Saturday, September 20, 2014

N. Interstate & Going Plaza

[View Larger Map]

I was walking along Interstate Avenue a while ago, and happened to notice the nondescript little landscaped area at the SW corner of the Going St. intersection, with a short path, a few trees, and unwatered grass. I was in the area taking blog photos anyway, and I was waiting for a crosswalk, so I figured I'd take a some photos of this area too, and see if I could find out anything interesting about the place.

PortlandMaps says the little plaza here is public right of way, probably belonging to the city transportation bureau. Given the ownership, I imagine it's probably land left over from the big Going St. widening project in the late 1970s. The city acquired and demolished homes and businesses along Going between I-5 and industrial Swan Island to make room for six traffic lanes, and they ended up with awkward bits and pieces of vacant land they don't know what to do with. Pittman Addition HydroPark and tiny Stanich Park further west are other examples of this. I checked the Oregonian database and wasn't able to figure out what might have been here before the widening, so it may have just been a house or two, and this spot does seem to be roughly the size of a residential lot in this part of town. I couldn't find any mentions of this particular spot in connection with the widening project, so I'm not sure what the city's intentions were for the place. Designing public spaces isn't really their core business, and it would be hard to call this one a success. More recently, when the MAX Yellow Line went in along Interstate Avenue, TriMet and the city suddenly had a big pot of urban renewal cash to play with, and for some reason they didn't throw any at this place. I assume hey must have overlooked it (which would be quite easy to do); otherwise it would have been a great place to add some bioswales, and another big sculpture of a heroic salmon swimming upstream or something.

No comments :