Stooping ever lower

The politicians of Portland are falling all over each other these days, proclaiming that if we're going to widen the interstate freeway beyond two lanes as it goes through inner northeast Portland, then the road must be capped so that buildings can be built on top of it. It's a total hostage-taking.

Capping the freeways is an idea that's been floating around in town for a couple of decades or more. It got particularly hot back when Vera Katz was mayor and Homer Williams and the boys had her number on speed-dial. But so far the concept has gone nowhere, because it's ridiculously expensive, and what's the point?

Well, in the case of I-5 through the Rose Quarter, the real estate weasels have stumbled on a point. And they're going to beat it to death: By capping the freeway, they say, they'll be restoring the old Black neighborhood that was destroyed to make way for the freeway and the sprawl of Emanuel Hospital. It's all about the "equity."

But come on, give me a break. If the freeway is capped, the usual suspects, who I'm sure are already picked out, will slap up the same high-rise cr-apartment schlock that has displaced countless Black people, and other middle-class people, up and down Williams and Vancouver Avenues. For the developers' pet politicians to promise that they're bringing back Albina is the height of hypocrisy. You can smell the graft. In other words, classic Portland.


  1. Yeah, 'equity'. That deserves a very loud snort of derision.

  2. "Justice" and "equity" have morphed into meaningless terms that can be slapped into any proposal to ward off legitimate criticism. I expect "vibrant equity" is just around the corner.

  3. Those terms are almost as meaningless as "Sustainable Development". I need to "sustain" my high roller income by continuing to destroy and then rebuild on the cheap.


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