MLS All-Star game open thread

Next week, Portland will host one a major cultural event, and you can take MAX to see it:  Ted Nugent is playing the Expo Center.  :)  Oh, there will be a soccer game at Multhomah Civic PGE Jeld-Wen Providence Park, too,

So, another Open Thread.

  • Portland has updated its Comprehensive Plan, and has a rather lengthy (and expensive) list of capital projects that the city would like to do in the next 20 years (not all of them will be done, obviously).   Regional projects that Portland is not playing a major part in (MAX expansions, the proposed I-5/Rose Quarter project) are not on the list, but the list includes lots of transit-, bike/ped-, and freight-related goodies.  Among the highlights are streetcar extensions to Hollywood, north up MLK, and to John’s Landing (LO-lite?); major renovation to South Portland in concert with the SW Corridor, major improvements to rail infrastructure on Delta Park, several bike boulevards, widening OR99E between Harold and Tacoma, and the western half of the Burnside Couplet.  Portland has also developed an interactive “map app” to document the plan and seek public comment.
  • Speaking of interactive transportation tools, Metro has one too.
  • Speaking of streetcars, the debate on this controversial technological tool exploded on the transit internets this past week, with contributions pro and con from Matt Yglesias, Robert SteutevilleJarrett Walker, The Overhead Wire, and Seattle Transit Blog.

15 responses to “MLS All-Star game open thread”

  1. am I missing something, or has Portland Transit decided to ignore the new bridge proposal over the Columbia? seems like something very relevant and timely to comment on, and I continually check in here to see if a story/analysis has been posted. I would very much like to see what staff and commenters thinks of this, even if I can make a pretty good guess as to the general mood about the proposal.

    what gives?

    • It was discussed quite a bit in the last Open Thread; we haven’t (as yet) done a full article on it. One problem with the project as proposed is that right now it seems to be something that is the “baby” of the Clark County Commission (specifically, Commissioner Madore), and the planning work done so far has been done without the participation of any of the other relevant government bodies (Washington/WSDOT, Oregon/ODOT, Multnomah County, the City of Vancouver, the City of Portland, Metro, etc). The City of Vancouver has voted to oppose the project.

    • I think a Camas-Troutdale Bridge would make a lot more sense. Bank to bank distance is only 2400 feet, compared to nearly 10,000 feet at the 192nd bridge site. Probably the major tactical hurdle would be getting an FAA exception for intruding into Troutdale Airport glide path.

      I’m still for the Western Arterial highway as a priority. I can’t believe anyone would want to do nothing to solve the huge economic loss poised by congestion on I-5. Those trucks are losing very valuable time and the commuters are putting up with an extra half hour, easily, in the afternoon. The Western Arterial route would simply solve those problems, and provide a shortcut from Vancouver to the Silicon Forest and other points in Washington County that would appeal to all modes.

      Also with a double through arch design for the main bridge, and a large pier in the middle of the Columbia main channel, all kinds of possibilities open up. Instead of numerous piers and pilings clogging up river channels, one large pier would demarcate the navigation channel, from the recreational areas of the Columbia. And could have recreational features, itself.

      It could also have some electrical generating capacity–such as underwater turbines—that could recharge whatever electrical hybrid bus combination comes our way. The current is still quite steady at this site (a few hundred feet downstream of the BNSF bridge) and could recharge buses and easily provide for LED lighting on the bridge itself.

      With a standardized design of a metal arch, why couldn’t the components be produced on a mass scale, and have enough for a Camas-Troutdale bridge, also? Even though the Western Arterial would need 3 crossings, the one over the North Portland Harbor is minor.

      A Western Arterial highway would get enough usage to bring back I-5 to tolerable levels of congestion. But what happens in the future could cause congestion to return. But at least we would buy some time to come up with other solutions.

  2. What Matt and Jared ignore when they say that bus priority is equivalent to streetcar priority is that when streetcars are built with dedicated lanes, those lanes are usually in the center of the street, immune from turners, at least those who honor traffic signals.

    Since only a tiny minority of buses have left-side doors, bus priority on urban arterials is nearly always in the rightmost lane and is typically hosted as “business access transit” (“BAT”) lanes with right turns allowed. While that’s often just fine in neighborhood operation, in the high density pedestrian environment of central cities, waiting for right turning vehicles destroys the reliability of buses with BAT lane style reservations, The intruding private vehicles wait until the end of a cycle to turn because the pedestrian crossing to the right of the street from which they’re turning is jammed with pedestrians.

    When buses have exclusive priority in a right-hand lane across which turns are prohibited, this is not a problem. The Portland Transit Mall works very nicely almost all the time, because most drivers honor the “No Right Turn” signs. But a single streetcar line operating at any headway less frequent than once every two minutes is not going to get a dedicated lane in most CBD’s.

    So, systems like Councilman Licata’s proposal to replace the proposed center-running reserved lane Central City Connector in Seattle with ETB’s in their own lanes in truth would not be equally reliable and quick. Especially at Pike Street right turners would delay the buses for many cycles.

  3. Aren’t the tracks on the streetcar line a source of danger for cyclists? I got a stuck in an old rail track once and it didn’t end up very well. With buses you wouldn’t have any of that track problem——on the whole length of the line! London has been using double decker, with a new rapid loading design with three entrances. But if part of the game of mass transit is to entice people to use it, i think the London design is really intriguing:

    • Ron,

      I like the double deckers, too. If one is going to have an urban bus, they’re a great use of road space! My experience in London — admittedly limited to Kensington, Westminster and The City for surface transportation — is that the Red Buses usually run in a reserved lane, at least intermittently.

      The issue is First Avenue hardly moves because of the large pedestrian load around the Pike Place Market and from Marion through Pioneer Square. The streetcar proposal at this time includes a center-running reservation that would enormously privilege the streetcars over the other traffic. The streetcars would move at a good clip even after games and on Saturday.

  4. Of personal relevance to me, today TriMet issued a service alert for the NE 60th Ave. MAX station, stating:

    Service Alert: Elevators at NE 60th MAX station are not working. Maintenance has been notified.

    This is excellent news! All these years I’ve been living here, I’ve only been able to find and use just one elevator. Can someone tell me where the 2nd (or 3rd?) elevator is located? :-)

  5. GlobeSherpa lands piece of TriMet’s new eFare system (Portland Business Journal)

    Nice when your company can be handed millions of dollars to play with.

    • Yes. When you innovate and create new products that people want to buy, people will generally give you money for said products.

  6. I wrote a pretty long piece on STB containing a proposal for bus priority to relieve congestion on the existing Interstate Bridges.

    It’s here if you want to read it: Bus Priority

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