Metro has a new on-line planning tool up for the Southwest Corridor project.
It lets you choose where you think the station areas should be for High Capacity Transit (but you only get to pick five!) and also gets your input on modal and community investments.
Check it out, it’s called “Shape Southwest”.
14 responses to “Where Would You Put Transit Stations in the Southwest Corridor?”
There was a little problem finding the OHSU and PCC Sylvania stations on the webpage…maybe because they might be underground?
It is quite unclear whether clicking 2 stations far apart from each other will cause stations in between to get stopped at or skipped. I didn’t particularly like the tool although it seems better than nothing
It looks to me like if you don’t click a station it gets skipped. I needed to play around to discover you need to click two stations to connect them with a line.
I went with a Downtown-OHSU-PCC-Tigard-Washington Square line, with the assumption that it would be an LRT segment that runs underground from Downtown to PCC, and the Tigard/Washington Square segment would be mostly on existing (but — I think — abandoned) rail right-of-way and the shoulder of 217.
Why not have four or five stops from Sherwood to Tualatin on an express bus route and then hop on I-5 into downtown? Tigard already has decent service and is close to Portland anyway. But no, METRO will have a long, drawn out citizens’ input that takes forever on how to make this the “great place.”
I don’t think the point is to play connect the dots and build a virtual corridor. It’s to connect the points you would actually travel between so that planners can figure out where you are trying to go to and from, e.g. PCC to downtown, or OHSU to Tigard, etcetera. I doubt that Metro (not METRO) expects us all to literally design a transit corridor.
If you play connect the dots, all you tell Metro is what you, armchair transit planner, think will work as a transit line. Other than your opinion, its pretty useless stuff.
But if you tell them the actual points you want to travel between and ignore their geographic line logic, then Metro gets origination and destination pairs, something that is vitally important to picking a transit mode as well as designing the characteristics of the service, such as speed vs. stop density, and so forth.
Of course, I don’t work at Metro. Nor METRO. So what do I know?
At 8:30 AM this morning there were 755 bicycle trips logged on the Hawthorne Bridge counter. The lowest total I’ve seen yet all year. Down from a typical 1000-1300 over the past few months.
Auto traffic was also very light, at about 75% of normal. I think folks were just not interested in getting out and about given the bad weather.
Who wants to be out and about in December weather if you can help it?? Everyone stays home if they can. For those who can’t, I’m pretty impressed by the number who manage to brave the rain on bicycle. For those who chose to switch from bicycling to bus or car, why criticize them? It’s pretty reasonable to change your mode of transport based on your willingness to tolerate different conditions.
If traffic is light, the incentive to bike is less – if you’re doing it for traffic-avoiding reasons :)
Traffic counts are likely down simply because of the holiday, but nasty weather can certainly cause a shift from bike to other modes where one is more protected from the elements.
I picked downtown, OHSU, Hillsdale, Multnomah, PCC, Tigard.
I believe the era of sprawl-and-rides should be over. We have to build density closer to the core, but we can’t expect everyone to live in the Pearl. We need neighborhoods that are removed from downtown, but still provide a dense, walkable environment. Aside from proper zoning, quick, frequent transit connections to OHSU and downtown are essential for adding density to places like Hillsdale and Multnomah.
Here’s my 5 – which form a full corridor route.
Meridian Park to King City- Fixes the E/W connectivity problem for the NW Industrial Corridor (hopefully via Herman Rd) in Tualatin and connects King City to the Hospital. Also, the East Tualatin terminus gets you closer to the 205 corridor which could provide full connectivity via Oregon City to Clackamas, effectively making the Green line a beltline route.
King City to Washington Square- Washington Square needs to be part of any SQ corridor route. This is a no brainer.
Washington Square to Garden Home- Routing through Garden Home is flatter and closer to more affordable housing, and opportunities to build more affordable housing in Washington County.
Garden Home to South Waterfront- this provides access to OHSU and better connectivity down Barbur.
South Waterfront to Downtown Portland- through connection to the Green line via PSU.
I don’t think the point is to play connect the dots and build a virtual corridor. It’s to connect the points you would actually travel between so that planners can figure out where you are trying to go to and from
Well, looking at from the perspective of where I actually go in SW, my five-station line makes sense: OHSU/VA because I periodically go to the VA to help my father (say, to drive him home in his car after an outpatient procedure); Hillsdale because I frequently make transfers at that transit center on trips into SW; PCC Sylvania because I take non-credit classes there, and it would be a lot more convenient to take MAX than the bus; Tigard TC because I make a lot of transfers there on trips into far SW; and Washington Square because I shop there. The only other place I ever make multiple visits to in SW over the course of a year is Multnomah Village. From a personal use perspective, my proposed five-station line would be the most practical for me … a six station line that included Multnomah Village would be pretty close to perfect.
Here’s what I put in the comment section:
“Do not settle for “bus rapid transit” in shared lanes along Barbur Blvd. This corridor needs a dedicated/separated right-of-way for reliable, fast service along this corridor, including a tunnel station directly serving OHSU. If there is no money for this level of project, please reinvest in our inner-city bus network instead. NO MORE bus cuts for suburban light rail operations!”
For the record, all of my corridors were from Downtown to OHSU, Hillsdale, PCC, Tigard, and Bridgeport Village. I would have added Multnomah Village and Tigard Triangle too if I had another choice. I would want the OHSU to PCC segment in tunnel, and then double-track and electrify the WES corridor from Tigard to Bridgeport.
It would be nice to eventually see two LRT lines in SW. An extension of the red line along the WES corridor, picking up Washington Square and Bridgeport before terminating in Tualatin, and a second line running from PSU, picking up OHSU, Hillsdale, Multnomah, and PCC. The two could meet in Tigard, with a potential future extension of one line down 99W. Riders from Tualatin/Bridgeport could transfer in Tigard for a more direct trip downtown.
I continue to believe that LRT is very unlikely in this corridor due to the extremely high cost (either a tunnel or a complete rebuild of the Barbur viaducts) and a lack of political will for megaprojects.
Given that, what would be the best BRT treatment in the SW? I would opt for a 3-line “open BRT” treatment. Line 1 would be Downtown-Hillsdale-PCC-Tigard. Line 2 would be Downtown-Hillsdale-Multnomah Village-Washington Square. Line 3 would be Downtown-Hillsdale-Raleigh Hills-Beaverton. These three busways would converge on inner Barbur, which would have dedicated bus lanes (at least during peak times).
Eventually, it would be great to see if the region can purchase the WES right-of-way and convert it to to light rail. This would be far less expensive than most MAX lines. If that is done, MAX can be extended south, creating a really nice comprehensive system in the SW.