Welcome to Streetcar Switch Central

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The Streetcar re-opened on Monday after a two-week shutdown to install new track in the Pearl District. A very complicated set of switches, crossovers and merges create the new “Northrup Loop”.

I’m celebrating because this represents the culmination of advocacy that I’ve been conducting since the Loop was first proposed shortly after the original alignment opened in 2001.

Back then I was representing NW Portland and wanted to make sure that future routes from NW 23rd to points on the east side would be possible.

Later in the process I was joined by Anne Niles, representing the Pearl District, who advocated for the Northrup Loop as a way to bring transit service further north in the district serving more existing and future residents.

As I joined the System Plan committee, it became even more apparent that flexibility would serve many potential future use scenarios.

So now the Northrup Loop, surrounding the two blocks between Lovejoy and Northrup, NW 10th and 11th, is a reality. The cost of this enhancement was an extra $1M on a $147M project. It was funded half and half by a local improvement district funded by local property owners (including for the first time single family condo owners) matched by Urban Renewal dollars.

For you sports fans, here’s a catalog of all the movements it will support.

Slide1

Until this week, this was the only possible movement.

Slide2

This is the ultimate configuration for the Loop that will circle both sides of the river.

Slide3

Until we have the vehicles and operating budget to get at least south to Market St., this will be the temporary configuration.

Slide4

This is the movement I started advocating for almost 10 years ago.

Slide5

This is the bonus movement, which could be coupled with the turnaround at Market St. to allow a downtown shuttle serving the most heavily used part of the route.

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