Open Thread for August, 2010

Because that’s what Tuesdays are for.

181 Comments

181 Responses to Open Thread for August, 2010

  1. jimkarlock
    August 3, 2010 at 5:53 pm Link

    [Moderator: JK’s comment relocated here to the open thread. – Bob R.]

    Off-duty officers say they were attacked near Gateway TriMet platform
    By KATU Communities Staff
    Tuesday, August 3rd, 11:40 am
    Share: Facebook Twitter

    CLACKAMAS, Ore. – A relaxing vacation for a longtime Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Paul Steigleder and his wife Debbie, a Portland police sergeant, came to an abrupt halt Monday afternoon as they rode the red line of the MAX from Portland International Airport to their ultimate destination at the Clackamas Town Center.

    read the whole story here:
    http://clackamas.katu.com/content/duty-officers-say-they-were-attacked-near-gateway-trimet-platform

    And here:
    http://www.koinlocal6.com/news/local/story/Off-duty-Clackamas-Lieutenant-wife-assaulted/K2Pyij16rU-qMok8pQYGXQ.cspx

    And here:
    http://www.kgw.com/news/Off-duty-Clackamas-cop-attacked-at-MAX-station-99865159.html

    Thanks
    JK

  2. Bob R.
    August 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm Link

    Because if those drinking, smoking, rock carrying, unregistered-sex-offending, violent miscreants had only had a car (a small car, supplied at government expense I presume, based on past proposals from JK), they would never gotten around to committing a crime against anyone…

    Light rail is so evil, that even though these attackers were A) confronted by an off-duty police officer, and B) confronted by a TriMet employee, and C) during the attack, confronted by other members of the public, they proceeded with their violence.

    This is clearly caused by Light Rail. Light rail breeds criminals that no amount of human interaction will stop.

  3. EngineerScotty
    August 3, 2010 at 7:31 pm Link

    You misunderstand, Bob.

    Next to owning one’s own home, noting signifies a Fine Upstanding Citizen like automobile ownership! (Legal) possession of a large, expensive durable good is proof positive that one is a worthy individual, unlikely to attack off-duty cops for suggesting you not smoke–were these two men motorists, they would have offered the good deupty a cigarette of his own.

    In cities with no public transit, the dregs of society, unable to get about, are forced to sit at home and watch soap operas–but because the corrupt leaders of the modern-day Sodom in which we live has seen fit to purloin the hard-earned tax dollars of the productive citizenry for the sole purpose of enabling miscreants and ruffians to roam the community at will, often not paying fares, the public at large is in mortal danger from rogues such as this. Whereas highways are the blood vessels of society, rail lines are the lymphatic system–conveying tumors around the body politic, and permitting travesties like this to occur.

    That said, what an off-duty lawman is doing in a notorious place such as a light rail platform is a question which must be asked by his superiors. The only business a peace officer has in such a place is in uniform, for the purpose of rousting the occupants and hauling ’em off to jail.

    I hope for his sake, he and his wife were working undercover.

  4. Bob R.
    August 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm Link

    Once again, Scotty, you have set me completely straight. Well, as completely straight as one can get while owning durable goods in a modern-day Sodom.

  5. Steve S.
    August 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm Link

    I was almost done with some follow up thoughts on the other threads when this story arrived.

    Well guys that was a little too predictable, knees jerk and verbose.
    But I can see some humor in it. And you do enjoy messing with Jim

    As for the real world implications, the incident underscores the need for additional law enforcement on the system and corridors.
    And attempts to expand the system by using the public safety funding needed to address it should be halted.

    That’s how the story is relevant to MLR, Urban Renewal/TIF and the TrImet Board meeting comments from Sheriff Roberts and Fire Chief Kirchhofer.

    This story also feeds the fear among would be riders who perceive the system as unsafe.

    I’m sure they appreciate some humor too but TriMet must get aggressive, fix this problem and get those riders on board.

    Pointing to crimes committed with other modes is not productive.

    TriMet should pull out all of the stops and attack the problem. By turning over, some funding and far more of the task to Washington and Clackamas County law enforcement.

  6. Bob R.
    August 3, 2010 at 9:28 pm Link

    This story also feeds the fear among would be riders who perceive the system as unsafe.

    On that much we agree. But just who is doing the “feeding” and how much is “perception” goes to the heart of the issue.

  7. EngineerScotty
    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm Link

    Road rage indicents, it seems, frequently go unreported, as do numerous other sorts of lawbreaking which is intimately connected to the highway system (drunken and reckless driving, etc.) Only when someone gets killed do these things make the papers.

    But if ANYTHING happens at a MAX platform…

    Which brings up another point. Between the Oregon State Police patrol division, and numerous municipal police forces and sheriff’s departments, there are hundreds if not thousands of uniformed police officers dedicated to roadway safety. (In many cases, officers’ duties extend beyond patrol, of course, but if you count the man-years on traffic patrol across the states, it comes into the thousands). Fire and rescue departments ’round the state also expend a significant amount of hours (and money) responding to traffic accidents. The budget of the OSP Patrol Division is over $100 million (and that’s a big CUT from prior years), the counties and the cities likewise spend hundreds of millions annually on highway enforcement and other emergency services–and it all comes out of the general fund. (A change in state law 20 years ago deprived OSP of gas tax revenue). And unlike transit users, who generally regard a security/law enforcement presence as welcome, many motorists regard traffic enforcement as an intrusion. There are many citizens who would never even consider jumping fares on the train, but regard it as an infringement of their rights when a cop tickets ’em for doing twenty over.

    Yet we don’t hear demands from Steve or other TriMet critics that ODOT and/or motorists fund patrol operations directly. You don’t see the sheriff of Clackamas County, or his counterparts in Washington and Multnomah County, or city police chiefs, or fire chiefs, complaining about new road construction stretching their patrol divisions and paramedic units too thin. There are over 1400 miles of county roads in Clackamas County, and yet the sheriff not only whines about less than three miles of light rail track, but about illegal activities whose only connection to light rail is proximity?

    See the problem?

  8. Steve S.
    August 3, 2010 at 10:38 pm Link

    It’s the criminals doing the feeding and the perception is from crime reports.

    Are you suggesting that you think it is all a fabrication?
    Or if you’re simply dismissing it with a presumption there isn’t any more of a crime problem on the system than anywhere else so therefore it needs no additional attention then you’d apparently be looking at it just like TriMet.
    That’s OK for you but not TriMet. It’s negligent.

    It seems illogical for you to NOT want an agressive law enforcement response to greatly reduce the crime and the perception.

    I have as good as it gets reliable sources and I can asssure you that Washington County also has a major problem on the Westside corridor and Portland with the rest.

    Additional law enforcement is needed system wide.

    Not less.

  9. Bob R.
    August 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm Link

    If you’ve read my comments over the past few years, you’ll see that I do think that more staff presence (in the form of security, supervisors, fare inspectors, and to a certain extent, law enforcement) is desirable, but that I also think that the perception of the level of crime, especially among non-riders, is disproportionately high.

    To put it another way, some structural repair is needed to the roofline but the public perception often seems to be that the whole house is burning down.

  10. Douglas K.
    August 3, 2010 at 11:58 pm Link

    We’re back to this “crime on MAX” thing again? I recall in one of the previous go-rounds on this topic, I looked at the numbers and calculated that if you took a round-trip ride on MAX every day, you could expect to be mugged once every eighty years or so.

    Yeah, crime happens around MAX. It happens a lot of other places, too. But it’s a problem of perception more than anything else. Riding MAX simply isn’t that dangerous. A lot of the crime associated with MAX is vandalism and theft in the park and ride lots — infuriating when it happens to you, but not really a threat to life and limb. As for the people who DO get mugged, it’s a very, very tiny percentage, and only SEEMS like a common occurrence because (a) lots of people ride MAX, and (b) local news hypes the attacks.

    By the way, I ride MAX nearly every day. I frequently catch it downtown after 10 p.m. and get off at 82nd Avenue — statistically the most dangerous station on the entire system, IIRC. Ive been doing this for nearly two decades without incident. And I can tell from years of using that platform that the “most dangerous” station is still a reasonably safe place, even late at night.

  11. jimkarlock
    August 4, 2010 at 3:40 am Link

    Aw come on, guys, can’t you do better than this at downplaying/poking fun at MAX crime (and its victims)?

    Trimet’s ignoring crime has been going on for decades see: http://www.ortem.org/history/

    Thanks
    JK

  12. Curt
    August 4, 2010 at 7:11 am Link

    Here’s your counter point from a non-transit having city… 2 dead, 6 injured (in Indianapolis) by masked man; escapes in car

    http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100803/NEWS02/308030031/Indianapolis-shooting-2-killed-6-hurt-in-police-say

    Duhamell said the gunman had been wearing a ski mask, and that he fired from the street and then a car before fleeing. It wasn’t clear if a getaway driver was also involved.

  13. Steve S.
    August 4, 2010 at 7:18 am Link

    That’s something Doug.
    “We’re back to the crime on MAX things again”

    No. Crime is back at MAX and we’re talking about it.

    But you looked at the numbers and calculated there is no crime problem associated with MAX.

    Law enforcement must be wrong and the media should stop reporting the crime.

    Well done, you’ve used the same approach TriMet uses for every problem they have.

  14. EngineerScotty
    August 4, 2010 at 8:04 am Link

    But you looked at the numbers and calculated there is no crime problem associated with MAX.

    No, we aren’t saying that.

    We’re saying that a) the problem seems to get over-reported (a subject which is barely on topic here); moreover, that b) transit seems to be held to a higher standard in this regard.

    Topic “a” is a well-documented phenomenon, and not unique to Portland.

    As far ast topic b, it’s self-evident by the content of this thread. You complain that TriMet doesn’t adequately “police” MAX, and seem to suggest that security on MAX is TriMet’s “responsiblity”–meaning, apparently, that TriMet ought to be paying for security details (whether provided by its own transit police, or by local law enforcement) out of ITS budget,

    But where’s the call for ODOT to reimburse the sheriff, or OSP, for the high cost of patrolling the highways? Traffic patrol is assumed to be a normal duty of the police; however transit patrol is routinely described as an imposition on the cops that the transit authority ought to be paying for. Some states do place the “highway patrol” under the aegis of the state DOT (Wyoming is one example), but in most states, including Oregon, state troopers are part of a larger law enforcement agency whose budget comes from the general fund.

    I’m all for more security on TriMet. There’s an important conversation that needs to be had here. But public transit systems are part of the public domain just as much as public roads are; and funding for the policing of both should be placed on an equitable footing.

  15. Jason Barbour
    August 4, 2010 at 8:41 am Link

    We’re saying that a) the problem seems to get over-reported (a subject which is barely on topic here); moreover, that b) transit seems to be held to a higher standard in this regard.
    Agreed. Even in Portland, 15% of the population commute by transit regularly (even though a lot more use it for other purposes; the 15% number was on the Portland Plan website which has been replaced by a site that makes it difficult to quickly locate specific information), meaning to the media that 85% of their total potential readership doesn’t. This helps perpetuate the fraudulent argument that regular transit use is for “other people.”

    I’m all for more security on TriMet. There’s an important conversation that needs to be had here.
    Something I’ve wondered for a while is if TriMet’s insistence on using 40′ buses has to do with public perception of security concerns, i.e., one employee 40′ away versus one employee 60′ away. Something I’ve wondered is what would happen if TriMet were required to have one extra employee per operating MAX train and/or maybe even one per operating vehicle, including a retrofitted door operating system where all passengers must board through one particular door and present valid fare while boarding, same as on buses.

    Here’s your counter point from a non-transit having city… 2 dead, 6 injured (in Indianapolis) by masked man; escapes in car
    To be fair, the point should be that a crime was committed with a car as an accessory to the crime, versus being a “non-transit” city. To be fair, they do have a bus-only transit system, IndyGo, although not with the coverage or usability of what we have in Portland.
    http://www.indygo.net/routes.htm

  16. george
    August 4, 2010 at 8:51 am Link

    i never reported it officially, but here it goes:

    a few years ago, while biking downtown in the middle of a lane and keeping up with traffic, a car ran me into a parked car intentionally. at the next red light, i approached the driver and he got out of his car and tried to assault me. i biked away.

    so based on that, people are not safe in portland till everyone stops driving.

  17. EngineerScotty
    August 4, 2010 at 8:56 am Link

    George, it’s your fault for riding a bicycle. Dont you know that?

    :)

  18. Daniel Ronan
    August 4, 2010 at 9:16 am Link

    Anyone going to the OTREC Transportation Summit September 10th? It should be a good time!

  19. EngineerScotty
    August 4, 2010 at 10:37 am Link

    The Real Trvth about bike riding: http://www.denverpost.com/election2010/ci_15673894

    :)

  20. Just Saying
    August 4, 2010 at 10:46 am Link

    As far as I can tell no crime was committed on MAX. It happened while people were trying to get home from the airport. Its clearly the airline’s fault.

  21. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 10:57 am Link

    Further complicating the laying of blame, Gateway Transit Center supports 3 MAX lines, 7 bus lines, hundreds of public Park & Ride spaces and hundreds of private medical facility spaces, and just across the street, the Fred Meyer and mall area parking lots.

    Clackamas Town Center Transit Center (CTCTC) suppots 1 MAX line, 11 bus lines, 750 Park & Ride spaces, and the mall parking lots and garage.

  22. Curt
    August 4, 2010 at 11:24 am Link

    I live in Indy, I know all about IndyGO. It’s a shell of a transit system. But we (indy) are working to change that. ;-)

    It was simply an example how crime can be just as out of hand in equally as large of cities, who dont have MAX to deal with. Bus related crime doesnt even appear on the radar here as a result though

  23. Douglas K.
    August 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm Link

    The assault happened at Clackamas Town Center. This is clearly one more example of the explosion in mall crime.

  24. Douglas K.
    August 4, 2010 at 1:26 pm Link

    On a completely different note, check out this approach to sharing the road.

  25. jimkarlock
    August 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm Link

    Jason Barbour Says: Even in Portland, 15% of the population commute by transit regularly (even though a lot more use it for other purposes;
    JK: That’s not what the fhwy says (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ctpp/jtw/jtw4.htm):
    For portland:
    1980—— 7.2% took transit to work
    1990—— 4.7% took transit to work
    2000—— 5.7% took transit to work
    (2000 is latest year available from this source.)

    At 5.7%, you can see why some people claim tranist has NO effect on reducing congestion, except to the core.)

    Jason Barbour Says: the 15% number was on the Portland Plan website which has been replaced by a site that makes it difficult to quickly locate specific information),
    JK: Try finding a credible source, not a transit promotional group.

    Jason Barbour Says: meaning to the media that 85% of their total potential readership doesn’t. This helps perpetuate the fraudulent argument that regular transit use is for “other people.”
    JK: BTW, that same source shows 85% commuted in cars in 2000.

    Jason Barbour Says: I’m all for more security on TriMet. There’s an important conversation that needs to be had here.
    JK: Do you maen like this: The Portland Tri-Met police unit, which will start patrolling buses and MAX trains May 15, will be flexible and innovative, officials at the Portland Police Bureau promised Friday. Could have been written yesterday, but it is from the Oregonian, April 30, 1989. See: ortem.org/history/ Since the first MAX opened, Trimet always promises to solve the problem, does a big push, then quietly slips behind.

    Jason Barbour Says: Something I’ve wondered for a while is if TriMet’s insistence on using 40′ buses has to do with public perception of security concerns, i.e., one employee 40′ away versus one employee 60′ away.
    JK: My guess is that it is the fact that you have to walk past a human to get on the bus, as opposed to MAX’x driver being in a cage.

    Jason Barbour Says: Something I’ve wondered is what would happen if TriMet were required to have one extra employee per operating MAX train
    JK: Trimet is a little low on spending money right now. And this would make the toy trian even more expenive to operate than the bus.

    Thanks
    JK

  26. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 1:46 pm Link

    as opposed to MAX?x driver being in a cage.

    Question:

    Does an employee who works in an office which has a door which locks to prevent unauthorized persons from just waltzing in work “in a cage”?

    Does a movie-theater box office worker work “in a cage”?

    Just want to be clear on the subtleties of your ever-evolving transit put-downs.

    As for your federal transit stats, that’s the percentage of people who commute via transit on any given day, not the percentage of people in the region who might use it on some regular, but less than daily basis.

    TriMet serves a far greater percentage of the population than a given daily commute share would indicate.

    But you know that, as this has been pointed out to you dozens of times before.

  27. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm Link

    From the TriMet Customer Profile (PDF):

    As of 2009, 81% of adults in the service district ride TriMet to some degree. This is on par with the highest level of ridership ever recorded–80% in 2001. Meanwhile, at 43%, those riding TriMet a couple of times a month or more aligns with ridership levels achieved in the years 2000 to 2007.

    *Source: TriMet 2009 Attitude & Awareness Study, is a random telephone survey conducted among a representative sample of 1,022 adults (16 years of age +), residing in the TriMet service district. The survey was conducted from Nov 2009 – Jan 2010

  28. jimkarlock
    August 4, 2010 at 1:59 pm Link

    Bob R. Says: Question:
    Does an employee who works in an office which has a door which locks to prevent unauthorized persons from just waltzing in work “in a cage”?
    jk: As usual, you miss the point. The point was that passengers walk past a bus driver to get on the bus, not so on MAX, where the driver is in a cage (ie: isolated from the passengers.)

    Bob R. Says: As for your federal transit stats, that’s the percentage of people who commute via transit on any given day, not the percentage of people in the region who might use it on some regular, but less than daily basis.
    jk: But the number on any given day is a measure of the average usage. If those particular people change around, who cares, it is still the average number that counts in terms of congestion relief, cost per person etc.

    Bob R. Says: But you know that, as this has been pointed out to you dozens of times before.
    jk: And it is still irrelevant nit picking.

    Thanks
    JK

  29. jimkarlock
    August 4, 2010 at 2:04 pm Link

    Bob,
    Do you have any comment on Trimet’s constantly promising to improve security. With little result. Decade after decade?

    Thanks
    JK

  30. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm Link

    As usual, you miss the point.

    As usual, you cloud out useful discussion by by using unnecessary derisive, dismissive rhetoric.

    And it is still irrelevant nit picking.

    No, JK, it is completely relevant. You’re the one who’s trying to move the goalposts here (again).

    Jason Barbour originally said (quoting the old Portland Plan web site from memory):

    even in Portland, 15% of the population commute by transit regularly

    The key issue here is the word “regularly”. By disregarding Jason’s statement and choosing the federal stats that you did, you defined regularly quite strictly to “daily”.

    Now, you’ve disregarded TriMet’s random survey results, which are another data point and a way to look at “regularly” vs. “occasionally”.

    The fact that you’re being called on this shifting of the goalposts from what Jason actually said is not “nit picking”, it’s “correcting the record”.

  31. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm Link

    Do you have any comment on Trimet’s constantly promising to improve security.

    Yes, TriMet operates under various budget constraints that have been discussed to death here, and has chosen a particular combination of priorities to fund.

    I’ve been quite on the record in stating that I wish TriMet would shift priorities more toward increased staff presence in the system to improve real security and perceived security.

    In fact, I already said that (again) in this very thread.

    Do you have any comment on why you constantly ignore what I actually write?

  32. jimkarlock
    August 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm Link

    Bob R. Says: Jason Barbour originally said (quoting the old Portland Plan web site from memory):
    even in Portland, 15% of the population commute by transit regularly

    The key issue here is the word “regularly”. By disregarding Jason’s statement and choosing the federal stats that you did, you defined regularly quite strictly to “daily”.
    JK: Actually we both missed the key point:
    Jason’s data is for Portland only & mine is for the MSA, a much closer match to Trimet’s service area.

    Bob R. Says: Now, you’ve disregarded TriMet’s random survey results, which are another data point and a way to look at “regularly” vs. “occasionally”.
    JK: Frankly, I don’t trust the claims coming out of Trimet any more than I trust much of Portland’s self serving claims. The federal census data is widely considered credible.

    Thanks
    JK

  33. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm Link

    Frankly, I don’t trust the claims coming out of Trimet any more than I trust much of Portland’s self serving claims.

    Well that’s just wonderful for you. TriMet’s claims were backed up by a random telephone survey (source provided, by me, in the post, above, in case you missed it again). If you have a problem with the polling firm or the specific methodology, say it, but don’t just toss out the claim because you don’t trust TriMet in general.

    I seem to remember you telling Just Saying how wrong it was to categorically dismiss the work that comes out of outfits like the Cascade Policy Institute, even if a subset of their claims are demonstrably wrong.

    You’ve lectured us many times on not being dismissive of sources in general but rather to look at specific facts.

    The specific fact before us is a random telephone survey.

    What’s wrong with it?

  34. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 3:24 pm Link

    The MSA includes portions of Vancouver/Clark County, which do not have as extensive of a transit service as the TriMet service area, so that’s going to drag the daily commute share total down.

  35. Jason McHuff
    August 4, 2010 at 3:27 pm Link

    Overall, if a person really wants to stay safe, they should get a concrete bunker (such as Kelly Butte if it were in better condition) and never leave it. The bottom line is that things happen but how you get places is by taking chances.

    And as for the number of transit commuters, even if they only use transit sometimes, it still helps and is better than if they drove all the time. Like other things mentioned here, it’s not all-or-nothing. Also, it could be that some aren’t commuting at all on the other days.

    In addition, it is only fair to measure where there is actually decent transit service and commuting by transit is truly feasible.

  36. jimkarlock
    August 4, 2010 at 3:49 pm Link

    Bob R. Says: Well that’s just wonderful for you. TriMet’s claims were backed up by a random telephone survey (source provided, by me, in the post, above, in case you missed it again)
    JK: Actually you linked to a PR piece from Trimet, not the actual survey.

    Bob R. Says: . If you have a problem with the polling firm or the specific methodology, say it, but don’t just toss out the claim because you don’t trust TriMet in general.
    JK: What poling firm, what methodology – you linked to a PR piece.

    Bob R. Says: I seem to remember you telling Just Saying how wrong it was to categorically dismiss the work that comes out of outfits like the Cascade Policy Institute, even if a subset of their claims are demonstrably wrong.
    JK: Did I?? (Especially the “even if a subset of their claims are demonstrably wrong.” part.)

    Bob R. Says: You’ve lectured us many times on not being dismissive of sources in general but rather to look at specific facts.
    JK: How is that relevant? We haven’t looked at the specific facts yet, just a PR piece.

    Thanks
    JK

  37. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 4:02 pm Link

    We haven’t looked at the specific facts yet, just a PR piece.

    The “specific facts” were right there in the “PR sheet” including the basis by which those facts were gathered.

    If you think TriMet is lying about the very nature of the survey, please present “specific facts” proving this to be the case.

    Did I?? (Especially the “even if a subset of their claims are demonstrably wrong.” part.)

    A: Yes, you did lecture Just Saying. No, the “even if a subset of there claims are demonstrably long” is my assertion. You’ve never even conceded that much despite past evidence.

    Meanwhile, I’ve already asked TriMet for a copy of the actual survey.

  38. jimkarlock
    August 4, 2010 at 4:50 pm Link

    Bob R. Says: The “specific facts” were right there in the “PR sheet” including the basis by which those facts were gathered.
    JK: No, just Trimet’s interpretation of the actual survey data. You appear to agree, since you have requested a copy of the actual survey (below).

    Bob R. Says: If you think TriMet is lying about the very nature of the survey, please present “specific facts” proving this to be the case.
    JK: Can’t without the actual survey.

    Bob R. Says: (quoting JK) Did I?? (Especially the “even if a subset of their claims are demonstrably wrong.” part.)

    A: Yes, you did lecture Just Saying. No, the “even if a subset of there claims are demonstrably long” is my assertion. You’ve never even conceded that much despite past evidence.
    JK: OK, so you embellished it to the point of changing the meaning.

    Now lets deal with your original claim:
    I seem to remember you telling Just Saying how wrong it was to categorically dismiss the work that comes out of outfits like the Cascade Policy Institute
    here is what I actually said:
    July 30, 2010 11:24 AM
    Please stop the ad hominems against Cascade just because you don’t like to hear the truth.

    and:
    Just Saying Says: The Cascade Policy Institute starts with a conclusion and marshals facts to support it. You can almost count on its analysis to be distorted.
    JK: Got any evidence of that? BTW, do you disagree with them on drug policy?

    I don’t recall seeing his evidence!

    So,I have to ask: where is the source of your claim that I told someone “how wrong it was to categorically dismiss the work that comes out of outfits like the Cascade Policy Institute”

    Thanks
    JK

  39. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 4:59 pm Link

    You appear to agree, since you have requested a copy of the actual survey

    I requested the actual survey because I want to see the crosstabs to find out what other useful information, if any, is in there, as well as the margin of error. Unless serious methodological flaws are found, I have no problem with the claim that most adults in our region use TriMet at about 4/5 “to some degree”.

    Can you point me to any other survey of people in our region that says far fewer use TriMet at least to “some degree”?

  40. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 5:02 pm Link

    JK, just yesterday at 3:32am, you said:

    “Please stop the ad hominems against Cascade just because you don’t like to hear the truth. Or can you point out some real errors on their part as opposed to just telling you things you prefer to ignore?”

    Yes, I do characterize that remark as you telling someone that it was wrong to categorically dismiss the work of Cascade Policy institute.

    You’re dismissing the work of TriMet similarly to the person you were admonishing.

    I’ve can even refer you to a post where you stated that TriMet’s data was “end of story” for you when it supported the assertions you so often posit on this blog.

  41. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm Link

    This reminds me of the time a few years ago when JK completely dismissed a study from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute:

    Victoria Transport Policy Institute is a highly distorted source of mis-information. I am surprised you present it with a straight face.

    At the time, JK’s claim sent me on a Google Search of the top 100 hits on Victoria Transport Policy Institute and I could not find evidence of the outfit being regarded as “highly distorted”, except for a single post by one of JK’s regular sources, Wendell Cox. Wendell went so far as to invoke Copernicus’s persecution at the hands of the Church.

    So one could be forgiven for posting from a VTPI study with a “straight face”.

    JK never went on to provide specific information as to why the study was wrong (in his view), even though a link was provided, from the very beginning, to the complete study.

    So for JK, it’s perfectly OK to dismiss the work of an entire “Institute”, at least that one, while it is not OK for others to ignore a different “Institute”.

  42. jimkarlock
    August 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm Link

    Bob R. Says:
    JK, just yesterday at 3:32am, you said:

    “Please stop the ad hominems against Cascade just because you don’t like to hear the truth. Or can you point out some real errors on their part as opposed to just telling you things you prefer to ignore?”

    Yes, I do characterize that remark as you telling someone that it was wrong to categorically dismiss the work of Cascade Policy institute.
    JK: You left out the little detail that he was unable to point to any real errors (as opposed to differences of opinion ans occasional errors.) Anyone who follows Trimet knows they sometimes slightly embellish the facts in their PR.

    Bob R. Says: I’ve can even refer you to a post where you stated that TriMet’s data was “end of story” for you when it supported the assertions you so often posit on this blog.
    JK: Please do so that I can add it to my archive.

    Thanks
    JK

  43. Just Saying
    August 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm Link

    Bob –

    Who are you trying to convince? Jim does not trust Trimet. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact that distrust is essential to virtually everything he says here as well as all the other critiques of Trimet by the like-minded.

    It is not the same as my refusal to accept “information” from the Cascade Policy Institutes or Reason or Cato, whose defined missions include opposition to government operated services like Trimet. But you are not going to get much information out of Trimet that discourages transit use or suggests it is unimportant.

  44. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm Link

    Please do so that I can add it to my archive.

    Correction, not “end of story”, but “end of dicussion [sic]” (June 7, 2:08pm)…

    One early story that I vividly recall was my mentioning that buses use more energy than cars sparked a somewhat heated question: “who told you that!” Simple answer, since I had actually bothered to get the data, was: “TriMet”. End of dicussion.

    TriMet data is the “end of discussion” when JK says so, otherwise it is not to be trusted.

  45. jimkarlock
    August 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm Link

    Bob R. Says: Correction, not “end of story”, but “end of dicussion [sic]” (June 7, 2:08pm)…

    One early story that I vividly recall was my mentioning that buses use more energy than cars sparked a somewhat heated question: “who told you that!” Simple answer, since I had actually bothered to get the data, was: “TriMet”. End of dicussion.

    TriMet data is the “end of discussion” when JK says so, otherwise it is not to be trusted.
    JK: No Bob, the fact that I use data from Trimet, left the Trimet advocate with no comeback.

    The lack of him being able to challenge data from his side was what caused the “end of discussion” as in the discussion ended. I did not declare the discussion over.

    Thanks
    JK

  46. jimkarlock
    August 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm Link

    Just Saying Says: It is not the same as my refusal to accept “information” from the Cascade Policy Institutes or Reason or Cato, whose defined missions include opposition to government operated services like Trimet.
    JK: Defined mission?? Please provide a citation.

    Thanks
    JK

  47. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm Link

    The lack of him being able to challenge data from his side

    The fact of the matter, JK, as has been amply demonstrated by now, is that you were using TriMet data to make your argument. You’ll freely use data from sources you explicitly state you don’t trust when you think it will stymie an opponent.

    Cherry-picking like that is a popular junior high school debating tactic, but not an intellectually honest way to approach a productive discussion.

    And that wasn’t the first (or last) time you’ve argued from standpoints that you don’t actually endorse, support, or trust. Unless you’re going to label an argument as being “devil’s advocate” or in some other clear language, it’s highly disingenuous.

  48. Bob R.
    August 4, 2010 at 6:17 pm Link

    Oh, and JK, what you just said here completely contradicts what you were saying on June 7th:

    What I found was APPALLING. And it all supported John’s claims. The bus actually used more energy than many readily available cars, MAX kills people at 2 ½ times the rate of cars, both bus & LRT cost much more than cars. Eventually I also found evidence of what we all knew – transit is also very slow compared to driving!

    You’re talking about your own opinion of the data. So apparently you do trust _that_ TriMet data.

    Sheesh.

  49. Dave H
    August 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm Link

    Okay, I missed a bunch of posts, but I really want to address this one:

    No. Crime is back at MAX and we’re talking about it.

    But you looked at the numbers and calculated there is no crime problem associated with MAX.

    Law enforcement must be wrong and the media should stop reporting the crime.

    Well done, you’ve used the same approach TriMet uses for every problem they have.

    I did look at the number released to Bob by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, and I’ll say that for them to declare any change more than a correlation they’re being deceitful.

    They didn’t adjust for a number of areas that could effect the numbers, and used some broad definitions to make their point. It was a whole 3 pages of data they used to make their point if I’m not mistaken.

    Crimes are being reported more and more criminals are being caught. We don’t know if more people are in the areas, and in one study, the area of the study wasn’t even clearly defined.

    It’s very possible the per capita number of crimes since MAX opened is less with the data given by the CCSO, and that more people are in the area increasing the raw number of crimes. Their methodology is very questionable and ignores a number of external factors, so they should probably provide a few more answers before we unquestionably believe their statements on this topic.

  50. Jason McHuff
    August 4, 2010 at 10:46 pm Link

    On an actually different subject, I now have the entire ~3 hour TriMet July 2010 Board Meeting available. In addition, I should also have the Bike & Ride opening up by tomorrow and the Safety & Service Excellence Task Force soon.

  51. GregT
    August 5, 2010 at 1:26 am Link

    They should have someone with a scanner to scan licenses or state IDs for everyone boarding a transit vehicle. Anyone who’s got a warrant or past criminal record is denied boarding. Simple! That would help keep the criminals from riding.

  52. Steve S
    August 5, 2010 at 7:54 am Link

    Dave H

    I’d like to see you apply that kind of sketisism and creative presumtions to TriMet claims.
    But not the predetermined conclusion part.

    Your suggestion that all of the law enforcement and security involved has not done what yo have or is deliberately being deceitful is more than a little ridiculous.

    The crime reports are what they are. They are also consistent with previous lines and the ongoing problems there. Furthermore, crime dropped county wide each of the prior 5 years. Only in the green line study area did it go up.
    Now Dave the expert is claiming it never even went up. Not even TriMet sways so far from reality.
    One major CTC store alone saw their shoplifting more than double during the study period. It’s not because MAX was simply delivering a great proportianate number of overall shoppers.

    Whatever “adjustments” you think should be made is no way to address the real problem.
    You “don’t know” and choose to assume there is no problem. That flies in the face of everyone who’s been following and attetping to deal with crime along MAX.

    You’re free to belive there is no problem but yo shold stay clear of making of things to desparage law enforcement.

    Your imagining things and calling them “very possible” is a methodology that is far more questionable and deceitful.

    You might want to also consider the police inteviews where criminals tell cops how they use MAX. Did you think cops simply presumed things like you do?

    Or you may want to run your theories by the new TriMet Security Commander Krebs.
    Perhaps you would find him credible?

  53. Bob R.
    August 5, 2010 at 10:24 am Link

    They should have someone with a scanner to scan licenses or state IDs for everyone boarding a transit vehicle.

    Well, gee, there’s a cost-effective pro-liberty proposal.

  54. nuovorecord
    August 5, 2010 at 1:25 pm Link

    “They should have someone with a scanner to scan licenses or state IDs for everyone boarding a transit vehicle. Anyone who’s got a warrant or past criminal record is denied boarding. Simple! That would help keep the criminals from riding.”

    Microchipping would be simpler. ;-)

  55. R A Fontes
    August 5, 2010 at 2:12 pm Link

    A truly different (trolley) bus concept. It’s in Chinese, but easy to follow and definitely worth the effort.

  56. Jason Barbour
    August 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm Link

    In news regarding related transportation blogs, “Rantings of a TriMet Bus Driver” appears gone for good.

    I’d just like to take a moment to publicly thank Al M. for a candid, no-holds-barred look at what TriMet Operators really deal with on a day-to-day basis; providing more information to any/all (well, OK, at least one person) who’s attended the meetings, open houses, hearings, etc., clamoring for more information, and get blank looks from staff who says something like “this IS the ‘more’ information!”; as well as videos of TriMet Board Meetings.

  57. Jason McHuff
    August 5, 2010 at 11:20 pm Link

    I also now have video of the opening ceremony and a tour of the Sunset Transit Center Bike & Ride up.

  58. Just Saying
    August 6, 2010 at 7:37 am Link

    Its too bad Al’s blog is no longer there. I think he added a lot to the discussion by forcing people to at least consider the issues from a different point of view. Even if I often thought that point of view was highly skewed.

    Its not clear if the Chinese video is using buses or rail. Either way, the idea of elevating transit above the existing right of way is not really new. The idea of using vehicles that elevated over traffic, rather than elevating the tracks, is an interesting concept. But, as the video seems to suggest, it requires some ability to prevent the automobile traffic from colliding with the transit vehicle while passing under it.

  59. Just Saying
    August 6, 2010 at 7:49 am Link

    On crime. I would be outraged if Trimet said crime was not their problem, regardless of the level.They are a public agency responsible for making transit as safe as possible.

    But the Clackamas County sheriff is primarily responsible for crime. They seem to be trying to point the finger somewhere else, instead of doing their job. If they think there is a crime problem, the question is what are they doing about it?

    This crime didn’t happen on transit, it happened on the sheriff’s turf. Maybe he needs to reassign some staff to deal with it. Or maybe he already has, which is why drug arrests and other reported crimes are up at Clackamas Town Center.

  60. Just Saying
    August 6, 2010 at 7:56 am Link

    “The crime reports are what they are.”

    And what they are is not very reliable measures of crime levels. When a law enforcement agency use the raw data that way, they are blowing smoke.

  61. Just Saying
    August 6, 2010 at 8:05 am Link

    “Furthermore, crime dropped county wide each of the prior 5 years. Only in the green line study area did it go up. ”

    Right, the only difference between Clackamas Town Center and the rest of the county is that it has a light rail stop. You can find dozens of large regional shopping centers all over the county.

    Lets be clear, the Clackamas County sheriff may have done a more sophisticated analysis that says MAX caused crime to increase at Clackamas Town Center. But their public comments don’t indicate that. They indicate a public agency looking for someone else to blame for a problem that they are responsible for dealing with. It might behoove people to remember that sheriff is an elected official – aka politician.

  62. Steve S.
    August 6, 2010 at 10:59 am Link

    JS,

    Your baseless meandering around this crime issue has gotten to be comical.
    You have’nt any understanding of what is involved, to what extent the Sheriff office used the crime reports or what efforts have been and are being pursuied by anyone involved.

    You could not be more wet on this.

    So where exactly are you coming from with these uninformed suggestions, accusations and speculations?

    You’ve put words in the Sheriff’s mouth and misrepresented everything about the story and problem from every angle.

    What are you up to?

    Are you “just saying” what pops into your mind in an advocacy to defend TriMet and deflect any critisism.

    That’s exactly how it reads.

    It would be only your free speech if you were not also misrepresenting your knowledge of the circumstances, background and those involved.

    But you have crossed the line into propagandizing and smearing.

    You are out of line, sir.

  63. al m
    August 6, 2010 at 1:25 pm Link

    Everyone who participates in active forums such as Portland Transport better pay attention to:

    THIS!

  64. Jason Barbour
    August 6, 2010 at 6:08 pm Link

    It looks like C-TRAN PTBA voters will get two ballot measures in November 2011: one for continued C-TRAN operations, the other for light rail. Still needs final approval.

    Coverage from 3 sources:

    http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2010/08/05/vancouverites-will-vote-on-light-rail-tax (Comments there include a typical comment from a regular Portland Transport lurker ;) )

    http://www.columbian.com/news/2010/aug/04/commissioners-prefer-light-rail-vote/

    http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2010/08/02/daily40.html

  65. Max
    August 7, 2010 at 3:18 am Link

    re: MAX crime

    Forgive me if this has already been said; since I largely ignore all of the comments due to the continual non-productive regurgitative arguments between Karlock + others, but…

    It seems like these high profile cases are the result of someone deciding it was their duty to tell someone else how they should act.

    Ex: Off-duty officer tells two men to stop smoking/drinking on the platform

    Ex: Chilcote (the “poor elderly gresham man”) “chastised the boys, telling them their mothers should be ashamed at how they treat others.”

    I think the moral of the story is: maybe it’s best to keep comments like these to yourself. In bringing this up, what are the chances this will actually affect change in the other person’s behavior?

    I don’t think these people should have been assaulted as a result of their comments; but I think they certainly played a role in escalating the situation.

    Maybe next time it would be better to tell an operator or call the police, or….(ready for it?)…..JUST WALK AWAY.

  66. Ron Swaren
    August 7, 2010 at 11:32 am Link

    I don’t think these people should have been assaulted as a result of their comments; but I think they certainly played a role in escalating the situation. Maybe next time it would be better to tell an operator or call the police, or….(ready for it?)…..JUST WALK AWAY.

    Uhhh….this is a serious crime. And it is never wrong to point out conduct to someone who is violating the law–even at a MAX station. An officer of the law is “a person of trust” at all times, not only when on duty, and a higher standard is to be expected. “Person of trust” means someone, who by their vocation, people feel they can turn to in times of peril. For example, a child can go to: a schoolteacher, a cop, an elected official–and seek help without fear of abuse—because that person has been vetted to have good character. A lot of people in private employment are not “persons of trust” although on an individual basis they may be completely trustworthy.

    Is crime higher per capita in the MAX system? I don’t know.

  67. Jason Barbour
    August 7, 2010 at 11:35 am Link

    It seems like these high profile cases are the result of someone deciding it was their duty to tell someone else how they should act.

    I’ve noticed that, too.

    Another high-profile incident was when the Vancouver woman was assaulted on the MAX Yellow Line for “asking” the gang to be quiet. Again, an unfortunate situation that happened when the later victim intervened.

    Having said that, it’s unfortunate that our society no longer has base-level norms regarding public behavior. We don’t even value base-level verbal communication between people.

    Do I think people should have the right to a worry-free ride? Yes. Is it worth getting left for dead (as the case with some situations) pursuing it? No.

  68. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 11:41 am Link

    I rather think the problem is a lack of people getting slightly involved. If there were greater pressure against truly anti-social behavior in a closed environment, perhaps things would go a bit better.

    Middle age is setting in, but I do seem to remember a greater willingness, when I was a child, of random adults to chide or discipline other people’s kids who were out of line, etc. (Somking, fighting, cussing, that sort of thing.)

    Nowadays, if you shush a kid who’s yelling in a restaurant, you’re just as likely to get heat from that kid’s absent-until-just-then parents.

    Maybe rather than just walking away, we can just send a text. That’ll get the message across in a contemporary manner. :-) “U kidz offs me lawn.”

  69. Max
    August 7, 2010 at 2:25 pm Link

    BTW: I should say that I think saying something is honorable, but the point is you bear a certain amount of risk when you do that. What grates me the wrong way, however, is when they (ex: Chilcote) turn around and sue TriMet.

    The same sort of situation could have happened on the sidewalk of a public street. Does that mean you should be able to sue the city because it’s their sidewalk?

  70. Just Saying
    August 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm Link

    “You are out of line, sir. ”

    I don’t think it is out of line to remind people that raw reported crime statistics don’t accurately reflect crime levels. There are large numbers of crimes that go unreported. Variations in reported crime variations are caused by a lot of other factors than the level of crimes committed.

    It also isn’t out of line to point out that the Sheriff is a politician. He has a reported crime increase on his hands. And Trimet is an attractive scapegoat right now. There are a variety of people who will pick up and repeat any criticisms of Trimet operations, as we have seen here.

  71. jimkarlock
    August 7, 2010 at 4:55 pm Link

    There was also a major increase in crime in the mall. While crime in the overall County has been declining for years.

    BTW, did you happen to catch the report on the riot on the Washington DC subway:
    Injuries, arrests after massive 70-person Metro brawl
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/07/AR2010080700075.html?hpid=newswell

    Light rail costs too much and does too little.

    Thanks
    JK

    Thanks
    JK

  72. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 5:09 pm Link

    There was also a major increase in crime in the mall.

    Not proven. There was, at best, an increase in “calls” (which mean a number of things) and “arrests”. Increased vigilance and increased staff presence can lead to these things. And its no coincidence that additional officers, many of whom were funded by TriMet, were assigned to the area at the time of the green line opening.

    It may very well be that there has been some kind of increase in actual crimes, but Clackamas County hasn’t done the homework to separate correlation from causation. Quite simply, those who are touting these stats as though they are conclusive about the Green Line and crime, are applying far more lax standards to Clackamas County than they are to TriMet and other pro-transit stats.

    did you happen to catch the report on the riot on the Washington DC subway

    Yes, it says, among other things:

    It was not immediately known what prompted the fighting.

    By JK’s logic, we should get rid of hockey games, too. And soccer matches. Dangerous stuff.

    Note that the report doesn’t do a damn thing to indicate overall crime rates or risks of particular crimes for DC Metro riders.

    But that didn’t stop JK from using this single incident in the same comment where he’s defending his particular view of Clackamas County’s assertions.

    Sort of like trying to use a single weather event to prove or disprove man-made you-know-what.

    Oh, and the DC metro isn’t “Light Rail”, by any standard.

  73. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm Link

    BTW, did you happen to catch the report on the road rage shooting in the Tuscaloosa Northport Electrical Supply parking lot?
    Man shot in road rage incident in Northport
    http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20100622/news/100629924

    How much you want to bet that isn’t counted as a car-related injury?

  74. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm Link

    BTW, did you happen to catch the report on the road rage ear-slicing in the Helena Wal-Mart parking lot?
    Extreme road rage: Driver’s ear sliced in altercation
    http://helenair.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/article_33f255e4-a1f4-11df-805a-001cc4c03286.html

    (Note that both these incidents involved people getting involved when perhaps they shouldn’t have, if you want to use the logic used by other commenters suggesting that perhaps a motivating factor in transit-related incidents is people speaking up when they could remain quiet.)

  75. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm Link

    BTW, did you happen to catch the report on the road rage killing on a road in San Antonio?
    San Antonio road rage incident leads to driver’s death
    http://www.kens5.com/home/Road-rage-incident-leaves-driver–99847334.html

    “Richardson got angered when the driver in front of him stopped to buy flowers.” (No relation…)

  76. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm Link

    BTW, did you happen to catch the report on the road rage shooting on the Mopac Expressway in Austin?
    Bullets fly on MoPac in apparent case of road rage
    http://www.kvue.com/news/Bullets-fly-on-MoPac-in-apparent-case-of-road-rage-100070804.html

  77. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm Link

    BTW, did you happen to catch the report on the road rage incident recorded on Bonita Beach Road in Naples, Florida?
    Caught on video: Lee deputies investigating road rage case
    http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2010/aug/07/caught-video-lee-deputies-investigating-road-rage-/

    This is too easy. I’ll let up for now.

  78. jimkarlock
    August 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm Link

    Now lets talk passenger-miles of road vs rail and apply that to the above cases.

    My rough guess is over a million to one. So you have to come up with a million (or whatever the ratio is) of those incidents to match one on LRT.

    Thanks
    JK

  79. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 7:47 pm Link

    JK, you made the original anecdotal, unsupported assertion. You do the work.

  80. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm Link

    And, now for the 2nd time, the DC Metro isn’t LRT.

  81. Jeff F
    August 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm Link

    jimkarlock Says: Now lets talk passenger-miles of road vs rail and apply that to the above cases.

    My rough guess is over a million to one. So you have to come up with a million (or whatever the ratio is) of those incidents to match one on LRT.

    I would guess that Bob’s point was that there is no causation link between violence and the mode of transport. He could as easily have provided a series of violent events that didn’t involve any vehicles at all. There is nothing about being on a train that makes people violent, JK. You are statistically least likely to be involved in a riot while hang gliding; therefore, you are safer in a hang glider than on a train. Right?

    And, as Bob mentioned but you seem to have missed: Metro Rail is not LRT.

  82. Steve S.
    August 7, 2010 at 9:33 pm Link

    Bob & Chris,

    I have a complaint.

    JS is out of line and is repeating his baseless accusations.
    It’s often referred to as lying.

    How did he conclude CC sheriff’s office just looked at “raw statistics” and blamed TriMet?

    He made it up to smear the Sheriff’s office.

    Bob,
    Are you seem to be almost piling on.

    Why? Why would you tell readers Clackamas has not done their homework?
    How would you know what they did?

    Of course Clackamas County did do their homework. That’s how we know there has been an increase in crime.

    They are professionals and looked at everything.. Crime reports, service calls, staffing and other background information, Before and after the Green line opening with equal
    treatment so a comparison would be reliable. They wanted to know staffing needs to fight crime. The study was internal and not intended for release or to be used “blame TriMet”. It was effective law enforcement. The also did an extensive assessment prior to the Green line opening to forecast law enforcement needs. I think they anticipated needing 12 additional deputies at that time.

    The latest report on crime became public only after it was requested by a member of the public.

    From their study came the numbers JS then calls “raw” and “unreliable”. According to what? Nothing. He made that up.

    He also smears the Sheriff as merely a politician passing the buck.
    He made that up also. He is out of line.

    Contrary to JS assertions the Sheriff is not political at all. He is professional, career law enforcement officer who been innovative as a detective and now as Sheriff running the agency. His concern about crime in the area is genuine and his efforts to confront it are entirely professional and honorable.

    It is out of line to be claiming otherwise when you have no basis to do so.

    The cops aren’t making up MAX tales.
    The criminals willingly admit how they travel. When interrogated they tell law enforcement how they got there.
    It’s in the reports.

    Not only is the green line crime study reliable but it is also consistent with previous lines still troubled with the SAME problems.

    As for the mall stores it is known that arrests have increase dramatically. One major store alone saw arrests go form 63 to 134.

    The bottom line is there’s a real problem. It’s not just the green line.
    Region wide law enforcement has faced a difficult time getting TriMet to cooperate and sees the problems worsening with added demands and while TriMet capital projects reduce funding for public safety.
    Millions were already taken from law enforcement and other basic services.
    MLR will be taking millions more while adding to the need for more law enforcement.

    Making things up to tarnish the crime reports and smear the Sheriff is out of line.

    We can argue all day long on policies but fabricating charges and smearing people should stay out of the fray.

  83. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 9:47 pm Link

    Why? Why would you tell readers Clackamas has not done their homework? How would you know what they did?

    Because back when we did the Neil McFarlane interview videos we requested the stats from Clackamas County. I spent hours on the phone personally tracking those stats down.

    Dave H. reviewed those stats and posted his comments about the lack of proper correlations being established.

    You should know this because you commented to Dave at the time.

    Thanks for asking.

  84. Bob R.
    August 7, 2010 at 9:48 pm Link

    It’s great that you raise the point about agencies demanding resources from TriMet, because maybe they’ll start demanding them from motorists and private businesses too. Gas taxes, as has been mentioned before, don’t pay for state troopers. And some businesses, such as a particular Clark County Wal-Mart, are top generators of calls to law enforcement, but aren’t required to pony up as is being asked of TriMet.

  85. Steve S.
    August 8, 2010 at 1:25 am Link

    Bob,

    “Hours tracking them down”. What a hoot.
    You’re misrepresenting that those stats stand alone isolated wihout any other indicators or experiences by law enforecement and that Dave H has speculated them away.

    You’ve done nothing but speculate about the crime reports.

    You also didn’t address the baseless accusations.
    Now that’t upstanding.

    You yourself have said, “it may very well be that there has been some kind of increase in actual crimes”.
    But you concoct a string of speculation that is supposed to what?

    So we have professional law enforcement agencies and crime reports and the three of you and Trimet saying there is no crime problem needing more attention.

    Then you go off rephrasing the issue as if it’s just law enforcement demanding funding from TriMet.

    Weak Bob, real weak.

  86. Chris Smith
    August 8, 2010 at 5:56 am Link

    Steve,

    Let’s make a deal. We’ll accept the numbers from the professionals at the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office without scrutiny if you’ll accept all the numbers from the professionals at TriMet without scrutiny.

  87. Steve S.
    August 8, 2010 at 9:22 am Link

    Chris,

    I would suggest y’all apply some genuine scrutiny to TriMet claims.

    It if were only “scrunity” Bob Dave and JS were applying to the sheriff’s crime report we wouldn’t be having this debate.

    But far from it they have been making up inappropriate claims and charges in smearing the sheriff and his repot.

    Contrast that to claims by TriMet that they are fiscally sound, that $ 8 billion in devleopment has been promted by MAX, 14,000 jobs will be created by MLR, Fed will providing a 60% match, Milwaukie and Clackamas county wants MLR, we don’t know where the Sheriff gets his numbers,
    light rail will spur private development, on and on and on.

    Now you suggesting the sheriff’s crime report is on par with TriMet reports?

    How’s that. There’s not been a single thing found to be faulty with the sheriff’s crime report.
    Just a bunch of stink thrown at it even while recognizing crime could have indeed increased just as the crime reports suggest.
    But the objective has been to dismiss the problem.

    Heck, various stakeholders have been mad that the sheriff even brought it up and that he and the fire cheif dared to testify against the MLR funding. Even though they had the identical problem with MLR funding that you and Bob do.

    If I used the JS, Dave and Bob approach to desparaging your concerns for TriMet bonding
    it would involve baseless smears misrepresenting the bonding and operations revenue.

    So let’s just move on with TriMet not having to address a crime problem that the sheriff made up.

    And therefore he is just like TriMet?

  88. Steve S.
    August 8, 2010 at 9:40 am Link

    While I am trying to avoid this, many here are enabling it.

    “You’re about to get XXXXXX, Seattle.

    http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/what-could-possibly-go-wrong/Content?oid=4399657

    We simply have no plan for who will pay cost overruns. Under the current rules, if something goes wrong, Seattle taxpayers are on the hook for cost overruns.

    Seattle’s budget was XXXXXX this year—facing a midyear shortfall of $12 million, the city cut a plan to hire 20 police officers, slashed millions from parks maintenance, let staff go from libraries—and next year’s budget projection is even worse. Seattle is facing an estimated $56 million shortfall in 2011, which will require more painful cuts.”

  89. Just Saying
    August 8, 2010 at 10:44 am Link

    “crime could have indeed increased”

    The compliment of something “could have increased” is that is “could have not increased.” And that is precisely the point.

    The reported crime data doesn’t indicate anything other than that more crimes were reported. We don’t know whether crime actually increased at all, much less that there was an increase caused by the presence of MAX.

    Its nice to see that Seattle has its own versions of Portland’s local internet commentators.

  90. Just Saying
    August 8, 2010 at 10:56 am Link

    “Contrast that to claims by TriMet that they are fiscally sound, that $ 8 billion in devleopment has been promted by MAX, 14,000 jobs will be created by MLR, Fed will providing a 60% match, Milwaukie and Clackamas county wants MLR, we don’t know where the Sheriff gets his numbers,
    light rail will spur private development, on and on and on. ”

    Is there any reason to think any of those statements aren’t true? You keep claiming TriMet isn’t fiscally sound and yet it continues to pay its bills and people are prepared to lend it money.

    Its not unusual for any business to cut its expenses in order to balance its budget when it has a downturn in revenue. It tells you nothing about how “fiscally sound” it is. The sure sign it is not “fiscally sound” would be if it had to abandon long range capital investments to fund current operations.

  91. ws
    August 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm Link

    MAX doesn’t generate crime. The same idiots causing problems on transit are the same idiots behind the wheel of a two-ton vehicle.

    Our biased regarding transit vs. auto crimes is unreal in the media. Road rage shootings, drive bys, assaults, solicitation of prostitutes, drunk driving deaths, etc. Put those same crimes on transit and you have a story for the next 4 years.

    They happen all the time in the metro area with little public concern.

    But oh no, an assault happens on MAX and it’s *downright* dangerous. Gimme a break.

  92. Chris Smith
    August 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm Link

    Steve,

    You missed my point, which is that ALL sources should be subject to scrutiny. Elevating any source by applying your favorite label (“professional” in this case) to suggest that they are above scrutiny is not useful.

  93. jimkarlock
    August 8, 2010 at 2:38 pm Link

    Just Saying Says: (quoting Steve S.) “Contrast that to claims by TriMet that they are fiscally sound, that $ 8 billion in devleopment has been promted by MAX, 14,000 jobs will be created by MLR, Fed will providing a 60% match, Milwaukie and Clackamas county wants MLR, we don’t know where the Sheriff gets his numbers, light rail will spur private development, on and on and on. ”

    Just Saying Says: Is there any reason to think any of those statements aren’t true?
    JK: Yes.
    Lets look closer:
    $ 8 billion in devleopment has been promted by MAX, Lets look at a similar claim for the streetcar: Do you claim that PSC would not have built a new building or two without the streetcar? Do you claim that that church would not have built a new parking lot (for automobiles!!) Without the streetcar?

    14,000 jobs will be created by MLR, What are they going to do have 5,000 workers per mile carrying the train from one station to the next? OR are you talking just construction jobs that will last a year or two, then vanish? As to permanent jobs, over 1000 family wage jobs will be “displaced” from the SE industrial area. How many do you think will relocate to Portland (or even Multnomah county) once being forced to move?

    Fed will providing a 60% match, Trimet got caught hiding info on this one – they know it would be less a year or so ago.

    Milwaukie and Clackamas county wants MLR, Prove it. We do know that 78 % of Vancouver people DON’T want MAX if they have to pay for it. (Everybody wants a Cadillac if they don’t have to pay for it!)

    light rail will spur private development It is pretty well recognized that it is the tax incentives, not the toy train that causes development: For instance:
    Mr . Saba [planning bureau] said during the 10 years MAX has been in existence, the City has seen no mixed-use developments adjacent to the light rail lines . Most of those that occurred were in the Central City, Lloyd Center and Gresham .

    Wayne Rembold, Portland contractor, said tax abatements are essential to getting these projects built as otherwise they do not pencil out
    see http://www.portlandfacts.com/transit/lightraildevelopment.htm

    Just Saying Says: The sure sign it is not “fiscally sound” would be if it had to abandon long range capital investments to fund current operations.
    JK: That is a totally wrong statement! But lets see if the MLR project survives the year.

    Thanks
    JK

  94. Bob R.
    August 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm Link

    JK is perfectly right to ask if those things would have been built anyway without rail. Just as it’s perfectly right for us (who are asking) to ask if the crime stats in Clackamas County would have been that way without rail, given the resources allotted.

  95. Just Saying
    August 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm Link

    “OR are you talking just construction jobs that will last a year or two, then vanish?”

    The only time I have seen this claim about jobs, it was explicitly stated that they were construction jobs. So apparently Trimet is being criticized for not fulfilling the misleading statements made by its opponents.

    As for the match, Trimet has NEVER claimed the feds had approved a match of 60%. They have budgeted for that, they did request and lobby for 60%, but they came up with only 50% when the final decision was made. Did they know that was likely? Probably. But giving up on the 60% match before they were formally notified would have been “fiscally irresponsible”.

    Of course, Chris is right. Any self-serving information from any organization needs to approached with caution.

    But if you want to claim Trimet has provided misleading information, then prove it. In most cases, I frankly don’t care. The central issue of whether MAX makes the Portland region more attractive for many people is pretty well settled.

  96. ws
    August 8, 2010 at 4:29 pm Link

    Regarding crime statistics for Clackamas:

    How would one normalize the statistics? The Green line brings more people to the area so naturally there’s going to be more crimes reported. Simply showing the numbers of crime statistics for the area won’t tell us much about if crime actually increased.

    We want to know crime rate.

    (i.e. crime for cities is normalized by total population)

  97. Just Saying
    August 8, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link

    ws –

    Its not a question of rate – although you are right more people may lead to more crimes being committed. There are a bunch of things that will increase reported crime, including increased police presence. Just as if you increase police patrols on a road, they will likely catch more speeders. That doesn’t mean more people are speeding.

  98. Steve S.
    August 8, 2010 at 6:14 pm Link

    JS,

    Oh stop with the excuse making and misrepresenting that there is no indication either way.

    You’re being ridiculous.

    All you are doing is obfuscating by throwing out baseless speculations.

    That isn’t scrutinizing. It’s crap.

    There is a crime problem in the MAX corridors that is not being adequately addressed.

    The only indications we DO HAVE say crime has increased.

    They aren’t meaningless because you say they are.

    You have no point.

    What’s going on here anyway?

    Is it entirely acceptable to say anything at all here?

    Bob, Chris certainly know, jus like yo and me that TriMet has enormous bills not being paid.

    Yet you are telling readers TriMet is paying all their bills.

    I have no idea what you think you are doing, but it’s clear to me you will say anything.

    Either you are completely unaware of the challenges TriMet faces or you are deliberately lying.

    Either way it should not be tolerated by the hosts/moderators.

    According to TriMet presented in the last 3 board meetings alone:

    TriMet’s biggest unpaid bill is an unfunded and growing $50 million/year OPEB liability now at $700 million.

    Not a dime is being paid towards it. Other employee expenses are only being partially paid.

    TriMet’s costs are rising even while services are being cut and their revenue is shrinking.

    This is not fiscally sound, JS.

    But we went through this entire conversation before and you ignored the problems by pretending they are meaningless because they can still sell bonds. .

    Your business model is as asinine as it gets.

    The sure sign it is not “fiscally sound” is the over extended TriMet taking on even more obligations it cannot pay.

    No one in their right mind can look at TriMet and think MLR makes any sense as planned and financed.

    They already are not paying their bills and don’t have the revenue for current operations.

    Why are you deliberately ignoring the issues.

    ws,

    It doesn;t matter if MAX “generates” the crime or not. You’re splitting hairs.

    It’s happening., is being reported and must be addressed.

    This isn’t just biased media.

    Chris,

    I agree far more than you that all sources should be subject to scrutiny. Skepticism is a must.

    But making up charges and accusations is not scrutinizing. It’s smearing.

    Bob,

    Contemplating hypotheticals about would have been regarding crime stats in Clackamas County without rail is not valid scrutinizing.

    You may not like the facts but they are real.

    The crime went up even with added resources. The rest of the county crime went down.

    Now what do you propose? Reducing enforcement along MAX to see what happens?

    The facts are what they are and you don’t;la re, , given the resources allotted.

    JS,

    You don’t even bother wondering where TriMet got the 14,000 jobs. How funny.

    How about 100,000 jobs?

    http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/07/trimets_future_ready_and_able.html

    “Our sixth MAX line, the Portland-Milwaukie segment, is poised to start construction in the next year. It will provide high-capacity transit to that growing corridor, where nearly 100,000 new jobs are projected. It will also create 14,500 jobs just when we need it the most.”

    Now you’re misrepresenting the fed match issue.

    No one said the feds “approved”. The fed grant application won’t be submitted until the fall and approval won’t come until June of 2012.

    Until a couple weeks ago TriMet was dishonest in using a 60% fed match in their funding plan even though OVER A YEAR AGO the feds notified them and our congressional delegation that it would not be more that 50%.

    You are misrepresenting the time and sequence.

    TriMet management was misleading the public, their partners and the TriMet board for a year after they were notified of the 50% cap.

    http://portlandafoot.org/documents/OrangeLineFTALetter.pdf

    You not just wrong again, you are misrepresenting.

    But now we know you don’t care how TriMet operates, how much MAX costs, where the money comes from, what it will cause or any other detriments.

    I can only assume you don’t live here.

  99. Bob R.
    August 8, 2010 at 6:41 pm Link

    Steve, if you’re going to come back at everyone just dripping with derision, please allow me to tell you to go take a Statistics 101 refresher before you go on and on and on that the Clackamas County stats have proven anything.

  100. Chris Smith
    August 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm Link

    Either way it should not be tolerated by the hosts/moderators.

    Steve, I think you should read the rules again. The moderators here make no attempt to police facts. Everyone here is welcome to bring their own data and debate it with others.

    We police behavior in the interests of maintaining a civil conversation.

  101. Just Saying
    August 8, 2010 at 8:42 pm Link

    “OVER A YEAR AGO the feds notified them and our congressional delegation that it would not be more that 50%.”

    There was no formal notice of a final decision until recently. As I think most people who deal with these kinds of decisions by the federal government can tell you, decisions like this often get changed based on a variety of factors, including politics.

    There is nothing dishonest about not changing the funding plan until you have a final decision. If you did, you would be making changes to the budget with every political breeze.

    “Bob, Chris certainly know, jus like yo and me that TriMet has enormous bills not being paid.

    Yet you are telling readers TriMet is paying all their bills.”

    Which bills haven’t they paid?

  102. Bob R.
    August 8, 2010 at 8:49 pm Link

    Bob, Chris certainly know, jus like yo and me that TriMet has enormous bills not being paid.

    This is one of those (many?) areas where Steve and I depart, because we’re getting into a very subjective land of characterization.

    What TriMet has are currently-unfunded liabilities which will come due in the future. What TriMet plans to do to fund those liabilities is unclear. However, I do not characterize those issues as “enormous bills not being paid”. They could be, if prudent steps aren’t taken in the coming years, but there’s no evidence that they won’t ever be addressed.

    So we’re left with is Steve’s pessimistic characterization, which only time, and the decisions and actions of many to come, will prove or disprove.

    So no, I don’t “certainly know”.

  103. Just Saying
    August 8, 2010 at 8:50 pm Link

    “TriMet’s costs are rising even while services are being cut and their revenue is shrinking. ”

    You just described the state of most of the world in the current economy. For most organizations, public and private, costs are rising and they are having to cut their services because their revenue is shrinking.

  104. Just Saying
    August 8, 2010 at 9:01 pm Link

    “What TriMet has are currently-unfunded liabilities which will come due in the future.”

    Unfunded liabilities are simply claims on future revenue. Their mere existence has nothing to do with the fiscal health of the organization. That depends on their ability to pay them.

    Of course Trimet’s revenue depends on future payrolls and fares. But no matter how much revenue they have, it is certainly the case that paying those liabilities will reduce revenue available for other expenses, including operations. But there is no evidence at all that Trimet will run out of money.

  105. AL M
    August 8, 2010 at 9:16 pm Link

    For most organizations, public and private, costs are rising and they are having to cut their services because their revenue is shrinking.

    And that is happening because the number of millionaires worldwide is now at record levels signifying the consolidation of the worlds wealth into the hands of an “elite” class

    If anybody knows Jason Barbour’s current email address will you please send him this LINK!

  106. Just Saying
    August 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm Link

    “You don’t even bother wondering where TriMet got the 14,000 jobs. How funny.”

    I don’t have to wonder, they have said they are construction jobs. That does not seem like an unreasonable number of people doing work on a project that size.

    “How about 100,000 jobs? ”

    I suspect they got that 100,000 jobs in the corridor from Metro planning. That also doesn’t seem unreasonable, if you consider the line runs downtown.

    Which is to say, if you actually look at those claims with a vaguely critical eye, they make perfect sense. Do I care if its only 13,000 jobs? No. Do I care if the 100,000 jobs includes a lot jobs downtown? Not really. What is clear is that the Milwaukie line serves dense employment areas and will improve access to those jobs for a people from all over the region.

  107. Just Saying
    August 8, 2010 at 9:21 pm Link

    Al –

    You are correct that is part of it. But mostly its that we have been in a deep recession where we were producing less goods and services. There is a smaller pie, not that a few people taking a bigger slice helps.

  108. AL M
    August 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm Link

    Just saying-

    The “pie” as you put it, has not gotten smaller, its just been eaten by the elite.

    The “wealth” has not disappeared, it has just been horded by that same elite.

    This is part 1 of a 4 part series that explains it as well as any explanation I have ever seen:

    Why You Are Unemployed – Part 1

  109. ws
    August 8, 2010 at 9:44 pm Link

    Steve S:

    Crimes on MAX are actually mostly car prowlers:

    http://blog.oregonlive.com/oregonianextra/2007/11/max.html

    (’06-’07)

    Are car prowls the fault of MAX when people leave valuables out?

    These are reported crimes. Reported crimes don’t necessarily mean a crime occurred.

    -Basically, what is the criteria for a reported crime?

    For instance, a blind man made up a story on the Green Line earlier this year that some kids stole his cane. It ended up it wasn’t true and the man was charged with filing a false report. Is that considered a “reported” crime under TriMet’s methodology?

    Also, are there crimes that occurred that go unreported completely?

    Statistics and especially crime statistics are tricky. You can spin it both ways easily.

  110. AL M
    August 8, 2010 at 10:08 pm Link

    It was never Trimet that created any crime, it’s society that creates crime, all crimes committed in a society are a product of the entire society,/b> not just one facet of that society.

    Of course if there was no mass transit to any particular place that would mean that that place would be “inaccessible” to a strata of the society.

    It would be the same as a “gated community”, only certain people will be able to get in.

    It’s easier to scapegoat villains in our society today than take a look at just how sick our general society has become.

    Years ago I was railing about the lack of security on the max on this very blog, long before I started my own little site. Members here used to laugh at me about it. Lot’s of folks had to eat crow as the high profile incidents started coming in one right after another.

    Trimet did indeed take some proactive steps to get things under control, I doubt there is much else they can do, other than have a cop on every train.

    The bigger question might be asked, why in the world do we have so many of our own people locked up?

    NEW YORK TIMES

  111. Bob R.
    August 8, 2010 at 10:13 pm Link

    Members here used to laugh at me about it.

    I hope you’re not including me in that Al, after all, we did make that “late night MAX experience” video as a result of that discussion. (Ahhh, memories.)

  112. AL M
    August 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm Link

    Nah Bob, you were always cool.
    Every time you deleted me I deserved it.
    I never even really got mad at Chris when he banned me.

  113. AL M
    August 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm Link

    Haha, here is part 1 of my version of our little ride together.

    Bob was really pissed off about this!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=177lFq5DclA

  114. Bob R.
    August 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm Link

    Here’s the original video and discussion on PortlandTransport:

    The Late Night MAX Experience

    My favorite part is when the two uniformed police officers come on board and check everyone’s fares and (contrary to many expectations, and I must admit to an extent even my own) found 100% fare compliance.

    (Disclosure, as I’ve mentioned before: One of the officers is a friend of mine, but the fare inspection was spontaneous and none of us knew what train we’d be getting on or what to expect.)

  115. AL M
    August 8, 2010 at 10:30 pm Link

    Of course Bob’s production was much better, but I really liked mine.

    It was the music that made my video!

    Hahaha!

  116. jimkarlock
    August 9, 2010 at 12:14 am Link

    Bridge Petal Injury Rate Ten Times That of Cars.

    The recent bridge petal had injuries requiring hospitalization at almost ten times the rate of automobiles. This was accomplished without any cars present as bikes got exclusive use of several area bridges. There no cars to blame.

    This gives a hint at what we could expect if all commuters suddenly gave up their cars – save a little energy and get 9 times as many people injured.

    Here is the data:
    Oregon’s traffic injury rate is 80 per 100 million vehicle miles.
    National traffic injury rate is 83 per 100 million vehicle miles.
    from: http://oregon.gov/DAS/OPB/docs/APPR08/Agency_Links/45_ODOT_pm2.pdf (page 2, page 16 of 95)

    More than 18,000 people rode, distance packages: 11.5, 23, 36 miles.
    From The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/08/more_than_18000_bicyclists_con.html

    Here is the calculation:
    Assuming most rode 23 miles, that is 23 x 18,000 miles = 414,000 vehicle -miles

    There were three injuries requiring hospitalization. That is a rate of one per 138,000 vehicle-miles. Or 724 per 100 million vehicle miles.

    This is about 10 times the automobile injury rate. It is also consistent with sketchy Europan data I have seen.

    I am confident that some will comment on this – but can anyone supply actual numbers? A rate per mile traveled (not some phoney per trip that ignores trip length.) For both deaths and injuries? We have solid data for most modes except bicycles.

    Thanks
    JK

  117. jimkarlock
    August 9, 2010 at 12:16 am Link

    OOPS, for the sake of precision, change all occurrences of ten times to nine times.

    Thanks
    JK

  118. Jeff F
    August 9, 2010 at 9:00 am Link

    JK, to be fair you would have to compare an event with 18,000 vehicles driving back and forth across Portland’s bridges. However, if your point is that someone on a bicycle is more vulnerable in an accident than someone in a car traveling at the same speed — did you think no one realized that?

  119. Bob R.
    August 9, 2010 at 9:05 am Link

    The proper comparison is long-distance closed-course recreational transportation events, such as rallys.

    Bridge Pedal is notoriously overcrowded, too, way more than even the most congested automobile highways.

    I am confident that some will comment on this – but can anyone supply actual numbers?

    I don’t know, how about you? You brought it up as though it meant something. Sheesh.

    We have solid data for most modes except bicycles.

    You admit the folly of your picking on Bridge Pedal in the very same comment. How nice.

  120. Steve S.
    August 9, 2010 at 9:50 am Link

    “What bill haven’t they paid”?

    This is an amazing demonstration of severe denial.

    Fred Hansen in the May board meeting told the board that they are not paying ANY of the bill from Other Post Employment Benefits.

    Hansen old the board it is now a $50 MILLION per year liability. That in total has grown to near $700 MILLION.

    This is not an unpaid bill?

    It’s not the only one. Other benefits are only partially funded.

    You aren’t paying attention to why TriMet costs are rising.
    As more and more disbursements are required TriMet’s costs will soar.

    How does Bob and Chris both objection to TriMet bonding $40 million against future revenue MLR, because you know there is no future revenue available,

    yet now you don’t see the 10 fold greater commitment of future revenue by the OPEB as a severe problem? It’s $50 Million PER YEAR being deferred for future revenue.
    And it’s not even stabilized. It’s rapidly getting worse.

    That’s not a “very subjective land of characterization”, Bob. It’s cold blooded math.

    TriMet’s unfunded liabilities are already coming due and growing. In a few short years they will devour many millions more.

    You should be alarmed that it’s abundantly clear TriMet has NO PLANS to fund those liabilities.

    Since you “do not characterize those issues as “enormous bills not being paid”” what are they?

    There are no “prudent steps being taken or planned”, period.

    You’re apparently waiting for proof of a negative?

    “Evidence that they won’t ever be addressed”.??

    How in the world could there ever be evidence of something never happening?

    This isn’t a future problem you can simply dismiss with a foolish presumption that it will someday be addressed.

    The evidence that should be alarming for all of you is the absence of any steps or plans at all to deal with this current and growing fiscal crisis.

    Instead we hear TriMet is sound and all their bills are paid?

    That my friends is defective thinking.

    JS takes it even further.

    “Unfunded liabilities are simply claims on future revenue. Their mere existence has nothing to do with the fiscal health of the organization. That depends on their ability to pay them.”

    That is such a load of BS disconnected from the magnitude of TriMet’s over extended commitments is reads as rhetoric from a propagandist trying to cover up the crisis.

    TriMet has no ability to pay, no steps being taken to pay and no plans to pay.

    Instead they are taking on more debt and more commitments which they have no evidence they will be able to close to having sufficient revenue for current liabilities.

    Even a fantasy forecast of Trimet’s future payrolls and fares leaves unable to pay their liabilities.

    The gradual but accelerating disbursements to fund these growing obligations will continue eroding service.

    That’s not pessimistic.

    It’s elementary and unavoidable.

  121. Just Saying
    August 9, 2010 at 11:50 am Link

    “This is not an unpaid bill? ”

    No, it isn’t. Lots of businesses have future expenses that are on their books. Its an “unpaid bill” when they can’t pay them.

    “You aren’t paying attention to why TriMet costs are rising. ”

    Either that or you don’t understand accounting. Those unfunded liabilities are there because they were treated as costs in the past.

    “Instead they are taking on more debt and more commitments which they have no evidence they will be able to close to having sufficient revenue for current liabilities.”

    There is no evidence Trimet won’t have far more revenue than is required to pay their “current liabilities”. Let us know when one isn’t paid.

    “BS disconnected from the magnitude of TriMet’s over extended commitment”

    Where is the evidence that TriMet is overextended? The fact that they reduced services and immediate operating costs when their revenue went down? That is what prudent management does.

    If you look at the number of passengers Trimet is still serving, it doesn’t look like they are leaving a lot of people standing on street corners. Will future costs reduce money available for operations? Of course. But there is little reason to think the appointed board of Trimet, which includes several highly respected business people, is not competently managing the agency.

  122. Just Saying
    August 9, 2010 at 11:55 am Link

    “It’s elementary and unavoidable. ”

    I think this is precisely the problem. It is neither. Which is why the board, which is ultimately responsible that the agency remains financially healthy, is a lot less alarmed than some transit opponents.

  123. Douglas K.
    August 9, 2010 at 12:18 pm Link

    With respect to the manufactured hysteria about crime on the Green Line — check out this column from Sunday’s Oregonian.

    Apparently, MAX is responsible for increased shoplifting and credit card fraud in the mall. Because (obviously) shoplifters never drive to the mall, and nobody EVER uses their car to transport stolen merchandise home. (Just ignore the general increase in shoplifting across America. It ruins the “MAX is dangerous” canard.)

  124. Bob R.
    August 9, 2010 at 12:23 pm Link

    From the Oregonian column Douglas mentioned:

    So, what’s happening at Clackamas? Mishmash math.

    Of the 63 crimes reported (PDF) at the transit center this year, more than half resulted from enforcement missions.

    The most frequent “crime” – 30 cases of interfering with public transit – is actually a good thing for law-abiding riders. It means that police are aggressively going after fare jumpers, unruly behavior and banned riders.

  125. Bob R.
    August 9, 2010 at 12:27 pm Link

    “Hours tracking them down”. What a hoot.

    Somehow I missed Steve’s criticism of my statement that I spent hours on the phone tracking down the stats.

    Well, it just so happens that I did.

    Mainly because Clackamas County did not (maybe still does not) publish the contact information for their Public Information Officer. That’s right, the Public Information Officer can’t be reached directly by the public.

    Two dispatchers had an out-of-date, disconnected pager # for the guy.

    Never did get to speak to him directly, but another staffer eventually helped me out. The actual stats didn’t come for a few days and weren’t in time for our interview.

    All in all, not a real confidence booster.

  126. Steve S.
    August 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm Link

    JS,

    Rarely have I seen a more bizarre demonstration of wrongness.

    The board only recently grasped the severity of the shortages when Steve Clark pulled it out of Hansen with mutiple questions.
    They are alarmed.

    You’ve waltzed right by the $50 million per year shortage as if it’s meaningless and will be funded with new money.
    And it’s not the only shortage.

    This is precisely the problem. It is severe and you have discounted it entirely without any rational or imaginary indication that any excess will arrive at any time in the forseeable future.

    Instead you lean on the convoluted notion that the only thing qualifying as evidence that it won’t get paid is when it is not paid.

    And you call this normal business practice.

    Every legitimate business plan has a revenue projection for guidance and to avoid going down the drain.

    I am not a transit opponent.
    You can’t even get that right.

    Far from it I am aligned with transit supporters who are trying to preserve their bus service.

    Now why did Chris, Bob and Fred all object to TriMet bonding against future operations revenue?

    There’s no evidence there won’t plenty of money for everything? Right?

  127. Chris Smith
    August 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm Link

    How does Bob and Chris both objection to TriMet bonding $40 million against future revenue MLR, because you know there is no future revenue available,

    Steve, just to be clear, I don’t object to that bonding because I fear that TriMet will default on the bonds, my concern is that repaying those bonds removes funds that otherwise could be used for service hours in future years.

    There’s a distinction between saying “TriMet can’t pay its bills” and saying that doing so will consequences we don’t support.

  128. Steve S.
    August 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm Link

    This is painful.
    You guys sure do make conversations difficult.
    I know the bonds will be paid.

    I never once suggested the bonds would not be paid.
    Of course they will. They will always be in line ahead of services.
    I understand cleary your original point that they will take future operations revenue.

    THAT IS my focus. Not the bonds getting paid.

    According to JS there is no reason to be concerned because there is no evidence that any
    cuts, or revenue shortages or unpaid bills will occur ever.

    So I asked why you had been concerned about TriMet bonding against operations revenue. It was obvious you were concerned about limited funding and likely service cuts due to shortages.

    Again I ask, if you are concerned, and you should be, about operations dollars and services being affected by a mere $40 million in bonding then why are you not alarmed by the $50 million per year hole?

    If you want your streecars running you better start screaming now.
    Because both the bonds and fringe benefits will be paid ahead of transit service.

    TriMet already couldn’t pay it’s bills so they had to cut services and raise fares.
    The consequences you don’t support are already happening yet you are not alarmed?

    I haven’t seen you or Bob say or right anyting besides your intitial objection to the bonding.

    Are you no longer worried about future service cuts?

  129. Jason McHuff
    August 9, 2010 at 4:22 pm Link

    TriMet already couldn’t pay it’s bills so they had to cut services and raise fares.

    But how much of that was because of bills and how much of that because of revenues going down (as in not even staying flat), both payroll tax revenues and passenger fares?

  130. Just Saying
    August 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm Link

    “They (The Trimet Board Members) are alarmed.”

    So you are confident that they will address it?

    “Are you no longer worried about future service cuts?”

    As far as I can tell, no one has said they were not concerned about future service cuts – or past ones for that matter. I am sure Trimet staff and board are concerned about those things as well.

    But any business has to set priorities. And not funding capital improvements in order to preserve current service is a bad idea. This is simply a discussion of priorities, not financial management or fiscal responsibility.

    Obviously if you don’t think MLT will improve transit service for people in the area or that it is a lousy way to accomplish that, then you oppose spending money on it, regardless of the source. But many of us thing MLT is an important project with a long term benefits that more than justify its cost. If that means Trimet can’t provide midnight bus service to Forest Grove, then that is a price worth paying. Of course, the real choices are more painful than that. But that doesn’t make them wrong.

  131. Bob R.
    August 9, 2010 at 4:31 pm Link

    Steve, you’re getting completely lost in semantics. You want everyone to adopt your characterization and opinion about the facts, when there’s no real disagreement about the facts.

    You, JS, Chris, Me all recognize that TriMet is proposing to bond operating revenue as part of the Milwaukie Light Rail project. That’s an undisputed fact.

    JS thinks this is not a problem (or not serious), Chris and I would rather find other funding mechanisms and view this as problematic, but don’t _necessarily_ want to kill Milwaukie Light Rail, and you think it’s a sort of fiscal last-straw that could financially sink the agency especially in light of other future obligations… All of these things are differing opinions on how the agency should proceed based, in part, on our different viewpoints and priorities.

    Relax a little on the word games.

    Remember, just under 24 hours ago you said “TriMet has enormous bills not being paid.”, which is hyperbole. JS called you on it. Now you’re both chasing your tails around the fencepost over the semantics of it.

  132. Just Saying
    August 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm Link

    “my concern is that repaying those bonds removes funds that otherwise could be used for service hours in future years.”

    And just to be clear. I agree that it would be better if Trimet did not use money from the payroll tax like this. But I don’t think that is a hard and fast rule. And I don’t hear any realistic alternatives for the project.

    In fact, the opening of new MAX lines has generally resulted in improved bus service when the buses replaced by MAX are put in service elsewhere. And MAX’s lower operating costs free money to pay for additional service.

    Frankly I find the distinction between bus riders and other transit users bizarre. I don’t know many people who exclusively use the bus. While I think the equity argument is bogus, advocating for improving both the quality and quantity of bus service is a good and needed thing.

  133. Jason Barbour
    August 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm Link

    If anyone’s confused about the previous coverage involving transit ballot measures in Clark County, the site for C-TRAN itself now has the most spin-proof coverage:
    http://c-tran.com/board_meeting_files/August_10_2010_Agenda.pdf (PDF, 5.92 MB)
    The Board of Clark County Commissioners vote last week was advisory; no ballot measures are being considered yet.
    Information regarding the ballot measure scenarios Starts on page 64 of the PDF.
    If anyone’s interested in going, their board meeting is tomorrow night (Aug. 10th), 5:30 PM, at the main C-TRAN offices, a short walk from C-TRAN routes 4, 30 and 44.

    And, in transit news in the other direction from Portland, Courthouse Square in Salem (administration offices and main transit center for Cherriots) is officially condemned:
    http://djcoregon.com/news/2010/08/04/salem-orders-courthouse-square-vacated/

  134. Dave H
    August 9, 2010 at 10:42 pm Link

    Steve, I missed your original comment, but I’m happy to try addressing it. I’ve commented somewhere (maybe here) that a real statistician should take a look. I’m a guy who volunteered to take a loot at the numbers given by the CCSO. If they have more info I’d be happy to give it another shot.

    I’d like to see you apply that kind of sketisism and creative presumtions to TriMet claims. But not the predetermined conclusion part.

    What was the predetermined conclusion? That the “facts” as stated were based on a small sample set?

    Your suggestion that all of the law enforcement and security involved has not done what yo have or is deliberately being deceitful is more than a little ridiculous.

    Actually it wasn’t documented in the data given to us either way. If they have more information that will prove their case, great. They didn’t provide it.

    The crime reports are what they are. They are also consistent with previous lines and the ongoing problems there. Furthermore, crime dropped county wide each of the prior 5 years. Only in the green line study area did it go up.
    Now Dave the expert is claiming it never even went up. Not even TriMet sways so far from reality.

    I never claimed to be an expert. I’m saying that the data they offered doesn’t give enough information to form a definitive answer, unless you already have decided on what the answer was. Apparently you’ve already done so.

    One major CTC store alone saw their shoplifting more than double during the study period. It’s not because MAX was simply delivering a great proportianate number of overall shoppers.

    An anecdote is not a statistic. Study it and prove me wrong. The data provided makes it sound like he was exaggerating. I’ve never heard of a business owner doing such a thing if they wanted to renegotiate their lease though…

    Whatever “adjustments” you think should be made is no way to address the real problem.
    You “don’t know” and choose to assume there is no problem. That flies in the face of everyone who’s been following and attetping to deal with crime along MAX.

    No, I don’t know. Neither do you, and neither does Sheriff Roberts. Do a study that actually proves something more than a correlation.

    You’re free to belive there is no problem but yo shold stay clear of making of things to desparage law enforcement.

    What? Oh, I don’t believe there is no problem. I also think that law enforcement should have a study that’s scientifically valid before they claim something as fact. I think you should as well. Attack the messenger if you have to, but I doubt it helps your credibility.

    Your imagining things and calling them “very possible” is a methodology that is far more questionable and deceitful.

    You’re trying to argue methodology? Give me a valid study backing what was argued.

    You might want to also consider the police inteviews where criminals tell cops how they use MAX. Did you think cops simply presumed things like you do?

    Why was that data not released to back up their argument?

    Or you may want to run your theories by the new TriMet Security Commander Krebs.
    Perhaps you would find him credible?

    That’s the first idea you proposed without attacking me. Maybe you can bring some ideas to your posts rather than attack someone for reviewing the (very limited) data provided to back up the claims of Sheriff Roberts.

    I’ll admit, I skipped the rest of the thread. That’s enough accusations to deal with for one night.

  135. Steve S
    August 10, 2010 at 9:07 am Link

    Dave,

    Why do you think law enforcement should enbark on a more expansive study?

    They have enough indication and you haven’t proven their observations are wrong. The Sheriff office never claimed direct causation. They don’t need to.

    The specualting about possible variations, small sampling and other angles provides you with questions about the degree of reliability but you haven’t presented ANY evidence that the Sheriff’s call for preservation of funding and a higher level of law enforcement is unmeriter.

    You haven’t revealed anything at all beyond speculation that their basis for needing more law enforcement is not enough.

    And while all of you are nitpiking the crime reports none of you have commented about the Sheriff’s primary concern.

    That the green line did and soon the MLR financing will reduce his funding while increasing the demand for services.

    We can go round and round we go with the crime reports as if the green line is the firswt MAX line with problems.

    All the rhetoric about road rage, bus and other crime areas doesn’t add weight to the specualtion about the crime reports.

    Early on in this debate it was more than clear most here felt the that “the data they offered doesn’t give enough information to form a definitive answer”.

    Ok. But the CCSO made no definitive claims. Why would they need to?

    They have more than enough to be concerned and to be responsible enough to take action.

    But you’re saying they should first prove your speculation wrong?

    Think about that.

    The mall stores have seen a big increase in crime.

    And you say “An anecdote is not a statistic. Study it and prove me wrong.”

    Me prove you wrong?

    Cute.

    That pretty much sums up the criticism of the CCSO.

    You declare their information to be insufficient and then want your opinion to be proven wrong?

    Sheriff Roberts and other law enforcement agencies have enough. Your empty skepticism is hardly enough to require some vast pursuit of a scientific study to prove more than a correlation.

    You also embellished their position. “they claim something as fact”.

    If your objective is to defend MAX and halt the effort to add law enforcement I suggest you go conduct your own study backing up your own contentions.

    You should have done much more already to back up your speculation.

    If you want to weaken the CCSO efforts, go talk to TriMet’s Security Commander Krebs and the Washington County Sheriff’s office and bring back their support for your position.

    Whatever it is.

    I suspect you’d be calling for both of them to provide you with additional scientific study to prove you wrong. :)

    As for the “attacking” you interpretation? Don’t be silly.

  136. Just Saying
    August 10, 2010 at 10:35 am Link

    “And while all of you are nitpiking the crime reports none of you have commented about the Sheriff’s primary concern.

    That the green line did and soon the MLR financing will reduce his funding while increasing the demand for services.”

    So his “primary concern” is his political struggle with the County Commission over budget priorities. That certainly adds to the credibility of his claims.

  137. Steve S.
    August 10, 2010 at 10:59 am Link

    Well there you go JS. You make any accusation you dream up.

    No the problem is the funding being misappropriated away from basic services, law enforcement, and from TriMet oprations/security while these capital projects require more enforcement.
    His job his public safety. He knows from other systems nationwide that added police presence will reduce the crime and make MAX and the arwa safer.
    He is working to secure and preserve the means to do so. That includes funding for his agency and additional cooperation from TriMet security.

    The claims he actually made and his credibility are fully intact despite your activism to propogandize them into something else.

    You’ve not established any fault with his statements or efforts at all.
    Just tossed mud.
    Just as you have not shown any evidence or means for overextended TriMet to ever fund their soaring commitments.

    Instead you claim there can be no evidence showing where they are going until they drive off the cliff.

    And you call that normal business practice?
    Nuts.

  138. jimkarlock
    August 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm Link

    Jeff F: JK, to be fair you would have to compare an event with 18,000 vehicles driving back and forth across Portland’s bridges.
    JK: HUH?? How is the event different than if all of us gave up our cars and used bikes for everything? The roads would be filled with close packed bikes.

    Jeff F: However, if your point is that someone on a bicycle is more vulnerable in an accident than someone in a car traveling at the same speed — did you think no one realized that?
    JK: I have talked to people who claim riding a bike in no more dangerous than a car. And one of those people is an elected official!

    Thanks
    JK

  139. Jeff F
    August 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm Link

    Jeff F: JK, to be fair you would have to compare an event with 18,000 vehicles driving back and forth across Portland’s bridges.
    JK: HUH?? How is the event different than if all of us gave up our cars and used bikes for everything? The roads would be filled with close packed bikes.

    I was referring to your attempt to compare automobile injury rates to those of bicycles, citing a single event involving thousands of bikes. That’s not a normal traffic pattern.

    JK: I have talked to people who claim riding a bike in no more dangerous than a car. And one of those people is an elected official!

    Yeah, well, that’s a heck of a teeny sample you’ve got there, JK. Generalizing from that seems kind of silly, doesn’t it? Most of the people I know are more sensible and I suspect the same is true for the people you know.

  140. Bob R.
    August 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm Link

    How is the event different than if all of us gave up our cars and used bikes for everything? The roads would be filled with close packed bikes.

    Total BS, JK.

    I’ve ridden in the Bridge Pedal twice, and I’ve also been to a large, 40K+ event which was basically a virtual city, densely packed, with 99% of the attendees on bike and foot, and can tell you that the bicycle “congestion” at the Bridge Pedal is at least 10X that.

    Bridge Pedal is not an accurate comparison, by any means, for overall bicycle safety or utilization patterns.

    There are plenty of existing cities in the world with high bicycle utilization, and they have nowhere near the crowding that exists at Bridge Pedal.

    In fact, as an attendee, I’d be willing to pay a higher ticket price if that would help set aside more ROW in tight areas.

    Can we have critics who argue using genuine comparisons, please?

  141. Just Saying
    August 10, 2010 at 3:46 pm Link

    “How is the event different than if all of us gave up our cars and used bikes for everything? The roads would be filled with close packed bikes.”

    That simply isn’t true. If you put everyone in cars on bikes, there would be plenty of room on the roads. If you put all the people who participate in the bridge pedal in cars along the same route, you would have a massive traffic jam.

    The Bridge Pedal has nothing to do with transportation. Its a recreational event.

  142. Bob R.
    August 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm Link

    Here is a photographic representation of just how much room would be taken up on the street if, as JK posits, “all of us” gave up cars for bikes. (Which, it should be noted, nobody in any position of power is promoting.)

    Car, bus, bicycle : taking up space in the same place

    And here’s a photo which compares how much room a bunch of (folding) bikes might take up when parked, compared to a car:

    A Picture is Worth….42 Folding Bikes vs. One Car

  143. Jeff F
    August 10, 2010 at 6:18 pm Link

    Ouch.

  144. Just Saying
    August 10, 2010 at 6:55 pm Link

    The problem with statement like “safe” is that it is not clear what is meant or how you measure it. By some standards, bikes are far safer than motor vehicles. I would suspect the number of people killed in bicycle accidents that don’t involve a motor vehicle is pretty small. On the other hand, quite a number of people are killed by driving their car off the road, hitting a tree or rolling it over.

    And its pretty clear that riding a bike is far safer for everyone else than driving a motor vehicle.

  145. Dave H
    August 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm Link

    But you’re saying they should first prove your speculation wrong?

    Think about that.

    That’s a completely dishonest load of crap. They should prove their speculation right if they want to make a statement like that. I’m asking them for a citation on things, and once again you resort to insulting me because I don’t agree with you, and want them to prove something.

    Should cell phones be banned because some people think they cause brain tumors, even though there’s no proof of that whatsoever? Should WiFi be banned because some people claim they can sense it, even when double blind studies can’t back up their claims?

    I just want something scientifically valid before we move forward with attacking a problem.

    Are you really ignorant enough you think a criminal will wait 15 minutes for the next train to give them an escape route?

    If your objective is to defend MAX and halt the effort to add law enforcement I suggest you go conduct your own study backing up your own contentions.

    Why should I have to prove something doesn’t happen? Nobody has proven it does.

    Your argument is either one of belief with no proof, or you’d be able to provide some. Do you not understand that to make an assertion of something like this you need some reproducable evidence? Asking me to prove what you’re asking for is like asking me to prove God doesn’t exist, or that 9/11 wasn’t caused by Bush. There’s no way to prove something didn’t happen without someone first trying to prove it happened.

    Because of that the proof the Green Line caused more crime is an untestable theory. I bet there are some PSU graduate students who would be happy to prove Sheriff Roberts right if he really is though. And if he’s willing to open records to the public, which was another problem with trying to look at this.

    If you’re not going to share data, don’t expect people (without an agenda, as you apparently have) to believe you could be the lesson here.

  146. Jason McHuff
    August 10, 2010 at 11:26 pm Link

    The problem with Bridge Pedal is that they can’t seem to understand that a ride with thousands and thousands of bicyclists (including many new ones) just doesn’t work.

    What they should do is just open the course and the bridges and let people have at it, starting wherever and whenever (within the time frame) they want. It would be just like Sunday Parkways.

    If they are really obsessed about money or liability or something, they could set up toll booths at the entrance to all the bridges and make everyone who hasn’t previously registered do so.

  147. jimkarlock
    August 10, 2010 at 11:33 pm Link

    JS: (Quoting JK) “How is the event different than if all of us gave up our cars and used bikes for everything? The roads would be filled with close packed bikes.”

    That simply isn’t true. If you put everyone in cars on bikes, there would be plenty of room on the roads.
    JK: One little detail: there would be six times as many bikes on the same road because they travel at about 1/6 the speed.

    Thanks
    JK

  148. Bob R.
    August 11, 2010 at 12:13 am Link

    One little detail: there would be six times as many bikes on the same road because they travel at about 1/6 the speed.

    So your original assertion was completely obliterated and now you’re moving the goalposts again.

    The speed limit on most Portland “roads” is 35mph or less, some major arterials are at 45 in places. 45/6 is 7.5. I don’t know of any regular cyclist who averages that slow.

    Or did you mean “freeways”? As the photos have shown, there’s plenty of room for 6x as many bikes as cars on that amount of pavement, if needed. Heck, 65/6 is 10.8.

    But your entire premise of “all of us” giving up cars is baseless, so what’s the point?

    Again, I plead to the universe, can we have criticism of something genuinely real? Please?

  149. EngineerScotty
    August 11, 2010 at 7:55 am Link

    Geez. I go out of town for a long weekend–and look what I miss! :)

  150. Just Saying
    August 11, 2010 at 9:15 am Link

    “Geez. I go out of town for a long weekend–and look what I miss! :)”

    Makes leaving town even more attractive doesn’t it?

  151. Jason McHuff
    August 11, 2010 at 1:23 pm Link

    In actual other news, but doesn’t seem to be in any news, TriMet has decided to place a bond on the November ballot to continue the tax funding that has been going towards Westside MAX and use it for new buses (both fixed-route and LIFT) and stop improvements for better elderly/disabled access.

  152. Bob R.
    August 11, 2010 at 1:47 pm Link

    Michael at Portland Afoot is working on researching the ballot proposal.

  153. EngineerScotty
    August 11, 2010 at 7:03 pm Link

    It appears the David Bragdon, current Metro president, will be leaving his post early to take a position in New York City; his last day is September 7. Congrats to David!

    The succession practice is interesting. Bragdon will name councilor Carlotta Collette the acting president–but then, councilors have the option of voting on an interim president – including Collette, another one of themselves or any eligible resident of the region. (In which case, why bother with an acting president, unless necessary to conduct the business of selecting an interim president?)

    In any case, whoever serves as president will fill Bragdon’s role until Jan. 6, when the winner of the Bob Stacy/Tom Hughes election takes over the post.

  154. Chris Smith
    August 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm Link

    I believe Collette was deputy president, and thus probably becomes acting president automatically (i.e., not because David ‘selected’ her).

    Appointing a replacement to fill the term would have some interesting side effects. If an existing Councilor is appointed, I believe they would be leaving their current seat, creating a new vacancy, which could also be filled by appointment by the Council.

    The person selected would also go from having a part-time salary to a full-time salary.

  155. Jason McHuff
    August 11, 2010 at 9:38 pm Link

    I’ve thought about saying it on the news articles, but I will miss Bragdon. I don’t know him personally, but I feel that someone who wrote a “bus rider’s manual” as a kid (which I might see if I can get put online) is well-qualified to lead the region. And I think there were some recent things he did that I liked, too, such as thinking that MAX is too slow in the central city.

  156. Bob R.
    August 12, 2010 at 8:46 pm Link

    There was a tragedy tonight which was then compounded… An individual apparently committed suicide by jumping from the Vista Bridge KGW story. The investigation required the closing of MAX (it is not clear at this time if the individual was on the tracks or if the general area was being closed as a precaution), and during the resulting bus bridge MAX replacement service, a bicyclist was struck and injured, but is apparently conscious/alert at the hospital.

  157. Jason McHuff
    August 12, 2010 at 9:53 pm Link

    Yep, I just happened to check it out. (Did you go down there?) I happened to notice the Goose Hollow incident on one of the Transit Tracker signs but didn’t know about the bus incident until I noticed that a train was sitting on 1st Ave for a long time and went and asked. The incident just happened to occur at 6th and Morrison at the “epicenter”, but I’m not sure to what extent the mall was shut down.

    I didn’t bring my camera (I thought about bringing it as I left but was just going to go to the park and decided not to) but I was able to get my phone to take a few pictures. Note that I believe it happened a while before, given the train I saw stuck on 1st Ave:
    http://www.rosecitytransit.org/more/0812102014a.jpg (bus to the right was the one involved; trains, buses and traffic are being sent around it)
    http://www.rosecitytransit.org/more/0812102016a.jpg
    http://www.rosecitytransit.org/more/0812102018a.jpg (pictures of the bike under the tire)
    http://www.rosecitytransit.org/more/0812102021a.jpg (moving the bus)

    Overall, not a good night and probably not at a good time.

  158. EngineerScotty
    August 12, 2010 at 11:50 pm Link

    On top of that–Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 has just filed an unfair labor practice complaint against TriMet.

    Not knowing much about labor law, I have no comment on the substance of the complaint–essentially it’s that TriMet’s offer to the arbitrator contained terms not proposed in bargaining.

  159. R A Fontes
    August 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm Link

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/business/economy/15view.html?ref=automobiles

    Take that, you know who…

  160. Douglas K.
    August 16, 2010 at 11:02 pm Link

    http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Train-horns-in-The-Pearl-get-quieter-100811729.html

    I wonder if a similar solution could be used to quiet WES at crossings.

  161. Bob R.
    August 16, 2010 at 11:11 pm Link

    Supposedly, a WES quiet zone was going to be implemented in Tualatin with installations beginning in July… this was announced in April:

    http://trimet.org/news/releases/april5-wesquieter.htm

    Couldn’t find any news articles more recent than that announcement… anyone know if it’s still happening?

  162. jimkarlock
    August 16, 2010 at 11:58 pm Link

    R A Fontes Says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/business/economy/15view.html?ref=automobiles

    Take that, you know who…
    JK: That’s why big box stores typically locate away from the high rent districts. They specialize in efficiency. Feel free to pay twice the price at that nice little shoppe in the Pearl and pay Sam Adams for the parking.

    People who value their money have a different approach: they go where the costs are lower.

    And before you take this as some sort of admission, please note that my $0.21 per hour figure came from an anti car website’s data.

    Thanks
    JK

  163. jimkarlock
    August 17, 2010 at 2:12 am Link

    R A Fontes Says: Take that, you know who…
    JK: O’Toole (Antiplanner and the Thoreau Institute) just published a detailed rebuttal of your source (“Take that, you know who…”):

    [Moderator: Repost of entire text of external article removed. Don’t repost entire articles here. Just link and, if appropriate, excerpt. Here’s the link: http://ti.org/antiplanner/?p=3547#more-3547 – Bob R.]

    whose policy is: Articles in the Antiplanner may reprinted elsewhere with appropriate credit to the Antiplanner and the Thoreau Institute.

    [Moderator: Doesn’t matter. You should know this by now.]

  164. Bob R.
    August 17, 2010 at 9:17 am Link

    and pay Sam Adams for the parking.

    Can you go for a single comment without some kind of personal attack on someone? (Granted, he’s a public figure.)

    Drop the constant seething sarcasm.

    (Or provide proof that parking revenues line Sam’s pocket rather than going to the City of Portland.)

  165. Jeff F
    August 17, 2010 at 11:33 am Link

    JK’s linked article begins with:

    Shoup’s work is biased by his residency in Los Angeles, the nation’s densest urban area.

    Which struck me as a very odd statement. According to the 2000 census, LA isn’t even close to being the most dense urban area.

    The author doesn’t seem to have visited any large eastern or midwestern city.

  166. EngineerScotty
    August 17, 2010 at 11:52 am Link

    The city of LA is actually pretty dense, at 8,000 persons per square mile–double the density of the city of Portland. (In both cases, only cities are compared; the greater LA metro area is considerably less dense, as is the greater Portland metro area).

    But still, compared to places like New York, LA ain’t got nothing…

  167. jimkarlock
    August 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm Link

    Jeff F Says: The author doesn’t seem to have visited any large eastern or midwestern city.
    EngineerScotty Says: But still, compared to places like New York, LA ain’t got nothing…
    JK: Sorry guys, you’re wrong and Randal is right. Did you miss the term “urban area” – urbanized area is a region defined by the census department. It is not just a city – it is a more a market area:

    Urban areas in the United States are defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as contiguous census block groups with a population density of at least 1,000 inhabitants per square mile (386.1 /km2) with any census block groups around this core having a density of at least 500 inhabitants per square mile (193.1 /km2).
    from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_urban_area

    * Los Angeles urbanized area is denser than New York urbanized area.

    * However, the Los Angeles city center is less dense than New York city center.

    PS: The fact that LA is the densest UA in the country is why Metro wants to “replicate” LA here as Metro admitted on page 7 of their Metro Measured:
    We could not depart Figures 12 through 14 without pointing out some apparent disparities between perception and measurement, namely, Los Angeles . When we measure the LA region, we find high densities and low per capita road and freeway mileage and travel times only slightly higher than average . By way of contrast, common perceptions of Los Angeles suggest low density, high per capita road mileage and intolerable congestion . In public discussions we gather the general
    impression that Los Angeles represents a future to be avoided . By the same token, with respect to density and road per capita mileage it displays an investment pattern we desire to replicate.

    Note the claim of high densities, low road milage and longer commute times – all things Metro plans for us even as they recognize we don’t want to be like their model.

    Thanks
    JK

  168. Jason McHuff
    August 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm Link

    FYI, there are many private parking places in the central city, so if you disagree with where the city’s parking revenue is going, you don’t have to support it.

    they recognize we don’t want to be like their model

    No, what they recognize (at least think) is that the LA area is different than the impression that people have of it–that there are “apparent disparities between perception and measurement”.

  169. jimkarlock
    August 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm Link

    No, what they recognize (at least think) is that the LA area is different than the impression that people have of it–that there are “apparent disparities between perception and measurement”.
    That’s semantics – people look at LA & don’t like it. Its just that simple.

    The fact that Metro if trying to replicate LA here is an outrage against people’s wishes.

    Thanks
    JK

  170. Jason McHuff
    August 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm Link

    And in other news, I have video of the TriMet August 2010 Board Meeting available online, as well as responses to John Charles’s and Steve Shoup’s testimony.

  171. Jason McHuff
    August 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm Link

    people look at LA

    But how many people have actually really studied LA and really understand it? But in any case, part of the issue with the LA region is that it is so big (in both population and land area). And that’s much bigger than the Portland region will ever be.

  172. Bob R.
    August 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm Link

    “Metro is trying to replicate LA here”

    No, JK the quote you provide does nothing to prove that “Metro is trying to replicate LA here”. It clearly says “with respect to density and road per capita mileage”.

    You and I both know that the same amount of density can look very different in two different cities.

    You’ll have to do much better than that to “prove” a nefarious plot on the part of Metro to make us look like LA.

    Again, can we talk about something which is actually real, rather than weakly-supported conspiracy theories?

  173. Jason McHuff
    August 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm Link

    From Mass Transit Article » Transit as a Community Asset, Mass Transit magazine:

    “It kind of got driven by one individual, a real transit advocate, community activist, by the name of Chris Smith,” Hansen explains. “… three years ago he programmed his phone. He had three options to get home. He could either ride the streetcar or one of two bus lines. He programmed it so that when he wanted to go he would just pull up what the order of the arrival times of the three different options were.”

    And at the end:

    The longest Hansen has had off between jobs in his career has been 11 days. He says with a laugh, “I don’t mind getting that up to 12.”

    He says there’s never a good time to leave but chose this time because, as he says, “I think we’re through the worst of the budget process. I don’t think there’s going to be additional cuts and our labor agreement will be in the final process for resolution.

  174. Dave H
    August 17, 2010 at 9:10 pm Link

    You and I both know that the same amount of density can look very different in two different cities.

    I don’t mean to support JK’s point, but Buffalo is a lot more dense than Portland but it’s not something you’ll notice just walking around. They have large areas of single family houses on reasonable lots, but they also have allowed growth differently over the past 200 or so years. (Oh, it also doesn’t hurt the city has was started before Lewis and Clark had crossed the Mississippi. I lived in a place in Buffalo that was older than the city of Portland.) There are a lot more two and three family houses on what we would consider single family lots, and they don’t have the insane height restrictions and FAR requirements that Portland has. Buffalo also is a much smaller footprint, which can bias things.

    LA may have a perception problem, but as someone who spent way too much time there this decade, it’s a lot denser than Portland in corridors focused around transit. While that may not be Metro’s intentional goal, it does feel like they’re trying to make us more like LA than anything else.

    At the same time, I can buy a few city blocks in some parts of Buffalo for the price of a single family house in Portland, or I can buy a block of Portland for the price of a house in a good part of LA, so it’s all a bit of a trade-off.

  175. Jason Barbour
    August 17, 2010 at 10:05 pm Link

    Good news for transit fans and transit enthusiasts everywhere out of Olympia, Washington, tonight: the Intercity Transit ballot measure (bus-only system serving parts of Thurston Co., WA) passed! Info on theolympian.com.

  176. Sirwell
    August 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm Link

    AUG 18 noon, CRC option titled CONCEPT #1

    Chris MAY NOT do an article, but should!

    CITY HALL perhaps denying/delaying due public review
    and summary of CONCEPT#1 benefits/drawbacks which include:

    =LEAST ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT=

    =LEAST COST=

    Without public hearing so-called “CONSENSUS” is “FAULTY”

    So reader, just pass this word AUG18noon (that would be (81810) that CONCEPT #1 is BEST and WILL NOT be ignored by many members of the public. Chris, write an article and consult one of your co-editors for the job. Get the scoop down to franchise level. Ar13mins aftern

  177. EngineerScotty
    August 21, 2010 at 12:03 am Link

    Is the site down again? Or is everyone just bored or on vacation? :)

  178. Bob R.
    August 21, 2010 at 12:13 am Link

    No. Yes?

  179. EngineerScotty
    August 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link

    The 2011 update to the Transit Investment Plan is now available at TriMet’s website.

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