Archive | 2010

Southwest Corridor project starting up, wins $2 million FTA grant

The next rapid transit corridor to be extensively studied in the Portland Metro area, what many in the media (including us) have been calling the “Barbur Boulevard” corridor, has a new (and more generic) name (The Southwest Corridor) and a $2 million grant from the FTA.

The next rapid transit corridor to be extensively studied in the Portland Metro area, what many in the media (including us) have been calling the “Barbur Boulevard” corridor, has a new (and more generic) name: The Southwest Corridor.

And it has a new page at Metro’s website.

And–it now has $2 million in the bank, or on the way, thanks to a $2 million grant from the Federal Transportation Administration to study the corridor, defined roughly as the travel sheds of Barbur Boulevard/OR99W and I-5. The study areas include the cities of Portland, Tigard, King City, Tualatin, and Sherwood.

At this point, Metro insists that no decisions regarding mode or routing have been made–although many critics would scoff at this claim, believing that “the decision” has been made to build light rail, and that discussion of other alternatives will be for show. (I’d suspect that LRT enjoys a strong advantage, given the 50+ miles of existing track and the potential length of the corridor; but that other options have not been ruled out). Whether service to Tualatin is part of the corridor definition is unclear–the City of Tualatin is involved, but that may be simply because 99W passes through Tualatin’s northwest corner just across the river from King City. (The city of Durham is NOT included; which makes me suspect that downtown Tualatin is not within the project scope). And another unanswered question is how much of the defined corridor will actually get served–Gladstone and Oregon City were part of the South Corridor project (which spawned the Green Line and MLR) but rapid transit service to these two cities remains a long-term goal.

Still, a project isn’t really a project until it gets a name. And the first milestone on the next rapid transit corridor in the Portland metro area has hereby been passed. :)

Where it All Began

This year my Christmas present to my family was getting all of my Mom’s old Super-8 home movies converted to digital video files.

While going through the videos and cataloging the content, I came across this sequence – my first bicycle, just after the training wheels came off (circa 1967).

Looking forward to smiling big on my bike for many years to come.

Updated: Transit Tax Benefit to Expire?

Update: 12/21/10

The benefit is safe for 2011.

Original post: 11/23/10

Part of the stimulus bill was a provision that allowed employer-provided transit benefits to be deductible expenses at the same level as parking: up to $230 per month.

That provision will expire in January and the cap on deductible transit benefits will return to $120 per month.

T4America has a petition drive going to ask Congress to keep the limit equal between driving and transit.

Vigil for Barbur Crash Victim Tonight

From Willamette Pedestrian Coalition:

In cooperation with Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. and Friends of Barbur, a quiet vigil for Angela Burke and all who have lost someone close to them on the roadway will be held Monday 20 December, 2010 at 5:30 pm, tentative location near the corner of SW Barbur Boulevard and SW Hamilton at the gravel turnout. Participants are encouraged to bring a candle, lights, and personal signs commemorating Angela, a loved one lost or call for safer streets. More information regarding exact venue available on BTA and WPC websites and Friends of Barbur Facebook page as it is confirmed.

I understand that a bike ride will leave the PSU/Park Blocks at 5pm to the vigil.

Quick Density Quiz

A quick quiz for all of you:

What is the most dense city in the Portland Metropolitan area?

Hint: It does not start with the letter “P”.

Answer below the fold.

A quick quiz for all of you:

What is the most dense city in the Portland Metropolitan area?

Hint: It does not start with the letter “P”.

Answer below the fold.

The densest city in the Portland Metropolitan area is Johnson City, Oregon, which has a population of 634 crammed into less than a tenth of a square mile–for an effective density of 11,062 persons per square mile.

OK, so that’s a trick answer… after all, Johnson City is little more than an incorporated trailer park, and one that doesn’t even have an official web presence. Excluding it, what’s next–surely Portland, right?

Nope. The most dense city in the metro area, besides Johnson City, is Beaverton–with a population of 86205, and an average density of 4665 persons per square mile. Portland has a population of 582130, and a density of 4288 persons/square mile. Several other metro area cities, all of ’em on the Oregon side of the river, also are more dense than Portland overall–King City (4652), Gladstone (4619), Maywood Park (4571), and Gresham (4505). Portland, as it turns out, is seventh.

If you add so-called “census dedicated places” to the mix–unincorporated communities which are defined and tracked by the US Bureau of the Census, and for which reliable figures are available, several of these are also denser than Portland. Aloha (5660 ppl/sq m) is even denser than Beaverton, as is the smaller Oak Hills area near Bethany (5865). Other CDPs with significant levels of density include Metzger, Jennings Lodge, and Oak Grove. The densest community north of the Columbia is Lake Shore, WA, at 4110 ppl/sq m.

Of course, it can easily be pointed out that this constitutes abuse of statistics, and I’ll agree: The City of Portland includes within its boundaries acres and acres of parkland, including Forest Park, as well as numerous large industrial areas unsuitable for residential use–and much of the city’s western parts are no denser than your average suburb. If we only consider the “core” of Portland–downtown, and those parts between the river and I-205, and Columbia Bvld to Johnson Creek–that area has a density that blows away Johnson City. The other communities named don’t have anything resembling the Pearl within their borders, after all.

But still, the tale told by the stats is interesting–even if the facts don’t reveal the truth.

The complete data, for all cities and CDPs within the metro area. Reliable stats are not available for Damascus, due to its recent incorporation. Density is given first, and then population. All figures taken from Wikipedia; and may reflect different sources; none is older than the 2000 census.

Aloha (CDP) 5660 41741
Banks 3886 1435
Barberton, WA (CDP) 1072 4617
Battle Ground, WA 2553 16812
Beaverton 4665 86205
Brush Prairie, WA (CDP) 305 2384
Camas, WA 1149 17950
Canby 3390 15140
Cedar Hills (CDP) 3881 8949
Cedar Mill (CDP) 3388 12597
Cornelius 1585 10895
Damascus 600 9985
Durham 3144 1395
Fairview 2631 9695
Felida, WA (CDP) 1968 5683
Five Cornders, WA (CDP) 1978 12207
Forest Grove 3850 20775
Garden Home (CDP) 3657 6931
Gladstone 4619 12200
Gresham 4505 101221
Happy Valley 1674 4519
Hazel Dell N, WA (CDP) 3469 9261
Hazel Dell S, WA (CDP) 3053 6605
Hillsboro 3254 90380
Jennings Lodge (CDP)4638 7036
Johnson City 11062 634
King City 4652 2750
La Center, WA 1884 2545
Lake Oswego 3409 36073
Lake Shore, WA (CDP) 4110 6770
Maywood Park 4571 777
Metzger (CDP) 4556 3354
Mill Plain, WA (CDP) 1237 7400
Milwaukie 4256 20835
Minnehaha, WA (CDP) 3464 7689
North Plains 2045 1605
Oak Grove (CDP) 4380 12808
Oak Hills (CDP) 5865 9050
Oatfield (CDP) 3608 15750
Orchards, WA (CDP) 2601 17852
Oregon City 3164 31826
Portland 4288 582130
Raleigh Hills (CDP) 3830 5865
Rock Creek (CDP) 4690 9404
Ridgfield, WA 421 4314
Rivergrove 695 324
Salmon Creek, WA (CDP) 2674 16767
Sandy 2045 7070
Sherwood 3931 16115
Sunnyside (CDP) 2621 6791
Tigard 3795 47460
Troutdale 2671 15465
Tualatin 2929 25650
Vancouver, WA 3659 165809
Walnut Grove, WA (CDP) 1891 7164
Washougal, WA 1734 13509
West Linn 3014 24180
West Slope (CDP) 3727 6442
Westhaven/Sylvan (CDP) 2674 7147
Wilsonville 2085 13991
Wood Village 3004 2680