Boy howdy, It's coming up on 26 years since Mount St. Helens erupted, and a quote I can embroider on a pillow . . .
Mount St. Helens Is Recharging Its Magma Stores, Setting Off Earthquake Swarms
. . . "volcanoes spend most of their existence not erupting."
More below the fold, with a short Maddog story.
Boomer versus Millennial Wrestling World Smackdown, Portland is out ahead, but Seattle is running a close second!
Millennial Home Ownership: Disappointment Ahead in Some Places? | Newgeography.com
This is listed as a Millennial issue, but the problem has been created by Boomers who want to keep their property values high by retaining destructive urban growth and/or services boundaries, and highly limiting zoning, and construction/development policies.
"Millennial renters overwhelmingly plan on buying their own homes, though affording them could be far more challenging than they think."
More after the fold!
In Praise of Plain Old Bus Service | Newgeography.com
. . . and specifically discussing Portland's, pre-Portlandia, bus system, and why it was so great. Sadly, the author did not interview Maddogsson about how the current Portlandia bus system is no longer like the wonderful bus system Portland had in its pre-Portlandia days.
Today the bus system is demarcated by long wait time outside of rush hour, and spotty on-time service. This means the poor have a much harder time with transit than they should.
Read the whole article it is very good.
Questions on cables’ safety demand 24-hour Metro shutdown, Wiedefeld says
. . . Metro is 40 years old, and the lack of a complete system rebuild from ground up is leaving Metro a dangerous, unsafe, "national embarrassment."
Electric rail transit requires full tear down and replacement of nearly everything but the ground every thirty to forty years. But the cost of this is horrendous, and none of the transit providers charges a sufficient fare to even approach paying for daily operations, let alone this massive additional cost. Just to be clear, this full tear down and replacement cost is usually about equal to the initial build cost, which for most locations was paid for with majority assistants from the federal government. But the feds don't pay for this, only the original capital construction. So, cash strapped by the shockingly high operating costs, the agencies simply dither, hoping the problem will go away, or succumb to the point source repairs which Metro performs.
Obviously that does not work.
The Portlandia East Side light rail is now 30 years old, and past the point where it needs a full tear down and replacement. TriMet is not performing, nor does it have scheduled anything similar. TriMet riders should begin to plan appropriately. The East Side trains will begin having more and more problems, there will be increasing shutdowns, and disrupted service.
It is time for a conversation about whether performing this retrofit, which will likely cost $500 million dollars, or more, would be worth it, or whether Portlandia would be better off replacing this with a bus service which could span the short time until the share ride self drive car obliterates transit completely.
Or, more likely, TriMet can dither, allowing fires, track breakages, electrical failures, computer failures, and collisions to mount. Then the people will vote with their feet, and bikes, and cars, until there is nothing left.
More lunacy from the Portland Clown College: Smart Growth: Driving up housing prices, and increasing congestion! Twofer!!!
Trouble In Smart Growth's Nirvana
"Recent developments in Portland and Oregon suggest that smart growth is having only a modest effect, while driving down housing affordability, increasing traffic congestion and losing popularity in neighborhoods."
Hold on! Smart Growth is supposed to make housing affordable, not unaffordable, and all those billion dollar light rail projects are supposed to decrease traffic congestion. It's almost like it's some sort of bait and switch scheme. Hold on . . . Maddogswif is speaking to me sotto vocce . . . She says it is a bait and switch scheme. Mon Dieu! Who would have guessed? Government lying to the taxpayers, what's the world coming to?
Answer: Expensive bullshit, that's what the world is coming to.
"Despite the claims of the transit-media complex, Portland’s anti-highway policies are failing. The 2000 Census shows that transit’s work trip market share remains 20 percent below the 1980 Census rate, which preceded opening of the first light rail line. And, Portland’s highway congestion has become the worst of any metropolitan area of its size."
Great, we are in reverse and accelerating!
"The most destructive result has been Portland’s “green-lining” of housing opportunity by the urban growth boundary. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, Portland’s housing affordability declined at a far greater rate in the last decade than in any other major metropolitan area. At the same time, housing affordability improved in faster growing areas, such as Atlanta, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Raleigh-Durham."
The verdict is in, Urban Planners are imbeciles. The whole Smart Growth thing is nothing but one of those Gorian secular religions, similar to the great gorical's Gaiastic Apocalyptic Global Warming religion. And Smart Growth comes with the same outcomes, the opposite of the prophecies. This is like a 3rd rate SciFi POC (piece of crap). Luckily, I live mid stream of the River Effluent, er, Portlandia, or ground zero as it is known by those remaining rational in the area.
So Where Should People Live in the Future?
Probably exactly where they want to live, because from what I can see, that's where they end up living.
Sorry, time for a detour . . .
"What was perhaps most intriguing was that the top ranked city for unhappiness is Portland, Oregon, the city that many planners hold up as Nirvana." Well, only for the Smart Growth Urban Planners, and people who believe the press tongue bathings, er, news. For us who live here, especially those of us who have lived here for a long time (1972 for me), this is OBVIOUS, TANGIBLE, AND PALPABLE. Loud enough? Terrible traffic, unaffordable housing, idiotic transit which mangles everything from roadways, to bicycle riders.
Will Portland Streetcar ever find a way to prevent bike-rail crashes? - BikePortland.org
"Twelve years after Portland Streetcar added its rails to city streets, it’s still a Portland rite of passage to crash your bike on its tracks — and it’s still a maddening problem for the handful of people trying to solve it.
“'I just can’t believe that in a place like Amsterdam or any number of European cities where they have had girder rail — I can’t believe that somebody hasn’t figured this out,' Portland Streetcar consultant Carter MacNichol said in an interview Wednesday. 'But apparently they haven’t.'"
Said the Portland Streetcar Consultant, excuse me, idiot. The Antiplanner is not as uninformed as this idiot Portland Streetcar Consultant, there is a fix: "There’s one good thing about the streetcar, at least if you are a Portland auto driver annoyed by the city’s aggressive cyclists. More than two-thirds of Portland cyclists surveyed in 2008 said they’ve crashed on the streetcar tracks. There’s an engineering fix–putting rubber flaps on the rails that are flexible enough for the streetcars to push out of the way but too stiff for bicycles to sink into. But Portland Streetcar doesn’t want to install them because it’s too expensive and they’d have to replace them every two or three years."
Why is government so willing to hire know-nothing consultants, when a bit of perusing around the Internet would answer most of their questions? Yeah I know, they hire them because the politician want a cushy job once they fail out of "public service" and nothing is as cushy as a job which requires not one whit of knowledge, like Portland Streetcar Consultant! It's the old I'll scratch your back two step.
The cure is simple, get rid of the streetcar, and light rail. I can already hear the shrieks from the transit Mafia. But as the Antiplanner observes, "[c]onsidering that the 2013 American Community Survey found that more than 18,000 workers living in the city of Portland bicycle to work while only 7,800 take some form of rail transit–including both streetcars and light rail–it seems like the city has its priorities exactly backwards. I hope officials from other cities who look to Portland as a model for transportation planning take the time to read these audits."
So, rail transit in Portlandia, which carries about one half of all transit riders, only takes 7,800 workers each day? Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ! We spent billions on this crap, and it carries less than 8,000 people to work? Taxis would have been cheaper, and with those impossibly low ridership numbers the roadways wouldn't notice the increased carriage.
Sorry for the detour, back to the question of where people want to live. Portlandia's Smart Growth Urban Planners know exactly where people want to live, in the city, in a high density environment. You know like rats in a packed maze.
This was confirmed by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project's national survey assessing where people would like to live:
"A new national survey by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project finds that nearly half (46%) of the public would rather live in a different type of community from the one they're living in now- a sentiment that is most prevalent among city dwellers. When asked about specific metropolitan areas where they would like to live, respondents rank Denver, San Diego and Seattle at the top of a list of 30 cities, and Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati at the bottom. Other survey findings include:
• Americans are all over the map in their views about their ideal community type: 30% say they would most like to live in a small town, 25% in a suburb, 23% in a city and 21% in a rural area.
• By a ratio of more than three-to-one, Americans prefer living where the pace of life is slow, not fast. A similarly lopsided majority prefer a place where neighbors know each other well to one where neighbors don't generally know each other's business."
Ok, so the Portlandia Smart Growth Urban Planners lied, through their teeth. People want to live in lower density, with a slower pace, and where neighbors know each other. That pretty much redlines cities, where no one knows, or cares about the neighbors.
Ironically, we have had a number of friends who became enamored with the Pearl District a trendy urban neighborhood in Portlandia. The ones who moved to the Pearl all followed the same pattern, point by point, it was like a comedy bit their behavior was so predictable. They would first become enamored, then they would watch the Pearl's housing prices, and notice the housing prices were going up, up, up. So, they would buy in, and instantly become wildly excited about The Pearl. They would throw 6 or more parties the first year, where before they might have thrown a single holiday party. The second year they would remain enthusiastic, but the parties would fall to perhaps three. The third year they might throw a holiday party, but no more. The fourth year we would meet them at someone elses party, and they would have moved back to the suburbs. They weren't talking about the Pearl. It was a comedy bit!
Some did well with home prices, especially the early adopters, but the latecomers, I suspect got burned. While I asked softly about why, I could only get something along the lines of, "we missed our neighbors in [the suburbs]." Well, yes, and all the concrete, and hard surfaces of the city would get old, as would being trapped with only one car. Plus, we would only go to one party per couple, per year. Parking was a bitch, and I was not about to prostrate myself on the altar of Smart Growth. I suspect they found that with time fewer, and fewer people would trek down to parking hell to visit, which meant they were always doing the driving.
If hell is other people, the city is surely hell. Leave it for the young to populate, and with experience, realize they don't like the city as much as they thought they would.
Remember, Portlandia is a cautionary tale.