Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Downtown Update

The Max Green line opened! Yay! This should be a great thing for people living in the further reaches of the metro area, to the north and east; and for anyone heading to PSU. This line runs from Clackamas Town Center to Portland State University. It opened this week and reportedly ridership is already quite high. Well, they tapped into a huge area so it should be filling right up.

The only thing I don’t like about it is the fact that 5th and 6th streets downtown are now nearly impossible to use in the car or on a bike. But, it’s a fair trade off to get all of those cars out of downtown so… I’m not complaining. Really.

Another tidbit of downtown observation: The long empty lot at 4th between Mill and Market streets is being developed. This is the lot bounded by St Mary’s school, St Michael the Archangel Church (site of R & N’s wedding), and the crazy, triangular high rise that B & K lived in briefly.

It has been a parking lot for years and years, and an odd one. The east edge of the parking lot is built up on a rock wall. It had a mysterious, boarded up doorway in the wall that looked like a portal to trouble. Last week a construction fence went up and this week the wall came down. The earthmovers are out there digging like mad. One really good thing: it looks like they are protecting the large, beautiful, copper beech tree that lives in the southeast corner of the lot. I don’t know what is planned for that block, but I hope that preserving the tree is part of the development.

One quick note about the bike commute: I rode down the Hill! It wasn’t as scary as I feared, of course. When I leave my building, the street drops quite sharply. I was riding my brakes down the hill, expecting to see smoke coming off them, but I was being passed by cyclists who were actually pedaling away. Wow! They must have been going 50 miles an hour! Not me, thank you very much. So, I got to the bottom in one piece, had to ride through part of downtown where there are no bike lanes, turned off 4th onto Salmon and rode out to the waterfront. From there, it’s the same commute home. Amazingly, it’s faster to ride down the hill and through downtown than it is to walk to and wait for the Tram.

That’s it for today folks! Hey, you see right below this text where there is a picture of a pen and the underlined words “0 comments”? If you click on the word comments, it opens up a little box where you can type a few words. Try it! I love comments! You can go back and read other people’s comments. It’s all part of the blogosphere…


  1. ekg,

    i so believe, because i lived downtown much of my childhood, that the parking lot with the stone wall around it that you say is now going to be something other than an ugly parking lot, was the site of the st. mary's convent. i remember lots of nuns and an old building, but that is the extent of my hazy childhood memories.

  2. ... it has been twelve days since your last post. what is up lazy bones? get back on that bike and give us your reports as to whatsup in pdx! get crackin' gal ...