Head West, Turn Right

The Joint Blog of the Conservative Northwest Blogging Alliance: Red State Points of View from a Blue State Point on the Compass.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Portland Myth

You can check out the details of Portland's mythical "livabililty," at http://nwrepublican.blogspot.com/.

Or read it here:
There is a myth that Portland liberals like to espouse, and that is that their idea of "high density dwelling" is actually a positive livability issue. This high density will bring people and businesess flocking because oh so many people are dying to live in such an area. (Perhaps they have died there and voting there as they are in King County?)

After all, in the words of former City Commissioner Charlie Hales, Portland is the most European (or was it French?) city of the US.

Well now we have a business census that proves otherwise. This census was performed by the Portland Business Alliance.here A contributor of NWRepublican has sent me a shorter version below.

Note the growth areas...Also note that 4 of the top 5 businesses are public. I guess that light rail thing aint workin so great at pulling in those private businesses eh?

Here is the most recent 2001-2004 Portland Business Alliance Census of the Downtown Portland economy, paralleling Metro data on employment, summarized by CensusTract and done annually. The PBA Census shows that Downtown Portland employment has declined 5% in four years, with private sector employment declining even more. The only growth in employment was in government jobs. Other highlights:

1) Total Downtown Portland employment declined from 86,770 (2001) to 82,500 (2004). The job loss was 4,270. The loss in private sector employment was 4,410 as government employment grew by 138 jobs in the same period.

2) The top four Downtown Portland employers are: State of Oregon, City of Portland, and the Federal government.

3) Residential locations of Downtown Portland employees continue to move away from Portland. Between 2001 and 2004 the percentage living outside Portland grew from 56% to 59%. The percentage living outside Multnomah County grew from 31% to 39%.

4) Transport mode to work given in this Census is as reported by employers (not employees) so it is not credible and tends to tell the City what they want to hear. It contradicts the U.S. 2000 Census substantially by showing a vastly higher percent using mass transit. None the less, even this "Census" shows more people using autos to get to work Downtown than using transit, 49% to 46%, with the proportion little changed since 2001. Also, most of the transit riders still get to Downtown via bus, even according to this data.