Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lost in Portland

I have lived in Portland for almost a month now and I can say I still don't know my way around. This is the most confusing city that I have ever been in. There isn't a lot of landmarks to go buy either. A lot of people around here take public transportation or ride their bikes so the city city apparently invested more on their public transportation system then their roads.
I guess half my problem is that I am relying on Mapquest too much. Mapquest has got to be one of the worse programs I know. It gives the same street three names when all you really need is one.
The other compliant I have is that the streets around Portland are so dimly lit that you can't read the sign until after you passed it. The street signs are also pretty small (or maybe I need glasses). Portland also has more one way streets than most downtowns do. A lot of the streets break up and pick up again a couple blocks later.
The other day I was trying to get to a client's house and some how I ended up in Chinatown (I didn't even know Portland had a Chinatown) . I would have stopped for a visit if I had had the time.
Maybe everyone complains when they move to a new city, but I remember it didn't take hardly anytime to learn KC


GoldenSunrise said...

At least the Kansas side of the KC area was designed to be navigated in a car.

I'd bet you do a little more travel through downtown areas there than here, though.

shakedust said...

That last post was me, not Golden.

Doc said...

Isn't the lack of ability to get around in a car one of the attributes that is supposed to make Portland one of the good progressive cities. (Unlike KC where getting around in a car is easy, but it is the only way to get around.)

forrest said...

Once you get into suburbian subdivision of KC, it isn't so easy getting around. The suburbs abandonded the grided neighborhoods close to the city that make directions commonsense.

I don't know the layout of portland, but isn't it in a valley? that could affect the typical grid layout.

It could also be user error. I've never had a problem with mapquest, but I have a great inner compass.

shakedust said...

KC isn't really laid out properly for public transportation to work properly. I think cities without natural barriers to construction tend to be good for driving, but cover too much land area per capita to make things like light rail work.