Archive | October, 2006

Portland Videos on Streetsblog

Filmmaker Clarence Eckerson (featured at Saturday’s film festival) writes:

Hello all,

There will be a featured Portland video short every day for the next week.

HERE: http://www.streetsblog.org/

We want to get a dialogue started, esp. from folks in Portland who’d like to inspire New Yorkers about what else is good/not so good, so PLEASE leave a comment if you so desire. The site crashed yesterday so we are trying to get people engaged in the Portland items!

Thanks. Appreciate it. Spread the word.

Clarence

RTP Exercise – Challenges – Compact Development

The next phase of the RTP exercise is to look at challenges.

[By the way, Jim and Adron, I’m still waiting for your outcome sets to examine in parallel with this one.]

As a reminder, my selected outcomes are below. The question for this post is what challenges are getting in the way of making these happen?

“Compact Development” scenario outcomes:

  1. A seven-year-old on a bike should be able to safely and comfortably travel from his/her home to an elementary school, a park and a grocery store. (Chris)
  2. When moving about from place to place, citizens have the opportunity to make eye contact and communicate with each other in normal speaking voices. (Clay)
  3. 90% of households and 100% of businesses with employees in Metro area are a 10 minute walk from frequent, reliable, useful public transportation. (djk)
  4. Most qualified graduates from local colleges and universities will be able to find sustainable employment in their field within 6 months of graduation, and are able to live within walking, biking, or a 15 minutes or less single-seat transit ride of their employment. (Garlynn, Chris)
  5. Increasingly efficient use of existing roadway capacity through expanded transportation options will allow the region to continue to shift public resources away from transportation and toward education in order to “grow” and attact talent essential to a 21st century economcy based on adding value and innovation as opposed to the movement of cheap commodities. (Lenny)
  6. Outside of peak commute times, freight flows freely past areas of SOV congestion through tools like queue-jump lanes, differential pricing or truck-only lanes. (Chris)
  7. Run-off from transportation facilities is eliminated (that is, fully absorbed) through “green street” techniques. (djk)
  8. Air pollution from transportation facilities is at or below the absorbtion capacity of vegetation in the Metro area. (djk)
  9. 90% of Oregon children regularly travel self-powered to and from school safely without parental assistance. (mykle)
  10. The quarter of the region’s residents who cannot drive have a substantially similar quality of transportation choices as those who can. (Evan)
  11. Traffic deaths are no longer the leading cause of death among ages 1-34 years old. (Evan)
  12. Roads and other infrastructure receive the regular maintenance that will prolong their life in the most cost-effective manner. (Ross)

Again, the question for this phase: What are some challenges to achieving the outcomes?

Crossing Bikes with Rail

Via the SHIFT list, this is an interesting way to mix modes, especially for all the rail fans in the readership:

Monthly Small Museums tour by Bike – Trainspotting!
Union Station, 800 NW 6th Ave
Sat 11/4, 1:00p (Tour will last at least 3 hours, more if interest))
Contact: Carye Bye, 503-248-4454, bathtublady[at]gmail.com

Details:
This Month: All Aboard! From Union Station to model trains – we are going to go trainspotting on today’s tour & bike ride. First stop is our beautiful Union Station where we will spend some time admiring this great way of trave by visiting collections and displays in this beautiful historic building. Then we’ll head on to the Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club in Inner North Portland to see all kinds of regional train exhibits including a train model out of legos! And after all that if the weather is nice we’ll head out to explore and trainspot (feel free to bring ideas for secret or not so secret train inspired places to ride.)

Bring $4 for the model RR Museum and your best train-hopping or train-tripping experiences to share.

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Join us for a monthly bike tour of Small Museums & Collections in the Portland area. Each month we’ll pedal to unique collections, enjoy presentations by experts, and have a fun yet educational outing by bike. The tour is lead by Carye Bye, the director of the Bathtub Art Museum (www.bathtubmuseum.org)

Smarter Roads

I had the opportunity to attend a breakfast meeting on Friday, convened by Gail Achterman, a member of the Oregon Transportation Commission. The subject of the meeting was Intelligent Transportation Systems, the whole concept of getting more capacity from our roads and transportation system by using information technology for better coordination and communication.

The headline speaker was Rick Capka, the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (in town for the AASHTO meeting). Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was hearing Capka describe the cordon pricing in London and Stockholm as successful!

A presentation by Fred Hansen of TriMet put a whole new perspective on the “cost of congestion” for me. TriMet buses are traveling on average about 1.5 mph slower now than they were 10 years ago. This means TriMet spends about 10% more to provide essentially the same service. This gives TriMet a lot of incentive to look for opportunities (like being able to hold a green light long enough for the bus to get through) to make the system operate more productively.

Perhaps the slickest technology described was the combination of scales built into highway roadbeds with transponders that allow trucks to “weigh-in” for the weight-mile tax without stopping.

The background presentation for the meeting is available on Metro’s web site.

RTP Exercise – What’s Working? – Compact Development

So we now begin the 2nd phase of our RTP exercise, by assessing what we’re already doing that helps advance us to our desired outcomes.

My set of desired outcomes follows below. I’ve credited the original author and linked to the comment where it shows up in the prior phase.

The ground rules for this step are that you can’t criticize the outcome described (instead, feel free to contribute to the implementation questions about a different outcome set since we will have three). The trick here is to figure out how we move toward the stated outcomes.

“Compact Development” scenario outcomes (it was hard to keep it to 12!):

  1. A seven-year-old on a bike should be able to safely and comfortably travel from his/her home to an elementary school, a park and a grocery store. (Chris)
  2. When moving about from place to place, citizens have the opportunity to make eye contact and communicate with each other in normal speaking voices. (Clay)
  3. 90% of households and 100% of businesses with employees in Metro area are a 10 minute walk from frequent, reliable, useful public transportation. (djk)
  4. Most qualified graduates from local colleges and universities will be able to find sustainable employment in their field within 6 months of graduation, and are able to live within walking, biking, or a 15 minutes or less single-seat transit ride of their employment. (Garlynn, Chris)
  5. Increasingly efficient use of existing roadway capacity through expanded transportation options will allow the region to continue to shift public resources away from transportation and toward education in order to “grow” and attact talent essential to a 21st century economcy based on adding value and innovation as opposed to the movement of cheap commodities. (Lenny)
  6. Outside of peak commute times, freight flows freely past areas of SOV congestion through tools like queue-jump lanes, differential pricing or truck-only lanes. (Chris)
  7. Run-off from transportation facilities is eliminated (that is, fully absorbed) through “green street” techniques. (djk)
  8. Air pollution from transportation facilities is at or below the absorbtion capacity of vegetation in the Metro area. (djk)
  9. 90% of Oregon children regularly travel self-powered to and from school safely without parental assistance. (mykle)
  10. The quarter of the region’s residents who cannot drive have a substantially similar quality of transportation choices as those who can. (Evan)
  11. Traffic deaths are no longer the leading cause of death among ages 1-34 years old. (Evan)
  12. Roads and other infrastructure receive the regular maintenance that will prolong their life in the most cost-effective manner. (Ross)

Again, the question for this phase: What is working well to achieve the outcomes?