The Smart days are over

If a dead downtown needs a proper tombstone, Portland now has one. The SmartPark garage at Third and Alder has been closed, purportedly because so few people have been using it. By shutting the garage, the city can stop keeping an eye on it and ensure that there will be no normal people in it. Gee, I wonder who will take it over?

Of course, the car haters in the city "transportation" bureau must be beside themselves with glee. They think they're one step closer to their dream in which no cars will be allowed downtown, and everyone will get around on bikes, trikes, skateboards, and scooters. Oh, so happy. The signs say the closure is temporary, but do you think the car haters would ever let that garage be reopened? I don't.

I see they're trying to get a beer garden going down there to try to attract people. Julia Brimming-Over-With-Photo-Ops was on the scene with Mikey and Mingus for an appearance over the weekend. Swell, but it's going to take a lot more than beer and food carts to turn things around.


  1. Headline from the year 2083: "Formerly Houseless, First Tenants Move in 30-Unit Carmen Rubio Commons Supportive Housing Studios at 3rd & Alder."

  2. The condition of downtown Portland is funny, sad, predictable, avoidable, scary, scandalous and a favorite topic of conversation among spectators like me.

    The fact that it needs serious effort and action, seems to escape the people who could fix it. Maybe they’ll form a blue ribbon committee and talk about it.

  3. While working security downtown I used to jog or trudge the stairs of a downtown SmartPark.

    Some nights I was surprised to discover how frightened the prospect became. What I encountered in those stairwells and parking levels was the stuff of nightmares.

    One morning at daylight I was at the top looking down into the Apple Store and across to the old courthouse and to the edge of Pioneer Square.

    Suddenly I took a blow to my skull top that nearly drove me to my knees and blood rivulets streamed down my forehead and cheeks.I was at the uppermost level and could see 360. God’s Teeth!

    A territorial hawk had dive bombed me. The strangest fright and blow that I’ve ever taken. And as Lincoln might have said I was too old to cry and it hurt too bad to laugh.

  4. The sign says a lot "Expensify"


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