Friday, August 15, 2008


Get me outta here...

With only 16 days left here in the southern Willamette valley (Eugene/Springfield) before I can finally breath the fresh breath of Portland's low pollen count breezes I find it getting harder and harder to bide my time, mostly because of crap like this.

Walking to the bus station this morning on my way to work I noticed some very serious construction going on, blocking through traffic for a couple blocks. I had to detour to find a sidewalk that was still in useable condition. This little adventure took me right past some of the buildings actually being put up.

Quite a nice looking building I might add. I asked one of the construction workers what was being built and he gave me a strange look (apparently this building is the most exciting thing to happen to people in this area in a while and how could I possibly not know).

It turns out this not completely mediocre archetecture is, of course, the new jail.

I couldn't fathom why in the world they'd be putting a jail right in the middle of downtown.
Then I found an article that explained everything:

"The proposed Springfield Downtown Urban Renewal Plan would assist in the revitalization of business and elimination of blight in the downtown area.

OF COURSE! Springfield knows there is no way to "eliminate the blight in the downtown area" like putting up a jail instead of, say, businesses, or cafes, or GOD FORBID, apartments that don't look like crack dens, flop houses and meth labs.
(though it does mean a much shorter trip for the cops when they bust the drugged out wack jobs that make up most of the pedestrian traffic in downtown springfield)

Any good urban renewal planer knows you don't start by revitalizing the library (what does a library need windows for anyway?) or giving city hall a facelift so it doesn't have to share bathrooms with the library anymore. You certainly don't stop giving the ok for yet ANOTHER dark, seedy stripclub to open it's doors to the waiting public or another questionable looking taqueria-mobile to set up shop along main street wherever the wheels of the cart happen to go flat.

Nope. You spend $28.65 million opening a jail. Downtown.

The only good to come out of this is that the police department and municipal court will finally get to move out of their present home (for the last 35 years):
- their present building is so insanely ugly that a photo of the actual building cannot be found on the www but to give you an idea here is the post office right down the street which looks very similar:

and the view across the street from the current Police station/court;

To this:

This is something that was voted on and passed by the voters of Springfield. And I can't figure out if it was an oversight, the voters way of sticking it to the man while giving him what he asked for or just plain stupidity but come October 2008 when the construction is slated to be finished, there will be a brand spankin new 100 bed jail that will sit empty. Because while the voters passed to have it built, they did not provide a way for operating expenses to be covered.

3 weeks till I move to PDX!!!!!!!

UPDATE: They just started tearing up the street outside my parents house. The new street outside my parents house. The new street that was just put in 7 months ago outside my parents house. And they like to start the jackhammers at 7:58 every morning.

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