Few places are as well-served by public transportation as Legacy Good Samaritan hospital, this week's Rogue. Its eight-block campus is next to three bus routes. Two MAX lines stop a half-mile away and the streetcar stops at the hospital's doors.
Which is why we can't fathom why Legacy (a WW neighbor) thinks it needs a five-story, 600-space parking garage on Northwest 22nd Avenue.
The garage it's proposing would be several times the size of any ill-fated parking structure that area developer "Swingin'" Dick Singer dared propose. And for perspective, 600 spaces equals 15 percent of Portland's entire Smart Park garage system.
When city leaders are trying to discourage solo driving, Legacy's car-hugging proposal looks like a step back. The garage would accompany a new six-story oncology clinic and office building. OK. We get that cancer patients can't be taking two buses and a streetcar. But the project's architect, ZGF, says about half the spaces will be set aside for hospital staff—replacing 300 leased surface parking spaces nearby.
"We already have too many cars on these narrow little streets," says Northwest District Association President Juliet Hyams. "We have empty parking lots around here a lot."
Legacy spokeswoman Amber Shoebridge points out the company offers employees a 60 percent discount on TriMet passes, "promotes" Zipcar use and "provides information" on carpooling. Another public-transport inducement starts this month when Legacy employees can ride the streetcar for free by showing their work badges.
Frankly, many smaller companies offer better transportation bennies. Shoebridge says Legacy's garage proposal is "still very, very much in the planning stages," until 2009. Good. That gives it time to think of something better.