Seattle Times: Vote NO on tax for light rail

Let’s charter a bus and send The Oregonian editorial board up north to meet its sensible-on-transit counterpart. A Sunday, Oct. 16 Seattle Times editorial recommends area voters reject what one Times columnist referred to as November’s “ginormous $18 billion Proposition 1“. Most all of that tax increase would go toward building a fixed rail system. The editorial points out, “Much more could be done with bus service, particularly if high-occupancy lanes are kept flowing by the smart use of tolls. Light rail replaces buses, and at a much higher cost per rider. Rail soaks up money buses might have used. Rail funnels transit. Buses extend it. And most rail riders will be people who were already riding the bus.” There is time for the O to play a role in stopping the expansion of the Portland-area fixed rail system. It need not fear the regional Transportation Mafia.

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 12 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    Everyone who looks at light rail with an objective eye will see nothing but nonsense, crime, wasted money, and more traffic on the roads. It is as simple as that.

    • Anonymous

      You sure about that? reasonable people can’t take the same information out there and come to a different conclusion?


    Light Rail is a waste of time and money…………everywhere!

  • Steven

    Bloomey remember when we were young and gay? We had huge ideas of being important and making a difference? How about looking back where you have been and where you are going. Don’t play the game anymore and take a stand. Stop the boondoggles with the fright-rail, trolley cars, bike bridges and money funnels to your foreign accounts. Stop the dam breaching billion dollar corn holing of the public trust. Show us that you are a free thinker and be our champion. Turn to the people and expose the corruption.

  • devietro

    Does light rail look cool? YES
    Does light rail function well sometimes? YES
    Does light rail increase crime by delivering criminal to condensed locations? OH YEA
    Does Light rail cause massive traffic and commuter issues while being constructed? YES AGAIN
    Should reasonable people reject light rail? YES NOW AND YES FOREVER.

    Retrofitting an existing city with light rail never works well. However next time we discover a new landmass, and decide for it to be centrally planned then we can talk about light rail and how to deal with the negatives it has attached to us. (Light rail in space?) Ok so the light rail in space idea would be dumb but you get my point.

    • Anonymous

      same can be said for constructing roads.

      “Do *roads* look cool? YES (well, not so much but they are necessary)
      Do *roads* function well sometimes? YES
      Do *roads*l increase crime by delivering criminal to condensed locations? OH YEA
      Do *roads* cause massive traffic and commuter issues while being constructed? YES AGAIN

      • Anonymous

        especially Freeways and interstates

  • Crawdude

    Hmmmm, looks like one MAX border town is getting fed up with the criminals trasportation of choice!

    GRESHAM, Ore. –- Crime has become so prevalent on some light-rail transportation lines that police will patrol MAX trains in Gresham beginning next week, Gresham’s mayor said Friday.

    Law enforcement on light-rail is handled by TriMet police officers, however, Mayor Shane Bemis said in a letter to the head of TriMet that he has consistently heard from citizens who feel the current service level is not enough to ensure a safe system.

    “TriMet has maintained that crime along the light-rail line is simply an issue of perception, but the citizens that I represent tell me a much different story,” Bemis said. “Accounts of public intoxication, gang activity, assault, harassment, and drugs… are prevalent.”

    In 2006, Gresham police responded to a number of calls immediately adjacent to, or within a quarter mile of, light rail stops in Gresham. These included 42 percent of all narcotics calls, 84 percent of all gang calls, and 40 percent of all fight calls.

    Also: Teen gang suspects arrested for hammer attack at MAX stop

    “Ultimately it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our citizens, and in this case the time has come to take matters into our own hands,” Bemis said.

    • dean

      The thing is… light rail crime appears to be concentrated on the EAST side max, which is where the POOR people live. Is there any comparable crime on the WEST side max, where the MIDDLE CLASS people live? If not, then one might suspect that the crime is not related to light rail, but to high concentrations of poor people.

      As for Devietro saying light rail causes massive traffic congestion WHILE BEING CONSTRUCTED, the response is DUH! Building a new freeway along the same alignment would cause at least as much congestion during construction wouldn’t it?

      • CRAWDUDE

        You’d be right on that Dean, due to the city putting high density section 8 housing near the east side max lines they’ve infused the areas with crime. This while spending hundreds of millions of dollars on Urban Renewal downtown where it isn’t needed and only benefits the few.

        Put some high density section 8 housing in the west hills and you’d have the same problem.

        Now that we’ve established these people are criminals how do we rid the city of them so they can’t prey on it’s citizens?

        First thing I guess we could do is round up all illegals of every nationality and send them home, that would clean up a lot of it!

  • Terry Parker

    Speaking of the local Transportation Mafia, they are always telling Portlanders to look at how things are done in Vancouver BC as an example. SkyTrain, the equivalent of Max in Portland has had to hire armed guards to protect passengers at stations and on the train. Even with the guards, people, including men, do not feel safe, especially when using the outlying stations after dark.

    Also noted should be that the local Transportation Mafia has infiltrated (big time) the Sellwood Bridge Advisory Group. Take a look at the proposals still on the table headed for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. All of the options that suggest a shared bridge give more deck space (width) to bicyclists and pedestrians than for cars and trucks. The one exception is the option that includes building a separate bridge for bicycles and pedestrians. The widest of the options hands over two lanes (one in each direction) for exclusive transit use while still having only two lanes (one in each direction) for the 30, 000 cars and trucks that use the crossing daily. None of the options include four full service motor vehicle lanes that are needed both today for storage capacity Eastbound due to the congestion created by the obstructions placed on Tacoma Street, and to accommodate future traffic that comes with growth

    If bicyclists continue to want a third to half of the space on the bridge, bicyclists need to be the ones directly taxed to pay for a third to half of the total costs of the bridge. If Tri-Met wants exclusive lanes on the bridge, the total bridge costs must be divvied up in the same manner with transit users paying a total bridge cost percentage that equals the percentage of deck space reserved for transit. That would leave motorists to pay only the smaller left over percentage that equates to the much smaller percentage of deck space the Transportation Mafia has allotted for cars and trucks to use. What’s fair is fair and allowing freeloading pedal pushers to escape yet another financial responsibility is not only not fair, it is thievery.

    • Anonymous

      much of this has to do with the neighbohood demanding that the bridge have constricted capacity because they dont’ want to turn the bridge into any larger of a arterial than it already is and degrade thier community. also, federal money requires the inlcusion of alternative transportation options. as does the city’s comp plan – AND the local and larger community. the residents in the area have had a HUGE impact on the outcome of the bridge designs and the advisory commity has taken great pains to listen to all the stake holders while meeting the requirements for federal dollas and city codes.

      please know that bikers ALSO pay gax taxes and city taxes. they aren’t freeloaders

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