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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 8, 2009 12:13 PM. The previous post in this blog was Another substandard story about the PGE Park soccer renovation. The next post in this blog is The 'dogs are on the track. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gimme shelter -- not these

Back in July, down on the Portland transit mall, we gazed in wonder at these structures, which had gone in where the nice old bus kiosks used to be, and we wondered what the heck they were supposed to be doing:

It turns out that they were works in progress -- as a more recent trip down there revealed:

A fairly chintzy replacement for the kiosks, if you ask us. They'll be pretty worthless when the wind's blowing the rain around. But now a reader, Mark in Portland, writes in with another layer of concerns about them:

Although I am a big supporter of public transportation... Have you checked out the new kiosks on the bus mall? Please tell me how they drain and how they are going to keep the tops clean. A horrible design. In a few weeks the tops will be covered with leaves. They are already dirty with dust and bird crap. Have they budgeted the maintenance?
Mark, Mark, Mark. This is Tri-Met. Managed by the KulonGoldschmidt crowd. Heck, Homer Williams's daughter is on the board! Surely you are creating issues where none exist. Everything must be fine.

You're worrying about little things of no importance to the visionaries. Go by streetcar, my son, and ask no more silly questions.

Comments (29)

Well, from my recent observations, they have been installing curved glass end panels at the ends of these, and seating with armrests (must be to prevent horizontal sleeping). TriMet says the curved panels are covered with some sort of replaceable anti-graffiti film.

The tow-piece overhead panels look like they're sloped toward the middle to direct water to hidden downspouts in the posts. These panels are indeed are dirty and partially covered with leaves (even now). The old shelters did/do have perimeter gutters and hidden downspouts that functioned *most* of the time.

Would someone get the GPS numbers on those Tri-Met shelter thingys and forward them to Oregon Wilderness Moon Suit Tours and thanks for the tip.

All this stimulus change is running the landmark team crazy.

If Bill Naito were still around and on the TriMet board, he would have a straightforward solution: Don't Look Up.

The tow-piece overhead panels look like they're sloped toward the middle to direct water to hidden downspouts in the posts. These panels are indeed are dirty and partially covered with leaves (even now). The old shelters did/do have perimeter gutters and hidden downspouts that functioned *most* of the time.

Yep. I'm already seeing them covered in leaves.

Another case of form over function. They're uncomfortable, and they'll require a high degree of maintenance to keep presentable. and glass (for both the roof and coming windscreens) gets dirty easily, and is a prime graffiti/vandalism target. Easy to scratch and deface, expensive to replace or fix.

Did I mention they were really, really expensive?

I haven't seen these "in person" but it looks like the metal supports on the roof should have been installed on the inside rather than the outside. It would be much easier to hose down or clean a glass or plexiglas surface rather than trying to work around the metal pieces.

My only complaints about the old shelters were that they didn't sometimes didn't face the street and the actual stop, didn't always provide protection from wind-driven rain and weren't large enough to accomodate someone disabled with a scooter or a chair. The new shelters look as though they will provide little to no protection at all. In fact, since they're transparent, they won't even offer shade - rather - intensifying the effects of the sun. And are there any benches under the shelters themselves or are the benches out on the curb, as shown in the first photo?

the new shelters would appear to be purely decorative.

Oh, but they are so EURO-Pean! That's all that matters.
Let's start driving on the left side of the road, too.

Law enforcement types wanted the new shelters not to block their view of drug deals and such taking place inside. The earlier shelters, with their dark brown wrap around glass, were also good for screening off the homeless people sleeping in them.

I wonder if they are going to collapse at some point during SnowFest 2010?

This is neither here nor there, but the things look straight out of Blade Runner at night. The central column lights up with a fluorescent glow and there's a dual light track under the roof. It's a love it or hate it look that I was impressed with when I first noted it last week. Then again, I'd been missing Burning Man that week and may have found the otherworldly nature somewhat nostalgic, so take it with a grain of salt. I will say, for better or for worse, they are much more well lit at night than the old ones (feel safer vs. more light pollution).

bojack , really, 'chintzy' , come on , these babies must have set us back a mint..... + they are capturing the leafs for Randolfo's bio-fuel....
Go BY TRAM...

mp97303 -

There will be no Snowfest 2010 - we're in the middle of global warming young man. Get on board (the streetcar) or it will be off to indoctrination camp for you (also via streetcar).

"Homer Williams's daughter"

Not to be picky, but it's his step-daughter, but who cares who gets handed the silver-spoon?

I think the deal is planned obsolescence since they love to keep spending money on the bus mall downtown.

I'm sure we'll need another 20-year plan in about 5 years after all the reatial moves out.

Well, now I understand service cuts for my part of the city so much better.. they need money to build and maintain these ridiculous, non functioning pieces of junk. Though they must believe the build it and they will come adage.... Much as I love the PNW, PDX is wearing thin.

For the cost of these things and the rest of the MAX expansion, I get a bus line that doesn't run after 6pm on Sundays when the nearest line bus line is well over a mile away. Thanks Fred.

Can't get from Grant High School to downtown without a transfer...

It's sustainablish.

What is "sustainable" about these new bus stops is the maintenance budget. Oh, you mean the progressives in Portland thought they were talking about improving the ecological environment and not the developers' financial environment? Ha!

Can't get from Grant High School to downtown without a transfer...

Won't that discourage Grant students from coming downtown:

http://tinyurl.com/m2er33

I wonder how they'll hold up to the first malcontent who chucks a rock at the glass?

Is it just me...or are the tracks actually on the opposite side of the street from the kiosk on those pictures?

Nevermind, bus stop...sorry, long day.

"money to build and maintain these .... Much as I love the PNW, PDX is wearing thin."

Yeah, everybody's tapped out.
Hey, on your way out follow the money to where it's raining Benjamins thick as a sandstorm. Wake up in Iraq.
With depleted uranium dust in your lungs.
Then no more Portland tax burden for you.

Is there anything Tenkse can't blame on George Bush? Even the Tri-Met design failures are traceable to Iraq? Sheesh.

Law enforcement types wanted the new shelters not to block their view of drug deals and such taking place inside. The earlier shelters, with their dark brown wrap around glass, were also good for screening off the homeless people sleeping in them.

What foolish reasons to rip out a nice amenity for the law-abiding. The homeless and the dealers also use the sidewalks. Maybe we should just take a jackhammer to the whole mall and put an end to that.

I'll make a point of cruising that giant switching yard on chilly evenings when the rain is coming down sideways, on the lookout for potential customers who would rather pay to ride in safety and comfort than catch pneumonia under those cruel "shelters."

Oh, wait a minute, no I won't. The cab company has repeatedly warned us that the statutes have been re-written so that taxicabs cannot pick up or drop off fares at any point on the new transit mall between NW Glisan and PSU, under threat of a $300 fine. It would seem that someone anticipated this.

Ask Mr. Dufay if you don't believe me.

The cab company has repeatedly warned us that the statutes have been re-written so that taxicabs cannot pick up or drop off fares at any point on the new transit mall between NW Glisan and PSU, under threat of a $300 fine.

Interesting...I have noticed recently too that the taxis have been removed from the parking lot at Beaverton Transit Center. Now they sit in a field across the street.

That's ok - later this month I have a 6:30a flight out of PDX, which I will not be able to get to in time on TriMet, from SE Portland.

It's impossible.

Nice transit system.

I think we're waxing a bit too nostalgic about the old shelters. The shelter at my old stop (near what is now Unitus Plaza, I believe) was small, heavily decorated with graffiti, and on occasion smelled like an outhouse. Can't say I miss it.

These new shelters don't seem perfect, but I stood under one during the heavy rain on Saturday and stayed dry. I've stood under them on sunny days and there was no magnifying-glass effect. If they aren't impervious to graffiti, that's nothing new. Is there such a thing?

One open item - do we have any solid data on how expensive these shelters were as opposed to other options?

My point was the practicality of the design. They actually look good, and I saw one with the lights on and liked it. But roofs slope for a reason; to drain water and let leaves, etc run off. There may be a drainage mechanism, but the leaves, bird crap, etc will have to be manually removed on a regular basis. The 'natural' method of letting the rain clean the tops will not work with this design.


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