Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Bend Area Transit is such an easy target, that I've more or less laid off. I'm still surprised that no one was held accountable for the mess, but I also hesitate to have anyone lose their job.

Still.

One comment by Transit Manager, Heather Ornelas, is hard to ignore. After making the case the smaller type buses do the job adequately, the Bulletin then says,

"Transit Manager Heather Ornelas asserted the symbolic importance of having larger transit buses on the road to establish the system's presence in the city."

SYMBOLIC IMPORTANCE!?

She then subverts her own argument, according to the Bulletin, "But ultimately, having a more reliable system in place may be more important for riders than what the buses look like."

Reliable more important than looks?

You think?

So we spent hundreds of thousands of dollar in tax money, federal and local, for "symbolic importance?"

Later on, she is quoted as saying, arguing in reverse that BAT should retire the 'larger transit buses' that keep breaking down.

"We just can't rely on these buses and when they break down they create a huge operational issue and the problem is very visable (sic)"

Apparently, symbolism works both ways.

But if you want to know what the frikken core problem of the whole fiasco is, it's the concern over 'looks.'

It looks bad that we don't have a transit system, so put one in place by all means. No matter what. No matter that we might save money by waiting. Never mind the due diligence. It's embarrassing that Bend is the biggest city west of the Mississippi without mass transit system (as I heard asserted for years.) We're a big city, by god.

But they've got me thinking. I've decided that it is symbolically important that my store have a solid gold sign. We want downtown to look prosperous, don't we? I think the city ought to be more than willing to grant me the money to have the solid gold sign, because it's important that downtown make a statement.

You guys don't mind, do you? Sure a nice wooden sign says the same thing. Wood just doesn't make the proper symbolic statement, you know?

4 comments:

Duncan McGeary said...

I'd even assert that all this concern over looks has completely upended this town. Bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger everything.

An industrial park? Too small!

We need a world class university and technical center. We're a big city, I tell you!

The Natives Are Restless said...

I always wondered how it would pencil out to take all of the money spent on BAT and use it to hire Taxis. I bet for a $15.00 cab ride, most people in the City of Bend could go wherever the hell they want and back. And you'd have the whole thing to yourself. With what we've spent on BAT, that's one hell of a lot of $15.00 rides.

Pedro Hemes Valdes Ortega said...

I think Bend needs to be more like Paisley.

All of Bend is symbolism, this is the town that says ...

"Got a cold"? Get PR

"Pregnant"? PR

"Legal Problem" Public-Relations

Image advertising, creative people, its all about check-list, somebody long ago trying to market Bend as a #1 resort on the west coast said "We must have a transit system", "We must have big buses, so that they're not missed".

Now that the only people in America, that believe Bend is the #1 resort in America, is VCB/DVA ( www.visitbend.com ), and everyone else knows Bend for what it is, "The most over-priced RE in America". I'm not sure what symbolism might be left? This is an issue for Bend's creative types.

The BAT is now a self propelling new public-works infrastructure with its own budget, its own lobby, and its own PR infrastructure. Killing it now would be almost impossible.

Given that every time I see the small buses, their always empty, I cannot imagine the practicality of the large bus. Fuel is going up.

They used to say "Symbolism over Substance", or "Politics is the Art of the Possible". Somebody in Bend was owed a debt, and they created a new cost-center, and management, its all MUNI-BONDS, for buses, hangars, ... Keep borrowing money, its easy, let the next generation pay the bill.

The BAT is now an army of its own, with its own extinct for survival. The bigger buses would make them more visible, then they could have bigger billboards, for advertising, sq-ft space, yields revenue.

We need a BAT Metro Tax. We need to create more government jobs, otherwise Bend will see higher unemployment. Unreliable buses means more diesel mechanics, its win-win for everyone.

It's just too funny, last month the city of Paisley down hwy-31, SE of LA-PINES voted to be like Bend, the Citizens voted 90% NOT to be like Bend. In Paisley, politicians that even talk like Bend politicians are recalled the same day. I think Bend needs to be more like Paisley.

Bend is now the ICON of moronity in EASTERN OREGON, in Wally-World/WA they have stickers that say "DONT BEND MY TOWN"

How can this place get anymore hilarious??

I think Bend needs to be more like Paisley.

Pedro Hemes Valdes Ortega said...

The real issue with the BIG buses, like always in Bend, there is always the real issue, and not the silly issue that Duncan brought forth for blogger-fodder.

The real issue is that FEMA wants big buses in the area to transport people during times of unrest.

The federal dollars that match these projects don't cover small, practical, fuel efficient buses.

This is the typical problem for towns like Bend that only live to suck the tit of the Federal Pig Trough.

Federal Block Grant writers like Garzini, and Kuratek. Float all over the country and for a very sweet price, help parasitic town like Bend get money.

Then the problem, with taking federal dollars is you MUST meet their creepy requirement. Thus Bend MUST have big buses.