Archive | Open Threads

Rose Festival Open Thread

Starlight parade is tomorrow night, and TriMet wants you to know they’ll be there.

Post Tax Open Thread

OK, it’s a full week since the Ides of April, but another open thread for everyone.

  •  Portland has legalized (for now) uber and Lyft.  One condition placed on uber and Lyft drivers is a city business license.  Taxi drivers and cab companies are, naturally, unhappy.
  • TriMet toots its horn about service increases leading to ridership increases.  (And conversely, service decreases lead to ridership decreases).  This pattern is well-known within transit circles, but tends to be lost on some decision makers (and transit critics) who view transit demand as inelastic.  (Though if you scale back service to the point that you’re only getting those who are poor and desparate, it does become inelastic).
  • The SW Corridor team with some detailed analysis of the PCC-Sylvania area.  And TriMet has extended its feedback deadline for the Southwest Service Enhancement Plan Refined Draft Vision to the 27th.
  • In further evidence that the Lake Oswego Streetcar is dead–funding allocated to it (nearly $6M) is being re-allocated to other transit projects:  namely Powell/Division, the SW Corridor, and upgrades to keep the excursion trolley on the right-of-way in operation.
  • Joseph Rose of The Oregonian is now taking votes for the Portland area’s worst bus stop.
  • Funding issues puts Amtrak Cascades service south of Portland in jeopardy.

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.

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.