Portland Light Rail Revolt Continues

In a hard fought election campaign, voters in the city of Tigard appear to have narrowly enacted another barrier to light rail expansion in suburban Portland. The Washington County Elections Division reported that with 100 percent of precincts counted, Charter Amendment 34-210 had obtained 51 percent of the vote, compared to 49 percent opposed. The Charter Amendment establishes as city policy that no transit high capacity corridor can be developed within the city without first having been approved by a vote of the people. High capacity transit in Portland has virtually always meant light rail.

In a previous ballot issue, Tigard voters had enacted an ordinance requiring voter approval of any funding for light rail. Similar measures were enacted in Clackamas County as well as King City in Washington County. Across the Columbia River in Clark County (county seat: Vancouver), voters rejected funding for connecting to the Portland light rail system. After the Clackamas County Commission rushed through a $20 million loan for light rail (just days before the anti-light rail vote), two county commissioners were defeated by candidates opposed to light rail, with a commission majority now in opposition.


Portland Light Rail Revolt Continues | Somewhat Reasonable
The Old Medic
Each community, or county, SHOULD have a vote on whether or not to establish a very, very expensive rails system that will never come close to covering its costs.

Los Angeles (and now the rest of California) is a classic example of how NOT to put a light rail system in place. They have spent BILLIONS of dollars on their system (and now the State is going to spend billions more with a train link between L.A. and San Francisco)., and the ridership is so low that they can't even cover operating costs.

The same will be true of the State's system between LA and San Fran. You can fly to San Francisco in one hour, rent a car, and get on with business. Or, you will be able to take the new train (in about 6 years), travel for 2 hours, and then be subject to strictly public transit at your destination.

The ONLY way to force people to use light rail (or subways, etc.) is the either make parking a vehicle inside a city so expensive that virtually no one will want to spend the money, or to destroy all of the Freeways in the Cities. Those systems are great in relatively compact cities, but for something like the greater Los Angeles area, it won't work.

Los Angeles used to have the best light rail train system in the USA. It went totally broke, after the government started building freeways. Ironically, the light rail system in L.A. has been purchasing some of those old "right of way" lands that the "Red Car" owned.

Similar Threads

Portland girl, 14, charged with DUI
by Locutus | Oct 1st, 2012
The Peasants' Revolt, 1381.
by Blackleaf | Jan 20th, 2006