What’s Up with the FTA and PMLR?

Update: TriMet says they were not expecting funding in this round, and that the project is in the President’s FY12 Budget, which is when they expect the first funding.

Original Post:

The FTA released their latest round of New Starts funding, and Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail was not on the list.

According to some sources, $200M was anticipated.

We’ve queried TriMet to get their take on this.

10 responses to “What’s Up with the FTA and PMLR?”

  1. Looks like the $$$ has come in for THIS however, right?

    If you want to repeal the “1% for art” law which requires this sort of expenditure, fine by me.

    (And to be specific WRT your question: whether the funds to actually commission the proposed works of art have been received by TriMet, I’ve no idea…)

  2. Looks like the $$$ has come in for THIS however, right?

    I suppose you think a giant yellow bullwinkle with a human face isn’t art?

  3. To the extent that Bullwinkle was indeed art, homages to Bullwinkle are therefore homages to art.

    Nonetheless, I don’t think it looks like Bullwinkle, and funds haven’t been spent (as far as I know) beyond the staff time it takes to support the volunteers who select from the various artists’ proposals.

    (And why does Firefox’s default dictionary know “Bullwinkle” but not “Columbian”?)

  4. I should add, lest anyone think I’m copacetic with the way in which public art is managed on TriMet projects, I do object to the complete removal and destruction of art which cost a pretty penny to install in the first place, much less than half a human lifetime later.

    Some may remember the “bathtub”/”submarine” fountain on 5th, just south of Pioneer Courthouse Square. Because a “suitable” location could not be found for its relocation after construction, it no longer exists. Nor does the fountain of masonry cubes further north on 6th … it was not preserved as art because it was not “artist designed” (as I was told by a TriMet representative in charge of public art), merely “architect designed”, which, of course, no matter how much it cost originally, is not “art”.

    (Not to mention the artist-designed transit mall shelters. The original mall shetlers by the late Lawrence Halprin are now all gone but for one, which has been converted into a coffee shop. The rest were scrapped, despite offers from business people to preserve them for off-mall uses, and at least two were demolished in an terrorism-response exercise at the PIR even after TriMet claimed that no more remained and that it would be impractical to move them anyway. Anyhoo, the new mall shelters look terrific, especially with their innovative lighting at night, but they aren’t as practical as the originals from a rider perspective.)

    Sour grapes? Sure. But sour grapes can be washed away with a lovely water feature. :-)

  5. but they aren’t as practical as the originals from a rider perspective.

    As someone relatively new to Portland public transit, looking at that old stop they eventually turned into the coffee shop, others, and for example the recent 188th Ave MAX station redesign, it really seems like they’ve decided we have something against providing decent structures to wait under in our crappy weather. I’m probably just seeing a pattern where none exists, but if that’s not the case, I don’t really get it.

  6. The scoop on the new shelters (with very uncomfortable seating) is that they are designed to people basically dry, but not dry enough that some of our downtown street residents would want to sleep there overnight.

  7. Speaking of not sleeping, that deer/child was haunting my dreams last night.

    The horror …


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