September 30, 2009
Taught by the inestimable Mia Birk:
"Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning" Tuesdays 1-4
3 units, the nuts and bolts of how to plan and engineer a city for bicycles and pedestrians. Portland is the best place to learn this in the US. Guest lecturers from across the city and other government agencies, you'll be fully qualified to design your own sidewalks and bike lanes, and to get hired by someone else to do it.
September 29, 2009
Portland State University
Center for Transportation Studies
Fall 2009 Transportation Seminar Series
Speaker: Niels Jensen, City of Copenhagen Traffic and Road Department
When: Friday, Oct 2, 2009, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Where: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204
September 28, 2009
Don't miss your opportunity to comment on the Regional Transportation Plan:
Thursday, Oct. 1
4 p.m. (open house) | 5:15 p.m. (hearing)
Gresham Conference Center, 1333 NW Eastman Parkway, Gresham
Spanish translation provided
Thursday, Oct. 8
4 p.m. (open house) | 5:15 p.m. (hearing)
Happy Valley City Hall, 16000 SE Misty Dr., Happy Valley
Tuesday, Oct. 13
4 p.m. (open house) | 5:15 p.m. (hearing)
Clackamas County Public Services Building, 2051 Kaen Road, Oregon City
Thursday, Oct. 15
4 p.m. (open house) | 5:15 p.m. (hearing)
Metro Regional Center, 600 NE Grand Ave., Portland
Submit comments in writing
Greatest Place Comments
Planning and Development
600 NE Grand Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
September 25, 2009
The Portland Mercury has a nice piece on "Dead Freeways", planned freeways for Portland that were never built.
September 24, 2009
Portland's own "Bike Realtor", Kirsten Kaufman, is the featured guest on this week's Smart City radio program.
September 23, 2009
Streetsblog in New York is decrying the state of available online transit info from the MTA and holding up Portland as the shining example.
September 22, 2009
Via the Trillium Solutions blog:
"Traffic" author Tom Vanderbilt catalogs iPhone apps.
Thanks to the correspondent who writes that you can get from Portland to Astoria via TriMet, the Tillamook County Transportation District and the Sunset Empire Transportation District purely on scheduled transit.
But the real news is that you can plan the entire trip on Google Transit. That's the value of standards and open data. Let's look forward to even more transit systems getting their data published in GTFS format so Google - and other developers - can give us even better tools!
September 21, 2009
Metro is recruiting for citizen representatives to serve on TPAC. To be sure, it's heavily technocratic, but the several years I spent on TPAC were a tremendous learning experience, and you do get to nudge a little bit on the direction of policy:
September 18, 2009
Dear TPAC Interested Parties:
The Transportation Policy Alternatives Committee (TPAC) is currently seeking community representatives to serve two-year terms beginning January 2010. Three seats on TPAC are currently vacant.
TPAC provides technical input to the Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) that, in turn, makes recommendations on transportation planning issues to the Metro Council.
The committee seeks individuals with strong interest or expertise in transportation related issues and who can commit to attending regular meetings held during normal working hours.
You may apply online at: http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=28550. To receive an application form by fax or mail, call Kelsey Newell at 503-797-1916 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due to Metro on Friday, October 16, 2009 by 5 p.m.
Carlotta Collette, Metro Councilor District 2
Funny how all the aspirations for the Columbia River Crossing keep shrinking, except of course moving lots of cars...
September 18, 2009
Update: here's the full text of Sam's statement.
The Oregonian is reporting that Portland Mayor Sam Adams will release a statement today withdrawing his support for a 12-lane Columbia River Crossing configuration.
Meanwhile, members of the local project sponsors council are making clear that the cost of the project must be reduced.
"What they've cooked up is this enormous thing," Metro Council President David Bragdon said. "They're jeopardizing the whole project by making it so enormous. I think that's starting to sink in."
Freeway interchanges are likely to be among the first items on the table for cost reductions.
Let's hope the outbreak of sanity is contagious...
As Metro celebrates the "Intertwine":
"The Intertwine" launches on streets across the Portland-Vancouver region
Metered parking spaces will become mini-parks,
complete with grass, trees, native wildlife and fun activities,
to celebrate the launch of The Intertwine (map attached)
Media note: The Intertwine will kick off its festivities at 10 a.m., Friday
Sept. 18 at 506 SW Washington Street, in front of the Hotel Monaco
The streets will be paved with green Friday, Sept. 18 as hundreds of groups come together in a flash mob-type effort to create parks in public parking spaces around the region. Celebrating parks and promoting the need for more of them is the goal of Park(ing) Day, a loosely organized event that began in 2005. People in cities from Portland to New York participate in this annual happening.
This year's Park(ing) Day is the occasion for the unveiling of The Intertwine, a unifying name and brand for the Portland region's network of parks, trails and natural areas. Whether you walk, hike, bike, bird, paddle or play - whatever you love to do and wherever you love to do it - if you're doing it in the Portland-Vancouver area, you are already using The Intertwine. The Intertwine Alliance, a coalition of businesses, non-profits and public agencies have joined together to promote the The Intertwine and commit to linking trails, parks and natural areas with homes, jobs and schools to create one of the greatest parks networks in the world.
Mayors from throughout the region, including Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis, Lake Oswego Mayor Jack Hoffman and Forest Grove Mayor Richard Kidd will join Metro Council President David Bragdon and Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish to officially launch The Intertwine at 10 a.m. at a Park(ing) Day park at 506 SW Washington Street in Portland.
For more information about The Intertwine, including participating organizations, visit www.theintertwine.org
Hotel Monaco -- 506 SW Washington
Intertwine Partner: Trust for Public Lands
Contact: Daryn White 503-417-3359
Enjoy this park-for-a-day created by local dignitaries and Intertwine partners to highlight the variety and range of activities and experiences available in the region's network of parks, trails and natural areas -- The Intertwine.
Keen Footwear - Northwest 13th and Lovejoy
Intertwine Partners: Keen Footwear, Forest Park Conservancy
Contact: Chris Enlow 503-805-9962
Forest Park is the Intertwines' signature attraction - a 5,000-acre forest that lies within the boundaries of our largest city. See what "old growth" ivy does to a forest. Find out how you can help the Forest Park Conservancy and their partners restore the life and health of our region's largest nature park.
Bridgeport Brew Pub - Northwest 13th and Marshall Street
Intertwine Partner: Audubon Society of Portland
Contact: Bob Sallinger 503-292-6855
Say hello to Finnegan the falcon, Julio the owl or Jack Sparrowhawk -- one of a handful of rescued birds used by the Audubon Society of Portland to educate and inspire people to love and protect nature. Find out more about the native wildlife that depend on The Intertwine for food, travel and shelter.
City Hall - Southwest 4th and Madison
Intertwine Partners: Portland Parks and Recreation, Bureau of Environmental Services
Want to get fit? Practice your yoga? Shoot some hoops? On Park(ing) Day you can sample the wide range of classes and activities offered by Portland Parks & Recreation throughout the year that help you explore and enjoy the Intertwine.
Across the street, Bureau of Environmental Services staff will showcase a "Green Street" to demonstrate how green development practices and sustainable storm water management helps protect and restore our local rivers and streams.
Green Works -NW 2nd and Couch
Intertwine Partner: Metro
Contact: Corie Harlan 503-797-1764
The Intertwines' newest nature park will open next fall in Wilsonville. Come preview the trails, wetlands and wildlife that the public will see, hear and enjoy when they visit the Graham Oaks Nature Park -- built for a day in downtown Portland by landscape architects, Green Works.
128 SW 3rd (in front of Stumptown Coffee)
Intertwine Partner: Friends of Trees
Pacific Northwest College Art (PNCA) - Northwest 13th and Johnson
Intertwine Partner: Urban Greenspaces Institute
See what two PNCA classes have designed to demonstrate the power of art in teaching about and connecting people with the environment.
Beaverton City Hall - 4755 SW Griffith Drive
Intertwine Partner: City of Beaverton
(Saturday, Sept. 19 only)
Beaverton Farmers Market - corner of Hall and 4th Avenue
Intertwine Partner: Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District
3rd & Main Street
Intertwine Partners: City of Gresham, Office of Mayor Shane Bemis
Join city staff and volunteers for a day on the green. Visitors can receive information about regional and local parks that are a part of The Intertwine. The Mayor will be stopping by around noon to have a picnic with those in attendance.
Rockwood Plaza Del Sol - 188th and Southeast Stark
Intertwine Partner: Gresham Parks and Recreation
Pick up a paint brush and help convert 13,000 square feet of parking lot in to the Plaza del Sol, a public space to be used by all. Food and refreshments will be provided to volunteers all day. At 2 p.m. enjoy a visit from Mayor Bemis and Metro Council President David Bragdon. Hear from them about Gresham and Metro's 20-year mission of protecting and preserving the city's signature buttes and significant natural areas - a key part of The Intertwine.
In Lake Oswego
A Avenue and 1st Street
Intertwine Partner: Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation
If you're looking for the perfect picnic spot on Park(ing) Day, you'll find what you need in this lush, green Park(ing) space located in beautiful downtown Lake Oswego. Bring the family. Enjoy games, entertainment and treats for your pets.
In Vancouver, WA
Wallis Engineering - 3rd & Main
Intertwine Partner: Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation
Enjoy a community barbeque. Learn more about connections to The Intertwine's trails and pathways for walking, hiking and biking.
Mon Ami Coffee Shop - 19th & Main Street
Intertwine Partner: Community Choices and C-TRAN
Did you know that approximately 40 percent of the region's driving trips are less than 3 miles? Take more of your trips on The Intertwine using alternative transportation - including transit, biking and walking. Learn more. Also includes demos and practice for taking your bike on the bus.
Angst Art Gallery - 10th and Main
Intertwine Partner: Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation
Clark County's parks, trails, and natural areas are part of The Intertwine's network of parks, trails and natural areas. Find out how you can enjoy The Intertwine here in Clark County and what partnerships are growing across the river.
Turtle Place - 7th & Main
Intertwine Partner: Vancouver Watersheds Council
Learn how partners are working together to engage the community to protect and enhance the local rivers and streams that contribute to the overall health of The Intertwine.
September 17, 2009Back in march, Chris alerted us to the American Public Transportation Association's Dump the Pump Competition, where volunteer video makers could show their reasons for making the switch away from using gas/personal motor vehicles.
First off, the title of this post could "our" rather than "my" -- so many great people volunteered their skills as actors, animators, extras and grips, that this turned out to be a bigger production than originally intended. And I mustn't forget to thank the location owners, managers, and staff who graciously allowed us to film on their premises.
For these videos, I decided rather than to film testimonials, to go for short dramatic productions, and to interpret the "Dump the Pump" theme rather literally (you'll see) and to broaden the alternatives to include bikes as well as bus and rail.
Thanks again to everyone who helped -- the full credits are after the break. Now, without further ado, here are the three videos:
Created for the American Public Transportation Association "Dump the Pump" Competition
Produced, Written & Directed by
Girl at Tea Party
Man in Bar
Woman in Café
Sound & Grip
David P. Hogan
Homewoods on the Willamette
Oak Grove, Oregon
Signal Station Pizza
St. Johns, Oregon
Oregon Governor's Office of Film and Television
Portland Mayor's Office of Film and Video
Many of the lobbyists will be former congressional staff members...
And walk on over to the Lucky Lab on Hawthorne on Thursday September 24th for the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition's annual meeting.
Date: Sept. 24, 2009
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Location: Lucky Lab SE
915 SE Hawthorne
Meet fellow pedestrians and hear about WPC accomplishments and plans.
We will recognize outstanding contributors and present the Golden Sole Award. Nominations for the election of Board positions are now being accepted.
Nominate a Board member today! (self-nominations are accepted)
September 16, 2009
Metro Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan released his recommendations for Metro's Greatest Place plan (a combination land use and transportation planning effort). This is a formality, the COO recommendation is in fact the synthesis of work done by staff and approved by advisory committees of elected officials (JPACT and MPAC).
The plan is unique in a couple of aspects:
- To the extent possible (read - as permitted by State law) the recommendation is to NOT expand the Urban Growth Boundary and instead accommodate our next 20 years of growth inside the existing UGB, focusing on investing in the 2040 centers concept.
- The Regional Transportation Plan component actually contemplates that we can see a 'final form' for our road network, i.e., that freeways with 3 lanes in each direction and major arterials spaced a certain distance apart are the limit of how much real estate we want to devote to moving cars. The future challenge is to move goods and people by managing that road network to its maximum effectiveness.
And along the way, Metro seems to have figured out RSS. (But didn't quite get the Atom feed right.)
Having served on MPAC during the formative stages of this plan, I'm delighted to see it released.
September 15, 2009
One of the highlights of the Oregon Transportation Summit on Friday was the keynote presentation on the new Moving Cooler report, given by the project manager for the study, Joanne Potter.
The report was funded by a consortium as diverse as the Shell Oil and APTA (the American Public Transportation Association), so we can hope that it does not have too much bias.
Two top line messages from the briefing presentation (PDF, 2.8M):
- Vehicle technology, even with the new cafe standards, will only help reduce emissions a relatively small amount.
- The most impactful set of strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions all involve pricing in a significant way.
September 14, 2009
These folks attending the PSU Farmer's Market on Saturday apparently couldn't discern the purpose of the cycle track striping.
Interestingly, it only occurred on one block, and they were all gone 45 minutes later, but not before getting ticketed.
The BTA is hiring:
Position Title: Statewide Project Advocate
Status: Full time, exempt, grant dependent, limited duration (through 9/2011)
Salary: Dependent on experience
Benefits: Health, Dental and Vision insurance as well as generous paid time off and holiday benefits
Reports To: Operations Director
Posted: September, 2009
Application Deadline: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Expected Start Date: October, 2009
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) is a non-profit membership organization working to promote bicycling and improve bicycling conditions in Oregon and SW Washington. Since 1990 the BTA has worked in partnership with citizens, businesses, community groups, government agencies and elected officials to create communities where people can meet their daily transportation needs on a bike. The BTA creates healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safer, more convenient and more accessible.
This is a 2-year position, the objective of which is to assist in creation of new partnerships and leverage existing relationships among public agencies, business communities, and statewide education programs to build high-level and broad-based support for statewide active transportation initiatives into the next biennium. In doing so, this position will focus on working with four communities throughout Oregon and engage them in efforts to improve their active transportation options and in a movement to increase funding for active transportation at the 2011 Oregon legislative session. This position will be required to work with diverse communities and stakeholders, including rural, low income, and racially diverse communities and representative organizations.
This position is managed by the BTA and funded with the support of the Northwest Health Foundation and other community partners.
• Bringing creative ideas and energy for the purpose of helping Oregonians access safe places to walk and bike
• Grassroots organizing, including strategic planning, volunteer organizing, coalition building and media relations
• Working with minority and low-income communities
• Coordinating and collaborating with existing and new BTA advocacy and program initiatives
• Planning tasks and effective delegation of responsibility
• Tracking and adjusting to meet commitments and timelines
• Communicating effectively: verbally, visually and electronically
• Well organized, self-motivated and reliable, with experience in advocacy and active transportation options
• Ability to work well with and inspire others
• Ability to work closely with business and community leaders, including after hours
• Strong communications skills - writing and presenting
• Ability to speak and write in Spanish
This position requires statewide travel, which will include evening and overnight stays and requires periodically long and irregular hours of work both in and away from our office, so as a result the successful applicant will possess a willingness to work flexible hours, will possess and maintain a current, valid driver's license and an acceptable driving record or be otherwise able to provide alternate transportation capable of supporting equivalent programmatic expectations, and will possess a cell phone for staying in contact.
The BTA does not discriminate on the basis of: race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, physical or mental disability, or legal source of income.
Please send cover letter, resume completed BTA application form and sample of your work that best demonstrates relevant experience and capabilities in PDF format via email to email@example.com. No calls, please.
September 12, 2009
Dignitaries arriving from Clackamas County on the inaugural Green Line ride were greeted at PSU by Mayor Sam Adams, a (very loud) drum corps and the Viking cheerleaders.
The predictable round of speechmaking ensued, but a notable distinction from recent rail line openings was the presence and full-throated support from Peter Rogoff, the new Federal Transit Administrator.
It's nice to have the Federal Government as an enthusiastic, rather than reluctant, partner again!
September 11, 2009
From City Hall:
Mayor Sam Adams, Portland's commissioner in charge of transportation, seeks a Transportation Policy Advisor. The advisor will help us develop innovative and cost-effective programs and projects in partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation; other transportation jurisdictions like TriMet, Metro, the four Greater Portland counties, and the Oregon Department of Transportation; neighborhood associations; business districts; bicycle, pedestrian, and freight advocates, and others.
This unique position is full-time, begins on October 12, 2009 and comes with a maximum annual salary of $50,000 plus generous benefits package. If you are selected for the position you likely have a graduate level degree in a relevant field such as transportation planning, urban planning, or law, multiple years of relevant workplace experience, excellent written and verbal skills, and a capacity to work effectively on short timelines. You have a demonstrated ability to work independently and problem solve. And, of course, you have a clear passion for working to make Portland's transportation system safer, more reliable, and more sustainable than ever before.
To apply, please submit one electronic application and one hard copy application. Each should include a maximum one-page cover letter, resume, minimum three references, and maximum three-page writing sample.
Send the electronic application to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: 'Transportation Policy Advisor Application'.
Send the hard copy application to:
Chief of Staff
Re: Transportation Policy Advisor Application
Office of Mayor Sam Adams
1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 340
Portland, OR 97204
Applications must be received by Friday, September 25th at 5:00pm.
Due to the high volume of applications, please no in-person, phone, or email inquiries.
The Office of Mayor Sam Adams is an equal opportunity employer.
September 10, 2009
Yesterday, City Council adopted the Portland Streetcar System Concept Plan on a 4-0 vote.
But at the beginning of the hearing Mayor Adams expressed his "legislative intent" that we seriously look at building the system from the outside in, rather than from the central city outward. Neighborhood representatives from places like St. John's, Hazelwood, and Powellhurst-Gilbert supported this in their testimony, pointing out that Streetcar is an excellent tool to help create 20-minute neighborhoods.
The Portland Plan will need to do some significant work to make these outer corridors viable, but if we can pull that off, this could be truly transformative for these outer neighborhoods.
September 9, 2009
One of the advantages of being a car-sharing member versus owning a car is that you don't have to commit to one vehicle type, or pay for things that you use only occasionally.
For example, as a Zipcar member, I occasionally rent a mini-van or pickup if I have to move something large (the Honda Element is pretty good for hauling stuff as well).
Now ZIpcar is catering to your recreational needs. They have a subset of cars equipped with bike racks and even have a number of cars with State and Federal park permits. One less thing to invest in that I would only use once in while...
September 8, 2009
In the Sunday O, Dylan Rivera's article about the imminent Green Line opening notes that each time a new MAX line opens, overall ridership on MAX goes up by more than the ridership of the new line:
For example, the Red Line, opened in 2001, initially connected downtown Portland to the airport. So when TriMet extended Red Line service west to the Beaverton Transit Center two years later, planners thought it would add convenience for a sliver of the population. The Blue Line had served the area since 1998, so presumably anyone who wanted to commute on the MAX had already adopted it.
Instead, weekday ridership jumped 49 percent in the corridor.
"We thought we'd already got as many as we could get," Hansen says. "That kind of a thing almost defies logic. I think we're going to see more of that throughout the system."
As a systems engineer by training, I think I see Metcalfe's law - originally formulated for computer networks - at work. Paraphrased, Metcalfe's law says that value of a network increases in proportion to the square of the number of nodes.
That means that as we add about 20 new Green Line stations to the existing 75 or so MAX stations (don't hold me to exact numbers, I did a very quick count), that means the value of the network increases not by 26% (20/75) but by 60% (95^2/75^2 - 1).
Of course I'm not making any numerical claim, because the analogy is not that exact. The 'distance' between nodes (stations) is made greater by transfers, etc., so all nodes are are not equally connected as Metcalfe's law assumes. And to be really accurate, of course we need to factor in the bus network, which is certainly a critical part of the transit network.
But the point I want to emphasize is clear - each addition to the system creates a value much greater than that of the new line itself.
I'm just a computer geek at heart...
September 4, 2009
The Daily Journal of Commerce is reporting that contractors are griping that the Oregon Transportation Commission spent some stimulus dollars buying passenger rail cars rather than pouring it back into roads.
September 3, 2009
Every year I effuse about the PSU/PBOT Traffic and Transportation class. This year is no different. This is absolutely the best way to become a well-grounded transportation activist in our region:
Are you interested in transportation and land use issues? Neighborhood livability? Community-based projects?
If so, the City of Portland has a free class to help you understand the nuts-and-bolts of Portland's transportation system and how you can change it!
The City of Portland and Portland State University are teaming up for the 16th year to offer the Portland Traffic and Transportation Class. For ten weeks, this free class gives neighborhood activists the opportunity to meet with local policy makers, political leaders, and planners to gain a better understanding of the metro area's transportation system. Class participants also work directly with former Metro Executive Officer and current Shiels Obletz Johnsen principal, Rick Gustafson, on their own neighborhood transportation or livability projects. Gustafson developed the class in concert with Congressman Earl Blumenauer and is a knowledgeable leader on transportation and community development.
Please visit the class website to learn more and to apply for a free scholarship.
The class begins the first Thursday in October and continues to meet weekly until the first week of December.
Contact Scott Cohen, City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, 503-823-5345 or email@example.com, for more information.
September 2, 2009
Listen to the show (mp3, 27.0MB)
Bicycle-based vendors are making their mark on Portland's street culture and business landscape. Elly and Sara host a discussion with local two- and three-wheeled shopkeepers. Can you fit an entire convenience store onto a bike? What does it feel like to pedal a coffee shop over the Hawthorne Bridge? How is the city permit office handling these new kinds of mobile businesses?
September 1, 2009
Our new Cycle Track
In my view Portland became North America's premier cycling city based on a combination of factors, many of which are cultural and social. But an undeniable ingredient was one key piece of infrastructure - the bike lane. While bike boulevards (quieter low traffic streets) acted as feeders to the bike lane network, the six foot bike lane alongside arterial auto traffic (and often next to parked cars that might throw open a door) has been the mainstay or the network that fueled our ascendancy
But that is changing, and I think yesterday may well be the day that history will mark as the beginning of the second age of cycling infrastructure in Portland. We celebrated the opening of our first cycle track at PSU (ably covered by BikePortland). This comes on the heels of a new buffered bike lane on Holgate.
I believe that our second age will be marked by a number of features aimed at capturing the "interested but concerned" demographic of new riders, who comprise the largest segment of the population:
- A complete network of bicycle boulevards. Riders will be able to navigate large areas of the city entirely on low-traffic streets, which will have well-engineered, safe and comfortable crossings of major arterials.
- Off-street bike paths will serve as "bicycle freeways" facilitating larger volumes and longer, faster trips. The North Portland Greenway and Sullivan's Gulch Trail will be early entries in this part of the network. The Eastbank Esplanade and Springwater Corridor show us what these will look like.
- The parts of the network on arterial streets will look like cycle tracks and buffered bike lanes, or other designs that provide a considerably greater degree of safety and comfort than today's bike lane.
But I'll still think fondly about the good old bike lane that got us here.