Thursday, August 28, 2014

NE 24th & Thompson

Several years ago I ran across an obscure city document (don't bother clicking, it's been offline for months now) that listed a bunch of very obscure places the Portland city parks bureau had played a role in managing or planning. I tracked down a few that turned out to be interesting: The Vernon Ross Veterans Memorial, most of the various "East Park Blocks" around Portland's eastside, a number of little mini-parks in the Alameda and Healy Heights neighborhoods, and various other things. So tracking these places down eventually became another of this humble blog's many weird little projects. In an unusual bit of foresight I included the full list in a 2011 post (which I did because I didn't have anything else interesting to say about the place), so this mini-project has kept going despite the original document falling off the interwebs.

A lot of the remaining items on the list either no longer exist, or the description's so vague I can't figure out where to look. Others are things that I passed on because they didn't seem very interesting or worthwhile at the time.

Which brings us to our next destination, the mini-roundabout at NE 24th & Thompson, in the Irvington neighborhood. Not that long ago I specifically said I wasn't going to cover these mini-roundabout things; there are dozens, maybe hundreds of them all over town, which is too many, and they aren't really individually distinctive. A couple have appeared here because they're in the center of a painted intersection, but generally this is still a solid rule. I'm making an exception for this one because it's on the aforementioned list. Or at least the intersection's on the list, and the traffic circle is the only likely candidate for something the parks bureau might have been involved in. I have no idea why this one was on the list and no others were, since it looks just like all the others. Maybe it was the first one. I don't have any documentation or any particular reason to think so, but it's the only hypothesis I have other than sheer randomness. This is the point where I shrug and say I don't write these lists, I just go where they tell me to go, and the matter is entirely out of my hands.

This little circle does have its own page (albeit a very bare-bones one) on a site called Roundabouts Now, which bills itself as "Your Exclusive Source of Modern Roundabouts Information". Which does seem to be an accurate slogan in this case. In a way I'm glad that site exists. I dunno, I guess it feels reassuring when I find something that's gone further down a nerdy rabbit hole than I have. So far.

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