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billb

The Mayor is totally correct on the issue. The Marquam is one of the ugliest bridges ever to blight a skyline.

The Brand of Portland is Green.

Rather than getting into an endless conversation of Beauty versus Cost , we can place a
Park-Roof on the 'basic bridge'
The cost benefits of the Park Roof are outlined in the link below.

Creating a World Class 'Green Golden Gate Bridge' will make
us the green tourist #1 goal , bring social justice to the park deprived neighborhoods on both sides of the river , and solve our 'aesthetics' issue.

http://www.portlandtribune.com/sustainable/story.php?story_id=127810849697704800

rhome

The statement, "an off-the-shelf design would be smarter, easier to build and less expensive" seems like a red-herring to this issue. Is there ever an off-the-shelf design that would NOT be easier to build and less expensive? For anything? Does it take a consultant to tell us that?

That being said, I fully support spending extra for a bridge design that will inspire those who cross it for many decades to come. But I think the bridge will be more of an icon for Vancouver than for Portland, since it is that downtown that will benefit from viewing it.

PD

I'm all for creating a good design aesthetic, but the only jobs created under Adams administration have been in food carts, so I don't trust his linking the CRC to impact on the economic growth...Adams impact on this economy has been disasterous.

Max Rockbin

One of the things about the location of the CRC is that there really aren't that many grand vistas where one would see it. It's not like the Marquam where it's visible from so much of central Portland. Or the Freemont.

It's in a location where 99% of the people who look upon it will be driving upon it.
Not the best vantage point for admiring most bridges (the Marquam is probably an exception). Better to put that extra money into the bridges on the Willamette which badly need cosmetic (and structural) reinforcement.

I fully support spending extra for CRC pimping as long as those Billions come from thin air or somebody else and doesn't take away from any projects I like.

Aneeda

"Adams impact on this economy has been disasterous"

Really? Do you care to back up that statement with some facts?

PD

"Really? Do you care to back up that statement with some facts?"

Okay. Adams and the City Council are continuing to dramatically raise SDC's and other fees at a time when other jurisdictions are lowering them. As an example, Parks SDC doubled in 2010, PBOT and othe SDC's are up an average of over 9%. I can tell you first hand that many businesses have made no-go decisions for this reason alone. In addition, many developments have stalled in their tracks because Portland's fee structure is just too steep. How many jobs not created? That's anybody's guesss...as unquantifiable as it might be, Adams and Leonard have done nothing but show businesses the door. Because of this, Portland will be the last major city to climb out of the recession. It really is too bad Portland voters only care about plastic bags, trams, streetcars and bike lanes instead of job growth and education.

Aneeda

PD - It sounds like you would be much happier living in Houston or Spokane. There is very little evidence that SDCs negatively impact the economy, mainly because the economy is more than new development. It includes public infrastructure improvements, park upgrades and new parks, roads, etc. all of which employ people and make Portland a more livable environment. Weigh that against urban sprawl, dumping sewage in the Willamette, potholes and other failing infrastructure.
I think the point is that you only build a bridge like this once in a lifetime. Why not build something we can be proud of? This bridge will be the gateway into the State and the City and should say something about what kind of people we are.

PD

"There is very little evidence that SDCs negatively impact the economy, mainly because the economy is more than new development."

Yes, I agree it is difficult to count the business that aren't here.

My brother is a restauranteur. He was going to open a second location on Mississippi Ave., but after review of the SDC fee schedule for his 1,800 square foot location, he went to Gresham. Did you know that the PDOT SDC for restaurants is almost $16 per foot? He would have had to pay PDOT $29,000 just to open his doors...and there were other fees on top of that.

He would have constructed $200k of improvements and employed 12 people. Instead, he's not in Portland -- just because of SDC's...and this is just one example. I'm a commercial real estate advisor and many of my clients have elected to forego Portland expansion for this reason alone.

I'm all for the things you say: infrastructure improvements, quality of life, etc. The high SDC fee schedule is preventing all of that by creating a shrinking tax and employment base...

Most people just don't understand the negative impact from SDC's.

Aneeda

Most people don't understand the positive impacts.

You seem to be saying there is some kind of equivalence for a restaurant between Gresham and Mississippi Avenue. Frankly $16/ft is not much when you consider it is barely less than that in Gresham and your brother is going to get a fraction of the foot traffic...or is he going to build a parking lot instead? Did you work that into the equation?

Here's a link to the design so we can all see how pathetic the thinking on this has become. Imagine, this is concrete:

http://columbiarivercrossing.org/CurrentTopics/BridgeDesign.aspx

PD

"You seem to be saying there is some kind of equivalence for a restaurant between Gresham and Mississippi Avenue. "

The $16 would apply anywhere in the city of Portland, not just on Mississippi. If he were weighing Gresham against 82nd and Johnson Creek, the same $16 would have to be spent. The point is that the greedy bureaucracy is costing jobs within the City limit, and most Portland vorters don't understand (or don't care) that this is happening. I'm a stakeholder here too, and we all seem to think that Adams' focus on plastic bags, bridges, bikes and streetcars is "progress"...while he and the City council are driving business to outlying areas.

It's somewhat poetic the Sam wants to create such a nice bridge for Portlanders to drive over...to their jobs in Clark county.

dennis

Actually if I am not mistaken, isnt the CRC more used for Clark county residents to drive to Portland for their jobs rather than the other way around?

I can understand your issue with the SDC being so high, but at the same time starting a business or expanding isnt typically cheap to do, has anyone considered what the costs are to open a business in other cities? It is easy to say it is too high here, but if other cities have other costs that add up in business start up could make it just as hard to start a business elsewhere.

Also you keep saying plastic bags, bridges, bikes, and streetcars as if they are some form of bad thing that we should all be "well now that you mention it, he hasnt done anything." There is a huge plastic island in the pacific that is mankind's fault, we should be limited our use of plastic. Bridges are important to Portland, how many times to do cross them each week in this city? Bike infrastructure is extremely important for the livability and culture of this city, and streetcar expansions will help continue the city's push for alternative forms of transportation and with the permanent tracks that are going down on the eastside could easily lead to an economic building boom during the next boom that might not of happened without the city paying attention to the inner eastside (but this one we will have to wait some years to find out its true effects, obviously.)

Stephen

There is no such thing as an "off the shelf" bridge. Any bridge over the Columbia will need to be carefully "designed" one way or the other.
These are one-off custom creations. The extra care that it would take to make it look good will not cost more. In fact, an elegant design looks good, works properly and should be made with a minimum of materials.
As for the Marquam, stop picking on her, she ain't that bad. She just makes our pretty bridges that much prettier.

Ray Whitford

Sorry Brian and Mr. Mayor, I went to multiple CRC meetings five years(?) ago now and asked that the CRC to be "iconic" but was ignored. Pearson Airpark is more important was the response. Plus I was told the PDX flight path had a lesser effect.

I would have pushed to move the Pearson operations and retained a memorial for the site and created a museum/retail/residential zone. Then connecting East and West Vancouver would have been easier under the bridge close to the river.

As I told the CRC back then, "have a vision". Their vision is concrete is good and place isn't important (e.g., Hayden Island design).

Ray

PD

Dennis -

You're a typical Portland voter and I very much admire that. Portlanders actually care about the mound of plactic bags in the pacific and developing alternate forms of transportation. This is a good thing. I share those values.

What I find troubling, though, is that Adams and company use these things to further their agenda while ignoring things that are equally important: jobs and education.

My opinion is that if Adams builds on education and economic development first, he'll have much more political and financial capital to focus on things like streetcars and bike infrastructure.

It makes absolutely no sense to pay for all of these pet projects by raising SDC's which reduce long-term economic development. Adams has it backwards, but at least he can make the average portland voter feel warm and fuzzy inside.

For one, I resent seeing those streetcar tracks when the schools are so underfunded.

dennis

You never really answered my question PD, I do appreciate the compliment, but how much does it cost to start a business in other cities in the US? If the SDC is so high, then why are there businesses that are currently paying it to begin with, obviously it isn't too high for many to consider running a business here. I do understand that with any business owner any extra fee seems to be a burden on their company, but I don't see that argument as being a really valid complaint in trying to produce jobs.

Also, those streetcar tracks aren't laying themselves, so the city is actually employing workers to do work within the city. Public job growth is just as important as private job growth because both include people having a job.

As for education underfunding, I often times blame tax payers for that problem because more often than not over the years have I seen bills get shot down by voters because it would increase a tax somewhere to help better fund our schools. I was happy to see this past bill actually pass that has gone to help our education system.

Kyle

Dennis on the school topic, since you bring it up. I think the public would pass more money for the schools, if and when the school board can learn to manage itself. I recall the last bill that passed to support schools, was squandered away, when it was the bill to fix the system. Our schools drive out the middle class from the city to place safer and with better facilities. With the families, go the tax base, and down the spiral falls.

dennis

meh, that is more of an excuse than anything. The public would pass more money for the schools if better managed, but because they "squandered" it then why bother, which continues a downward spiral that leads to even worse schools and more layoffs, that lead to lower scores and worsening the education system, and so on. So when should the public pass more money for the schools? When they are better managed or better funded?

I grew up in a metro that had some of the worst inner city public schools that would make Portland's issues look like the city was whining about nothing.

When schools are underfunded, everything they do will look like they are squandering money because everything within the system is in desperate need of money. It is like expecting someone who is starving to eat healthy the moment they get enough money to buy a little bit of food.

Andrew

Arguing over the 'iconic' design of 12 vs 10 lanes is irrelevant. Any structure/s passing that many highway lanes just cannot look good; it goes beyond a rational transport solution.

We know that allowing local traffic on the interstate has degraded the integrity of the network, and throwing new capacity at the same problem is a short-sighted fix.

So let’s stick with the existing bridges and separate out the new capacity from the existing mess by adding 4 lanes new interstate capacity in tunnel after Mill Plain (no connection to SR-14). Stay down until clearing 99E (no connection at Hayden Island).

And let’s get more creative with the funding, such as state backed loans to a private toll facility - supported by a business case. Collect electronically by using pre-pay (EZpass) or pay within 48 hours online (recorded by Automatic Number Plate Recognition).

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