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November 17, 2005


Jack Bog

Which "residents" did the student from Calgary ask? Chris Smith (who sounds suspiciously like somebody who's tied in with the Pearlie developers) and the people who live and own shops in the Pearl?

Ask the people who are paying for the I believe they'll tell you that buses would have been just as good, if not better, and a heck of a lot cheaper.

The voters in Seattle are showing more smarts than the city fathers in Portland.

I love many things about Portland, which I am proud to call my home. Wasteful toys are not among the things that endear me to the place. No matter what some kid in Calgary tell me.

Jack Bog

Oops -- word dropped in second paragraph -- "who are paying for the streetcar."

activist kaza

Ah, the curmudgeonly Jack strikes again! But TJ, thanks for reiterating a point that I often like to make to (my fellow) native Oregonians all the time...many really don't know how good we've got it here.

Of course, as a long-time resident over in London, I'll admit that urban moans are an international pasttime. But I think theirs are a bit more justified.

You want an infrastructure joke that doesn't pay for itself? Try London's transport. The Underground is held together by chicken wire (literally). Average speed on a weekday (if you try to drive) is 4 MPH. And as of Feb. 2003, you have to pay for that privilege, of course. To drive into Central London costs drivers over $10 a day in "congestion charges" (driving tax).

So please people...don't try to tell me how bad Portland's got it. I've seen the other side (in a few cities) and it's pretty much all worse.

It's time to appreciate what we have, and to make constructive complaints about what we really need to fix. Street cars and light rail are NOT the problem in Portland. In fact, as this study rightly points out, to the vast majority of citizens (curmudgeons excluded, obviously) they are not even a problem.


Welcome to the conversation Jack! I think you'll find we have a (comparatively) wide comment policy still, so take aim at whatever you like.

On your question/suspicion: download the ppt show; there is a map showing the location of residents and retailers surveyed. They appeared to me to be definitely in a position to describe neighborhood impact.

I think it would be delightful to hear about the many things you love in Portland. Many of us wonder where you are hiding the list.

And as a teacher of students right around the likely age of the author, I'm a little curious at your rather elitist dismissal of a graduate student as "some kid." I'm sure you spend quite a bit of time with young men and women in similar graduate academic pursuits, who you do not dismiss so easily.

Finally, I have to smile a little bit at the stones it takes to champion buses as less wasteful, as they go chugging down narrow 21st Street belching $2.50-a-gallon smoke out the back. And I say this as a daily commuter by bus--which is incidentally where the most value of buses comes. In the urban core, light rail is a much better use of space and energy, IMO.


thats the main thing I miss from moving back up to Seattle...

I used to say 'those guys down in Portland don't know how good they have it!'~~ But apparently they do :)

Frank Dufay

the money's already been spent, so bitching about it won't help now.

Whatever the merits or demerits of the streetcar (and I think there are both) the continuing high cost of running the system remains an issue beyond the capital costs already expended. And as we look to keep expanding the system --to inner SE-- THAT money's hardly been spent already.


Frank, thanks for the comment. Can you detail a little bit what your specific concerns are on the operational costs of the streetcar? What makes it different from MAX, and are those differences perhaps a life cycle issue (ie, that the streetcar has only been running 4 years?)

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