Portland’s Metro Fraud

by | Feb 2, 2007

The Federal Highway Administration has apparently reached its limit with Portland’s fantasy transportation planning. In comments filed recently on Metro’s so-called “Regional Transportation Plan”, the federal government noted that, “it’s difficult to find the transportation focus” in the plan. Many motorists stuck in our worsening traffic would agree. Metro’s plan places little emphasis on improving […]

The Federal Highway Administration has apparently reached its limit with Portland’s fantasy transportation planning. In comments filed recently on Metro’s so-called “Regional Transportation Plan”, the federal government noted that, “it’s difficult to find the transportation focus” in the plan.

Many motorists stuck in our worsening traffic would agree. Metro’s plan places little emphasis on improving the road system, even though it carries 99 percent of all travel trips in the region. Instead, the plan assumes that people will increasingly live in high-density housing and travel around via light rail lines, streetcars or the aerial tram.

To encourage this, cities will be put on “road diets” and streets will gradually be “retrofitted” into boulevards, greenways and bike paths.

In some ways this is a seductive urban vision, and reminds me of futuristic exhibitions I saw at the New York World’s Fair as a kid in 1965. But in the real world, most people don’t want to live that way. They prefer single-family houses with a yard and a double-car garage.

The roads being ignored by Metro will continue to deteriorate. But that’s part of the plan, too. Higher levels of congestion make rail transit look more attractive, so congestion becomes a benefit.

Eventually taxpayers will realize that Metro’s vision is a fraud. But by then it may be too late.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO at Cascade Policy Institute, a Portland, Oregon based think tank.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

Have a comment?

Post your response in our Capitalism Community on X.

Related articles

Are the Democrats betraying Israel?

Are the Democrats betraying Israel?

Both Biden and his predecessor, President Barack Obama, promised that they had Israel’s back, but it now appears that they are painting a target on its back at a time of its greatest vulnerability.

Memorial Day: What We Owe Our Soldiers

Memorial Day: What We Owe Our Soldiers

To send soldiers into war without a clear self-defense purpose, and without providing them every possible protection, is a betrayal of their valor and a violation of their rights.

No spam. Unsubscribe anytime.

Pin It on Pinterest