Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Marquam Hill traffic: problem, or promise?

Since time out of mind, traffic and parking on Marquam Hill have been seen as problems in need of resolution. But before there was a campus to drive to, traffic was not only anticipated, it was promised.

In a letter from KAJ Mackenzie to RS Lovett of the Oregon-Washington Railway and Navigation Co. on Feb. 17, 1914, Mackenzie wrote: "I spoke to you of the effects this gift might have upon traffic, it goes without saying that if this department continues to receive the support of all the states mentioned for the medical education of their youth, the interstate traffic would be augmented in an ever increasing ration, and for the same reason the hospitals upon the campus would attract many people in need of hospital service from the large territory which I have indicated."

Of course, Mackenzie was trying to convince the railroad that their donation of the twenty-five acre campus was a good move, both in terms of PR and economics. And I'd wager that traffic did increase some for the railroad, in those days when "Go By Rail" was more than a quaint family vacation plan.

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