November 26, 2008
Here's a cautionary tale from Sharon White, a member of the PDOT "Community and School Traffic Safety Partnership" who often plays the role of 'decoy' in crosswalk stings. Everyone have a safe and happy Thanksgiving...
It is rare that I get scared during a Crosswalk Enforcement Action because I an generally very cautious and very alert. However, the last portion of this Crosswalk Enforcement Action did frighten me.
As usual, I proceeded into the crossing area as a pedestrian showing intent to cross and provided adequate time for the approaching eastbound vehicle to stop. I worked to make eye contact with the driver and when I finally got a clear view of the driver's face could tell that he was looking at the storefront of the adjacent building and did not appear to be aware of me in the crossing. At about the same time, the driver's vehicle veered a little to the north and then a little to the south pointing right at me. Since I had no indication that the driver was going to slow down or stop, I jumped out of the crossing and back onto the sidewalk.
The police officer working on the Crosswalk Enforcement Action with us, put on his siren and headed onto Division to stop the driver and initiate a conversation about Oregon crosswalk laws. Instead of slowing down, the driver increased his speed, took the first right turn and then an immediate left into a dead end driveway where the police officer caught up with him.
As it ended up, there was a warrant out for his arrest for hit and run of a pedestrian!!!!!!!! In addition to receiving 4 tickets, he was sent to jail.
Thanks Portland Police Traffic Division for a job well done! Feel free to share this story with your families this holiday season.
November 25, 2008
Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Achterman to Address
Rail and Transit Advocates on December 6th
Gail Achterman, Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission, will speak at the Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates (AORTA) Annual Meeting on December 6th at the Governor Hotel in Portland. Ms. Achterman will share her commission's vision for Oregon's short-term and long-term transportation future, especially improved roles for rail and public transportation in fighting climate change, achieving energy independence and improving Oregon's economy. "AORTA's mission is to improve rail and public transportation options for all Oregonians. Ms. Achterman's talk and the question and answer period that follows should help improve dialog between rail and transit proponents and transportation decision-makers," said AORTA President Donald Leap.
"Sustainable transportation advocates in Oregon, like AORTA, have some reason for cautious optimism," continued Leap. "The Governor's transportation budget, recently released as the Jobs and Transportation Act of 2009, has additional funding for passenger and freight rail transportation over past budgets. We hope this indicates the beginning of a change in direction for Oregon, where, except for light rail, 'transportation' has primarily meant roads. We also are encouraged by promising interest in more investment in rail and public transportation at the federal level."
Ms. Achterman has a strong environmental record, having, among other activities, served as Governor Goldschmidt's Assistant for Natural Resources and is currently the Director of OSU's Institute for Natural Resources. "Having taken over the Commission Chair position, we believe Gail can help infuse an ethos of sustainability at an agency that has often pursued unsustainable highway projects as solutions to transportation problems," said Fred Nussbaum, AORTA's Strategic Planner. "Under the Governor's plan, ODOT must use a 'least cost' planning model that will require it to determine if non-highway solutions can solve a problem at less cost. This will require a major culture shift and we look forward to a discussion with Gail on how we can help facilitate that."
"The public is warmly encouraged to attend what will certainly be an informative presentation and lively discussion," said Vice President Jim Long, meeting organizer.
The meeting is from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Reservations are required. Lunch menu choices are chicken, meatloaf or vegetable ravioli.
Please contact Fred Nussbaum at 503-292-5549 or FredTrain@aol.com for further information and to register.
November 24, 2008
From TriMet's press release:
Starting Sunday, Nov. 30, TriMet will add service on 13 of its 93 bus lines and MAX Blue Line to help relieve crowding. In addition, four bus lines will have minor service adjustments to improve schedule reliability.
I'll beat Erik to the punch here and note that I wish that TriMet had included as much detail about bus service increases (how many buses and at what times for each route) as it has for the MAX service increase, rather than leaving it to readers to research the before/after on various published schedules.
A new paper published by Brookings (PDF, 571K) suggests that pricing of commute routes would lead to both reduction in sprawl and more affordable housing.
But commentary on the paper also suggests that this may produce inequities for lower income households that may need to be offset somehow.
November 21, 2008
Passed on by a reader...
Apparently all the necessary capital improvements have been made to add an additional daily train between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., but the Canadian Border Service is holding things up.
Let's hope they sort this out before the Olympics...
November 20, 2008
League of Women Voters to Host Panel on Public Infrastructure Needs
Public Invited at 7pm on December 9
The League of Women Voters of Portland will host a panel discussion on the status of public infrastructure in the U.S. and in Portland, and the need for a comprehensive policy to fund and implement maintenance programs and to update facilities to meet future needs on December 9 at 7pm. The event will be held in the Board Room of the Multnomah County Building, 501 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.
In 2005 the American Society of Civil Engineers gave American infrastructure a "D" grade in quality across the board. From aviation and energy to schools and transit, the care and maintenance of our infrastructure is in decline. How do we prioritize work projects? Where will the funding for these projects come from? How do we educate the public about the importance of maintaining our infrastructure? What is our responsibility as citizens? During the Great Depression government-funded work projects helped stimulate the economy by focusing on infrastructure: Is this a feasible direction for the U.S. to move in, in view of the current economic crisis and a new President?
Panel members include Ethan P. Seltzer, Ph D, Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University; Sue Keil, Director of Portland's Office of Transportation; Cameron Yourkowski, Transmission Policy Associate of the Renewable Northwest Project; and an engineer from Portland's Water Bureau (TBA). Panel members will discuss the history of infrastructure in the U.S., suggest methods for improving the system, and explain why investment in infrastructure is critical to preserving and improving our quality of life. Marnie Lonsdale, League member and former Storm-water Project Coordinator of the City of Duluth, Minnesota, will moderate the discussion.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government.
November 19, 2008
At the keynote speech this morning at the LA Auto Show, the president and CEO of Nissan/Renault, Carolos Ghosn, announced a new alliance with the start of Oregon to bring electric vehicles there in 2010. The deal will see "a supply" of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) available to the city of Portland, Oregon and to support a network of EV charging stations.
Link to full blog post with press release:
November 18, 2008
Portland State University
Center for Transportation Studies
Fall 2008 Transportation Seminar Series
Speakers: IBPI Board Members/founders Mia Birk, Principal of Alta Planning + Design, Jay Graves, owner of the Bike Gallery, and Rex Burkholder, Metro Councilor
Topic: Portland is Good, but Copenhagen and Amsterdam are AWESOME:
Lessons Learned from the World's Best Large Cycling Cities
When: Friday, November 21, 2008, 12:00 - 1:00p.m.
Where: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204
November 17, 2008
The Sunday O has a feature article on "food deserts", areas with poor access to grocery stores and particularly choice among grocery stores. It details the story of one family in the Cully neighborhood that makes a 1+ hour (each way) transit ride to a discount warehouse grocery 10 miles away.
I'm contrasting this with my experience in NW Portland where I have good walking, biking or transit access to a number of grocery stores including Food Front, Fred Meyer, Zupans and as of Friday, a 5 minute Streetcar ride to the new Safeway in the Pearl District (a welcome addition as it's on the bike route I most commonly use to get home).
Should service planning for transit include grocery choice as an explicit goal?
November 12, 2008
The folks at the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy have figured out that if we could double the bike/pedestrian mode share for trips of one mile or less (from the current 31% to 70%) we would not only save 50 BILLION miles driven each year, we'd have a much healthier population. Full report (PDF, 5M).
I've been playing around with using inexpensive internet devices as displays for transit arrival information, looking for something that will scale inexpensively. I've been having some fun with WiFi picture frames, but haven't found one with quite the right features yet.
I've had slightly more success with a gadget called a 'Chumby'. Here's mine sitting on my desk, next to my iPhone to give a sense of scale:
It actually uses an RSS Reader application as the display tool (I've prototyped delivering Transit Surfer™ as an Atom feed). It alternates between a minute displaying arrival times and 15 seconds displaying a clock (this is a hack to force the RSS Reader to re-load the feed). Here's a software simulation of what's on the screen (my Chumby is black, but they do come in colors):
The font size is a bit smaller than I'd like, but it's still probably effective for someone like a receptionist who might want to give out bus or rail times to customers. But at $179 each, I don't expect these to show up all over the place.
November 11, 2008
Portland State University
Center for Transportation Studies
Fall 2008 Transportation Seminar Series
Speaker: David L. Goodstein, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology
Topic: Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil
Flier with abstract: http://www.cts.pdx.edu/Goodstein%20Flyer.pdf
Speaker sponsored by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium Visiting Scholarship Program
When: Friday, November 14, 2008, 12:00 - 1:00p.m.
Where: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204
November 10, 2008
Speaking tonight at the Portland Spaces/City Club "Bright Lights" event, Earl Blumenauer said the the Columbia River Crossing was a metaphor for the lack of consensus for a transportation vision in our region, comparing it to "the desire for an eight-lane freeway from I-205 to Highway 26 that would turn I-205 into a parking lot and screw up the planning for the new City of Damascus". Blumenauer was also critical of the lack of identification of local matching funds for the CRC.
November 9, 2008
Friday's O details the transportation ask from Portland and other local electeds for the stimulus package that everyone expects Congress to take up shortly.
One thing to be careful of - under current rules at the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration it's probably much easier to get road projects up and running than transit projects. Let's hope the new administration figures out how to fix that!
November 8, 2008
Full documents now available.
Original Post: 10/28/08
While the final report will not be out until next month, today's O has an infographic with the major options for dealing with the Sellwood.
November 6, 2008
Gordon Price will be back in Portland for his annual session with the PSU/PDOT Traffic and Transportation Class. His presentation is open to the public:
On Wednesday 11/19, Gordon Price will give a free presentation on the effective integration of transportation in high-density environments with an emphasis on land use. If you've seen Price speak before, fear not! He always has a new presentation and a trick or two up his sleeve...
Price is a former City of Vancouver, B.C. Councilor and current Simon Fraser University and University of British Columbia Professor who teaches, researches, and writes extensively on urban development and planning.
To learn more about Price, check out his electronic magazine, Price Tags at http://www.pricetags.ca/pricetags.html or his daily blog on Vancouver and worldwide urban affairs, http://pricetags.wordpress.com/.
What: Gordon Price Presentation
When: Wednesday 11/19, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Where: Portland Building, 1120 SW 5th Ave, 2nd Floor Auditorium
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Contact: Scott Cohen
City of Portland, Office of Transportation
[Moderator: I've turned Douglas K's comment in the Open Topics thread into it's own post.]
Douglas K. Wrote:
In Los Angeles, voters approved Measure R by 67% to 33% - a $40 billion-over-30-year project to expand subway, light rail, commuter rail, busways, and local/limited bus service throughout Los Angeles County.
In the Seattle area, voters passed (barely) Sound Transit's Proposition 1, $17.9 billion plan to expand express buses, light rail, and commuter rail throughout the Puget Sound region.
Asking for money for huge packages of transit projects is nothing new. Four years ago, Denver voters approved the $4.7 billion FasTracks package for light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit.
If they can do it, we can do it.
Is it really that far-fetched to ask Tri-Met area voters to approve a major light rail, commuter rail, interurban trolley (Portland-Lake Oswego) and bus rapid transit package? What's the wish list? If Tri-Met were to go to voters with a big-multi-project transit proposal, what should be included?
Also, Tri-Met needs to stop getting gun-shy about asking voters for money. Tri-Met district voters rejected ONE light rail fudning plan (downtown to Clackamas TC) 10 years by a narrow margin, in an election when it was competing with a number of other ballot measures. But that was after they voted "yes" on three successive light rail projects (Westside light rail in 1990, South/North in 1994, and the voter referral of South/North state funding in 1996. Light rail is popular and has a history of support. There's no reason a comprehensive regional transit plan couldn't pass, as long as it served all areas.
November 5, 2008
The Columbia River Crossing project invites you to attend an open house in December to learn about plans for light rail on Hayden Island and in Vancouver, a replacement bridge, and fixing seven highway interchanges between SR 500 and Columbia Boulevard.
Public comments will help the project make decisions on key issues including the number of lanes on a new I-5 bridge and design of the bridge, light rail and highway improvements.
Two open houses will be held:
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Open house: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Hilton Vancouver Washington
301 W. 6th Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
Public transit: C-TRAN #4
More info: www.c-tran.com or 360-695-0123
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Open house: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Portland Metropolitan Exposition Center
2060 North Marine Drive, Hall D
Portland, OR 97217
Public transit: TriMet MAX Yellow Line
More info: www.trimet.org or 503-238-RIDE
Listen to the show (mp3, 19.2MB)
Post election woes and victories. Guest Karl Rohde from the BTA discusses current pro-bicycle legislation, what passed, what didn't pass and what's coming down the bike lane.
November 4, 2008
TriMet issued a press release today with information about their new tickets (mostly for use at MAX stations, but also buses on the mall if that practice is revived when the mall re-opens) and modifications to older ticket machines.
Starting in November, we're introducing new fares that are easier to use:
- All tickets and passes are now credit-card size, so they're easier to read, convenient to carry and easy to insert into fareboxes and validators.
- Expiration time and zone information are now printed in a consistent location on all fares.
- Advanced security features help prevent fraud.
This new format is also helpful for bus operators and fare inspectors when they're checking for valid fare. Plus, tickets are now less likely to jam a farebox or cause a vending machine malfunction.
For the complete release, see:
Associate Director of Transportation and Parking (IRC26339)
Salary Range: $66,600-$99,900/year
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is the state's only medical and research university and provides an uncommon array of clinical services, educational and research possibilities. Our world-class team of high achievers continues to break new ground in health, environmental science and high technology for the benefit of people in Oregon and around the world. If you share our focus on excellence, we invite you to join the OHSU team!
The department of Facilities & Real Estate is currently seeking candidates for the position of Associate Director of Transportation and Parking. The ideal individual for this position must be an analytical thinker, possess complex operational management experience, be a careful problem-solver, a systems thinker, possess collaborative relationship skills and equipoise in times of transition. The department of Facilities & Real Estate is composed of a diverse group of divisions equipped with services to ensure that the appropriate systems and personnel are in place to support our mission statement: "To continually strive to provide a safe, comfortable and efficient physical environment for the OHSU community 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
Major functions of the Associate Director position include:
- Supervise planning and operational performance for all Division of Transportation & Parking services and functions and oversee three FTEs performing these functions
- Represent the division and the department at inter-and extra-university settings
- Identify and enact Transportation & Parking best practices to continually enhance operations and services
Knowledge and Skills:
Intermediate PC skills are necessary in Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel).
Education and Experience:
Bachelor's degree is required. Advanced degree is preferred. Requires at least five (5) years of experience of increasing managerial responsibility in the Transportation and/or Parking enterprise or a closely related field. Prefer three to five years of experience of university and/or medical center transportation and/or parking operations environment.
We offer a cafeteria-style benefit plan, allowing eligible employees to use benefit dollars provided by OHSU to purchase benefits that best meets their own personal and family needs. For full-time employees, on an annual basis, we offer medical, dental and vision insurance; vacation (22 days), holiday (9 days) and leave time; dependent care/flexible spending accounts; retirement plan; tuition discount within the Oregon University System; alternative transportation (discount Tri-Met pass); and wellness program (discount membership to use on-site Fitness & Sports Center).
We are accepting applications for this position is until a sufficient number of applications have been received. However, this position may close at any time of any day without notice. Qualified individuals are strongly recommended to submit their information as soon as possible.
How to Apply:
Online at www.OHSUjobs.com, please reference recruitment IRC26399.
November 3, 2008
Post election woes and victories. Guest Karl Rohde will discuss current pro-bicycle legislation, what passed, what didn't pass and what's coming down the bike lane.
9-10AM, Wednesday, November 5th
KBOO FM 90.7
Streamed live at KBOO.fm
Podcast here later that day
November 2, 2008
Under the title "Can We Afford Pretty?" the Sunday O delves into whether the Columbia River Crossing design will be aspirational or prosaic.
Of course, Pearson Air Park gets thrown into the mix as well, with the height limits it may impose on any replacement bridge.
I still wonder if we can afford it at all...