Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Tram

I recently went up to OHSU (Oregon Health and Sciences University) and had a tour of the new building at the top end of the tram. The high-cost tram with major budget over-runs is a pretty impressive beast. All and all the “Wow Factor” is well worth the price. This tram is something really unique about Portland. The view of the valley and river below are phenomenal.

Back when the hospital on the hill first opened, no one could have possible envisioned how big a complex it would become. I am impressed that there is still room to expand.

Parking can be a major challenge and this tram should alleviate some of the trouble. I would be willing to bet the OHSU complex hires more people for parking control than are hired for most industries here on the coast.

This tram and the complex is the work of visionaries. Yes, it all comes at a high price and there are a lot of bitter taxpayers and neighbors. However, future Portland residents will appreciate it one day for what it really is and what it means to the community.

I’m sure there was a lot of bitching over every bridge that was built in Portland. There was a lot of bitching about the Astoria/Megler Bridge, called at the time the bridge to no where. Now that they are there, they are used and we hate it when they are closed down for any reason. They are the focus of art and design. They are touch stones to our community.

Humans have a strange ability to become very fond of things that facilitate our transportation. We used to love our horses and now we are fond of our cars. We are fond of certain roads we travel, and certain bridges we cross. Any time I travel I will see a road or a bridge that reminds me of home. We have some remarkable bridges in Oregon, Yaquina Bay, St. Johns, Old Youngs Bay are among my favorites. Having driven on bridges such as The George Washington, The Tapanzee, the Golden Gate and the Brooklyn Bridge, the three Oregon Bridges I mentioned are small in comparison but their architecture can stand up to the design of any famous bridge.

Like the bridges, the OHSU Tram is remarkable as well and will soon be loved as a distinct land mark of Portland.


Anonymous portosan said...

Hey Guy;

Yes, traffic in and out of OHSU has been thick and a challenge anytime I have been up there. It is nice to think about the tram taking some of the traffic out of there.

I heard a story on tv that minority contractors were used in this project wherever possible and I thought that was encouraging. The story kindof warmed my heart a little.

Which brings me to Astoria. I have heard talk of a log flume type ride down 8th street. I think this is a wonderfull idea don't you think?

I know, it sounds rediculus right now but as you pointed out in this article, It is possible to warm up to the idea and actually cherish the completed project over time.

Heck, the property along 8th street would become waterfront and the view from the flume would be spectacular.

Oh well, off to work.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Amaya said...

I was wondering what that construction was about.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bitter taxpayer, right here.
I've given birth twice in that hospital and I took my dad to the Vet's up there to get skin cancer surgery done; I've never had a problem finding parking, nor have any visitors to my room. That tram is a prestige project, not a valuable asset to the "regular" people like me.
This project pisses me off more than the WAAAAAAY overbudget West Side Light Rail - that Portlanders paid for.

10:14 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Sorry to get back to you all so late, but I was playing in Portland again today.

Portosan, have you been reading my mail? I did a spoof on turning Astoria into an amusement park with the 8th St Flume on a web site about five or so years ago. So it's still floating around out there, eh?

Amaya, yes, I think it opens in December.

Mel, dang I figured it would be Gearhead talking shit about it since he is a Lars fan. Wow you hate light rail, too? Dang girl you never told me you were a Republican.

Hey Mel, while I have you here, where has Denise been? Has she quit writing. Tell her I miss her.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Thartill said...

Dang girl you never told me you were a Republican.

Not sure if we need to go there. Lars is not the average Republican. I'm sure Mel just feels that the money needs to be spent elsewhere. And I would doubt her and Lars would agree where it should be spent. Lars would use it to set up Illegal Alien stings and drug testing checkpoints for anyone who drives on a public road.

I would guess Mel's answers would be entirely different.

9:44 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I'm just yanking her chain.

Lars calls himself a Libertarian, which probably has Libertarians wanting to change their name and not tell him.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous THArtill said...


I've never heard Lars call himself a Libertarian, but if he did I would bust up laughing, he is a far from a Libertarian as one could get.

9:39 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

He proclaimed it on Monday. I couldn't believe it either.

9:51 AM  

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