Friday, January 31, 2014

In Salem as in Portland as in Seattle: Mega-Project Mess: All This Could Be Yours - BlueOregon

The Salem Sprawl Lobby continues to push the "Salem Alternative" without ever even honestly addressing any of the warnings about how these projects go.

"As Governor Kitzhaber pushes Oregon's lawmakers to go it alone on the costly, risky Columbia River Crossing mega-project, it might be wise for everyone in Salem to get a subscription to the Seattle Times, Crosscut, and The Stranger, stat.

Over the past two months, the Times has had headline after headline about WSDOT's latest mega-project, the Seattle tunnel. Most are about how Bertha, the world's largest tunneling machine (custom-built for this project) hasn't moved for nearly eight weeks; contractors and WSDOT have undertaken an expensive and potentially dangerous investigation.

As Oregon has no experience with such mega-projects, and ODOT has a terrible track record with its recent large projects, it is incumbent on CRC-backing legislators to learn from others.

We know Oxford University's Bent Flyvbjerg's meta-analysis shows 90% of mega-projects go over budget, with a billion-dollar cost overrun about average for projects the size of the CRC. We know how Boston's Big Dig, projected to cost $2.8 to $6 billion, ended up costing $22 billion.

Closer to home, we remember the OSHU tram, which came in at two to four times its projected cost, and with a fare more than double the estimate. That's a project one-hundred times cheaper and simpler than the CRC.

But Oregon lawmakers should also notice similarities with mega-projects in Washington, where the DOT – an agency with much more experience than ODOT in managing mega-projects, and that oversaw much of the groundwork the CRC – is struggling mightily with a big bridge project and a two-mile tunnel in Seattle. . . ."

Don't miss this -- making Salem work for everyone, not just drivers


News Release from Cherriots - Salem Keizer Transit
Posted on FlashAlert: January 29th, 2014 3:30 PM
Gil Penalosa is a champion of advocating quality of life for people of all ages, from eight to 80 (and beyond). The Executive Director of a Toronto based non-profit, 8-80 Cities, Gil bases his practice in a simple philosophy: If you create a city that's good for an 8 year old and good for an 80 year old, you will create a successful city for everyone. This is an 8-80 City.

Mr. Penalosa is adding Salem to the long list of cities in which he has lectured with the hope of sharing ideas and inspiration that will help Salem become an 8-80 City. He will present his ideas in a public lecture in Salem on February 19.

As former Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City of Bogota, Colombia, Gil successfully led the design and development of over 200 parks of which Simon Bolivar, a 360 hectare park in the heart of the city is the best known; here he created the Summer Festival, with over 100 events in 10 days and more than 3 million people attending, making it the main annual recreational and cultural event in the country and an economic engine for the city.

Salem-Keizer Transit General Manager Allan Pollock said, "I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Penalosa speak in Washington D.C. Like many who hear him, I was inspired by his vision. Gil articulates the importance and benefits of active transportation in a compelling way. We are honored to have the opportunity to host him in Salem and hope that many will join us to learn how we might improve livability in our own community."

Elements of an 8-80 City are simple:

-8-80 Cities are communities built for people. They are made up of public spaces that create equal access for diverse groups.
-They nurture our need to be physically active by providing safe, accessible and enjoyable places for everyone to walk, bike and be active as part of our daily routine.
-They recognize that people are social creatures and prioritize human interaction by fostering vibrant streets and great public places where people can rest, relax and play.
8-80 Cities encourage vibrant communities and healthy lifestyles for everyone regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnicity or economic background.

Locally sponsored by Salem-Keizer Transit and Willamette University, the event is free to the public. Doors will open at 6:00pm. Penalosa's presentation will begin at 6:30pm. Light refreshments will be available.

Willamette College of Law, 245 Winter St. SE, John C. Paulus Great Hall
February 19, at 6:30pm
Contact Info:
Sadie Carney
Director of Community Relations