Archive | January, 2009

Construction Update

Earlier this week, I was invited out to Oregon Iron Works to check out progress on our first locally produced Streetcar. With a little bit of luck, you’ll see this out on the streets of Portland in March for burn-in testing.

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More after the jump…

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The vehicle is painted Blue and Orange from the existing Streetcar palette. “Made in USA” decals will be applied later :-)

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A lot of electrical wiring was being done the day I was there.

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So far, these are the only tracks the vehicle has been on …

Oregon Iron Works was kind enough to pass on some of their own photos without all the scaffolding around the car…

10 End Cab uncoupled

11 Car Coupling 1

14 Car Coupling 4

Metro Hearing on CRC

Metro has scheduled a public hearing for next week for a resolution instructing Metro President David Bragdon on how to represent the agency on the project sponsors council during the discussion on the number of lanes for the Columbia River Crossing.

What: Metro Council Meeting regarding the number of lanes on the CRC, with public testimony
When: Thursday, February 5, 2:00 pm
Where: Metro Council Chamber, 600 NE Grand Ave., Portland

My First Ride on WES

Today I joined several folks from the Streetcar Citizen Advisory Committee for a preview ride on the new Westside Express Service (WES).

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More after the jump.

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The platform is flush with the vehicle entrances. Wheelchair users can roll across the gap, no need for bridgeplates.

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A new line on the system map.

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The new maintenance facility in Wilsonville.

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A slightly more engaging style of TriMet graphics?

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I tested the WiFi on my iPhone.

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Nice!

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Only two bike hooks per vehicle. I’m told this was largely dictated by Federal Railway Administration regs. Still, it’s sad.

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The next arrivals display had a KGW news ticker. I wonder if they pay a sponsorship fee for that?

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The Wilsonville SMART system has reorganized their route system around a transit center at the WES terminus.

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48 bike lockers at the Wilsonville terminus!

Pedestrian Advocate Wanted (and Paid!)

From the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition:

Job Announcement

Director, Willamette Pedestrian Coalition

The Willamette Pedestrian Coalition (WPC) Board of Directors is looking for an enthusiastic advocate for accessible and livable communities to fill an immediate opening for its part-time Director position.

The Willamette Pedestrian Coalition (WPC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community based membership organization in the greater Portland metro area. The WPC has been dedicated to promoting walking and making the conditions for walking safe and attractive since 1991. A Board of Directors oversees the operations of the WPC and relies on a Director for carrying out the day-today operations and promoting the mission of the WPC.

The Director must exercise a passion for pedestrian accessibility, equity and community livability. The Director manages the day to day affairs of this pedestrian advocacy organization, provides general support to the Board, prepares written and oral communications, coordinates and schedules organization activities, performs outreach and awareness clinics, manages grants and related reports and products, maintains an organized office and supervises an intern position.

The salary is $18.00 / hour for a 15 to 20 hour work week with some schedule flexibility. Health benefits are not provided. The WPC office is near downtown Portland. A detailed job description is available at www.wpcwalks.org.

A responsive letter of interest, current resume and a list of three (3) references must be received before February 20th at 5 pm at selingep@msn.com or:

Willamette Pedestrian Coalition
Attention: Philip Selinger
P.O. Box 2252
Portland, OR 97208-2252

Questions may be also e-mailed or call Phil at 503-224-5122. The Board of Directors expects to fill this position by the end of February 2009. Please pass this announcement to others who might be interested. Thank you.

Updated: Last Best Chance for Transit in Stimulus

Update: 7:18pm – Apparently this will go to a floor vote in the house tomorrow. 1000 Friends has published a local alert:

Friends and Allies,

Please take action now to help secure increased funding for public transit.

We’ve just been informed that Congressmen Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) have introduced an amendment to the American Economic Recovery and Investment Act that will go to the floor for a vote tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. It would add $3 billion in additional funding for public transit above and beyond the $9.5 billion in the original economic recovery bill. This is our best chance to influence the outcome of the legislation.

Congress will consider and VOTE on this amendment in the next 18 hours. Please encourage your Representative to vote YES on this important amendment. (Click here for background information.)

Please act now! Call tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. Urge them to support the Nadler/DeFazio amendment, and don’t forget to thank Rep. DeFazio, particularly if you live in his district!

First District — Congressman David Wu — (503) 326-2901
Second District — Congressman Greg Walden — (541) 389-4408
Third District — Congressman Earl Blumenauer — (503) 231-2300
Fourth District — Congressman Peter DeFazio — (541) 465-6732
Fifth District — Congressman Kurt Schrader — (503) 588-9100

Sincerely,

The Team at 1000 Friends of Oregon

P.S. Oregon could receive up to $30 million or more for Tri-Met, Cherriots, Lane Transit District and others if this amendment passes. Please call today!

Republished from Streetsblog:

We’re at a critical moment for green transportation in the stimulus package. The key piece on the table now is Jerrold Nadler’s amendment to boost transit investment by $3 billion. A decision could be reached as soon as today, so now is the time to make those phone calls. The people to reach are the House leadership and the Appropriations Committee, who must be persuaded to allow more transit investment into the bill.

As things stand, only one percent of the total stimulus is devoted to transit, while highway spending and all the traffic-generating boondoggles that come with it stand to receive more than three times that amount. If you want to see a stronger recovery bill that does more to curb oil dependence, reduce pollution, and enhance the livability of America’s cities, here are the key numbers to call. Tell these representatives that the Nadler amendment must be allowed to reach the floor for a vote (check after the jump for talking points). If it can reach the floor, we’re told, the amendment has a very good chance to pass. Drop us a line in the comments about how things go.

House Leadership
Nancy Pelosi (202) 225-4965
Steny Hoyer (202) 225-4131
James Clyburn (202) 225-3315
Chris Van Hollen (202) 225-5341

Appropriations Committee
David Obey, WI (202) 225-3365
John Olver, MA (202) 225-5335
James Moran, VA (202) 225-4376
Lucille Roybal-Allard, CA (202) 225-1766
Barbara Lee, CA (202) 225-2661

Talking points courtesy of the National Association of City Transportation Officials:

* Transit is the future of our nation’s metropolitan regions which represent 80% of the US population. Public transit ridership has been surging over the last year, but instead of capitalizing on the public demand for more and better transit, cities are being forced to curtail service and cut jobs.
* These modest adjustments will result in far-reaching impact on mobility, pollution reduction, and economic stimulation in metropolitan regions.
* Discuss the transit need in your city and the fact that federal resources for transit can absolutely be spent within the timeframes set out by the bill. House leadership in particular needs to hear the case for transit. The White House is pushing them to make no changes. The leadership needs to hear from the cities about why these amendments are critical.