Wishful Thinking

Photoshop is fun…

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35 responses to “Wishful Thinking”

  1. DR –

    Obviously you missed the fact that there is no overhead catenary wire. Without the supply wire, the streetcar has no propulsion power and cannot move. Thus, no additional track is needed in front. The small track segment shown in the photo is where the virtual flatbed truck dropped off the virtual streetcar. :-)

    – Bob R.

  2. Maybe it’s the same as 11th and Davis, but I thought it was a corner of Esther Short park.

    For those who may be interested in the visoning process itself, here’s the info:

    You are invited to particpate in a community visioning dialogue that will explore the viability of a streetcar system for Vancouver.
    Findings from this workshop will be presented to the Vancouver City Council.

    Day One – Community Visioning Dialogue
    when: Saturday, October 06, 2007
    8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    where: Clark College Penguin Union Building

    Day Two – Follow-up and Report
    when: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
    5 p.m.
    where: Clark College Penguin Union Building
    Please RSVP your participation in the Community
    Visioning Dialogue by September 28th.
    AIA Vancouver

  3. kinda reminds me of that terrible tommy lee jones movie when the max takes a trackless ride over the hawthorne bridge.

  4. “Could this be the future?”

    Yes, when people living in Vancouver and Clark County realize we’re not going to accommodate all of their cars and when they pay for the full cost of the congestion they cause on I-5 and in the Portland area.

  5. I always hear this blather about Vancouverites doing this and that to Portland. Give me a break – Portland would be nothing if it weren’t for the outlying cities. Vancouverites already contribute to the tax base through income taxes. What they really need to do is build more parking structures downtown to encourage more people to come shopping, preferrably underground like they do in European countries. Instead the asinine anti-auto cult is driving away businesses to places like Bridgeport, Woodburn Outlets and Washington Square.

  6. Greg: I’m not sure if you’re referring to downtown Portland or downtown Vancouver with your parking comment, I’m assuming Portland because nobody’s going to drive to Vancouver to shop (including Vancouverites, who come here to beat the sales tax). With regards to Portland, there’s PLENTY of parking downtown, I work right on the transit mall, and can tell you about the plethora of options within a 5 block radius. In addition to the two smart parks within that radius there’s also a Star Park (with 9 floors of parking), another independent ramp (about the same amount of parking), 4 or 5 surface lots, and public parking in the basements of most office buildings. They’re building another lot across the street from the Fox Tower even as we speak! Because I work downtown I know that the Star Park fills up for a couple of hours a day, and some of the other lots fill up too, but the Smart Parks reliably have vacancies, and the office building basements (World Trade Center, for instance) are more expensive, but always available.

    So, when have you driven downtown and not been able to find a parking lot within half a mile (8 blocks) of your destination?

  7. I’m surprised nobody’s talked about having these things in Salem, after all it IS the capitol!

    Greg, take a look at this:


    A study was commissioned (I can’t seem to find it but I’ve read it before) – it basically was another “let’s build a streetcar because it’s cool” study without any idea of how to pay for it (remember, Cherriots has a very hard time raising revenue – nearly every measure to fund it has failed), and I do recall that the study specifically stated that building a Streetcar line to West Salem on the old SFC&W bridge was cost-prohibitive.

    Essentially, the ideas were how to route a streetcar line from the Amtrak station, through the Willamette University campus and the Capitol Mall, to the Salem Centre.

    For $200,000, I could put a “trolley-like” bus on the road (Corvallis has one), and provide an equal level of service. There is no reason to encourage development – the State Capitol is already there and in general most state departments are going to be headquartered there with or without a Streetcar; Willamette University is not going to move anytime soon, the Amtrak station doesn’t have regular service (two trains a day from Eugene/to Portland in the AM, reverse in the evening, and the Coast Starlight doesn’t justify a massive infrastructure; especially when Cherriots can’t even run a bus to link the station with Courthouse Square – and when the station had a huge bus zone built when it was renovated), and the downtown core area is perfectly walkable without mass transit – it’s roughly five blocks wide and seven blocks long.

    Not to mention that the Boise paper mill property is not going to be developed in the way Salem wanted it to, because it can’t get a railroad crossing to access/develop the waterfront property a la SoWa. It’ll likely just be an extension of Riverfront Park.

    Salem built its grand Conference Center and Hotel, and how many major events have been held there? Salem Centre was built 20 years ago and seems to be doing OK (it doesn’t hurt that the city had to build the parking garage for it, and another city-owned garage is also attached.)

    On the other hand, Salem could use revitalizing Broadway NE, Fairgrounds NE, Silverton NE, and Portland NE. Those are some very sad neighborhoods…

  8. Erik,

    I’m a student at Willamette University, and I’m somewhat familiar with the plans. Here’s the link to the study:


    Personally, I think streetcar would be great as a circulator for downtown Salem (especially since the streets are so big they could actually accomodate it without losing capacity) but considering the ridiculously underfunded transit system down here, it’s just not going to happen.

    There actually is a Cherriots bus that serves the Amtrak station to/from downtown (Line 7, State & Fairview) and it gets quite a bit of use. I suspect the reason it doesn’t use the bus portal at the station is because that bus portal is used by Amtrak Cascades’ supplementary bus service (two northbound, two southbound), the twice-daily Valley Retriever (service to Corvallis and Newport) and CARTS (local service to Dallas, Woodburn, etc.). So the station gets more service than one might think.

    100% agreed on NE Salem. I pass through when I take the train, and that’s more than enough for me.

  9. Erik and Tim-

    NE Salem is pretty sad, unfortunately. On a lot of those streets there are actually signs saying they are enhanced drug enforcement areas. And I just heard today there were more murders in Salem in 2006 than the entire “Metro” area combined. Yikes!

    ….But Keizer is nice, esp. with Keizer Station and so is West Salem (where I’m actually moving in a couple of weeks – I can’t stand the country). But I’ll probably end up walking or BIKE from West Salem to my work with the department I’m working for (yes, you heard me correctly). I can’t believe how unpredictable traffic can be on 221 in the mornings. Sometimes I can leave and get to work in 15 minutes. Sometimes it takes 45 minutes. I tried utilizing the Yamhill County Link but is an hour long ordeal every morning and evening so I’m participating in the “live close to your work” con yet again…. I want them to form a willamette valley commuter rail committee and get that off the ground!

  10. I agree Greg. Keizer, West Salem, and a lot of South Salem are genuinely nice places to live. Have you heard anything recently about when they’re going to improve the old UP railroad bridge into a bike/ped bridge? That’ll sure be nice for your commute.

  11. Chris Smith Said:
    Maybe it’s the same as 11th and Davis, but I thought it was a corner of Esther Short park.

    Yes, ES Park is where the pic of the streetcar was photoshopped into, but the reflection in the side windows of the streetcar show the front of the Gerding.

  12. Have you heard anything recently about when they’re going to improve the old UP railroad bridge into a bike/ped bridge?

    No but I think thats a great idea, too. I hear its supposed to be finished in 2008. And to think someone from Portland said me recently “there are no Parks in Salem”. I think there are more parks here than Portland. Eugene DEFINITELY has more parks and livability features than Portland does. At least Salem and Eugene don’t dump their sewage directly into the river.


  13. I think there are more parks here than Portland.

    City of Portland Parks and Recreation oversees: 10,000 acres in 250 locations.
    City of Salem Parks Operations Division oversees: 79 locations. (acreage unknown.)
    City of Eugene Parks Operations oversees: 3,500 acres in 109 Locations.

    The number of parks per capita is approximately the same in Salem and Portland, while Eugene has a higher rate of individual locations. Eugene’s acreage per capita is about 20% higher than Portland’s. If you’re curious about relative acreage for all 3 cities, I suggest you call the City of Salem yourself and find out. (You know, basic research stuff, before making wild assertions.)

    At least Salem and Eugene don’t dump their sewage directly into the river.

    You say that as if the City of Portland wasn’t spending hundreds of millions to upgrade it’s sewer system to address the problem.

    You’re also wrong: Salem currently dumps sewage overflows into the Willamette. Like Portland, Salem is constructing upgrades to comply with new regulations:

    Work is currently underway on final design for facilities at the Willow Lake Facility and the new River Road Wet Weather Treatment Facility. This work is necessary because of pressures on the utility caused by growth and age of the physical components, but primarily by the need to increase treatment capacity during winter high flow events that cause raw sewage to overflow to the Willamette River and tributary streams. Federal and State regulations require the elimination of these sanitary sewer overflows under certain storm conditions by 2010 and are the driving force in this facility planning effort.

    Although the City of Eugene doesn’t have sewage overflows with nearly as much regularity as Salem or Portland, it is an issue that affects operations:

    In September of 1999 the Division made the decision to direct its service improvement activities towards the development of
    a formal environmental management system. This decision was made in response to several driving factors: (1) listing of spring Chinook salmon in the Willamette River as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA); (2)
    federal rules restricting sanitary sewer overflows; (3) Clean Water Act provisions for improving water quality in “water quality limited” streams; …

    As someone who used to live on Corvallis, I can say that people there were always interested to know when there was a sewage problem in Eugene.

    Better luck next time, Greg.

    – Bob R.

  14. Although Salem isn’t under the scrutiny that Portland is, their sewer system frequently overflows to the Willamette River.

    From the Statesman Journal:

    Overwhelming the Willamette: For the third time in two months, heavy rains overwhelmed Salem, Oregon’s sewer system, sending sewage into the Willamette River. Signs were posted to warn the public about health risks from bacteria. This great river already has enough pollution problems, as evidenced by its status as one of the 2006 America’s Most Endangered Rivers.

    -Statesman Journal, December 15, 2006

    See also:

  15. Bob,

    Your “research” didn’t give any comparison between the three cities. I still think there are more parks around here (because your list didn’t include the many state parks) than in the densely congested urban concrete heat island up river. I guess my point was Portland likes to think its perfect when it comes to being “green” or “environmental”. It’s not and I wish LA time or NY times newspapers would run that special when they try to entice more people into the state. It’s a giant dirty overpriced slum with a superfund running through its core.

  16. Your “research” didn’t give any comparison between the three cities.

    How so? I stated actual numbers of parks, total acreage where available, and mentioned that Portland and Salem were comparable in parks-per-capita.

    Regarding State Parks, Portland actually has one within its city limits. (Tryon Creek).

    Greg, you can put “research” in quotes all you like, but the simple fact is that you come in here time and time again, often multiple times per day, and make angry/grumpy assertions, which even the simplest bit of research reveal are completely unfounded.

    – Bob R.

  17. Note to Greg: We get your message. You’ve made yourself abundantly clear on your opinion. We live in a toxic sludge, bum ridden, hell-hole of a concrete jungle. I know. You’ve told us. Every day. Every post. Maybe you could give it a rest for a few days at least? As much as I enjoy the colorful visions you create, this blog isn’t titled “Why Greg Hates Portland.”

    Also, a suggestion: if you’re going to reply to Bob R. and use quotation marks in reference to his research (indicating you don’t consider it research), you might want to include a little research or facts of your own in the content of your rebuttal.

    Also, there are no state parks in Salem.

  18. Also, there are no state parks in Salem.

    That is incorrect. Wilson Park and Oregon State Fairgrounds.

  19. Greg,

    1) Given that you’re right about the Oregon State Fairgrounds and Wilson Park, there are just as many state parks within Portland’s Borders, and I’d hardly count 2 State Parks as “many.”

    2) You still haven’t responded to my query with regards to parking in Portland’s downtown core.

  20. Tim – thanks for finding the link. I rode the 7 bus when I worked in Salem a few years ago (for a very short period of time), and it just isn’t as convenient/friendly as, say, a local trolleybus or shuttle route that connects the Amtrak station with downtown – possibly even as an extension of line 24 (West Salem). There is no improved stop near the train station for inbound service and the average Amtrak passenger would have a hard time finding it.

    As for the bus service in the bus lane – there is very little bus service at the Amtrak station – just a handful of busses. A Cherriots bus would cause no operational issues.

    JHB/Greg: Wilson Park is managed as part of the State Capitol; so it isn’t an “Oregon State Park”. (I don’t know why this isn’t done, but it isn’t. But it is a state owned park.)

    The State Fairgrounds was transferred to Oregon State Parks about two years ago after the Legislature got bored and needed to “reorganize” something. Since at that time the Fair was being criticized over something, they decided State Parks should handle it. State Parks didn’t want it but they took it. As Greg pointed out, it is listed on OPRD’s website as a park, and if you haven’t noticed, OPRD has put a LOT of “Oregon State Parks” signs – on every building, at gates, etc.

    Greg – after a rain storm, walk down to Riverfront Park, to the south end of the park underneath the Boise mill complex (near that eco globe sludge ball thingie). There’s a huge CSO outflow down there.

    Downtown Salem used to be…well…an ecological nightmare. That whole area was heavily industrialized until the late 1970s/early 1980s when industry was cleared out. Check out the book “The Southern Pacific in Oregon”; there’s a lot of photographs and even maps of what this area looked like. The SP had an industrial spur that served this area along with the Oregon Electric Railroad.

    The City of Salem is bent on removing the industry on the north side of Center/Marion along Front Street as well. However there is a lot of resistance to this idea, and Salem doesn’t exactly have a lot of money. (Heck, Salem was heavily criticized for building Riverfront Park at the same time they had to nearly shut down their parks operations department.)

  21. Doug,

    1) I never said there were “many” state parks in Salem proper. But that’s a technicality if you want to consider JUST within the city limits or AROUND the Salem area…. And I countered the claim that Portland is the “only” city with a state park within it’s city limits which is incorrect – Salem has TWO.

    2)I have on many occassions not been able to find parking in downtown Portland so I had to drive to several different parkades in order to finally get a spot. They should really put in a system like they have at PDX that shows where free open spots are …. AND BUILD MORE PARKING STRUCTURES. If you believe what Mayor Adams says then they are going to take in 1Million more people. What is Portland now, 600,000? Do you really think all these extra people are going to be riding the snail rail? I don’t think so….. They need more parking or businesses will be happy to locate in Vancouver or Salem where there is ample parking and not this hostility to automobiles.

    Now I feel bad. This discussion started out as bringing trolleys to Vancouver and now I’m talking about how many parks Salem has. I’m sorry. I just wish we had an equivalent to this great blog (and I really mean that, Chris and Bob) for Willamette Valley (or better yet, statewide) transportation discussion.

  22. Greg:

    1) At 3:54 on October 5th you said this:

    I still think there are more parks around here (because your list didn’t include the many state parks)

    I’m not trying to play gotcha with you here, I just dislike the fact that you tend to make wild assertions unsupported by the facts, and when presented by a counterargument which contains facts that refute your point you either don’t respond or pretend you didn’t see the facts in question.

    2) I’m sorry you weren’t able to find parking downtown, there’s no way I can refute your personal experience, I can only respond that if you do a Google search for parking in downtown Portland you come up with a plethora of choices, and based on my personal experience (as someone who works downtown), I’ve had no trouble finding parking downtown, even when my nearest parking lot is full. If you give me a destination in downtown Portland I can give you a list of at least half a dozen lots for you to visit, all within half a mile of your destination, I’m sure one of those will be open for you.

  23. unsupported by the facts

    1) Just like someone said Tryon Park is the “only” park within a city limits. Is that what you call a wild assertion? It’s already been proven in this discussion that Salem has at least one. Also – is Mary S. Young (which by the way my family used to own before giving it to the state) is also in the Portland Metropolitan area, isn’t it? Maybe “technically speaking” Salem isn’t considered a major metropolitan area either. What’s “major” mean anyway? What is the definition of “is”? There are plenty of state parks all around the state, I don’t think one city has more bragging rights than any other when it comes to parks.

    2) I think I’ll just avoid downtown altogether and spare myself the misery. Why would I ever need to go down there anyway since I don’t live there any more?

    This whole discussion is counterproductive, IMHO. It all started because someone told me “there are no parks in Salem, but WE (Portlanders) have Forest Park”. As if Forest Park is unique. Well I guess it is, that’s where the murderers and drug dealers go. Did you see they busted a grow operation right in Forest Park? Portland must be quite proud of their wonderful park.

  24. Just like someone said Tryon Park is the “only” park within a city limits.

    That would be the State of Oregon’s official web site for Tryon Creek State Park. The park you pointed out in Salem may be maintained by the state, but apparently doesn’t qualify as a full-on “State Park” or, conversely, the State of Oregon doesn’t consider Salem to be a “Major Metropolitain Area”.

    But you would know this, had you read the link I already gave you:

    Located only minutes from downtown Portland is Oregon’s only state park within a major metropolitan area.

    You say you work for the state, so perhaps you can rectify this yourself. As a taxpayer (and therefore your indirect employer) I expect nothing but immediate service from you. Get to it. :-)

    – Bob R.

  25. This whole discussion is counterproductive,

    That’s the most correct thing you’ve said all week.

    It all started because someone told me “there are no parks in Salem, but WE (Portlanders) have Forest Park”.

    The first time you quoted this completely unidentified person, who never once posted on this blog, you omitted the forest park bit completely.

    Why are you taking it out on all of us (using incorrect information, no less) based on what some anonymous person who is not a poster on this blog said to you once?

    As if Forest Park is unique.

    It is.

    Well I guess it is,

    Good, that’s progress.

    that’s where the murderers and drug dealers go.

    Nobody ever killed anybody on public property in Salem, and nobody ever grew or consumed pot their either. You do truly live in Paradise. I suggest you start http://www.salemtransportisnotportlandslumsandihatehomelesspeopleandurbandwellersandtransitusers.com — forgive me if I missed some of your more subtle viewpoints.

    Did you see they busted a grow operation right in Forest Park?

    I would imagine something like that could happen, especially when you consider that Forest Park is unique.

    From this link (which you probably won’t read anyway):

    Forest Park now includes over 5,100 wooded acres making it the largest, forested natural area within city limits in the United States.

    Portland must be quite proud of their wonderful park.

    We are, it truly is Wonderful. Salem has a lot of great things going for it, too. After all, it is a part of Oregon, which has a great tradition of preserving open space and protecting farmland, via those land-use laws you so despise.

    Question: Can you provide us with an example of something you actually like, without using it as a means of dissing something else that other people like?

    – Bob R.

  26. Hey, Bob. I pointed out some negative things about Salem, too (high murder rate, ramshackles everywhere, etc.) In fact, I do like Portland. I like Salem, I like Eugene, I like all of Oregon. In fact I have pictures of Portland all over my place. Portland has more things to do, especially after M-F 8-5 (Salem is a very weekday only city, esp. downtown).

    Nobody ever killed anybody on public property in Salem, and nobody ever grew or consumed pot their either. You do truly live in Paradise. I suggest you start

    I never said that. Salem had quite a few murders last year, although I live in Yamhill County which is still considered PORTLAND, not SALEM.

    We are, it truly is Wonderful. Salem has a lot of great things going for it, too. After all, it is a part of Oregon, which has a great tradition of preserving open space and protecting farmland, via those land-use laws you so despise.

    Question: Can you provide us with an example of something you actually like, without using it as a means of dissing something else that other people like?

    Forest Park is wonderful so is Silver Falls State Park and Willamette Mission State Park! Why don’t they include Mary S. Young State Park as being “inside a major metropolitan area”?

    RE: preserving open spaces. Truthfully I am very very torn on the issue. I see the controversy from both sides of the coin. The vitners from California want to have cheap land so they can grow product for the alcoholics cheaply and maximize their profits. The farmers want to cash in so they can retire. Farming is very hard work and they deserve a break. Hard work is a foreign concept to many of the elitist snobs who are trying to put a stop to their plans. The way I would control growth is by preventing people from moving in, not by advertising the area in NY and LA times so even more hordes come in.

    expect nothing but immediate service from you.

    I run computer networks, I really doubt I can enact any sort of policy changes. Sorry – I know I’m great but not THAT great.

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