October 30, 2009
Above are two photos of the little signage frames that TriMet puts on bus stop poles when there is no shelter or other opportunity for larger signage.
In the first case, the frame is empty, although someone has helpfully scratched the Transit Tracker ID number onto the glass. In the other, there is an update route description (and stop ID number) but the the glass has grafitti.
I can imagine it's difficult for TriMet to maintain info on thousands of poles. So why not have an 'adopt-a-stop' program and get community members to take on responsibility for maintaining some of these? All it would take is:
1) Sending the frame key to the volunteer
2) A web page where the volunteer can download a current PDF file of the correct info to print out
3) A database so that TriMet can e-mail the volunteer when the info for the stop has changed so they can update the display
I'll bet that neighborhood associations and business associations would help recruit the volunteers.
Anyone at TriMet want to run with this? We'll help promote it here at Portland Transport!
October 29, 2009
Unfortunately it does not appear to be online, but yesterday the O reported that Wilsonville and Clackamas County are insisting on a study for what the connector would do to capacity on I-5, while Washington County wants to move the process forward without such a study.
October 28, 2009
Sara and Elly talk with members of the Bike Temple and Bike Farm, two Portland-based community resource centers on a mission to support your spiritual and earthly bike needs.
11AM-Noon, Wednesday, November 4th
KBOO FM 90.7
Streamed live at KBOO.fm
Podcast here later that day
October 27, 2009
Do we need to try again on Metro's Regional Transportation Plan?
Last week we discussed the lukewarm response from progressive transportation advocates, now we have more specifics:
- Mayor Adams has tweeted that the plan fails to meet the goals of the Portland/Multnomah County Climate Action Plan.
- Members of the Sustainability Commission have expressed concern that the plan not only fails to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, but in fact increases emissions over the no-build scenario.
- Coalition for a LIvable Future has released a detailed critique (PDF, 324K).
CLF's overall criticisms include:
- Too much emphasis on road expansion (even without the Columbia River Crossing)
- Increases in greenhouse gases
- Lack of equity
and some specific items:
- Washington County is trying to build its way out of congestion
- Portland's Streetcar expansion needs to happen at the edges as well as the center of the City
- TriMet is failing to provide sufficient operating funding for buses
Local leaders should insist that our transportation investments decrease greenhouse gases rather than increase them!
October 26, 2009
October 23, 2009
The word on the street is that advocates for major bikes trails (Sullivans Gulch Trail, North Portland Greenway) are going to argue for a higher priority in the funding sequence for the Bicycle Master Plan.
The Sullivans Gulch folks have refreshed their web site as they gear up to testify on Tuesday.
From the Master Plan team at PBOT:
The Portland Planning Commission will take public testimony regarding the draft Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 at a hearing on Tuesday, October 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The hearing will be held in Room 2500A at 1900 SW 4th Avenue in Portland. Members of the public may sign up to testify for three minutes at the hearing by filling out a testimony card. Written testimony can be submitted to the address below, whether or not you plan to testify in person:
c/o Bureau of Planning
1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 7100
Portland, OR 97201-5380
The public comment draft of the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 is available for download online at http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/bicyclemasterplan/
(If anyone visited the site and had trouble with large file sizes, please check the site again as we've been able to reduce some file sizes and provide more options for downloading portions of the plan.)
If you received a print copy of the plan or downloaded the plan documents before October 19, please be aware that we have corrected two substantive errors that made it past our proofreaders! Corrected pages 53 and A-34 can be downloaded from the errata page linked to the above URL.
We will be accepting public comments on the plan through November 8. You may submit comments by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or in writing to the address below. We also have now added an online comment form for your convenience. You will find a link to the form on the download page.
October 22, 2009
This morning, I joined Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) Administrator Peter Rogoff to sign the construction grant agreement and finalize the Portland Streetcar expansion, unleashing $75 million in federal funds to extend Portland's existing downtown streetcar line across the Willamette River and into the East side of the city.
This final step in funding the Portland Streetcar expansion has great symbolism. Small Starts, a program I passed through Congress in 2003, is being put to work and funding the first-ever streetcar project right here in Portland. The $75 million released today is a down-payment on Portland's future that will create 1,300 high-wage jobs, spur development, and jumpstart Oregon's economy.
Streetcars not only improve quality of life, giving people more transportation options, but they have real economic and environmental benefits. While the Small Starts program languished under President Bush, the Obama administration - under the leadership of Administrator Rogoff and Secretary LaHood - acted quickly to get this project moving.
With more than 80 streetcar projects underway across the nation, Small Starts provides a federal funding source for communities working to provide more commuting options and reduce their dependence on oil. Today's announcement should make clear that the new administration is committed to rebuilding America, investing in our infrastructure, and recovering the nation's economy.
Today is a great day for the streetcar! Thanks for everything that you did along the way to help make this possible.
Member of Congress
What's magic about 350? That's the upper limit (in parts per million) of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere to keep climate change to a manageable level.
The problem is, we're already at 390ppm and increasing.
A series of rallies around the world are scheduled for October 24th, including one here in Portland protesting the Columbia River Crossing (Pioneer Courthouse Square at 12:30 on Saturday).
You can get a preview of the issue on KBOO (FM 90.7) at 8am on Thursday on the Voices from the Edge program.
October 21, 2009
No, not in Portland. In Vancouver.
THE CITY OF PORTLAND
AND THE EMBASSY OF DENMARK, WASHINGTON DC
CORDIALLY INVITE YOU TO A RECEPTION FOR
Dreams on Wheels
Danish Cycling Culture for Urban Sustainability
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29TH 6:30 PM TO 10:00 PM
Copenhagen saves $1 in healthcare costs for every 2.5 miles its citizens bike. What can biking do for Portland? Join Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Denmarn's leading Bicycle Ambassador, Mikael-Colville Andersen, for a highly provocative conversation as they discuss whether Portland should aspire to be more like Copenhagen. Jeff Mapes, author of Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities, is our evening's Master of Ceremonies.
Complimentary Hopworks ale and an "hors d'oeuvre-athon" from some of the Pearl's tastiest restaurants, including Gilt Club, Metrovino, Wilfs Restaurant and Bar, Taco Del Mar, Ten 01, Candy Ultra Lounge and Bistro, and Cupcake Jones will be served. A no-host bar will be provided by Company Tonight Catering
OREGON MANIFEST BIKE UNION : 539 NW 10TH AT HOYT
Tickets: $10. Advanced tickets can be purchased through
http://oregonmanifest.eventbrite.com/ or onsite at the Oregon Manifest Bike Union
October 20, 2009
Metro has concluded the public hearings on the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan and let's just say that the progressives aren't turning hand-stands.
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance likes the bike projects but isn't happy about the balance of auto projects in the mix.
There are also many strong elements to the RTP, and the BTA believes that Metro is making incremental progress towards achieving a balanced and healthy transportation system. However we must again stress that this incremental progress, on the whole, is not sufficient towards changing the overall reliance on automobiles and the associated consequences, including poor environment, high system and user costs, increased travel time and predictability, inactive and unhealthy population, and inequity of access for the total population.
And Coalition for a Livable Future's testimony was along the same lines:
Mara Gross, policy director for the Coalition for a Livable Future, came to Metro to talk about climate change. Though she was generally supportive of the recommendations, she said they included too much focus on new roads and not enough emphasis on transportation choice.
"Roads are expensive, and it doesn't leave much money for other needs," Gross said.
Radical transformation to deal with Peak Oil and Climate Changes does not appear to be in our immediate future...
Yes, I've been consorting with another blog...
But our relationship is still important to me, and I think this could be healthy for us...
OK, so I've launched PDXPlanningCommissioner.com as an outlet for my newest responsibility on Portland's Planning Commission.
The focus is very different. Here on Portland Transport I'll continue to give voice to my transportation activism and hope to keep posting at a roughly daily frequency.
The new blog is less about advocacy and more about making the development of our City's planning policy more transparent, and inviting citizens into the process. And I'll be posting there at a cadence roughly tied to the two-meetings-per-month schedule of the Commission.
So don't worry, I'll always remember my first love. And please come and visit my new paramour as well!
October 19, 2009
Portland State University
Center for Transportation Studies
Fall 2009 Transportation Seminar Series
Speaker: Joe Cortright, Vice President/Economist, Impresa, Inc.
Topic: Economic Value of Walkability
When: Friday, Oct 23, 2009, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Where: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204
October 16, 2009
TriMet is conducting a survey to determine a new name for Fareless Square.
This is so hard...
October 15, 2009
A "personal statement" from Metro President David Bragdon about the current state of Columbia River Crossing discussions popped up on Metro's web site today.
Included in the statement:
We can't afford that version, and it wouldn't work anyway: the jumbo proposal has no realistic financing, loses public support the more people learn about it, and would probably make traffic much worse than it is today and/or simply move the traffic to places where it would be even more detrimental to our communities on both sides of the river. There is certainly no point in spending a huge amount of money in ways which just make congestion worse. But there is still a path to success for a Columbia Crossing: over the next several months, working together through the Project Sponsors' Council on which I serve, local officials and congressional pressure must refine this project back into what was originally intended: a replacement bridge that meets our current and future needs and budget.
Bragdon still favors a replacement bridge, but is clear that the current "jumbo" proposal (his word) is not going to fly.
October 14, 2009
The Northwest Health Foundation is funding a study in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood to look at the connections between sidewalks, street connectivity and other infrastructure and health.
Details from the Daily Journal of Commerce.
October 13, 2009
In an interview with the Trib, Peter DeFazio has again insisted that the Columbia RIver Crossing get smaller and less expensive.
Meanwhile Coalition for a Livable Future has issued an action alert asking folks to comment on the Regional Transportation Plan, asking Metro to balance the plan more strongly toward walking, biking and transit, including removing the CRC from the plan.
October 12, 2009
If you haven't heard of it, the Innovation Quadrant is the latest name for the area covering PSU, OHSU and OMSI.
More to the point, it includes three projects that will help 'close' the Streetcar Loop after the new bridge is completed:
- Create a new double-track connection through the re-developed Jasmine block adjacent to the Urban Center Plaza
- Replace the single-track section alongside Moody in South Waterfront with a double-track alignment in the rebuilt street (making room for Light Rail to use the current location) and connect to the west side of the new bridge
- Connect to the east side of the bridge
Portland has applied for a Federal TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant to help fund these connections.
The "lottery ticket" allusion refers to the fact the applications for the $1.5B in TIGER funds total about $56B. There are 19 TIGER applications from Oregon alone.
So we're crossing our fingers...
October 9, 2009
The Environmental Impact Statement process for the Willamette Shoreline corridor is ramping up and a set of of community events have been scheduled ... at markets:
2:30 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9
Lake Oswego Albertsons, 11 S. State St.
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 Lake Oswego Farmers' Market, 200 First St.
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18
Milwaukie Farmers' Market, between Harrison and Jefferson streets
In additional, the newly appointed Citizen Advisory Committee for the EIS will have its first meeting shortly:
The committee will have its first meeting 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 at the Lake Oswego City Hall, council chamber, 380 A Avenue, Lake Oswego. People who are interested are invited to observe the meeting, which will include a discussion of the committee's role and responsibility as well as a history, overview and schedule for the project.
October 8, 2009
The Multnomah County Commission is getting read to add $19 to your auto registration fee and apparently Clackamas County will follow with $5.
Coupled with the City of Portland diverting some of the increase in gas tax revenue it will see from the Legislature's transportation package, will this be enough to get the Sellwood Bridge replaced?
Metro's new RSS Feed reports that a couple of Councilors recently met with TriMet and local electeds to tour the potential Light Rail alignment.
Metro was quick to point out that no priority corridor had yet been selected from the top three corridors in the recently adopted High Capacity Transit plan (the other two being Powell Blvd and the WES corridor).
October 7, 2009
Columbia River Crossing project sponsors have pretty much admitted that the current project scope is unfundable, but that hasn't stopped a stakeholder committee from agreeing on an interchange design for Marine Drive.
Interchanges represent one of the major cost components for the project.
October 6, 2009
The public comment draft of the new, improved Bicycle Master Plan is on the streets.
If you don't want to print the full majesty of the document, you can find a hard copy at your local library.
You can provide comment until November 8th.
Or you can come to Planning Commission on Tuesday, October 27 at 6pm and tell me (and my fellow commissioners) in person what you think (6pm at 1900 SW 4th Ave, room 2500A).
October 5, 2009
Hosted by the League of Women Voters...
And they'll spend an afternoon touring our transit system on October 12th:
Russian Leaders Head For Portland On A Mission
League of Women Voters of Portland To Guide Them
From October 10 through 18, the League of Women Voters of Portland will be hosting five Russian government officials who are coming to Portland. The goal of their visit is to learn about accountable governance.
Aleksandr Mefodyev, the Legal Department Director for Kommunalnyye Tekhnologii (Municipal Technologies), the municipal agency coordinating housing and communal (utility) services in Cheboksary, Chuvashia, would like to learn about the relations between businesses and government, the legal protection of electoral rights, freedom of speech, employee rights and unions, and the constitutional guarantee of human rights.
Andrey Tarasov, Director of Pskov Municipal Services, hopes to learn about US housing and utility services, technical service firms, local government, garbage recycling and environmental programs.
Irina Malinina, Department Head for the Novgorod Region Borovichsky District Administration, is interested in budgeting policies, city planning and services, economic development, public relations, and increasing transparency.
Veronika Trushkova, Director of the Department of City Management for Apatity, Murmansk Oblast, is interested in learning about US municipal financial management; the role of the public in decision-making processes; the legal foundation for small and medium-sized businesses; city sanitation; regulations in the field of ecology; as well as waste management and recycling programs.
Sergey Yeger, General Director of Media Plus LLC, manages urban housing for the city of Orsk, Orenburg Oblast. He is a party member and Political Council Candidate in United Russia. He would like to learn about economic development; local government funding; relationships between federal, regional, and local authorities; how municipal structures such as bridges and buildings can enhance or improve the function and health of communities; and private-public partnership.
The Russians will arrive in Portland on October 10th. The Portland League has planned meetings with local officials including Portland City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade, Metro President David Bragdon, Metro Systems Analyst Runar Gareyev and other Metro staff, Audit Services Director Drummond Kahn, and staff members for Congressman Earl Blumenauer. The Russians will attend a meeting of the City Council; meet with members and employees of the City Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services; meet with Irene Konev, the Community Outreach Coordinator of the Independent Police Review;and take a tour of the Multnomah County Elections Division.
Before the Russians leave on October 18, they will see a bit of how Portlanders live. They will take a tour of the newly constructed University of Oregon building on the White Stag block in Downtown Portland; tour Station Place Tower LP with Dee Walsh, Executive Director of REACH Community Development Corporation and Steve Rudman, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Portland; meet with Portland State University Russian Flagship Partner Program students; attend Portland Sister Cities "Bridge to Russia" Gala Event at City Hall; take a walking tour of Downtown Portland; tour the City of Portland via public transit; and spend a day at the Oregon coast.
The League of Women Voters of Portland has been selected by the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) to host Russian visitors as part of the 2009 Russia Civic Hosting Program. Sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center, the program introduces emerging Russian leaders to U.S. democracy at every level of government and provides first-hand experiences of American life and culture. The Open World Leadership Center, an independent federal agency, was established in 2000 to foster mutual understanding between Russia and the United States and to support Russians in their efforts at democratic reform.
"We are very excited to have been chosen for this program," said LWV of Portland President Betsy Pratt. "We are eager to share American culture with our Russian visitors and to learn from this experience as well."
"The League of Women Voters of Portland will provide our international visitors with the invaluable experience of witnessing the U.S. democracy and American civic participation first-hand," said Mary G. Wilson, national president of the League of Women Voters. "We firmly believe that citizens of all countries need to be informed and active in government, and that all governments should be open and accessible to their citizens."
October 4, 2009
Listen to the show (mp3, 27.8MB)
Authors Mia Birk and Jeff Mapes discuss the components of cycling cities.
[This show was broadcast on September 30, a week ahead of the regular schedule - we apologize for the delay in posting the podcast.]
October 2, 2009
With my Zipcar iPhone App.
Who knew you could beep the horn across the Internet!
Seriously, this looks really useful - nice job folks.
October 1, 2009
That's Robert Moses, not the biblical prophet.
Following up on their "Dead Freeways" piece, the folks at the Merc have managed to find an online copy of Robert Moses original "Portland Improvement" plan from 1943. I've only had a chance to skim, but even at a cursory level, it's fascinating.
Get your geek on. The public radio program "Studio 360" has a nice segment (mp3, 3.1M) on how the ClearView typeface for highway signs got created. It's actually a big advancement in safety.