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Monday, February 13, 2012

Chuckle of the Week

According to the moguls on Pill Hill, Portland's South Waterfront (SoWhat) District is going to "become one of the most accessible spots in the region." This will happen shortly after monkeys fly out of your butt. The place is a nightmare of difficult vehicular access, and there is no money lying around to improve it at any time in the foreseeable future. But hey, they're telling this story to the folks at Tri-Met, who rank right up there with OHSU when it comes to blurring fiction and fact.

Comments (24)

OHSU donated a parcel to TriMet for PMLR.
TriMet called it a $15 million in-kind contribution to ramp up the local match to get the fed share.

At the same time TriMet announced they would be contributing $10 million towards the coming OHSU/OUS Life Sciences Collaborative Complex building in SoWa.

Where is TriMet getting the $10 million?

From PMLR financing? From the local financing?
The fed share?

They don't have any cash laying around.
Their budget is $20 million short every year as they carve up bus service and raise fares.

Where is the $10 million coming from?

Maybe Metro's Nick Christensen or a TriMet reporter will read this and answer the question?

Or Brian Newman?
He's stopped by here in here in the past.

And why is it that the first OHSU building
in SoWa has no biotech research underway?

How much of the new complex will be for biotech research?

I thought there was going to be a pedestrian bridge. What else do they need?

At times like this, I wish the local media was on our side.

Of course it will be "accessible" most of us will continue to avoid the area! I never would have guessed that it would be easier to find a space and park up at the OHSU on the hill, then it would be to navigate, and park at the clinic, and take to stupid tram - oh and I charge OHSU for my tram ride, and Parking, when I service their instruments.

Of course it will be the most accessible place in the region, and if it's not, OHSU will get the city to pay until it is.

Seems like all they gotta do is look wistfully into the distance and mention something about wondering what it would be like to move there and Sam & Friends will be ready to give them anything.

Besides, accessibility will be touted as the reason those 10,000 biotech jobs haven't materialized. It's for the economy. And the children. Did we mention the children? It's for them. Yes.

Another question: maybe I don't understand this correctly, but why is a federally supported transportation agency like Tri-Met contributing funding to a private hospital's real estate development project?

Or is this just another one of those wonderful "public-private partnerships", aka palm-greasing schemes that has done an excellent job raping and pillaging regional resources over the past 10 or 12 years?

Yeah, all we need is about $300M to fix the I-5 access.

Plus the tilting buildings - Don't laugh, I have a friend who lives in the Ardea. The maint guys are going around all the time fixing cracks and blown light bulbs.

Sure, it's the only neighborhood accessible by tram. If they put a large value on how much an area's "transportation" costs, then SoWat's the most accessible neighborhood in Portland history.

Plus, I hear they're going up as the best new canoe-friendly neighborhood in the United States.

Note to self: Do NOT read Jack's blog while drinking hot coffee (re: monkeys flying out of butts). Where's a towel ...


That "one of the most accessible spots in the region" has all the cachet of "an award-winning building" of which OHSU has several, all which are maintenance nightmares and leak like sieves. One was so out-of-date ten years after it was built that they have to retrofit it.

Laugh all you want, but the idea of using the Tram cables for a zip-line on weekends and evenings would bring lots of visitors to SoWhat.

This ties in with my post in Jack's blog just above. There has not been one vehicular transit improvement in South Portland or SoWhat to facilitate PDOT's own study that said there would be 48,000 additional vehicular trips/day generated by SoWhat.

Sure, they've rebuilt SW Moody, an internal street three times. But nothing else.

At the last SoWhat Urban Renewal meeting they wanted to take $400,000 from the South Portal (SW Macadam/SW Bancroft-street to Spaghetti Factory) intersection improvement budget for bike, ped and an Eco-District bio-mass burner. PDC, CoP, METRO all promised vehicular transportation projects throughout SoWhat to make it less of an island and connect to the city and I-5/405. It hasn't been done for any of the 13 years that SoWhat has been in existence. And our State and City Planning Goals require transportation improvements for such endeavors as SoWhat.

And this applies to the discussions about the Conway property in NW Portland too. Beware of Planning Malfeasance.

Accessible? Let's see - you can only easily get to it in one direction (from the south) unless you're willing to make lots of U-turns and take indirect routes. Sure it has a bike path, so do a lot of other places. Sure it has sidewalks - so do a lot of other places. Sure it has a streetcar - so do a lot of other places.

It doesn't have a freeway exit of its own (southbound).

It doesn't have a mainline (Amtrak) or commuter rail station.

It doesn't have an airport or heliport.

It doesn't have a boat dock (especially surprising since it's right on the water.)

You can't go to or come from the west or east.

The Ross Island Bridge is off limits. Heck, so is Ross Island.

You can't get to it from two of the four major north-south highways in the vicinity (99W, 99E)

It's most accessible...HOW???????!!!!!!!!!!!!

(And...how many TriMet buses serve the area and provide service to the neighborhoods to the south like John's Landing, Lake Oswego, Sellwood...?)

Oh well, at least now fewer people will need to take the aerial tram [rim shot] to get to their destination.

I think the quote from Jack's post is likely a reference to the new "anything but a car" bridge. It's going to be built adjacent to the building OHSU is putting in down in the SoWhat district and will connect all sorts of inconvenient transit into the area.

I'm sure it's not going to change anything. OHSU is still going to be a pain for most folks to get to and there will continue to be a ~5 year waitlist for an employee parking permit.

"anything but a car" may be it exactly.

It might actually be "most accessible" if you pretend cars don't exist and use biased statistics. Who around here does that?

Hey, they're putting a pedestrian bridge there; I saw it on Friday. First time in around a decade that I've been downtown. Last time, too. Their "smart" parking meter couldn't read either of my credit cards.

I never did learn how much OHSU pays TriMet to keep a small fleet of buses and drivers standing by in case the Tram has a problem.

Yes, I’m sure it’s the same team that stands ready to provide shelter to those displaced from their homes during a Police action (multi-hour stand-off) or apartment fire, but don’t tell that story on Pill Hill.

Mr Grumpy, don't forget that to even achieve "only" 48,000 vehicle trips per day PDOT's Matt Brown based that on 45% of all trips into/out of SoWhat would be transit. The latest counts are showing only a little above 7%. And then this is after not one vehicle capacity improvement into SoWhat which makes it miserable for vehicles and should encourage transit use.

SoWhat says so much about our Planning agenda.

It's most accessible...HOW???????!!!!!!!!!!!!

Easy! If you are some sort of international jurisdiction criminal, some nice Federal gum'mint employee will drive you there in a very safe limo! Or maybe it is an armored Black Maria.

Go By Paddywagon!

One of my inside friends assures me that the city planners knew from the start that the road and transit connections to South Waterfront / North Macadam would be grossly inadequate. Several of the city council wanted to do the deal so badly that they didn't care about the damage it would cause to the road system.

How about damage to the entire community?

Isaac, "transit connections to South Waterfront/North Macadam" are NOT "grossly inadequate", but you're right about "road"s.

Where else in the city do you have streetcars, lightrail, 47 ft of width for two-way bike/ped path lanes, a tram, a bridge just for mass transit and bikes/peds, but NOT ONE convenient freeway access point? Or even to any other service streets?

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