Archive | May, 2014

The question of secession from TriMet

In the recent article about the Southwest Corridor project, there was quite a bit of commentary written by “joe”, who is opposed to the project (or at least appears to be opposed to any major capital construction in the Tigard/Tualatin area), and is involved, in some fashion, with an initiative petition in Tualatin to require a public vote such transit projects.  This thread isn’t for discussing the SWC or rapid transit (vs plain-old-bus-service), but another proposal that joe has mentioned in the other thread, and is also mentioned on the petitioner’s website:

The withdrawal of Tualatin from TriMet.

From the petitioner’s website:

We Do Want Tualatin voters given the right to have a public vote on transit projects, better bus transit service throughout Tualatin with more connections elsewhere  with a less costly & better bus transit system like Wilsonville’s SMART.

[Emphasis in italics added by Portland Transport]

Is this a good–or viable–idea?  Particularly from the view of transit users?

More, after the jump.

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Sustainable Transportation Planning: Tools for Creating Vibrant, Healthy, and Resilient Communities

STP_tumlinI am currently reading Sustainable Transportation Planning: Tools for Creating Vibrant, Healthy and Resilient Communities written by Jeffrey Tumlin. Tumlin, a planner at Nelson/Nygaard penned this wonderful book collecting nearly every useful tool for the layman, neighborhood activist or professional all in one book. Tumlin has penned what I believe to be not only a practical read, but one that also entertains; it doesn’t read like a boring old book of standards. Perhaps one of my favorite quotes comes when Tumlin lays out the logic in having redundant and adaptive systems in our transportation systems and likens them to the human body,

“Strategic redundancy is another key to survival in the natural world. If something is really important, nature produces more than one of it, because as nature knows, stuff happens. Humans only need one kidney, a small but critical organ, but we have an extra in case one gets gored by a wildebeest.”

While the sticker price might scare you away at first, Tumlin has assembled all the tools active transportation planners and activists need to equip themselves in the pursuit of transportation design that is both equitable and logical in it’s execution. Professionals can enjoy a fresh approach while novice or beginner activists can easily learn from one of the industry’s masters.

The seasoned active transportation activist likely won’t find provocative proclamations (except for Tumlin’s conclusions on parking reform which are fantastic) however, the fact that nearly every logical basis for active transportation design an activist needs is collected in one spot is in itself, nearly worth the purchase price of this book.

If you cannot purchase this book, get out to your local library and check it out. It will be worth your time.

To Cross, or Not to Cross…

PSU Transportation Seminar:

Speaker: Ron Van Houten, Western Michigan University
Topics: Pedestrian Safety and Culture Change
When: Friday, May 16, 2014, 12-1 p.m.
Where: PSU Urban Center Building, SW 6th and Mill, Room 204
Summary: This session will describe the process and results of a NHTSA study that showed a change in driver culture of yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks on a citywide basis. The research won the Pat Waller award from the National Academy of Sciences, Transportation Research Board in January of this year. The approach to changing road user behavior focused on an integrated approach that include Enforcement, Engineering, and Educational efforts that were designed to be dovetailed together and that included a social norming component. Additional information will be provided on engineering solutions that can facilitate changes in pedestrian level of service and safety.