Monday, July 23, 2007

Turn back the clock

This is what passes for vision among our city leaders: "let's turn back the clock 80 years!"

I often joke about the centerpiece of transportation policy in Portland being 19th century technology. Sam Adams made a speech to the City Club of Portland last Friday, where he actually said:

"What would Portland look like if we implemented solutions to global warming and peak oil? It would look a lot like Portland circa 1920, a time when the main means of motion were your feet, streetcars and bikes."

That is, ladies and gentlemen, what passes for a "progressive" in Portland.

Meanwhile, the Oregonian had the most insipid apology for the planning disaster of Cascade Station, where the opening of IKEA has pretty much put the idiocy of the New Urbanist vision on open display for everyone to see.

Everyone, that is, except the editorial writers at the Oregonian.

No, the failure of Cascade Station to draw even a single tenant that meets the New Urban vision in five or so years doesn't mean that the vision itself has anything at all wrong with it. Nosirree, it's not that nobody really wants to work and live in a mixed use urban village next to an airport and industrial area; it's not that people actually want to use their automobiles, and enjoy the convenience of driving where they need to go - no that is not why the Cascade Station development failed.

Nope, the whole thing failed because of 9-11.

This is a prime example of the harm done by having a single newspaper in a single party town: they never are forced to question their ideology, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence of its failure.

1 comment:

MAX Redline said...

Good take - I confess, I giggled semi-hysterically when I read Sam "The Tram"'s "vision for the future".

And on another note: you're right - a coyote did board a train at Cascade Station.