Friday, June 22, 2007

Portland

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

This is Portland, during Rose Festival opening night’s fireworks display visible from blocks away. Every vacant lot seems to have a paid parking lot on it.

Portland is a densely populated area that has two rivers running through it that converge, the Columbia and the Willamette.

A cleaning crew working on a Friday night in the Federal building.

The downtown is a mixture of late 1800s warehouses and modern skyscrapers.

Many old warehouses are now converted into condominiums and loft apartments.
Though there are streetlights, Portland is a dark city.


The older buildings have classic designs and facings made of ironwork or concrete.

There is a fair amount of building of condominiums going on.

The streets are a mess; dominated by one-ways with only an occasional two-way street. On the weekend there were lots of people riding bicycles. Speed limits are not so dependant on drivers’ compliance as it is hardly possible to exceed the limit based on traffic volume.

There are lots of bridges crossing the rivers.

Portland has a number of downtown parks. There is a river’s edge park on the Willamette River and two separate parks that run multiple blocks along Park Ave., north and south in the downtown area that displays large pieces of public art.

This sculpture, a tribute to money sits at the entry to a large shopping mall, the Lloyd Center.

Portland public transportation is provided by Tri-Met, an independent governmental subdivision. Busses run frequently and seem to be on all the streets all the time.

There is a light rail system that runs to four destinations, including the airport. A third line is about a year into its two-year construction project.

People use the system in large numbers. At peak times, there is a bus or light rail every couple of minutes. The light rail runs well into the night.
On Sundays a vintage trolley runs through downtown to a major shopping mall on the other side of the river.
Albuquerque has looked to Portland to solve many of its problems. Light rail is just one of those issues; anti-cruising is another.
Portland also seems to have a large number of homeless and street people.

1 comment:

Ched MacQuigg said...

I really, really liked this piece.