Dysfunction Junction

Posted on January 7, 2012 by


As Tri-Met and Metro keep plugging away on their $1.5 billion, seven-mile light rail “extension” from Portland into Clackamas county, the “editorial staff” at The Zero find themselves in complete agreement with thirty-year-olds: they’re miffed and mystified by the intransigence of Clackamas county residents who not only don’t want the thing, but are sufficiently energized that they just may force yet another vote to cancel funding from the county.

Clackamas county commisioners have proven tone-deaf time and again, and residents have forced votes that twice now have overturned the decisions of these elected “representatives”. That’s because, once in office, the commissioners have determined that they aren’t really there as representatives, but to further their own “progressive” agendas. They’ve been slapped down twice, and stand to take it in the chops yet again.

The Zero is aghast, as are the entitlement kiddies. A 31-year-old calling itself “soopah shoppa” exemplifies the kiddie perspective, trotting out the canards that, unfortunately, they were indoctrinated with when going through their formative years: “peak oil”, “time for you guys, who actually did screw up this country, to step aside and go out to pasture and let new ideas thrive, your way of thinking is archaic and hinders progress”.

Sad. So “progressive”, so hip, so smart – and with absolutely no understanding of even such mundane things as punctuation.

Interestingly, this child was not yet a glimmer in Mommy and Daddy’s eye when light rail got underway in Portland – yet he/she/it knows so much more about it than the rest of us. Naturally, I felt that a brief reply might be in order:

you do realize peak oil is right around the corner (if not already)?

You do realize that idiots have been blathering that line since the late 1960’s? Or are you old enough to remember that – I do understand that they don’t teach history in public schools, these days.

Fact: we voted in favor of light rail from Portland to Gresham.
Fact: when we saw what we got, we voted against light rail from Portland to Hillsboro.
Fact: politicians and planners built it anyway.
Fact: we voted against north-side light rail.
Fact: politicians and planners built it anyway.
Fact: as The Oregonian itself pointed out in an interactive crime map that they published five years ago, crime is concentrated and abundant within three blocks on either side of all light rail lines in existence at the time.
Fact: Clackamas County Sheriff’s department has documented an increase in crime of 37% since the line to Clackamas Town Center went active, although crime in the rest of the county (not “served” by light rail) decreased. No vote was permitted.
Fact: voters in Clark County, Washington, have rejected light rail.
Fact: politicians and planners have rejected the will of the voters; light rail continues to be included in their I-5 bridge project. No vote is anticipated.
Fact: plans are continuing for light rail along Barbour Boulevard from Portland to Tigard (and possibly Sherwood). No vote is anticipated.
Fact: Portland’s east-side streetcar “extension” is nearly complete – in that track has been laid. No vote was permitted.
Fact: it has suddenly occurred to the geniuses that there’s no money available to fund east-side streetcar operations.

Fact: for a decade, the light rail extension to PDX (again, not subject to vote) had “trains” stopping at Cascade Station; a “mixed-use” residential, office, and retail “village” that, despite offers of millions in public subsidies, was never built. Still, “trains” stopped there on each trip, opening their doors onto empty fields. One day, a coyote hopped aboard and settled into a window seat, but apart from that….

Fact: after politicians and planners threw in the towel and re-zoned Cascade Station to permit big-box stores with plenty of parking, IKEA and Best Buy moved right in.

Fact: there have been no reports of anybody transporting living room furniture or big-screen televisions from these businesses via light rail.

Fact: Beaverton Round, despite millions in tax subsidies, went bankrupt twice, and has yet to be completed, even though light rail, which allegedly “spurs development”, has been “serving” the site since 1998.

As for “soop” – hey bob, im only 31, i.e. not old enough to have taken out a jumbo loan on a mcmansion and then a home equity loan 5 years later to put in granite countertops and hardwood floors, so lay off the “this is what’s wrong with america” comments, most of my generation has lived within their means…has yours?

Actually, Slacker, yes. I’ve purchased two small homes, don’t have granite countertops, and oppose going into huge debt to “buy” toys for you to play with. Unlike so many of your age, I earned scholarships to help pay for my education – and what those didn’t cover, I borrowed and repaid in full. I didn’t “occupy” a park, demanding entitlements and freebies from others. In other words, I’ve done what so many folks in your age group appear allergic to: I worked. Frankly, I find your arrogance, your condescension, and your all-too-apparent sense of entitlement consummately revolting.

MaxRedline: Dysfunction Junction.