Archive | February, 2008

Columbia River Crossing: No Toll Plaza?

A January 24th article in the Columbian hints at an unusual possibility for collecting tolls on a new bridge:

No tollbooths would be built. Instead, electronic transponders in each car would collect tolls. One-time users – tourists, for example – would be notified of the impending toll through signs on I-5 approaching the bridge and could buy toll cards at stores along the way.

In an earlier discussion here on PortlandTransport, commenter “lurker b” duly noted that the preliminary maps showing large and complex interchanges do not seem to include room for a toll plaza.

I’ve run this idea informally past a few friends, and the response curve was a bit narrow, ranging from shock and dismay on the mild end, to outrage on the intense end. But then that may just be reflective of my friends.

Speaking personally as someone who crosses the Columbia less than one day a month on average, I would not be likely to buy a permanent transponder. I would be quite happy to divert to a wayside toll booth and hand over some cash or swipe a credit card, but being forced to leave the freeway entirely, park, purchase a single-use pass at a store, get back on the freeway, etc. (or remember to stock up in advance) seems like an unprecedented break from tolling practice elsewhere.

Has this been tried in any metro area (especially in any region with a minimal set of facilities which are tolled)? What has been the public response in such scenarios?

TriMet Security Update: Rowdy juveniles may face booking and detention

KGW Article:
Juveniles acting out on TriMet headed for booking

Starting March 1, juveniles who commit misdemeanors on buses and Max trains will be booked and detained for up to 36 hours at the Multnomah County juvenile court facility, authorities said Thursday.

TriMet is adding more officers to patrol the system. Five will be added on the west side and officials are still in discussions regarding how many will be added to the east side.

Full Article

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Intersections

From PSU:

The Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (ibpi) is sponsoring an upcoming professional development course on intersection design.

This course, developed and taught by engineers for engineers, teaches participants how to design intersections that provide safety and mobility for bicyclists and pedestrians. Participants will learn the principles and process of good intersection design for bicycle and pedestrian facilities, understand the relevant policies and standards, and learn how to apply them in a variety of settings, including retrofits of existing conditions and design of new facilities. Specific topics will include:
•Characteristics of bicyclist and pedestrian movement at intersections;
•Problem identification;
•Applicable policies and standards for design, including benefits and drawbacks for each mode of travel;
•Intersection treatment and design options;
•Selection and evaluation process for traffic control treatments at intersections;
•Design principles for bicycle and pedestrian movement, safety, and comfort;
•Key safety issues for bicyclists and pedestrians at intersections.
The course will include discussion of specific needs of bicyclists and pedestrians at intersections, and will feature a selection of intersection treatment innovations from abroad.


Thursday: Classroom instruction and discussion, application of course content through problem-solving and case studies, and a brief walking tour of facilities.

Friday: Bicycle field tour and discussion of intersection facilities in the Portland area. (Bike rentals available; see registration form.)
Who should attend?
Transportation engineers and technical planners responsible for intersection planning, design, and retrofit on public roadways.


PETER KOONCE, PE, is a transportation engineer and Technical Services Leader with Kittelson & Associates, Inc. He is an adjunct professor at Portland State University and has taught short courses for the University of Washington. He currently manages the development of the Federal Highway Administration’s Traffic Signal Timing Manual – a multimodal approach to signal timing with a focus on integrating policy and engineering decisions.

ROB BURCHFIELD, PE, is the City Traffic Engineer for the Portland Office of Transportation. He has 25 years of experience and has worked extensively with the design and operation of urban streets for bicycles and pedestrians.

JAMIE PARKS is a transportation planner with Kittelson & Associates who works closely with engineers to develop appropriate non-motorized transportation solutions. He is developing tools to measure the safety and suitability of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and is participating in the development of the multi-modal chapters of the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual.

Sponsored by

This course is sponsored by the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (ibpi). The IBPI’s purpose is to enhance policies, programs, and projects that promote pedestrian and bicycle travel through research, education, and outreach.

For more information

Contact the IBPI at 503-725-4024 or
Fax to 503-725-8480


The fee for this professional development course is $395. This includes morning coffee, snacks, lunch, and course materials. The fee does not include bike rental, travel, lodging, or other meals while in Portland. To register for the program please use the form and fax or mail it in to our office. Registration deadline is APRIL 10, 2008.
Full information about the course can be found here:

And the registration form can be downloaded here: Design.pdf

Thank you,

Ryan Gratzer
Office Specialist II
Portland State University
Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI)
Center for Transportation Studies – Suite 320

Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning
506 SW Mill Street, Portland, OR 97201
PO Box 751, 97207-0751
Phone: 503.725.4024
Fax: 503.725.8480

Jennifer Dill, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning (USP)
Director, Center for Transportation Studies
Assistant Director, Center for Urban Studies
Portland State University

phone: 503-725-5173
web site:

Mailing address:
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751

Physical Address:
506 SW Mill Street
370T Urban Center
Portland, OR 97201