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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 14, 2006 2:50 PM. The previous post in this blog was Supremely Dumb Idea of the Year. The next post in this blog is Why I'll never give a nickel to Catholic Relief Services. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, July 14, 2006

Relieve this

Portland bureaucrats are so full of... themselves, let's say. Here's a beaut in today's Trib. Describing the $4 million glorified empty lot in the Pearl District that's got a "park" sign on it but no users, one of the City Hall types sniffs:

[I]n a high-density area you need a sense of green relief, and not looking out your window and seeing a mass of people gathering on a hard surface
Hmmm, that's funny. Then why is the city planning to wreck Waterfront Park, the best "green relief" imaginable, with a series of hard surface "improvements"?

Fortunately, they have to find the money first, and that $7 million plus that they've already plunked down for the empty lot on the Public Storage property in the SoWhat district will no doubt suck up many more millions before they can get around to wrecking Waterfront Park.

The accounts of the Pearlies up on their postage-stamp condo balconies hectoring the people who dare to walk their dogs through their weird new park, even on leashes, are pretty funny, too. But hey, when you pay $300 a square foot to live in a noisy apartment building in Portland, Oregon, I guess you could be expected to do just about anything.

Comments (1)

Yeah... That filtration system on that water in Tanner Creek parks sucks so bad that there are days it looks like the algae took over. That can't be healthy. It also can't be cheap to maintain.

And, I notice nobody mentioned the cost of breaking through the existing toxic barrier membrane, and then install another one, to build the park.

And just whose idea was that stinkin' park? Why, Homer Williams. I understood he "gave" the land to the city and told them to develop a park (probably because it was a toxic brownfield and he didn't want to incorporate any "natural features" (light wells? atriums? interior greenspaces?)into the sterile buildings he's erecting. I'd bet he even made suggestions as to what kind of park.

Cripes, with developers like that, we don't even need park planners. Why not get rid of the ones we have? Including the one at the top. All they work on is new parks, because the new parks suck up a vastly disproportionate amount of city money for maintenance on all the other parks. That's one reason why they are all going to hell in a handbasket.

Soon, we'll have pristine un- or underused parks in the core, and crappy (as in literally, with dog crap everywhere) neighborhood parks with non-functional buildings, sprinkler systems, restrooms, and fountains and weeds and overgrowth everywhere.

So...Once again, the developer gets what they want and the citizens can just lump it.

Posted by: godfry at July 14, 2006 03:31 PM

"Most of the people living in this neighborhood don't need social interaction" Clinkscales says. "They're busy people, and that's why they chose to live here. The Pearl attracts people who are not interested in that reaching-out-socially part of their lives."

Wow. Sounds like a great place to live.

And, incidentally, I don't mind the idea of a "contemplative green space," and agree that this sort of thing is an important thing to have in a condo jungle like the Pearl. But, it would be nice if the developers, you know, paid for it themselves rather than having the city pay for it and then using that park as an excuse to charge huge sums to people who want to contemplate it.

Posted by: Dave J. at July 14, 2006 03:48 PM

If you want social interaction, go to O'Bryant Square!

Trivia: In 1976, O'Bryant Square received a national design award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Posted by: Paranoia Parks at July 14, 2006 04:11 PM

O'Bryant Square?

Well all those busy people oughta feel right at home with the tweakers and junkies.

Note: Always, but always wear durable shoes to O'Bryant Square.

Posted by: godfry at July 14, 2006 04:15 PM

Absolutely no flip-flops!

Posted by: Jack Bog at July 14, 2006 05:08 PM

Making no claims whether or not it is the best use of $4 million or if there are better possible designs, but I use and enjoy Tanner Springs Park. It's a nice place to read a book, especially when Jamison Park is full of children splashing in the fountain. And when I use Tanner Spring Park I often see more people there than is suggested in the Portland Tribune article. I live in the Pearl and I glad Tanner Creek is there.

Posted by: Hank at July 14, 2006 05:30 PM

O'Bryant square also had a robust population little fourlegged friends and at one time according to news accounts was pretty rat infested. Some of the folks down there kept them as pets, and fed them, after they got the church sponsored feedings. That's why most of the underbrush was removed.

Posted by: Swimmer at July 14, 2006 07:53 PM

I live in the Pearl and I glad Tanner Creek is there.

It's not to my taste, but I respect that some folks like it. What's disappointing, though, is what was originally proposed was actually daylighting Tanner Creek, not coming up with some artificial substitute.

What bothers me the most, though, is that this "new" toney neighborhood has two parks, with a third on track to be built...while my 100 year old neighborhood is still waiting for our first.

Posted by: Frank Dufay at July 14, 2006 09:27 PM

Tell me about it, Frank.

My neighborhood, one of the most park deficient in the the city, managed to squeeze out five lots (as in five 5,000 sq.ft. lots) as dedicated park space over sixteen years ago. Two of those lots continued as community garden space. The other three lots, ten blocks away from the first pair, went through a thorough planning process and had a development plan approved by the PPB fifteen years ago. To date, all improvements to that "park space" have been done by neighborhood residents.

Yet, PPB feels it can squander millions on a park that had to be somebody's pipe dream and to purchase overpriced land that wasn't supposed to be park space in the first place (the SoWhat debacle).

Now...Since it's become obvious that the PPB cannot be relied upon for improvements to our unimproved "park", we decided to try to raise the money ourselves for improvements...and they told us we'd have to do another plan. And, we'd have to wait until the next fiscal year. Here it is the next fiscal year and have we heard from the PPB about the "planning process"? NO. I can only guess that they are falling all over each other to give more money away to big-time developers.

Their neglect is anything but benign.

Posted by: godfry at July 15, 2006 10:07 AM
[Posted as indicated; restored later.]


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