At PDX, say a tearful goodbye... to your car

I rag a lot about all the money that's burned turning the Portland Airport into Shangri-La. They never stop "upgrading" it, tearing stuff down and rebuilding it constantly, for no apparent reason. They're currently spending $2 billion (with a "b") to remodel it. I think the plan includes paving the runways with platinum.

A nine-acre, 18-million pound, hand-crafted wooden roof is making a landing at PDX as part of a major expansion project for the airport's main terminal.... 

Construction has been underway for the last year and a half and now crews are starting to bring it all together — one section at a time....

Each section will take about four nights to move, align and slide into place over the terminal.

More than 95% of the wood is sourced from Oregon and Washington, following mass timber standards and practices that make forests healthier and buildings more sustainable. 

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

Given that the City of Portland itself is in the tank – just look at the thieves and addicts lined up in their tents just outside the airport boundary along 82nd Avenue – I always wish that the money could be spent on things that would actually make the city more livable. But I'm invariably hooted down on that. The money, they say, comes from the tax on airline tickets, and it has to be spent on the airport.

Well, then, for the love of God, could we get a few bucks to put some cops in the parking lots? If you leave your car in those lots for more than a short time, you may find when you come back out of the swanky terminal that your car has been stolen. Or the catalytic converter sawed off and hauled off to one of the open-air chop shops at the nearby tent camps. Or the locks broken. Or the contents stolen.

This story lays it out pretty clearly.

“There are times that we see more of those reports, and we step up very targeted actions based on information that the police officers receive,” Simonds said. “At the same time, there are more than two million parking transactions by the end of the year — more than 16,500 parking spaces. Things happen despite our best efforts.”

The airport says they have hired security and are using both marked and unmarked police to watch their parking garages and economy lots 24/7.

But they ask travelers to keep an eye out.

No. If you have billions to hand to the usual construction goons to turn the airport into Oz, you keep an eye out. Get the auto theft situation in the parking lots down to zero. No "very targeted actions." Regular patrols, and plenty of them. No excuses. 

If the Port cops at PDX can't keep your car safe, what else can't they keep safe out there? You probably don't want to know.


  1. I love the comment of Simonds, whoever he/she is. The “things happen” remark could be a possible motto for the ‘New Portland’. As in “Come to Portland and expect the unexpected.” Sounds thrilling and exciting right?

    I’ll never forget my last experience at PDX airport some 35 years ago, when some friends and I went full Timothy Leary and decided to go there for some odd reason. When leaving we couldn’t find our way out of the parking lot and kept ending up at the toll booth, which of course in our state was great laughs.

    But that was a different time, and a very different Portland.


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