Providence Traffic . . . guess how many cars per day!

For months, many neighbors have been attempting to get actual numbers of cars that drive to Providence’s campus each day. Providence Hospital staff have been reluctant to give actual numbers. Reports of cars arriving at their campus are given as percentages and ratios, 1.25 per 1000 square feet of campus space, or, .78 cars per 1000 square feet of gross campus area.

Each time there is a discussion about reducing the number of Single Occupancy Vehicles driven by employees to their main campus, the numbers are reported as a percentage, rather than an actual figure.

I sat down with a napkin and the internet and here’s what I’ve come up with . . .

Providence has over 3000 employees (67% drive alone to work, and doctors do not count as employees). Providence has over 1000 doctors (some in-house, some outpatient in the Professional Plaza). It’s highly doubtful that doctors travel to work on their bike or by bus or train, thus I used 90% as an estimate of drive alone to work. Providence has 485 beds and they are probably an average of 75% full….to be conservative. Therefore, visitors to the main hospital to see sick loved ones each day might number 364.

The website for the Professional Plaza on Hoyt Street lists 160 doctors who see patients there. A conservative estimate is that each doctor sees 3 patients per hour in our modern times and sees 7 hours of patients per day, including visits to lab and imaging, etc. That turns out to be a crazy number like 3,360 patients per day. Let’s just estimate that some of them don’t drive a car and that outpatients drive alone at the same rate as the hospital employees. Still, that’s 2,251.

Add: 2,010 + 900 + 364 + 2,251 = 5,525 cars


And, honestly, my back of the napkin estimates are pretty conservative. I’d welcome a correction of my numbers by any Providence official. Please let me know what figures to use.

No wonder we are feeling the pinch on our streets. No wonder we are having problems with cut-through traffic and the like, in all directions radiating from Providence. To the north in the Rose City Park neighborhood. To the north in the Hollywood neighborhood. To the east and the south in the North Tabor neighborhood. And, to the west in the North Tabor and Laurelhurst neighborhood.

No wonder it feels like Glisan is a freeway and 47th is the on-ramp.

Please consider writing a letter describing your personal experience with navigating around Providence or your life as the neighbor of this institution. Address the letter to Douglas Hardy, Land Use Services . . . “To comment, you may write to Douglas Hardy at 1900 SW Fourth Ave., Suite 4500, Portland, OR 97201. You can also fax your comments to me at (503) 823-5630.

. . .

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2 Responses to Providence Traffic . . . guess how many cars per day!

  1. cathy says:

    Providence Professional Plaza
    5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 626
    Portland, Oregon 97213

    Going East on I-84: Take 58th Ave. (Exit 3). Turn RIGHT on Glisan St. and RIGHT on 49th Ave. into the Medical Center.

    Going West on I-84: Take 43rd Ave. (Exit 2). Turn RIGHT on Halsey St., RIGHT on 47th Ave., LEFT on Glisan St. and LEFT on 49th.

  2. Catherine says:

    “No wonder it feels like Glisan is a freeway and 47th is on the on-ramp.”

    Actually both 47th and 58th are on-ramps for traffic to Providence – depending on whether hospital guests/employees are coming from the east or west. I-84′s Exit #3 empties directly onto Glisan at 58th. Pedestrians already have very little separation or protection from off-ramp traffic at this intersection. The intersection is made more difficult by a diagonal geometry making crosswalks unusually long and free-for-all vehicle traffic looking for ways to cut through the traffic knot. A lot of the pedestrian traffic at 58th & Gisan is coming to and from the 60th Ave MAX station. A lot of the vehicle traffic is coming and going to Providence.

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