're saying that millions were spent to purchase a school site next to a rail line that had been identified for light rail...and it wasn't thought through? I'm sorry, this smells of NIMBYism.

    I don't have a dog in the fight- just the observations of an outsider.

  • Ed P. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    According to METRO and TRIMET the alignment is merely under study. It is not officially a done deal (so they say) until all of the impacts have been identified and possibly mitigated. Why not study more than one alignment in the event that the first alignment proves to be impossible to implement? METRO is pushing for high density in Milwaukie... it makes more sense to put LR in the path of high density - not in the path of schools and churches. YES I am also guilty of NIMBYism at the expense of COMMON SENSE.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Understood. However you didn't really answer my question. Why would the Waldorf School purchase a school site next to a rail line that they knew was slated for light rail...and then turn around and protest it? It can't be ignorance, so arrogance is sort of the only answer I can see- the belief that some powerful people who are used to getting their way can make it all work out later?

  • (Show?)

    Yay! 200 comments!

    Now, people please, get a life.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Kari,

    As the Chief Enabler you should, perhaps, look within first. ;) Personally, I'm shooting for 400.

  • Ed P. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    At the time of purchase it was only rumor that LR would ever make it through Milwaukie. The proposed alignment was presented a year after Waldorf purchased the site. I hope this answers your question.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Thanks. It does answer my question. I am still perplexed why a community that purchased property that was "rumored" to be on the light rail line would now be against it.

    Sorry, still doesn't pass the smell test.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    In the interest of adding further clarity, here is a verbatim copy of a petition, names removed for privacy:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    It is very important that we consider an Alternative Alignment for the South Corridor Light Rail to Milwaukie.

    Right now the current proposed Light Rail Alignment passes adjacent to three Critically Sensitive School sites.. Portland Waldorf School, Saint John's Catholic School and Milwaukie High School as well as the impacted Neighborhoods of Lake Road and Historic Milwaukie.

    The requested Alternative Alignment for study in the Supplemental Draft Environmental Study (SDEIS) is along McLoughlin Boulevard and Main Street from the Ochocco Street to River Road.

    This alignment will keep this important Transportation System along the existing Transportation Corridor.

    Please include this important Light Rail Segment Alternative Alignment in the SDEIS for this next year.

    Sincerely, [name]

  • Bob R. (unverified)
    (Show?)

    FYI, the former Jr. High school site as a potential rail alignment was discussed at a number of public meetings in 2001, including several times at this Milwaukie City Council discussion of the South Corridor process (PDF format) from May 2, 2001.

    The alternatives were formally presented by TriMet for public discussion on May 31, 2001, approximately 45 people attended the meeting, and several public comments in support of the Jr. High site were recorded in these minutes. The chair of one neighborhood association described that site as "critical" and urged for its selection.

    In the minutes for a June 18, 2001 council work session, it says "Neighborhood leaders Ed Zumwalt, Rob Kappa, Teresa Bresaw, David Aschenbrenner, Jean Michel, and Ray Bryan assured Council of their solidarity on the issues of light rail and future of the Jr. High School property."

    It sounds like the alignment was becoming a done deal by summertime.

    The Waldorf School's bid to purchase the site was accepted on August 16th, 2001.

    • Bob R.

connect with blueoregon