Valentines Day Open Thread

Today is Valentine’s Day, and Oregon’s birthday to boot.  For it’s birthday, the Beaver State gets a new governor, as John Kitzhaber will resign next week.

  • The Willamette Week takes a look at Oregon’s governor-to-be, Kate Brown.  As Governor, she will have the power to fire and appoint TriMet’s board of directors.   She has plenty of opportunity to make her mark on the agency–currently there is one vacancy on the board, and four directors who are serving beyond the end of their terms as Governor Kitzhaber did not nominate replacements.   She’s familiar with the agency on many other fronts–she helped secure state matching funds for the PMLR bridge, and her office led the recent audit of the agency.
  • Speaking of which, TriMet has recently announced that it has implemented the recommendations of said audit.
  • It’s time, once again, for another five-year review of the Urban Growth Boundary (and possible expansion).  Disagreement in Clackamas County, though, may slow down the process.  (And the expansion areas in South Cooper Mountain and South Hillsboro are still being planned at this time, and haven’t seen any development yet).
  • From Joseph Rose at The Oregonian:  Portland is preparing to issue nearly 300 more taxi permits.  The Sellwood Bridge replacement is over budget, but Portland is balking a bit at paying its share of the cost overruns.  And despite the impression one would get if one follows @trimet on Twitter, Twitter users are friendlier to TriMet than transit riders in many other cities are to their local transit authority.
  • The Southwest Corridor steering committee has further culled some alignments and accessory elements from the scope of the project (a good summary of the changes is not yet available).   And Bike Portland has spent the past week taking an extensive look at SW Portland.
  • Metro is soliciting public comment on Powell/Division through a new online tool; the steering committee for that project expects to make alignment decisions in mid-March.  If you want to comment using the tool, feedback needs to be submitted by March 4.
25 Comments

25 Responses to Valentines Day Open Thread

  1. EngineerScotty
    February 14, 2015 at 5:51 pm Link

    Playing with Metro’s Powell/Division tool, it’s clear that the Steering Committee wants to eliminate some of the proposed alignments outright (use of the Ross Island Bridge instead of Tilikum Crossing; use of Cesar Chavez, and the Eastman and Powell alignments through Gresham). It also appears that the Committee’s favorite routing is:

    * Tilikum Crossing to 12th to Powell
    * Powell to 82nd to Division
    * Division, Hogan, and Stark to MHCC.

    Which is the alignment I would choose.

    • SEAN
      February 15, 2015 at 11:50 am Link

      Has there been a decision in regards to the type of transit mode for P/D? If TriMet goes with BRT, they better not repeat the same mistakes that most north American transit systems make such as NYC & there SBS witch is a half hearted attempt at it. They have the exclusive lanes, but the NYPD almost never gives out tickets for violators & it’s easy to ride without paying.

      • Michael Andersen
        February 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm Link

        From what I’ve heard in Neil McFarlane’s interviews on this site and elsewhere, BRT has been the unofficially assumed mode for Powell-Division since 2010 or so. I think this is basically because they don’t think dedicated lanes are viable, either because of ODOT’s speed/capacity demands for Powell or the general lack of money for ROW acquisition in a relatively dense area.

        According to Anthony Buczek at Metro, last week the matching funds source for Powell-Division would be Small Starts, which lacks the New Starts requirement that at least half of a BRT alignment offer exclusive lanes.

        In other words: yes, I’m pretty sure the leading plan right now is to make a halfhearted attempt at BRT.

  2. Jack G.
    February 14, 2015 at 8:18 pm Link

    It’s interesting that in both the map tool for the Powell/Division project and the latest SWC map have the potential for each line utilizing Columbia and Jefferson to Goose Hollow. I wonder if the city is pushing for another east-west connection.

    I also spotted another interesting note in the latest West Quadrant plan that the city released. While the plan is full of generalized concepts at the moment, there was this note regarding in the Goose Hollow section

    “Determine the feasibility of adding new light rail station(s) on the Blue/Red line near SW 14th or 15th Avenue as development density increases in “the Flats.”

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, providing transit connection to the area as it grows is a good idea, but at the same time, the stop spacing downtown is already painfully close. The distance between the Kings Hill and Providence Park stops is only 500-600 ft.

    • SEAN
      February 15, 2015 at 11:35 am Link

      What if the Kings hill stop were to be relocated to the noted location. Could that solve both issues?

      • nobody
        February 16, 2015 at 12:02 pm Link

        It’s probably not going to happen. First, I have to imagine that if TriMet had the will to do something like this they’d have done it a long time ago. Second, the Timbers would probably pitch a fit if TriMet tried to remove the station that let people out at their doorstep. It’s only relevant 20 or so times a year, but my guess is that they have a lot of pull.

        50 years into the future maybe we’ll have a subway that runs underground from Lloyd Center through downtown, which would allow us to cut out roughly half of the stops between those points. Fantasy I know, but I can dream.

        • Jack G.
          February 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm Link

          Actually, I think that TriMet closes the Kings Hill stop after Timbers games so they can set up a controlled fair-enforcement area. From my experience, the station gets the most use from the students at Lincoln High School.

          • nobody
            February 16, 2015 at 2:10 pm Link

            Oh I forgot about that! The station really doesn’t have a reason to exist, the Lincoln students would have what, an extra block to walk?

            • SEAN
              February 16, 2015 at 4:54 pm Link

              How about that – in a backdoor sort of way you made my point, thank you. BTW I too forgot the Timbers angle in all of this.

            • Jason McHuff
              February 18, 2015 at 6:24 pm Link

              I believe there were political reasons why the Kings Hill station was built, that the Goose Hollow neighborhood was politically influential and demanded it be built.

            • Douglas K.
              February 21, 2015 at 8:40 am Link

              More importantly, the Multnomah Athletic Club would lose its station. The handful of MAC members who use MAX would need to walk an extra block. Can’t have that.

            • Anandakos
              February 21, 2015 at 2:23 pm Link

              MAC members use MAX? Say it ain’t so, Joe!!!

            • EngineerScotty
              February 21, 2015 at 3:08 pm Link

              Once they have had a shower after a workout, it would be a disaster if any of the Leaders of the Community™ were to risk sweating while walking to the Providence Park station. They might go to a politicla business meeting with body odor, offend the noses of some out-of-town VIPs, and cost the region billions of dollars of business.

              You don’t understand how important King’s Hill is to the metro and regional economy.

        • SEAN
          February 16, 2015 at 5:04 pm Link

          50 years into the future maybe we’ll have a subway that runs underground from Lloyd Center through downtown, which would allow us to cut out roughly half of the stops between those points. Fantasy I know, but I can dream.

          I don’t know if a subway of that sort would be likely, but I wouldn’t say never as I do find such an idea like that quite interesting. It makes one ask questions witch leads to idea refinement.

    • Reza
      February 19, 2015 at 6:34 pm Link

      The initial plans for the Westside MAX extension did propose a station in the vicinity of SW 14th but this may have been dropped due to demands from the MAC to have a station in front of its doorstep.

      In any case, the gap between Providence Park and Galleria/Library stations is way too long for the Portland city center and an infill station would be a great addition there. Combined with closures (excuse me, “consolidations”) of the Mall, Kings Hill and Skidmore Fountain stations and you would have pretty good stop spacing on the cross-mall alignment. In a perfect world you would also shift Galleria/Library one block west to better facilitate Streetcar transfers and achieve even better spacing.

  3. EngineerScotty
    February 16, 2015 at 7:51 pm Link

    Uber launches a new service: http://www.theonion.com/special/luxury

    Not sure if it will be legal in Portland, however. :)

    • Allan
      February 16, 2015 at 8:18 pm Link

      Amazing

      • SEAN
        February 17, 2015 at 8:19 am Link

        LOL – You expect anything less from the Onion? Quite funny & an undercurrent of truth to boot.

  4. EngineerScotty
    February 18, 2015 at 10:56 pm Link

    Starting next March, TriMet will be adding some service: http://trimet.org/alerts/service-change/2015spring/index.htm

    Changes aren’t major–a few runs added here and there to several routes–but still, a step in the right direction. In a few cases, route schedules will change enough that riders should be aware.

    • SEAN
      February 19, 2015 at 8:47 am Link

      Sometimes the addition of a single bus on a route can have a huge impact on service quality even if it isn’t at first obvious to the naked eyes of the riders.

      I know from reading about TriMet’s history, they at one time had articulated busses in the fleet & it maybe time to move in that direction once again. If not, the next best option would be “double talls” since you would achieve increased passenger capacity without marketly increasing the lengths of the busses. I’ve left my personal preferences before & I’m not going to rehash them here.

    • Jason McHuff
      February 19, 2015 at 9:52 pm Link

      Actually, I think some Frequent Service lines will be going from every 20 minutes to every 15 minutes on Saturdays.

  5. Lenny Anderson
    February 21, 2015 at 3:24 pm Link

    Reza, et.al.,
    Yes, I believe some of the underground wiring is in place between 12th and 14th…not sure which block. But that stop was lost to the contentious fight with Goose Hollow in the early 90’s; they insisted that an extra stop was needed or that the Stadium stop be moved south. I was chair of NWDA Transportation and made speech after speech rejecting any move of that station away from NW. Some of us were sorry that the westside MAX line did not continue up Morrison into a tunnel under Burnside with a big station at 23rd before heading to the Zoo in the big tunnel. We did not want to lose the limited MAX access we had with the Stadium stop. So GH got an extra station (aka MAC Station) and the West End came up empty. Time for some adjustments and consolidations on the Cross Mall line.

  6. Douglas K.
    February 25, 2015 at 9:42 pm Link

    Another look at the public preference for trains over buses and how quality of service impacts that preference.

  7. EngineerScotty
    February 26, 2015 at 9:58 am Link

    Public opinion of TriMet appears to be rebounding: http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2015/02/trimet_approval_rating_rebound.html#incart_2box_commuting_index.ssf

  8. Lenny Anderson
    February 26, 2015 at 10:57 am Link

    One striking difference between the images of modern BRT and modern LRT is that the latter vehicle appears to have about twice the capacity as the former. Significant, when operators are a key cost center for operations. Its fair to say that building/acquiring the essential exclusive transit ROW is a wash.

Leave a Reply

By posting a comment, you are granting a license to Portland Transport for your comment. Please refer to The Rules.