Streetcar Named Desire

Posted on January 12, 2012 by

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Developer Homer Williams has been salivating over ramming a streetcar scheme down the throats of the folks in Sucker Lake Lake Oswego, and it seemed like the fix was in; the deal done. He really, really, really desires a streetcar from LO to the deserts of South Waterfront in Portland, and beyond. Portland condosIt’s the only way he can build a bunch of condos between the Willamette River and the downtown LO area – or so he claims. He and Portland mayor Sammi have to be stamping their tiny little feet in frustration, as it looks like the streetcar’s been derailed.

As has repeatedly been noted here, politicians at Metro, together with their legions of highly-compensated “planners”, are largely behind the continued shoveling of tax dollars to the likes of Homer. Oh, they pride themselves on the lip-service that they pay to “public process”: they have their OptIn program, and innumerable committees ostensibly set up to garner public input – which they immediately ignore if the input doesn’t agree with the “vision” set forth by their Messiah, Neil Goldschmidt.

As one individual put it: Having spent two years on an early Metro committee (2006-2007) that was considering the transit options (LOPAC), I know this project was a detailed subject of well-thought out research and attention from all sides of the issue. In the end, the majority on our committee favored bus transit over streetcar (flexibilble, cheaper by an order of magnitude over rail), but we were *surprise* ignored by Metro. In the end, it took high costs, a failing economy, and a deeply divided LO community to help stop it. But really what has hurt this project most has been a crippling failure of leadership at the highest levels in Portland. Memo to Stumptown residents: grow up and get a real mayor, not an Occupy PDX sock puppet. Wierd is definitely not working anymore.

And the Metroids aren’t losing out just on the LO streetcar scheme (in which millions of tax dollars have already been “invested”) – the push-backfrom folks in Clackamas County (the Clackistani Rebellion) threatens their favorite toy, light rail. The Rebellion has had just about a bellyfull of Portlandia/Metroid weirdness, and they’re making it known in no uncertain terms.

County commissioners, who’ve been playing footsie with the light rail cabal for some time, are nervous – as well they should be: Clackamas County’s board of commissioners voted a year ago to provide the money to TriMet to fund its share of the $1.5 billion project. After a packed three-hour public hearing on July 28, commissioners voted 3-1 against referring the county’s commitment to the project to voters.

The commissioners are now considering trying to renegotiate that $25 million commitment that they refused to allow a vote on, in view of the fact that their decision is now showing every sign of coming back to bite them in the fanny.

They’re a little late to the party.

MaxRedline: Streetcar Named Desire.

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Posted in: Big Government, Graft