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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Poor Portland

Something that will never happen in Portland
I am afraid Portland is on it's way to becoming another San Francisco, a city of old women: everything and everyone coddled and cocooned so no one ever gets hurt or even offended, but there is no vision, no progress, and nothing is done about all the real problems which will continue to grow until they smother us all.

The latest bit is the Portland City Council decided to lower the speed limits in residential areas from 25 MPH to 20 MPH, which means the entire city is now a school zone. I expect someone will eventually realize there is no point in having separate school zones since the speed limit is no different, but then someone else will decide they need to set apart so they will propose lowering the speed limit in school zones to 15 MPH. Why don't we all just stay home?

What we really need is a project to cover the entire downtown area on both sides of both rivers (the Willamette and the Columbia) with a ten story infra-structure to support a pleasant place to live. You would have levels for:
  • trains and big trucks
  • warehousing
  • North-South traffic
  • East-West traffic
  • turning lanes
  • parking
  • automotive services like repair and fueling
  • utilities like water, electrical power and gas
  • bicycles
The top surface would be reserved for houses, parks and walking.

I doubt anything like this will happen. The powers that be are too entrenched, and it might be that technology will change the way we operate. Amazon is decimating brick and mortar retail businesses. Video phones are almost like being there, not that anyone wants to talk anymore, they just text. When autonomous cars finally arrive, you won't need to have a house because you will spend all your time in your car while it creeps slowly along in the gigantic cluster fuck that our traffic will have become. When you leave work, you will push Home button in your car and it will set out to take you home, but since the streets will be so congested it creep along at a walking pace, so it will be one in the morning before you get there, which means it will be time to turn around and head back to work. I hope you like sleeping in your car.

Previous posts about a multi-level city here and here.

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