Portland Vintage Trolley car 512, a replica of a 1904 Brill streetcar, built in 1992 by Gomaco. It is passing Portland City Hall, on the MAX light rail tracks on 5th Avenue at Jefferson Street, which is also on the Portland Transit Mall.
Golly, the United Streetcar company over in Clackamas, Oregon, has hit a milestone! Their second streetcar entered service in Porkland today, clearing the way for their first streetcar to be removed from service for six months or so in order to make repairs and fix other flaws.
Years late, over budget - Portland contracted for six of the things, then agreed to accept only five for the same amount of money. Tucson, who made the mistake of contracting with United Streetcar, is so ticked off over the continued delays that they're acting to penalize the company.
The incompetence, both at the company itself and among life-long politicians like Rick Gustafson is simply astonishing.
And what do we get from it? A 19th-century streetcar that serves primarily as a tourist attraction.
Meanwhile, north of the river, The Columbian continues to beat the advocacy drum for light rail, claiming today that property values climb and crime declines when light rail arrives. O'Rlly? For some reason, advocates continually refer to light rail as "spurring development" while conveniently omitting the tens of millions in taxpayer subsidies and property-tax abatements routinely funneled to developers if they will build along a light rail line.
Beaverton Round, despite the millions, went bankrupt twice, and still isn't completed. Condo owners there found that water intrusion occurred within a year of their ill-fated purchases, and remediation is still underway. The City of Beaverton, unwilling to admit defeat, has decided to move their offices into the Round in order to give at least the appearance of some degree of success.
Yeah, that's some real "spurring" going on over there.
And along the "Yellow line", which politicians are desperate to extend into Vancouver, Washington, taxpayer-subsidized development has resulted in a number of apartment buildings (with retail on the ground floor, naturally), along with what they call "gentrification" - which involves the flight of families away from the area. This is what "planners" and their politicians refer to as "progress":
And Seifert, the longtime North Portland resident, is wistful about the transformations he has witnessed in recent years. As single-family houses on his block have been replaced by multi-unit condominiums, the makeup of the neighborhood has changed.
"There aren't any kids anymore," Siefert said. "Just a bunch of 20- and 30-somethings, and a few 50-somethings."
What do you suppose will happen when the hipsters suddenly realize that their apartment-and-condo-bunker worlds aren't exactly kid-friendly?