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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Goodbye, cruel world

Here's a serious warning to Portlanders of all ages: As you may have heard, the OHSU aerial tram [rim shot] is closed for maintenance this week. The good people at the medical school, who have only your good health at heart, told us when they were pitching the tram to the Portland taxpayers that the entire world would come to an end if they didn't get their "vital" transportation "linchpin." Shuttle buses just wouldn't work, they warned us. It was aerial tram or death.

And since the tram isn't tramming this week, it's a pretty good indication that the world is, indeed, going to come to an end now. I hope we make it to the Memorial Day weekend, but if we don't, it's been nice knowing you.

Comments (20)

I feel a great disturbance in SoWa, as if 10,000 jobs suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced.

All the solid gold parts need polishing.

I know what you're wondering: What about the tourists who are coming from around the world this week to ride the tram? Won't they be disappointed?

Fortunately, we've come up with a substitute thrill ride. We're going to have the Oregonian's Bob Caldwell show them around town.

Swimming upstream here a bit...

I don't disagree with the rationale for the thing. Keeping additional traffic off those roads up the hill is a good thing.

What is/was wrong is OHSU mugging Portland tax payers for it, then shipping their fancy bio-tech business off to Florida. Oh, and the electrical power bill. It needs to be on green power.

It needs to be on green power.

It is on green power. Your greenbacks.

This is exactly why we need a backup tram.

Bill, good connection of Caldwell's drunken escapades with the Tram. Many times he editorialized at the O how wonderful the Tram will be as a linchpin to bring biotech to SoWhat. He was especially good at chastising those who questioned any aspect of SoWhat.

It should run on bio-diesel. Randy Leonard can get them some but it will cost around $5 a gallon...

Well, I hope they have a proper staging area for this kind of disaster. Isn't there a $10M tract of land nearby to facilitate this?

dyspeptic, completely agree. tax payers should not have had to foot the bill. Just to offer another perspective (sure to be flamed) is that I use the tram 3-4 times a week for my morning commute and the tram seems to schlep a ton of people up the hill. It's not so much a matter of use than is it who got stuck with the bill. Especially so since anyone who isn't an OHSU employee (that goes for the VA too) has to pay or show a trimet pass to use it).

"This is exactly why we need a backup tram."

That's the comment of the day, in my opinion.

So, whenever those fancy high-dollar choo-choos break down (which is often) the good ol' buses take up the slack and get people where they need to go. AND, when that shiny tram thingy breaks down, again the buses are ready to roll. Oh, and when the $160M + WES club car isn't running, yep the buses again. Interesting things, those primitive, unglamorous buses...

No, if you have an appointment on the hill, you get an all day pass to ride as well as employees and tri-met pass users.

I used it to schlep a family member up to the hill. On days where the tram was inadvisable (as in post surgical release) driving to the VA and looking for parking is at least as bad as down town. (Yeah, I know. You have to park at the bottom too, and it can also get dicey.) All in all, I preferred to park at the bottom.

RJBob: "All the solid gold parts need polishing." That is the funniest thing I have heard all day. Thanks for making my day with your wit.

Siting a hospital on top of the hill was the first, in a long line, of bad decisions. There are only two ways to get to OSHU: from above or below. The Tram is of little benefit if you have somebody who requires urgent care and the hilly roads are iced over: I doubt any ambulance would detour to the Tram, it's easier to go to another hospital.

Mister Tee, that's how they keep the riff raff out. Let them go to Legacy.

Yeah, they don't want anyone who can afford a lawyer as one of their patients!

Too bad but there are plenty of people still thinking like this,

"The expansion of OHSU, Portland's largest employer and the region's only research institution, is where our economic future lies. The Tram is actually one of the few transportation projects that contributes to that future.
OHSU now has room to expand, whatever shape that may take; why would anyone oppose that?
Encouraging bicycle trips is the cheapest way to reduce congestion by far; it would even pay to offer financial incentives to bicyclists."

Back in the day, when there was no tram, somehow Portland got by . . . .

Railroad Stations: Union Station, NW. 6th Ave. And Johnson Sts. for Southern Pacific Lines, Union Pacific R. R., Northern Pacific Ry., Great Northern Ry. and Spokane, Portland and Seattle Ry. SW 1st Ave. and Alder St., for Portland to Gresham, and Oregon City Lines (electric interurban).

Bus Stations: Union Stage Terminal, SW. Taylor St. between 5th and 6th Aves., for Greyhound Lines, Interstate Transit Lines, Mt. Hood Stages, North Coast Transportation Co., Oregon Motor Stages, Washington Motor Coach System.

Airports: Swan Island Municipal Airport, 4-5 m. N. of city center, via Broadway Bridge, Interstate Ave., and Greeley Cut-off, for United Airlines; Taxi, 50c, time 10 min. New municipal airport, (ready for use in the summer of 1940) at NE. Columbia Boulevard and 47th St., supersedes Swan Island.

Taxis: Twenty-five cents for the first 3 m, 10c for each 2 m. thereafter; 10c for each extra passenger.

Street Cars and Busses: Basic fare 50c.

And Portland was the terminus for 57 steamship lines!


Didn't you all hear that TriMet is going to build a new light rail system with a major junction station right underneath OHSU? There'll be routes to Gresham (via the Ross Island Bridge and Powell Boulevard), to Milwaukie, to Lake Oswego, to Tigard, to Beaverton, and a new route to Vancouver via M.L.K.?

The expected cost is only $10 billion, but that's no problem because of all of the development potential expected along the light rail lines. Even underground condo units!

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