This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 12, 2008 6:15 PM. The previous post in this blog was Come on up for the rising. The next post in this blog is Made our day, anyway. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

The golden spike

The last of the new rails went into place on the Portland Transit Mall today. $143 million later, we'll see how buses and light rail trains do in the same spaces -- along with more cars than before. My guess: It won't be pretty.

I still think the whole mall re-do was a waste of money. It needed some help, but not a grandiose rip-up. It's impossible to get anyone at City Hall not to Think Big, however. Well, at least it will be shiny for a while.

Comments (7)

Yup. Waste of money. The trains from Milwaukie, if they ever come, could run on Grand and MLK. Save the cost of the bridge to bring them crawling into downtown by way of SoWat, and think about spending it on a tunnel or some other bypass that would make it at least conceivable that someone who lives east of the river might ride the Max to Hillsboro.

You forgot the fourth element of the new Max line: people. (Many of whom pay little attention to their surroundings.)

I would be amazed if someone isn't seriously injured or killed within weeks of all this traffic going live. It's going to be bizzay.

But I must give TriMet and the contractors credit for making the project bearable. I work on 5th Avenue and they've kept things moving pretty well for the most part.

Wll, now that we are on the fifth 20-year plan in the past 15 years, I can only say we are in process of turning downtown in to a gigantic train switchyard.

So they got their wish - Now no cars will be able to enter downtown.

The new transit mall project has done a great job of killing more than a few retail businesses in downtown Portland. I have lost track of the times I have driven downtown for business to find a street that was open one day, closed to traffic the next and often requiring a two or three block detour to get anywhere near my destination. I understand there was a website that displayed which downtown streets were open on any given day - but in Portland's finest tradition, they never let anyone know about it.

I actually prefer the temporary bus streets on 3rd and 4th. They're much more active and pleasant to stand around. The car traffic helps the businesses. More daylight too. The old/coming bus mall is a desolate cavern with vacant businesses.

Great news that they are approaching completion. I assume there is quite a bit of finishing work to do - streets, sidewalks, and stations. Anyone know when the downtown work (and street/lane closures) is complete?

Deeds - great comment. You should send it on to Trimet.

As far as I am concerned, it is always worthwhile adding transportation infrastructure downtown - especially when the Feds pay!

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