Tigard City Council Calls for High Capacity Transit Options

Go, Tigard, go!

51 Comments

51 Responses to Tigard City Council Calls for High Capacity Transit Options

  1. Jason McHuff
    September 30, 2008 at 3:45 pm Link

    This is from an article in the Hillsboro Argus:

    One of my favorites is that of Barbur Boulevard – 99 West,” [TriMet GM Fred] Hansen said. “Looking at the development patterns, population concentrations, the opportunity for redevelopment, it’s just right for being able to do with light rail. It’s not going to happen overnight, but I think it’s a very promising corridor.”

    Personally, I just wonder about the hilly area around the northern half of Barbur limiting ridership potential. It seems best if there’s a high number of destinations all along the line.

  2. Matthew
    September 30, 2008 at 7:05 pm Link

    So one of the things that “bus-fans” like to point out is that the steel bridge is a bottleneck for trains, and therefor, we’ll still need buses to run into downtown. (Besides the fact that the steel bridge bottlenecks at 10,000 people/hr/direction, or about as much as an 10 lane freeway.) But adding more rail lines into downtown that don’t cross the steel bridge solves that “problem.” We already have a tunnel to the west, and a bridge to the SE is in the works, so the time has come for a line into the SW. With those 4 access points, there will be more capacity into downtown by light rail than by car, and given that right now, (with only two access points,) the same amount of people that work downtown arrive by TriMet as by car, I suspect that that will be needed…

  3. ambrown
    September 30, 2008 at 10:23 pm Link

    This is exciting. What fantastic opportunities for TOD, upzoning of density, and another way to bring some of Portland’s auto-oriented suburbs into the Trimet network. The possibilities with coordiation with WES and that Tualatin rail, increased connections to places like Lake Oswego, and for the creation of an enhanced town center in Tigard are endless.

    My phd in armchair economics suggests this would cost around a billion dollars. Sure, a lot, but about the fourth of the CRC;

  4. Erik Halstead
    September 30, 2008 at 10:24 pm Link

    Matthew wrote: that “bus-fans” like to point out

    I’ve been asked to tone down my derogatory use of “light rail advocates”, and the fact that Matthew even uses quotes to point out “bus-fans”, and the lack of any action by our Moderating staff, clearly shows a bias.

    the steel bridge is a bottleneck for trains, and therefor, we’ll still need buses to run into downtown

    Which has nothing to do with Tigard…

    But adding more rail lines into downtown that don’t cross the steel bridge solves that “problem.”

    Doesn’t solve any problem. How does a light rail line to Tigard improve rail congestion to Gresham? It is akin to stating that widening Highway 217 will improve traffic flow in Parkrose.

    so the time has come for a line into the SW

    Maybe, why? Why does it have to be a rail line?

    With those 4 access points, there will be more capacity into downtown by light rail than by car, and given that right now, (with only two access points,) the same amount of people that work downtown arrive by TriMet as by car

    This argument makes no sense. Are you stating that “light rail” and “TriMet” is equivalent? Are you discounting the impact of bus riders who arrive on the, what, three dozen bus routes, that serve downtown Portland? Those bus routes that use nearly a dozen entry points into downtown – all of the bridges, plus Macadam and Barbur to the south, Capitol Highway/Beaverton-Hillsdale to the southwest, the Sunset Highway and Burnside to the west, and the routes to the northwest?

    Just because someone says “I want a choo-choo train” doesn’t make the rail option the best. Rail, along Barbur Boulevard, will face significant challenges that are unlike any of the existing MAX routes. Building a tunnel is not an option unless one suggests that this route will be Portland’s first subway – and does a subway meet Portland’s own transportation development goals?

  5. Bob R.
    September 30, 2008 at 10:57 pm Link

    I’ve been asked to tone down my derogatory use of “light rail advocates”, and the fact that Matthew even uses quotes to point out “bus-fans”, and the lack of any action by our Moderating staff, clearly shows a bias.

    There is a substantive and qualitative difference in content and tone between your usual remarks and those of Matthew. I’m sorry you can’t see that. You demand actions from the moderators more than any other poster on this blog, and yet you are among the most frequent posters. None of your “light rail advocates” posts have ever been censored, so why should Matthew’s “bus fans” comment? I suggest you take those facts into evaluation.

  6. Bob R.
    September 30, 2008 at 11:00 pm Link

    Just because someone says “I want a choo-choo train” doesn’t make the rail option the best.

    Who ever said “I want a choo choo train” on this blog?

  7. jim karlock
    September 30, 2008 at 11:02 pm Link

    Matthew:
    10,000 people/hr/direction, or about as much as an 10 lane freeway

    Actually a ten lane freeway is about 20,000 people/hr in each direction. Many examples abound around the country.

    There is NO PLACE in the country where a light rail line actually exceeds the number of people carried by ONE LANE OF FREEWAY over 24 hours.

    Even Trimeth admits that the US26 & Banfield lines carry only about 1 1/3 freeway lanes worth of people. They do not account for the fact that about 2/3 of those people would be in buses if trimeth had not discontinued the express buses. When you do that adjustment the net result of the BILLION dollars spent was to remove about 1/3 of one lane worth of traffic from US26. Plus provide an excuse to shovel money at developers of housing that would not pencil out otherwise. (A program started when Trimet was headed by a local construction company family member.)

    The highest capacity transit line in the country is about 30,000 people/hr on a busway in NYC. where several bus lines converge to a single lane busway.

    Light rail is NOT HIGH CAPACITY TRANSIT, buses are.

  8. Matthew
    September 30, 2008 at 11:08 pm Link

    “There is NO PLACE in the country where a light rail line actually exceeds the number of people carried by ONE LANE OF FREEWAY over 24 hours.”

    Most light rail lines don’t run 24 hours a day, so this isn’t actually a very interesting comparison, but I bet there is one…

    Even Trimeth admits that the US26 & Banfield lines carry only about 1 1/3 freeway lanes worth of people.

    Hey, there is one!

    Thanks Jim.

  9. Matthew
    September 30, 2008 at 11:43 pm Link

    “Actually a ten lane freeway is about 20,000 people/hr in each direction. Many examples abound around the country.”

    Care to point one of them out? A freeway only does about 2000 vehicles/hr/lane, and less with interchanges. For instance, the current I-5 Columbia river bridge jams up around 5000 vehicles/hr with 3 lanes per direction, so even assuming 1.6 people/car like you do, (and not the 1.1 people/car that the census sees,) that is only 8,000 people/direction. Assuming it scaled linearly, (it doesn’t,) to do 10,000/direction would require 3.75 lanes in each direction according to your numbers, (or 5.5 lanes in each direction, according to the census’s numbers,) which is 7.5 to 11 lanes total, or “about as much as an 10 lane freeway.” To do 20,000 people/hr/direction, therefore, would require a 7.5 to 11 lanes in each direction, or what is actually a 15 to 22 lane freeway. (I think you are either assuming occupancy above 2, or vph above 2,000, neither of which happen for very long in the real world.)

  10. Bob R.
    October 1, 2008 at 12:50 am Link

    There is NO PLACE in the country where a light rail line actually exceeds the number of people carried by ONE LANE OF FREEWAY over 24 hours.

    The “24 hour” statement is irrelevant as far as congestion is concerned. During off-peak hours, there’s plenty of room on freeways for people who want to drive. The issue is peak-hour capacity, and there transit is competitive with SOVs.

    Most motorists, I’m willing to bet, don’t care much about what light rail’s capacity is at 9PM. They care more about what light rail is doing at 5:30pm.

  11. jim karlock
    October 1, 2008 at 2:03 am Link

    Bob:
    Most motorists, I’m willing to bet, don’t care much about what light rail’s capacity is at 9PM. They care more about what light rail is doing at 5:30pm.

    jk:
    Which is 1 1/3 lanes worth of freeway traffic during the peak hour per Trimeth. Note that they ignore the fact that 2/3 of those people would be on the bus if there were no toy train, so the actual congestion relief is 1/3 – 1/2 of one lane of a freeway for many times the cost of one freeway lane.

    Light rail costs too much & does too little.

  12. jim karlock
    October 1, 2008 at 2:08 am Link

    Matthew Says:

    “There is NO PLACE in the country where a light rail line actually exceeds the number of people carried by ONE LANE OF FREEWAY over 24 hours.”

    Most light rail lines don’t run 24 hours a day, so this isn’t actually a very interesting comparison, but I bet there is one…

    Even Trimeth admits that the US26 & Banfield lines carry only about 1 1/3 freeway lanes worth of people.

    Hey, there is one!
    JK:
    Not really, that is for the peak hour only. Looks like you aren’t up on Trimet’s PR. (Then you have to correct for the fact that 2/3 (or so) of those people would be on the bus, had Trimet not built the toy train. Then you get MAX = 44% or one freeway lane.)

  13. Matthew
    October 1, 2008 at 3:25 am Link

    “(Then you have to correct for the fact that 2/3 (or so) of those people would be on the bus, had Trimet not built the toy train. Then you get MAX = 44% or one freeway lane.)”

    I don’t really remember that being part of the original question. But in any case, here is what you said earlier:

    “The highest capacity transit line in the country is about 30,000 people/hr on a busway in NYC. where several bus lines converge to a single lane busway.”

    So by the same logic, if you adjust for the fact that all of those people are on the bus, are you saying the busway actually carries nothing at all?

  14. Lenny Anderson
    October 1, 2008 at 9:03 am Link

    Any reliable high capacity transit in the Barbur corridor will require exclusive right of way in the peaks. Then the issue is capital cost vs operational cost. So far every corridor study has shown that while rail capital costs are greater, operational costs are lower. And don’t forget to ask what the folks in SW Portland, Tigard, etc. would like. Most potential new riders see MAX as a better product than enhanced bus service, and I would guess most would feel dissed if SW were the only quadrant of Portland without rail service.
    On Barbur there is not much development possiblity between Hamilton and Terwilliger, but a Barbur MAX could serve OHSU and South Portland, then could run at high speed to Terwilliger/Burlingame, 19th/Multnomah Blvd, 30th/Barbur, West Portland, etc. Lots of possibilities. From downtown Tigard, a new MAX line should run down to Kruse Woods, a very underserved employment center.

  15. Bob R.
    October 1, 2008 at 9:50 am Link

    Trimeth

    If you repeatedly, deliberately, sneeringly misspell the name of the agency you’re discussing, do you really expect people to take the rest of your statements seriously?

  16. al m
    October 1, 2008 at 9:56 am Link

    Trimeth

    LOL!!LOL!! love it!

    High capacity express bus service could be STARTED TOMORROW!

    All they need to do is take one lane of the opposite rush hour traffic freeway and use it for express bus service.

    How long would it take to get rail going, and at how much cost?

    Bus is much more cost effective, flexible, and easier to get going.

    This country is going down the tubes right in front of our eyes while the government loots the treasury for the benefit of the bankers and we can’t get any funding for any of this?

  17. al m
    October 1, 2008 at 9:58 am Link

    hehe, Bob, I thought that

    trimeth

    was pretty funny!

  18. al m
    October 1, 2008 at 10:01 am Link

    Hey JIM KARLOCK;

    I think you should go to this conference, liven thing up there:

    http://neighborhoodnotes.com/media/news/2008/09/2008_portland_transportation_summit/

  19. Lenny Anderson
    October 1, 2008 at 10:20 am Link

    The cost center for buses is the Operator, so if they will work for less, then the cost of running buses instead of trains on a cost/ride basis will come down. What do you say, Al?
    I think the opposite lane deal was tried on Barbur in the 70’s with poor results…accidents, delays, etc. HCT must have its own peak hour ROW.

  20. al m
    October 1, 2008 at 10:52 am Link

    What do you say, Al?

    ahh,

    They can start it RIGHT NOW!

    That’s worth something isn’t it?

  21. al m
    October 1, 2008 at 10:56 am Link

    AND, if you want to continually make an issue of OPERATOR PAY,

    how bout we start looking at ADMINISTRATIVE OVERHEAD PAY!

    PLANNERS, SUPERVISORS, MANAGERS, CONSULTANTS,

    Lets start really looking at where the Problem lies LENNY!

    It’s NOT with the operators pay check.

    Let’s look at our federal government THROWING OUT BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of OUR tax dollars.

    OPERATORS PAYCHECKS ARE THE LEAST OF THE PROBLEM.

  22. al m
    October 1, 2008 at 11:00 am Link

    The problem with governmental bureaucracy is not with the people that are providing the services, the problem is with the uncontrolled growth of the bureaucrats themselves, the people sitting behind desks going to meetings all day long.

    People that get fat paychecks but actually PRODUCE NOTHING.

  23. nathan
    October 1, 2008 at 11:09 am Link

    whatever jim…

    I think that Barbur MAX should be the next step in Portlands radial development.

    But its going to be an expensive project…

    A SW Portland MAX line has the possibility of serving local trips as well as trips downtown and in encouraging more density and new development along its stops. There is high ridership potential for this line. In other words, it will likely be a very succesful route.

    However, a properly designed route is probably going to require at least a few major tunnels and expensive track at many locations where it will run on the surface.

    Challenges include OHSU area, Terwilliger, Hillsdale, Burlingame, and then Capital Highway….

    In order to serve all the major population and destination centers, the line will need to have grade seperation for several kilometers…

    If the line simply follows Barbur Blvd all the way, we miss out on Kruse, PCC Sylvania, Multnomah Village, Hillsdale, and OHSUs main campus… thats not really acceptable in my opinion.

    Its going to be an expensive project, so I think its best to go all the way on this one and spend the extra money for a really effective line, linking kruse way, to tigard and the WES, PCC Sylvania, Capital highway, multnomah, hillsdale, OHSU marquam hill and south end central city…

  24. Lenny Anderson
    October 1, 2008 at 1:24 pm Link

    Every organization, public and private, must constantly look at how to do more with less. Fewer planners, fewer contract managers, fewer community outreach, fewer security personnel?…but watch out, because the public may want more not fewer in some cases.
    Operation should get a close look too, even cutting routes that have few riders. But it is hard to argue with the numbers of riders/operator on MAX (300-400) compared to buses (40-60)…almost a factor of 10. Converting heavily used transit corridors from bus to rail…if the capital dollars are available (granted a big IF)…just gets the public more bang for their buck. And for many members of the public rail is a product they will ride, buses often not.

  25. Jason McHuff
    October 1, 2008 at 1:27 pm Link

    Then you have to correct for the fact that 2/3 (or so) of those people would be on the bus

    No you don’t. If MAX was not built, those buses would be on the highway. As you can see on this map, there were 8 different bus lines on the Sunset before Westside MAX. There is now only one, and if MAX had a better route downtown there could be none. Even if MAX attracted no additional passengers beyond those who would be on the buses, it allows more room on the highway for other traffic.

    30,000 people/hr on a busway in NYC

    First of all, I believe that should be “to NYC”. But it has no bearing here and should not be compared to MAX, as someone did. Downtown Portland has nowhere near the employees that Manhattan does.

    opposite lane deal was tried on Barbur in the 70’s
    I’ve seen newspaper article titles about it and I asked TriMet planner Alan Lehto who said (if I recall) that pedestrians were using it as a median and getting hit.

  26. Erik Halstead
    October 1, 2008 at 2:51 pm Link

    Bob R., our Moderator, wrote: There is a substantive and qualitative difference in content and tone between your usual remarks and those of Matthew.

    No, there isn’t. Matthew intentionally made his comment in a derogatory tone (as emphasized by the quotes around the words bus-fan), but I guess we know how the forum stands.

    And, I appreciate how you treat “(my) usual remarks” and are simply dismissive of my comments. I thought the rules were to question the statement, not the person, but now even you are violating your own rule by commenting directly at me for “(my) usual remarks”. Thanks. But I will get back towards commenting on comments, not people:

    Lenny Anderson wrote: And don’t forget to ask what the folks in SW Portland, Tigard, etc. would like.

    Hmm, is my opinion somehow not valid? I’m a “folks” in SW Portland.

    Most potential new riders see MAX as a better product than enhanced bus service, and I would guess most would feel dissed if SW were the only quadrant of Portland without rail service

    That’s because Metro only asks the question of “What do you want, existing bus service (with no improvements whatsoever) or a brand new gold-plated MAX line?” The question of improving bus service is never asked or offered. Will Metro be honest when saying “We’ll give SW MAX, but we’ll eliminate the 1, 12, 39, 44, 45, 64, 65 and 94 lines at the same time?”

    Barbur MAX could serve OHSU and South Portland, then could run at high speed to Terwilliger/Burlingame, 19th/Multnomah Blvd, 30th/Barbur, West Portland, etc. Lots of possibilities. From downtown Tigard, a new MAX line should run down to Kruse Woods, a very underserved employment center.

    How is a Barbur MAX line going to serve OHSU? A very expensive tunnel that bypasses the Corbett/Lair Hill/Terwilliger neighborhood? What is the route and what properties are going to be condemned to make a tunnel feasible?

    I see that all of north Tigard is ignored, yet there are significant transit served points along that stretch. Do they just do without transit service?

    Kruse Woods seems to always be mentioned; yet TriMet can’t even fill a bus. Why isn’t improved bus service tried out first – clearly a route from Lake Oswego TC to Tigard TC serving Country Club Road and Kruse Way is possible and can be easily implemented.

    Every organization, public and private, must constantly look at how to do more with less.

    Yet Metro/TriMet always want huge capital budgets for more MAX… Why is there not an acknowledgement of that fact, and that we can do “more” with “less” by implementing more, better, faster, more reliable bus service?

    Fewer planners, fewer contract managers, fewer community outreach, fewer security personnel?

    Interestingly, all types of employees which are almost solely dedicated towards light rail operations…

    even cutting routes that have few riders

    Fine by me.

    But it is hard to argue with the numbers of riders/operator on MAX (300-400) compared to buses (40-60)

    You’re making a big mistake. Is every single MAX train loaded at 100% load factor from Hillsboro to Gresham and from Portland to Expo Center and the Airport? Of course not. The MAX trains are often empty near the outer regions. So the correct statement is that MAX can carry more people because a MAX train has more seats. But it doesn’t mean that the MAX train is actually carrying that many revenue passengers. (Same is true for a bus, just at a smaller scale.)

    TriMet can very easily expand the number of seats available on a bus but refuses to (articulated or double-deck busses). So it’s TriMet’s fault, plain and simple, for going to nothing but 40′ busses (and a handful of 30′ busses, although most need to be retired soon, and a couple of sub-30s for the Washington Park Shuttle) so that the only way to scale up or down operations is to add more busses – and more labor expense (thus the 7 minute headway on the 72 route.)

    And for many members of the public rail is a product they will ride, buses often not.

    But if a quality bus product is offered, the public WILL ride the bus just as well. This is a sad old argument that people hate busses – if that’s the case, why was my 12 bus last night past 9:00 PM at crush load? Why did I ride through downtown today and every downtown bus stop had at least one or two dozen people, but I couldn’t count that many at the MAX stops at Pioneer Place (with two trains approaching?)

  27. Bob R.
    October 1, 2008 at 3:15 pm Link

    thought the rules were to question the statement, not the person, but now even you are violating your own rule by commenting directly at me

    Nope, I’m not. You raised the issue, you claimed obvious bias, you demanded moderator intervention, you got an answer. Of course the answer was directed at you. You demanded it. Stop the whining. You’ve demanded moderator intervention against others more than ANY other person on this blog. Much more.

  28. Bob R.
    October 1, 2008 at 3:27 pm Link

    You’re making a big mistake. Is every single MAX train loaded at 100% load factor from Hillsboro to Gresham and from Portland to Expo Center and the Airport? Of course not. The MAX trains are often empty near the outer regions. So the correct statement is that MAX can carry more people because a MAX train has more seats. But it doesn’t mean that the MAX train is actually carrying that many revenue passengers. (Same is true for a bus, just at a smaller scale.)

    From published TriMet FY2007 data:

    Light Rail Passenger Miles per Vehicle Hour (175,964,052 / 239,400) = 735.
    Bus Passenger Miles per Vehicle Hour (221,346,048 / 1,967,016) = 113.
    Difference Factor: 6.5X

    Light Rail Boardings per Vehicle Hour (34,035,600 / 239,400) = 142.
    Bus Boardings per Vehicle Hour (62,882,400 / 1,967,016) = 32.
    Difference Factor: 4.4X

    Of course, buses fulfill a role that rail isn’t suited for on many routes, and buses still carry roughly 2/3 of daily boarding rides. But for high-capacity routes with dedicated ROW, rail does have operating-cost advantages. (There are higher capital costs, too, but given equal levels of service, dedicated lanes, upgraded platforms and signals, etc., this capital cost differential narrows significantly.)

  29. Bob R.
    October 1, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link

    That’s because Metro only asks the question of “What do you want, existing bus service (with no improvements whatsoever) or a brand new gold-plated MAX line?” The question of improving bus service is never asked or offered.

    That’s not true. From Metro’s own web page about the High Capacity Transit System Plan:

    […] high capacity transit – light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit or rapid streetcar.

    From Metro’s page defining High Capacity Transit in more detail:

    High capacity transit includes any form of public transit that has an exclusive right of way, a non-exclusive right of way or a possible combination of both. High capacity transit vehicles make fewer stops, travel at higher speeds, have more frequent service and carry more people than local service transit such as typical bus lines. High capacity transit includes options such as light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit; these and others will be examined as part of the High Capacity Transit System Plan. Final determination of which mode or modes to use in future projects will be made during each project’s analysis process.

    Bus Rapid Transit is further defined on the same page:

    Bus rapid transit emulates light rail in speed, frequency and comfort, serving major transit routes with limited stops. This service runs at least every 15 minutes during the weekday and weekend mid-day base periods.

    And from the City of Tigard’s own web page, linked from the original article:

    High capacity transit is characterized by routes with fewer stops and some separation from regular traffic and could mean light rail, commuter rail, streetcar or buses.

    The question of improving bus service *is* asked and offered. It took me less than 60 seconds to find all that.

  30. R A Fontes
    October 1, 2008 at 7:26 pm Link

    I’ve posted this before, but Metro did not give an unbiased review of the BRT option in the Lake Oswego to Portland Alternatives Analysis. If you haven’t seen it, please check out

    http://www.h43tran.org/Biased%20process.html

  31. jim karlock
    October 1, 2008 at 11:46 pm Link

    Bob: “But for high-capacity routes with dedicated ROW, rail does have operating-cost advantages.”

    JK: Not really. You are comparing average bus to average LRT which replaced the BEST bus lines.

    Compare LRT at $0.434/passenger-mile with the lowest cost remaining bus line at $0.34, not the average bus at $0.835. See portlandfacts.com/Transit/Cost-Cars-Transit(2005).htm for the details.

    Once again, light rail costs too much, does too little.

    Thanks
    JK

  32. Matthew
    October 2, 2008 at 1:58 am Link

    Not really. You are comparing average bus to average LRT which replaced the BEST bus lines.

    They don’t replace the best bus lines. For instance, the Red Line replaced a mediocre bus line, and parts of the west side Blue Line replaced parts of many lines, but none of them were that great. (And the streetcar didn’t replace a bus line at all.) The only place this argument sort of applies it to the Yellow Line, and most people agree that eventually the Yellow line will go over the river, (like the bus line it replaced,) which will change things… But never the less, it is an interesting point.

    Compare LRT at $0.434/passenger-mile with the lowest cost remaining bus line at $0.34, not the average bus at $0.835. See portlandfacts.com/Transit/Cost-Cars-Transit(2005).htm for the details.

    So you compare average LRT to the best bus line, and find that the best bus beat the average rail line? Isn’t that the same thing that you just accused Bob of doing?

  33. jim karlock
    October 2, 2008 at 3:19 am Link

    Matthew: So you compare average LRT to the best bus line, and find that the best bus beat the average rail line? Isn’t that the same thing that you just accused Bob of doing?
    JK: NO. I said: “ You are comparing average bus to average LRT which replaced the BEST bus lines.”

    But you accused me of “ compare average LRT to the best bus line” when I actually said Bob compared “average bus to average LRT which replaced the BEST bus lines”. Do you have trouble with plain English?

    PS: I said NOTHING about the streetcar. But I will now: The streetcar costs even more than wasteful light rail per passenger-mile. Light rail costs too much & does too little. Streetcar costs even more!

    Thanks
    JK

  34. Bob R.
    October 2, 2008 at 9:39 am Link

    The streetcar costs even more than wasteful light rail per passenger-mile.

    The streetcar is currently configured as a central city circulator, specifically designed to serve short trips. Of course it will cost more per passenger-mile in its corridor, compared to other lines containing significant numbers of non-circulator trips. That’s a feature, not a bug. Apples-to-apples, please.

    And yes, JK, Matthew is correct. In comparing the _average_ of all light rail lines to the _best_ bus line, you’re doing precisely the type of thing you accuse me of doing.

  35. Erik Halstead
    October 2, 2008 at 7:39 pm Link

    Bob R. wrote: Of course the answer was directed at you. You demanded it. Stop the whining.

    Then I expect you to stop the whining when I say something that you don’t like.

  36. Erik Halstead
    October 2, 2008 at 7:42 pm Link

    Bob R. wrote: That’s because Metro only asks the question of “What do you want, existing bus service (with no improvements whatsoever) or a brand new gold-plated MAX line?” The question of improving bus service is never asked or offered.

    That’s not true. From Metro’s own web page about the High Capacity Transit System Plan:

    Huh? I never said “bus rapid transit.”

    I said “improving bus service”. I never said that “improved bus service” equates to “bus rapid transit”. And please show me where Metro actually seriously considers any form of bus service, including but not limited to BRT, by providing an equal comparison. I believe that I correctly pointed out that even Metro’s comparison of BRT and Streetcar to Lake Oswego showed depictions of BRT which were inferior to Streetcar amenities.

  37. Erik Halstead
    October 2, 2008 at 7:46 pm Link

    Bob R. wrote: The streetcar is currently configured as a central city circulator, specifically designed to serve short trips. Of course it will cost more per passenger-mile in its corridor, compared to other lines containing significant numbers of non-circulator trips. That’s a feature, not a bug. Apples-to-apples, please.

    Under this argument, then the operating costs of a bus should NEVER be a factor because a bus is designed to perform a different function than light rail.

    So bus to light rail is “apples to oranges”; yet the light-rail advocates along with TriMet and Metro consistently argue the virtues of light rail compared to busses. If we can’t compare Streetcar to bus because the Streetcar is different which justifies its higher operating costs, then whether busses have higher operating costs should not even be raised as an issue.

    So, what’s the new reason for Metro’s and TriMet’s objection to improved bus service?

  38. Bob R.
    October 2, 2008 at 8:06 pm Link

    Erik, first of all I did not write what you just attributed to me about Metro, YOU did.

    Second, you plainly stated that “That’s because Metro only asks the question of “What do you want, existing bus service (with no improvements whatsoever)”. Bus Rapid Transit _is_ improved bus service. Bus Rapid Transit _is_ offered as an option. Thus, your original statement is incorrect as a factual matter.

    Third, when comparing buses to light rail, I never compare local bus service to regional light rail service — I compare light rail to the BRT option. In this case, so does metro, so your argument does not fit the facts.

    Please note that even the title of this thread is written in purely neutral terms, “Tigard City Council Calls for High Capacity Transit Options”. It does not say “Tigard City Council Calls for Light Rail Options”.

    Finally, in regard to “Then I expect you to stop the whining when I say something that you don’t like.” remark, I’ll leave it up to the judgement of the audience as to who is the routine whiner. By the way, you’ve just posted seven comments in a row on this blog and I’m only challenging you with one at this time.

  39. Lenny Anderson
    October 3, 2008 at 10:24 am Link

    Hey, lets not argue about rail vs bus yet. First let’s talk about a SW corridor alignment, stations, and possible terminus for High Capacity Transit.
    We must assume that for a service to be called HCT, it must be just that with larger vehicles, fewer stops, faster and more reliable schedules and its own ROW in the peaks at least.
    The default is Barbur Blvd for most of the way, but it must serve OHSU (somehow)and Tigard, but should terminate, in my view, at Kruse Woods.
    Town Centers on or near the line: Hillsdale, West Portland with Multnomah (not a TC) not far off. Other major destinations near the line: PCC/Sylvania.
    If this were a MAX line it could be a continuation of the Green or Yellow from PSU, otherwise a transfer would occur at the southern most PSU MAX stop.

  40. Bob R.
    October 3, 2008 at 11:00 am Link

    It may be picking at old wounds, but here I am reminded of a great idea from Jim Howell which was presented as an alternative to the Aerial Tram… a tunnel and people mover or moving sidewalk (think big airports) from South Waterfront to beneath OHSU, with an elevator going up.

    The genius of this idea is that you could install additional elevators at key points, such as along Barbur and Macadam, to connect with transit corridors for easy transfers.

    If we had such a system today, it would be a no-brainer to tie it in to high-capacity transit on Barbur to serve OHSU.

    I do view the tram as mostly a success (an over-budget success) — it is carrying more riders than projected and is a quicker connection than the tunnel/elevator solution would have been… but we may wind up digging a tunnel of one sort or another to connect with HCT.

  41. jim karlock
    October 3, 2008 at 1:07 pm Link

    Bob: “I compare light rail to the BRT option. In this case, so does metro, so your argument does not fit the facts.”

    JK: Compare LRT to BUS on a lane of a newly expanded freeway.

    Will be the cheapest option and be as faster than LRT (going by the discontinued Banfield express bus vs toy train)

    Light rail costs too much & does too little.

  42. Bob R.
    October 3, 2008 at 1:11 pm Link

    Will be the cheapest option and be as faster than LRT (going by the discontinued Banfield express bus vs toy train)

    The Banfield Express is not a direct comparison, because it did not serve the neighborhoods that Light Rail serves. Light Rail (or a dedicated busway in the same corridor, for sake of comparison to BRT) serves more than a few endpoints. This is not to say that express buses don’t have a role to play, but the service they offer is not the same thing.

  43. Lenny Anderson
    October 3, 2008 at 1:16 pm Link

    Bob,
    I was going to mention Jim’s idea, but wanted to not suggest solutions, just the questions. Maybe a glorious staircase for able with an automated one for the lame.
    Not sure I-5 bus only lane with stations would be cheaper than LRT unless we take an existing lane and covert to HOV with special on/off ramps…still pricey.
    LRT/BRT or whatever in exclusive ROW on Barbur gives a faster (than #12) more reliable ride with access every 1/2 mile or so…excepting Hamilton to Terwilliger.

  44. Douglas K.
    October 3, 2008 at 1:28 pm Link

    My inclination would be to support a light-rail tunnel south from PSU. Enter at Duniway Park, and put a station under OHSU with a cluster of high-speed elevators linking to a surface station on the 9th floor of OHSU — with easy walking connections to the VA Hospital, Shriners Hospital, Doernbecher, and the aerial tram.

    Put a second underground station at Hillsdlae near Wilson high school — connections to all the buses running along Capitol Highway (eight lines right now, although a couple of them are Marquam Hill buses).

    The tunnel would exit at Burlingame, and proceed south to Tigard along whatever route was selected.

    Normally I wouldn’t suggest a tunnel, but OHSU + VA Hospital + South Waterfront (via tram) should be one of the biggest trip generators in the system. Over the long term, it might make the increased investment in a tunnel and an expensive underground station worthwhile.

  45. CF
    October 3, 2008 at 6:48 pm Link

    How much would tunnels cost?

    For example, the Steel Bridge bottleneck — how much would a tunnel under the river cost?

    A subway through downtown?

  46. Matthew
    October 3, 2008 at 7:35 pm Link

    For example, the Steel Bridge bottleneck — how much would a tunnel under the river cost? A subway through downtown?

    The numbers I’ve heard for a subway in downtown are in the $2-3Billion range. There are cheaper ways to accomplish some of the same goals, for instance, burying a couple cross streets for a couple blocks so that they could do longer stations would be on the order of $100M each. Stations can be closed and removed, (speeding up travel times,) for around $1M each. If you wanted to go grade separated the entire route though, going up (elevated train style) would be cheaper than going down, although I think people on the street would prefer a subway: Our streets aren’t that wide, so you’d be looking at a significant amount of shading from the tracks. The steel bridge could have flyover intersections so that opposing trains doesn’t have to wait for turning trains, for $200M, (much less, if you are willing to remove the freeway at the same time,) They could go to a 4 track bridge, (with alternate directions on each track, which wouldn’t confuse car drivers because they aren’t allowed in the center of the bridge anymore,) so that Yellow trains would never cross the Blue/Red tracks, (although you still have to worry about the Green,) for $10M. As far as I know, the only advantage of a tunnel under the river is to eliminate the drawbridge, the other problems in the area can be solved for less. And so the only reason I’d see to tunnel under the river is if you were also planning on putting a subway in at Lloyd Center…

    “How much would tunnels cost?”

    For the Tigard line? Quite a bit less than a subway in downtown. Probably $1B to go under Pill Hill (OHSU.) The big difference is less stations, (which are expensive,) and less utilities in the way that would have to be to moved. Also, it doesn’t involve tearing up all of downtown for 2-3 years while you build it, which would definitely be more popular with the public/business community…

    Keep in mind that the Tigard line is going to be expensive as lines go, regardless of if it is BRT, MAX or anything else that uses a dedicated lane, unless it takes over an existing lane on Barbur Blvd… There just isn’t an existing right of way in that direction that can cheaply be widened….

  47. Erik Halstead
    October 3, 2008 at 7:49 pm Link

    Bob R. wrote: Finally, in regard to “Then I expect you to stop the whining when I say something that you don’t like.” remark, I’ll leave it up to the judgement of the audience as to who is the routine whiner. By the way, you’ve just posted seven comments in a row on this blog and I’m only challenging you with one at this time.

    Geeze, Bob, maybe you need to be reminded about this:

    The Rules: Passion and robust debate about ideas are what Portland Transport is about. Passion directed at individuals is not, and will be deleted promptly. Please confine your remarks to policy, opinion and data.

    “Passion directed at individuals…”

    “I’ll leave it up to the judgement of the audience as to who is the routine whiner.”

    “Passion directed at individuals…”

    Now, since you’re bent on breaking your own rules and directing your passion towards me, I’m going to move on towards Mr. Anderson’s comments:

    Hey, lets not argue about rail vs bus yet.

    Thank you, but what will it take to ensure that bus service is guaranteed to be considered?

    The default is Barbur Blvd for most of the way, but it must serve OHSU (somehow)and Tigard, but should terminate, in my view, at Kruse Woods.

    Why must it serve OHSU? Doesn’t OHSU have a $75 million tram? If a new SW MAX line is built, does that mean OHSU is going to pay for the cost of the tunnel/station and eliminate the numerous busses that serve OHSU, and will there be an iron-clad guarantee that the hours of service eliminated by the 6X express routes be redirected towards SW bus service? (And that those hours of service are guaranteed, unlike the hours of service that was removed from North Portland bus routes after just a few years?)

    but should terminate, in my view, at Kruse Woods

    Why? TriMet refuses to put any type of bus service in the corridor save for an indirect routing of the 38 route.

    Town Centers on or near the line: Hillsdale, West Portland with Multnomah (not a TC) not far off. Other major destinations near the line: PCC/Sylvania.

    Suggesting my previous recommendation of a SW MAX alignment (which used the historic Oregon Electric RR alignment), such a route would not require a tunnel (thus saving hundreds of millions of dollars), would serve the Corbett/Lair Hill/Terwilliger neighborhood, Burlingame, Multnomah Village (can you say a prime example of a dense, walkable community?!!), Garden Home, Washington Square (a regional center), Tigard, Durham, and Tualatin.

    Here’s a sample map. The blue points mark station locations.

    This route would continue the success of the Westside MAX line, by adding additional transit WITHOUT eliminating existing transit. Every bus line today would still exist and likely new routes would be added to provide more service.

    Possible bus line changes would be:

    1-Vermont would become a local feeder route, and would not continue north of Burlingame.

    12-Barbur would continue to operate as a Frequent Service route.

    38-Boones Ferry could be split into two separate routes, one north of Mountain Park and one south of Mountain Park. The southern section could operate at 15 minute headways during peak hour, and hourly during the rest of the day. (Currently this route only provides half-hourly service during peak hours, with no weekend service. This is the route that serves Kruse Way currently.)

    44-Capitol Hwy. would become a Frequent Service Route and would run express between Hillsdale and downtown Portland except to stop at Hamilton. This would provide frequent service to PCC-Sylvania.

    45-Garden Home would be re-routed to run from Multnomah Village/Hillsdale area to Beaverton, via Garden Home, 92nd, Allen. It would no longer operate on Olseon Road or in Tigard (a new local service route would replace 45 service in Tigard.)

  48. Douglas K.
    October 3, 2008 at 11:15 pm Link

    Tri-Met could eliminate the Steel Bridge bottleneck by simply putting rail on all four lanes. No tunnel required, although all MAX lines would still be subject to interruption by bridge lifts. From a simple cost-benefit viewpoint, it’s probably far less expensive to change river operations to reduce boat traffic than to build a tunnel under the river.

    Why must it serve OHSU?

    Huge ridership potential. Possibly more ridership than any other single destination currently served by MAX, although we would need hard, defensible estimates to verify that. When it comes time to work out possible SW routes, a tunnel going under OHSU should be on the table for study, along with various surface options.

  49. Ray Whitford
    October 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm Link

    I’m not sold on a tunnel to serve OHSU yet. Can the elevators be diagonal so only one station could serve both OHSU and Hillsdale (maybe even elevators/escalators to third point to the East). Costs of the stations is what makes a tunnel much more expensive is what I am hearing.

    The arguments for the Westside tunnel for the Blue line was that the grade was too steep. This is not an issue on Barbur. Space is the main issue. Space was also an issue for the cost of a surface route in the Canyon Road section (US 26 Tunnel to Sylvan)

    If the number of stations (hopefully only one to serve mainly OHSU and Hillsdale) is only one and the cost for tunnel versus surface are close I would advoca(we need to learn this lesson).

    Ray

  50. Douglas K.
    October 4, 2008 at 6:54 pm Link

    That’s a good point. But if we start thinking “diagonal elevator” then maybe the route doesn’t need to go underground at all. Barbur Boulevard to the Aerial tram platform is roughly 1000 linear feet at Gibbs. Maybe a bit more when elevation gain is considered. It’s a pretty steep hill.

    Maybe a two-station cable car from Barbur to OHSU would do the trick. A cable car wouldn’t be as fast as an elevator, but it still could get up to OHSU in under two minutes. Two cable cars could provide continuous service at peak hours.

    Either that or build a tower with an intermediate tram station at Barbur. Capacity might be an issue, particularly at peak hours.

    These aren’t cheap options, but they’ve gotta be WAY less expensive than a tunnel plus a deep underground station.

  51. Bob R.
    October 4, 2008 at 7:25 pm Link

    Diagonal elevators are sometimes called inclined elevators, or in the case of the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas (pyramid-shaped), and “inclinator”. According to Wikipedia, the term “inclinator” is actually incorrect in this case, as it is normally used for stairway lifts for those unable to climb stairs.

    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevator#Luxor_Inclinator_Elevator

Leave a Reply

By posting a comment, you are granting a license to Portland Transport for your comment. Please refer to The Rules.