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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 12, 2006 3:21 PM. The previous post in this blog was Not that into You. The next post in this blog is Summing up the lie. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sneak preview

A couple of alert readers have e-mailed me to note that the Trib and KGW have photos of the cars for the new OHSU aerial tram [rim shot]. If you want to see what that little old lady will be gawking at when she slams into the back of you on I-5 northbound just before the Marquam Bridge, head over and check them out.

It's not apparent from these preliminary pics where the rescue rope will attach...

Comments (20)

More of a clenched fist than a hand, I'd say.

Actually, I see a resemblance to a raised middle finger.

looks to me more like a flying sausage.

What amazes me is that those things are supposedly going to hold, what are they saying, 78 people? The photos don't give much of a sense of how big that is.

Looks like bitter pill for the taxpayers to swallow

No windshield wipers?

Somebody should have told those Swiss Craftsmen that it doesn't usually snow in Portland, it rains.

Snow blows off, rain drips. So much for the tourist attraction.

78 people ought to be interesting. based on the specs in the Trib blurb, there's a maximum of 235 sq. ft. available, giving about 3 sq. ft. per person. Kind of like an uncomfortably crowded MAX car at rush hour. Happily, it's only a 3-minute ride. Unless it gets stuck.

Having said all that: I know it's a boondoggle, and a waste of money and all, but it's pretty freaking cool looking. The view of the lower tram tower from the area of OMSI is pretty neat (having taken in that view the last couple days during my run).

The scuttlebutt around the work site (and this is from a very good source) is the tram will not be ready by the completion date. Worse yet, Kiewit is doing nothing (and getting a per diem)while Portland squabbles with them over the paint job.

One contractor said he'd be surprised if the tram works at all.

Mark my words, this boondoggle will cost another $10 million.

I like the "bitter pill" idea better than the flying sausage. Heck, OHSU could paint the suckers for advertisements. I can already picture purple or blue or red tablets with the name of the drug emblazoned across the side lifting up into the West Hills as my commute home from Kruse Way is tied up by the rubber-necking traffic accident.

Bitter pill or suppository?

I actually think it looks like a mini silver bullet train. Coors Light should place an ad on the side.

Well, the secret's out--the tram is for little people--perhaps there are leprechauns up there. Well why not? They've swallowed every other story so far.

Seventy-eight people plus an attendant into 6000 pounds means they'll average a diminutive, trim 76 pounds each. Which is a good thing, since they'll each have 3.48 square feet--about 22" square--to stand in.

Will there be a sign and barrier saying, "You have to be this small to ride the tram (recorded rim shot)?"

Breakfast for all is on me at Henry Thiele's if by September 2007 the tram is not wrapped in a big pink ribbon.

I visited the new Peter Kohler Pavilion on Sunday - the destination for the tram.

1. It's huge - 10 stories + basements.
2. It's packed with artwork, mostly local (why I was there).
3. If you visit now, look how the traffic pattern is affected by the tram visits. At best it will pulse with each drop off - at worse it's 200 yards and some manuvering from the old public parking lots. (There are also lots underground.

yea, kinda neat isn't it. very jetsons.

According to specs at katu.com each tram car will carry 78 passengers with a max load of 13260 pounds. This works out to exactly 170 pounds per person. This is the same figure used in aviation as a standard passenger weight. So is everyone going to be weighed before they get on or is there a display for the operator to determine how heavy the load is in the car?

Ah, bubbles. And just who do they think is "taking a bath" on this one? :-)

Read the rescue stuff in the Big O awhile back. If you think I'm taking my 200 pounds of adipose tissue and scaling down a rope @ 170 feet, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you.

The fact that people will have only 22"x22" to stand in to achieve the 78 passenger load when architectural standards now require 24"x 24" minimum was brought to the attention of Matt Brown of PDOT, the mastermind behind the tram, several times over three years ago. No one listened. Comments like that are just brushed aside like so many comments (costs), come hell or high wires. What do we know?

I'm glad to hear that the capacity is 13,260 pounds instead of 6,000, but aviation standard or no, I'm wondering if even 170 pounds is realistic anymore.

Certainly not for me, sigh...

And for those "down" days when the tram is shut down, may we suggest one of these babies:

http://www.airstream.com/product_line/travel_trailers/travel_trailers.html


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