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View Diary: Maritime Hoovervilles in Portland, Oregon (103 comments)

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  •  I believe OSHU commonly called (4+ / 0-)

    Pill Hill held the city hostage for this tram. I have friends who lived in the historic Corbett neighborhood under the tram, and felt this was a corporate boondoggle as really only serves OSHU's facilities.  We used to live on Terwelliger and it is not at all an impassible in winter or even difficult drive to get to OSHU. Even buses are able to navigate this great drive   Surely OSHU for the money spent could have developed a fleet of shuttle buses.

    Objections from underlying neighborhoods

    Many residents of the Corbett-Terwilliger and Lair Hill neighborhoods, over which the tram passes, were concerned the cars would be an invasion of privacy and lead to lower property values. Initially, residents were promised that overhead power lines would be buried as part of the project, but as cost overruns mounted, this plan was scrapped. Neighborhood opponents of the tram have cited other reasons for opposing the tram's construction, including the fact that the North Corbett neighborhood is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Some residents filed a lawsuit against the city and OHSU, claiming that they own the "airspace" above their properties. The city later offered to purchase homes directly under the tram route at fair market value.

    Even after its completion, the tram remains unpopular with some living underneath its route. In April 2007, homeowner Justin Auld, living under the tram route, placed a sign on his roof stating "FUCK THE TRAM" in large block letters. The sign is not visible from the street, only from the air. Officials had looked into whether or not the sign violated any laws. The publicity surrounding the sign prompted city officials to quietly negotiate with the homeowner, and the sign has since been moved and the expletive covered.

    Both OHSU and the city of Portland have taken much public criticism for ballooning development costs. Local television station KATU questioned the relative price of the Portland tram compared to a new tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which was built by the same company, and (as of 2007) was projected to carry 28 percent more passengers three and a half times the distance and eight times the height, but costing only $25 million.

    Concerns over corporate welfare

    Some critics cite the tram as an example of corporate welfare for OHSU with limited public benefit. A 2001 study done by OHSU prior to the tram's being designed projected that the tram would have 4,700 riders per day by 2030, with less than one fifth  of those being non-OHSU users. While the lower station has easy public access, access to the upper station requires navigating through the OHSU hospital. The Cascade Policy Institute, a local libertarian research group, criticized the project for being "railroaded through the political process by small groups of private interests", and expressed doubt that tram construction would lead to new jobs.

    •  Well, actually I once spent about four hours on (1+ / 0-)
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      Cartoon Peril

      Terwilliger in the snow and ice; my Uncle was a minister at a church downtown and getting home after Christmas mass took a very long time; it was normally about half an hour.

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