Open Thread – Fat Tuesday Edition

What’s on your mind?

10 responses to “Open Thread – Fat Tuesday Edition”

  1. Will Portland Bike Share open before the new Bridge? Will it open before the Orange line? Will it open before the Purple line to Sherwood? (Mrs Dibbly says that if the next one isn’t called “Purple”, she’s going to get mad. You wouldn’t like her when she’s mad.)


  2. When will real-time displays be deployed at all the Blue/Red line MAX stations in Downtown and out to Hillsboro? Also, why don’t the displays at Gateway also report bus arrivals? Is it just Trimet’s bias against buses? Is it not bad enough that buses lay over on one side of the platform before going around to the other side to pick up passengers, confusing people in the process? I’m inclined towards that view because of conditions at Tigard Transit Center. There is a real time display at the WES platform which, ironically, has bus times as well. It cannot be seen, however, from the bus stop because it is too far away. It takes a few minutes to walk from the bus area and to the far end of the WES platform where the display is and then back, so it is quite possible to miss a bus while going to find the arrival times. Why don’t they have the display in the bus waiting area where it would be far more useful to the far larger number of passengers who use that transit center exclusively for its bus service?

    Another question: If the 20 bus line is among the very busiest in the system, why is it not part of the high frequency network?

    One more: is there any conceivable way that MAX could be sped up short of building a tunnel under Downtown (which I favor)? From Beaverton Central (quirky location for a station) to Sunset, there are a lot of slow zones, and coming out of the tunnel going eastbound isn’t at high speed either. Even signal priority in Portland is virtually nonexistent. “Metro Area Express,” my foot.

    • “One more: is there any conceivable way that MAX could be sped up short of building a tunnel under Downtown (which I favor)?”

      Sure there is, take out half the stops downtown.

    • There is at least one display with bus arrivals at Gateway. It’s under the MAX shelter towards the north end of the westbound platform facing north.

      Also, part of the higher ridership on Line 20 may be a result of its length, and not on a per-mile basis.

    • Buiulding another rail bridge so that the trains arent so bottlenecked by the steel bridge would probably help. I hate the idea of a tunnel though. Most people are trying to get to stops downtown, not bypass it completely so they can speed from beaverton to gresham.

      • I personally favor the “long-range” tunnel option: a belly north to the grain elevator just north of Broadway, a loop under the river to NW Ninth, south under it to the post office (which would be moved somewhere with better road access) with a station for the Pearl district there a zig over to Park and south to Burnside then under Broadway to Pioneer Square, a diagonal station between Broadway and Fifth deep enough to pass under the buildings to the south of Pioneer Place, then down Fourth to a “Government Center” Station about Main, a diagonal curve to a stop at 8th and Mill for the Southwest downtown, under I-405 to a station inside the hill south of Goose Hollow and a portal just east — JUST east — of the Vista Bridge.

        That would put every part of downtown except SoWa and Pill Hill on the east-west main stem, and speed things up significantly. Such a system could run with two minute headways from Gateway to Beaverton TC.

        In the absence of that an amalgam of Reza’s idea (“eliminate half the stops [on the main stem] downtown” and “build a parallel bridge next to the Steel Bridge would work and could be done much more cheaply.

        Which would make more sense depends on the progress of AGW in the South and Southwest. If it continues to worsen, people will be moving here in droves and the subway will be needed. If not, the enhanced surface option should do the trick.

        • So if I understand your plan correctly, there would still be the same number of downtown max stops as there are presently (10) but they’d be spread out a lot more, especially in the Pearl, giving it sort of an S shape? That could work, but I’m not sure it would be any faster for most users than what we have now. People would have to walk farther to get to their stop, and then walk down stairs to get to the subway stop underground instead of just hopping on like they do now.

          Boarding is probably the biggest delay for the MAX downtown. If we could widen the doors a little it would help a lot.

  3. Chris, I’m still repeatedly having trouble accessing the site on mobile platforms without crashing the browser, both on my iPhone and iPad. Maybe I can show you at a streetcar meeting sometime as I have a hard time believing that I am the only user experiencing this.

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