March 9th, 2007

new year

Sometimes things work

First off, Portland gets big points for transit. Walk out of the airport, into the tram station. The color-coded map (like the Tube, and every other transit system in the world that works) has only one fault, which is that a lot of the stops are labeled with the lines sideways, so you have to turn your head to read them, and I can see why this is so just because it would take way more room to label them right way up. But on the whole, I'm impressed. Isn't this how cities should work? oh yeah, in some utopia, such starry-eyed idealism. Tell me another one.

Okay, on my walk I was crossing a street, and a pick-up truck that was making a left turn into the street I was crossing veered to avoid me and stopped to let me finish crossing. Go figure.

Not a lot of pedestrians on the streets until I got downtown. I was crossing another street in one of those zebra-striped crossings that mean absolutely nothing in the states, and waited in the median for the traffic going the other way to pass. But it stopped. Two lanes. For me.

And then when I found the tram stop to get back to the hotel, the index of fares on the fare machine said my ride was free.

Stunning.