KBOO Bike Show: Mayoral Candidate Eileen Brady, CRC

Listen to the show (mp3, 27.7MB)

Michelle, Tori and Steph talk with Mayoral Candidate Eileen Brady. Economist Joe Cortright discusses the Columbia River Crossing.

21 Comments

21 Responses to KBOO Bike Show: Mayoral Candidate Eileen Brady, CRC

  1. Spencer Boomhower
    January 6, 2012 at 1:58 am Link

    Interesting to hear Eileen Brady come out swinging for starting tolling the current bridge ASAP.

    Joe as always was front and center with his vast repository of CRC knowledge.

    And they started using my favorite bike song ever (called “The Bike Song”) as their theme music. So yeah, great show all around!

  2. Chris I
    January 6, 2012 at 6:52 am Link

    That was a good show. I’m definitely more of a fan of her after hearing her positions on economic development and the CRC. She definitely has a bit to learn about transportation, but seems like an intelligent person.

  3. Spencer Boomhower
    January 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm Link

    Sorry for the double-post! My first attempt last night returned a server-error message, as did my second attempt. So I gave up and was going to try again today, but here they both are.

  4. Wells
    January 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm Link

    Charlie Hales has far more experience with and understanding of transportation issues. While both Hales and Brady have expressed doubts about the CRC, Brady’s wholehearted support for tolling shows she’ll answer to international business demands for recklessly dangerous globalization.

  5. al m
    January 6, 2012 at 11:51 pm Link

    My first attempt last night returned a server-error message

    ~~~~>That’s standard operating procedure here.
    Your post usually does get posted, ignore that message.

  6. Aaron W.
    January 7, 2012 at 8:56 am Link

    I was skeptical of Brady before this interview but after listening to her I must say that I am impressed. She seems smart, savvy and capable of making sound decisions.

    I completely agree that across the board cuts are the worst way to make financial decisions. I also think that maintain first is a strong strategy for infrastructure decisions.

    Now, can she navigate the political waters of the city council, that I don’t know but I wish her luck.

  7. Wells
    January 7, 2012 at 11:02 am Link

    Brady’s interview gave me the impression that she’s more talk than integrity.

  8. Spencer Boomhower
    January 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm Link

    I find Brady to be quite likable, and I’m a fan of a lot of the work she’s done in the city. But I have a problem with how she’s approaching the CRC. My concern isn’t with the nuanced, reasonable approach to the CRC she presented on KBOO bike show, it’s with the full-speed-ahead approach she espoused to the AFL-CIO (“we need to build this bridge, you guys!”):

    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/18546568/highlight/219651

    …and with the pretty clear “yes” she gave in response to the Portland Business Alliance’s questionnaire, asking:

    “Do you support the Columbia River Crossing project as proposed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement and will you advocate for state and federal funding for its construction?”

    That’s question 13 here:

    http://valueofjobs.com/candidate_ques/cq_cc_mayor.html

    She did follow the “yes” with a more nuanced answer that said the CRC will need to be scaled down, but… Scaled-down is not what’s in the Final Environmental Impact Statement! And the question was specifically about the FEIS.

    The very fact that her answers on the CRC sound substantially different depending on the crowd she’s addressing is also a bit of a red flag. She didn’t go on the KBOO bike show and say (as she said to the Oregon AFL-CIO crowd), “let’s build that bridge and let’s get on with it.”

    The issue is worth examining because I think what a potential leader sees when they look at the CRC is a good question to put on the civic-leadership aptitude test.

  9. Lenny Anderson
    January 10, 2012 at 9:00 am Link

    Thanks Spencer for calling her out on the CRC.
    My beef with Brady goes back to when she was more involved with New Seasons. In 2004 they opened a new store on Interstate at a new MAX station with a parking lot in front and no mixed use at all. I challenged then NS president Rhoter (sp?) on this…he blamed the banks, but was VERY dismissive of potential public partners…TriMet, PDC, Metro…for a better mixed use project with parking under or over. Safeway, Whole Foods and Zupans have all done these kind of projects; why not New Seasons? They are about to do another suburban style store at NE 15th & Fremont. Not my vision for the city…keeping us auto dependent for another generation.

  10. dave
    January 10, 2012 at 10:03 am Link

    @Lenny –
    I think you are a little off on your comments regarding New Seasons Market. The three projects that you mentioned were heavily subsidized by the government. In this environment, there just isn’t that kind of money available. It’s part of the reason why Fred Meyer elected to remodel their Burlingame store rather than rebuild it as a multi-level store. Plus I know that the high cost of doing the NS Hawthorne store, which has parking on the roof, discouraged NS from doing that again. The banks insisted that they include parking in the project so they put it on top. However sales are just OK in the store. Sales are just not high enough to recover all the extra costs involved. So financially, the store isn’t setting the world on fire. They are a rather small business after all that has to justify a return on their investment. Would you prefer that they just not build at all? Walmart was interested in that site. Yes, they could have afforded doing a higher density store (they recently opened one in downtown Chicago) but then the anti-Walmart forces would have come out against it. I welcome them to the neighborhood. And I’m glad they are doing this without a large government subsidy.

  11. Chris I
    January 10, 2012 at 10:51 am Link

    Dave is correct on this one. New Seasons is not in the business of building condos, and there wasn’t a developer willing to step in. This is not a suburban store; there are plans for good pedestrian access and bike facilities. A suburban store would probably have twice as much parking. As the neighborhood increases in density, they can always build housing on the parking lot and move the cars to the basement.

  12. Jeff F
    January 10, 2012 at 11:57 am Link

    Since everyone else has digressed: Is the new store simply occupying the space previously held by Wild Oats/Nature’s or is there new construction?

  13. Chris I
    January 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm Link

    Lenny has the location wrong, the new store will be located on Fremont between Williams and Vancouver. It will be built on a vacant lot that quite frankly has been a giant eyesore for years. It will be highly accessible by bike. Perhaps the only drawback may be the increased auto traffic on this popular bike route.

    More info:
    http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?c=47126&a=380418

  14. Jeff F
    January 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm Link

    Thanks, Chris. That location is truly an eyesore. It will also be a boon to the neighborhood to have a grocery store, much like the addition of the Concordia NS store was a boon in that NE neighborhood.

  15. Lenny Anderson
    January 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm Link

    I’m not refering to the proposed NS store at NE Fremont & Williams, but to the Arbor Lodge store adjacent to the Rosa Parks MAX Station built a few years ago. The public spent $350M to build the light rail line with the reasonable expectation that stations would develope with some density, not parking lots. TriMet, Metro’s TOD program, and PDC’s Interstate Corridor URA all had resources for making higher density, mixed use happen at that key transit stop. New Seasons basically flipped them (us, if you believe in democracy) off. The new store is not much better, but certainly better than a hole in the groud, just as the Arbor Lodge store is better than Oregon Armored at that location. But its still a missed opportunity to build/rebuild a community so that driving a car is not essential for daily life. As much as I like NS as a market, their failure to take some risks for the greater good is a disappointment. And sours me on Brady as a potential leader for the city.

  16. dave
    January 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm Link

    If you are going to pick on a store along the Yellow line, you might want to pick on the Fred Meyer at Lombard instead. The deep pockets of Kroger and their connections, plus the giant size of the lot could have produced an interesting mixed use project. The NS at Rosa Parks has a tiny parking lot as it is. I’ve left there before when I couldn’t find a parking spot.

  17. Wells
    January 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm Link

    I’ve lived near the Interstate New Seasons and consider it a vast improvement over its predecessors. The MAX station ably serves the commercial corner with its sufficient nearby housing.

    No slight to Eileen Brady, I just feel the need to prod the mayoral candidates out of their complacent avoidance of the CRC issue.

    The Hayden Island CRASH-RAMP design is NOT SAFER as we’re being “misled” to believe. Its statistical probability for severe accident is unacceptably high, higher than the current arrangement and higher than the Concept#1 Off-island Access option that most of you have no idea about despite my efforts to lay out a fair assessment in its favor.

  18. Lenny Anderson
    January 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm Link

    Actually, Kroger did put some retail at the corner, and their project was renovation of an existing store, not a new construction. Different rules. NS had to go to City Council for a variance. We pulled the bike lane off that stretch of Interstate specifically to retain on street parking for mixed used development, then we got a parking lot. I expected better from NS.
    Ironically, the EcoTrust restoration on NW 10th Avenue did the same thing…put parking next to a Streetcar stop.
    If NS had worked with a developer on Interstate they could at least have put their parking underneath the store and tripled the number of slots. What they did violated the work and vision of the community planning for station areas as well as the broader expectation of land use in light rail station areas. Not what I want for a mayor, not to mention her endorsement of the CRC.

  19. dave
    January 11, 2012 at 7:57 am Link

    Lenny – check your facts. The Interstate Fred Meyer was new construction. The store used to be located on the NE corner of the lot vs the south side that it is now. They even removed a dead end street to build it.

    What disappoints me is that we have a company here, New Seasons, that is providing family wage jobs, tries to buy as much locally as they can, builds stores in urban locations that most retailers have abandoned and it’s not good enough for some people. Community plans are great but sometimes they don’t reflect market realities.

  20. Lenny Anderson
    January 11, 2012 at 8:28 am Link

    Frankly I am more concerned about the facts re New Seasons on Interstate. They sought and received a variance that violated the spirit of transit oriented development and brushed off potential public agency partners. Fine, that’s just not a model for public spirited companies in my book, and don’t ask me to support EB for mayor.

  21. EngineerScotty
    January 11, 2012 at 10:25 am Link

    Without commenting on Brady or the specific NS market in question:

    1) The modern full-service grocery business (which New Seasons is) is optimized for high-volume customers. The main concern is the checkout stand–which consumes more of a cashier’s time, one customer with 20 items, or 20 customers each with one? New Seasons stores, like other full-service groceries, are further tuned around this model, with aisles wide enough for two full-size shopping carts to pass comfortably (and thus less shelf space). Unfortunately, a store that expects that significant numbers of customers will be buying a weeks worth of groceries, also needs to expect that said customers will drive to haul them home. Transit-oriented grocery stores do exist and can work (they have smaller footprints and narrower aisles, but are generally mom-and-pop operations and not chains), but your typical NS is not an example of one.

    2) NS, or any other grocer looking to build a similar facility, will likely need credit to finance construction. And unless the law puts the thumb on the scale in some fashion, lenders tend to require large parking lots as a condition of borrowing. How the specific projects in question were financed, I’ve no idea, but this has long been an issue for trying to build walkable urbanism–bankers tend to consider it a credit risk.

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