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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bridge over poopy water

The beat goes on. They're still talking about a new bridge across the Willamette somewhere south of downtown in Portland. I suspect cars won't be allowed on it, if it's ever built. But hey, hipsters -- what about the bridge we already have that's falling down?

We'll get to that, I guess. But first -- oooh, more shiny streetcars! Plus, Opie gets to count the space under the new bridge as affordable housing.

Comments (10)

There's lots of money available if it involves shiny streetcars and rails. If it's just for cars... you know, the form of transport used by pretty much everyone, well, that's old school and no good.

For those of us who live south of the Sellwood Bridge, they either ought to fix the damn thing and make it four lanes, or build another bridge south of it - because after you get south of the Sellwood, there's no way to cross the river until all the way down at the West Linn/Oregon City bridge.

Since voters have turned down the light rail line to Milwaukie/Oregon City in the past, I hope Mayor Bernard of Milwaukie calls for a vote on this issue to confirm his strong conviction that the voters who will help pay for this want it now. If not, the voters should petition for the vote. Tri-Met hasn't had a vote on anything for so long, they need a reality check.

The "Caruthers" bridge is needed by both the proposed SE streetcar to complete the loop back to downtown AND the Light Rail line from Milwaukie, but the Streetcar folks expect the Light Rail project to pay for it. But the Light Rail folks feel the Streetcar advocates are skipping ahead in line.

Meanwhile, the "alternatives" analysis for the streetcar compared the streetcar to doing nothing, so its a lotta paper saying doing something is better than nothing. Except...the streetcar isn't about moving us teeming masses who have made the #14 SE Hawthorne busline popular and grossly overcrowded. We don't need no stinkin' streetcar...this is transportation as "economic development tool", not, uh, transporting people. And the other selling point...it will slow down and traffic calm MLK and Grand. Uh huh.

The other poopy bridge story...Tri-Met's "final plan" for re-constructing (or is that de-constructing?)the downtown transit mall has our #14 HAWTHORNE bus going home re-routed over the MORRISON Bridge. No sense in us going straight home on OUR bridge...we've plenty of extra fuel and time to burn, eh?

Space under the bridge as affordable housing. Now that is funny. Perhaps we can really push into dense urban living and place some condos under the bridge

Lets tie every latest dream of City Council together and move the Sauvie Island bridge diagonally over Pioneer Square and call it Opies Affordable Housing.

A crummy bridge! What? I think those of us east of the river deserve a tram. The rich folk on the west side got one, so should we. In fact, why don't we just build trams all over the city while we are at it. A $100 million tram from the top of Mt. Tabor to the downtown would be a good start. I'm sure that any trams we build will be a catalyst for major economic development and create much needed living wage jobs. My best estimate is about 6000 jobs. We better hurry though because all those jobs will be lost to Hillsboro if we don't act fast.

Let's use the old bridge to cap the freeway and install a bio-fuel gas station on one end and a bicycle rest stop on the other end with solar heated showers and a bioswale and organic smoothies.

There would not be any thru traffic for motorized vehicles, so we'll have plenty of room for the hemp market/medical marijuana trading post and winter ice skating.

It will be accessible via (pick two):

Light Rail
Bike Taxi
Tom Potter's Prius

And will have lots of trees, and a place for all those cheerful OSPIRG kids to gather signatures and a Transparent Visioning Pod converted into a public restroom. Did I leave anything out? Oh yeah: public art. Lots and lots of public art, just sprinkled everywhere, like God intended.

You won't believe what I could do with the Wapato Correctional Facility. Two words: Sustainability Mall.

My best estimate is about 6000 jobs.

And my preliminary numbers indicate it'll cost a maximum of $15.5 million.

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