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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2014, 3:22 AM
hat hat is offline
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MLK Corridor

The mayor mentioned last Summer that he would consider MLK as the next corridor for Streetcar expansion.

Ridership numbers: http://www.portlandstreetcar.org/node/28

The streetcar is foremost a development tool. It is fantastic to travel for 10 minutes, torture to travel 30 minutes. When streetcars were first used, compared to the horse and buggy, they were great. I believe, like any new technology, we are learning how and where to use them.

Let's imagine traveling down MLK on the streetcar in order to get to PSU:
The streetcar averages about a stop per 3 blocks on the East side (sometimes a bit longer). Let's bump that up to 4 blocks on a line for MLK. Let's say we're leaving from Skidmore and MLK. At 4 blocks per stop, that puts it at around 15 blocks in 6 minutes. The streetcar takes around 25 minutes from MLK and Broadway to Park and Market (based on the current CL schedule). So leaving from Skidmore and MLK at 8am, you would get to PSU in about 40 minutes (this is a very generous estimation as the distance from Broadway to Skidmore is more than 15 blocks). Current estimation for the number 6 from MLK/Skidmore to PSU: a little more than 20 minutes.

My point in all this is to highlight the uselessness of the streetcar as a commuting tool. Again, I love it for short runs, say PSU to the library. This is why the streetcar down MLK to Killingsworth is such a horrible idea. A streetcar to Skidmore or therabouts, maybe.

Here is a screenshot of a practical streetcar and MAX combination for MLK. This allows for travel times of less than 10 minutes to downtown, but also allows for travel along a dense livable MLK. I hope this dichotomy between streetcar and MAX can become much clearer as we debate how to use these types of transit in the future.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2014, 6:02 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Re: the ridership graph.

HOLY ****, batman! The Portland streetcar ridership is greater than 50% that of Seattle's entire light rail system(!)*. Its doin' pretty damned good - I guess they are doing something right, proving there is a need for a central-city circulator.

*Seattle's link light rail has barely 30,000 weekday boardings compared to the streetcars ~18,000 riders/day.

Quote:
Here is a screenshot of a practical streetcar and MAX combination for MLK.
I think it may be a bit much to have 2 max lines running parallel to each other only a mile apart. There are other corridors that desperately need MAX service - especially SW to Tualatin (relieve pressure from I-5).

I think a lot of people would ride the streetcar along MLK to, for instance, Broadway or the Lloyd District. Would it be worth the investment? Hmm...
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2014, 6:03 AM
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urbanlife urbanlife is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hat View Post
The mayor mentioned last Summer that he would consider MLK as the next corridor for Streetcar expansion.

Ridership numbers: http://www.portlandstreetcar.org/node/28

The streetcar is foremost a development tool. It is fantastic to travel for 10 minutes, torture to travel 30 minutes. When streetcars were first used, compared to the horse and buggy, they were great. I believe, like any new technology, we are learning how and where to use them.

Let's imagine traveling down MLK on the streetcar in order to get to PSU:
The streetcar averages about a stop per 3 blocks on the East side (sometimes a bit longer). Let's bump that up to 4 blocks on a line for MLK. Let's say we're leaving from Skidmore and MLK. At 4 blocks per stop, that puts it at around 15 blocks in 6 minutes. The streetcar takes around 25 minutes from MLK and Broadway to Park and Market (based on the current CL schedule). So leaving from Skidmore and MLK at 8am, you would get to PSU in about 40 minutes (this is a very generous estimation as the distance from Broadway to Skidmore is more than 15 blocks). Current estimation for the number 6 from MLK/Skidmore to PSU: a little more than 20 minutes.

My point in all this is to highlight the uselessness of the streetcar as a commuting tool. Again, I love it for short runs, say PSU to the library. This is why the streetcar down MLK to Killingsworth is such a horrible idea. A streetcar to Skidmore or therabouts, maybe.

Here is a screenshot of a practical streetcar and MAX combination for MLK. This allows for travel times of less than 10 minutes to downtown, but also allows for travel along a dense livable MLK. I hope this dichotomy between streetcar and MAX can become much clearer as we debate how to use these types of transit in the future.
The streetcar is a development tool, it is designed for reliable local commutes. A streetcar would make it easier for people to hop on and off along the line for many of their live, work, play needs.

Also, lets say that someone works in the Lloyd District and lives off MLK, the streetcar would make a reasonable option, much like commuting to PSU from Northwest 23rd.
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2014, 6:07 AM
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urbanlife urbanlife is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
Re: the ridership graph.

HOLY ****, batman! The Portland streetcar ridership is greater than 50% that of Seattle's entire light rail system(!)*. Its doin' pretty damned good - I guess they are doing something right, proving there is a need for a central-city circulator.

*Seattle's link light rail has barely 30,000 weekday boardings compared to the streetcars ~18,000 riders/day.
Oh yeah, Seattle's light rail and streetcar system is still a very expensive joke compared to Portland, but then again Portland has been at it much longer so Seattle has a long way to go playing catch up.

But I have confidence in Seattle that they will one day have a very good rail system.

I know the northwest streetcar line is always packed during rush hours. I think the only real mistake they did was too many stops downtown, they could have shaved 3-4 of them off, but if you are commuting from northwest to PSU, it is still faster on the streetcar than walking....though biking is more fun and about the same amount of time, but that is me.



I definitely agree with you, I think one of the next light rail lines they look at is something to connect to SW Portland to help with I-5 congestion. That route is only going to get worse and there is a need for alternative transportation.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2014, 6:35 AM
hat hat is offline
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The SW Corridor certainly would benefit from a MAX, as does Powell. I do not want to minimize the need for this or their priority as corridors.

My point, in a nutshell, is to say that a streetcar to Killingsworth will both 1) substitute a much slower mode for the current #6 (and perhaps reduce its frequency), and 2) minimize any future potential for better transit on MLK. This is why I propose a shorter streetcar line or question the need for one.
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 5, 2014, 10:33 AM
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we need more lines that conect naborhoods and this would be a good line to go to the omsi tc
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