Archive | January, 2009

CRC Sponsors Panel to Review Greenhouse Gases on Friday

The Meeting is 10-noon at the WSDOT HQ in Vancouver:

10:00 – 10:10 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
10:10 – 11:30 a.m.
Add/Drop Lanes Decision Process (Cont.):
• Overview
• Response to Action Items from Last Meeting:
– Travel Demand & tolling
– Additional Operational Differences
– Transit Impacts
– Environmental Differences
– Cost Related Issues
– Induced Land Use
• Presentation and Discussion on Greenhouse Gas
Expert Panel Findings
11:30 – 11:45 a.m. Discussion on Recommendation Process for Add/Drop Lanes
11:45 – 11:50 a.m. Communications Update
11:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Next Steps and Next Meeting Topics
12:00 p.m. Adjourn

WSDOT, SW Region Headquarters, Room 124
11018 NE 51st Circle
Vancouver, WA 98682

The meeting packet (PDF, 318K) is worth a read, it includes the minutes from the last meeting, where VMT projections were reviewed.

“Bright Lights” Focus on New Willamette River Bridge

For its next leg of light-rail, TriMet is proposing what will be downtown’s first new river bridge in 35 years–and the nation’s first-ever transit/pedestrian/bicycle bridge. It’s a trophy in the making to add to Portland’s ever-growing mantel of green alt-transport innovations.

But, not surprisingly, a debate is emerging over cost and aesthetics. So for the first Bright Lights city design discussion of the new year, we’ve invited the project’s designer, Boston-based architect Miguel Rosales. He’s trying to create a beautiful bridge TriMet can afford.

Presented by Portland Spaces magazine and the City Club of Portland–and sponsored by the Architecture Foundation of Oregon–the Bright Lights series features conversations with the designers, planners, elected officials, and other movers and shakers affecting the city. The discussions take place every second Monday of the month at Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th Ave.

Rosales has designed such sublimely elegant bridges as the Puente Centenario over the Panama Canal and the Zakim Bridge in Boston. Over the past six months, in collaboration with German engineering firm Schlaich Bergermann and Partners, he has studied a dozen types of bridges for TriMet and the Willamette River Transit Bridge Advisory Committee. The final two contenders could not be more different: a cable-stay bridge with towers reaching 270 feet high and a wave bridge that echoes the surrounding hills with an undulating open-web truss pattern. A more standard bridge, the cable-stay is estimated to cost between $89 million and $93 million. The wave bridge, which has never been built before, could run from $93 million to $119 million.

At Bright Lights, Rosales will speak about the merits and risks of each design, as well as his own career in bridge design. In particular, he will address the challenges of designing unique structures like the wave bridge. The Guatemalan-born, MIT-educated Rosales has led the design of more than 15 major bridges, including the new Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge in Washington, DC, and the Liberty Bridge in Greenville, South Carolina.

Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Presentation begins at 5:30 p.m.

KBOO Bike Show: Open House

Listen to the show (mp3, 27.6MB)

Wow! What a banner year for cycling! The KBOO Bike Show celebrates LIVE on the air with our New Year’s Open House. Blind Pilot, a Portland-based rock band that tours by bike, performs live in the studios. We invite people on the air to share their favorite moments of 2008 and hopes for 2009.

From Stimulus to Reauthorization

Even as the New York Times editorializes for a greater role for transit, the buzz in the blogosphere notes that the President-elect again mentioned “roads and bridges” but not transit in his weekly address.

The line now being heard is that the stimulus will preserve the existing split between roads and transit and that policy change will need to wait for the reauthorization bill later this year.

Meanwhile, the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission appears poised to recommend a significant gas tax increase.

Lots of noise. I’m looking forward to some actual legislation!

Facebook to the Rescue?

Kicking off the spring PSU seminar series:

Portland State University
Center for Transportation Studies
Winter 2009 Transportation Seminar Series

The Winter 2009 Transportation Seminar Series begins this Friday!

Speaker: Alison Wiley, Transportation Options Program Manager, Oregon Dept. of Transportation

Topic: Global Warming Transportation Solutions Via Social Marketing

When: Friday, January 9, 2009, 12:00-1:00p.m.

Where: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204