Portland Aerial Tram

It's almost time!!!!

From the Portland Department of Transportation page:

The Portland Aerial Tram is a 3,300 linear foot aerial tram rising 500 feet over Interstate 5, the Lair Hill neighborhood, and Terwilliger Parkway and connecting OHSU and the Marquam Hill to the South Waterfront District. Construction of the Tram will be completed in winter 2006-07 and will serve as a catalyst for the South Waterfront redevelopment and the continued emergence of OHSU as a top-tier medical research institution. Designed by agps architecture and Doppelmayr-CTEC, the tram will provide approximately a 3 minute ride between the two areas, with views of Mt. Hood and Downtown Portland.

Planners project that in the first five years, the aerial tram will support about 1,500 round trips a day for activities in the OHSU Center for Health & Healing, the university's first building in the South Waterfront. Because the aerial tram is part of the public transportation system and open to the public, planners expect ridership to exceed this estimate. Twenty years from now when the South Waterfront is more mature in its development, about 5,500 OHSU-related round trips are expected each day.

Today is a VERY windy day here though...we're expecting a storm to hit tomorrow---just in time for the opening of the tram! Thirty "lucky" employees will be chosen at random (if you put your name in the drawing) to take the first ride with OHSU President Joe Robertson. It will be open for employees only for the next month, not because they are using employees as guinea pigs (as rumors were going about), but because they haven't completed the docking areas and they are not pretty enough for the public yet. Employees, on the other hand, are apparently used to working around construction zones so it's okay for them.

I'm picturing my birthday party in February to be a Tram-tacular one. Hidden flasks, lots of balloons, music, dancing, etc. on an exciting three minute ride on the tram! It'll be a Party on the Tram theme. Everyone will come dressed like they are in the alps. Or as tourists, with sunburns (in February??), big floppy hats and cameras.

And though I've been affectionately calling the two trams Timmy and Tommy, or Tony and Tigger, or Tchotsky and Tchurgen, or Tobias and Tubby....apparently the city is leaning more towards calling them Lewis and Clark. Something about a theme of "exploring new worlds" or whatever OHSU's new tagline is...I'll keep my petnames though. It'll be a little secret name between me, my blog, and the trams.



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