Portlandia Update: “WOW” Doesn’t Do It Justice

1. The Oregonian recently asked ” Where’s the Money to Fix 217? “ Faithful readers of The Wingard Report already know where to find the answer…in a multi-billion dollar wind tunnel running through the West Hills, aka westside light rail. From the article:

“Fixing 217 is low on the state’s priority list for several politically based reasons. The county already has enjoyed a generous slice of the transportation pie, with westside MAX and improvements to U.S. 26.”

Our leaders spent the last 20 years lobbying the federal government for light rail dollars and that’s why you’re sitting in traffic all the time. Transportation officials say it will take them 80 years to expand 217. Just in time, I say.

2. Speaking of boondoggles: Our friend Steve Schopp, who has been intensely following the TRAM disaster, recently came across this love letter from Lenny Anderson:

“The Tram is much better as kinetic art…as the rider is lifted from the riverside base, the view of the entire region will graduall(sic) unfold. No one will be looking down at Lair Hill. Take a ride on the 8 bus to the VA Hosp and walk across the ped bridge to OHSU Hosp. The view will knock your socks off, and the Tram will be even better. Surely Portland’s first “Wow’ project. “

To which Steve replied:

“guess I overlooked the “wow factor” just as Lenny overlooked the entire cost, financing, impacts, affordability, other needs and fiscal stability. Of course Lenny has also disregarded all of these other considerations when raised. It’s a remarkable phenomenon that one can disregard every measure of merit and legitimacy by simply applying a “wow”. I wonder how that would work if I were to head out one day, finance a Ferrari and start an adulterous affair with a hot young thing. After all, when my wife points out how we can’t afford the Ferrari and my affair is destructive to our marriage I’ll just explain to her the “wow” factor. “

The Portland Tribune also sees the problem.

(This article is one of many that are featured in the regular email magazine called the Wingard Report. To subscribe or learn more conatct Matt Wingard at [email protected])