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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 12, 2006 4:46 PM. The previous post in this blog was Foot bawl. The next post in this blog is Ready or not. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Don't go there

While the City of Portland gets ready to rip up the downtown transit mall for a needless reconstruction, the Water Bureau's previewing its upcoming tear-up of parts of Clay, Third, Columbia and Broadway downtown for new water mains. The water work will take a year.

You'll visit downtown again when it's all finished -- won't you?

Comments (20)

Yes, you can argue about the transmit mall and the timing of the water project, but what would you have the city do? If the pipes have to be replaced, they have to be replaced. And yes, I will frequent downtown during and after this mess has been taken care of.

Enjoy. Just remember, it's worth the inconvenience to have light rail where we already have dozens of buses running on the exact same street.

I was downtown on foot this afternoon. It's pretty pitiful even without the coming construction. Many empty storefronts; many mendicants; few business people; even fewer shoppers (other than me), mostly concentrated in the Rouse Mall. The Living Room needs a good vacuuming.

It's starting to look like 1975 down there again... only a burned-out amusement park version without the old, authentic small-town charm. The Pearl has sucked the life out of downtown. Light rail on the mall sure isn't going to bring it back, and the plan to have a city "retail czar" pile further hassle on the brave merchants down there is probably going to make it worse.

For this we have 200 urban planners and 200 PDC economic development strategists?

Let's make a traffic jam out of Burnside -- that will help...

Of course I'll go down there during the construction as well as afterwards - they pay me to do it. However, THAT is the ONLY way (and reason) that I go downtown. When the money to go down there stops, I don't go. On my own time I stay far, far away from downtown.

Allan:

Those aren't mendicants, that's Sten's base.

Hey, I've got an idea. Just resurface the streets on the Bus Mall and delay any additional complexity (like Max Trains) until the other projects are complete.

Can't say that I want to go downtown much, anyways... afterall, I'm just waiting for the OHSU tram to be finished. After that's done I can drive down to North Macadam, park the car and take the tram up to the OHSU gift shop. Oh, did I forget the report that the roads won't be able to handle the traffic in an out of that area, in a very short time.

Yep I will.

Yeah, I'll continue to go downtown because I like Pioneer Square, the library, Powell's, the movie theaters, coffee shops, the people the traffic the noise, because I still love the city even with all of its imperfections

Carol, don't know if you'll be able to park anywhere near the lower tram terminal. OHSU keeps telling its employees there will be no park-&-rides from down thar up to the hill.

PS: The gift shop is overpriced anyway.

What a world-class tourist attraction -- a hospital gift shop. Maybe we can buy "get well soon" balloon bouquets, and send them to the city's treasury.

It's better than a tourist attraction, it's a mistake mitigator.

Some friends and I were on I-5 recently passing SoWhat and kvetching about it when my friends' 5 year-old boy asked what a tram was. We explained how it aerially took people from SoWhat to OHSU.

He immediately responded, "That's a good idea. If you're hurt and need to go to the hospital but take a wrong turn and end up there [pointing at SoWhat], then you can take the tram to the hospital."

This boy also has gapped teeth. Hmm...

Jack Bog: It's starting to look like 1975 down there again... only a burned-out amusement park version without the old, authentic small-town charm. The Pearl has sucked the life out of downtown. Light rail on the mall sure isn't going to bring it back, and the plan to have a city "retail czar" pile further hassle on the brave merchants down there is probably going to make it worse.

For this we have 200 urban planners and 200 PDC economic development strategists?

JK: We're gonna need those planners to plan the new downtown revitalization urban renewal area which will we convent all those empty offices into tax free millionaire condos close to the tax subsidized toy train. Of course there will be a few 100 sq foot affordable units to keep Sten happy. TriMEt will claim that MAX caused all of this new development, ignoring the businesses (and jobs) that it destroyed. Sounds like good work for $20,000,000 worth of planners annual salaries (based on $50k each). Who needs better schools, police or fire departments when we can have 400 planners telling us that we need more rails and less roads.

Jack Bog: Let's make a traffic jam out of Burnside -- that will help...
JK: Wait until they decide to bring back the Burnside streetcar. (You listening, Chris?)

Thanks
JK

I like Pioneer Square, the library, Powell's, the movie theaters, coffee shops, the people the traffic the noise, because I still love the city even with all of its imperfections

I agree. The Farmer's Market on a Saturday morning; Voodoo Donuts after watching my son perform at Dante's, up past my bedtime. There's life there yet.

Still...when MAX went in it claimed its victims --most ntoably the Yamhill Marketplace-- and so will, I'm afraid, this unnecessary tearing up of the transit mall. I still prefer the downtown Meier & Frank, and hope the Macy's transformation doesn't make it feel like you're in Washington Square, or mall-USA-everywhere.

I walk by the Veritable Quandary after work every night, and the crowds remain after all these years, especially when the weather's nice and the courtyard fills up with the happy hour folks. It's still hard to find a table at Jake's bar after work, maybe after a tasting at Vinopolis. I miss the old movie theaters, though, there's nothing to replace them...

The best place to buy drugs in Portland ...

PDC's Meier & Frank Redo!

The scaffolding and tarpaulin provide the perfect screen from meddlesome cops and good citizens. By the time you've walked the tunnel of fun, you'll see two or three guys offering you some prime shizznit.

Don't forget the new "Giant Poop Shoot" construction just now starting on SE 3rd...and continuing until 2011...so much for the "SE industrial sanctuary".

The City has been pumping sunshine about downtown for 25+ years and how wonderful it is. They throw a ton of development into the area. We have people claiming how much better downtown is than the ungodly shopping malls. The downtown Nordstroms is the worst $ per square foot in the chain and M&F is shrinking.

Yet places like Bridgeport and Washington Square are growing with full parking lots and no mass transit connections and no development $. I apologize in advance to those who want to sniff their collective noses at these malls - a lot of people like them. A lot more than like downtown.

I really wish the City could kind of get real and realize what is going on and stop wasting tax dollars trying to fix up something that has had 30 years to be something besides a bus mall and government offices.

I will, because I have to. I work downtown.

But even now I dont go down there for any kind of shopping, unless its on my way to the max stop after work. I would rather shop in the burbs...for the most part the stores are cheaper, and have free parking.

Hell, stores are even leaving Pioneer Place, not just the street storefronts...

As for new places like Bridgeport...they are disgusting. Yuppie coffee hangouts with insanely overpriced fluff stores. Washington Square isnt so bad though...

Washington Square does have mass transit connections - I was there last weekend and noticed a goodly number of people waiting for busses there at the transit center. I'd go there in a heartbeat before I'd set foot in downtown Portland.


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