Monday, October 12, 2009

Portland Streetcar costs contribute to Road Paving Backlogs

The city of Boise and the CCDC proudly point to the Portland streetcar as a model of success.  As I have already pointed out in previous posts, many transit analysts disagree with that assessment.  In a new study last September in the Oregon Business Report, the following was found:

"Since the streetcar began construction, Portland’s streets have suffered.  During that time, Portland has added 500 lane miles to its backlog of unpaved streets. Portland’s current backlog could pave a two-lane road from Portland to San Francisco, California. Since streetcar construction began, each additional mile of streetcar has been associated with an additional 114 miles of unpaved roads in the City of Portland."

You can read the entire report here:

If you look at the graphs provided, you can see that the road paving backlog has steadily increased since the streetcar was put in - not surprising given the huge tax subsidies required to keep their streetcar running.

There is only so much money to go around.  Every dollar spent on propping up a streetcar that is not generating revenue (and the Boise one will be 'free' to ride) is a dollar that cannot be spent elsewhere.

Please contact your friends and relatives and tell them to tell the Boise CIty Council NO.

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