Hot on the heels of a recent City Auditor report noting that Porkland's "leaders" have been spending millions on regional and transit projects that fall outside the scope of the city's role while allowing road maintenance to deteriorate to the point that nearly half are in poor condition, advocates for additional rail and bike/ped projects have rushed to Salem, hoping to grab some Oregon State Lottery money. Not only is Portland broke, but the new mayor has made it clear that basic infrastructure and other core city responsibilities will, for the first time in years, take precedence over pet projects and "visioning". This disturbing development has caused the professional bedwetters in the rail and spandex crowd to point their cargo trikes toward the state capital, pedalling Fast and Furiously in hopes of snagging some easy money to further their goals.
That seems unlikely to occur, as that particular cash cow has a limited number of teats - all of which are occupied. Naturally lobbyists from Porkland and Metro, the latter being the "regional government", are all in favor of shoving some of the other sucklers aside, but they face opposition:
Others, including representatives from the League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties, were skeptical of using voter-designated lottery funds for alternative transportation projects.
In any case, legislators have other, more pressing issues to address, as Willamette Week's Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Nigel Jaquiss, notes - Democrats have been rushing to approve a vapor-package of funding for "Oregon's part" of the Interstate 5 bridge replacement project on the Columbia River. That there's no source of money for the funding doesn't seem to have bothered them, nor does the fact that a number of their counterparts in southwest Washington not only oppose the project, but view it as unlikely to receive matching funds from their state legislature. Plans for the replacement bridge, which involve bringing light rail from Portland into downtown Vancouver, have been met with a largely negative response from Clark County, Washington residents, who have repeatedly voted against it.
Meanwhile, Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has taken a direct hit from the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). Overriding neighbor concerns, PBPS issued a permit to a developer who's now busily constructing an 81-unit apartment building with no on-site parking at southeast 37th and Division Street. Apparently, PBPS figured that since the developer would install bicycle racks on every floor, everything would be cool.
Outraged neighbors took the case to LUBA, which after due consideration, revoked the building permit; observing that PBPS had violated its own zoning code in issuing the permit - the zoning code for the Main Street Overlay Zone. Undeterred, the developer is continuing construction without a permit, evidently confident that his "juice" with PBPS will save his bacon. This is Portland, after all.