Bill Pattison keeps reminding me we need to document all the changes in town as they happen. At the ribbon cutting for the State Street urban renewal project Bell Design, the engineers on the project, shared a nice series of before and after shots to showcase their work. They have graciously agreed to deposit digital copies of their images in our photo archive, so future historians will have some clue as to what changes were made when. Sally Donovan donated her wonderful collection of slides covering two decades of work documenting Hood River a few months ago, and architect Art Larsen is in the process of turning over his large collection of digital images of recent Hood River history.
This block has seen much architectural history: the first city schoolhouse was located where the courthouse now stands. You can see some of the old retaining walls and staircases in the "before" image. The engineers attempted to save a piece of the wall for posterity, but it was not possible to preserve the loosely mortared river rock in any meaningful way.
The top image was taken January 16, 2013, and the bottom image on June 5, 2015. By coincidence it also demonstrates a great trick for before/ after pictures: the "before" image was shot on a dreary winter day, while the "after" image on one of the seemingly endless series of beautiful days this Spring.
What you can't see here is the real driving force for this project: replacing and updating water lines (including lead joints), sewer lines, storm water, undergrounding utilities, including new fiber optic lines, and bringing the road structure up to modern standards. State Street may not be Hood River's Main Street from a commerce point of view, but it is from an infrastructure view. This was likely the first "reset" of all this infrastructure since State Street was first paved circa 1915.
Category: [Downtown Hood River]
Was it ever considered to place the restroom building back into the terraces? That would have saved maybe 6 -8 parking spaces which are worth their weight in gold downtown.
nels on 18th June 2015 @ 10:18am
The overall project actually increased the number of parking spaces by adding some blocks of diagonal parking were there was parallel parking before. The way this spot was configured before-- with diagonal parking in this intersection-- is a big no-no for street safety. The new plaza/ bumpouts are designed so pedestrians don't have as far to walk exposed to traffic. The engineers used several techniques for "traffic calming" (ie., slowing down) including bumpouts and jogging the road back and forth near the library. As someone who walks this area a lot, in my experience it's much easier to get across the street (lower speeds, better visibility).
Arthur on 18th June 2015 @ 11:28am
Pedestrionimal #2: As a frequent 2nd/Oak to 3rd/Sherman walker, gotta give the project an A; easier street crossings which creates less traffic backup on State Street.
Jim Mason on 23rd June 2015 @ 5:16am
In the "old days" you had to be quick of eye and fleet of foot to cross State St. at the library and at 3rd & State. Cross walks didn't always work. Good Work City
Bill Pattison on 25th June 2015 @ 8:03pm