Author: jedge

  • Light Rail’s Next Stop: Oregon City?

    Putting aside the ongoing CRC discussion for a few minutes, an article in Thursday’s Oregonian briefly mentioned that the city of Oregon City has passed a resolution endorsing the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail line LPA that was chosen by the steering committee.

    The resolution supports the Porter-Sherman Willamette River crossing, the Tillamook Branch alignment in Milwaukie and the Park Avenue terminus, which would provide better service to Clackamas County communities south of Milwaukie.
    “What this plan says is that Oregon City is on the radar,” said Mayor Alice Norris. “The next light-rail extension needs to come to Oregon City.”
    This is quite the reversal from ten years ago, when Clackamas County residents and officials couldn’t have been paid enough to “allow” light-rail to be built on their land. Now, Milwaukie and even Vancouver are both behind the idea of bringing light-rail to their cities, and even more suburban cities and urbanized areas of the counties will be lining up in the near future asking when they’re next. Oregon City is indeed squarely in the sights of not one but two future light-rail extensions: The Yellow Line (Milwaukie) and the Green Line (Clackamas). The Yellow Line will terminate seven miles north along 99E, while the Green Line will terminate eight miles north along I-205. This raises an interesting question. For those of us who’ve been paying attention for the last several years, we know that the next great light-rail expansions are rumored to be Powell and Barbur Blvds. Both of these projects are going to require massive capital investments due to the intensity of development along both of these state highways. By contrast, installing light-rail from Oak Grove to Oregon City might be a cakewalk. One of the benefits touted by Vancouver officials about building light-rail in Clark County is that they’d only have to cross the river to tie in to a mature and expanding multi-billion dollar light-rail system spanning dozens of miles. Indeed, if transportation dollars are scarce (and they were even before the CRC gathered momentum), the light-rail expansions of the next two or three decades might consist primarily of new spur routes (i.e., Airport MAX) rather than entirely new routes (Westside MAX). The questions that I pose to you are “where?” and “why there?” What potential spur routes could gain favor to the point of leapfrogging Barbur and Powell as the “next” expansion projects to follow Milwaukie and/or Vancouver? Or will Barbur and/or Powell prove high-priority enough to remain at the top of the list?

  • Report Predicts ‘Mass Exodus of Vehicles off America’s Highways’

    Via Planetizen: Over the next four years, we are likely to witness the greatest mass exodus of vehicles off America’s highways in history. By 2012, there should be some 10 million fewer vehicles on American roadways than there are today—a decline that dwarfs all previous adjustments including those during the two OPEC oil shocks (see […]

  • Transit Investment Plan Meetings

    Get involved in your local transit planning process by attending a TriMet Open House in May. Learn about the I-205/Portland Mall Light Rail and WES Commuter Rail projects, and discuss plans for Milwaukie Light Rail and the Columbia River Crossing. Talk with TriMet staff and see what’s in the works in our Transit Investment Plan […]

  • Yamhill County Rail study focuses on 3 options

    Plans for linking Portland to Yamhill County by rail will likely fall short of Spirit Mountain and even perhaps McMinnville. The study currently underway by Portland-based IBI Group suggests that the line may go no further than Newberg due to low ridership estimates. Randy Knapick of IBI Group said three options are getting a serious […]

  • Enhancing Public Transit With Wi-Fi

    A recent column found by way of Planetizen identifies many of the advantages of providing Wi-Fi Internet access to public transit passengers and provides several brief case studies of transit districts that have implemented wireless networks on their systems. One of the most commonly cited benefits was the ability to enhance the safety of passengers […]