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Light rail costs too much, does too little

Neil Goldschmidt’s Legacy Lives On

May 25


Chalk up another subsidy to Portland transit-oriented development. TriMet, Portland’s transit agency, bought a piece of land next to a light-rail station for $907,000. It is selling it to a non-profit group for $300,000 on the condition that the group builds a high-density project.

The project will actually be built by Walsh Construction, a company owned by Tom Walsh and his family. Tom is a member of Neil Goldschmidt’s light-rail mafia. They campaigned together for city council when Neil first ran for that office (Neil won, Tom lost), and years later Neil scored Tom the job of general manager for TriMet. From that position, he handed out all sorts of subsidies for transit-oriented developments, many of which were built by his family’s company.

Neil Goldschmidt is disgraced and out of power, but his legacy of subsidies and favored contractors lives on.


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Reprinted from The Antiplanner