Monday, January 29, 2007

Think about it while you're in traffic

Job Announcement:

Bicycle/Pedestrian Specialist
$3,287 - $4,932 MONTHLY

This position provides engineering support for project teams to establish proper project scoping, provide design services, and review plans to ensure that projects are in compliance with the bicycle and pedestrian requirements of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and ORS 366.514. This position also tracks ODOT expenditures to ensure that the 1% spending requirement is met for bicycle and pedestrian facilities whenever a highway is constructed, reconstructed or relocated.

What is with all the "1% programs"? Is it our worthless official's way of institutionalizing their stupidity?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

By all means, let's continue to suck oil out of the ground until there is no more oil in the ground, build more highways and roads until the Willamette Valley resembles greater Los Angeles, and let's also scale back all those mean regulations that attempt to limit the shit we pump into the air to breathe, but for God's sake, whatever we do, let's not go and "institutionalize stupidity" by spending a few bucks on bicycle routes.

Anonymous said...

Fuck this stupid shit, man. I know people in Government who perform what we would probably all agree would be essential functions and they don't get paid $4900+/mo. I am tired of this bullshit in this suck-ass state.

Sorry.

Chris Pieschel said...

The first commment epitomizes the view of the hippie generation that seems to have a strong hold on the city's psyche...

Roads are bad, bikes are good. I would venture to say that this person does not drive, for if he or she did they would understand that "spending a few bucks on bicycle routes" is counter-productive when the roads are in disrepair and the traffic in this city is beyond ridiculous.

Oh but maybe we should spend it on mass transit that the less than 2% of commuters actually use.

If the valley does start to resemble LA, it will only be because that many people have moved here, and if you want to tell people they are not allowed to live in Oregon, well then we will really know where you're coming from. The ironic thing is that it's likely you support illegal immigration, which is contradictory to your desire to have the willamette valley not look like LA.

bjdorr said...

I did a little thinking about the advantage of me taking mass transit to work in Beaverton. I have to commute 34 miles round-trip daily.

The cost that I spend on fuel is equivalent to the cost of two all-zone tickets on Tri-Met. Sounds good, right, to the point that I should give up driving and take mass transit, right?

Driving in my own vehicle takes me 30 to 45 minutes to commute between home and work, one way.

Here's where public mass transit fails me: the commute time from my home to my work is 155 minutes (2 hours and 35 minutes) to 175 minutes (2 hours, 55 minutes one way (that riding, waiting, and the 1 mile of walking too)! That time does not go too well with a four ten-hour work week. That's 5 to 6 hours of commuting, as opposed to the total of 1 to 2 hours of commuting in my own vehicle daily.

This is exactly where public transportation fails me because it is slow. People with long work hours just don't have the time to sit on a bus, train, streetcar, or tram.

On the bright side, employers who encourage four ten-hour work days as opposed to five eight-hour work days are actually helping the employees benefit in less fuel expense and fuel consumption.

Four ten-hour day, commute is 136 miles.
Five eight-hour day, commute is 170 miles. I still get paid the same, but my expense is slightly less on a 4-10 than a 5-8.

Driving my own vehicle has been proven to be far more efficient than taking mass transit. The numbers prove it that mass transit isn't worth it.

Anonymous said...

BJDorr, you've made an excellent case why it wouldn't make any sense for you to use mass transit, but the ONLY thing your numbers "prove" is that mass transit doesn't work for YOU, and the last time I checked, transportation policy for the state of Oregon does not revolve around the needs and desires of BJDorr. As a taxpayer who drives AND uses mass transit, my response to you is: Why should I or anyone else give a shit that you don't ride a bus? Is it more practical and efficient for you to drive? Then drive. No one's stopping you. If it's not practical or efficient for you to ride a bus, then don't ride one. No one's making you.

bjdorr said...

Now, Anonymous 11:08 p.m., after the lambasting of my comments, why don't you tell us why you are in favor of mass transit?

By the way Anonymous 11:08, I'm not dictating people what to do or not to do either, so you may want to re-read my comemnts. I'm only providing my testimony based on my research and experience. I could careless whether one "gives a shit" or not about my comments, but last time I checked, the First Amendment free speech is still in existence in the United States, and I do have the right to openly speak my thoughts, as much as you or anyone else in this country does.

Anonymous said...

Hey, BJ, don't worry about that prick. I mean, the public transit people get almost all of the transportation funds, then they come in here and take shots at a hard-working stiff like yourself? Spoiled little brats. In Oregon, they have won already. You'd think that would be good enough. Wrong. They still have to act like douchebags and come in here to give you shit. Forget about 'em.

eddie said...

Okay... so 1% of funds spent on highways have to be spent on bicycle/pedestrian projects?

You know what? I could live with that.

However... and this is a huge "however"...

Where is the rest of the 99%??????

I've lived in N. for over six years now, and in that time I've watched absolutely nothing good happen to the interstate bottleneck leading to Vancouver. I've watched 3 major surface street arteries be downgraded from four-lane thoroughfares, to two-lane clogfests complete with unused bike lanes. I've seen billions spent on trains, millions on a ski-lift, and they just filled the turn lane into my street with nine pedestrian-protection islands, placed right where cars need to turn, on a street that I've seen about 10 pedestrians a day cross... maybe.

Now, assuming that re-lining streets to remove car lanes and put in bike lanes is part of the 1%... that adding "traffic calming" is part of that 1% (don't tell me that's "for" automobiles)... that trains and pedestrian bridges and dedicated bike paths and all the rest of it is part of that 1%... then where is the other 99%???

I've asked around... no one knows of any project done in the past 30 years to improve traffic except for the 26 past Hillsdale, an improvement that really isn't even in Portland.

Now... as to Mr. Anonymous? Here's a few stupid questions in response to your regurgitated naturist pap:

Why not pump out all the oil, does it serve some mysterious karmic purpose for you in the ground?

Have you checked the air quality ratings for the Willamette Valley? Did you know that if you include particulates we're considered to have one of the worst? Why is this? Because of pollen and an overabundance of mold. So, please stop defending the pristine air here, because it was the worst around before humanity ever crossed a land bridge from Asia.

We're already the most bike-friendly city in the US. Consider us done. Everyone who can easily ride a bike to work, and wants to... DOES. We've got bike lanes all over town that aren't used at all. Perhaps now we can start putting bridle paths in for the people who want to ride horses. Myself? I want a high speed rocket train track to take to work. I'm sure I can find others who want that too.

If pollution were the issue, we'd have controls like Southern California... ones that have made a huge difference there. We'd also enable traffic to move, because nothing increases pollution from automobiles more than slowly idling along vehicles.

If dwindling resources were the issue, there are foward-thinking technologies that could enable transportation that does not take a 150 year step backwards in technology.

Be honest, it's not about enabling bicyclists any more: It's about disabling drivers in an effort to force them to live by your values.

We can't all afford or want to live in downtown "lofts" (read overdesigned condo/apartments) that cost more than a local house and make only token accommodations for families. We can't afford to take three or more hours a day to commute 10-15 mile distances. It's not that we're obsessed with cars, it's simply that you offer nothing better, or even equivalent.

Consider a business that can make back almost 20% of its operating costs. This mythical business then gets the rest of its expenses in bail-outs from the government. However, it never gets on its feet... never makes it into the black... year after year it continues to get bail-outs. Who would let a business like that continue? Take a look at Tri-Met's annual budget and you'll see.

It's enough to make you forget what country you live in...