Author Archive | EngineerScotty

Midsummer Night’s Open Thread

Been out of town, and been watching a little sporting event down in Brazil.  Now that that’s over, ’tis time for another open thread.

  • The Powell/Division project is starting to heat up.  A series of outreach meeting will occur in the next couple of weeks, and a few new documents are available.
  • Was in Seattle last week.  While there are parts of Seattle transportation planning that I’m happy not to see replicated here (such as the boring machine stuck below the harbor), I was constantly impressed by the amount of exclusive bus lanes, both on freeways and on surface streets.
  • Beaverton’s planning for the South Cooper Mountain area is also being promoted to the public.  Transit isn’t on the agenda directly, but the proposed street network includes several new arterial routes over Cooper Mountain, making bus service through the area potentially easier.
  • C-TRAN budgets $6.7M in matching funds for the Fourth Plain BRT project; the project (which unfortunately will be mixed-traffic BRT) will start construction next year, and open in 2016.   One interesting question:  The project has long assumed that the CRC and Yellow Line extension would get built, as of now, that’s not happening.
  • Some area freeways going high-tech.
  • Next week, the new SunLink streetcar line in Tuscon, AZ opens, featuring 8 new vehicles from Oregon Iron Works.

Rose Festival Open Thread

Time for another open thread.

  • The Portland City Council is delaying until November a vote on the proposed (and controversial) per-household street fee.  The Willamette Week has more hereWW‘s Aaron Mesh suggests that there weren’t yet three votes on the council (beyond Steve Novick and mayor Charlie Hales), and that councilor Amanda Fritz requested the delay.
  • Next Monday, Metro will formally approve the scope of the Southwest Corridor project.  As previously noted, TriMet has reportedly suggested a “split” line, with two branches diverging in the Tigard Triangle:  A short one across 217 to Tigard TC, and a longer one heading south to Tualatin.  And in a story that will get the motorists-first crowd up in a tizzy, Joseph Rose is reporting that the leading alignment being considered would use existing lanes on Barbur Boulevard, rather than a new alignment.
  • Metro has radically redesigned their home page.  So far, I like the old one better…
  • The Powell-Division Transit and Development Project (the “and Development” part appears to be a recent addition to the name of this endeavor, make of that what you will) now has a project atlas.
  • TriMet is looking for a few good hackers.
  • TriMet is considering closing a pedestrian path between Willow Creek TC and SW Baseline due to persistent vandalism and drug use.


Primary Election results affecting land use/transit

While Portland Transport didn’t cover the primary election, there were some issues and offices with a direct impact on transit/land use:  All election returns are unofficial at the time of this writing, but the races have been called by local media:

  • Milwaukie voters narrowly passed a measure to finance the city’s contribution to Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail.
  • An attempt by conservative activists to install two more conservatives on the Clackamas County Commission (after electing two conservatives in 2012 on an anti-density platform) failed, as incumbents Paul Savas and Jim Bernard both win re-election.  (Speaking of conservative Clackamas County commissioners, Tootie Smith wins the GOP primary election for the Fifth Congressional District, and will face Democratic incumbent Kurt Schrader in the fall).
  • In the city of Damascus, there will be a run-off election between two competing comprehensive plans, neither garnering a majority.
  • In Washington County, three incumbent commissioners defeat a slate of pro-environmentalist challengers, including former congresswoman Elizabeth Furse.
  • Metro President Tom Hughes, and councilors  Carlotta Collette, Kathryn Harrington and Shirley Craddick all win re-election, the latter three running unopposed.  This will be Hughes’ and Harrington’s final term due to term limits.

The question of secession from TriMet

In the recent article about the Southwest Corridor project, there was quite a bit of commentary written by “joe”, who is opposed to the project (or at least appears to be opposed to any major capital construction in the Tigard/Tualatin area), and is involved, in some fashion, with an initiative petition in Tualatin to require a public vote such transit projects.  This thread isn’t for discussing the SWC or rapid transit (vs plain-old-bus-service), but another proposal that joe has mentioned in the other thread, and is also mentioned on the petitioner’s website:

The withdrawal of Tualatin from TriMet.

From the petitioner’s website:

We Do Want Tualatin voters given the right to have a public vote on transit projects, better bus transit service throughout Tualatin with more connections elsewhere  with a less costly & better bus transit system like Wilsonville’s SMART.

[Emphasis in italics added by Portland Transport]

Is this a good–or viable–idea?  Particularly from the view of transit users?

More, after the jump.

Continue Reading →

Western Conference Semifinals Open Thread

The Portland Trail Blazers have won a playoff series for the first time since the Clinton Administration, so it’s time for another open thread.  (Plus, the calender says its May…)

  • A draft revision of the Oregon Rail Plan is now available for public review.  This plan covers all varieties of freight rail, Amtrak and inter-city passenger rail (Amtrak, commuter rail, HSR).  It doesn’t cover light rail, streetcars, or other non-FRA urban transit, however.
  • The long-delayed, way over budget, Pioneer Mountain/Eddyville project on Highway 20 between Newport and Corvallis, is set to resume.
  • Speaking of project management disasters, the latest on Seattle’s Deep Bore Tunnel project.
  • Oregon’s primary election is Tuesday, May 20; registered voters should now have received ballots in the mail.
  • TriMet is going full bore with its Service Enhancement Plans, and is seeking input now for four regions (Southwest, Southeast, Eastside, and North/Central).  The Westside region (mainly Beaverton and Hillsboro) is mostly complete.
  • C-TRAN looking at a fare increase.  (Even with the proposed increase, C-TRAN fares will be cheaper than TriMet).