If approved, the building will now be 18 stories tall to accommodate the District Attorney’s office as well as more courtrooms. Another change: No parking.
Mike Pullen with the county says the main reason they are eliminating the underground parking garage is for security reasons. Too much potential for someone with bad intentions to cause damage to the entire building.
It also eliminates a $9 million expense.
Pullen points out the current courthouse, the Portland Police Bureau’s downtown building and the federal courthouse do not have underground parking garages either.
The new courthouse will accommodate a lot of people, with the four busiest courts relocating to the building at SW 1st and Madison: Parking, traffic tickets, landlord tenant issues and small claims. So where are all those people supposed to park?
“It’s a fair question — everybody coming to court and coming for jury duty where are they going to park?” says Pullen. “And as with the current courthouse, it is on major transit lines — there are paid parking garages downtown and that’s where the public will be parking.”
Pullen says if you don’t have time to hunt for street parking, or want to pay for it, the best thing to do is take the bus or MAX.