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Wednesday, December 6, 2006

No Corinthian leather, either

Willy Week reports today that the cars on the OHSU aerial tram [rim shot] have no heat or air conditioning!

Of course not. They cost only $30 million apiece -- what were you expecting?

Comments (34)

You're kidding...

Do the windows at least open?

Time to ask WWPD?

What Would Prague Do?

I sure hope the windows don't open. No one wants to see "Throw Mama from the Tram."

WWPD - LOL. I think Sam the Tram has that one in a frame on his office wall.

Maybe they left off the heat and air conditioning so people would stop comparing it to a city bus on wires. Turns out it's not even that classy.

New names for tram cars:




That might be amusing with 72 people inside an enclosed space with lots of windows (can you say greenhouse effect) and no air conditioning in Summer. They better hope it doesn't break down. They can probably be retrofit afterall we wouldn't want the tourists suffering heat stroke, though they would be close to a hospital.

And that $57 million, or whatever the latest lie was about the cost? Tack on another, what, $5 million? If it's even possible to retrofit them.

Countdown to the first heat stroke...

If it's even possible to retrofit them.

See also: Cleaning the spires on the Convention Center.

Weber Kettle/Igloo Cooler

Unconfirmed reports from Pill Hill are that they are going to generate hot air in winter months by asking Tram Adams to hold daily news conferences in the cars.

MultCo commission meetings (pre-Wheeler/Cogen) for cooling in summer.


Any cup holders?


And if they did have heat and A/C, you'd mock them for being lavishly appointed. Yawn.

Wait a second. Lavishly appointed? I bought a car for 200 dollars that had heat.

When was the last time you were on a heated ski-lift? If you're looking for luxury, try St. Moritz or Park City. So what if the Tram doesn't have heat? The Tram doesn't have mink coats, either.

Portlanders wear respectable progressive cloth coats that suit us just fine. I always tell Portlanders they'd look good in anything, especially if they are wearing it on the Tram. The kids, like all kids, love the Tram and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it.

They decided against an HVAC system to reduce the possibility of fire. Heating and cooling systems require a power source, wiring, and insulation. All of which provide a possible source of combustion while increasing the complexity/frequency of maintenance.

Plus, there are many low tech solutions to staying warm on the Tram:

Group hugs.

Think warm thoughts.

Battery powered hand warmers.

Jumping jacks/Tai-chi/pilates.

Peach Schnapps/Jagermeister/Jim Beam.

You're just a bunch naysayers and malcontents.

It's the fault of all you (including me) nay-sayers. They were going to include heating and cooling but there was all that bad press about costs. So to keep the budget down, they eliminated them.

The logic? If you get heat stroke or frostbite you're minutes away from a hospital.

Silly folks.

I understand the naysayer-malcontent label. At a certain point even a mugging victim stops complaining about it. I am going to try and remain cheerful about the overall South Waterfront project while we pay it off over the next 40 or so years. What's a billion dollars between friends? And I certainly am not going to wish anything bad to happen just for the sake of an "I told you so." If little children love the tram, I am not surprised. They love going to Disneyland, too. I can honestly say that I was surprised the tram didn't have heat. Not in a negative way - just mild surprise. Perhaps it was from all the talk of transporting patients - I really assumed they wouldn't want to do that in 20 degrees. I don't think those rich ski resorts are part of a healthcare system. Of course, maybe the patient angle was just part of the BS involved with selling this project, in which case I apologize for believing them. I should know better by now.



As a wise woman once said, "Two hundred dollahs and it's not even leathuh."

And it may not merely be an issue of heat or A/C. I heard today that there is not even a basic ventilation system. Now, this does seem a little unbelievable, so please correct me if what I heard is wrong.

New rock group: Sam Adam & The Tram Jam

there is not even a basic ventilation system.

I thought you were going to say "there is not even a basic mental health system."

When was the last time you were on a heated ski-lift?

Most ski-lifts don't operate at an altitude of under 1000', during the summer. When was the last time you were in a shiny metal vehicle baking in full sunshine from dawn to dusk? Most people will be able to tolerate no heat in winter; it will be just like waiting for the TriMet bus at either end. But no A/C in a metal-and-glass enclosure on summer days when it's 90+ degrees even in the shade, sounds unpleasant even for three minutes.

Most ski-lifts are filled with people that are dressed for skiing in sub-freezing temperatures.

Maybe the Tram Operator could wear an eskimo costume?

I thought you guys wanted it to fail? Isn't this good news?

I don't want it to fail. What I wanted was that it not be built.

For what was spent here, a fleet of very nice, climate-controlled limousines could have been purchased.

When was the last time you were on a heated ski-lift? If you're looking for luxury, try St. Moritz...

Ha! I've been to St. Moritz, even skied there...really, really badly (those 3 "guaranteed learn to ski" lesson from GI Joes?...not so helpful in the Alps). And, sorry to report, no fancy-schmancy gondolas there.

Heated? C'mon...it's a three minute ride. Not even time to take off your coat. Cooled? Maybe more of a problem, like Amanda suggests, but the car's gotta be ventilated. And patients susceptible to the elements will continue, no doubt, to be transported in the usual manner, via ambulance (like my Mom was, despite her ability to take the bus...love to run up those Medicare tabs!)

Like Jack, I don't want to see it fail. I didn't want it built. Now that it has been...it really seems sort of insane (in a sorta OK way), flying over I-5, steeply climbing up pill hill where an unstable land mass awaits). What hubris we humans have.

I don't know what I'm talking about, but 72 humans in an unventilated container is a problem. Not everyone can hold their breath for 3 minutes.

Add bobbing and swaying at heights that will produce at least some acrophobic responses in nearly anyone and it's obvious that circuit breakers in some brains and hearts will flip during the ride.

I predict the incidence of claustrophobic, acrophobic and agoraphobic diagnoses will soar, as will evaluations for dizziness, nausea and palpitations. Hope everyone riding the tram the first time has good medical insurance.

That's without any in-flight incidents. If there's an incident, the evening news will once again be trotting out the topic of PostTraumaticStressDisorder.

Incidentally, the journalists out there should plan to refresh their knowledge of something called "mass hysteria", as the tram is guaranteed to produce at least one high visibility example at some time...probably with a class of junior high kids on a field trip.

The State/County/City/OHSU might think of picking up a little extra money by opening up some lotteries based on "Date and Time of First _______ from/on the Tram". I can think of about 30 words or phrases to put in the blank just on my own. They aren't all necessarily bad; I'm think of perhaps an affiliate to the Mile-High Club: the "1000 Foot Club".

Anyway, my point: Doesn't seem like any of this was very well thought out. But then I don't know what the OHSU/City Tram Emergency Plan looks like, either.

"...an affiliate to the Mile-High Club: the "1000 Foot Club". Just think you even have three minutes for most guys that would even allow for foreplay.

If the tram is rockin', don't bother dockin'...

Tom: Speak for yourself.

No prob. I'll take my sawzall up there and get it ventilated in a hurry. (By the way, I'm sure it is ventillated----heat and AC, maybe not----but there's just NO WAY they forgot basic ventillation. That WOULD be truly beyond belief. (And if it WAS overlooked, they'll install the system in secret pronto now that this is being discussed).

Today I was using the Lair Hill tennis wall at the park-------it started getting a little dark, and little tram cars were very picturesque coming down the hill. I think the dignitaries are getting their pat on the back rides now, because it was stopping and starting unpredictably. So we'll probably have all of December where, like with the streetcar dedication, they'll have our whole congressional delegation, plus any out-of-town dignitaries they can lure here, out riding and doing important inspections, etc. I imagine they've got a huge publicity roll-out planned, with as much national press spotlight as they can muster. Perhaps Jerry and others should prepare some press packets of the other side of the story, too, to help tell the story of New Urbanism, the good idea that has gone awry in Portland.


May the reader infer that "mass hysteria" you fear may be mitigated by plastic-lined bags folded neatly in the seat pocket in front of you?


Perhaps it isn't "New Urbanism" at all. It's just old fashioned machine politics with patronage jobs, industry shills, and public works projects just like the bad ol' days in Chicago, Boston, and New York.

Opie is the new Boss Tweed, and political correctness and affordable housing are the populist's smokescreen.

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