Trolley Cars, Dirt Roads and Coming Full Circle

by lewwaters

Moeller spinAdvocates of the Columbia River Crossing light rail project are pulling out all of the stops to coerce passage of funding to get moving on the project, ignoring citizen voices, pleas of the middle class to stop the bankrupting madness and throwing all caution to the wind that the current design calls for creating the lowest river clearance point on the Columbia River, making the new bridge more susceptible to collision from waterborne craft, unsafe in my estimation.

It didn’t take but minutes for proponents to grab hold of the Skagit River Bridge collapse to equate it to the need to replace the current Interstate Bridge with a light rail carrier. The Lazy C has run articles nearly every single day trying to tie the two bridges together and minimizing the collapse was caused by a semi-truck with an oversized load impacting and taking out structural support beams.

Waiting for results from the NTSB is out of the question when you have a crisis you don’t want to waste.

We even see the Lazy C running what can only be described as a ridiculous article claiming, Columbia River span could collapse if hit with big enough blow.

Maybe it escapes them that the bridge will remain in the traffic pattern of Portland International Airport and a jet airliner losing power and hitting the new bridge could also cause it to collapse or that since they advocate an unsafe river traffic clearance, a barge getting loose from a tug and hitting the second tier during high water could also collapse the new bridge.

Could they throw out a vaguer claim to fearmonger the public?

As it turns out, seeing the fearmongering isn’t accomplishing the rise in public angst they desire, we see über-leftist state representative Jim Moeller (D. Portland/Vancouver) advocating light rail because at one time, trolley cars ran across the older span of the Interstate Bridge.

Moeller, Trolley

As you can see, Moeller is advocating light rail with the comment “Looks like the I-5 Bridge had light rail to start with. Everything comes full circle.”

But, I am sure that he does not mean EVERYTHING. As you can see from the postcard below, Vancouver’s Main Street then, with trolley tracks, was a dirt road. It was not paved.

vancouver_main st

One thing from that era I am sure he and others would love to see is fewer middle class families with their own cars. That would be a “full circle” goal I am convinced Jim Moeller, socialist Democrat that he is, does desire. Just don’t expect him to be willing to voluntarily give up his car.

At the time the second span was built and the older span had been refurbished, opening in 1960, media income in America ranging between $3,000 to $5,000 a year with the nominal federal income tax rate at 10% for that bracket. Washington State sales tax was 4% and the state gasoline tax was 6.5¢ per gallon.

Moeller, the staunch union supporter he is, surely would not go along with such lower taxes and wages “coming full circle” since we all know there has never been a tax increase he didn’t embrace.

Then too, with the 20¢ toll imposed to pay off the new bridge then creating congestive backups at the toll booths, I seriously doubt we will see the Columbian ‘coming full circle and advocating on behalf of the people over special interests, running a story with the claim “Now Russia has its ‘Iron Curtain’, Asia has its ‘Bamboo Curtain’, and Vancouver-Portland have a ‘Toll Curtain’” as they did on January 11, 1960.

What you will also not see included in Moeller’s “everything comes full circle” quest is that back when the photo he presents was taken, homosexuals were reviled, prosecuted and hidden away in the closet. The notion of homosexual ‘marrying’ would likely earn you a mouth full so someone’s fist, much less if caught engaging in a homosexual act possibly resulting in a lengthy jail stay, if not lynched.

As I said above, the likes of Jim Moeller would love nothing more than to see us abandoning our cars and living in small high density housing along light rail lines, giving up our freedoms to be subjected to their whims, much like we saw in Eastern Europe under Communist rule.

One of the reason trolley’s passed by the wayside was that nothing has given the American middle class citizen more freedom that the automobile. People enjoyed the freedom and independence of getting in their car and going where they wanted to when they wanted to, no longer restricted to an inflexible trolley that might take you somewhere in the vicinity of your destination at a time it ran, providing it ran that time of day.

Car use has grown with that freedom and independence many regions have neglected to keep up with the growth, diverting tax dollars collected from fuel and car sales to other projects and unneeded, fancy looking arterials to attach some politicians name to.

The History of the Oregon Streetcar informs us that the use of their system “peaked in 1922,” almost a century ago. Inflexible streetcars were emptied while those who used them transferred over to more flexible buses or obtained a car of their own and streetcars ceased service in the 1950’s.

Portland Traction Co. car No. 4017 being burned for scrap, spring 1959. Courtesy Richard Thompson

Portland Traction Co. car No. 4017 being burned for scrap, spring 1959. Courtesy Richard Thompson

Today, most citizens are still enjoying their freedom of movement with their own car or relying bus systems and are not showing any willingness to give that up any time soon to return to a fixed route that maybe will take you somewhere near your destination, if you’re lucky.

Hence, we see the efforts of socio-elitists like Jim Moeller, the governors of both Oregon and Washington as well as the Lazy C desperately trying to play on people’s emotions, fearmongering and extorting taxpayers with their “no light rail, no bridge” slogans to just give up and fall in line.

Calling themselves “Progressives,” how odd is it that their goal is regression backwards in time to when the common man owned little?

6 Comments to “Trolley Cars, Dirt Roads and Coming Full Circle”

  1. Nailed it.

    I revile Moeller not because of his sexual proclivities, but because regardless of which way he swings, he’s scum.

    That Moeller wants this scam is reason enough to oppose it. But the other reasons are overwhelming in number and the scrambling of the CRC Scammers like Molehill as the clock winds down on their massive scheme will become even more strident and false.

    As Lew has pointed out repeatedly: they are holding our safety hostage for loot rail. And they should be ashamed.

    But the left knows no shame.

  2. The lies and the mis-information are part of their playbook. It is Jim Moeller’s fault, as part of the leg committee on transportation, that there are any ailing bridges in our state.

  3. I spent some time in East Berlin before the wall came down. Even this propaganda poster can’t hide the ugliness and squalor of their “progressive” high-density housing.

  4. Boy that is so true! I cannot sit here and put up with their plans to destroy our community.

  5. In addition to San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, and Marin County were initially intended to be part of the system. Santa Clara County Supervisors opted out in 1957, preferring instead to build expressways, and in 1961 San Mateo County supervisors voted to leave BART, saying their voters would be paying taxes to carry mainly Santa Clara County residents.

  6. Rail across the Columbia has indeed come “full circle” – from planning to total destruction of the CRC project. – like the burning trolley car is a great image of today’s CRC.

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