March 31, 2010
- The two major candidates for the Democratic nomination for Governor both oppose a 12-lane Columbia River Crossing (Bradbury favors the supplemental bridge approach).
- Earl Blumenauer declined to put in an earmark request this year for Federal support for ongoing planning.
March 30, 2010
The Daily Journal of Commerce has listed its Top 10 Transportation Projects and it leads with a favorite of mine.
But my favorite is their name for the Columbia River Crossing - they call it the "Goldilocks Project" because it's either too big or too small...
March 29, 2010
Last year there was an effort to form a Transit Riders Union. I don't know the official state of that effort (someone please comment and tell us) but I understand that effort has factionalized somewhat.
OPAL is holding a monthly meeting from 6-8pm every second Tuesday (next up on April 13th) at their offices:
2407 SE 49th Ave, PortlandRSVP to 503 928-4354
March 26, 2010
I'm going to miss David Bragdon's sense of humor when he's termed out as Metro President.
They've done an April fool's day agenda (I suspect it will hit the web later today) for the Council.
I can only wish this were real:
7.3 Resolution No. 10-4140, For the Purpose of Getting Real About the Columbia River Crossing.
Streetsblog has a nice piece on some very thorough research by the Center for Neighborhood Technology looking at combined house/transportation affordability.
Portland's maps here.
March 25, 2010
The Mayor's office has released a video demonstrating how bioswales can be used to help define bike infrastructure while still achieving their water-quality function. Would that they had produced this about 3 weeks ago...
But that go me thinking... what else could we do with bioswales to further our transportation objectives?
I suspect most of the bicycle applications will also improve pedestrian crossings by narrowing the width of street crossings. Are there some direct applications for improving the pedestrian environment?
How about for transit? Could we use these to create better bus stops? Let's get creative!
March 24, 2010
A while back, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that FTA was setting aside $130M to fund Streetcar projects around the nation. That's on top of the Streetcar funding made available under the TIGER grants.
Streetsblog is reporting that more than $1.1B in applications for that pot of money have been received.
Nice to be popular. Let's hope that translates into lots of job at Oregon Iron Works and sub-contractors.
March 23, 2010
Last week on the thread talking about a "10 best" list of transportation blogs, I was asked what I read. Well, here's the list, straight from my RSS reader:
- "Talking Transportation" - http://talkingtransportation.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
- Innovative Transport - http://innovativetransport.blogspot.com/atom.xml
- America's Best Transit System - http://community.livejournal.com/trimet/data/atom
- AMSTERDAMIZE - http://amsterdamize.com/feed/
- BTA Blog - http://www.bta4bikes.org/btablog/feed/atom/
- BUILD IT - http://www.portlandbikenetwork.org/feed/rss/
- C.I.C.L.E. :: - http://feeds.feedburner.com/Cicle
- Carsharing.US - http://carsharingus.blogspot.com/atom.xml
- Cascadia Prospectus - http://www.cascadiaprospectus.org/atom.xml
- Copenhagenize.com - The Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog - http://www.copenhagenize.com/feeds/posts/default
- Cycle Chic from Copenhagen - The Original. Streetstyle and Bike Advocacy in High Heels - http://feeds2.feedburner.com/CycleChic-CopenhagenGirlsOnBikes
- Hard Drive - http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/atom.xml
- How We Drive, the Blog of Tom Vanderbilt's Traffic - http://www.howwedrive.com/feed/
- Human Transit - http://www.humantransit.org/atom.xml
- INFRASTRUCTURIST - http://www.infrastructurist.com/feed/rss/
- Intermodality - http://www.ctchouston.org/blogs/christof/feed/atom/
- Momentum - The Magazine For Self Propelled People! - http://www.momentumplanet.com/rss.xml
- Network Musings - http://networkmusings.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
- On RAMP - http://on-ramp.blogspot.com/atom.xml
- pdxebiker - http://pdxebiker.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
- people's department of transportation - http://pdot.org/?feed=rss2
- Planetizen - Urban Planning, Design and Development Network - http://feeds.feedburner.com/PlanetizenFrontPage
- Planetizen Interchange - http://www.planetizen.com/blog/feed
- Portland Mall Light Rail - http://service.govdelivery.com/service/rss/updates.rss?code=ORTRIMETPM
- Portland Transportation History - http://transportationhistory.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
- Portlandize - http://www.portlandize.com/feeds/posts/default
- Price Tags - http://pricetags.wordpress.com/feed/
- Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space - http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
- RSS Feed for Sustainable Industries - http://www.sustainableindustries.com/home/rss
- SmarterBridge.org - http://www.smarterbridge.org/?q=rss.xml
- Streetsblog New York City - http://www.streetsblog.org/feed/atom/
- Streetsblog.net - http://streetsblog.net/feed/atom/
- The Bakfiets Cargobike - http://bakfietscargo.blogspot.com/atom.xml
- The Bike-sharing Blog - http://bike-sharing.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
- The Capricious Commuter - http://www.ibabuzz.com/transportation/feed/
- The Daily Score blog - Sightline Daily - http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/rss
- The Overhead Wire - http://theoverheadwire.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
- the transport politic - http://thetransportpolitic.com/feed/
- Transportation For America - http://feeds.feedburner.com/transportationforamerica
- Trillium Solutions blog - http://www.trilliumtransit.com/blog/feed/atom/
- TriMet News and Service Alerts - http://service.govdelivery.com/service/rss/updates.rss?code=ORTRIMET
- Walking Is Transportation - http://walkingistransportation.typepad.com/walking_is_transportation/index.rdf
- World Streets - http://newmobilityagenda.blogspot.com/atom.xml
If you'd like to import this list directly, here's an OPML file.
March 22, 2010
The final public comment period for the Regional Transportation Plan commences today. Speak now or hold your peace:
45-day public comment period on the Regional Transportation Plan opens March 22
On Monday, Metro opens a public comment period on both the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and the plan's Air Quality Conformity Determination. The RTP is a long-term blueprint that guides transportation planning and investments throughout the region, and is updated every four years.
The current RTP proposal, accepted by the Metro Council and the Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) in December, calls for more than $20 billion in transportation enhancements during the next 25 years. The projects will improve safety and travel choices, revitalize downtowns and main streets, create jobs and enhance our economy while maintaining clean air and reducing our region's carbon footprint.
Get the full details on the plan and how to comment here.
March 19, 2010
Two comments on the exchanges Sarah has written up.
- Nobody is talking about the elephant in the room: the Hayden Island Interchange design certainly has impacts on the community there, but it's also about whether the Port of Portland gets to develop the West end of the Island at some point in the future.
- And David Bragdon pretty much lays out the strategy opponents would likely follow in suing to block the adoption of the EIS.
I'm afraid we have years of fun yet to be had with the Columbia River Crossing.
March 18, 2010
The Tribune is reporting that Fred Hansen will leave TriMet this summer when his current contract ends.
This leaves me with three thoughts:
- Obviously Fred has had a tremendous and overwhelmingly positive impact on the region.
- For those of us who worry that TriMet's agenda has become overbalanced toward Light Rail at the expense of local bus service, this would be a key opportunity to re-align the agenda.
- For the life of me I can't figure out where the community would exert pressure on the process to try to push for that modified agenda.
Maybe Portland will wind up looking like this.
Sanyo has built a series of solar-powered e-Bike charging stations around Tokyo.
Locally, they've donated an e-Bike to the Mayor and have suggested piloting a solar charging station.
March 17, 2010
I'll admit that when I saw this list of "10 essential transportation blogs" that my ego was big enough that I scanned the list to see if we were listed.
I take some consolation from the fact that none of the entries are specific to a given geographic location, so it may not be the quality of content that kept us off...
Still, it's a pretty good list!
I think the video (from the Stop the CRC coalition) speaks for itself:
March 16, 2010
Of the Oregonian:
I am befuddled by your editorial's skepticism at the synergy between the Bureau of Environmental Services' "green streets" program and bicycle boulevards ("Sewer money for bikeways: Does it pass the smell test?" March 15).
We are under a mandate from the federal government to better manage our stormwater. We have several ways we can do this:
1) Build expensive pipes underground. 2) Create green streets that manage runoff with bioswales and other treatments that improve our streetscapes at the same time. 3) Create those green streets strategically so that they also define and protect safe and comfortable bicycle boulevards.
Seems like a no-brainer to me.
Of course we need to be vigilant that sewer rate dollars are spent on water quality. But I'd be upset if the City Council were not looking for every way possible to make sure that each dollar spent is delivering as many different benefits as possible. Our tax and rate dollars are too precious to do otherwise.
We should be congratulating the City Council for this "twofer," not chiding it.
Appearing in the paper and online today.
March 15, 2010
I'm afraid I'm not very prolific right now. I'm serving on the City of Portland's Budget Advisory Committee and we have work sessions sprinkled over the next several weeks. Coupled with Portland Plan activities, I'm a little stretched...
So please excuse the lower output for the next little bit.
March 12, 2010
The annual Rail~Volution conference, founded in Portland, is coming back home this year from October 18-21.
Would you like to contribute to a conference presentation? The call for proposals is out:
Rail~Volution is a conference for passionate practitioners - people from all perspectives who believe in the role of land use and transit as equal partners in the quest for greater livability and greater communities.
Never before has Rail~Volution's mission of building livable communities with transit aligned so perfectly with the federal agenda. Thanks to President Obama's commitment to creating sustainable communities, we truly have the opportunity to work in partnership with policy makers at all levels to grow more livable places -- regardless of their size, shape, demographics, locations, or economies. These ground-breaking partnerships are setting the stage for the next decade at all levels, with commitments to transit resources, renewable energy, climate change, and sustainable housing and communities.
The success of the conference depends on the quality and diversity of presentations. Help enliven the discussion! Give us your ideas now!
Proposal Deadline: March 31, 2010.
This year's program includes three conference tracks, each with suggested topics for discussion. We are asking that you identify the track that best fits your proposal ideas.
The 2010 Conference tracks are:
- Core Sessions: An in-depth introduction to the principles that are the foundation for creating livable communities that respond to our economic, energy and environmental challenges.
- Livable Communities: Strategies for planning and financing livable communities in the next real estate cycle, with the goal of enhancing transit ridership and creating neighborhoods that meet the needs of today's changing society.
- Partnering for Sustainable Communities: A discussion of the power of partnerships to create and sustain economically vibrant, environmentally responsible, and socially diverse communities for future generations.
Please visit www.railvolution.com/CallForProposals.asp to submit a proposal.
For information on sponsorships or the conference's trade show, please call 800.788.7077 or email email@example.com.
Coalition for a Livable Future would like you to show up:
Show your opposition to the CRC at the Project Sponsors Council Meeting - Friday, March 12th
Grassroots coalition Stop the CRC! is (again!) organizing activism at the next CRC Project Sponsors Council Meeting.
Why go? As succinctly stated by Stop the CRC!:
"Our continued presence makes sure that neither the media nor the politicians can ignore the ongoing public opposition to this project. Now more than ever it is crucial to keep the pressure on and make sure the governors and other public officials know we are (still) not satisfied and not backing down."
WHEN: Friday, March 12, 10:00am - Come at 9:30 to join the protest
WHERE: 123 NW Flanders - Portland
March 11, 2010
A group of local environmental organizations issued a letter today critical of the response from Governors Kulongoski and Gregoire to the request of local leaders to have more control of the Columbia River Crossing project:
March 10, 2010
Dear Governors Gregoire and Kulongoski,
We are writing on behalf of our organizations, which together represent thousands of Oregonians and Washingtonians, to express our concern about the Columbia River Crossing project. In particular, we are concerned about your response to a recent request made by Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, Metro Council President David Bragdon, and Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart that seeks to address serious flaws in the current plan.
We are confident that, as the governors of Oregon and Washington, you support the region's shared values of economic vitality, reliable and equitable transportation, safe and healthy neighborhoods, good air quality, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and good public process. Yet we agree with our local officials that the current proposal for the I-5 corridor falls short on these measures.
We are concerned that the project will lead to increased traffic and congestion, exacerbate the current bottlenecks in the Rose Quarter, on I-205, and on local streets in Portland, induce poorly planned sprawl development, and increase greenhouse gas emissions, making it much more difficult to reach the greenhouse gas goals and requirements you each supported. We also believe the project should increase transparency and provide affected communities with better opportunities to meaningfully participate in the process.
The local officials made several specific requests to address serious flaws in the current plan. The expert review panel you proposed in response is inadequate because it does not allow for consideration of the issues they raised. First, the scope of the review fails to address key questions, particularly related to maximizing performance in the corridor, bringing down project cost, protecting funding for other transportation needs, and evaluating key assumptions that resulted in excessive community impacts, including on Hayden Island. Second, the rigid, fast-track timeline does not allow the opportunity to address any problems the panel may find.
The local officials ask important questions about the project and we ask that you reconsider your response. It is worth some extra time in planning to ensure that this multi-billion dollar, region reshaping, project is done right.
Jill Fuglister, Co-Director
Coalition for a Livable Future
Rob Johnson, Executive Director
Transportation Choices Coalition
Mary Kyle McCurdy, Co-Interim Director
1000 Friends of Oregon
Jim Long, President
AORTA (Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates)
Gerik Kransky, Advocacy Campaign Manager
Bicycle Transportation Alliance
Chuck Ayers, Executive Director
Cascade Bicycle Club
Gregg Small, Executive Director
Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director
Mary Lou Hennrich, Executive Director
Community Health Partnership: Oregon's Public Health Institute
Brock Howell, Advocate
April Putney, Co-Director
Jon Ostar, Co-Director
OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon
Mel Rader, Co-Director
Upstream Public Health
Blair Anundson, Consumer and Democracy Advocate
March 10, 2010
On multiple fronts:
- Multnomah County is finally ready to open the new bike path on the Morrison Bridge
- Google Maps has added bicycle directions - try it!
Actually, my first attempt with Google was a little rocky. I asked it to route me from my home down to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and it tried to send me across Highway 26 on 18th Ave. Some of you may be aware that there's no overpass there...
March 8, 2010
In the comments to this post I was asked if the grant was for the entire Innovation Quadrant program, or if it applied to the Moody component only.
I learned last week that in fact the grant amount awarded is only for Moody. We'll need to keep looking for funding for the Sustainability Center and OMSI pieces of this puzzle.
Original Post: 2/17/10
The "Innovation Quadrant" TIGER grant application was successful and will receive $23,203,988 (I want those last eight dollars!) in funding.
This will go a long way toward "closing the Loop" and connecting the service to OMSI back across the Willamette to South Waterfront and back up to PSU.
Sadly, it appears that no other Oregon projects were funded. I was rooting for the Metro proposal that would have funded a large chunk of the desired bike network in N/NE Portland.
The full list of recipients is here (PDF). The Oregon award is on page 51 of the PDF.
On a further Streetcar note, Tuscon received $63M for their project, and that will mean jobs at Oregon Ironworks, building their seven vehicles.
March 5, 2010
I'm a bit slow to the party on this. The BTA already has a post up about Earl Blumenauer's
Active Community Transportation Act.
I encourage you to follow their lead on supporting this bill that would set aside $2B for active transportation.
March 4, 2010
Passed on by a reader from of all places "autoblog".
March 3, 2010
Listen to the show (mp3, 27.1MB)
Our guests share how they've mastered the fine art of carting toddlers around, riding with elderly parents, and juggling work, school, errands, soccer practice, and even long distance travel by bike.
Tonight, City Club is hosting a discussion of their new report, "Moving Forward: A Better Way to Govern Regional Transportation." (PDF, 5.5M)
[5:30pm at the Club offices, 901 SW Washington]
There's one recommendation that has generated a bit of controversy:
Voting Power on JPACT
- The elected officials of cities and counties on JPACT should be its only voting members, and their votes should be weighted in proportion to the population they represent residing within the Metro UGB. The Metro councilors and Oregon and Washington agency representatives on JPACT should become non-voting members.
This has me, and some others, scratching their heads a bit. The stated reason for this recommendation is:
The members of the Metro Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) are selected in a way that gives too much weight to Metro councilors and Washington state and agency representatives, and does not proportionately represent the residents of the Metro Region.
But as someone who's been to more than a few JPACT meetings (for three years, I served on TPAC, the technical advisory committee to JPACT) I wonder about the impact. My observation of JPACT is that the local government representatives sometimes focus more on making sure they bring dollars back to their jurisdiction than about how the regional transportation system functions. The polite label for this behavior is "ensuring geographic equity."
The folks City Club would disenfranchise are exactly the players at the table most focused on making the regional system work, which is the major theme of the remainder of recommendations in the report.
How do we reconcile this apparent contradiction? I'll be asking tonight.
March 2, 2010
Following our new practice, we'll open a new thread for your thoughts each month. What's on your mind?
Portland State University
Center for Transportation Studies
Winter 2010 Transportation Seminar Series
Speaker: Ashley Haire, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Civil Engineering, PSU
Topic: Adapting Our Transportation System to Climate Change
When: Friday, March 5, 2010, 12:00 - 1:00pm
Where: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204
March 1, 2010
Last week I wrote about the new City Club report (PDF 5.5M) on transportation governance.
I'd like to dig in a little deeper this week, starting with finances. Excerpted from the report is this chart showing how transportation dollars flow into and through the region today, and how City Club would suggest reorganizing this.
Fundamentally is matches what I think should be a national change in policy, giving more authority to MPOs (Metropolitan Planning Organizations) and a bit less to State DOTs.
You can learn more and participate at two meetings this week: discussion at City Club on the evening of March 3rd (5:30-7pm at the Club offices as 901 SW Washington) and the vote on the report at the Friday Forum on March 5th (11:45 at the Governor Hotel).