Holding it in

The father of the Loo alongside his creation.

Here's a funny one: The city of Columbus, Ohio bought a bill of goods from Portland, Oregon City Hall. Three "Portland Loo's." They were supposed to cost $175,000 apiece, and there were supposed to be five of them, but they've wound up costing $700,000 each, the buyer got only three, and although they were supposed to be up and running in September, they're still not functional.

The local paper there still can't believe it:

In fact, the roughly $700,000 price tag for each of the steel units - which stand roughly 11 feet long, 6 feet wide and 9 feet tall, and are open-air and unheated - is $30,000 more than the current asking price of a 3,722-square-foot, four-bedroom, four bath New Albany house now on the market. And it was recently upgraded with a "new kitchen, patio, finished (lower level), flooring throughout, major electrical and lighting and extensive cosmetic improvements."

For those of us who deal with the City of Portland on a regular basis, it's to laugh. Knowingly. That'll teach them.


  1. Wikipedia says $96k each and they ended up $700k each? 🤯

  2. Columbus isn't the only city in Ohio that got bilked on a bill of goods from Portland. Ask Cincinnati how their $millions spent on a streetcar is doing.

    Spoiler alert: it's useless and goes nowhere anyone actually cares to go, from nowhere that anyone actually want to be, because the cost overruns prevented them from being able to build the full length that was originally proposed, which would have run between the University of Cincinnati and "The Banks" entertainment district which is hemmed in by I-71 on the north and the Ohio River on the south.

    The Banks is where the Bengals and Reds stadiums are, as well as US Bank Arena (college hoops, minor league hockey, concerts), and many restaurants / microbreweries, as well as a foot bridge to Newport, KY where there is a large mall and more entertainment.

    Instead the "Cincinnati Bell Connector" (read: slow and useless streetcar) runs from The Banks to the neighborhood just north of the downtown Central Business District known as "Over-the-Rhine", specifically Findlay Market, and stops.

    It's useless and almost nobody rides it, because why would you drive your car downtown, pay to park, and then pay to ride a streetcar where you actually want to go, rather than just drive where you want to go and pay to park there?

  3. I wonder how many people actually benefit from the MAX lines. Has anyone done a cost/benefit on these toys. Always thought the busses were more convenient and practical.

    Don’t get me started on a government designed loo.

  4. The spousal unit just remarked “wow there are people out there dumber that Portlanders?”

    1. This comment made me laugh! Made my day! Good to hear there are some people with common sense. :)

  5. As someone who moved from Ohio to Portland, I feel especially stupid today.

  6. Ok, full disclosure I hate Fred Armison & the show popularizing the town I grew up in to ‘those people’ / getting more no talent hacks to move hereback then, but this is literally a parody where life imitates art:

    You should know it’s likely to be like the lightbulb customer, except, it’s even more cartoonish; you’re buying something from an outfit, where, previously, the customer is our local government that bilks and fleeces its its tax base like no other!

    Metal heat conducting toilet (thet doesn’t seem to shatter when cold at least?) wall mounted with an open air room.

    The curved custom doors, while strong, don’t even have a counterweight & internal closer & close in an irregular way; almost all the closers are broken or don’t mount to them properly!

    Too many people dreaming up new taxes or designing stuff on paper as art projects they’ve never worked a day in their lives to build for durability, ease of maintenance &/or reasonable cost.

  7. As to streetcars & trains, yeah, a lot of them are only built when they wreck a neighborhood &/or build condos, apartment cubes &/or Oren I station sterile mixtures these days.

    And they’re expensive to build because kind of everything that is public mechanized infrastructure is silly expensive To build in America now (for many reasons), there are lots of affluent suburban nimby scum to beat back, the Budd company is no longer around/we literally forgot how to build train.

    Max, when it started, wasn’t all together a bad idea when everyone went downtown & there still are only ~4 ways thru the hill to Beaverton suburbia hell. Riding the train to the airport or ball game sounds less bad than leaving your car there/ no decisions for make.
    Level boarding isn’t a bad thing.

    They probably could stand to do an elevated section thru downtown & to cover some urban freeways that are a noisy blight & get some Budd style durable stainless cars with easy to replace old fashioned metal framed windows with cars you can walk between that accelerate faster, even if they look old fashioned like the Boston T has.

    Level boarding and side door discharge are real nice over a bus that’s slow to load & unload with rubber tires to wear out/consume a ton of oil and wear out pavement is advantageous if done correctly.

    However, if your train gets stuck in traffic & it’s a route that’d be better serviced by a bus, just do an electric trolly bus. The overhead wires don’t bother me (cities/man’s footprint is ugly on earth in general/better to be honest about it) save mining some lithium for fire hazard heavy battery busses, have a little battery back up power just in case, don’t have noisy stinky temperamental Diesel (or natural gas in some cases) engines, save some brake & drivetrain wear with regenerative braking, hopefully have an energy source that’s not fossil (nuclear; solar, wind, hydro?).

  8. Remember when Randy the Mastermind pushed through covering the Tabor Resevoirs. Enclosing them was ultimately rejected but the coverings had been purchased. They went for sale online and I think were snapped up by Water Bureau employees?

    Randy Leonard's Wild Gay Chase (part 2)

    1. Wasn’t the cover the reservoirs a federal mandate from the war on terror years that was BS to begin with, tho?
      We kicked in back to avoid building the underground super expensive water vaults as long as possible, sensibly enough, which imo we should have just seizmic updated them & left it at that with maybe taller walls and fences idk?

      Yea, they’re old, but sunlight, oxygen, partial with penetrating sun rays bouncing all around partial shade, cool with oxygen kinda help with water disinfection?

      As to Randy further scamming on the materials, well, that’s a given.

      I’m not anti public toilet or pay public toilet, just the price tag/too many dreamers/cooks who’ve never had a real job with absurd prices, pet projects etc we all get scammed for.

  9. I actually used one of his loos just pre-pandemic because I needed to and was surrounded by fortress-like-key-pad-entry buildings with no access to any relief. There was actually a line to get into it and that line was filled with a wide variety of citizens including mothers with small children; bet you don't see that any longer...


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