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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 18, 2012 12:57 PM. The previous post in this blog was Parking meters coming to Portland central eastside. The next post in this blog is You don't know squat. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

City can't get SoWhat ped bridge opened

Apparently, there's an elevator involved, and they can't get it to work. And so this weekend's planned grand opening of the Gibbs Street bridge has had to be postponed. Portland's goofy transportation bureau writes:

[T]he bridge opening has been rescheduled to July or August, with a specific date to be determined in the coming weeks.

The opening was rescheduled to accommodate a new timeline for certification of the bridge’s elevator. Having a certified elevator that is open to the public is the top priority for PBOT staff and contractors working to complete the project.

The Transportation Bureau thanks Portlanders for their patience as we work to reconnect Lair Hill and the Willamette River with a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that is both functional and attractive. Details on when and how the bridge will open – possibly opening the bridge with signs indicating that the elevator is not in service – will be communicated as soon as possible.

An elevator? They've got to be kidding. You can imagine what the inside of that thing is going to be like after a few months of use by the folks who frequent the underbelly of the nearby Ross Island Bridge. They put the "p" in "pedestrian."

Comments (21)

They should just open it anyways, kinda like with the trolley car line on the Eastside that won't have any trollies ready.

Besides, how many people are going to use this bridge a day? 3? 4?

I'm trying to find the motivating reason why either neighborhood would want to use it.

It's probably going to become a bicycle freeway, and therefore an unpleasant place for pedestrians.

Welcome to the goofy world of government where even people who don't need the elevator have have to wait for the elevator.

For your entertainment go here and on page 12 and 13 are the original
project cost estimates and revenue projections for the North Macadam (SoWa) Urban Renewal District Plan that were used by PDC staff to label the plan "feasible"and recommend approval.

https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1794/8559/Portland_North%20Macadam_URPR_1999.pdf?sequence=1

If it weren't so stunningly concocted and misrepresenting of reality it would be hilarious.

Pedestrian Crossing Over I-5 @ Gibbs/Gains $1,636,858

Tram $3,273,715

And there is even a section labeled "public parking". Now we all know that is just an outright lie. But then the entire document is a lie.
WHY is the PDC allowed to continue to be the 800 lb gorilla that rules the city?
Oh yeah...money!

"It's probably going to become a bicycle freeway"

Still not seeing it (outside of being a justification for any goofy idea to spend PDC monies).

Both of those neighborhoods represent "different" demographics. Besides you can get to downtown or Macadam easy from either place.

However, they got a chance to spend other people's money.

What's wrong with these morons? Can't they build a stairway for a fraction of the money?

Another astonishing fact from the above posted SoWhat 1999 Agreement is on Page 7, Table 4:

"Approximately 18% of the buildings in the area are deemed to be in poor condition"

Over 81% of the buildings were in A and B condition. How was SoWhat labeled "blighted"? And those building counts were 10 years after the CoP/PDC told all the property owners, "We're coming to your rescue with Urban Renewal, major upzoning, and a pile of money". That's like telling a kid to be patient, the ice cream cone is coming". I'm surprised there were only 18% poor condition buildings while waiting for the bonanza.

Waiting is becoming the norm in SoWhat. The ped bridge was suppose to be completed 8 years ago. Same with the Greenway and 3 parks. And all of the street/access points into SoWhat haven't been completed.

Dave A: there is a stairway, and elaborate. Beautifully landscaped, artistic and all. Top notched.

I assume the elevator is an ADA requirement. But, yes, I'm sure it is going to be nasty in short order.

One has to wonder if this little snag might not be a result of the rush, rush nature of the project?

What's worse is they never put in a crossing for the 99E (Naito Parkway), so most of Lair Hill is still cut off from the Waterfront. Supposedly they're in deep discussions with ODOT about maybe having a crosswalk, but the under street walkway in the original plan is forgotten (Maybe the elevator was too expensive)?

By the way, the original estimated completion date? Summer 2010.

One has to wonder if this little snag might not be a result of the rush, rush nature of the project?

How was this project rushed? If this were a play and I was writing your script where you find something to complain about for you, I'd tell you to whine that it was over-planned or took too long or something. Are decades too hasty when it's a project you dislike, or do you consider a process having started only once you become aware of it, or what?

Are decades too hasty when it's a project you dislike, or do you consider a process having started only once you become aware of it, or what?

Amusing. Do you actually know anything about the history and the implementation of this? Unlike you, a lot of the folks commenting here have been involved (and affected) from the beginning.

Aaron, I too wonder if you know any of the ped bridge history.

The almost completed bridge is the third design. The other two went through bidding processes, and over budget. The second one came in at $12 Million far exceeding the budget for it's time. So PBOT went through another design process, adding the curve and eliminating some of the fanciful Angelil/Graham/etc. contraptions.

Now the bridge is near $15 Million if you add in all the PDC/PBOT/CoP and new engineering costs. Makes sense doesn't it to forget the last bid cost? And then compare that to the Tram's original $1.6 Million that PDC/CoP used to sell the whole SoWhat idea.

Looking at the history of this project makes sense if you want to learn anything besides having people labeling it as "whining". Now we have "Tram Month" PR selling the success of the tram and the 10,000 biotech jobs that the Tram instigated-not. Please join the festivities this June month and see the success. It's funny how a few years pass and the real history of things are forgotten around here. Sorry if you think it's whiny. I guess History is Whiny.

I have to assume that the reason facts get so quickly forgotten around here is because so many people arrived in Shangri-La just yesterday, something the local pols keep counting on, and not because they're easily deluded and misled.

Given the thin, lean, spandex-clad running/biking crowd that occupies the massive bike parking lot and the fitness center - why is there even an elevator there???

Surely...they can climb a few stairs...and elevators use a massive amount of electricity to run, so it'd be green too. Then again, this is the city that proudly proclaims all those big water pumps that recirculate water using electricity generated from a coal fired power plant built specifically to bypass environmental regulations.

I'm bummed. I've been eyeing those stairs for months. I can't wait to run up them. They will be a great addition to my morning workout. Not sure how much or if I'll use the bridge, but those stairs look great.

The Gibbs Street Bridge elevator will be nicknamed the "Moving Loo"

ADA requires elevators for places that cannot accommodate wheelchairs to facilitate travel for people with canes, walkers, people with minor mobility problems who can handle flat or gently sloped surfaces but not stairs. This applies to new construction and remodels of older buildings if the older buildings have enough done overall to qualify as a major remodel.

Will the new elevator have ventilation or is it another "solar oven" oversight similar to the tram.


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