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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 2:48 PM
bvpcvm bvpcvm is offline
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Originally Posted by urbanlife View Post
You are right, apples to oranges, but I will definitely say the Rennes subway like is a great find and would love something like that here, especially if the stations are designed by Norman Foster's firm.

But you are right, there is other things at play, Rennes is not a grid city, thus making it harder to have an effective ROW street lines running through the city.

I think Portland has a long way to go before the trains are at capacity, plus it would be just as easy increasing the number of runs than the number of segments to each train. If Portland ever gets a subway line, it would probably be more for users that are at the further ends of the metro.

I think trimet is trying to go in the direction of having more access to the train system rather than having a single core line like cities like SF. We have LRT running on two different lines, we have the streetcar on its own line, possibly having the streetcar running up and down 3rd and 4th (I remember that being talked about at one point.)
oh geez, they're not even remotely comparable, portland and rennes.

look at google maps; the distance from one end of the portland metro to another is around 30 miles, the urban area of rennes is about FOUR miles across at its widest. just to get from downtown to burlingame is probably three miles, THEN you might be able to come to the surface and keep building for another TEN miles at least. with rennes, you build four miles of subway and you've already crossed the entire city.

then look at the density of the area you're crossing - there's no comparison; this part of portland is probably less dense than parts of detroit.

finally, americans, even portlanders in aggregate, look at transit with suspicion and support it only grudgingly, whereas in many parts of europe, france probably included, it's widely supported and seen as a positive thing ("yay, we get a metro station" vs. "oh shit, the bus, criminals!!1!").

you could *maybe* compare us to edmonton or vancouver, but, having just been in canada a couple weeks ago, even that's stretching it; canadian cities seem to be by default far more urban and thus conducive to transit.

this isn't to say that i don't want transit here - i do - and i even think building this line in a tunnel makes a lot of sense, due to topography and the lack of alternative routes, but trying to compare us to cities that are totally different doesn't advance the cause.
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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 2:59 PM
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Originally Posted by trofirhen View Post
(Nevertheless, we do four times the business Seattle does with its LRT)

Secondly, I though this was going to be a heavier-rail subway, not just LRT in a tunnel.
You're an arrogant snob, too.
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  #43  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 4:05 PM
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One thing I notice more and more is that Portland isn’t really trying to create an environment that would be very suitable for public transport. Sprawl has been more or less stopped, thanks to the boundary, but the actual density hasn't been developed too much, apartment buildings are rare, surprisingly to me row houses too, even close to the downtown and crowds are miracles. There are many different transport systems, but they are much underused, most people take commutes to work that are as long and costly as in any other American city, conclusion Portland is still a city made for cars, but not just a bit, a freaking lot. Now it is practically impossible to make a subway system, but if we make an effort to move the car from being the king of Portland, to become the prince, and subways would become perfectly possible. Don’t forget that Portland experiences a large population growth that eases the case.
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  #44  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 8:24 PM
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You're an arrogant snob, too.
Actually I would agree with him on this one, if the region were going to put in a subway, why not make it a heavy rail subway? Granted that would be giving the region a third type of rail option. A heavy rail subway would be more used more for being a commuter line that what LRT is used for.
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  #45  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 8:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MR. Cosmopolitan View Post
One thing I notice more and more is that Portland isn’t really trying to create an environment that would be very suitable for public transport. Sprawl has been more or less stopped, thanks to the boundary, but the actual density hasn't been developed too much, apartment buildings are rare, surprisingly to me row houses too, even close to the downtown and crowds are miracles. There are many different transport systems, but they are much underused, most people take commutes to work that are as long and costly as in any other American city, conclusion Portland is still a city made for cars, but not just a bit, a freaking lot. Now it is practically impossible to make a subway system, but if we make an effort to move the car from being the king of Portland, to become the prince, and subways would become perfectly possible. Don’t forget that Portland experiences a large population growth that eases the case.
Every major city in the world has a "freakin lot" of cars. That has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you should build a subway. In fact, I would argue that Paris and New York and Moscow and Wash DC are far more car-centric than Portland ever was or will be, yet they also support successful subway systems.

And you're wrong about Portland not trying to create an environment suitable for public transport. That has been Metro's primary goal for a good 30 years.... to concentrate new development at town centers and along transit corridors. And yes, density HAS increased here compared to when the UGB was instituted. That was the reason for having the Urban Growth Boundary to begin with. You just haven't seen the transformation since you're new to Portland.
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  #46  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 8:42 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanlife View Post
Actually I would agree with him on this one, if the region were going to put in a subway, why not make it a heavy rail subway? Granted that would be giving the region a third type of rail option. A heavy rail subway would be more used more for being a commuter line that what LRT is used for.
Actually, that would be a FOURTH type of rail (WES, MAX and Streetcar). Five if you include Amtrak and/or HSR. You don't have to build heavy rail to get the same operational capacity as light rail. Since we've already invested heavily in light rail, it makes sense to keep new lines (subway or otherwise) compatible.
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 9:56 PM
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You're an arrogant snob, too.
mea culpa
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  #48  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 12:10 AM
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In fact, I would argue that Paris and New York and Moscow and Wash DC are far more car-centric than Portland ever was or will be
That's a bit ridiculous. Over half of New Yorkers don't even own a car. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpo..._New_York_City
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MR. Cosmopolitan View Post
..... most people take commutes to work that are as long and costly as in any other American city, conclusion Portland is still a city made for cars, but not just a bit, a freaking lot.
Also, not to beat a dead horse, but if you did some research, you'd find that Portland has one of the shortest (if not THE shortest) average commute times of any major American city. The reason for that is the reduction of sprawl by the UGB set in place in the late '70's.
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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 1:14 AM
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That's a bit ridiculous. Over half of New Yorkers don't even own a car. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpo..._New_York_City
I know NYC has high transit usage, that's not what I was saying. I meant that NY (and DC and Paris, et al) were all laid out with massively wide ROWs and miles long boulevards that are much more conducive to auto traffic than anything we have in Portland. Have you ever driven in NY? Paris? The streets are crammed full of automobiles. Of course their subways carry millions of people every day too, but to say Portland can't have a subway because the car is "king" here is extremely ridiculous.
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  #51  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 2:59 AM
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I know NYC has high transit usage, that's not what I was saying. I meant that NY (and DC and Paris, et al) were all laid out with massively wide ROWs and miles long boulevards that are much more conducive to auto traffic than anything we have in Portland. Have you ever driven in NY? Paris? The streets are crammed full of automobiles. Of course their subways carry millions of people every day too, but to say Portland can't have a subway because the car is "king" here is extremely ridiculous.
Yeah, you can certainly drive down those wide boulevards, but parking is extremely inconvenient and expensive. Just having wide boulevards crammed with cars doesn't make a city car-friendly.
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  #52  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 3:04 AM
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And you're wrong about Portland not trying to create an environment suitable for public transport. That has been Metro's primary goal for a good 30 years.... to concentrate new development at town centers and along transit corridors. And yes, density HAS increased here compared to when the UGB was instituted. That was the reason for having the Urban Growth Boundary to begin with. You just haven't seen the transformation since you're new to Portland.
I don't think we're nearly as successful as we like to think. We have a UGB, but ffs, we keep moving it further out. The mandated 20-year supply of land doesn't do much to hem things in. And our town centers? Maybe a few have densified (downtown Gresham, sort of), but the really big ones, like Clackamas Town Ctr or Gateway or downtown Beaverton haven't exactly bloomed into vibrant urban centers. To many visits to Vancouver and Frankfurt and Moscow and Saigon have left me fairly disappointed in Portland's "success".
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  #53  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 4:17 AM
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^ Agreed the UGB needs to stay put; every time they expand it it creates more sprawl, more auto dependence, and inequities amongst urban reserve landowners.
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  #54  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 4:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bvpcvm View Post
I don't think we're nearly as successful as we like to think. We have a UGB, but ffs, we keep moving it further out. The mandated 20-year supply of land doesn't do much to hem things in. And our town centers? Maybe a few have densified (downtown Gresham, sort of), but the really big ones, like Clackamas Town Ctr or Gateway or downtown Beaverton haven't exactly bloomed into vibrant urban centers. To many visits to Vancouver and Frankfurt and Moscow and Saigon have left me fairly disappointed in Portland's "success".
Success might be relative - have you visited Phoenix?
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  #55  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 4:26 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanlife View Post
Actually I would agree with him on this one, if the region were going to put in a subway, why not make it a heavy rail subway? Granted that would be giving the region a third type of rail option. A heavy rail subway would be more used more for being a commuter line that what LRT is used for.
Perhaps I'm not understanding, but to me it makes little sense to spend hundreds of millions/billions of dollars to build a heavy rail subway through downtown to... (pick a part of town) that the existing light rail system can't utilize. I've been on heavy rail subways in NYC, Boston, Los Angeles, London and San Francisco and they didn't appear to travel faster than grade-separated light rail does (think MAX along the Banfield).

If I were transit God, I'd put MAX in tunnels under 4th, 5th, 6th or Broadway through downtown, connect all existing lines to the new subway, then run the Streetcar up and down the existing transit mall on 5th and 6th (connecting to the existing lines and future lines).

Last edited by rsbear; Mar 11, 2010 at 4:57 AM.
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  #56  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 4:48 AM
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Perhaps I'm not understanding, but to me it makes little sense to spend hundreds of millions/billions of dollars to build a heavy rail subway through downtown to... (pick a part of town) that the existing light rail system can't utilize. I've been on heavy rail subways in NYC, Boston, Los Angeles, London and San Francisco and they didn't appear to travel faster than grade-separated light does (think MAX along the Banfield).
You know, I think a lot of those heavy rail subways provide the illusion of speed more than actual speed. LRT is probably just as fast. When the side of the tunnel is two feet outside the window, even 20mph seems like you're screaming along. But then you reach the surface and it seems like you're crawling (like a few parts of the MAX system).
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  #57  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 4:49 AM
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Success might be relative - have you visited Phoenix?
haha. not for many years. markdaman is from phoenix, right? maybe he has something to say about this...
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  #58  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 5:48 AM
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A subway LRT isn't necessarily far fetched, but expect a bill in the $2+ billion range... Even optimistically expecting the Feds to cover 60% of it, we're looking at a minimum of $800 million in local match. That's a hell of a lot of money for one project. If people want to start suggesting subways in this region, they should think about how to pay for it realistically.. some sort of dedicated funding source.

A vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) tax wouldn't be subject to constitutional provisions limiting it to road projects - sounds like ODOT is moving in that direction anyway. Why not dedicate 25-35% of VMT taxes in Portland region to transit capital projects? Any other ideas?
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  #59  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 6:07 AM
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Originally Posted by RED_PDXer View Post
A vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) tax wouldn't be subject to constitutional provisions limiting it to road projects - sounds like ODOT is moving in that direction anyway. Why not dedicate 25-35% of VMT taxes in Portland region to transit capital projects? Any other ideas?
And increase the gas tax by $1.00 per gallon. That will reduce the need to use property tax revenue for local roads, thereby allowing for full school funding (amongst other needs).
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  #60  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2010, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by RED_PDXer View Post
A subway LRT isn't necessarily far fetched, but expect a bill in the $2+ billion range... Even optimistically expecting the Feds to cover 60% of it, we're looking at a minimum of $800 million in local match. That's a hell of a lot of money for one project. If people want to start suggesting subways in this region, they should think about how to pay for it realistically.. some sort of dedicated funding source.

A vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) tax wouldn't be subject to constitutional provisions limiting it to road projects - sounds like ODOT is moving in that direction anyway. Why not dedicate 25-35% of VMT taxes in Portland region to transit capital projects? Any other ideas?
I mentioned this before: if rail-enthusiasts want to see TriMet really do something in this city, put a dedicated funding referrendum bill up.
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