Archive | December, 2012

January 2013 Open Thread

Happy New Year, everybody!

This is the first Open Thread of ’13, in which you can post on any (transport-related) topic you like, and where Al can record each and every January MAX outage for posterity. :) Even though I’m typing this on the eve of the 31st, I will refer to incoming officials who take office in the new year without the “-elect” qualifier, as they will be sworn into their posts by the time you likely read this.

A few items:

  • TriMet is, once again, free on New Year’s Eve.
  • Local elected officials start their new jobs with the new year, and fellows like Sam Adams and Randy Leonard, long prominent names in area politics, return to private life. Portland mayor Charlie Hales has already asked for his first major resignation.
  • Another incoming politician, Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, has penned an oped for the Willamette Week urging tolling of I-205, and cautioning Oregon lawmakers and transportation officials to make sure they don’t get caught holding the bag. And Hart Noecker takes on what he calls the “build, baby, build” Democrats in Salem, who seem to be the project’s biggest champions.
  • A bit more on Stacey’s new gig.
  • One service that will suffer as a result of budget games in Washington is Amtrak Cascades, which will lose federal operational funding (currently 23% of its budget).
  • In a story that we missed while Christmas shopping (but was alluded to in the prior OT), Clark County is still looking for a way to pay for LRT across the Columbia.

And if you haven’t used them or turned them in already, your non-foil and/or 1-2 zone TriMet tickets will make excellent New Year’s confetti. (Just pick up the trash afterwards…)

Streets for Sojourning

PBOT’s own Denver Igarta recently had the opportunity to visit four European cities on a German Marshall fund fellowship to look at how their street networks function.

His take-away? Start by designing local streets as places to be, not to move through. Check out his report (PDF, 2.4M) to learn what makes a great street for ‘sojourning’.

What Have I Gotten Myself Info?

I’ve accepted the Mayor’s request to assist with the startup of the NW TMA to manage parking in my neighborhood.

It was just about 10 years ago that I unsuccessfully tried to reach an agreement between my neighborhood association and the business association on a parking plan. So why would I put myself back into the fray? A few reasons:

  1. Hopefully I’m 10 years smarter…

  2. As a ‘resident at large’ I have a responsibility to look out for resident interests, but I am not a representative of any particular organization, which gives me a little more latitude on positions I take.
  3. As I get to grapple with parking issues around the City as part of my duties on the Planning and Sustainability Commission, I’ll have a little more credibility if we’ve managed to make progress with parking management in the neighborhood that has historically been most challenged.

If any of you would like to tilt at this windmill with me, there are a number of positions on the TMA governing body yet to be filled, and the City is taking applications (PDF). I’d like to believe we can make this work!