Open Thread for May 2010

The May thread is open, on time and on budget. :-)

28 responses to “Open Thread for May 2010”

  1. [Moderator: Commenter “John E.” (a.k.a. “E John”), who was already barred from commenting for the rest of May due to personally attacking other commenters, and who has previously been warned not to use sockpuppets, has done so again. Some people respond lethargically to hints. – Bob R.]

  2. In preparation for the upcoming (sometime this year supposedly) DEIS on the Lake Oswego transit project, a little history lesson on the Jefferson Street Line, the stretch of tracks between Portland and LO that may soon be carrying sleek new Portland Streetcars.

    No, no commentary on the LO project itself–that rant will come later. :)

  3. Some of the “wonderful” headlines on the American Public Transportation Association website:

    Report: Public Transportation in Serious Funding Crisis

    New Study Shows Public Transit Needs Additional $3.9 Billion Annually by 2030 to Serve Mobility Needs of Older Americans (Yes, I added the emphasis.)

  4. Posting to the thread from four years ago got me thinking: will there be a Portland Transport 5-year anniversary party?

  5. I was thinking today, about the link of transportation to other activities and how they connect. Cue 1 year ago, line 1 Vermont, shall we? Ran 6 days a week, all day, up to 9:00-10:00pm all 6 days. Perfect for anyone partaking in the teen activities at SWCC. For those unfamiliar, this includes after school classes, nightly events every friday, and the occasional weekend event or trip. Flashforward to now. It stops running at 6pm. Classes seem to end or even start at 6-7pm. The nearest alternative, line 45-Garden Home, ends at 9, which might help you if you don’t go to the friday events, and if you can catch the hourly runs, if you don’t mind limited sidewalks AND if you live along it. So many ifs, that you need Metlife. If you have a saturday trip starting at 10am, starting September, forget it. Line 45 ends at Multnomah, per my idiotic reccomendation. Here is the clincher. There is a strong possibility that SWCC will no longer have any Teen Activities in a 40 percent citywide teen program cut. Post 2inabit

  6. Where was I? Well, I think that by cutting service on this line, they have destroyed all of the Westside’s Teen Programmings. And I think it should be brought back, but the thing is, people should think about how such a small cut could destroy lives. You guys probably have, I sense that a lot in Al. The cost of maintaining service would probably be about $10,000. This would make up for a $200,000 lost. Thanks for your time, forgive my phone.

  7. Line 45 ends at Multnomah, per my idiotic recommendation. (spelling corrected)
    Well it’s better than their original intention to eliminate all Sunday service on line 45. Running it from Tigard TC to Multnomah Village (even with highly curtailed service levels) at least keeps some service on the route. And hey, they liked it better than my idea for some different routes.

  8. Some more grist for the bus/rail mill:

    FTA chairman Peter Rogoff gave a little speech yesterday… suggesting that many of the problems that transit agencies all around the country were facing, are due in part to over-aggressive capital expansions, particularly rail.

    I can hear the applause from the gallery already. :)

    Yonah Freemark disagrees strongly. I take a bit of a middle view–agreeing in part, but also agreeing with Yonah that it’s a monster the Feds have long been creating.

  9. EngineerScotty –

    Good stuff as a satellite view of federal policy. It seems like the discussion has more to do with priorities for federal support, than local decisions.

    Rogoff also makes the case for more Bus Rapid Transit. Bus rapid transit was considered in the Milwaukie corridor with strong support from regional transit advocates. For instance, it was part of CLF’s People’s Transportation Plan. But it was ultimately rejected in favor of light rail based on the cost and ridership. The options considered, however, created a new right-of-way for the buses.

    Using existing roads to provide bus rapid transit would be a lot cheaper. But the politics of taking auto capacity for a transit lane, even where it serves more people, don’t work. Motorists stare at a lane that looks empty and they don’t care that the buses that occasionally go past actually carry more passengers than a similar lane of congested traffic.

  10. Dude! I had no idea that Kell’s has a double decker bus! Okay, it’s only available for private parties and stuff, but I saw it downtown today and did a major double-take.

    Apparently, we have enough clearance to run a double-decker on Portland streets. What’ll it take for Tri-Met to add a few to some busy lines?

  11. Looks like Virginia is asking the feds to allow them to toll an existing interstate freeway (I-95). Could this be a test case for establishing tolls in the I-5 and I-205 bridges before they are replaced?

    PA was recently shot down for a similar proposal. Unless it allows for large amounts of construction of new (replacement) roadway it’s very unlikely to pass. Congress doesn’t like adding road tolls to currently untolled roads without a very good reason.

  12. 3 seats for boarding? 15% more efficient than existing hybrid buses? 87 seats (and a crush capacity of maybe 150)?

    Bus Rapid Transit, anyone? Maybe on the Barbur corridor? Or Powell-Foster? I bet double-deckers would attract a LOT of curious riders, and quite a few of them would stick around for regular service.

    The video said the ultimate projected purchase price is 300,000 pounds per bus, which is under $450,000 at current exchange rate. That seems pretty reasonable to me.

  13. “The video said the ultimate projected purchase price is 300,000 pounds per bus, which is under $450,000 at current exchange rate. That seems pretty reasonable to me.”

    ~~~>Don’t hold yer breath waiting for anything like that in the green city.

  14. Also… am I the only person who finds it newsworthy that George Passadore is no longer TriMet Board President? The Oregonian’s coverage of today’s TriMet Board Meeting simply mentions Van Beveren is the new Board President, but doesn’t mention anything about anything else.

  15. I attended the Wilsonville ODOT-sponsored High Speed Rail open house. $598 million was awarded for High Speed Rail in the Pacific Northwest. According to ODOT, $590 to Washington (because they continued to plan ‘if we had the money we’d do this’ scenarios), and the other $8 million for Oregon. I believe there are still some other open houses which were listed in their announcement (I’m feeling a bit too lazy to pull up an additional browser window and look that post up at the moment).

  16. Hmmm…


    :shakes head in disappointment:

    Didja know TriMet took the Transit Investment Plan off of its website altogether? And just left in Bus/Rail projects RAIL ONLY projects?


  17. Strange, a Google search for “ transit investment plan” turned up the following page right away:

    Doing the same search on TriMet’s own site doesn’t come up with the result.

    However, from the main TriMet home page, you can click “Reports and Publications” and on the resulting page, the Transit Investment Plan is the first item in the “Transportation and Land Use Planning” section.

  18. Oh, and it’s also on the main TriMet home page as “Our Transit Investment Plan”, no need to click to the reports page first.

  19. And, under “Projects”, the first choice is “Stimulus Projects”. While the majority aren’t bus-specific projects, a few are:

    * Merlo Bus Fuel & Wash Facility and LIFT Building
    * Milwaukie Park & Ride construction
    * Downtown street and bus stop repairs
    * Tigard Transit Center storm drain repairs

    (The downtown street one could be related to transit mall reconstruction, which was bus & rail related, as well as motorist/bike/ped related.)

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