Anti-rail measure signals challenge in region's governance: Editorial Agenda 2014
There are very valid reasons why there is such an uproar against the light rail agenda, not least of which are that the citizens have voted NO ON IT more than once, yet the oligarchs put it in anyway. The installation of Light Rail puts people out of homes and businesses and it a HUGE headache for everybody that is intending to drive in the area and this inconvenience is measured in YEARS.
Light rail does NOT decrease traffic congestion and even with Portland's reputation as being the 'leader' in 'smart' planning are traffic congestion problems get worse each year.
Light rail has it purpose and can be a great transit option, like the Trimet blue line which is an example of a very successful project that could not be duplicated with bus service. But even the Trimet blue line is faulty due to its street car speed through downtown.
Personally I'm not convinced that corridor needs any 'high capacity' transit, just more frequent bus service more hours of the day could do the trick over there.
But those of us who have been following these issues for years know that light rail is not about transit at all, its about DEVELOPMENT and offering government subsidized transportation to the private businesses that decide to locate along these lines. Transit has nothing to do with light rail.
And light rail is also about the money, the obscene dollars that go to influential local contractors long with the obscene profits. What was the last cost amount? $200 million per mile?
And if the FED's were not handing out the money for most of this nobody would be building it.
And finally Trimet's reputation, executives who have no problem handing themselves huge raises and pensions while crying about their lack of money. The arrogance of Trimet is at least 1/2 of the reason there are so many people opposed to them and their projects.