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Old 01-18-2012, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
227 posts, read 237,759 times
Reputation: 333
I agree that renting a car is the way to go; the MAX won't take you everywhere. It seems still reasonably safe, though; my daughter rides the entire Green Line to work every day. She says the only stop that makes her nervous is the Gateway Transit Center, but so far she's neither seen nor experienced any problems.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:44 PM
 
Location: The greatest state of them all, Oregon.
673 posts, read 593,794 times
Reputation: 342
I haven't used the MAX often since moving here, but I definitely like it. We'll be using it on Sunday to go to the Portland Chocolate Festival to/from the Clackamas Town Center station. I'll need that 30 minutes to recuperate from the buzz before I get in my car to drive the last few minutes home.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:26 AM
 
848 posts, read 1,294,076 times
Reputation: 729
Quote:
Originally Posted by classicanne View Post
It seems still reasonably safe, though; my daughter rides the entire Green Line to work every day. She says the only stop that makes her nervous is the Gateway Transit Center, but so far she's neither seen nor experienced any problems.
Thanks for the note of sanity. Statistically it makes no sense for anyone to be "concerned" about riding MAX, but Americans (especially suburban ones) tend to get really emotional and irrational when it comes to anything that removes that baby blanket feeling one receives captaining their own little (or not even remotely little) vehicle. That leaves one open to falling into some of the more common logical fallacies, or just plain old magical thinking (I'm right because what I prefer what feels comforting, no matter what "makes sense").
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:21 AM
 
Location: River North, Chicago, Illinois
3,107 posts, read 2,872,973 times
Reputation: 2930
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
Comments like this always confuse me, the city is built on a square grid, I can never understand how someone can have a hard time navigating a grid, but suburban streets that run which ever direction that make it impossible to get from point A to point B easily seems to not confuse them.
...
Portland is confusing to drive in, on the whole. Some areas of Portland are easier than others, but on the whole it can be confusing. And I say that having grown up in and around Portland and having driven everywhere from Boston to Los Angeles.

Part of the problem is that it's a series of modified grids - it's not a true grid like, for example, Chicago. Downtown is split by Burnside into a different grid pattern from the Pearl. The area around the University of Portland is doing its own thing. The West Hills and Markham may as well be the suburbs as far as street design goes. Laurenhurst is not at all a grid. The east side in general does not have consistent block sizes or shapes. The areas around Mt. Tabor and Reed College are both disjointed.

Then, for outsiders, the idea the SE 22nd Ave and NW 22nd Ave don't have anything to do with each other is actually pretty confusing, too.

So, yeah, it's not exactly as difficult as some sort of medieval European town where there is no grid and not even an Avenue system like Paris, but the fact that it's *partly* several different grids actually makes it more confusing in many ways, because there are so many exceptions and, as an outside, you never know where one will pop up and you'll need to sort yourself out again with a map. Doing a grid in a half-assed way is often worse than not doing it for the simple reason that it gives people a false sense of feeling like they can get somewhere without specific directions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
...
Downtown and almost all of the Eastside is on a grid and flat. You can get almost anywhere on the Eastside of Portland by just learning the few main streets across town like Burnside, MLK/Grand, Interstate, Lombard, Powell, SE 82nd, etc.
...
Portland's "grid" isn't really much of a grid. The east side is what someone who was stoned would come up with if asked to make a grid. If you really believe Portland is designed on a grid system, I have to wonder if you've ever actually been to a city that uses a real grid system.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,478 posts, read 5,786,608 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Then, for outsiders, the idea the SE 22nd Ave and NW 22nd Ave don't have anything to do with each other is actually pretty confusing, too.
At least it's not like areas of Seattle where you can be on the corner of 6th and 6th street.



Quote:
Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Portland's "grid" isn't really much of a grid. The east side is what someone who was stoned would come up with if asked to make a grid. If you really believe Portland is designed on a grid system, I have to wonder if you've ever actually been to a city that uses a real grid system.
Actually Portland was designed on a grid system. It's the reason why Portland City blocks are shorter then many cities. The founders realized that four square blocks could be easily made out of one square acre, which made it extremely easy to divide up early land claims.

The problem comes about when you realize that Western Cities, especially Portland, grew more organically then cities on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Places like that you could just extend streets out for miles straight and not really worry about things like rivers, cliffs, hills (mountains to some folk,) and other people's land claims.

Roads in Portland follow the contours of the land. Or have a history in practicality based on early land claims that maximized the amount of farmable land. Sandy exists at an angle like it does because it extended directly out to a planned neighborhood. Before that it was an early skid road to get logs to the Port.

By the time Portland absorbed East Portland and Albina there were several planned neighborhoods already created, along with half a dozen smaller towns. The founders of each never thought that their city or Neighborhood would be part of Portland. When they collectively voted to join everything together into what is now known as Portland it was too late to impose the grid system everywhere. Imagine trying to tear down the Lents Neighborhood for instance and imposing a rigid grid there. I doubt anyone in that time even thought of such a thing.

Seattle suffers from the same problem, and there was even a pretty famous long standing feud between the two founders about who's grid system was the dominant one. (Both wanted to maximize the amount of waterfront their land claim had.) This is why we now have Seattle's downtown grid divided into at least three angles.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:24 PM
 
9,649 posts, read 6,708,363 times
Reputation: 8896
Quote:
Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Portland's "grid" isn't really much of a grid. The east side is what someone who was stoned would come up with if asked to make a grid. If you really believe Portland is designed on a grid system, I have to wonder if you've ever actually been to a city that uses a real grid system.
Are you kidding? I take almost all my vacations to flat Midwestern cities built on a perfectly aligned grid plan. I sit there and drink margaritas and stare at the uniform straightness of the streets in awe.

Portland isn't a perfect grid--but the majority of the city(especially the east side) is built on a grid plan of fairly equal sized blocks with intersecting 90 degree angles. A lot of cities have downtowns with intersecting grids, where on the other side of main street the grids shift to realign with the topography. San Francisco south of Market Street is an example of this too. Places where Portland deviates from a standard grid are areas where the grid aligns with bend in the river or curves around or up hills. There's places where it wouldn't make sense to just build a grid where you're dealing being sandwiched in with a river on one side and hills on the other. There's also towns that were previously independent of Portland that were annexed by Portland over history. St. Johns, Sellwood, Kenton, Albina, and much of the eastside developed seperately from Portland to begin with. Some of these had their own grid patterns.

Maybe some people take a while to figure Portland out, but it didn't seem very difficult for me--within a few weeks of moving here, I could usually figure out how to get somewhere by the briefest glance at a map(except for maybe parts of the winding roads of SW Portland in the hills or maybe Ladd's Addition). It's much, much easier than trying to navigate around the Bay Area or Seattle to say nothing about getting around some East Coast cities.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:21 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,415 posts, read 5,227,619 times
Reputation: 5457
Quote:
Originally Posted by emathias View Post
Portland's "grid" isn't really much of a grid. The east side is what someone who was stoned would come up with if asked to make a grid. If you really believe Portland is designed on a grid system, I have to wonder if you've ever actually been to a city that uses a real grid system.
Quote:
grid (grd)
n.

2. Something resembling a framework of crisscrossed parallel bars, as in rigidity or organization: The city's streets form a grid.
Emphasis on the "resembling." No city has streets forming a perfect grid, even the mighty Chicago.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR / Las Vegas, NV
1,785 posts, read 2,056,615 times
Reputation: 903
What does any of this grid talk have to do with the safety of the MAX?
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:44 PM
 
Location: clackamas county
351 posts, read 209,652 times
Reputation: 124
isn't portland not even paved

maybe in the future it will be a perfect grid
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Just outside of Portland
2,469 posts, read 2,135,542 times
Reputation: 2022
Quote:
maybe in the future it will be a perfect grid
In the meanwhile, ponder how people got around Portland just a few years ago without Max and GPS.
We've become a bunch of whimps.


Quote:
isn't portland not even paved
Tell me about it. Every time I go downtown the wheels on my covered wagon break and it just beats up my horses.
And the mud in some places is two feet deep!
One of these days it's going to be a hell of a lot easier for a guy to make a living selling food out of the back of his conestoga!


Last edited by pdxMIKEpdx; 01-20-2012 at 10:33 PM..
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