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Monday, February 1, 2010

The OHSU tram as parking shuttle

Back when Vera Katz, the developer weasels, and the OHSU bigwigs were selling Portland's misguided South Waterfront (SoWhat) district to the public, we were all assured that building an aerial tram [rim shot] from the top of Pill Hill to down by the river wasn't about alleviating the university's campus parking woes.

Funny thing, though. Now that it's built, that's just what they're using the tram for. An alert reader who works up there copied us on an e-mail message that employees received over the holidays:

Starting next week—when everyone returns from the holidays, and with the Auditorium lot under construction—parking demand on Marquam Hill is expected to exceed normal capacity. To help accommodate everyone instead of diverting folks to South Waterfront:

# Valet service may resume for 1-Diamond lots. (If you buy a 1-Diamond day permit, please be prepared to use valet service in the Dotter lot from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

# 2- and 3-Diamond day permits will be limited.

# Schnitzer lot parking (South Waterfront, with shuttle service to the Tram) will still be available at $4 per day—a sizable discount.

For more details about valet service, see the Transportation & Parking pages on O-Zone. T&P appreciates your cooperation. If you have questions or concerns, please contact T&P at parking@ohsu.edu.

The message linked to a few web pages that only OHSU workers get to see -- the rest of us don't have permission to look at them. Which is in itself pretty interesting, since they're talking about employee parking, which doesn't seem like sensitive information at all.

In addition to encouraging use of the tram as a parking shuttle, it's revealing that they're also running "valet parking" up on the hill. For what the taxpayers spent on the tram, we could have had a fleet of limos and valets bringing people up and down the hill in style, with money left over, instead of flipping the bird to the Lair Hill neighborhood. Can anybody out there describe what the current "valet" accommodations at OHSU look like these days?

Comments (12)

"The message linked to a few web pages that only OHSU workers get to see -- the rest of us don't have permission to look at them. Which is in itself pretty interesting, since they're talking about employee parking, which doesn't seem like sensitive information at all."

They probably posted it to internal web servers because those are the most accessible to 100% of the employees, and 100% under their control for publishing. If OHSU is anything like the company I work for, you don't get full Internet access unless you have a job-specific reason for it. However, you do get full intranet access in order to be able to read official company communications on any connected system.

I would think that public employers are different.

Public employer?

Interesting question.

OHSU played some fascinating games with its status in the "private" corporation spin off a decade or so ago. Sometimes public - when they wanted tprt claim protection - sometimes private contracting without public bidding, etc.

I wonder is a Public Records Act request would reach the content on the servers.


I haven't seen the valet parking, but my understanding is they use it to allow the valet parkers to jam more cars into the same space. i.e. cars are blocked in and you may have to shuffle cars to get a particular one out.

I haven't seen the valet parking, but my understanding is they use it to allow the valet parkers to jam more cars into the same space.

Jobs trading off for parking space? Let's (re-)institute the sedan chair.

The only 'valet service' I'm familiar with is that at the Emergency Department entrance...there are more?

Boy...I wonder who at Star Park is related to the OHSU Contracting staff?

I have attempted to cease parking on the Hill because their whole set-up is whacked beyond belief. They have one parking lot where the entrance has one of those steel pipes hanging by chains over the entrance to the lot, with a screaming warning about not allowing vehicles 80 inches or taller. Then, inside the lot, not 30 feet from the warning are two parking spaces that have signage stating that they are reserved for vehicles 80 inches or taller.


The last time I tried to pay for parking on the Hill, the private contractor staff at the parking kiosk told me that there were no more spaces available....at 2 pm in the afternoon, they had been told to keep all spaces available for monthly permit holders. Of course, by that time shiploads of 'monthly permit holders' had cut out for the day. They recommended that I park down at the SoWhat lot and take the tram *rimshot* up to work. I laughed...yeah, riiiiiight...the damn scam tram *rimshot* stops running before I would return to my car. A lotta good that does me...NOT!

I personally think that OHSU is hiring the mentally handicapped to run their programs. I suspect it was part of the deal on tort limitation.

And Nonny...it's a "public corporation". It has never been private. From the moment it stopped being part of the Oregon State System of Higher Education, it became a "public corporation", complete with a board of directors appointed by the Goober hissef. This was so impressive because Goldschmuck hissef was the very first Chairman of the Board. And THERE'S your biggest problem, right there.

Now Dave Frohnmayer thinks that there needs to be a tram up Skinner Butte, with his recommendation that UO be a "public corporation". When I heard that, I knew it was past time for Dave to retire...his brains have rotted.

At several City Council hearings on SoWhat, Mayor Katz (with her chief of staff Sam Adams in attendance) several times asked Planning staff for assurance that the District "would not become a parking lot for OHSU on the hill". CTLH Neighborhood Assn. as well as Katz were assured that the Plan would not allow for that kind of use.

In fact in the Tram reviews before Council, the same assurances were made that the Tram would not be used as a means of making SoWhat a parking lot. The city council record verifies this.

The Planning Bureau staff made the point that it would be poor planning to use some of Portland's most expensive real estate for parking. Also as pointed out by the neighborhood assn. parking in the Greenway Zone, which extends from the river to I-5, is contrary to the Greenway Regulations.

But who cares about our existing regulations? Who cares about past City Council promises? Who cares about good Planning. It only makes sense to use our waterfront for Parking for OHSU a mile away.

Godfry -

Well, OHSU certainly labes itself a "public corporation" in the enabling legislation. But that doesn't answer the question of what does that mean.

Take a look at the exemptions to the public records act that are crammed in Chapter 192; then go look at the OHSU enabling legislation in ORS 353, and specificaly 353.020.xxx

After you recover from your dizzy spell, tell me if OHSU is subject to the Public Records Act.

You know the ironic part: When future generations look back at these times and see that we've built essentially a billion-dollar parking lot on some very valuable real estate by the river, Mayor Sam Adams will be known as the Best Friend the Automobile Ever Had.

I will back Lee's comments.

I was present at two public meetings where the official OHSU representative explicitly stated that OHSU would not use the SoWhat properties for parking on the Hill.

I will note it now, as it has been a constant in my dealings with OHSU...they do not live up to their promises. Do not trust ANY promise from that corporate entity. There is an entrenched attitude of telling people what they want to hear and they doing what they want, even if it nothing as the promised. I think it goes with the entrenched hubris.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good people there. It's a big place. But the corporation is perverted. It's a product of the Goldschmuck mindset...y'know, enrich yourself while you screw over the help.

Offhand (I'm too cranky to look at statutes), I'd say, sure, within limits, it should come under the public records laws. If it is exempted, I'm not quite sure why. The prez is PERS. If you need information, ask. If they refuse it, report.

My experience is that they will charge you excessively for the information. You should see what they wanted to charge me for my own private health information.

Don't worry Jack. As soon as those biotech jobs kick in they will have to replace the parking lots with research and manufacturing facilities.


It's not just a parking lot, it's a TOXIC parking lot.

That plays havoc with the "value".

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