East and West, joined again?
OK, have you heard about the new bridge yet? Well here’s the scoop: A new bridge is being considered. Big deal, right? We’re Bridgetown, so it makes sense. But there’s a catch: It will carry pedestrians, the train, and perhaps the bus, but NO CARS. And what’s it for? Hooking up Pill Hill and OMSI.
This is the part where I put my warning that the cranky pants are ON.
Here’s the part I don’t understand:
The bridge would link downtown and OHSU, the city’s largest employer, with OMSI, one of its biggest tourist and educational attractions, and with Milwaukie to the south. Carefully sculpted, the span could become a symbol of the region’s aspirations as a national center for design and innovation.
So you want to connect the east side and the west side, but you want to do it south of the Ross Island Bridge? That seems like a good idea, it would be nice to-oh wait, we already DID that, and it’s called the Sellwood Bridge! Remember that one? Yeah, it’s the one that opened in 1925 (yes, that means it’s 82 years young) that was built using pieces of other old bridges. Oh yes. There are parts of the olden Sellwood Bridge that were olden WHEN IT OPENED. And you wonder why there are (I think) ninety-something Tri-Met trips a day that got diverted OFF the Sellwood Bridge? I don’t. And while we’re at it, here’s a tidbit you might be interested in: That bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis? It had a safety rating of fifty. Sellwood Bridge’s rating? TWO.
When I read this story, here’s what I am reading: OHSU got their tram and it wasn’t enough so now they want to walk to OMSI on their lunch hours too. Does Pill Hill have anything to do with OMSI? I mean, once Body Worlds leaves, I don’t know what purpose it would serve to hook the museum to the hospital. I guess I’m supposed to be happy they don’t want a tram extension, but it still doesn’t sit well with me. I can think of other ways to slap up a bridge:
* Build a double decker bridge, bottom for car/bus traffic and top for pedestrians and bikes.
* Build a new bridge next to the Sellwood for cars/buses and repair the Sellwood for bikes/peds.
* Build a bridge directly over the southern part of Ross Island, and put a nice park there Golden Gate style.
And I came up with those without trying very hard. It’s entirely possible I’m missing a key piece of this story somehow but I read the article twice and looked up a couple of other news sources which shed no additional light on the situation for me, so if you know something I don’t, please let me know. Otherwise this is the dumbest thing I’ve heard since last summer when they said Town Center was going to remain completely tore up for the entire holiday season. Is there a thinking person left in a decision making role in this place? </rant>