Page:Olmsted report on Portland, Oregon parks, 1903.djvu/30

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42
REPORT OF THE PARK BOARD

drive a long distance through city streets, turning several right-angled corners and passing over disagreeably, if not dangerously, steep grades to get to it, and even if it were put in good condition as to its paving, it must inevitably, from its location, always be used by heavy wagons, which make it almost impossible to keep the roadway in good condition, and, if numerous, greatly inconvenience pleasure driving. It seems to be perfectly obvious that this street can only be regarded as a temporary expedient as a route for pleasure driving. A reasonable consideration of the urgent requirements of the future in the matter of a pleasure drive southward from the city, forces the conclusion that the southern pleasure drive should be laid out on gentle grades above the electric railway, and as soon as possible, lest its best course be interfered with by the erection of dwellings and by rising values of the land, especially near the city.

NORTHWESTERN RIVER PARKWAY.

St. Helens road, in the low land at the base of the steep hills north-west of the city, is nearly level, and commands at present exceedingly beautiful scenery. It has therefore come to he valued as a pleasure drive. It begins at Thurman street, whence it descends along the east side of Balch Canyon to a safe level above floods. The approaches to it through the city streets, although indirect owing to the absence of a proper diagonal avenue through the rectangular system of streets, is decidedly better, both with respect to grades and to the character of the occupation of the land adjoining, than the approaches to Macadam street, the present southern pleasure drive. It does not seem likely that the traffic on St. Helens road will be as heavy as on Macadam street for some years, and if it were properly macadamized, it might be possible to keep it in fair condition, but such a traffic street cannot be properly regarded permanently as a parkway or boulevard. To make it such, it would be necessary either to greatly widen it, and to have two roadways in it, one of which would be reserved exclusively for pleasure driving, or else there must be two separate streets provided with space to be occupied by houses between them, and one of these streets (presumably the higher one) could then be reserved exclusively for pleasure driving. If the solution of this problem is taken in hand and accomplished within a few years, a very fine, nearly level pleasure drive could be secured. Owing to the steepness of the hillside, the pleasure drive next to it would have few interruptions from the entrance of side streets, and by reserving a border of land along the uphill side so that houses could only be built along its downhill side, it would be possible to arrange suitably for a nearly level speedway a mile or so long, at reasonable expense. There seems to be no other