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» Repacking Portlandia

America’s most urban planning-obsessed city is about to get a lot more urban.

Residents of Division Street’s “Breakfast House”, protesting an eviction notice. via The Oregonian, 16.05.14.

"A look through the real estate stories in local newspapers, business journals and the Portland Monthly makes this much clear: there’s a construction boom going on in the city, and for the first time in a generation, it’s producing buildings that are truly, enthusiastically, sometimes ill-advisedly new. As Randy Gragg points out in that article series above, the boom is not unprecedented in size; the number of building permits issued in the city in 2013 is still well below the peak of the hot-burning early 2000s.

But what’s being permitted this time is different. Instead of more two-story homes with lawns, punctuated by the occasional condo, now we seem to be making almost nothing but urban buildings. City buildings. Buildings for people who walk fast and ride the streetcar and take taxis, and stay up late and order takeout…

"Portland is a city built on a dense grid of streets, with abundant sidewalks and closely spaced commercial districts. Its public transit system far outstrips that of any US city of comparable size. The growing preference for localism prompts many residents to look down the street for their needs, rather down the highway. These are the underpinnings of a dynamic, multi-modal city, and they’re ideal for supporting the kind of density depicted in the latest round of renderings."

read more: medium @carlalviani, 26.09.14.

» Why Portland Is Building a Multi-Modal Bridge That Bans Cars

It’s an act of urban planning maybe even more so than a transit project.”

connected, finally!

Tilikum Crossing is the nation’s first multi-modal bridge that will be off-limits to private automobiles. It will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland’s streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides—but no cars. If the bridge looks elegant in its slenderness, that may be because the omission of private automobiles keeps it from taking on a more gargantuan array of lanes and entry/exit ramps.

"[The] original decision to turn down federal dollars for a freeway and instead to invest that in MAX (light-rail), that’s a fundamental shift that other American cities don’t make."

read more: citylab, 19.08.14.
more photos: the portland-milwaukie light-rail project on flickr.

interstate ave., portland, or.
these signs are so much more informative (make so much more sense) than the “share the road” signs.
steaming coffee mug bike rack on NW 18th Ave / Glisan. portland, or.
» Observing, analyzing Portland's stop sign culture

"I used the legal “complete stop” threshold for determining whether behavior qualified as stopping or not. As I tallied up hundreds of commuters, this standard revealed itself as less and less useful when comparing cars and bikes. Because of their slower overall speed, bike riders have just as long, if not longer, to approach an intersection, observe the participants and determine whose turn comes next. For the most part, they slow down sooner and move slowly for longer as they evaluate the timing and safety of crossing. Rarely does this require a complete stop. When a bike rider does make a complete stop, it takes longer for her to get started again than it does for someone driving a car.

As drivers, we approach intersections faster, decelerate later and faster, and spend less time gathering data about the likely traffic pattern. We are also able to accelerate quicker when we start up again.

Because of these dramatic differences in auto travel speed, acceleration and deceleration, when a car driver approaches a stop sign and rolls through without actually coming to a complete stop, it looks more like a stop than when a person does exactly the same thing on a bike. I wondered if police officers are able to overcome this optical bias.

Experienced Portlanders, whether behind the wheel or on the saddle, probably agree that not stopping can often be the most courteous thing to do at intersections. If done safely, it allows the next intersection participant to make their move sooner. “California stoppers” in cars and on bikes tended to treat the other vehicles as respectfully as traditional stoppers, and, I like to think, made the entire interaction more efficient.”

read more: bikeportland, 05.06.14.

there are two infamous traffic circles in portland, and they both have stop signs before entering the traffic circle, which totally defeats the purpose of traffic circles / roundabouts!

i forget how exactly to blend images together in photoshop.. and i don’t want to look up a tutorial. but you get the idea.. 
view from the urban center on psu campus, where i spend a lot of my time. streetcar tracks and plaza below, student rec center (gym) opposite, and sw hills in the backdrop.
glad i get a break from being there almost every day!
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