What Transportation vice grip?

In the Oregonian’s Jim Mayer wrote,
“Here’s the vise grip the state is in: Oregon expects to spend $32.8 million between 2008 and 2011 on highway “modernization” projects in the Portland area.”
Story here

What Mayer doesn’t report is, the bigger pinch (or bench vise) the state is in has 100s of millions being spent on rail transit and other non road projects during that same time period.

But that didn’t stop Mayer from using Metro speak:” the delicately balanced transportation politics of the Portland area.” Ha! Some balance. And delicate? Hardly.

Mayer points out that 217 improvement may not happen till 2089 but gladly quotes the incredibly misguided Rex Burkholder saying “Not everybody understands the hard choices, including our congressman,” said Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder, chairman of Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation.”

In a way Rex is right. “Not every body understands” the spending $150 million plus on the Washington County commuter rail while adjacent road improvements wait till 2089.

The collective totals of spending on commuter rail, 205 light rail, transit mall, and other non road improvements over the next few years will likely talley up to over a BILLION dollars in the Portland Metro region.

With related Urban Renewal devouring many more millions during this same time period every basic service will suffer greatly right along with our road system.

Even more inept and insane are the not so “delicate” policies that hand out 10 year tax property tax exemptions for transit oriented development as reported in this story.

It’s unfortunate Mayer and the “O” will not combine these related components and tell their readers what is happening to our transportation system and revenue.