Attention Republican candidates for Oregon offices. I’m going to offer ya’ll a tip and it won’t cost you a thing.
Run with the roads! Or, make a big deal about the state of transportation in Oregon. Oh and do it with the Beaverton Round as your prime example of the money sucking black hole of Smart Growth transportation ideas.
In the Round you have at least $19,000,000 (that should be millions) in a project that has become one of the greatest transportation boondoggles since, say the Denver airport. Not to mention the astronomical costs of this project you also have the fact that this project has been through at least three different developers.
Remember we have been told that Transportation Oriented Development (TOD) would create a new wave of urban investment. Remember that the Smart Growthers have promised that economic development would follow TOD’s (don’t forget Cascade Station at the airport). Remember that the Round was going to be their shining example of success.
Yet reality began sinking in early. The first developer realized that for some reason nobody wanted to rent space at the Round. Hmm… Seemed that 2+2 really DID equal four. Despite what urban planners had been saying.
Now back to the issue of Republicans making this an issue. We have been told time and time again and again recently, that the state has not given enough money to ODOT to build and repair roads. Oregonians have been told this and lately the issue is actually gaining some ink from the MSM. The ink is helpfull. Sweeping campaigns need a few things. Some things we all know, money, good candidates etc… Yet other things that sweeping campaigns need are strong visuals that help connect the dots on the issues.
The Round gives you those dots. While state highways fall apart you have regional government Metro recently voting to spend another $2 million dollars on this boondoggle. This project is large. It is ugly. It continues to suck up dollars. This project is not quite as bad as the Pyramids of Egypt because, well, the Pyramids are not still costing the community anything. Even money says that another ten years from now, unless some major changes are made, the Round will still be costing the community millions of dollars.
So now if the Republicans can pound the pulpit and point at the Round the Democrats will be in a position of explaining their Smart Growth philosophy. (Well Democrats along with a few urban republicans like Tom Bryan. However republicans like that deserve millstones like the Round.)
Finally there is the electoral situation that is Washington County. WashCo has been a pivotal county for the last 15 years. Issues there tend to turn statewide elections. If only the the lever of statewide politics could be applied to the fulcrum of WashCo issues. Well now it can. Now the entire state can be focused on the boondoggle of the Round and put WashCo Democrats under the microscope, thus giving WashCo Republicans the advantage of the philosophical and economical high ground.
Finally you have recent action by ODOT to ad an additional $1,049,975 to Metro’s PUBLIC RELATIONS budget to increase increase the educational advertising on "driving alone and techniques for driving wisely." Over a million dollars?
Sounds like the tip of the pyrami… er iceberg to me.