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Monday, January 29, 2007

Just a kiss away

They've started ripping the bus shelters out of the transit mall in downtown Portland. They're still perfectly good, of course -- the whole mall re-do is a nine-figure waste of money -- but the old shelters are going to be dismantled and recycled. Replacements will be in place when the stops finally reopen a couple of years from now.

The grand old shelters were around for just short of 30 years, by my count. I recall standing beneath them, looking up at those TV screens with the schedules and staring at the bus route maps, many a night on my way home from my downtown job. All kinds of times, good and bad. They kept out the rain, they let in the light. They had pay phones in them -- remember those?

Farewell, friends. They weren't kidding when they said, Sic transit gloria mundi.

Comments (27)

Or in this case, sick transit.

I'm wondering, since light rail will go from the train station all the way to PSU, will that downtown corridor be eligible as a Transit Oriented Development?

If so, there will be no end to downtown subsidies and abatements for at least 30 more years.

Why mourn the death of pay phones?

Cell phones are light, portable and you don't have to get other people's germs all over your body to use them. People can easily call you back on the same number you called them, no matter where your location.

Yes, they cost more money than pay phones, but the cost is scalable to use.

159 million people in the US owned them in 2003. To me, that's the democracy of demand in action.

I don't bemoan the drop in pay phone use.

Reuse, don't recycle: Make them into manned newsstands with a public restroom on the end (the manned newsstand thereby becoming a sort of "attendant" to the restroom), and scatter them about downtown.

B!x, is there a market for manned newsstands in Portland? Who's going to be running that business?

I would think they would be much better as coffee/pastry kiosks...but we probably have already reached saturation on those...

Gentlemen, "man" as a verb is a no-no.

Could we kinda, sorta, maybe if we're nice --oh, I promise we'll be nice!- get one of those shelters at 2nd and Madison where we catch the Hawthorne bus back home...through downtown, over the Morrison, adding god knows how much time to our commute? No shelter, though...can we have one, please, please?

Could we please get one of those shelters?
Pretty please with sugar on top. We'll be good, I swear! I'll pay, uh, 8 times the cost of a streetcar pass (yo, Dude, you already do!)

And for the folks out at SE Powell and 99th...I KNOW they've no sidewalk and folks stand in a ditch to get the bus...how 'bout recycling one of those shelters to THEM? That ditch gets awfully muddy!

"Gentlemen, "man" as a verb is a no-no"

A woman could man it.

So what about the people that can't/won't afford a cell phone? Lat at night, out of car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Tough, there used to be payphones, but now unless you have cell phone, good luck to you. What if your phone breaks, or the battery is dead and you need to call 911?

Payphones have their place, even if they are being ripped out. (Probably because they can't make much money anymore, partly because of all the vandals.)

Frank, Frank, Frank:

I am pedestrian, hear me roar...

But as a user of mass transit I'm meek???

So you challenge drivers (with the implicit backing of "progressive" government) and entreat these same folks for a morsel at the mass transit table...

"...more, please..."

Oh, the humanity!


Gentlemen as an address is a "no-no".

uff da

Wait until they are done, the entire downtown will be like a switchyard for trains and impassable for cars - Great! All those government employees can ride the light rail downtown to wave at the homeless as the core is vacated.

Oh wait, that means another $300M project to fix downtown again in about 5 years.

"Gentlemen" as an address, when searched on Google Maps gave us no results. RR was correct... Gentlemen is a no-no when used as an address.

But a search of "Jack", gives me an interesting result; "Jack; verb, but only when used with the prefix "high" as in, $300 million dollars "High Jacked" from CoP citizens and federal funds to pay for Oregon Transit Mall.

Hope this clarifies things for you boys... sorry, people.

"Jack; verb"
Carol, you're looking for Jack in all the wrong places. As a verb, it has many uses, usually with some preposition, as in "jacked up", like the costs of building and operating the OHSU tram.

Please, please, please TriMet, can we have about four "dicarded" bus shelters placed down on SW Macadam and SW Corbett for all the Californies that can't stand the rain?

And please, please, can we have several donated to Dignity Village for their new move across the donated yard, donated insurance premiums, donated sewer/water/power hookups, all at taxpayers expense?

Let us not be too creative-tear them up!- Contary to my graduate thesis: "Making Due With What You've Got"

Forgot: Please, please, please, can we have some bus shelters down at the east terminal of the Tram? It has no protection from the elements on the sides, rain hits you like lead with the wind swirling around the Health Club.

Oh, oh, oh, please can we have a few bus shelters placed along the trolley line in SoWhat? Standing at the tram terminal waiting for the trolley freezes ones...off. What's even worse is waiting at OHSU's new 1200 car parking lot waiting for the shuttle bus to take you to the tram, without a bus shelter. My God, I am a doctor, I can't take it.

Oh, the humanity!

That would be "Oh, the humility", 'r'.

You don't like me humble? I'm a Tri-Met rider, hear me bleat?

Instead of "man" the kiosk, use "staff"

Instead of "man" hours, use "labor"

Instead of "women's work", use "domestic chores"

Instead of "politically correct", use "hoping to avoid disciplinary action, up to and including termination"...

Heh, heh.

This talk of downtown 30 years ago goes well with the picture on top of your blog, Jack. There were nights out partying when that's exactly how Portland used to look.

With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.

Actually, the skyscraper on the right was built much later, by Tom Moyer's secretary.

Why oh why aren't the bus shelters just re-used once the construction is completed? They are classic beauties and remind me of the lovely art deco Metro subway stops in Paris..... oooh lalala


I actually went through the mental editing where I said to myself, "This isn't exactly how Portland looked because that's a new building."
Then I went with it anyway on the basis that I could have hallucinated the building before it was there. The sky though? The sky was exactly that color, even at night.

where dead shelters go to sleep

Storing them in a parking lot...
Heh, even when "dead", PDX public transit is taking up space where cars should be.

Neal Goldschmidt spent 30 grand each for those bus shelters, about the cost of a house in Portland in those days. They were beautiful structures, timeless structures, and unique structures. Now along comes a bunch of knuckle headed troglodytes who in their infinite wisdom see fit not to utilize those shelters in their redesign of the transit mall. Short sighted in the extreme and such a waste.

Hey, but at least they are going to recycle the materials that the old shelters are made out of. (They won't go straight to a land fill.)

Of course I assume we have to pay union wages for them to be disassembled, etc..

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