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Ray Whitford

I don't think the Council will go against the advisory committee choice since I feel the choice was decided before the bids were accepted.

My choice, JLL, came in last. I asked at one of the meetings if past issues dealing with the land North of the OCC seems to have doomed the JLL bid. My words in the question was about the PDC wanting or "coveting" the land and the land owner wasn't dealing.

Secondly, there seems to be an inside track for Ashforth. I personnally think the JLL design fits better with the OCC than the three others. The two monolithic proposals seems to me to over power the OCC, which I would not appreciate from an relational point of view.

Where as the JLL site and design creates a flow from South to North with the lower elevations moving to the North until the JLL tower is moved back as far as possible in order to create a "Place". The cover over the MAX line is just an extra (awesome) feature that isn't required during the first phase.

Plus the JLL location is closer to the Rose Quarter and the possible baseball stadium location at the Blanchard site. And the JLL proposal speaks to the blocks owned by the PDC to the east and west could be used for special needs related to the "Place". It creates more options for the PDC, not less.

The MLK crossing issues also seems to point to using the JLL proposal. It sounds like the advisory committee voted for the Ashforth but called out the tunnel as an issue.

The JLL proposal even speaks of possible Cenvention Center expansion to the North and South down the road.

I just don't think the PDC really looks to the future (vision thing, e.g., Beam idea at BB Project) and has a "good old boy" process (vision thing, e.g., BB Project).

Getting "new" money into Portland is next to impossible.

The comments in the recommendation from the advisory committee for the JLL team includes comments like "was considered somewhat"; "was not clear"; "was relatively less"; "was less clear" and "also appeared".

They had eight months to get the answers to these non-factual feelings and justifications.

Seems very suspicious to me. Portland always seems to go for the lowest common denomminator. Architecturally, we do nothing bold, ingenious, or of note. I guess thats why I help the Columbia River Crossing proves me wrong because the PDC isn't involved (right?).

Ray Whitford


I sat on the committee and there were no pre-conceived notions of whom would be selected...in fact it came down to the wire between two of the proposals. I may be mistaken here, but JLL came in 3rd out of the 4 proposals. I could explain in depth why the Ashforth team became our recommendation, but there is a PDC commission meeting this evening (6:30pm) at Billy Reeds on NE MLK if people need further explanation.

I would like to offer my critique to the JLL design proposal. 1st: Although the beautiful canopy attracted most people to this project, it was not included in the budget, hence would probably never be built. 2nd: the hotel seemed very much like a resort hotel. The front entrance was nearly 100' off of Holladay and all of the restuarants and bars were internalized. The hotel was designed specifically for Conventioneers and not for the general public that live and/or work in the neighborhood...the Lloyd has enough destination places and this proposal would just be another. 3rd: Pushing the hotel to the North created a fortress type wall along curving Multnomah Street.

I will agree (and others did as well) that the alternate site is more centrally located and perhaps a superior site. It was what was conceptualized on that site that seemed unfriendly to district residents, employees, and the day to day pedestrians, hence very un-Portland.

These are my opinions. Many committee members thought the design was fantastic. It came down to many other variables that can be further explained this evening. Ashforth received the recommendation because they exceeded every other proposal in all five or six categories with design being just one of them.

Bob R.

I was pleased to see that several of the designs proposed doing _something_ with the convention center light rail station.

Unfortunately, nobody seemed to get it quite right (in my view), although one of the proposals came close by moving the station one block east...

The Convention Center station represents a sticky problem: It is seldom used, except when a large convention is in progress, thereby slowing down commuters, but the name "convention center" is just too juicy and politiclally important to combine or eliminate the station.

But, if I were given total power for a day over portland transportation planning (any takers?), here's my reasoning:

1. Every addition of a station stop adds 30 to 60 seconds of commute time each way for train riders. (If we value people's time based roughly on median income, each minute wasted is "worth" about 30 cents.)

2. As mentioned above, the current Convention Center station goes unused much of the day on most days, compared to other MAX stops.

3. The Rose Quarter station is just as close to the convention center north exit and north ticket office as the current Convention Center station. Thus, someone emerging from the north exit could walk the exact same distance to Rose Quarter and be just as well served by transit. (The current station does serve the east doors and east ticket office better.)

4. A related issue: The 7th ave station, located just to the east of 7th avenue, sits between a large parking lot and a fenced quasi-park. Currently, no actual high-traffic uses are built at this site, which just a block west we have Liberty Centre and another block west lies East-West College, a motel, and the Cascadian.

5. When stations are located very cose together, travel times are further increased by wasted acceleration/deceleration cycles. Trains do not get fully up to speed before they have to slow down again. In addition to creating a slight real slowness in the system, there is a much greater perceived slowness. MAX riders coming from the east perceive rapid travel until Lloyd Center, and then generally view the next 2 stops (7th and Convention) as wasted time.

This is one reason why new MAX construction, such as the Interstate Avenue line and the proposed Transit Mall alignment favor even station spacing with 4 and 5 block minimums.

I propose doing two things at once to improve transit porformance with only minor negative impact on convention center utility:

1. Eliminate the current Convention Center station. Combine it with Rose Quarter. (Call it the "Rose Quarter Arena / Oregon Convention Center" station.)

Use visual cues such as special sidewalk paving and a glass canopy to clearly guide pedestrians between the convention center and the Rose Quarter. In most cases, the walk will be the same or only slightly longer than before.

As a side benefit, the Rose Quarter station is far better equipped to handle large crowds, with an extra pocket track and dual-platform boarding.

2. Move the 7th Ave station one or two blocks west. (Call it the 6th Ave or the Grand Ave station).

This will better align it with local destinations such as Liberty Centre and the Cascadian.

If it is located between 6th and 7th, it will still align equally well with a future streetcar line on 7th, and the walk to the station platform edge from the nearby federal building will be the same.

Taking these two steps will not only slightly improve real-time train performance, it will greatly improved perceived performance and utility for most riders. MAX is a much beloved system by its users, but many regular users express disdain for the slow in-town performance.

Having station stops located just 200 ft apart in cases like downtown where there are many users and many destinations may make some sense, but at 7th and at the convetion Center, these extra stops are generally time wasters.

The hotel proposal that moves the Convention Center station one block east doesn't solve any of these problems: It appears more to be a selfish grab of a public utility, making the station of greater use to the hotel than to the convention center itself. And it doesn't eliminate the station at 7th, so although it improves station spacing with respect to the rose quarter, it harms station spacing with respect to 7th.

Sorry to abuse this topic with my pet issue, but it seemed to dovetail nicely with discussion of the hotel proposals for the area.

Now, don't get me started on the Goose Hollow vs. PGE park stations. :-)

Bob R.

Peter Winch

I write briefly to agree with you on a pet irritation: station spacing. Repositioning (in name and spirit) the Rose Quarter station gives that station more weight, too- destinations to the left and to the right, with a central space created surprisingly in the underpass.

Slow progress through the Lloyd district is compounded by slow progress over the bridge, which someone has told me is more of a technical than a planning issue.

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