Archive | March, 2006

Signal Guy Gets a Little Credit

This morning’s Tribune has a “Q&A” with Bill Kloos, who manages the signals division for PDOT.

The piece is a little bit light-hearted, but it’s an opportunity to highlight one of those unsung heroes who makes our transportation system work so well. So hats off for Bill, who amply deserves the attention.

My (non-)Trip on Streetcar

I had a first last night. The Streetcar was too full to get on board.

It was about 5:30 at 10th and Couch, trying to get back to Northwest. The train was shoulder-to-shoulder and about three people got off. About 15 people were waiting to get on, and about six of us wouldn’t fit (I wound up walking a few more blocks and catching the #77 – got to walk by Jameson Square, where the fountain has just been turned back on – so it wasn’t a total loss).

Time to buy another car or two and get those headways down to 10 minutes (or less)!

I-5 to 99W Connector Project Steering Committee studies ways to improve traffic movement in the area

Excerpted from Rex’s April newsletter:

Regional and local transportation officials have recognized the need for a connection between I-5 and Hwy. 99W for more than a decade. Traffic demand in the southwestern portion of the region has grown substantially, leading to increasingly congested conditions.

Metro Councilor Carl Hosticka serves on the I 5 to 99W Connector Project Steering Committee with other elected officials from Washington and Clackamas counties and the cities of Wilsonville, Tualatin and Sherwood, as well as officials from the Oregon Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration. The committee is currently working to identify a corridor where transportation improvements could be located.

The Project Steering Committee recently adopted a purpose and need statement and a set of goals and objectives. These documents will guide the development of alternatives in the study. The adopted purpose and need statement and goals and objectives are posted on the project web site at

Though the project alternatives have not yet been defined, they are likely to include options that range from only improvements to existing streets and demand management solutions to options that look at new roadway connections. The project team will develop evaluation criteria, analyze future transportation needs and study the community and environmental features in the study area. The project will host an open house early next fall to begin identifying potential transportation corridors.

The project team will meet with community groups this spring and summer to share information about the project?s progress. Call 503.595.9915 or send email to to request a speaker for your group.

Would You Like Parking with That?

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (sorry, their links require a subscription) had a piece about a hot new trend: reserving your parking space in advance (online or by phone).

One of the systems mentioned is ParkingCarma, which provides reservations at high-demand BART stations in the Bay Area.

XM Satellite Radio is also said to be getting into the act. Apparently the technology can go so far as to include sensors in individual spaces to track which are available.

The article suggests an overall transportation and environmental benefit by reducing the amount of driving around to find a space.

I’m not quite sure what to think about this. Is it an additional facilitator for more driving, or an information system to improve efficiency?