What Disaster hit Portland?


Earl Blumenauer brought the MAX train to Portland and created congestion on purpose. Does he find congestion exciting, or is this part of the master plan to get everyone to take the train and bus? Click this link and judge for yourself:

A report portlandfacts shows how congestion harms many stores, who go out of business or barely hang on with the minimum staff to survive, boosting Oregon’s unemployment rate, already among the highest in the nation. Portland is near the top of the “Urban Misery Index,” up there with New Orleans, which is still recovering from the epic Katrina hurricane.

The disaster that hit Portland was Earl Blumenauer’s transportation policies. Buses are far less expensive, and much more responsive to traveler’s needs, than any train. Portland has squandered untold millions on trains and will squander millions more forever in subsidies. Buses are more energy-efficient and go to more places, with more convenient locations. Trains are so expensive that they crowd out spending on bus lines. In San Francisco and Los Angeles, the building of the train systems increased costs so much they had to cut back on bus routes. Even after spending millions on trains, bus ridership has not returned to pre-train levels. Fewer people there use public transportation now than rode the buses then!

When factoring in energy use to build the lines, trains actually use more energy per passenger mile than cars. The increased energy used in producing a typical system would take 172 years to recoup! Using diesel or propane buses decreases greenhouse gases for those that consider this a problem, far less than trains powered by fossil fuels in most areas. Cities that genuinely want to reduce greenhouse gases should instead invest in simple, cost-effective congestion reduction techniques, such as traffic signal coordination. The Federal Highway Administration says that three out of four traffic signals are not properly coordinated with other nearby signals. A 2003 signal coordination project in San Jose, California, is saving motorists 471,000 gallons of fuel per year. At $2 per gallon, the savings more than paid for the project in the first year. Gas prices are now around $3 per gallon, making the savings even larger. Not only that, but idling cars in traffic jams is a major cause of pollution. Such a simple, but logical and proven way to save money, reduce congestion, and lower pollution is the exact opposite approach implemented by Earl Blumenauer. What did he do to reduce congestion? Why, widen sidewalks, of course.

The traffic is bad in Portland because the planners wanted it that way! They want to make your commute extra-long and frustrating in the hopes that you’ll pack up your family and move to a small apartment downtown. It has never worked out to their satisfaction, but they’ll keep trying until you’re so fed up you’ll move or your employer will move. But they won’t move downtown. They’ll move to another state. The reason a new interstate bridge with more lanes has not been added is due to this romantic attachment to trains and a false nostalgia of happy village life that trains would supposedly foster.

The idea that a train would bring development has been repeatedly proven wrong. Portland Rezoned areas along with the MAX and waited ten years. No development occurred. They then gave tax exemptions to builders. Now development occurred, but it decreased the money available for schools, firemen, police, etc. They are now trying to expand the train system and looking at closing Jefferson and Benson High Schools. It seems to me they are closing schools to pay for more light rail.

For many people, the train, an eighteenth-century innovation, is not a viable or practical option. Those with disabilities, parents with small children, and those going to places not served by train end up subsidizing the few who do ride the rails. Buses are not chained to a track and can be used on any road, can stop on any corner, and provide easy access to people who need transportation. Bus schedules can be easily adjusted to meet increased demand and high traffic hours. Several lanes of roads can be built for the cost of just one track, and the annual maintenance is much less. Why would anyone decide to pay ten times more for something that does not provide as many benefits? Is it romance and nostalgia for a time that never was? Is it “sustainability” or “livability?” What is sustainable or liveable about high unemployment, homelessness, hunger, closing schools, or cutting services? Are tax exemptions for the politically connected and pork projects funneling money to campaign coffers sustainable? Visit this website for more.

People have voted against the train system repeatedly. Our elected officials do not care what we want. The only way to get them to care is to vote them out of office.

I have chosen to enter this race at great cost and personal sacrifice.  If you too want to end the erosion of our rights, our prosperity, and our constitution, won’t you join in supporting my campaign?  If you can afford the maximum donation of $2400 that would be greatly appreciated.  But even if you can afford only $10 or even $5, that too will be appreciated and used for maximum effect.

And if you can not afford the money, please give of your time.  We can always use more volunteers.  I can not do it alone, I need your help.  We may be fast approaching the end of the time that we can turn things around.  So if you can afford the money, give what you can.  If you can afford the time, give off that also.  But whatever you decide to do, remember the words of a great American statesman, who said, “let it not be said that we chose to do nothing.”

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