TriMet North Central Draft Service Plan

Guest author Cameron Johnson is a regular Portland Transport reader.

This week, in a much smaller time gap than there was between the SW and Eastside plans, TriMet released the North Central Draft Proposal for improved bus service. (North Central means all of NE above Burnside and west of the 205, North Portland, and inner NW). Unlike past plans, there’s no new plan weaving into the proposal as far as rapid transit goes, and the present inner parts of the grid itself is some of the more solid bus service in the city, as is to be expected. Like the other ones, it’s nothing major or capital- reroutings, new routes, schedule improvements, and other basic improvements.

Here’s the short version with the map and cliffnotes. As usual, we’ll go into more detail, and I’ll give my thoughts.

Two new lines have been proposed:

  • Line Y, which starts at some undetermined point in the Southeast side, uses the 20th/21st corridor north to Broadway, takes over line 17’s corridor on 24th/27th to Concordia, and jogs over to Columbia Blvd, looping around 15th, Argyle, and 21st.
  • Line Z, which starts downtown and travels through Rose Quarter TC, MLK, Alberta (taking over the 72), 33rd, and Prescott to Parkrose TC.

These edits have also been proposed:

  • Small edits to lines 4 and 44, where they will no longer serve Lombard in St. Johns between Richmond and St. Louis, and use Ivanhoe instead.
  • Line 6 will wind through Delta Park via Union and Hayden Meadows drive to the MAX station and take I-5 to Jantzen Beach.
  • The line 15 will no longer serve the Industrial Zone, instead reverting to Montgomery Park. It will also take Morrison straight through from 18th to Burnside.
  • Line 16 will not serve Front Avenue, instead winding through Northwest Portland via Station Way, Marshall/Northrup, 14th/16th, Raleigh, Vaughn, through Montgomery Park and through to the Industrial Northwest route before continuing to St. Johns.
  • Line 17 will merge with the 70’s portion of 33rd Avenue, running straight through to Sunderland (eliminating the detour to Riverside Drive.
  • Line 20 is confirmed to be frequent only between 23rd Avenue and Gresham TC.
  • Line 24 will not end at the awkward Emanuel Hospital loop, instead taking the 405 from Williams/Vancouver to the US30 offshoot, NW Wilson/Vaughn, 19th/18th to Providence Park.
  • Line 58 Canyon Road will take Columbia/Jefferson to Naito Parkway, taking it all the way North to Kittridge to end at Yeon/44th.
  • Line 70, having relinquished its 33rd avenue route to line 17, will return to Rose Quarter and merge with both the 85 and the Dry Dock portion of the 72, ending at Basin and Fathom.
  • Line 71 will split from the 122nd Avenue segment and end at Parkrose TC, extending from Cully/Prescott via Cully, Killingsworth, 82nd, Alderwood, Cascade Parkway, St. Helens, Alderwood, 105th, and Sandy to Parkrose TC.
  • Line 72 will no longer detour to Alberta, instead remaining on Killingsworth since the Line Z takes over Alberta. The Dry Dock segment is taken over by the 70, meaning it will always end at Anchor Street.
  • Line 77 will no longer detour to Broadway between 42nd and 47th.
  • They’re also proposing additional service hours on the 4, 15, 20, 72, and 75. Commuter shuttles are being vaguely proposed for Rivergate, Cedar Mill/Northwest Heights, and the East Columbia/Bridgeton neighborhoods. Finally, the Washington Park area will have year round service in an undetermined hybrid of the 63/83.

 

Now, here are my suggestions:

  • Minor but important one: the 77 change eliminating the detour from Halsey to Broadway between 42nd and 47th makes the route a little more efficient, but this detour is only made to serve an apartment complex on Broadway and 45th that houses many senior citizens, making it a very busy stop. Quite like the 4 continuing to serve 7th so it can get a close stop to Goodwill rather than use the new crossing, the 77 has this meander for a reason.
  • I’m not sure I’d have the Prescott route run on MLK, on almost half of an already frequent service line. I guess if you want to connect it to the transit mall, you could, but it seems repetitive. The best move would be to take a left turn onto Albina/Mississippi, adding service to the area and continuing on Mississippi down to the MAX Station and Interstate, providing connectivity to the industrial area, shopping neighborhoods (both Mississippi and Alberta), and the residential Cully neighborhood on Prescott. This also puts it within a stone’s throw of PCC Cascade and Jefferson High School.
  • I don’t think I’d have the 70 take over for the Swan Island route because the nature of the current 85 is that there’s no place for a layover that doesn’t complicate the route immensely due to the looping nature. You’d either have to establish a layover at Basin/Fathom (running the Cutter loop and Dry Dock section both ways) or not lay over at all, and given both the length of the 70 and the areas it serves (narrow, traffic-plagued, railroad-intersecting inner city) that seems implausible. They should run the 85 to the city center (perhaps connecting it with a short line if one can be found). The 70 itself could also link up to the Front Avenue portion of the 16/58, although the connectivity wouldn’t be as valuable as it would be for the 58.
  • I’ve long been a proponent that there shouldn’t be bus service on 27th because of how narrow and dangerous the street is, but the corridor itself is opportune. As far as where it should end south-side, I’d run it down 21st, Gladstone, 28th, Bybee, and into Sellwood. From there, it can meander to Johns Landing/Burlingame via Tacoma/Taylors Ferry, or Milwaukie via 17th/Ochoco. As for the North Side, I’d not end it in the middle of nowhere, rather extend it down Columbia to the Kenton area via Interstate Place, Kilpatrick, Denver, I-5 Looparound, and end it at Delta Park.
  • As for the 24, I’d at least extend it down to Goose Hollow, and potentially combine it with one of the Jefferson routes/downtown only routes, such as the updated 1 Vermont, which could combine by rerouting to Jefferson. It could also be more productive to run the route to Emanuel Hospital still via Vancouver, Graham, and Kerby, before entering the I-405, as well as taking the US30 to Nicolai and looping around Montgomery Park.
  • Ending the 58 at Yeon seems pretty arbitrary- it’s not really anywhere, and it only serves the mostly empty Naito Parkway beforehand. Extending it to St. Johns would fit better- a little redundant, but of an emptier area, and takes riders to a pretty big area of the city while connecting it to the Westside on a relatively quick corridor. Since the 16 would now be winding through slower inner city areas due to the new Northwest Portland routing, it’d also again be the swiftest way to get to St. Johns. I’d also make sure that the 16 goes on the transit mall again, which has hindered the route currently.
  • I’d not reroute the 6 in a complicated roundabout to get to Delta Park. It’s out of the way and serves frontage roads to get to a small portion. I’d use the 8, routing it via Portland Blvd, Vancouver, Schmeer, Denver, Victory/Whitaker, Hayden Meadows, Union, and the I-5 to the Delta Park/Vanport Transit Center stop with the C-Tran layovers. This connects the residential areas of NE Portland to the large shopping centers and connects a third route to C-Tran in the west side. (On the South side, I’d also extend the 8 to Burlingame so it can layover there).
  • In conjunction with the MAX replacing the 33 down McLoughlin, there’s room freed up for the 14 to return to the transit mall instead of the awkward routing it has around Broadway.
  • I much prefer the 71 serving the Cascade area than trying to maneuver the 21 or 87 to it. Even if the Prescott line doesn’t immediately come to fruition I’d extend the 71 from its terminus at Parkrose (since the uncoupling from the 122nd avenue portion is imminent), run it up 105th, Alderwood, St. Helens, Cascade, and up to PDX itself as sort of a supplementary extension along the Red line to the Cascade area.
  • As far as transit facilities, I think a case for a terminus transit center at Pier Park for the 44, 58, 75, 11, and potentially 4 could be a good idea, if there’s an efficient way to serve both Safeway and Pier Park for the 4. Already there’s stops set up and plenty of extra room.
  • Let me know in the comments what you think! It’s interesting that we’ve gotten such an intense look in the last few months at the ideal bus system TriMet has proposed. It still feels like a snowball’s chance in hell sometimes that it’d come to fruition, but the fact that TriMet has a vision seems like a big step up.
44 Comments

44 Responses to TriMet North Central Draft Service Plan

  1. maccoinnich
    June 18, 2015 at 5:55 pm Link

    I’m really glad to see that TriMet is planning for increased service in the North Pearl and in the Conway properties. There is a huge amount of development planned or under construction in those areas, and yet they actually have less service than they did 5 years ago.

  2. Reza
    June 18, 2015 at 9:29 pm Link

    The new 16 is great for the NW neighborhoods but there’s already a couple route changes in store based on community feedback. For instance, Marshall is a non-starter for buses because of the nature of that street.

    But also, this post just gave me an idea:

    Let the new 58 on Naito Parkway take on the St. Johns/Sauvie Island tail of the current 16, and then interline the truncated 16 and 14 through the Transit Mall. You would vastly increase mobility and access for North Pearl and Conway residents, employees and visitors.

  3. Reza
    June 18, 2015 at 9:51 pm Link

    Also, while I understand why TriMet picked 20th instead of 28th for Line Y (there’s no good streets for buses south of Hawthorne for a 28th line), I still think it’s a missed opportunity not to serve the 28th commercial corridor better. You would have better line spacing too between the 70 and 75. Regardless, super excited to see that route implemented.

  4. EngineerScotty
    June 18, 2015 at 11:36 pm Link

    Fine work, Cameron.

    Random thoughts:

    1) I, too, don’t think the 70 should end in the Swan Island loop-the-loop. I wasn’t a big fan of the old 85 either, but assuming that no new roads on SI are built, I would serve it with a dedicated route–but one that starts at e.g. RQTC, goes up Interstate to Going, in and out of SI–then continues up Greeley to Peninsular to Columbia, east to Argyle to Denver, and north on Denver to Delta Park/Vanport. This would partially duplicate the 35 (and perhaps the SI route should run limited stop), but it would serve another industrial site that is presently ill-served, and provide a much better connection to Swan Island for Vancouver and North Portland commuters.

    2) The planned bus service changes that will occur when the Orange Line opens (less than three months) are mostly good things. Perhaps this would be too long of a route–but its northern end by RQTC, and it be combined with the 32 and provide service to Gladstone and Oregon City?

    3) If you asked me where a new route should go in this part of town–I would have more or less identified Route Y; a continuous N/S corridor between 12th and Cesar Chavez. I would have THIS route ramble through Delta Park than the 6. On the south end, this should serve Reed College, and cross Bybee into Sellwood.

    4) Nice to see 24 becoming a useful route again.

    5) As noted in a few other articles–I’d make the 15 run out to Gresham, and end the 20 at Gateway–and combine it with the 48, giving a continous Gateway-to-Hillsboro bus line (frequent service, of course).

    6) Nice to see better service to the PDX, particular places where people work, rather than just for shoppers and travellers.

    7) Another alternative for Route Z–which I agree shouldn’t run down MLK–would be to continue west on Alberta to Vancouver/Williams, south to Emanuel, actually serve the front door of the hospital, and then to RQTC?

    8) As noted in the Gresham/East County article, but more appropriate here–I would like to see a crosstown E/W bus in N/NE Portland–that essentially runs St. Johns to Gateway, or Delta Park/Denver to somewhere in Gresham. That might be another thing to do with Route Z or an extended 24.

  5. EngineerScotty
    June 18, 2015 at 11:38 pm Link

    One minor correction–the southern boundary of the region being considered is SE Division, not E. Burnside.

  6. Chris I
    June 19, 2015 at 6:37 am Link

    I think that it is a good idea to remove the 77 Broadway detour. The bus loses several minutes due to the detour, primarily at the 47th and Halsey intersection, where it has to make a dangerous and time-consuming tight turn. The folks in the apartments would only need to walk an extra block to get down to Halsey.

    • Douglas K.
      June 19, 2015 at 8:15 am Link

      Personally, I like the 77 Broadway detour. I find the 42nd/Broadway stop very convenient whenever I’m shopping in Hollywood, since it’s quite close to the Hollywood core.

      If the detour works better for the senior residents of that apartment, I say keep it.

  7. Eric
    June 19, 2015 at 10:53 am Link

    I’m new to Portland–what’s with the lettered bus lines? Is this something new that Trimet is doing?

    • Chris Smith
      June 19, 2015 at 10:57 am Link

      I believe it’s just a convention for “we-haven’t-assigned-a-number-yet-since-this-is-still-just-an-idea”

      • Cameron J
        June 19, 2015 at 11:27 am Link

        Yeah, this is it. I was tempted to arbitrarily number them.

      • EngineerScotty
        June 19, 2015 at 11:50 am Link

        It’s worth noting that the Eastside plan contains a line called “71” and the N/Central plan contains a “71”. These lines, presently, are the same line (both called 71), but they will become disconnected in the future, and be two separate routes.

        Pretty certain that one of them will be called something other than 71, but TriMet has not said what.

        As these are drafts anyways, I’d take any numbering scheme with a grain of salt.

      • Eric
        June 19, 2015 at 4:51 pm Link

        Gotcha. Thanks!

  8. Scott
    June 20, 2015 at 10:36 am Link

    With the opening of the Orange line they should find a way to have the 6 connect to it at OSMI allowing the the 6 + Orange Line to form a NS spine on the east side of the river. The 14 can take over the 6’s route to Goose Hollow which would be an improvement as well by making it the fastest way to get from SE to the Beaverton / Hillsboro.

    The proposed 24 extension should be a hit and become the easiest way to get from NW to anywhere in the NE a connection that currently almost always requires a trip downtown. In fact I would like to see more routes take advantage of the Broadway bridge to provide service between NW & NE Portland.

    • EngineerScotty
      June 20, 2015 at 10:55 am Link

      I like the idea of connecting the 6 with OMSI (and having it cross Tilly into downtown, for those riders who want a single-seat ride to the Transit Mall, or at least to PSU.

      One thing that still seems to be a thing–many eastside buses (including ones that are primarily N/S) still cross the river to run up/down the mall. Great for transfering; but not so great for through service.

      • Nick theoldurbanist
        June 21, 2015 at 8:50 am Link

        So the 8 should be combined with the the 70?

    • Nick theoldurbanist
      June 21, 2015 at 8:53 am Link

      All I have to do now is take the 77 from NW across the river to Rose Quarter TC, and get the Yellow Line or most any NE bus line from there.

    • Reza
      June 24, 2015 at 12:10 am Link

      Given the torturous connection between the NS Line streetcar and the 14 currently (actually with almost any streetcar-bus transfer north of PSU), I’d appreciate extending the 14 west to Goose Hollow. But I’d rather extend it up the mall and interline with the 16 if I had the choice.

      This is an issue (streetcar-bus interface) that I wish this blog covered more.

      • Jason McHuff
        June 24, 2015 at 2:07 pm Link

        What I would look into doing is swapping the western ends of the 6 and the 14. Not only would that connect the 14 with the streetcar, it would also connect with Westside MAX. It doesn’t make total sense to have the 6 be the cross-downtown line since once it gets to the east side, it turns and goes where the 15, the 20 and MAX (and the CL Line) go and one could take one of those instead.

        Operationally, the 6, like the 14, doesn’t need a downtown layover, though one issue is routing between Jefferson/Columbia and Madison/Main seeing that it needs to serve both riders wanting northerly stops and those wanting to go down Jefferson/Columbia and turning right off of 5th/6th isn’t allowed.

  9. Sarah Cardin
    June 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm Link

    I like the idea of extending the 24 over to NW Portland. However, the line will still be pretty worthless if the frequency isn’t increased and service added on weekends. There is a stop for the 24 that’s 1/2 block from my house and I never use the route, even though there are places on Fremont that I go to often and which are served by the line. Round trips just take too long — on the days that the 24 actually runs, anyway. Most of the time when I see a 24 bus pass, it’s empty or almost so. Given that the city is appears ready to continue approving parking-free apartment buildings on Fremont, increasing the frequency of the line to accomodate carless residents would seem to make a lot of sense.

    • Allan
      June 23, 2015 at 1:21 pm Link

      This is the main problem w/ the 24 right now. More runs on the 24 are needed to make it a useful route

  10. m
    June 23, 2015 at 3:45 pm Link

    In addition to the change to Line 17 referenced above, the 17 will also now head downtown again instead of forcing riders onto the MAX at Lloyd Center.

    EXCELLENT and about time!

    • Trebor
      June 23, 2015 at 11:20 pm Link

      IIRC, Trimet essentially doubled the frequency of the NE 33rd Ave bus at the same time that it stopped sending that line downtown. Given the poor frequency of the 33rd Ave. line prior to that change–no better than twice an hour–and the excellent frequency of the eastside MAX line, the intertwined move at that time to curtail the line short of downtown and to double its frequency made it more useful both for local travel in NE and for travel to downtown. In other words, the transfer penalty was more than offset by the increased frequency. Direct service to downtown will only be an improvement if Trimet maintains or, better, increases frequency on the line.

      • m
        June 24, 2015 at 8:50 am Link

        Bottom line for my experience, it took me longer to get downtown after those changes. That, coupled with a big jump in fares caused me to get back in my car. I would like to see the 17 have express runs during rush hour, with stops only at downtown, lloyd center, grant park, wlshire park, kennedy school, and sunderland. Tri-Met has to be more creative in their thinking with buses and stop forcing riders onto MAX in order to boost its ridership statistics.

        • EngineerScotty
          June 24, 2015 at 10:32 am Link

          And I would like an express run of the 62 that only stops at my house and my office. :)

          The problem with express services, of any sort, is they are generally expensive to provide, and only useful for a smaller number of people (often commuters). If yours is the trip that is being optimized, great; if your stop is the one being passed up so someone else can have a quicker trip into work, not so much. (Express services that augment local service are far less problematic than express services which replace it altogether).

          • m
            June 24, 2015 at 10:44 am Link

            “Express services that augment local service are far less problematic than express services which replace it altogether”

            I was suggesting the former, not the latter. If they want to attract “choice” riders like me, they need to be more creative.

  11. Jim Howell
    June 26, 2015 at 11:37 am Link

    Suggestions:

    1) All new and modified routes should be established as Frequent Service (FS) routes. If started with inferior service they will never develop high ridership and will remain costly to maintain.

    2) Incrementally build a grid of FS routes. Avoid the temptation to run grid service buses to the CBD to provide a “single seat ride” in order to avoid a transfer. This usually duplicates service, is costly to operate and is less effective in attracting ridership than FS connections, transfers between at least 2 FS routes.

    3) Extend #24 as FS route to Collins Circle.

    4) Extend #70 as FS route to Cascade Station via Columbia Blvd, 47th, Cornfoot Rd, Alderwood, International and Cascade Pkwy.

    5) Reroute #71-6th Ave as FS route from Parkrose/Sumner TC to Cully and Prescott via Sandy, Killingsworth, Lombard and 65th. Disconnect with 122nd leg.

    6) Establish Line Z as FS route. Do not run to CBD. Rather, extend west to Swan Island (Basin) via Skidmore, Interstate and Going. This replaces #85 and connects to #44,4,35 and the Yellow Line.

    7) Establish Line Y as FS route. Connect #17-Broadway and #10-Harold from 24th and Broadway to 20th and Division via Broadway, 28th, Stark and 20th. Eliminate their redundant downtown legs. Extend line north from Dekum to Expo Center via Dekum, 33rd, Columbia Blvd, 21st, Riverside 33rd, Sunderland, 33rd and Marine Dr.

    8) Establish a new FS Columbia Blvd route between Kenton and the Parkrose/Sumner TC connecting the Yellow and Red Max Lines while providing access to the Columbia Corridor industrial area. It would also provide FS connections to up to 6 other bus routes.

    9) Extend the #8-NE 15th Ave line from its current terminus at MLK to Hayden Meadows via Rosa Park Way, Denver, Victory Blvd, Whitaker and Hayden Meadows Drive.

  12. Dave Hogan
    July 4, 2015 at 12:25 am Link

    I know I’m dreaming, but I’d love to see more service over the new Sellwood Bridge.

    • Ron Swaren
      July 31, 2015 at 7:56 pm Link

      As the transportation chair for SMILE I had advocated for the reconstruction of the bridge to be equipped with streetcar tracks, which could have linked the west shore trolley to Milwaukie—-and thus avoided the Milwaukie MAX. A reconstruction of the more than adequate bridge—as vouched for by expert testimony—would have saved enough money to construct an express tunnel for through traffic underneath Tacoma St.

      But the spendthrift liberals won. They managed to get their little yes men in the neighborhood communities. Now we have an increasingly dangerous Tacoma St. with serious problems at the intersections. There is now no possibility of linking Lake Oswego and Lake Grove and Oak Grove and Milwaukie with any streetcar or passenger rail. We have spent about three times as much as needed, thus shortchanging other projects that would reduce the traffic burden.

      Moreover as population density increases, and the street capacity remains the same, the collateral dangers increase. I have encountered increasing incidents of broken glass on the road and on the Springwater trail, either from people discarding bottles or broken car lenses.. There are more people with dangerous animals and there are lots more pedestrians and cyclists that are apparently blind to their dangerous and reckless habits.

      • EngineerScotty
        July 31, 2015 at 9:55 pm Link

        As the transportation chair for SMILE I had advocated for the reconstruction of the bridge to be equipped with streetcar tracks, which could have linked the west shore trolley to Milwaukie—-and thus avoided the Milwaukie MAX.

        Perhaps, though the proposed design of the Willamette Shore Trolley left much to be desired as far as rapid transit goes. (And now the project is cancelled, and while a Streetcar extension to Taylors Ferry is still plausible, nobody seems to have the money or political will for such a thing).

        A reconstruction of the more than adequate bridge—as vouched for by expert testimony—would have saved enough money to construct an express tunnel for through traffic underneath Tacoma St.

        For through streetcars–or for through automobiles?

        (That said–what did get built wasn’t my preferred option either…)

        But the spendthrift liberals won. They managed to get their little yes men in the neighborhood communities

        Why do you suppose that people who agree with you are informed, concerned citizens–but those who don’t are “yes men”, planted by City Hall or whoever, to advance some nefarious agenda? Is is possible that many residents of Sellwood/Westmoreland wanted no part of a highway (besides the already-existing OR99E) cutting through their neighborhood, even if grade-separated? Especially one whose primary beneficiaries would be a group of folks that seem disinterested in paying for it?

        There is now no possibility of linking Lake Oswego and Lake Grove and Oak Grove and Milwaukie with any streetcar or passenger rail.

        Probably the biggest obstacle to that is the residents of Lake Oswego, who were the biggest reason that the LO Streetcar got cancelled in the first place–the city of LO withdrew its support. That said, there isn’t any technical reason why a bridge couldn’t be built–the river is narrower and far less navigable down thereabout. The biggest obstacle is probably politics; LO hasn’t been eager for mass transit expansion. (And quite a few LO residents likely view the Willamette River in their area as a moat…)

        • Douglas K.
          August 1, 2015 at 6:36 am Link

          The Lake Oswego line could still be built, albeit incrementally. I was never a fan of the project as proposed — it cost far too much and actually provided slower transit than what is there now.

          There is now no possibility of linking Lake Oswego and Lake Grove and Oak Grove and Milwaukie with any streetcar or passenger rail.

          Sure. Cut a deal with Portland & Western to run a second WES line from Beaverton TC to Milwaukie. I wouldn’t even try to do that until federal regulations are changed to allow a single operator. But the basic infrastructure for rail service is already there.

        • Ron Swaren
          August 1, 2015 at 11:53 am Link

          Is is possible that many residents of Sellwood/Westmoreland wanted no part of a highway (besides the already-existing OR99E) cutting through their neighborhood, even if grade-separated?

          Typical non sensical reply. The cars are there. They are not going away because SMILE or Portland or METRO have no lawful way to ban them. And they will get worse–despite any Milwaukie MAX–simply because there is pressure to expand the suburbs too. You see, both sides play at this game of “Pack more people in so we can fund OUR programs.” I’m just saying we should adjust to reality, and yes a streetcar would be on the surface, and would have been probably been more adequate for density development. (I don’t mind replacing totally decrepit houses, which sellwood has, but I would rather see affordable condos than apartments. The Tacoma/Hwy 99 would even accept high rises, since there is a ready made greenway, and it is on the SW Trail.

          Moreover streetcar rails would have been THE engineering solution for the Sellwood bridge, as they would have tied all cross members together and also been directly below the tire tracks. Several hundred tons could have been eliminated from the top deck (by replacing with lighter, metal parts) and pendulum isolation bearings installed and the piers jacketed. I would have est. the cost at $80 million. Seattle just did the Aurora 99 bridge for $15 million.

          The thruway would have been below ground, and added considerable expense. But another thing that killed renovation was the hysteria of local business owners worrying that their business would plummet. I doubt that this is realistic to begin with–since there are several routes into the neighborhood. And why should a small group of business override the hundreds of thousands of MultCo taxpayers? This was a Kafoury project through and through, and the fix was in. Now we have an increasingly dangerous Tacoma Street.

          As far as an upriver bridge, Tootie and Muldoon (John Ludlow) ought to step up to the plate, since that would all be in Clackamas County, Instead they would rather subdivide more farmland, under the guise of “prosperity” I am just as p—d about the expensive Milwaukie MAX, but the Clackistanis don’t actually step up and solve anything, ether. Just whatever will bring in more tax revenue, just like their Portland counterparts.

          • Ron Swaren
            August 1, 2015 at 12:26 pm Link

            Note to mods: I think about half of my comments are not posting. It happens when I try to post one right after an earlier one. My computer is also acting very slow. I usually get the 404 warning, though, so some of my post are not appearing. Will take it slower…

          • EngineerScotty
            August 1, 2015 at 2:03 pm Link

            Typical non sensical reply. The cars are there. They are not going away because SMILE or Portland or METRO have no lawful way to ban them. And they will get worse–despite any Milwaukie MAX–simply because there is pressure to expand the suburbs too.

            Nobody is proposing banning cars. Though traffic calming on Tacoma has worked wonders for the neighborhood; I remember when Tacoma Street was striped for four lanes and people drove on it like it were a highway.

            You see, both sides play at this game of “Pack more people in so we can fund OUR programs.” I’m just saying we should adjust to reality, and yes a streetcar would be on the surface, and would have been probably been more adequate for density development.

            Should we build TOD there, or build higher-speed transit. The criticism of mixed-traffic streetcar as S L O W still applies.

            (I don’t mind replacing totally decrepit houses, which sellwood has, but I would rather see affordable condos than apartments. The Tacoma/Hwy 99 would even accept high rises, since there is a ready made greenway, and it is on the SW Trail.

            Bike Portland did an article about the Lloyd District last month, and in the comments there was a discussion about condos vs apartments (i.e. units for sale vs units for rent, with building otherwise configured the same); and nowadays builders seem to be building rental apartments instead of flats for sale. Probably good for affordability–it’s easier to afford rent than to come up with the money and credit for a mortgage–though not good for those who wish capital appreciation.

            Moreover streetcar rails would have been THE engineering solution for the Sellwood bridge, as they would have tied all cross members together and also been directly below the tire tracks.

            I’m not a civil engineer, but having train rails doubling as structural members of a bridge, which you seem to suggest, sounds dubious. Rails are designed to support and distribute the weight of trains; they are not designed to bear significant lateral loads.

            Several hundred tons could have been eliminated from the top deck (by replacing with lighter, metal parts) and pendulum isolation bearings installed and the piers jacketed. I would have est. the cost at $80 million. Seattle just did the Aurora 99 bridge for $15 million.

            We could also save several hundred tons in weight by closing it to cars. :)

            Seriously, the Aurora project was a a seismic retrofit of a bridge that was otherwise structurally sound. Given the recent fustercluck with the Morrison Bridge, I’m not sure redecking a bridge is a good long-term strategy. (Though I would have preferred a different design for the new Sellwood).

            The thruway would have been below ground, and added considerable expense. But another thing that killed renovation was the hysteria of local business owners worrying that their business would plummet. I doubt that this is realistic to begin with–since there are several routes into the neighborhood. And why should a small group of business override the hundreds of thousands of MultCo taxpayers? This was a Kafoury project through and through, and the fix was in. Now we have an increasingly dangerous Tacoma Street.

            See comment above. Tacoma Street was far more dangerous thirty years ago than it is today.

            As far as an upriver bridge, Tootie and Muldoon (John Ludlow) ought to step up to the plate, since that would all be in Clackamas County, Instead they would rather subdivide more farmland, under the guise of “prosperity” I am just as p—d about the expensive Milwaukie MAX, but the Clackistanis don’t actually step up and solve anything, ether. Just whatever will bring in more tax revenue, just like their Portland counterparts.

            won’t argue there.

            BTW, there are no unpublished comments from you in the moderation queue nor in the SPAM bucket. The WordPress software is better at not flagging legitimate comments as SPAM than the old Movable Type platform is. We still seem to have slow server issues at times; but one of us moderators is informed by email whenever there is a new comment posted (excluding obvious SPAM), so if a comment is held up for moderation, we usually approve it quickly. If you see a 404, though, the comment may not have been successfully submitted–feel free to ask at any time.

            • Ron Swaren
              August 1, 2015 at 3:13 pm Link

              I commented on the Seattle electric bus experiment. and got the 404. It may be; old XP finally failing, or bad communication between keyboard and program. I get a lot of slow responses when typing something……

            • Ron Swaren
              August 1, 2015 at 3:32 pm Link

              There may be a casual (not causal) connection between number of lanes (as Tacoma ST) and traffic burden. However…….outlying areas are going to put the pedal to the metal to get in on the population boom, and the accompanying tax revenue. But they will probably still drive–since the MAX will not be close enough to them anyway, and they won’t like transferring. This is why I think a network route approach is better–responding to densification— than a bureaucratic TOD approach which tries to channel and direct it. SInce I have lived in Sellwood for four decades (I don’t like it; was not hip) I can tell you now that the traffic on Tacoma is horrible and will only get worse. And the intersections have never been as bad and choked as they are now. And there really is no way to fix it. A tunnel would have remove fifty pc. of the cars—but too late now. And on the bridge—of course you wouldn’t weld rails to the cross beams; you would put structural steel below them. The old deck was VERY top heavy—and inertial forces made it dangerous; but lighter weights would have lowered the center of gravity. However, regarding Kafoury; DO YOU think we need a $500 million upgrade to the Burnside Bridge? That’s what she says.

              And probably light weight, maybe even metal grating could have worked—because vehicles will ALWAYS stay in the same tracks on a two lane bridge; I have never ever seen anyone cross into the other lane. So the engineering would have been very simple. Traction a problem maybe. I experience a lot of anxiety crossing Tacoma Street, whether by car or by foot, because with big vehicles parked along the side it is VERY hard to see what’s coming. And they can also pass on the right at intersections, making it unpredictable. It’s a mess.

              A lot of presumptions in Portland are flat out wrong. I’m sure Jarrett Walker would tell you the same.

  13. Cal
    July 10, 2015 at 7:16 pm Link

    “there’s room freed up for the 14 to return to the transit mall”

    OMFG HELL YEAH !

    ——————————————-
    As for the 58 : really bad idea to extend it up along Front Ave.

    Trimet should have learned from the line 16 experience that they shouldn’t route buses across the tracks at the west end of the Steel Bridge. Trains crawl into the yard, and block traffic for 20 minutes.

    The 58 is often held up by slow traffic on the Sunset Hwy. The trains will increase its level of screwed-up-ness to a point that the 58 will be useless.

    • EngineerScotty
      July 11, 2015 at 3:22 pm Link

      A while back, I had proposed routing the 58 through Washington Park, rather than down the Sunset Highway. While I’m not sure that is a good idea any more(how reliably can buses move through the park, particularly 40′ buses), getting it off of the Sunset Highway seems a good idea.

      Another option would be to truncate the 58 at Washington Park–since the 56 is planned to be routed up Scholls Ferry to Sylvan to the zoo; the two lines can interline if needed. This shortened 58 could also be combined with some other bus serving BTC, possibly.

  14. Lenny Anderson
    July 14, 2015 at 11:40 am Link

    Extending the 70 to Swan Island occurred to me years ago when I was agitating for new service; it used to layover at Rose Quarter TC just as the 85 does! I believe that was how things were before the first MAX line opened in ’86.
    It poses some reliability issues due to the UPRR crossing, but if it can get service back to Swan Island into the 15-20 minute range all day, its a plus. Let’s remember over 10,000 people work on Swan Island with more coming every day.
    I have mixed feelings about losing the direct connection to downtown that we have in inner NE on the 17, much as I recognized the need for a close in N/S line. Glad to see the 24 getting somewhere more useful than Emanuel Hosp.
    I wonder what the timeline is for these proposals, and if they are more than pie in the sky.

  15. Lenny Anderson
    July 31, 2015 at 12:47 pm Link

    Here are my comments on the proposed changes in North/Northeast transit service…

    All the Island, All Day! Job Access for all!

    It was over twenty years ago that I posed to then TriMet General Manager Tom Walsh and planner Ken Zataran a simple question: Swan Island has 10,000 workers, 10 minutes from the MAX line…Where is the bus!?! I had begun to ride transit to work there in 1991 and from NW Portland, rode three buses and later from SE, four!

    In the fall of 1995, the 85 Swan Island bus began service between the then Coliseum Transit Center and Swan Island via Anchor Street and N. Basin Avenue. It was one peak hour only bus running every 30 minutes. When Interstate MAX opened in 2004, service was expanded to all day, every 20 minutes and Mock’s Bottom was added to the areas served on the Island. Combined with the JARC (Jobs Access Reverse Commute) funded Swan Island Evening Shuttle, employees on the Island had 18 hours of week day transit service for three shifts.

    Ridership grew to over 500 per day by the Winter, 2008 counts, and then the Great Recession hit. Hundreds of Swan Island employees lost their jobs, a high percentage of them transit riders. Then as tax revenues fell, service cuts began, and ridership had plunged to just over 300 a year later. In the years of recovery and limited service restoration, ridership has climbed back to over 400 per day and as employment grows on Swan Island, one can expect that number to grow as well.

    TriMet, in partnership with the Swan Island Business Association and key area employers, can make transit an even more effective way to travel to the good jobs on Swan Island…and keep freight moving. For this to happen, two elements are key:

    1. Transit must serve all the Island, all day by a single bus line (that lays over at the Rose Quarter TC.)

    The 85 Swan Island serves roughly ¾ of the Island, leaving employees at Vigor Industrial’s Portland Shipyards and other employers along the N. Lagoon/N. Channel couplet a long walk to Anchor Street or dependent on the 72 Killingsworth, that makes 15 trips per day to the Shipyards…if the operator is inclined to complete the route!

    I have always favored “All the Island, All Day!” service and strongly believe that it must be a single line (85 or perhaps the 70), instead of two as is the case today.  Making Shipyard riders visit Mock’s Bottom and the north end of Basin every trip to the Yard is more out of direction travel than one likes, but in the trip off the Island they would get a straight shot to the RQTC, so it would balance out. But for this to work the service, whether 85 or 70, it must layover at the Rose Quarter Transit Center!

    2. Swan Island transit riders must have a single ride to the Rose Quarter for connections to all lines of the expanded MAX System.

    MAX was conceived, designed and built to get suburban commuters out of their cars.  With the exception of the Interstate Line, MAX serves close-in PDX neighborhoods rather poorly.  However, with the demographic shift to living closer-in and the loss of affordable housing in those neighborhoods, MAX now provides excellent connections to the region’s more affordable communities… for example, Parkrose (Red), Rockwood (Blue), outer SE Portland (Blue & Green), and North Clackamas (Orange). Helping to insure that the working poor and lower middle class workers who live farther out have good access to the family wage jobs on Swan Island means that there must remain a direct one ride link between the Rose Quarter Transit Center and Swan Island.

    In addition, as a resident of inner NE Portland, I also would recommend that if the 17 up NE 24th north of Broadway must be replaced by a crosstown line, then that line should go east at Broadway to NE 28th, then south on that growing commercial street to Stark and from there back to 20th.
    And as part of that reconfiguration serious consideration should be given to opening a new MAX station on the Banfield line between NE 28th and 33rd Avenues; perhaps closer to the latter and served by the new crosstown line.
    Last, as a member of Portland Streetcar’s CAC, I hope to see a new East/West Streetcar line created between the Conroy development in NW and Hollywood District via the Broadway Bridge and Broadway/Weidler with a connection to the new MAX station noted above.

  16. Jim Howell
    August 2, 2015 at 5:51 pm Link

    With all due respect Lenny, I disagree that Swan Island should have only one bus line with a connection to the Rose Quarter TC.

    I propose replacing the #85 by extending TriMet’s “Z” Line west of MLK via Skidmore and Going Streets to the Coast Guard Station on N. Basin. It could layover on N Anchor with the #72 which serves the Lagoon-Channel loop to the ship yards.

    Both routes should provide 7 days a week frequent service. Currently the #85 provides only 24 round trips a day, weekdays only, and the #72 is worse with only 15 RTs a day to the ship yards In spite of the fact that it runs over 90 RTs weekdays to N. Anchor. Extending the #72 to the shipyards adds only 6-minutes to its current schedule which will be saved by not having to make the Alberta St. diversion when the “Z” Line replaces it.

    The “Z” Line should be introduced with frequent service. Experience has shown that this is the only way to establish the critical mass that generates high ridership.

    It is not critical that Swan Island has a direct connection to the RQTC. The “Z” Line will connect to the Yellow MAX Line at the Prescott Station. The combined trip time of the “Z” Line and MAX is approximately the same as the running time of the #85 and the average wait time at the station would be only about seven minutes. This additional time required to connect to the Blue, Red and Green Lines would be more than offset by the “Z” Line’s service to many NE neighborhoods and its more efficient connections to other bus routes. St Johns would be accessed more efficiently with the #4 and #44 and the Lloyd District with the #8. The “Z” Line terminates at the Parkrose/Sumner TC providing connections to the airport, east Vancouver, east Portland and Gresham. It also connects with the #6, #17, #70, #75, #72 and #71 on the way.

    The connection to MAX at the Prescott St. Station provides direct service to downtown and Milwaukie since most Yellow and Orange trains will through-route on the Transit Mall. This would avoid the unreliability of the #70’s schedule due to freight train blockages at the UP Railroad tracks. It also provides a more direct connection to Vancouver’s #4 Bus Line at the Delta Park/Vanport Station.

    Businesses on Swan Island will get far better transit service if it’s two legs are served by two frequent service grid routes that connect on the island than with a single route to the RQTC providing less than frequent service.

  17. Lenny Anderson
    August 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm Link

    Jim,
    Thanks for your response. I thought long and hard about the 85 (or 70?) service to RQTC after our chat last week. I was concerned with having two parallel FS crosstown lines (72 and Z) with one going to N. Basin and the other to the Shipyards…confusing! I opted for a single bus covering all the Island and connecting to all the MAX lines…all day!

    What pushed me to stick with the single trip from Swan Island to all MAX lines at RQTC was the fact that the MAX lines to the east…Blue, Red, Green…really serve Portland’s most affordable (and struggling) neighborhoods, and offering the households there a reliable and time competitive transit trip to the good jobs on Swan Island is, in a way, an equity issue. Close-in Portland, where you and I live, has good bus service, and it should be better, so I am on board with most of your suggestions, but am loath to add a transfer for someone coming to work from beyond 82nd.

    • Jason McHuff
      August 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm Link

      Regarding Line 70, if only they had spent the money rebuilding the 99E viaduct instead on a ground-level roadway and A Hosford-Abernathy-Brooklyn (HAB) Railroad Cut.

      Also, back in the day, Swan Island had bus pools and service from much more places, but the Killingsworth bus ran only every 45 minutes 6 days a week, though every trip served both Mocks Bottom and Swan Island.

      And I have to thank you, Lenny, as I’ve taken a Saturday job in Mocks Bottom that starts before bus service does, and the Waud Bluff Trail makes it possible to get there.

      • Dave Hogan
        August 6, 2015 at 10:52 pm Link

        While I love the idea, it wasn’t a real solution.

        The lowered grade would have removed from Brookyln Yard space that’s used to load/unload trains. It seems designed to bypass Brooklyn Yard rather, which wouldn’t work with the volume of trains through that area that need to load and unload. Doing all of that in the area south of Holgate just wouldn’t happen from the schematics I’ve seen of the yard.

        As a four track cut into the landscape it also would have precluded building the PMLR project since it would have taken space that was used by PMLR for the “Four Track Railroad Cut”. That would have meant even more realignment of streets as well as loss of local businesses. Those additional overpasses would have also cost more.

        That leaves out the additional lights and signals on 99E and the loss of a connection to the Oregon Pacific Railroad Line that connects almost under hwy 99E without even more modifications and disruptions.

        Overall I’m pretty happy with how everything worked out. Trying to move the mainline tracks to four below grade tracks is a little more complicated than the simplistic post by Jim Howell makes it out to be from what I know of the area.

        After living in that neighborhood for over a year and a half recently I’d rather have dealt with the occasional train blocking SE 11th/12th than dealing with the railroad tracks being lowered, the crossings being built, and waiting another few years to get the MAX built somewhere near that ROW.

        • Jason McHuff
          August 7, 2015 at 11:24 am Link

          -I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it anywhere, but I do think how Brooklyn Yard would work with the cut is a good question (I would assume that the cut ends after Powell, but that still means that any switching is done on a grade)

          -My idea is to have MAX run on top of the cut (as in make the cut sort of a tunnel, though this would be more expensive then leaving the cut open and putting MAX on solid ground. The other idea is to have the cut be only two tracks wide, using the space for the future MAX line to build the cut

          -The Oregon Pacific actually connects to the UP near Clay St, so wouldn’t be an issue

Leave a Reply to Scott Click here to cancel reply.

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