31 thoughts on “NE 33rd & Broadway, 1956

  1. The good old days, when our transportation departments solved congestion problems by adding capasity to our road system, as our population grew.

  2. @NativePDX: Blindly adding capaCity by creating 12 lane freeways everywhere solves nothing. Look at Los Angeles or Seattle.

  3. Gordon’s Fireplace Shop used to be located in Lloyd Center. I believe they moved out during the renovation in which the mall was enclosed.

  4. Adding capacity alone doesn’t solve transportation problems in the long run. More people just drive and then the roads get clogged all over again. You’ve got to get people out of cars to lower congestion. Next time you see a Max, streetcar, or bike lane, imagine how worse the roads were be if you were sitting behind all of those people in their cars.

  5. Chris Freeman

    When the population grows and your road capasity does not, you will have more people on the road and it will become congested.

    We have not built a freeway or added any major capasity sense the I-205 freeway and it was cut down from it’s original plans. But the population has grown

    People don’t drive just to drive, they are going somewhere that they need to or want to be. Work, family, friends, shopping Etc.

    Transit and biking has never reduced congestion in the Portland Metro area, we can build our way out of congestion, as the population grows, if we wanted to.

    I can’t remember the last time someone said to me, ” lets go drive on the freeway or a road just because it is empty ” Or “lets just drive for no reason”.

    The problem with transit is it usually take twice as long or longer than using a car. That is if it even goes to where you want to go.

  6. Thanks for the article, Jim. So Portland’s average commute time is 24.1 minutes, which is the average for all US cities. Looks like we have all the capacity we need. I for one appreciate that we are not as overrun by gargantuan freeways as places like LA or Seattle, and I never have any significant problems getting anywhere.

  7. +1 @ Douge Martin. I have lived in freeway-choked cities before and traffic there is much worse than Portland. People don’t say “let’s go drive since the freeway is empty”, but adding capacity (yes, I can actually spell “capacity” correctly) instead of other options will cause more people to choose the freeway. Every single city that has added lanes has worse traffic then before.

    For what it’s worth, I take Blue Line MAX instead of US 26 Mon-Fri and my commute is 10 minutes less than driving and I am saving $100 a month on parking.

  8. Cool picture. I DRIVE my SUV through this intersection every day on my commute to WORK. I think the intersection looks remarkably similar to 1956, except no more Albina fuel on the corner. Now there’s only one gas station in operation at this intersection, probably because there’s no longer a demand for fuel since y’all ride your bikes, trains, electric cars etc instead?

  9. LA area has fewer freeway miles per capita than the Portland Metro area and is the most dense urban area in the USA..

    If we keep adding to our population and mandating density without building any freeways, we will become just like LA.

  10. Guttenberg, New Jersey as part of the New York city metropolitan ares is the densest urban area in the U.S. The top five densest areas are within the New York Metropolitan area. L.A., with the second highest population in the U.S. rates just five incorporated places in the top 20.

    New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia are the only incorporated places in the United States that have a population over 1,000,000 and a population density over 10,000 people per square mile.

    Google is your friend.


  11. cut from

    about the 8th paragraph
    Quoting Randal O’Toole and a study by Metro in Reason Magazine

    Remember how Metro was supposed to save Portland from becoming Oregon’s answer to L.A.? In 1994, Metro planners studied the nation’s 50 largest urban areas to see which one was closest to the future they envisioned for Portland–one with higher population densities and fewer roads. It turned out that the metropolitan area–defined as all of the land in and around a city whose population density exceeds 1,000 people per square mile–with the highest population density also had the fewest miles of freeway per capita. Its name: Los Angeles. While the city of Los Angeles proper has a lower density than New York City, the Los Angeles metro area is nearly one-third denser than the New York metro area, which includes–among other places–northeastern New Jersey and Long Island. Far from being the incarnation of evil, auto-dependent sprawl, L.A. was the model to emulate.

  12. Jeremy NX Says:

    “For what it’s worth, I take Blue Line MAX instead of US 26 Mon-Fri and my commute is 10 minutes less than driving and I am saving $100 a month on parking.”
    While your saving a hundred dollars a month using Max, you are only paying 20% of the operating cost and none of the capital construction costs of using Max or Tri Met.. The rest of us are subsidizing your trip.

  13. Well, NativePDX, if your statistics are correct, it looks like Portland has been doing pretty well at building freeway capacity, if we have more freeway miles per capita than LA.

  14. @Native, since I (and many other people) use MAX on our Mon-Fri 9-5 commutes, we are freeing that much more space for road hogs such as yourself 🙂

    Besides, “usage taxes” (e.g. gas taxes don’t come close to covering the FULL cost of building and maintaining the highway system. My taxes help out your ride as well.

  15. Gas taxes and user fees pay nearly all the cost of building our highway systeem. It is a myth that it does not.

    Federal Transportation Programs Shortchange Motorists: Update of a USDOT Study

    Jim it may be a old article, but it has not changed, the LA area has the highest density in the US, (which is different than the LA city limits)

  16. “the LA area has the highest density in the US, (which is different than the LA city limits)”

    According to the U.S. census breakdown referenced my previous post, which takes into account metropolitan areas, it doesn’t. Again, I’ll stick with the U.S. census statistics over an old artlcle from Reason.com.

    Do you have any statistics from non-partisan sources? The Heritage Foundation and CATO Institute both have the same truthiness as Fox News.

  17. Jim
    Instead of dismissing the writers or their articles because you do not like where they come from, please show me where they are wrong.

  18. I did. Please look at the Wikipedia link I referenced earlier. Citing the results of the U.S. census, it refutes your (and Mr. O’Toole’s) contention that L.A. area has the highest density in the U.S. It doesn’t.

  19. I remember when the I-84 33rd exit used to loop around to the east side of 33rd. I think it was changed when they repaved I-84 in the mid 80’s??

    Ah memories…

  20. At one point in time the 3 story building on the upper left was the plant where balsa wood gliders and other balsa wood toys were made. The owner was a family friend and I was able to supply our cub scout pack with all the balsa wood they needed for projects.

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