Rep. Wylie & Sen. Cleveland on “That Bridge”

by lewwaters

An excerpt from the Feb 23, 2016 tele-town hall convened by Rep Sharon Wylie (D. 49) and Sen. Annette Cleveland (D. 49) responding to a constituent question concerning “That Bridge.”

Of note is how both craftily avoided using the words “light rail” since the effort to force light rail on the community against our wishes is what forced the bloated boondoggle into a comatose state.

I have no doubt that both women still strongly desire to go against the majority of their constituents and force light rail just a few blocks into our community, giving Oregon access to our revenues to help bail out their folly of spreading the obsolete mode of travel by rail and at an excessively high cost to taxpayers.

See also: Willamette Week Light Rail to Vancouver Rides Again

It is also in this bloggers opinion, pure insanity to continue pursuing light rail as even Southern California, where it made more sense to offer it is experiencing a decrease in ridership over the last ten years: LA Times, Billions spent, but fewer people are using public transportation in Southern California
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2 Comments to “Rep. Wylie & Sen. Cleveland on “That Bridge””

  1. Key words: “All transportation modes.” Read as “we’re ready to ignore the constituents because we think we know better what you ‘need’.” Look for big donations to these politicians from contractors and others who benefit from the enormous waste of taxpayer money. Keep in mind, by the time any bridge IS built, the justification for trolley cars (the 19th century breakthrough) will be “functionally obsolete.”

    Consider that Uber (or some other service), using self-driving autos, could easily set up convenient “car pools” that would gather 3 or 4 passengers to Portland and provide true door to door service, likely at a lower cost than could ever be managed by trolley cars (that requirer huge taxpayer investment in facilities and equipment and support a vast number of taxpayer supported operators, supervisors, station attendants, and bureaucrats). No public transit system even comes close to paying for it’s operations (much less capital costs) from the firebox, all require massive public subsidies that come out of the taxpayer’s pockets.

    Privately sponsored solutions based on automated driverless cars, either owned by a transportation company or by individuals, will in a few years, make most public transit operations obsolete. Note that once such vehicles enter a freeway, inter-vehicle communication will allow them to “link up” and form “auto trains” (with vehicles following very closely together) so that multiple cars move together as one. This will substantially increase the capacity of existing freeway lanes as well as eliminate most accidents. But there are those who would like to profit at taxpayer’s expense in these big mega projects and (apparently) there are some Washington politicians who wish to bail out Portland (and Oregon) taxpayers who stupidly believed all the hype about the viability of trolley cars.

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  2. Friend, I agree with almost all that you wrote, above, EXCEPT for the alliteration that Light Rail will be “functionally obsolete”. Rail as a transportation mode will be around for a long time. Even as a commuter mode, it is successful in many communities across the country and world. The problem is, those successful projects have a much better design. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in the San Francisco Bay Area is an example (although it is technically “Heavy” rail). 1. It runs on above grade, or over grade rail over most of its sections.
    2. When it is at grade, it has fencing and other barriers to keep cars, bikes, pedestrians and animals off of the tracks. Not 100% successful, but they don’t have an accident with any of the above on a weekly basis, as does MAX.
    3. They have limited access to those that have PAID for the service. Fencing and toll gates require a passenger to pay for the privilege of riding the train.
    4. They have limited stops which increases the average speed of the train. (MAX runs an AVERAGE of 14.5 MPH). BART’s Average speed is 33 MPH.
    5. BART’s train stations act as transit hubs for Buses, Trolley and Taxi service.

    If MAX was morphed into something close to BART, it MIGHT be something Clark County would be interested in. At a 14.5 MPH average speed, it takes longer to get to Portland by Train than it does by car. And that does not include the ride to the MAX at Delta Park or the Expo Center.

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