Corpse abuse

We've watched in dismay as business after business has fled downtown Portland, and the exodus is not over by any means. But even more disturbing has been watching the dopey people in City Hall make sure that the refugees never come back and are never replaced.

The latest lunacy: They're going to force any business in the central core to have their deliveries made by vehicles that don't use gas. I guess electric trucks will be the order of the day. Or maybe cargo bikes! Yeah, right.

The area — which will encompass the Portland Building, the Federal Building and the County Courthouse — will be off-limits to traditional gas-powered delivery vehicles for loading and unloading. All other vehicles would be unaffected. 

“No one has done this, this way, in the U.S.” said Dylan Rivera, a spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Gee, I wonder why.

KGW has a map of the proposed "pilot project" restricted area, here. Of the 16 blocks included, three are parks, seven are government buildings, and one is a parking lot. That leaves five office buildings, which in this day and age are probably half-empty. And there are no police enforcing any kind of traffic laws in Portland any more – that's racist, don'tcha know, and they don't have enough officers anyway. So it's a safe bet that precious few people will be affected by this "pilot," at first. 

But next they'll be pronouncing it a smashing success, and then comes the expansion. Anyone even thinking about opening a business downtown, be sure to take note, you're next. 

Can you imagine being a business and telling a supplier, "You can't deliver to me with your gas-powered truck any more"? Me neither. This city is so royally screwed with the people we have running it.

Rivera said the city will create distribution hubs, likely on the east side, where larger loads can be broken down and delivered by electric bike to smaller private businesses. 

The city plans to partner with B-line Sustainable Urban Delivery, a local business that specializes in zero-emissions delivery tricycles and will provide incentives to companies as they work to adjust to the new rules. 

What could go wrong? And you can almost smell the graft, can't you?

Now, don't get me wrong. Getting people to stop using fossil fuels is not a bad goal. But making businesses the guinea pigs for a command-and-control system is a terrible idea, no matter where it is implemented. It's especially the wrong program for siege-era downtown Portland, which should be begging businesses to operate here, however they get their goods and supplies.

Why in God's name do we pay so many smug brats to sit around City Hall all day dreaming this stuff up? In this case, the craziness is being funded by the federal government, thanks no doubt to our car-hating (but SUV-driving and cross-country-jet-setting) congressman, Earl the Pearl. I'm sure he's delighted.

In any event, shame on Mingus Mapps, the current city transportation commissioner. We mistakenly thought he was a little smarter than this.

UPDATE, April 27: Further thoughts here.


  1. Cults always think they represent the future.

  2. No need to use gas powered lawn mowers in the park blocks…the tents will keep the grass controlled.
    I wonder if the cargo bikes will be used for the periodic demos and removals of said “camping” paraphernalia?

  3. Say what you will about small business tyrants & free markets, if door #2 is ‘no market’ (for legitimate tax paying businesses & goods) & they all flee to LO / suburbia office park hell-scape & everyone drives more miles in their (often) single-occupancy SUV to the outer edges/rings of the city or metro area to get to one business instead of driving less or having *some* public transit options and doing multiple errands per trip with fewer miles, that’s ‘better?’ (Regardless of fuel source).

    Everyone shops on Amazon and every American has ~ 1 truck per good consumed soon to be in the landfill imported from far away where every petrodollar middle man makes money in that chain from oil well to agribusiness to landfill?

    I get that delivery trucks are a major source of local particulate pollution and can be difficult to get in & out of downtown.
    But globally or if everyone isn’t running for the exits from Portland/mult. Co…
    …they will be!
    & the putting onus on smaller businesses or delivery drivers seems pretty absurd.

    Much as an alternate history where the Milwaukee road railroad connects to both Chicago & Portland (which were both larger than The more backwater cities of Seattle Milwaukee at the time) electrified w/locally sourced hydropower like they had & every other competitor would likely have had to electrify/follow suit to be competitive on operation costs (even in one of the most Revolution resistant & long term capital investment-averse industries) & trucks basically aren’t competitive, it’s not the outcome we got.
    Oil is just too darn good in the short term…

    Getting rid of all the noisy polluting construction dump trucks and equipment as well as Harley Davidsons would be nice?

    That said, if retrofits & mufflers or the jake brakes were more reasonable cost & it didn’t hurt smaller owner-operators as much as it likely would…
    …at some point, telling people what they can’t do, not staying up to date & offering practical options in a way that competent organized people & governments do & letting stuff decay , building expensive monuments / ribbon cuttings for politicians to congratulate eachother & attracting & incentivizing hacks & time servers to public office who’ve never had a real job or take endless bribes comes at a cost?

  4. I can’t help suspecting the systematic demise of Potland is being orchestrated.

    1. It's Voter Assisted Suicide.

    2. And why? Where is there any benefit to anyone by systematically destroying the inner city?

    3. The socialists and anarchists love it. They want all of capitalist society to crumble. Then they might be somebodies, instead of the nobodies they are now.

    4. Or just the incentives are for hacks & time servers on the take to be attracted To the bureaucracy with the PERS, tax and donor funding sources & non-profit structures the way they are?

      And developer weasels like to buy low and sell high, so raise taxes to subsidize development and let others do the demolition for you or run it into the ground for them is just fine (for now)?
      Achieves the ‘buy low’ part?
      How much lower?

      If I were more conspiracy minded I’d think it’s orchestrated too?
      I suspect more just the usual; ‘fine with us, we don’t have to live in this mess up close, wait until people (with the means) get sick of it and move out, there’s a backlash for a crackdown &/or it gets cheap enough for developers.’

      Isn’t basically all of downtown Detroit owned by a couple private entities & aggressively robo-cop policed now?
      Baltimore has had a no-go/fairly dead downtown for…3? Decades now?

      SF the downtown is pretty no-fun (god help you if you drive a car / have limited mobility and have to go to SF general or a doctors appointment down there!), but there’s a lot more $ sloshing around, tax breaks for huge companies for better & worse and their public bureaucrats don’t have an adjacent state sans income tax if they’re a mouse-fondling degenerate (are you a maker, fixer or mouse tickler?) with a remote work paper pushing job. (Not that paper pushing is unnecessary to a complex society/we can do without those guys, nice as it would be to try?).

      Then wait for the backlash, ramp up the police enforcement super aggressively/sow the seeds for a crackdown & move in/on it if you can corner the market and buy it all up as an investor?

      Go from capitalism with small business tyrants or small businesses selling luxury goods no one really *needs*, largely bad as it is, to straight up monopoly/1-2 buyers for all of downtown or paying as a resident to basically give it away or demolish & dispose of it?

      They already have only 1-2 owners for all of the restaurants along Kruse way and in Bridgeport now closer to the fringes where many businesses are moving haha?

      This notion that it’s possible to check out of capitalism or that any socialists or anarchists do much of anything meaningful is laughable.
      Idk if they’re serious about thinking about shooting the moon and being ‘somebodies’ in a collapse or just broadcasting that…
      …must take work or serious mental gymnastics to be that delusional?

  5. Have any of these geniuses considered the additional costs that businesses required to off-load and re-load onto a PC approved delivery vehicle will incur? Let alone the reduction in suppliers willing to play this game. Either downtown retail prices will have to be raised to reflect this genius move, profit margins will be further reduced (obviously the concept of profit is both odious and wholly irrelevant to saving the planet), or the exodus from downtown will be accelerated. As Megan McArdle has repeatedly tried to remind the zealots, climate change is a collective action problem. Unless and until we either have a one-world dictatorship, or every nation "signs up", all we're doing is virtue signaling, while China, India and Abu Dhabi more than make up for any "gains", idiocy like this produces.

    1. Too right. Not to mention the carriers insuring the shipments. I'm sure they'll be willing to assume whatever risks come with handing the cargo off to a stoner on a janky e-bike with no additional costs or contract modifications. Among other logistical and contractural snafus. This looks ripe for a challenge under the Commerce Clause.

    2. Idk that I’d reference McMegan on much of anything; Koch funded dullard who sat around on her dads NY mob-connected construction business until she landed that gig.

      I get it; collective action problem in a broad sense & fear of govt. monopoly is kinda right.

      But she really has to jump high & publicly embarrass herself for that Koch pay/what she’s paid to do on that version of the right and centrist writers welfare circuit in public or say ‘this is why we can’t do anything’ with markets in the most banal possible way.

      Car culture, cars & urban freeways do make cities basically unlivable.
      But most people need a car or access to one with some regularity to get around in a dimly timely fashion & hold a job?
      & businesses need deliveries?

      As to the planet ‘greening’ or ‘actually whatever we’re doing with a huge environmental poisoning footprint is good!’ LOL Sure.
      The virtue signaling part is probably largely correct tho?

      I’m trying to reduce my footprint & chart a path to being as off grid as possible, flexible or know the #s of what I’m consuming, but under no illusion it has much if any impact now or maybe ever will?

      Some of the biking corridors like the one along greely & willamette blvd are real nice?
      Some bike lockers & making it easier to do deliveries by bike and claim the mileage might be nice if we’re going to have a gig worker underclass to augment what’s there instead of telling people what they can’t do/prohibiting conventional delivery methods?

  6. The climate hustle continues. Many studies have shown electric vehicles are much more damaging to the environment than ICE if you factor all the inputs and outputs. Plus CO2 responds to temperature changes, not the other way around (as oceans warm they release more CO2- which massively swamps human output). The so-called science is BS. The Earth is actually greening, which is a good thing.

  7. I'm assuming government entities are exempted? Because right in the middle of that map is the justice center, which just happens to contain a fair size jail... how are the prisoners going to get fed?


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