May 2013 Open Thread

Welcome to the merry month of May. Lots of stuff going on right now, here’s just a sampling:

  • We direct your attention to the fourth year of our interview series with Neil McFarlane. A total of four parts will be published: (Part 1, Part 2 are now available, Part 3 and Part 4 forthcoming).
  • We also direct your attention to Zef Wagner’s piece on the Lombard Re-Imagined effort; a project to tame what is one of North Portland’s most important streets (and one that is still, unfortunately, officially designated as a truck bypass…)
  • Labor relations between TriMet and the ATU are once again, not off to a good start, as a “ground rules” meeting last Friday ended abruptly, partly over which media entities might be entitled to cover the negotiations. ATU’s take here, TriMet hasn’t published a press release on the subject yet.
  • ODOT is considering variable speed limit signs for area freeways.
  • Things are getting hot and heavy with the Columbia River Crossing, as Mayor Hales threatens to nix the project if the Washington Legislature doesn’t approve funding. Hales, Oregon governor Kitzhaber, and Washington governor Jay Inslee are all on record stating that light rail is a “non-negotiable” component of the project; with the Republicans in the Washington State Senate insisting that the project be built without it. Two years ago, we compared the project’s complicated politics to squaring the circle; we’ll see if this game of legislative chicken gets resolved in the next month or so, or not.
  • TriMet would have you read APTA’s periodic Transit Savings Report, as well as wanting you to know that proximity to public transportation significantly improves a home’s value.
  • Metro is revising the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) again, and wants your input.

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