05 August 2009

[pdx] New Street Blades In SE and SW, and We Suggest A Transitional Form

2183.More new street blades out and about; this time we find the new format in SW Portland, in the Johns Landing area.

The area called Johns Landing is found along the Willamette River on the left bank, south of the new condo desert of SoWa. It centers on the venerable WaterTower shopping center and is served by both SW Macadam Avenue and SW Corbett Avenue; Macadam is, of course, the main road between Portland City Center and Lake Oswego City Center. Some of Portland's most notable broadcasters are also in this area, espcially notable is PDX's Clear Channel cluster, KEX, KPOJ, and others in the studio building in the 5000 block of Macadam.

SW Richardson Ct is the 5100 block, and here's a picture of that assembly.

The Richardson Court blade looks like it could use a bit of kerning between the S and W in the directional:

… Richardson Street and Court form the 5100 block south of Burnside. The blade for SW Macadam Avenue here missed something though:

… the block index in the upper right hand corner, which should be 0500 at this point. It's omitted from both sides. We've so far seen this at one other intersection in town, SW 57th and Barnes:

… and it frustrates us. We feel that simply because the intersection is a T (and the person on SW Richardson Ct and SW 57th Avenue, respectively, will find it a bad thing to go straight through the intersection) this does not mean that knowing the block of the street you're leaving might not be a useful thing. Especially since, if you proceeded one block south, the corner of SW Mitchell St and Macadam Ave, you'll find an old-style blade assembly with an address block tab on both blades and it, too, is a T intersection, we are led to the conclusion that the omisson of the block index on these blades is just that, an omssion, and we kind of wish it wouldn't happen. Chances for information are really being lost here.

Speaking of old-style blad assemblies, a real good example of one is at the corner of the Water Tower Mall's lot, SW corner of SW Macadam and Boundary Street. Here you go:

There are a couple valuable things to notice about this assembly. With tabs on both blades, one has to be bolted to the bottom of the bottom blade otherwise the top blade will be obscured to the point that the top blade really can't be read at all.

If you've followed me at all, you know how to read this display; if you don't, this article will give you background, and if you've followed me at all, you know that that 0 in the 0500 is important and necessary and this article will tell you about that.

During the documentation of this trend we've noticed the advent of Clearview in the Portland signage with some happiness. We like Clearview a lot. There's a new example up, at SE 60th and Division (the part that goes south from Division which, due to being in a different plat than the part north, jogs:

The new font is visible on the SE 60th blade above, and here's the SE Division Street blade:

I am starating to be sloppy in love with the Clearview font and the way it's being used in street blades. It just looks more sophsiticated. Remember, since Division jogs north a block between 42nd and 82nd Avenues, it's actually the 2400 block, and a short, discontinuous street called SE Windsor Ct amounts to the 2500 block.

Moreover, the sort of blade that the Richardson Ct/Macadam Ave assembly represent seems to be a midpoint between the Classic Style and the New Style, having features of both … the layound and design of the New Style with the letterforms of the old style. We'll dub this the "Transitional Style", because it forms a bridge between the two forms.

Many of these can be seen embiggened at my Posterous stream here.

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