One obscure but deep revelation from last spring’s primary elections: about 16,000 Oregon voters are extremely forward-thinking.
That, at least, is how many people cast ballots for gubernatorial candidate Dave Stauffer, an inventor and environmental engineer. While Stauffer had little chance of defeating incumbent Kate Brown for the Democratic nomination, he did offer a striking solution to Portland’s traffic crisis: a system of waterslides descending from 30-story towers, connecting Vancouver, Washington to Portland. Instead of clogging up I-5, workers would shuttle between the cities via water-propelled skiffs at speeds of 122 mph. They wouldn’t even need bathing suits.
Stauffer’s full plan, detailed in a 27-page US patent application, includes some rough sketches and diagrams. While the cost of such a project definitely exceeds the scope of our new gas tax, we asked Robb Hunter and Oved Valadez of local design firm Industry to take Stauffer’s sketches and run with them. (Above, or check it out full-size here.) Hey, Kate, make it so!