Shocker: City planned to gut Hollywood for massive interchange

These slides were missfiled in my collection, but take a gander at this horrific plan to gut the Hollywood District for a massive grade separated interchange at Sandy and 39th.

Though undated, I estimate this is from the late 30s. Old enough for Steigerwald Dairy bottle to be standing and for traffic congestion to be a thing.

Thank god they decided not to go forward with the plan, however the rendering is pretty refined indicating that they were far enough along in the process to be pumping out visuals for the public. It is shocking to remember how willing to destroy their neighborhoods for ease of traffic people were. Sort of reminds me of how we treat the internet today.

The accompanying aerial clearly shows little traffic, so this must have been purely anticipatory destruction. Even better!


4 thoughts on “Shocker: City planned to gut Hollywood for massive interchange

  1. Keep in mind that Sandy was US-30 at the time, a major cross-country highway and the equivalent of I-84 today. Such proposals are not uncommon from that era.


    • Great point Andrew, I had not fully considered that. Though also bear in mind most interstate freight and passenger traffic still moved by rail, such that it was not the lifeline many interstate routes have become today. I think it is shocking that they were obliterating such a thriving commercial center, which at the time was no older than ten years anyway. I am sure they would have thought of it differently.


  2. Instead the neighborhood was obliterated by a disjointed, tangle of ramps and an endless series of dangerous intersections. One way streets, turn restrictions, and limited on-street parking have created a very inhospitable retail environment.

    I’m not sure that what we ended up with is any better. At least the proposed alternative would have created a logical intersection of urban boulevards.


    • Interesting perspective. I have lived in Portland my whole life so the confusion here doesn’t happen for me but you are right, I bet that is a mess for those unfamiliar to navigate. Not a big car guy here, but I see the city making many decisions throughout the city which hinder traffic and not particularly often for the benefit of active transportation. They just like to gum things up. For instance, there’s no reason to have a light controlling Eastbound traffic at Couch and Sandy at 7th Ave. Yet there it is, cycling on and off day in, day out, forcing everyone to stop for literally no reason.


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