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Friday, December 4, 2015

Public input? Public input? We don't need no stinking public input

Over the past four years, TriMet and Metro have been planning something called the SW Corridor Project. Metro describes it as a multi-modal project featuring new transit capacity, local street improvements, and enhancements to trails, sidewalks, and bike lanes. The project will begin at Portland State, travel along Barbur Boulevard, and terminate somewhere near Tualatin.
The exact nature of the transit element has never been disclosed; ostensibly, the choice is between light rail and bus-rapid transit. The Project Steering Committee insists that final decisions on the technology, route, terminus, and financial plan are still open for discussion, with some preliminary decisions scheduled for 2016.
Curiously, however, at the November 11 TriMet Board of Directors planning retreat, the Board was informed (at 3:17:05) by project staff that opening day for the project has already been set: September 12, 2025.
How is it that TriMet already knows the exact day that operations will commence, if it doesn’t even know any of the particulars – including a proposed, $250 million tunnel to PCC-Sylvania that would only be built if light rail is chosen?
Apparently, all decisions have actually been made, and future public hearings will be just as fake as the past ones.
All aboard for light rail to Bridgeport Village. Only 3,581 days till the opening ceremony!
John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization. http://cascadepolicy.org/blog/2015/12/02/the-futility-of-public-hearings/

1 comment:

Jason McHuff said...

I tried to post a comment like this to his post but it appears he is undemocratic and won't approve of any ones he doesn't agree with. There were no comments when I submitted mine and now there are others there.

It is possible to have a goal without a solid plan on how to get there. I'm sure he (and you) can think of time or cost milestones that governments have announced and not made.

In the video he says following the date announcement "see how well we do on that schedule" and makes it clear that the project is at an early phase and has a lot of steps to get through and it is not known when some of those steps will be completed.

As for the bigger picture, let's work on solving the real problems by getting the TriMet board to be appointed locally by Metro, and by getting multiple-choice "approval" voting in this state so that alternative candidates can have a chance of winning.