Westside Service Enhancement Plan

As noted earlier in the open thread, TriMet has announced the creation of something called the Westside Service Enhancement Plan. This plan, which has been underway since last year, is the first in a series of Service Enhancement Plans that the agency is planning to pursue. In 2013, TriMet will look at East County and the Southwest region (the latter, no doubt, in concert with the SW Corridor); in 2014, Clackamas County, and in 2015, North and central Portland. The Westside region–essentially Beaverton and Hillsboro–gets to go first.

Among the highlights proposed:

  • Reversal of the Red and Blue lines in Washington County, with the Red Line connecting PDX and Hillsboro, and the Blue Line connects Gresham with Beaverton TC.
  • High capacity transit along TV Highway between Beaverton and Hillsboro.
  • Increased N/S service in the corridor.
  • New Frequent Service routes along Hall Boulevard, Farmington Road, NW Cornell, 174th, 185th, and 229th.
  • BRT treatments in various areas
  • Improvements to the bike and pedestrian environment
  • Shuttle bus service, connecting MAX (and possibly other transit centers) to industrial parks–many of which are difficult to serve with standard bus service.

In related news, there is now a new revision of the TV Highway Corridor Plan (and its appendices).

As a resident of Beaverton, I’m certainly intrigued by this, and would like very much to see it happen. OTOH, funding is an issue–while it’s useful to plan for the future (including making plans for things you probably will never be able to fund), TriMet has some particularly severe financial issues to deal with, before this becomes much more than pie in the sky.

More specific thoughts after the jump.
A few random observations:

  • Swapping the Red and Blue in the westside is interesting–the number of riders that go all the way from Hillsboro to Gresham is likely rather small; and the nearly 2-hour journey from one side of the system to the other can impact reliability. (Generally, you want routes shorter than 2 hours between layover points). I do have a couple of questions: 1) Will the current single-track viaduct near Gateway, essentially limit frequencies on the Red Line? Right now, the Red operates at 15 minute headways, and no shorter; I’ve heard that the track configuration near Gateway places an effective limit on how many trains run to the airport. 2) If they are going to do this; how about sending the Green to Beaverton instead, and the Blue down the transit mall? There are other through services between the eastside and Washington County (though see notes below), but nothing connecting it with Clackamas County. This would also eliminate the U-shape of the Green that makes it redundant with many of the E/W bus lines it intersects.
  • What sort of high-capacity transit on TV? My assumption is BRT of some sort, particularly given the recent decision by the TV Highway planning community to treat it as an “urban arterial” as opposed to a “highway”; but this is a long ways off. The TV Highway planning document punts on the question of high-capacity transit, though it does recommend more limited improvements to transit service.
  • De-facto frequent service already exists on Hall, with the 76 and 78 multiplex providing close-to-fifteen minute headways between Beaverton and Tigard. FS would also be welcome on the current route of the 52 (Beaverton to Aloha via Farmington, and then north to PCC Rock Creek via 185th); 185th is a sufficiently wide arterial that BRT treatments would be appropriate as well. (Not to mention more crossing opportunities for pedestrians–between Baseline and TV, it frequently gets up to highway speeds). FS on Cornell (the 48) is also a welcome idea, and I’ve previously suggested extending the 48 into downtown via Barnes/Burnside, replacing the 20. (Some other bus can provide service on Cedar Hills Bvld). Frequent service on 229th (and 231st/Century, particularly if an extension of 231st is made through Noble Woods Park) also makes sense. On the other hand 174th presently has no transit service, and Washington County has recently deferred a proposed 173rd/174th undercrossing of US26, that might make this a more viable N/S corridor.
  • Anything which can be done to make bus service faster, is obviously welcome.
  • The idea of shuttle bus service to reach industrial parks, is interesting and useful.
  • One area of focus that’s missing is South Beaverton, in particular the South Cooper Mountain area–which technically is in the “westside” region (which is defined as anything north/west of Scholls Ferry Road). This area is kind of in a no-man’s land between the bulk of the westside and the SW Corridor area, but if Beaverton really plans to build high-density developments on the south face of Cooper Mountain, transportation links will be a major issue. The only bus service that comes close is the 62 (at Murrayhill) and the peak-hour 92; and Cooper Mountain (and its steep slopes, steep roads, and high-priced homes) will make connectivity with the rest of Washington County difficult. (In fact, much of the South Cooper Mountain area isn’t even within the TriMet service district). Could we see busses running on Tile Flat and Clark Hill roads in the future, bypassing Cooper Mountain to the west to connect the south-side to Aloha and/or Hillsboro?

Thoughts?

30 Comments

30 Responses to Westside Service Enhancement Plan

  1. Andrew Seger
    March 5, 2013 at 12:33 am Link

    A few thoughts from someone who grew up in the wonderland neighborhood in the late 80’s through the early 00’s. First, the 76/78 multiplex is a lousy frequent service substitute. There may be four buses an hour but they don’t come every 15 minutes. Instead because of bunching it’s one full bus followed by an empty bus every half an hour. As a sort of pulse from Beaverton TC they also leave within a few minutes of each other. PCC also operates shuttle busses between campuses. Seeing as the 78 wanders thorough winding and low density housing on the way up the hil it might make sense to stop the 78 from going all the way to PCC and have super frequent shuttle buses go direct from Tigard TC.

    I think bikesharing has a lot more potential to drive ridership than small shuttle buses to industrial parks being serviced by minibuses. As long as lift service is maintained many of the smaller loop routes that only run at peak times could be eliminated. Eg, line 53 averages 750 boardings a week (http://portlandafoot.org/w/2011_TriMet_bus_rankings). Surely blanketing the close in area around Beaverton TC with bikeshare can easily eclipse that number and for less cost than running that bus line.

    If low performing infrequent bus lines were replaced with dial a ride/bikeshare/lift it could really drive ridership on new fast and frequent bus lines-and at a comparable cost, ideally.

    I don’t like the idea of extending the red line to Hillsboro. While not many people ride the blue line from end to end a larger number ride from past Gateway to the various schools along the way. There’s PCC, a nursing school in Hillsboro, and a dental school in Beaverton. And really if you need to catch a flight will you really take the max for an hour and a half from Hillsboro to the Airport? I don’t trust trimet enough if there’s a flight I have to catch. Plus service doesn’t start early enough for someone with a 6am business flight to be there in a comfortable amount of time. Your idea of having the green line run out west has a lot of merit.

    The westside would generally greatly benefit from transit improvements in downtown Portland. faster downtown MAX speeds/slower stops. Some sort of suicide barrier by the vista bridge would also improve MAX reliability-it’s a shame the O’s recent stories on that bridge didn’t spur more discussion about improvements. Also there needs to be a bike locker at Goose Hollow and other downtown stops. If you’re willing to bike on the westside you’ll probably bike downtown toothere’s just no competition between mass transit and biking downtown for speed, reliability, or cost.

    When do the federal requirements to keep funding the WES run out? Hopefully all that money can be funneled into actual transit improvements in the westside.

    Related to money: trimet should think about selling or developing all the park and rides along the max line. Right now they’re a waste of valuable space and should eventually be high density apartments, or if not at least some single family housing. The giant grassy lot beside Beaverton TC should be shown to everyone who flies to Portland to look at Transit Oriented Development. Clearly it hasn’t worked as promised at many MAX stations. Money from selling off Park and Rides could be put towards improving bus stops and pedestrian/bike access to transit stops.

  2. Anandakos
    March 5, 2013 at 1:05 am Link

    @Scotty,

    The different peak headways is definitely a question mark with the Blue/Red swap idea. Maybe the extra Blue trains needed during the peak can continue to run to Elmonica, 185th or even Hatfield like the peak hour Red Lines do today. They’d turn into Red Lines at Gateway in the same way that peak hours Red Line trains turn into Blues.

    Your note that over two hours of constant running a vehicle tends to accumulate delays, harming schedule keeping is spot on. That’s the #1 reason to consider the swap, although in truth the airport isn’t that much closer to Gateway than Gresham. There’s just more possibility for delays on the Blue Line because it’s running on a street median rather than completely reserved ROW. There are only four grade crossings on the Red Line but about twenty-five on the Blue east of Gateway.

  3. John Reinhold
    March 5, 2013 at 8:52 am Link

    The area north of 26 between Skyline and Bethany has seen a density and population explosion in the past decade – yet has virtually no usable transit. There are massive apartment and condo complexes in this are along with a lot of tightly packed single family houses.

    They really need to address that deficiency.

    I think swapping the red/blue Max is a terrible idea. Just run red all the way to Hillsboro, and keep blue the same… Running the green to Hillsboro would be strange too…

    I have long argued (since 1998) that the 217 corridor needs limited stop bus line (almost like a BRT but with no real infrastructure). St. Vincent’s, Sunset TC, then stops along the key off-ramps of 217, then run down Meadows Rd / Kruse way to Boones Ferry.

    Currently it takes like 2 hours to bus down that corridor using the 20 + 76or78 combination…

  4. zefwagner
    March 5, 2013 at 9:18 am Link

    Scotty, one thing you may not be aware of is that TriMet is proposing to implement one part of WSE very soon, and is already doing public outreach for it. The proposal is to send the 47 up through Bethany and to PCC-Rock Creek instead of going to Sunset TC. This would limit the duplication of the 47 and 48, and would give PCC and Bethany direct access to Hillsboro. The route is pretty screwy, but of course that is mainly the fault of the screwy road network out there. Here’s a google map showing the proposed new 47: http://goo.gl/maps/ncXea

  5. zefwagner
    March 5, 2013 at 9:25 am Link

    I really have a hard time believing the single-track section of the Red Line limits it to 15-minute frequency. It’s a very short section, so as long as trains are running on time they should be able to swap use of the track. Obviously there will be cases where they have to wait for each other. It may also be the case that there is not enough demand from Hillsboro to downtown to justify the very high peak frequencies currently offered. I don’t have much experience riding MAX out there, but when I have it seemed like a ton of people got out in Beaverton and a lot fewer rode all the way out to Hillsboro. So maybe the new Red Line could get by with 10-15 minute frequencies.

  6. 3E
    March 5, 2013 at 10:51 am Link

    @zefwagner:

    Hey there. There are two sections of single-track on the Red Line, right? There’s the helix by Gateway, but I believe there’s also the final stretch between Mt. Hood Ave. and the airport that’s single track. Perhaps both of them together are what require the 15 minute headways. Though I agree it would be nice if we could see more-frequent service along that line.

  7. Erik H.
    March 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm Link

    This is nothing more than a mismash of past TriMet operations, past promises (broken promises!)…

    •High capacity transit along TV Highway

    T.V. Highway used to have high capacity articulated bus service, until MAX. When MAX was started, the articulated buses were retired – but ridership didn’t drop. This precipitated the need for “Frequent Service” since TriMet now had to increase bus service to account for the loss in seating capacity. TriMet at one point even placed an order for new articulated buses around 2000 – but promptly cancelled that order. Since then “Frequent Service” has gone away. What is to say that TriMet isn’t overpromising, and underdelivering – just as they have in the past?

    •New Frequent Service routes along Hall Boulevard, Farmington Road, NW Cornell, 174th, 185th, and 229th.

    The 76 was supposed to be a Frequent Service line when WES was started. Again, another broken promise – TriMet was more than happy to cut that. And why no north-south service on 170th Avenue – 174th is only north of Baseline, but 170th south serves numerous residential neighborhoods and schools.

    •BRT treatments in various areas

    Repeatedly TriMet has argued against this, saying that bus stop improvements are not its role (but MAX stations are?) In fact many of the transit-oriented sidewalk projects, TriMet was only a token player of (or completely uninvolved – see the N.E. 82nd Avenue pedestrian improvement project). ODOT was the lead player in the pedestrian project in Forest Grove, even though it mostly was for TriMet’s bus stops.

    •Shuttle bus service, connecting MAX

    TriMet did this – it was called “The Local”. And nearly all of those routes – the 53 is a rare exception – were terminated in the 2001-2002 recession. These routes were among the least productive bus routes, and in the later years TriMet dumped the cutaway (“LIFT”-style) buses in favor of more expensive mainline buses, despite these routes often carrying no more than a half-dozen riders at a time. (I was a daily rider of the 50s Cornell Oaks line from 1998 to 2000 – and often, the only rider.)

    It’s also no surprise that most of the improvements are geared towards MAX – and the bus lines, generally MAX-connecting bus service. TriMet has had the opportunity for years to improve bus service, but has chosen not to. And to actually come out and say that these improvements are contingent on the union bending over…why isn’t Milwaukie MAX contingent on the union? Why isn’t the Streetcar funding, or WES, or CRC, contingent on the union? That smells very fishy that TriMet is saying that bus service improvements are conditional, but MAX improvements are full steam ahead…

  8. EngineerScotty
    March 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm Link

    @Erik, your scepticism is understood–quite a few of the items mentioned have been on the TIP for seemingly forever. That said… “high capacity transit” generally refers to something more than articulated busses running in mixed traffic. I’m not sure how much capacity the 57 needs (though it’s frequently full), but even some modest capital improvements that might speed it up a bit (particularly when the highway backs up, as it often does) would be beneficial.

    At any rate, you bring up an interesting question–one I’ve asked previously. It’s as though TriMet woke up and found itself in trouble in 2009. The recession might have something to do with that, but that’s also the year the current GM was installed–Fred Hanson, for the most part, was far less concerned with such things. Whether Neil McFarlane was brought in to be a hatchet man, or decided to take on this role on his own, I’ve no idea. That said, you will notice, that the pipeline of capital projects after MLR is empty… SW Corridor is still in the early planning phases, and planners are keeping expectations low. All the other things you mentioned (except for CRC, which is primarily a state DOT boondoggle) were decisions made years ago. And the LO Streetcar got cancelled–with no further streetcar projects in the pipe, other than possibly “completing the loop” when the new bridge opens.

  9. EngineerScotty
    March 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm Link

    @Zef,

    Thanks for the info on the proposed 47 re-route. I notice that the route overlaps the northern end of the 67 between PCC and Laidlaw; any planned changes to that bus?

  10. Chris I
    March 6, 2013 at 7:17 am Link

    Erik,

    Are you trying to change history? Those Hungarian artics were a maintenance nightmare. Trimet struggled to keep them running. They were not retired because of MAX. Are the busses on TV highway overcrowded right now? Would you rather have new artics or more frequent service?

  11. Erik H.
    March 6, 2013 at 7:43 am Link

    Chris – I am not re-writing history.

    Yes, those 700s were a maintenance nightmare. But guess what? A transit bus has a 12 year life span. Tell me – how long were those artics in service?

    They began TriMet service in 1981 and 1982.

    The left TriMet service in 1998 and even a few buses stayed on until 1999.

    Let’s see. Some basic, 1st grade math:

    1998 minus 1992 gets me to…voila…16 years!!!

    That means that these “maintenance nightmares” actually served TriMet four years LONGER than they should have.

    Fred Hansen said at the time that there would not be a need for an articulated bus replacement because MAX would handle the load. And he then said a year later that he was wrong, and put in an order for new articulated buses (specifically New Flyer’s D60LF model, the articulated version of the standard TriMet D40LF bus). And then in 2001-2002 he cancelled that order due to the economy.

    The Crown-Ikarus buses were a maintenance nightmare. But once again the bus-haters (since apparently it’s OK to use “MAX-hater” on this forum as seen by multiple posts in multiple threads) seem to get hung up that ONE model of bus was bad, therefore ALL articulated buses are bad. Under that logic, since the EV1 was such a patheticially horrible electric car with no range, ALL electric cars are bad. And since ONE bicyclist ran a stop sign, ALL cyclists are bad. And since one MAX train ran with its doors open, and another MAX train blew through the track bumper at Expo Center, ALL MAX trains are unsafe and should be eliminated.

    Seattle has hundreds of articulated buses in service, that provide safe, cost-effective and reliable service, 365 days a year. (The only problem seems to be a lack of traction on extremely steep streets in snow conditions – a combination extremely rare, and easily mitigatable, in Portland.) Not to mention that Crown-Ikarus is no longer (Crown went out of business, and Ikarus no longer sells to the U.S. market), and the closest corporate relative is NABI – a company whose buses – including articulated buses – operate reliably in Los Angeles – a city where more transit trips are taken per capita, and there are more transit riders per capita, compared to Portland.

    But hey, I’m just quoting facts. Look them up yourself – it’s all verifiable with some simple internet searches. Or maybe you’d like to go to Seattle and check out their buses as I will be doing this Saturday – or as I did in Los Angeles a month ago.

    Thanks for your attempt to re-write history (and make a personal comment, which I thought was banned on this board…)

  12. Erik H.
    March 6, 2013 at 7:51 am Link

    “high capacity transit” generally refers to something more than articulated busses running in mixed traffic. I’m not sure how much capacity the 57 needs (though it’s frequently full), but even some modest capital improvements

    I agree the 57 needs better service. But we both know that “high capacity transit” in TriMet/Metro planning circles is “light rail”. Until those two agencies PROVE themselves by saying they will NOT consider light rail and actually build a BRT line I will not believe anything else – we know that Tigard is being excluded from transit planning until a MAX line is considered (after all TriMet gutted the 12 line, decreased service south of Tigard TC, played with the schedule last week, and is not making any serious effort to fix the problems that have plagued service there for decades), and when Milwaukie said they didn’t want MAX years ago, TriMet basically “played dead” until MAX was resurrected, then TriMet acted as though it was shocked by electricity and came back to life.

    The solution with the 57 is simple – except that once again, we’ll come back to Metro and it’s desire to turn T.V. Highway into a collector street. Which will only make through transit worse – not better. But there is no need for a second light rail line connecting Hillsboro and Beaverton; it is absolutely not suitable for a streetcar line, and WES expansion is off the table (P&W will not support it, and Union Pacific still owns that railroad – who’s going to come up with $40 million to buy the railroad from UP, just as they were able to take us for a ride and demand $26 million at the last second for the Beaverton-Tigard segment of WES?) Not to mention, WES is not in any way, shape or form a reasonable substitute for the 57.

    There is plenty of room for a BRT-lite line which would absolutely improve service – there’s no need for a dedicated eight-mile busway, but selectively installed bus lanes at traffic lights (which is where traffic backs up on TV Highway) would help with queue-jumper lights. MAX style bus platforms would be a huge benefit. Of course I still believe TV Highway should be turned into a freeway, which would eliminate the signallized intersections and replace them with grade-separated interchanges, and a BRT line could be incorporated as part of this – with bus stops that would look identical to the MAX stops along I-84, or the MAX stop to be built at Bybee.

  13. dave
    March 6, 2013 at 9:37 am Link

    The Westside Improvement Plan is nothing more than a make work project at Trimet. They have planners on staff whose job it is to come up with stuff like this. They have zero funding to pull this off so there is little chance this will happen any time soon. And the crack at the bottom about union benefits is really unprofessional.

    As for the comments about the artics, it is true that they were retired due to MAX. Once a bunch of time and effort were put into the fixing them they actually ran pretty reliably.

    Visit any major US city, with or without rail, they all use articulated buses. Portland is probably the only city I can think of that doesn’t. Heck even Eugene has them. Many of the FS lines should have them in service.

  14. Cameron J
    March 6, 2013 at 10:38 am Link

    I agree with a lot of points with Erik made (although I resent how anyone who disagrees with him is personally attacking him, which I’m probably doing right now.)

    I’d even go so far as to say this is a marketing campaign, a fruitless one I’m sure, to turn the public against the union. It’s saying “well, if only the union were to give up, you poor riders would get all of this.” Perhaps I sound too jaded, but that’s been TriMet’s strategy so far so I don’t see why they’d stop now. Especially in a time where they claim the system will have to be cut almost entirely unless the union (only the union, not the fifty seven administrative people who make over 100k a year) take more drastic cuts in benefits. You just can’t trust TriMet news from the source.

    Also, the highlights aren’t what TriMet is proposing, it’s what TriMet riders have stated they wanted.

  15. zefwagner
    March 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm Link

    Cameron, you are simply wrong in your idea that this is a marketing campaign. This planning effort has been happening for years, and is going to be followed by similar efforts for other parts of the region going forward. It is simply good practice to undertake long-range planning for transit service, even in the absence of funding, because that way you know what to do if and when funding materializes. It’s unfortunate that someone added the mention of union benefits at the end, but it’s not true that WSE was designed as some kind of stunt. It is a great example of why planners are essential, and hopefully it can be implemented someday.

    As far as high-capacity transit goes, my sources at TriMet have all told me that the agency is very dedicated to Bus Rapid Transit and Enhanced Bus going forward, and is not really interested at all in future light rail or streetcar projects (other than the Yellow Line extension if the CRC ever happens, obviously). It is almost certain that the SW corridor planning will recommend some kind of BRT or busway concept for Barbur, and Powell-Division will be the same. TV Highway, 82nd, and McLoughlin (between Milwaukie and Oregon City) are also good candidates.

    The only light rail I would like to see in the future is a project to convert WES to an extension of the Blue or Red Line, because that would be so much more successful than WES and just makes sense. That would be dependent on freight trains ceasing operation, and would also require double-tracking and all that.

    TV Highway also has a railroad next to it, so there might be possibilities down the road for dedicated right-of-way, if freight ever stops using it. Otherwise, BRT would be great for that corridor.

  16. al m
    March 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm Link

    Cameron, you are simply wrong in your idea that this is a marketing campaign. This planning effort has been happening for years, and is going to be followed by similar efforts for other parts of the region going forward.

    ~~~>You forgot this part, It’s all pie in the sky unless the union gives up its decent health care and joins the race to the bottom willingly.

    (that’s not marketing?)

  17. EngineerScotty
    March 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm Link

    Erik,

    When I say “high capacity transit” or “rapid transit”, I most certainly include (decent) bus rapid transit in the definition, not just rail. Were I to mean rail only, I would use a rail-specific term like “light rail”. Such terms might mean other things to other people… but see Zef’s comments above.

    Zef: Reading the tea leaves–it appears that the primary advocate of LRT in the SW Corridor is the City of Portland. LRT to Tigard was somewhat rebuked by Tigard citizens in a recent vote (requiring a public vote before Tigard funds be used to build such a thing–though I’m not sure how this affect’s Tigard’s participation in the SW Corridor), and the only LRT option being considered at this point ends at Tigard–so LRT to Tualatin, King City, Durham, or Sherwood are all out of the picture for now. But it appears that the SW Corridor team was ready to not consider LRT at all, but Portland objected, so it was put back into consideration.

    Thoughts on that?

  18. Lenny Anderson
    March 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm Link

    Just revisit Metro’s work in South Corridor. After the defeat of South/North in ’98, LTR was NOT included. The SE Portland community demanded that it be included, and the final study showed it to be the most cost effective, etc. Hence, MLR project.
    The same could happen in SW PDX…not sure the folks out there want “second class” HCT. But maybe they don’t care, and that will decide it. Finally it will take an regional election to fund it…no URAs are likely out in SW.
    re Tigard…like I suggested to up Capitol Hwy to PCC and call it good or continue via I-5 to Kruse Woods…a much more dense job center than Tigard.

  19. Cameron J
    March 7, 2013 at 9:28 pm Link

    I’m sorry, but shutting out Tigard is simply not a good idea. It is residentally and commercially dense. Washington Square is gigantic, and even Tigard itself is very active, especially transit wise. You can’t simply ignore one of the biggest SW suburbs in the city for the sake of one area.

  20. dave
    March 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm Link

    Lenny – come on out to Tigard, we’d love to show you that it’s full of residents and jobs. Heck, it. It may not surpass the amazing Swan Island but it’s pretty darn close. :)

  21. Nick theoldurbanist
    March 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm Link

    ” Reading the tea leaves–it appears that the primary advocate of LRT in the SW Corridor is the City of Portland.”

    >>>>> Then CoP wants LRT to SW as tool for TOD, which it mistakenly believes LRT will foster. And maybe all the things I read on Bogdanski’s blog about CoP being in bed with developers have substance.

  22. Allan
    March 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm Link

    Portland is clearly in bed with developers. The developers are finally doing what the planners want.

  23. Allan
    March 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm Link

    Portland is clearly in bed with developers. The developers are finally doing what the planners want.

  24. Lenny Anderson
    March 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm Link

    Extend the Red Line to Wash Sq and Tigard. I got the feeling Tigard did not want LRT anyway. Don’t want to cram it down their throats do we.
    re Developers: who else puts up the big bucks to build housing, office buildings, retail spaces. The public sector with carrots and sticks does it best to get that citizens’ want (as per elections), but its the private sector that takes the risks and puts things up.
    LRT has potential do make TOD work, but TOD next to freeways (which kill property values in cities) is a challenge; I am waiting for someone here to tell me about where BRT made it happen. Streetcar sure tipped the scale on the westside; we will see on the east. I think the smart money says it will soon take off.

  25. Reza
    March 11, 2013 at 5:28 pm Link

    As long as the Eastside Streetcar Loop corridor is inherently unwalkable, I predict very little high-quality infill development will occur. Try crossing MLK and Grand at any time, but especially rush hour. Two four-lane traffic sewers, with drivers going upwards of 40 mph, and very few signals to provide safe crossing or to calm traffic. Even Broadway and Weidler will be a challenge to revitalize because of the same challenging conditions, plus a high-traffic interchange with I-5 to boot.

    It’s hard to fathom the Pearl would have seen the level of mixed-use, higher-density development it has received if wide arterials such as these bisected the area.

  26. Lenny Anderson
    March 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm Link

    Right you are about those big ugly streets, but there are so many vacant/parking lots begging for higher use, especially north of Sullivan’s Gulch, that I would be surprised if development fails to occur. Maybe that in itself will force more traffic calming on those big arterials.

  27. Erik H.
    March 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm Link

    When I say “high capacity transit” or “rapid transit”, I most certainly include (decent) bus rapid transit in the definition, not just rail. Were I to mean rail only

    Then why does TriMet continue to employ a 100+ member Capital Projects team who are 100% focused on nothing but rail projects?

    Why has TriMet not made ONE SINGLE CONCRETE improvement to bus service?

    Why is TriMet bending over backards with public opinions about the Type 5 cars – but does nothing about future bus purchases and obtaining public opinion about what color the seat fabric should be in the next bus fleet? Why does TriMet spend millions asking for art projects for MAX, but nothing for bus stop art?

    Why has TriMet’s Marketing agency continued to crank out glossy pro-MAX advertisements, but NOT ONE bus advertisement? (OK, there was one ad, for the brand new buses. But that’s it.)

    Until I see it, TriMet has not made any effort to demonstrate they are focused on BRT/enhanced bus…actions speak 100,000 times louder than words, and TriMet has made it clear they are bought and paid for by Siemens, Stacy & Witbeck, Kiewett, and all the other light rail contractors. They even hired a Capital Projects manager to be their (absolutely ineffective) General Manager.

    TriMet’s actions are “We’re a rail agency, and the second we can eliminate bus service, booyah!”

  28. Lenny Anderson
    March 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm Link

    Read the RTP, Regional Transportation Plan, approved by Metro. Metro is the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) for the region; and the only elected one in the country. It is there that planning and funding decisions are made, not at TriMet. Metro leads the planning for SW Corridor, indeed for all HCT corridors. I think the new Metro rep for outer SW is the former mayor of Tigard; give him a call!

  29. dave
    March 11, 2013 at 10:22 pm Link

    It is there that planning and funding decisions are made, not at TriMet.

    Then why does Trimet need such a large planning department?

    …but there are so many vacant/parking lots begging for higher use, especially north of Sullivan’s Gulch, that I would be surprised if development fails to occur.

    Transit has completely failed to stimulate the Lloyd District. When you consider there are thee light rail lines running through the area with transit service every 5 minutes or better most of the day, it’s scary to see how underdeveloped the area is. When you add up all of the investment in the area (Convention Center, Rose Garden, street improvements, LRT), it adds up to over half a BILLION dollars in investment, yet the streets are largely devoid of activity, empty lots all over the place. So why are we expecting that the addition of a streetcar line will all of a sudden jumpstart the area?

  30. Douglas K
    March 11, 2013 at 10:53 pm Link

    Transit has completely failed to stimulate the Lloyd District.

    The Lloyd District really is a strong argument against LRT being a development magnet, at least on its own. 27 years after MAX went in on Holladay Street, there’s still a three acre parking lot next to Seventh Avenue Station, a four acre parking lot outside Lloyd Cinemas, and the same set of marginal hotels next to the Convention Center that were there thirty years ago (albeit under different ownership). We’ve seen a few new buildings in Lloyd District over the past three decades, but the area certainly hasn’t caught fire.

Leave a Reply

By posting a comment, you are granting a license to Portland Transport for your comment. Please refer to The Rules.