Author Archive | EngineerScotty

Great Eight Open Thread

The Great Eight in the NCAA tourney are now set, the Final Four will be decided by Sunday. Time for another Open Thread.

  • Oregon Business encourages greater private-sector (and public/private) participation in transit.
  • The population of the Portland/Vancouver MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) is now estimated to be 2.35M.  (Note:  The “MSA” is defined to include all of Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Columbia, Yamhill, Clark, and Skamania counties, so it’s considerably bigger than the contiguous urbanized area on both sides of the river).
  • TriMet is starting to add new 30′ buses for its routes in the West Hills.   The agency is also extending Line 8 to MLK Jr. where it can connect with the 6.
  • Washington County and Hillsboro considering some welcome road improvements.
  • The C-TRAN BRT line for Fourth Plain Boulevard has a new nameThe Vine.

New info on the Southwest Corridor options

Lately, the Powell/Division project has been getting much of the press, with significant public outreach in advance of next week’s Steering Committee meeting.  But the Southwest Corridor project–a project that is on a far longer timetable–has been making some advances as well.   This past week, three new documents were published by the project team:

While there are many details to be worked out, one of the key sets of decisions to be made–and this may not be made for a while, as the DEIS process may include multiple options for analysis–are the mode (BRT or light rail) and the various tunneling options.

More after the jump.

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Daylight Savings Open Thread

Some of the latest happening in Portland-area transportation and land use.

  • As mentioned last time, the Powell/Division Steering Committee further narrows down the project alignment next Wednesday.  The preferred alignment seems to be Tilikum to 12th to Powell to 82nd to Division to Hogan to Stark to Kane to MHCC.  Along this stretch, most of the route could support an exclusive ROW–the most important exception between Powell between 26th and Cesar Chavez.  (See here and especially here and here).
  • Speaking of Powell, ODOT is launching a safety project on the portion of Powell Boulevard east of I-205.
  • Some new information on the Southwest Corridor, including a few refined cost estimates for various options.   See here, here, and here.
  • Several bits of news from TriMet:  A proposed 2016 budget.  Bluetooth low-energy beacons at MAX stations to provide real-time arrival data.  Start of work on the new e-fare system, scheduled to come online in 2017.  And, as of the start of March, your transfer is now good for 2 1/2 hours.
  • The Oregon Legislature is considering expanding photo-radar to include fixed installations not overseen by an officer.  Currently, Oregon law permitting photo radar requires a sworn police officer be present, even though the system is entirely automatic and the cop just sits there and reads the newspaper.  :)
  • The Clackamas County Commission has approved over $9M in tax breaks for a developer looking to build near the New Hope church across the freeway from Clackamas Town Center.

Valentines Day Open Thread

Today is Valentine’s Day, and Oregon’s birthday to boot.  For it’s birthday, the Beaver State gets a new governor, as John Kitzhaber will resign next week.

  • The Willamette Week takes a look at Oregon’s governor-to-be, Kate Brown.  As Governor, she will have the power to fire and appoint TriMet’s board of directors.   She has plenty of opportunity to make her mark on the agency–currently there is one vacancy on the board, and four directors who are serving beyond the end of their terms as Governor Kitzhaber did not nominate replacements.   She’s familiar with the agency on many other fronts–she helped secure state matching funds for the PMLR bridge, and her office led the recent audit of the agency.
  • Speaking of which, TriMet has recently announced that it has implemented the recommendations of said audit.
  • It’s time, once again, for another five-year review of the Urban Growth Boundary (and possible expansion).  Disagreement in Clackamas County, though, may slow down the process.  (And the expansion areas in South Cooper Mountain and South Hillsboro are still being planned at this time, and haven’t seen any development yet).
  • From Joseph Rose at The Oregonian:  Portland is preparing to issue nearly 300 more taxi permits.  The Sellwood Bridge replacement is over budget, but Portland is balking a bit at paying its share of the cost overruns.  And despite the impression one would get if one follows @trimet on Twitter, Twitter users are friendlier to TriMet than transit riders in many other cities are to their local transit authority.
  • The Southwest Corridor steering committee has further culled some alignments and accessory elements from the scope of the project (a good summary of the changes is not yet available).   And Bike Portland has spent the past week taking an extensive look at SW Portland.
  • Metro is soliciting public comment on Powell/Division through a new online tool; the steering committee for that project expects to make alignment decisions in mid-March.  If you want to comment using the tool, feedback needs to be submitted by March 4.

Rose Bowl 2015 Open Thread

Happy New Year!  There’s a little football game happening next week.  Of course, yours truly is an Oregon State alum, so I’m not quite as excited about that as some of you…

  • More public outreach on the Powell/Division project, as Metro asks southeast residents about safety.
  • TriMet is touting a 3.2% increase in ridership last fall (compared to Fall 2013), with a 6.3% increase on the bus system.  (MAX saw a small decline; the system was down for several days due to the switch upgrade project–in addition to a few unplanned disruptions).
  • Vox takes a look at how several big-city downtowns in the US were transformed by freeway construction.
  • OregonLive.com maps pedestrian and bicyclist deaths in the Metro area from 2008-2012.