This is what a closed bus mall looks like

Closed Bus Mall

Originally uploaded by PAgent

Gee, it’s awfully quiet on 5th Avenue this morning, and not just because of MLK’s birthday. As Russ reports, the bus mall was rerouted from 5th and 6th Avenues starting yesterday. As someone who has grown accustomed to the periodic roar of buses, as they made the sidewalk quiver under my feet with their passing, this is kind of spooky.

5 Comments so far

  1. dieselboi (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 8:52 am

    Instead of watching out for tri-met running the red lights, you now have to watch out for the contractors.

    I’m realizing I’m going to miss those 70’s era bus shelters. They are the only bus shelters I can imagine for the bus mall.

  2. atlas (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 9:45 am

    I read recently that the mall has not aged well, I would argue it has (other than shady trees) and it is the concept of a bus mall to begin with that is flawed and not “aging” well.

    One aspect that I see flawed in the original and revised design is the narrowing of the road which has eliminated on street parking. Many businesses on the mall died a slow death after it debuted years ago. Access for people to be able to drop in downtown park at a meter was diminsihed severely and that is pertinent for business.

    I enjoy tri-met, but have long felt they do a poor job in offering routes and access to different parts of the city. I never has seen a benefit of the corridor mall, aside from transfers… if say you are going from North Portland to West Linn

    In addition the mall has done well mon-fri 9-5 but hours other than those… this is has been an area that lacks any diversity in denizen. Quite frankly it’s creepy. This revsion does not address this other than saying the new shelters are not dark?

    I wish the people who planned this redesign would have given some real thought about the possible benefits to all of downtown with no mall and buses going about in an old school way.

  3. tODD (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 10:25 am

    I wish that the people who “wish the people who planned this redesign would have given some real thought” would have given some input when it was requested, repeatedly. And maybe you did. But I doubt that “the people who planned this redesign” (a) are taking much input at this point and (b) are reading this blog to find such input. I could be wrong. But people really did have (at least the appearance) of giving their input to the design.

  4. george (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 10:31 am

    i am not sure you can blame the bus mall for the current downtown business struggles.

    downtown was way deader before the bus mall. and when pioneer courthouse square was a giant parking lot, there was much more parking for people, and yet, again downtown was in much worse shape.

  5. atlas (unregistered) on January 15th, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

    Yes George, but that was also a time that was at the tail end of the drive to the suburbs and most cities across the U.S. were in decline and chiefly lively mon-fri 9-5. The bus mall was designed with that in mind…

    Yeah, tearing down the beautiful hotel that was at the poineer square locale was a shame, putting in a parking lot was even more distasteful, but my argument is not about parking lots as downtown has plenty of them… it’s about easy access to drop by a given business and on street parking lends itself to that.

    But as Todd clearly points out it’s well in motion at this point. So aside from sharing my opinion here my words are pointless… BTW Todd, among others I lobbied the mayor directly and was “assured” that this “plan” (the other plans were also “bus mall” centric) was going to be wonderful for the city etc…

    I truly hope I am wrong about this, but like I offered initally I don’t think the problem with the bus mall is its dating or lack of lightrail… I believe the problem is the entire “concept” of a bus mall

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