Open Thread for week of November 10-16, 2013

Stuff in the news:

15 responses to “Open Thread for week of November 10-16, 2013”

  1. Saw a piece off the AP wire on the national streetcar revival…out of Kenosha, WI, but with a lot re Portland’s efforts. Nothing about United Streetcar! BTW, Car 021 has a nice ride!

    • Seatbelts should be an option anytime a vehicle is allowed to move at freeway speeds. Considering the damage a human can do during deceleration, they probably should be required, but at the very least they should be an option.

      Maybe I’m biased. I used to be an EMT. I never heard anyone talk about, “If only he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt…”

  2. Re: seatbelts on long-distance buses. I don’t doubt that seatbelts on buses would be slightly safer for people who choose to ride the bus. But long-distance buses are already extremely safe; much safer than private cars. If seatbelts discourage even 5% of people from riding the bus, and they drive instead, this would greatly increase danger over-all.

    • I think the busses should be required to have them, but passengers should be able to choose whether they use them or not. Many will, so safety will improve, but it will not discourage ridership.

    • Wish I could say I was surprised. I love that old span like crazy; I’ve crossed it via every conceivable mode of transport expect unicycle, but it’s maxed out (no pun intended) as a multimodal facility. During the past couple of years, thanks in large part to having my mind opened by this blog, I’ve come to the conclusion that before we build any more new MAX lines we need to make a long-term investment in fixing this ever-worsening bottleneck. The best solution would be an additional set of tracks separating Yellow/Green from Blue/Red trains in order to reduce the current crossover conflicts. Since the Steel Bridge probably can’t handle additional trackage, a new span or tunnel removing all MAX traffic from the bridge would be a prudent way to go (and the cumulative time saving of trains not having to slow down to a snail’s pace at the bridge joints would be an additional benefit).

      • I’ve previously suggested Tri-Met should build a twin for the Steel Bridge, located immediately to the south of the current span. It probably wouldn’t have a lower deck (no need for one) and could handle bus, car, rail, bike and foot traffic on the upper level.

        Keep the Yellow Line on the existing bridge. Shift the Green Line to E/W (ending at 11th Avenue instead of running down the Mall to PSU) and have the Blue, Red and Green lines share the new bridge. That will allow faster service for the E/W lines (no creeping across the new bridge) and eliminates the bottleneck.

        If there’s need for a comprehensive overhaul of the old Steel Bridge, all four MAX lines could use the new bridge until the work was completed.

        • Douglas,

          There is value to having one of the lines that serve the Rose Quarter and Banfield stem go down to PSU (and maybe one day underneath Pill Hill to a station for OHSU). There’s PLENTY of service on the Morrison/Yamhill couplet. I really don’t see why you’d want to re-route the Green Line in the event that such a new bridge were built.

          • Purely to minimize delays resulting from trains having to switch tracks between N/S and E/W, and/or waiting for other trains to do so. No other reason.

    • It would never work in America, because each driver thinks an uncontrolled intersection is HIS (or HER) uncontrolled intersection at which all others must stop.

      Is that a stupid point of view? Duh! But behavior says it’s true.

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