HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum About
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Pacific West > Portland > Transportation & Infrastructure


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #41  
Old Posted Dec 27, 2013, 7:21 PM
davehogan davehogan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by hat View Post
I understand express buses work well, particularly in highway systems with their own ROW. This may be effective in outer Powell where ROW can be designated for transit. The central issue with inner Powell is 33rd on in. There is no way to expand the ROW here. Any type of vehicle with wheels will be stuck in traffic every day during peak hours when they are needed most, negating any real "express" or "rapid" designation.

BRT in East Portland on Division and Powell can connect to MAX on Powell at I205 or 82nd. We should be looking at a mix, and not rely solely on buses.
Sitting in traffic from SE 33rd to Milwaukie isn't the end of the world for a bus if it stops a little less often. I use the 9 quite a bit recently (I moved near Powell a few months ago), and the biggest issue with travel times is the frequent stops. The traffic isn't nearly as big of a problem. I'd like to see the 9 kept for local service and for more rapid service reduce the number of stops to just frequent transfer points, and have it jump over the new bridge/viaduct to connect inner Powell to the Transit Mall.

Where ROW is available it's great to have queue jump lanes, but if the ROW isn't available they can still offer better express service by not needing to stop every three or four blocks. Reducing boarding time by adding ticketing machines at the express stops would help things a bit as well.

Perfect, grade separated, high speed service would be nice along Powell, but it'd also be nice to see TriMet just accept that not every major corridor needs to be light rail to effectively move people.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #42  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2013, 6:35 PM
hat hat is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 381
The issue of how dedicated we want transit to be (or need to be) gets at the heart of how few people use transit in Portland. Given enough buses and frequency, people could get by with much fewer cars. But we don't; it's inconvenient. Hop in the car and drive to the store in 5 minutes.

Sitting in traffic from 33rd to Milwaukie is indeed a deathblow to transit for any of those people interested, but waiting for something that competes with single occupancy vehicles. We have about 10% of people using transit. 30% of commuters in New York use transit. A big part of this: cars are difficult to use and store and trains are unaffected by traffic.

But an even bigger part of this is a dedication of space to transit. People see and remember stations. Bus stops and routes are ephemeral. If we had LRT down Powell, it could also connect to Clackamas at 205. Right now that route is plagued by the Steel Bridge and other traffic on the lines. The heart of 82nd would finally be connected to downtown. This would dramatically shape SE. BRT might improve ridership a bit. The argument to accept BRT as good enough (particularly for those who already use transit) is not a very good argument.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #43  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2014, 12:24 AM
tworivers's Avatar
tworivers tworivers is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Portland/Cascadia
Posts: 2,569
Interesting and very good news.

I wonder if they're assuming that the SW Corridor project is going to be held up by the voters of Tigard.

Metro prioritizes Powell-Division transit

Created on Thursday, 16 January 2014 06:00 | Written by Jim Redden
Portland Tribune

The region’s first high-capacity transit line opened between Portland and Gresham in 1986. The newest one will open between Portland and Milwaukie in 2015. And the one after that also could operate between Portland and Gresham, if Metro planners have their way.

Metro, the elected regional government, was scheduled to take a major step toward fast-tracking a new high-capacity transit line between inner Southeast Portland and East Multnomah County this week. The Metro Council was expected to appoint a steering committee to guide the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project. The goal is to design a new line in 2015 and begin construction in 2018.

“We’re really looking at getting a project into development in the near term,” says Brian Monberg, Metro’s principal regional planner assigned to the project.

That’s sooner than expected for the Southwest Corridor Plan, which is farther along in the planning process. The proposed high-capacity line between Portland and Tualatin is not expected to be designed until 2017 at the earliest, and no date has been set for construction to begin.

A May 2014 ballot measure in Tigard could delay the plan even further. It would require a public vote on any new high-capacity transit line in the city.

Transportation planners from throughout the region discussed the Powell-Division project at Metro on Jan. 3. During a meeting of the Technical Policy Advisory Committee, they said it was being fast-tracked, in large part, because of other transportation plans in Portland and Gresham. The planners want to coordinate the line with those and not inadvertently preclude any options.

... story continues here.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #44  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2014, 3:24 AM
dubu's Avatar
dubu dubu is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: bend oregon
Posts: 1,369
did they say something about a new light rail line on powell? i hope
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #45  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2014, 5:21 PM
NJD's Avatar
NJD NJD is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland
Posts: 632
^ only that LRT is an option. Most are pushing BRT, er... BRT-light, due to lower cost, existing infrastructure, and street width issues. This is good news for the Eastside, bad news for the Southwest enthusiasts. Looks like they will pick their locally preferred alternative in 2017 at the earliest with construction starting perhaps next decade. Construction on the Powell/ Division line could start in a few years.

Having a BRT line in place might change Southwest's transit choice outcome...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #46  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2014, 11:37 PM
hat hat is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 381
That is a good point (for SW). Whether or not LRT is feasible or "cost effective" is perhaps beside the point. Having decent bus infrastructure in place may be one of the best ways to increase transit share (and a latent means of increasing support for future LRT).

In SE, however, I am worried this is an opportunity we may not soon see again. That is, the support and need for LRT is there (finally, after two other corridors), but the political will is not. When buses continue to wait in traffic (particularly from 39th to 12th, and near I205) for years after, will we be able to revisit this corridor? How much of an increase in the transit share will slightly larger buses garner? We may have to find out the hard way. In any case it will be better than the current 4 and 9.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #47  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2014, 2:26 AM
Demolished Portland's Avatar
Demolished Portland Demolished Portland is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Portland
Posts: 3
You know what would be even cheaper that BRT-lite? Adding more buses to Powell. What's the point of going through a 10 year planning and construction process for something that will barely even be an upgrade over what already exists? If you're going to have to build something why not do it right the first time? Which means building it as a MAX line. How would this even be a question of if it's feasible? Were building a $1 billion bridge for the Orange line, or digging a two mile tunnel for the West side MAX, or a tram to OHSU feasible? Of course they were, it just comes down to political will. Building a Powell MAX would probably be one the easiest of all the lines to build, the Orange Line will already go to 17th & Powell, and after 52nd you have a freeway width ROW, the challenging section is only 35 blocks long. There's a concern it might need to be elevated for that stretch, good, it should be! Then we'd have a bonified high capacity transit corridor for once.

Why has there been this sudden shift to BRT thinking lately, because it's easier to get built? Then why have we spent the last 30 years building 3/4 of a comprehensive rail network only to abandon the two final spokes needed to complete it? Buses can never carry as many people as trains (particularly if Tri-Met was forward thinking enough to make the system capable of carrying 4-6 car trains in the future), and it will never be as effective as a development tool. Does anyone think a dinky BRT is really capable of spurring development on Powell? A MAX line is capable of transforming it into a high capacity and high density corridor.

The transit planners in Portland have become very week willed over the last few years, are they afraid of pushing Portland's vision for a transit future (which was outlined in 1972 btw) because of the backlash they got from a few Tea Party nutjobs in Clackamas County? Light rail transit is much more popular among the general population now than it was back when most of the lines were built. It is essential that Portland have a complete rail transit system, because like it or not, people are going to be driving less in the future by necessity than they have gotten used to over the last 50-60 years. Transit planners should be looking forward to what is needed for transit options of the metro area in the future, not cowering to the very vocal and shrinking minority of dinosaurs who are stuck in the 1950s.
__________________
Death to parking lots
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #48  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2014, 5:02 AM
urbanlife's Avatar
urbanlife urbanlife is offline
A before E
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Milwaukie, Oregon
Posts: 11,239
That sounds like great news, I am definitely rooting for light rail down Powell.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #49  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2014, 7:06 AM
hat hat is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 381
Perhaps one of the greatest faults of the planning process may prove to be Metro's reliance on the isolated "corridor" concept. That is, narrowly defining what should be considered, thus limiting the ultimate decision to a predestined outcome.

It seems intuitive at first if we limit consideration to a two mile wide Powell and Division sliver of Portland Eastward:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/101004589@N07/9627852775/

But this corridor is by no means an insular place. Adding something to Powell will invariably have effects on other "corridors." Consider people coming from Clackamas. Will they transfer to buses at Powell en route to downtown? Probably not. Consider the Holgate or Foster bus which cross the Green line now. The Green line is fairly worthless to them (it's too infrequent and takes too long to get downtown). But if this MAX line were run down Powell at greater frequency (to get passengers for buses 4 and 9), suddenly these other buses would have a transfer that makes sense.

If a Powell MAX line were built to I205, the green line could follow a more direct route unaffected by the Steel Bridge. Another line could extend north along 205 to Gateway, and even out to Gresham or PDX. The point is these are (with the new PMLR bridge), reliable and much faster possibilities virtually unaffected by traffic.

Now imagine the Blue line as a bus. Would Portland be the same place?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #50  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2014, 8:34 AM
davehogan davehogan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demolished Portland View Post
Were building a $1 billion bridge for the Orange line, or digging a two mile tunnel for the West side MAX...feasible? Of course they were, it just comes down to political will. Building a Powell MAX would probably be one the easiest of all the lines to build, the Orange Line will already go to 17th & Powell, and after 52nd you have a freeway width ROW, the challenging section is only 35 blocks long.
First of all the bridge is about $270 million of the $1.5 billion line cost. And it'll be used by the Orange Line, the Yellow Line, the Streetcar, and the 9, 17 and 19. There doesn't seem to be much space under 17th at Powell, so expansion would have to be above grade. Again, seems unlikely.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #51  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2014, 5:01 PM
hat hat is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by davehogan View Post
There doesn't seem to be much space under 17th at Powell, so expansion would have to be above grade. Again, seems unlikely.
The issue is not going under 17th and Powell. Presumably, Tri-Met would use the existing bridge over Powell, then another over the UP tracks. From there it's anyone's guess since there is very little ROW. I don't know how much Tri-Met gave to the businesses they bulldozed, but this is inevitable for the first few blocks from 17th to around 22nd. But they also sell these blocks to construction companies afterward, so I'm not sure what that means monitarily.

It's also possible to have part of the alignment below grade. The Fred Meyer parking lot, when it hits 26th has a steep incline. Either boring a half-mile tunnel under this, or going through Creston at grade seems the only two choices. Underground means saving a lot of houses between 26th and around 30th. At grade means a nice bike path adjacent.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/101004589@N07/9657053996/
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #52  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2014, 5:26 PM
pdxstreetcar's Avatar
pdxstreetcar pdxstreetcar is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,300
Quote:
Originally Posted by davehogan View Post
First of all the bridge is about $270 million of the $1.5 billion line cost. And it'll be used by the Orange Line, the Yellow Line, the Streetcar, and the 9, 17 and 19. There doesn't seem to be much space under 17th at Powell, so expansion would have to be above grade. Again, seems unlikely.
Everywhere I've seen the bridge quoted at $133 million
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #53  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2014, 1:39 AM
davehogan davehogan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by hat View Post
The issue is not going under 17th and Powell. Presumably, Tri-Met would use the existing bridge over Powell, then another over the UP tracks. From there it's anyone's guess since there is very little ROW. I don't know how much Tri-Met gave to the businesses they bulldozed, but this is inevitable for the first few blocks from 17th to around 22nd. But they also sell these blocks to construction companies afterward, so I'm not sure what that means monitarily.

It's also possible to have part of the alignment below grade. The Fred Meyer parking lot, when it hits 26th has a steep incline. Either boring a half-mile tunnel under this, or going through Creston at grade seems the only two choices. Underground means saving a lot of houses between 26th and around 30th. At grade means a nice bike path adjacent.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/101004589@N07/9657053996/
I'm not sure a train could make it across a bridge there, and I doubt the neighborhood (I live in that neighborhood) would be supportive of the number of houses that would be wiped about by the route in the linked graphic. It seems like a tunnel from ~SE 42nd to Milwaukie would be a more acceptable idea from why my neighbors have said, but that's really expensive.

Maybe it's better to build BRT for now, and dedicate ROW where it's available is a better long term option until a tunnel and LRT upgrade is justified?

It's similar to the Steel Bridge and Downtown Portland (and the Lloyd Center.) At some point everything from the Robertson Tunnel to the Banfield portion of the Blue line will need to be put underground to make it fit through downtown and allow more then 2 car trains.

It's probably better the Portland went with a surface route for the first run at it or we might have ended up like Buffalo's Metro Rail with a small rail stub that's awesome for the area it directly serves, but doesn't really go anywhere.

The Blue Line can be fixed through Downtown just like a HCT line could be fixed in the future even if it opens as BRT. Insisting it has to be LRT from day 1 seems like putting the cart before the horse. Powell should get higher capacity transit, but replacing the 9 with LRT would leave a lot of local stops without any service.

Other MAX lines have eliminated express routes along the same corridor, but there are no express routes already along Powell. Limited stop BRT or LRT wouldn't replace the 9 entirely, so it's tough to say that Powell is a perfect candidate for LRT as it's been deployed in other parts of the metro area.

As a side bonus it would take less infrastructure costs if, for example, the first BRT route went Powell/50th to Foster, then they wanted to add a Powell/50th to Gresham via Powell they could add extra lanes as ROW was available for each without needing to add overhead wire and rails.

LRT is great, but it's inability to share ROW with cars and trucks helps make BRT seem like a plausible phase 1 option for a few corridors around the region. As a major state highway removing lanes doesn't seem like a practical idea either.

Last time I took the 9 it was Eastbound at about 5:15 pm from SE Milwaukie to SE 39th. The biggest delay by far was the number of stops, not sitting in traffic. At every stop there were people fumbling with change to pay for a ticket, waits while people fought the crowding to get to the exit, etc. It was standing room only as well.

Frequent buses with less frequent stops and off bus ticketing would be a huge improvement on the corridor.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #54  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2014, 1:42 AM
davehogan davehogan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 639
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxstreetcar View Post
Everywhere I've seen the bridge quoted at $133 million
I think I was counting everything from PSU to the Clinton station, which would include the Harbor Structure and integrating the east side Streetcar as well.

Either way, the bridge will serve more than just trains. There are at least three bus lines that TriMet has indicated will use it pretty much the day it opens.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #55  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2014, 4:10 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
Submarine de Nucléar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Missouri
Posts: 4,474
Quote:
Originally Posted by davehogan View Post
It's probably better the Portland went with a surface route for the first run at it or we might have ended up like Buffalo's Metro Rail with a small rail stub that's awesome for the area it directly serves, but doesn't really go anywhere.

The Blue Line can be fixed through Downtown just like a HCT line could be fixed in the future even if it opens as BRT. Insisting it has to be LRT from day 1 seems like putting the cart before the horse. Powell should get higher capacity transit, but replacing the 9 with LRT would leave a lot of local stops without any service.
A much better apples-to-apples comparison would be to Vancouver BC's Translink, which operates the incredibly successful and cash-positive Skytrain system. Vancouver's metro area is on par with Portland area and population wise, yet it has ridership far in excess of our MAX system:

MAX: 52 miles of track; 130,000 riders/weekday (2012 wiki)
average speed: 14.3 mph

Skytrain: 42 miles of track; 396,000 riders/weekday (2012 wiki)
average speed: 28 mph

Skytrain runs automated trains sometimes only 90 seconds apart - on fully grade-separated infrastructure (elevated and in a tunnel downtown).


img from urbanrail.net

Quote:
Originally Posted by davehogan View Post
As a side bonus it would take less infrastructure costs if, for example, the first BRT route went Powell/50th to Foster, then they wanted to add a Powell/50th to Gresham via Powell they could add extra lanes as ROW was available for each without needing to add overhead wire and rails.

LRT is great, but it's inability to share ROW with cars and trucks helps make BRT seem like a plausible phase 1 option for a few corridors around the region. As a major state highway removing lanes doesn't seem like a practical idea either.
Actual BRT has its own dedicated ROW, typically wider than rail lines, and allows NO sharing with cars - that defeats the entire purpose of BRT.

This is a typical BRT infrastructure:


img from lantanews.blogspot.com


img from http://imspatial.wordpress.com/

Anything else is called "a bus running in mixed traffic." Now, if the goal is to quickly move people from outer SE Portland to downtown quickly and using transit, go see my first point about Vancouver BC's Translink elevated Skytrain.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #56  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2014, 4:34 AM
dubu's Avatar
dubu dubu is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: bend oregon
Posts: 1,369
if it is lighg rail
have all the trains from the i84 tracks except the blue line go down powell
there would be four lines going over the new bridge

that could change the area from the river to powel into a cool area.
maybe into the new downtown some day
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #57  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2014, 6:55 PM
hat hat is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by davehogan View Post
I'm not sure a train could make it across a bridge there
I am certainly not an engineer, so please subject my calculations to criticism. I see a line from A (the intersection of Pershing and 17th at grade) to a point B (a point at grade near 18th and Rhine) as being a distance of 560'. 23' (the minimum clearance for UP) directly above point B is point C. The slope of this grade A is about 4% or between 2 and 3 degrees. This is well below the maximum grade for any of the trains running in Portland.

[/QUOTE]and I doubt the neighborhood (I live in that neighborhood) would be supportive of the number of houses that would be wiped about by the route in the linked graphic.[/QUOTE]

I don't doubt it. I would not support such a thing if I lived there as well, unless given some financial incentive.

[/QUOTE]It seems like a tunnel from ~SE 42nd to Milwaukie would be a more acceptable idea from why my neighbors have said, but that's really expensive.[/QUOTE]

The Robertson tunnel at $184 million for 3 miles is about $60 million a mile. Pretty expensive (I don't know if that's a good correlate for this stretch), but 26th to about 34th is a half mile (let's say $30 million). More pocket change than I have.

The rest is all at grade with some widening here and there all the way to I205. Many, many parking lots help this.

[/QUOTE]Maybe it's better to build BRT for now, and dedicate ROW where it's available is a better long term option until a tunnel and LRT upgrade is justified?[/QUOTE]

The big question then is: when (and under what conditions) is it justified? Was the Blue line justified? Why? In '12 bus 4 had about 18k weekday boarders, while 9 had around 9k. Certainly, a lot of these were not just limited to SE Portland, but there are a lot. All of the boarders from Gresham to I205 could potentially transfer to trains down Powell.

Assuming that buses will somehow go faster simply because some of their stops along the route have their own ROW seems folly. All of the route from 39th to the river will have no ROW. And most of the route from I205 to the 39th will not include stops with their own ROW. Calling this "Bus Rapid Transit" is putting lipstick on a cow.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #58  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2014, 7:02 PM
philopdx philopdx is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Deep South
Posts: 1,275
There will be nothing 'rapid' about BRT, so let's call it what it is: Bus Transit.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #59  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2014, 10:02 PM
dubu's Avatar
dubu dubu is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: bend oregon
Posts: 1,369
to i205 (powell/ greenline) would be good because the walk transfering from the bus to light rail is a long ways

and gresham already has light rail already anyways. i like hats way
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #60  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2014, 3:20 AM
pdxstreetcar's Avatar
pdxstreetcar pdxstreetcar is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,300
Quote:
Originally Posted by davehogan View Post
I think I was counting everything from PSU to the Clinton station, which would include the Harbor Structure and integrating the east side Streetcar as well.

Either way, the bridge will serve more than just trains. There are at least three bus lines that TriMet has indicated will use it pretty much the day it opens.
All I wanted to do is point out that the bridge is actually fairly reasonably priced in comparison to the entire line. Afterall PMLR is $1.5 billion for 7.5 miles = avg $200,000,000 mile and here is an intensely designed and constructed bridge over a navigable river for $133,000,000. Just like the Robertson Tunnel was actually quite inexpensive in the entire Hillsboro line construction project.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Pacific West > Portland > Transportation & Infrastructure
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 9:21 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.