Another Perspective on Bridgeport Village

Readers of this site will recognize that we have not been hesitant to criticize the new Bridgeport Village “Lifestyle Center” (the new term for shopping mall) in Durham. Its lack of multi-modal connectivity and the fact that it is not located where the 2040 plan calls for a center to occur (along with supporting transportation infrastructure) have been called out in past posts.

But recently, we heard criticism from a direction we had not anticipated – the freight community. Attending a meeting of the Portland Freight Committee we heard frustration on two fronts:

1) Bridgeport Village is creating congestion on I-5 that slows movement of other goods and services (a criticism also applied to the Woodburn factory outlet stores).

2) It is poorly designed for delivery of goods to the mall itself, increasing costs.

Let’s hope local decision makers around the region can learn from this cautionary tale.


4 responses to “Another Perspective on Bridgeport Village”

  1. Traffic was slow in that stretch of I-5 well before Bridgeport arrived. From the 217 merge all the way down to I-205, that freeway can crawl some afternoons. Bridgeport has little to do with any of it. As for the poor design of the mall itself, it’s not any easier or harder to get into or out of than any other outlet mall. The criticism is bogus.

    What isn’t bogus however is how out of place the mall is. Or rather, there were and are much better uses for the land than a shopping mall, but city “leaders” can’t see past the cute little California boutiques and notice what they’re missing. Back in the day the property was a rock quarry and offered decent paying jobs. It should be someone’s distribution center, what with the easy freeway access and and access to transit. Tualatin could have had a bunch of $15-$20/hour jobs with benefits, but instead gave it all up so a twenty-something can have a part-time job while waiting for something better paying. Meanwhile the UGB has been expanded to Damascus, Boring, and Estacada with plans to make those locales light industrial zones. You thought it was tough getting freight through on I-5 at 5pm. Try driving it to Estacada.

  2. Chris, the comment about delivery to the mall was from an operator of a delivery company, and I think he may have been referring to the location/availability of loading docks, not necessarily about the street layout.

    As to that stretch of I-5, as an occassional user of that interchange, I think that it is definitely worse now at certain times.

  3. And the development at that interchange isn’t yet complete. There is an additional retail center in the works accross the street from Bridgeport Village, and according to today’s O, another being planned on the site of the Sweetbrier Inn to the south. This stretch of I-5 is the highest (or second-highest) volume section of road in the state. It’s going to take a major hit in the next few years in terms of increase in volume.

  4. I wasn’t surprised at the lack of people biking to the mall. After all, its surrounded by higher-speed roadways and bike riders who “put their bike on their car and drive 20 blocks to the greenway so they can ride a mile without cars”*. Also, I had thought that they widened I-5 just south of 217…until my Line 96 bus got stuck in traffic there. The good news is that the developers paid to expand Tualatin Park & Ride, and electrify the shelters.

    And “Chris” is correct that politicians ballyhoo about bringing in jobs, but then the jobs low-wage service ones. In fact, with bi-directional Line 96 service and SMART, the site would have been perfect for a dist. center.

    I think what really needs to happen is to add an extra lane for the ramp from I-205 southbound. Right now, all that traffic has to merge, causing a bottleneck. And possibly add or convert some lanes to freight/carpool only.


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