Portland Chases Another Dream

CascadeNewLogoBy John A. Charles, Jr.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced last week that Portland is one of seven cities still in the running for a $50 million grant as part of DOT’s “Smart Cities” challenge. Portland is proposing to build “smarter streets” that talk to self-driving cars and to develop an app that will decrease reliance on private automobiles.

This is not a joke, and it’s not another episode of Portlandia. There are actually federal bureaucrats who think that putting sensors in streets to talk with computerized cars is important, and that Portland is capable of running such a system.

Apparently, they are unaware that Portland’s street system is so run down that the city could be the film location for a Mad Max movie.

And given the region’s obsession with 19th century street cars that move slower than pedestrians, why would anyone think Portland is capable of being a national leader in 21st century roads?

This is a city that tried to prevent car-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft from legally operating here last year. No fancy street sensors were required; the necessary smart phones were already in the hands of potential customers. All the City Council needed to do was get out of the way, and even that was too complicated for them.

We should let Google worry about autonomous cars. Portland should stick to something simple, like filling potholes.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Government Waste, Political Correctness, Portland, Portland Politics, Progressivism, Transportation | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jack Lord God

    The state that couldn’t build a website to sell health insurance is now going to make driver-less cars work. The future is certain, it wont work, and some very well connected people are going to make some phat stacks o cash! Go government go! We pay and our masters play! Love it!

    • Pers E. Stringer

      Same old same, sic [mold], to wit, Jayne (DMV) Cease chasing her tail and not getting fired.
      Don’t blink folks, eye, there’s much micheal moore to come from peter principled left wing ding Democrat Oregon govermnentium.

    • DavidAppell

      Rupert (= Jack Lord God): if you and daddy’s sex toy business isn’t planning 20 years into the future, how you gonna feed his grandbabies?

      • Reubuke, John 3:16

        Tina Kotek answers shrew: Stay out of my play-pen until Hillary Robem Clinova tatters the force flag and makes Jar-Jar winks at US; CJOTUS off a Klingon snort.

  • DavidAppell

    John wrote:
    “There are actually federal bureaucrats who think that putting sensors in streets to talk with computerized cars is important, and that Portland is capable of running such a system.”

    So the Cascade Policy Institute can’t even look 20 years ahead, let alone 50?

    I guess its funders don’t fund it for insight, but instead to protect their interests?

    PS: Can we see a complete list of CPI’s funders, with amounts?

    • Gorgeous Forge

      Another slip of the Appell slime green-eerie slugging abong in the nitwit sublime Eagle Creek gorged travail.

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