Allen Alley opposes light rail to Milwaukie



Allen Alley opposes light rail to Milwaukie
and using Urban renewal money to back fill the project.
Why? Because it is not sustainable and is burying Tri-Met in red ink.
This is a bold and common sense statement by the candidate.
Besides the Sellwood bridge is crumbling and should have been replaced 20 years ago.

The Milwaukie line will mostly, turn bus riders, into train riders.
The users will only pay 20% of the operating cost and none of the capital construction, by way of the fair box.
Light rail is 100 times more expensive than a bus, but it is not 100 X’s better.
It does not make sense to pay $1.4 billion to replace the existing bus lines.
The voters voted twice, to not build the project and they are building it anyway.

Most of the Portland Metro light rail lines, use urban renewal to pay for the local matching funds. Urban renewal money comes from Schools, social services, fire and police. Then the Schools, Social Services, Fire and Police departments have to look for new sources of income, or higher taxes on everyone. Urban renewal is a pot of money the politicians use to build their pet projects, like Light rail.


But Clackamas County Chairwoman Lynn Peterson criticized Alley’s proposal. Peterson said the light-rail line will add needed capacity along the Highway 99E corridor that is increasingly hard to do by expanding roads in the built-up urban environment.”

But the line will not add capasity to our road systeem or reduce congestion on the corridor according to Tri-Met and the environmental draft statement. So what is she talking about?

Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder, who headed the region’s transportation planning body for several years, noted that the region would wind up losing hundreds in millions of dollars because the federal government is funding half of the light-rail expansion

Rex Burkholder forgets about the hundreds of millions in local matching funds to build and run the line. Much of that coming from urban renewal and other funds. Or Schools, social services, fire and police departments.

We cannot afford to build another light rail line that is not self supporting by the riders and does not reduce congestion. It is refreshing to see a candidate that realizes that and is looking out for real solutions not more pipe dreams.

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Posted by at 08:32 | Posted in Measure 37 | 14 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Rupert in Springfield

    Light Rail truly is the biggest tax payer rip off going right now. The rates per mail are inevitably figures that are totally laughable and spark incredulity when brought up n conversation. Even with fares set at a fraction of the cost or operation, people seem loath to ride the things.

    The fact that light rail is the invention of lunatics, hell bent on spending taxpayer money on the most useless of frivolities is driven home by the statement in the article:

    “This is a bold and common sense statement by the candidate.”

    When common sense is considered bold, you know that lunacy is the norm.

    To speak with a rational mind regarding the current phase of idiocy government at all levels is undergoing is to be shockingly bold. With Europe now unarguably on the precipice the idiots in charge domestically boldly follow their model. To point out that this really might be a stupid idea is considered almost iconoclastic by those enthralled by the idiocy of big government solutions to every problem large and small.

  • Anonymous

    The idea that every sitting elected official would allow this to go forward as if this farce is the highest and best use of the $250 million lottery dollars and all the other local funding shares is aperfect demonstration of the ongoing California approach to priorities.

    As in there are no priorities and no leaders to depend upon to stop massive waste evening during a deep recession.
    It’s amazing really to see this advance of during an era of plenty and as if the $1.4 plus Billion doesn’t matter.

    The fact that Alley studied it and discovered how severe the misappropriation is should be a clear mesage to voters.

    We want this guy as governor looking into everything else.

  • Bob Clark

    If I were living in Milwaukke and wanted to continue living there, I sure wouldn’t want this thing built. It spreads the tenacles of subsidized high rise, high density cement condos into what is otherwise a peaceful community. I’ve had occassion to to ride light rail in and out of down town, and I can tell you there is good reason there are security police riding this system.

    The construction jobs are temporary, and actually given mounting local and state debts, it only serves to rob construction jobs from the future because of its impact on already strained finances needing repayment in the future.

    Smaller cars, driverless cars, electric power assisted bikes, and high end buses make up a much more economical transport system than fixed rails.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Actually for what these things cost, you can often buy the ridership that winds up using it a brand new car and still come out ahead.

  • wnd

    Props and kudos to Allen Alley and his common sense. From the get go, light rail has been a taxing fiasco in terms of cost effectiveness.

    Really, when ridership must be subsidized to the tune of over $25 per rider, something is egregiously amiss.

    Lynn Peterson and Rex Burkholder, et al, are part of an establishment that needs to be overturned and that includes UN-electing Jim Bernard and his ilk on the Clackamas County Commission.

    Even deposing METRO, albeit a $uperfluous entity that was rammed down throats when county voters said no in the first place.

  • Jeff Reynolds, Candidate, Metro Council District #1

    As a candidate for Metro, I think Alley’s idea is brilliant. Voters have rejected expansion of MAX several times, and the numbers bear them out. $146 Million per mile is unconscionable in any budget, never mind budgets being hatched in this deep recession. It’s been proven that MAX does not spur job creation or development, despite the pie in the sky dreams of its adherents.

    Meanwhile, Metro is still proposing a Real Estate Transfer Tax, to fill in some supposed budget shortfall. I am of the opinion that $425 Million (revised 2011 budget proposal) is quite enough, especially when we don’t really have a good idea where the money is going.

    My opponents in my race all advocate expansion of light rail, and one even advocates expansion of commuter rail. We have seen that WES is an abject disaster, and attempting to expand these failed modes of mass transit will have unintended consequences on the scale of BETC. One of my opponents is running so that he can run a MAX line all the way up Stark St to Mt Hood Community College. (http://www.blueoregon.com/2009/06/want-to-help-east-multnomah-county-focus-on-stark-street/) Of course, much of it will be funded with federal tax dollars, which is money that just falls from the sky (/sarcasm).

    Metro is out of control, and most candidates for all the open seats in this primary represent more of the same. We need the voice of common sense and real world experience on Metro, not more of the political class that has never held a job in the private sector.

    • Jeff Reynolds, Candidate, Metro Council District #1

      One more thing I’d like to mention. It’s been shown by Cascade Policy Institute that the Green Line has cannibalized resources from other services in TriMet. We’ve seen the effects in reduced bus lines. This is an irresponsible policy towards the low-income users of mass transit – they are affected more negatively by reduced bus service than any positive effects from new light rail lines that may or may not be able to service them in their own communities. MAX is far less efficient in any event – express bus lines are fare more flexible and have the ability to change as demographics shift.

  • Whoever

    Hmm… Good idea.

    It’s a shame that whomever was Governor Kulongoski’s Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of Transportation and Economic Development when this was passed in 2007 didn’t speak up then, because now it’s almost too late to back out.

    Who WAS that Transportation and Economic Development advisor, anyway? Whoever that was, they could have made a big impact on this project at the appropriate time.

    Anyone? Anyone? What a mystery…

    • Anonymous

      It is never to late to learn. I know many former light rail supporter that are now some of the harshest critics of light rail today.

      One is John Charles who wrote a article , “why I was a light rail supporter, before I became a light rail user”.

      I applaud Alley for his stand and it is not too late to stop the Milwaukie light rail line, they killed the Mt Hood freeway, after they bought most of the land.

  • Bob Tiernan

    *Jeff Reynolds:*

    One more thing I’d like to mention. It’s been shown by Cascade Policy Institute that the Green Line has cannibalized resources from other services in TriMet. We’ve seen the effects in reduced bus lines. This is an irresponsible policy towards the low-income users of mass transit – they are affected more negatively by reduced bus service than any positive effects from new light rail lines that may or may not be able to service them in their own communities.

    *Bob T:*

    Tri-Met resources have been cannibalized by previous MAX lines as well. They’ll do whatever they have to do to inflate ridership numbers.

    As for the remarks about service for low-income people, that is correct. Tri-Met is not about service at all. Even worse, when Tri-Met cuts a route from the list or reduces the frequency on a line, they are saying to would-be transportation entreprenuers that “Not only are we discontinuing this service, but we won’t let YOU operate on that route, either”.

    Bob Tiernan
    NE Portland

  • Ralph

    MAX to Milwaukie? Hell yes. New Sellwood Bridge? Hell yes. Remember, money is a social construct, there is no gold standard anymore. In a recession, government spending helps. People work, this improves consumer confidence, investments happen, etc. Remember the New Deal? Me neither, I’m 29… Now, Oregon doesn’t print money, the federal government does. And what do they do with it? Blow up other countries, then pay to rebuild them. Democrats and Republicans… Why not use a portion of that printed money to build stuff here that is useful like the MAX and Bridge? Or how ’bout starved states just argue over what little they have… AMERICA ROCKS!!!

  • Anonymous

    The MAX 205 Green-line has resulted in 57% increase in crime in that corridor including heroin trafficing on the MAX trains.

    All of the funding for the Milawukie light rail is a shell ganme that will take funding already going to higher priority government services.
    Even the TriMet share is borrowing against future operating revenue.

    It’s madness, that’s what Alley discovered and that’s why he came out calling for it to be halted.

    Dudley supporters, MANY ARE STANCH LIGHT RAIL OPPONENTS, are such hipocrites they couldn’t even join the call and help stop it.

    • Anonymous

      Dudley’s base of support is largely populated with two types of people:

      1) Establishment Republicans who care more about winning than good ideas who foolishly think yet another moderate will somehow win when every previous moderate has gone down in flames, and

      2) Actual liberals who either expect Dudley to lose in the general, or who honestly believe he is a liberal enough “republican” to govern liberally should he win.

  • Lee

    Alley’s strong support and reasoning to delay or stop Milwaukie Lightrail has common sense. He took a leadership role to speak up. And for good measure Dudley announced shortly after that he supports the idea. So did Lim, and Mary Volm, and several other candidates. The list is growing. Now I hope that those that don’t succeed in their election will still work for and speak out against the insensibility of MLR.

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