Tomorrow, September 29, Metro will host a combination steering committee/open house on the Powell/Division project, in which staff recommendations will be presented. Not too surprisingly, staff recommendations include:
- Bus instead of rail (LRT or Streetcar). This is expected, as the proposed budget and timeframe for the project is simply not compatible with a rail solution, having numerous rail projects happening during the Great Recession (and its numerous service cuts) has made rail a bit more politically difficult, and many preliminary documents and materials have referred to it as a “BRT” project. At this point, various grades of BRT are being considered, ranging from “dedicated busway” to “frequent service bus plus”. Even at the low end, the solution calls for 1/2 stop spacings, vehicles larger than a 40′ bus, stations with amenities, and faster boarding (which I assume means fare collection that does not involve the driver).
- The proposed alignment would be to cross the river using Tilikum Crossing, then use Powell out to at least SE 50th, transitioning to Division between 50th and I-205 (TBD), and Division to Gresham, with a possible connection to Mount Hood CC, with several different alignments possible in Gresham. A transition at SE 82nd seems to have quite a bit of public support.
- Riders want a service that is “discernibly quicker” than the existing 4 and 9 bus lines.
Among the next steps are consideration of various potential station areas along the route, and potential impacts/changes to local transit.
A big pile of documents can be found here.