How Wide is the Effect of Transit?

Traditionally we figure folks will walk a quarter mile to a bus line, maybe a bit further to a rail station.

But an analysis from Dallas suggests that rent premiums can be found as much as a mile away from light rail…

29 responses to “How Wide is the Effect of Transit?”

  1. While interesting land use/transit economics, the current DART station and land use pardigm is not a good one to emulate in terms of inferential LRT station walkshed factors.

    Nelson should have recognized, evaluated and carefully noted the DFW region’s original LRT station land development premise before he and others make presumtive inferences and indicators on walkshed distance. A significant number of DART LRT stations were originally designed and developed astride wide freeways, with large park and ride facilities with very little residential (let alone proximate, high density housing) within a 1/2-mile, euclidean distance, and most DART stations have signficant walk barriers (DFW freeways) further reducing effective walksheds. The current DART LRT station built environemnt forces (non park-and-ride transfer) riders, especially lower-income/transit-dependent riders, to walk much longer distances than other US LRT systems.

    You would be hard pressed to find a Hollywood or Willow Creek station land use example in the current DART system. DART is now trying to reverse their station area land use development, embracing TOD principles and removing walk barriers to increase LRT ridership.

    • Yes & no. Light rail & streetcars have ways of attracting riders in ways that traditional busses can not. In adition, streetcars can allow for reconfigured bus routes & bring transit into underserved areas like East Portland.

      As for the busses them selves, perhaps newer & more stylish vehicles might do the trick. It’s worked in Las Vegas of all places.

  2. To a large extent, the Orange Line will follow UPRR tracks and the 99E almost freeway, so the positive affect on property values will be limited. Streetcar’s power to affect property values and spur development is clear in Lloyd where for almost 30 years a parking lot sat next to the 7th Avenue MAX station. Now Streetcar stops around the corner on 7th, and hundreds of apartments are under construction on the former parking lot. Not a coincidence.

    • It should also be noted that the developer at 7th and Holladay is considering something even larger across the street. Also the new dumbbell building construction is starting adjacent to the Burnside and MLK streetcar stop.

      What will eventually happen with the Convention Center hotel will interesting.

      There will be many other things happening in the area that, along with the opening of the Tillikum Bridge, will cause CL line ridership to explode.

      Development and streetcar complement each other.

      • Now if we can just figure out how to speed up the line on the Broadway bridge, and help it avoid traffic by the Rose Garden.

        • Now if we can just figure out how to speed up the line on the Broadway bridge, and help it avoid traffic by the Rose Garden.

          It’s called an “exclusive lane”.

      • True. Transit system growth & real estate development have gone hand & hand since the days of the early railroads. Some neglect to understand such a fundamental concept & only see it as a give away to developers. what you see with the streetcar is no different as surface lots become ever more valuable. This may also have the effect of demanding additional streetcar lines at some point in the future.

        Could you Imagine how the urban landscape of Portland would change with additional streetcar routes? Also keep in mind that this isn’t a substitution for existing bus services, rather it’s a complement to it.

  3. From the east end of the Broadway Bridge to 7th, Streetcar operates in the far left lane of Weilder and there is NO parking between it and the curb, so a exclusive transit ROW is physically doable. It will have to continue to operate in the left travel lane on the bridge itself, so if reducing the number of travel lanes east of the bridge backs up traffic a bit more, Streetcar will be impacted. I would argue it would be a net gain in speed, but mostly in reliability. Westbound on Broadway there is parking, so going exclusive is a bit more complicated, and the delays are considerably less in that direction.
    What is going on at the old Broadway Furniture and at that old fast food joint just beyond 7th? More housing? more retail? Time to look at extending Streetcar east on Broadway/Weidler to Hollywood. A list of all the projects under construction or in the pipe line between the Broadway Bridge and OMSI would be interesting.

    • “What is going on at the old Broadway Furniture”
      It’s becoming an Ace Hardware store. Plans for an apartment building fell though so it’s being remodeled.

      “That old fast food joint just beyond 7th?”
      Taco Bell is rebuilding the joint.

  4. What is going on at the old Broadway Furniture and at that old fast food joint just beyond 7th? More housing? more retail? Time to look at extending Streetcar east on Broadway/Weidler to Hollywood. A list of all the projects under construction or in the pipe line between the Broadway Bridge and OMSI would be interesting.

    Basicly you are hitting all the right points. Extending the streetcar creats tremendous utility by running it through dense neighborhoods. This is the one department where MAX comes up a bit short since it is adjacent to I-84 rather than in the center of activity. With that said, you can certainly walk from a MAX station without issue.

    • With that said, you can certainly walk from a MAX station without issue.

      Yes, in the Lloyd District. But between the Lloyd Center station and the Hollywood station the MAX tracks are squeezed between the UP down in a trench and the freeway. There can never be an “infill” station along there, so from about 13th or 14th to 38th or 39th, it’s too long a walk to Broadway for MAX access to be practical. A streetcar in the corridor could greatly improve density, but only if it is given proper priority through the Rose Quarter and across the bridge.

      Evenutally the plans for streetcar out MLK to the north should be realized as well.

      The long-term should see MAX underground from Seventh Avenue to Goose Hollow (via the edge of the Pearl and PSU ideally in order to serve all of the downtown core) with streetcar taking over service on the existing surface alignment for Red and Blue Line trains between those places. For a streetcar there’s excellent opportunity for a stop just west of I-405 to serve a potentially great new neighborhood. The frequent stop spacing on the existing surface line is much more appropriate for trams than the regional LRT trains (which could be longer) and “radial” streetcar lines on Broadway and MLK could better access the downtown core. There might be voltage issues crossing the Steel Bridge, but there’s no fundamental reason that streetcars and the Yellow Line could not share it.

      That’s not to say that there should not also be cars on MLK which continue straight south to SOWA and PSU and cars on Broadway which continue on Broadway-Weidler to the Pearl and PSU via the West Side, but that there should also be cars on those tracks which go downtown, even if only at the commuter peaks.

      If the stop at MLK and the Convention Center were removed — the Rose Quarter TC is only one long block away — and an additional “side track” on the eastbound side of the TC were added for the streetcars, the Green Line could continue to share the trackage between Seventh Avenue and the west end of the Steel Bridge, so that there could continue to be direct service between far south end transit mall stations and the Lloyd District and I-84 stations on MAX.

      • Sorry if I wasn’t clear – What I was driving att was the fact that MAX being a regional system, it doesn’t do the short trip ride well once east of NE 11th as station spacing widens. This is where the streetcar can fill the service gap & walking comes into play.

  5. From the new New Seasons at Grant Park “Village” it is a short walk to MAX; maybe it is time to think about a new MAX station just west of NE 33rd. Consolidate the Conventional Center and Rose Quarter stations to make such an additional station “stop neutral.”

    • You don’t want to eliminate transfer locations such as Rose Quarter TC even if reconfiguring the area is in order. Plus I don’t understand how adding an additional stop at NE 33rd nessessitates the closure of RQ TC.

    • I think a MAX stop should be added at 28th Avenue rather than 33rd, as it’s equidistant between the Lloyd Center and Hollywood. There’s already an overpass, and it’s a short walk to both Sandy and Broadway from there. There’s a medical facility, a huge Fred Meyer, and about half a mile south is bustling node of businesses between Burnside and Glisan along 28th. Maybe they could run a bus up it one day. We could use another north-south bus between 11th/12th and 39th. I’ll say this, I’d make use of a station at 28th. It’d be easier than the bus I currently rely on. Sandy’s also overdue for redevelopment. It’s a street with a lot of potential that’s not being realized. It would also give MAX a more useful presence in the inner east side of Portland. The distance between the Lloyd Center and Hollywood stations is roughly twice the distance between Hollywood and 60th or between 60th and 82nd, ect. It would even things out a bit.

      As for stop consolidation, I think it would make more sense to consolidate the Convention Center and 7th Avenue stops, since they’re so close to the Rose Quarter and Lloyd Center respectively. The new station could be located between Grand and 7th were the streetcar tracks are, and it would be more or less equidistant between the Rose Quarter and the Lloyd Center.

      Any improvements to the Banfield MAX line would be a blessing. Having it in where it is really reduces the walkshed, and the curves add unnecessary distance to the line. In many respects, it’s inferior to the alignments on West Side blue line or the Yellow line or even the blue line east of Gateway. Still, it’s there, and every effort should be made to help it be more useful as well as pleasant to use. I’ve always been shocked at how shoddy the stations feels, how vulnerable one feels waiting on the platform with cars whizzing by so quickly only feet away without much of a barrier. Then there’s the noise! I’m sure they can do better than that! If we can send men to the Moon and do open-heart surgery, I think we can manage a better train platform. It ain’t rocket science!

      • I agree. There’s nothing but SFH on either side of the freeway at 33rd. Burnside is very close on the south side and would offer great redevelopment opportunities.

        Maybe the storage buildings could be converted to housing. Weirder things have happened.

  6. Hardware stores are good, but building retail in the B-way/Weidler corridor without housing is a lost opportunity. Isn’t this property inside the Convention Center URA?
    A shame that fast food is hanging on as well in the corridor…a waste of land.

    • Fast food joints are like gas stations in that they’re everywhere & detract from the vibrancy of a neighborhood. Land is too valuable to waste on single occupant structures such as these & other drive through concepts.

  7. I would place a new MAX station at approximately NE 32nd, that is actually several blocks west of 33rd and now has a signal at Broadway. A station would have to be of much better design that the existing Banfield line stations and include a new 32nd Avenue overpass at least for bikes and pedestrians (and maybe Streetcar). The new Grant Park Village apartments and Broadway New Seasons are right there between 32nd and 33rd, with more land available for development. Fred Meyer is close as well, offering acres of land for more intense development if as parking is moved into a structure. Run Streetcar out Weidler/Broadway to 24th, and there at the end of the couplet, put both directions on Weidler to 32nd (up zoning both sides of that street); cross I-84 on a new MAX station’s viaduct and continue to Hollywood on Sandy. Might work!

    • I like the idea of a station in that area as long as another station on the east side is removed to compensate for the increased travel time. Also Fred Meyer is never putting in a parking garage at that location. Its their best performing store and will not mess with it

    • EXCELLENT idea, Lenny. Using the streetcar as a collector/distributor for MAX through areas on both sides of I-84 is a winner. I’d suggest on slight refinement, though. Turn off 31st onto Multnomah for a short block to Sandy. It would make the turn onto and off of Sandy much less disruptive and could be controlled by a streetcar-only signal.

  8. Agreed…between NE 11th and the River, three stations, if correctly redesigned should do.
    re Fred Meyer…were Streetcar to run along the northern edge of their property on Weidler, the adjacent parking lots would become valuable enough to fund a change in use.

  9. I urged the Streetcar CAC to support a new East/West line from the developing Conway properties south via NW 18th & 19th to the existing N/S line, then across the Broadway Bridge and on out Broadway/Weidler to Hollywood. Having it jog south over I-84 to a new MAX station on a new NE 32nd Avenue bridge, then east, as A. suggests, via Multnomah to Sandy and on to Hollywood solves some Broadway challenges east of the couplet.
    I also have thought that it might make sense to get such a Streetcar line to go thru Hollywood to an end point in the Providence campus which spans I-84 around 47th.
    Check out the relationships between S-Bahn (commuter rail), U-Bahn (light rail) and Strassenbahn in Frankfurt a.M. on Wikipedia’s fine system map @ Frankfurt Strassenbahn.

  10. What’s going with the blog? Seems like the number of postings has dropped off dramatically in recent months. The debates here can be fun but do we need new leaders?

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