Portland Streetcar will hold a public hearing on December 13th to help determine if the bridge plates for the new vehicles for the Loop pass muster:
Notice is hereby given that The City of Portland will hold a public hearing regarding its intent to request a finding of equivalent facilitation for the bridge plates of its low floor streetcar vehicles. The public hearing will be held at the following time and location:
December 13, 2011 Noon-1:30 p.m. City Hall 1220 SW 4th Avenue, Council Chambers
(second floor) Portland Oregon 97214. Persons who need sign language interpretation or other communication service should contact Andrew Bryans 503-823-4079, TTY 503-823-6868, in advance of the meeting. Requests for other accommodations can be made by contacting 503-823-7677. Written testimony and comments regarding the application or requests for accommodation can also be submitted by Friday December 14, 2011. Please submit to: Shoshanah Oppenheim Portland Bureau of Transportation 1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 800 Portland, Oregon 97204 or electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org
The bridge plates are essentially the same as the current vehicles, but the FTA takes this seriously (as they should).
The normal standard requires a side barrier to make sure you can’t roll off the edges of the bridge plate. Streetcar (and TriMet on MAX vehicles) takes an alternate approach by making the bridge plates wider than required – essentially the full width of the doorway – which achieves the same effect and has been approved in the past.
You can get all the details here (PDF).