ODOT Fixes A Problem, Makes It Worse

More brilliance from ODOT: as you may know, there’s a parking lot nestled between the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-84 at Multnomah Falls. It’s a great little convenience, and especially popular on days like today; warm, clear, sunny – great for a hike and a few photos. That’s a problem, because the lot’s really small – and you can access it from both westbound and eastbound freeway lanes.

So it fills up quickly, which ODOT says causes problems because traffic backs up out of the lot and disrupts other traffic.

Their solution: wire the parking lot and tag it into a gate – but only on the eastbound side. When the lot’s full, the gate closes (although of course, westbound traffic can still enter the lot unimpeded). What this means is that, buffaloed by the closed gate, drivers simply stop; creating even worse disruptions for traffic in the eastbound lanes.

Tamara Reid was driving along I-84 over Memorial Day weekend when she said cars in front of her abruptly stopped, trying to get into the lot when the gate was down.

“We had to slam on our brakes to come to a complete stop in the middle of the freeway,” Reid said. “There was traffic coming up around the curve behind us and darting into the slow lane … we had nowhere to go.”

The solution? Easy:

Multnomah County sheriff’s deputies said they are aware of the problems and patrolling the area to make sure drivers aren’t backing up into the interstate, waiting for the gate to open. Anyone caught doing so will be given a ticket.

Brilliant, isn’t it? ODOT turns a minor problem into a bigger problem. Install a gate to impede traffic, and if found to be impeding traffic, you get a fine.SweetThat’s how we do things in Porkland/Multnomah County!

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About maxredlines

experience: biology, zoology, psychology. authored/co-authored papers appearing in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as numerous professional proceedings. authored articles appearing in computer-oriented publications. featured in publications ranging from books to New Yorker magazine to television.
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2 Responses to ODOT Fixes A Problem, Makes It Worse

  1. maxredlines says:

    I missed when they came up with the idea in the first place, but it seems like a pretty stupid thing to do. They’re going to spend a lot of money on repairs.

  2. g says:

    I remember thinking it was a bad idea when they came up with the idea.
    People don’t read signs and even if they do they are going to still see if it is possible to get in.
    I know I would.

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