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  #61  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2014, 3:29 AM
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Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
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



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.
Amen. Plus Skytrain is automated so it has hugely reduced operating costs, that also allows long trains every 15 minutes to be split up into short trains every 90 seconds for the same operating cost (just maintenance costs which is the same either way). Compare the cost per US $ mile of entirely grade separated (mostly underground) Canada Line with PMLR, I recall adjusted for inflation its about equal in cost per mile.

And amen also regarding BRT, unless it has exclusive lanes its just a bus painted in a unique color scheme. Exclusive lanes are no use where its easy to put them as is the case in Eugene, you put them where they are needed like congested portions of the route so that the bus can be a viable attractive alternative to sitting in SOV traffic, that there in turn attracts people to choose the bus over contributing to traffic congestion in their car.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2014, 4:59 AM
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if the powell line gets built then they will want to extend light rail further south
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  #63  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2014, 7:21 AM
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Originally Posted by hat View Post
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.
You make some good points, but the route from I-205 to about 42nd has space for additional lanes, and when I referred to BRT I was talking about limited stop buses (only at major transfer points, which reduces the stops by a lot) and off board ticketing.

I ride the 9 a bit (2-4 times per week) and the biggest hassle isn't the time the bus is moving, but the time that it's not. Where we're just waiting for a wheelchair ramp to deploy, or that someone is digging in their pockets for their money to pay the fare, or (at SE Powell and Milwaukie) when the bus gets stuck waiting behind a 19 that needs to let people off/on before the 9 can get to the stop.

Dedicated lanes would be nice, but Powell never seems to be quite that backed up until you get out past Foster. Inside Foster it moves fairly well because in large part there are so few lights. I drive on Powell a few times a week, and the only time traffic becomes an issue for me usually is from ~72nd to I-205. (I rarely take it east of 205, so I can't really speak to that.)

Maybe I'm completely wrong, but from living along the corridor (I've lived near SE Milwaukie & Powell as well as SE 39th and Powell) I'm not convinced that Powell needs LRT service so much as more and better bus service.

Maybe as mentioned we should just skip calling it BRT and just call it BBT for better bus transit.

The only other infrequent-stop-but-frequent-service route I can think of that could be upgraded in a similar matter would be the 6 on MLK. Other than near the Rose Quarter/Lloyd Center and I-5 it doesn't get too backed up, but the existing bus is really, really slow because it stops all the damned time.

Maybe TriMet just cares about time between stops, but to increase average speeds boarding and payment times should be included as well. Reducing those should help the route.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2014, 7:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pdxstreetcar View Post
And amen also regarding BRT, unless it has exclusive lanes its just a bus painted in a unique color scheme.
I go by the federal government's definition when funding these things that basically states half the route has to be dedicated ROW. The transit mall I think counts for this, as does the Harbor Structure and the TriMet bridge. If a BRT route is run over those then connects to mixed traffic, then gets it's own ROW down Powell/Foster once it gets out that way it would likely count under that definition.

With the politics surrounding TriMet right now (Clackamas County has pretty much banned rail from being installed, the state audit looks terrible for them from both financial and safety perspectives, out SE is complaining about being ignored and the biggest paper in the state is running articles about that and if the suburbs should leave TriMet) I'm not sure a new Portland-centric LRT corridor is either the best use of funds or the best use of political influence right now.
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  #65  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2014, 7:10 PM
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Originally Posted by davehogan View Post
I go by the federal government's definition when funding these things that basically states half the route has to be dedicated ROW. The transit mall I think counts for this, as does the Harbor Structure and the TriMet bridge. If a BRT route is run over those then connects to mixed traffic, then gets it's own ROW down Powell/Foster once it gets out that way it would likely count under that definition.

With the politics surrounding TriMet right now (Clackamas County has pretty much banned rail from being installed, the state audit looks terrible for them from both financial and safety perspectives, out SE is complaining about being ignored and the biggest paper in the state is running articles about that and if the suburbs should leave TriMet) I'm not sure a new Portland-centric LRT corridor is either the best use of funds or the best use of political influence right now.
THe Powell corridor will be fully within Multnomah County. Therefore, here is an opportunity to build a MAX line where we actually have political support.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2014, 7:20 PM
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clackamas county likes cars too much. i hope portland gets more light rail though
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  #67  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2014, 5:43 AM
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Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
THe Powell corridor will be fully within Multnomah County. Therefore, here is an opportunity to build a MAX line where we actually have political support.
On the heels of the recent reports about TriMet, I'd think it would be smarter to start fixing problems than worry about adding another new MAX line just yet. Adding some buses to the 9, the 6, the 12, etc seems like it would increase ridership without the divisive commentary and whining from the suburbs.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2014, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by davehogan View Post
On the heels of the recent reports about TriMet, I'd think it would be smarter to start fixing problems than worry about adding another new MAX line just yet. Adding some buses to the 9, the 6, the 12, etc seems like it would increase ridership without the divisive commentary and whining from the suburbs.
http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/th...-trimet-audit/

Certainly, Tri-Met has immense and various problems, most notable and unfortunate being the relationship between management and union. Adding buses to increase frequency on most-used bus lines (e.g. 4, 6, 9 etc.) is a priority, which will reportedly happen in part by March. But the argument that we should not promote better transit because it is not popular does not hold. Most people drive cars and don't care about buses or trains. This is not a sustainable outlook.

We don't have the ability or means to research the most important question:

Will planning a bus route (that may or may not have 50% of its stops in its own ROW) have a negligible or dramatic increase in ridership compared to simply increasing frequency?

Any answer is speculation. But if you look at the Portland Afoot data for 2012...

http://portlandafoot.org/w/TriMet_bus_rankings

the 4, 6, 9 and 72 have nearly the worst ratings for regularity (and pretty bad for frequency as well). My guess is that this correlates with the number of people using them, and the length of the routes. Part of the reason why a BRT-like idea on Powell is a bad idea relates to this. Buses are not remotely as bike and disability-friendly as trains. Yes, buses are great compared to other places, but they are still a pain in the ass when you have a bike or are in a wheelchair. Lengthy and busy routes seem to tend towards becoming more infrequent.

This is why cutting the 9 and 4 in half at 205 and having transit with its own ROW (for the entire stretch) in the inner city is so important. We need transit that is unaffected by variables such as busy intersections and loading bikes. This is the most important factor that people see. A vast majority of the delays with MAX are related to the Steel Br. A Powell MAX would have no real potential for delays.

Again, I don't know the answer to the question above, but I would rather money be spent on frequency of buses or a MAX, and not longer buses for the sake of them being novel in Portland.
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  #69  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2014, 1:38 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Originally Posted by davehogan View Post
On the heels of the recent reports about TriMet, I'd think it would be smarter to start fixing problems than worry about adding another new MAX line just yet. Adding some buses to the 9, the 6, the 12, etc seems like it would increase ridership without the divisive commentary and whining from the suburbs.
I don't know, light rail has lower per-rider costs compared to even frequent bus service, and attracts more riders in general (rail bias). If we need to stretch our dollars and don't need to pay the full costs of capital construction, then light rail is *still* the way to go - in major corridors.

But yeah, we really do need to bring our bus service back up to snuff. HOWEVER, at least we have real-time transit arrival times, unlike Seattle.
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  #70  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2014, 3:49 AM
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Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
THe Powell corridor will be fully within Multnomah County. Therefore, here is an opportunity to build a MAX line where we actually have political support.
I would love to see a new MAX line on the heels of the Milwaukie line that also uses the new bridge. I also want to see a new streetcar line running up Sandy Blvd.
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  #71  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2014, 5:05 PM
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I would love to see a new MAX line on the heels of the Milwaukie line that also uses the new bridge. I also want to see a new streetcar line running up Sandy Blvd.
This may belong in a different thread...

A streetcar down Sandy or Broadway is a vastly better idea than one down MLKJ. As we know streetcars are first a development tool and as a distant second, a transportation tool. Any development on MLK has to mediate the gentrification it brings with it. Trader Joe's on Alberta as it currently stands is an example of development with no considerations for the neighborhood's history. When Williams was razed for the Interstate and Emmanual, this was looked at as progress. The measures of progress are much more complex today.
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  #72  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2014, 9:37 PM
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the green line connecting to the orange line would be much better then having it going to where theres trains that already go down the tracks.
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  #73  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2014, 2:47 AM
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This may belong in a different thread...

A streetcar down Sandy or Broadway is a vastly better idea than one down MLKJ. As we know streetcars are first a development tool and as a distant second, a transportation tool. Any development on MLK has to mediate the gentrification it brings with it. Trader Joe's on Alberta as it currently stands is an example of development with no considerations for the neighborhood's history. When Williams was razed for the Interstate and Emmanual, this was looked at as progress. The measures of progress are much more complex today.
Why does MLK have to mitigate gentrification, but not Sandy or Broadway or Division or Hawthorne? Developing MLK should be a priority and like you said, the streetcar is a development tool first and foremost. All close-in Main Streets should maximize their potential, regardless of their "history".
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  #74  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2014, 3:51 AM
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Any development anywhere (including Broadway and Sandy) must assess its affect on displacing residents. There is, however, a nasty history of redlining and razing in North Portland.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM1qRzovajU
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  #75  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2014, 4:55 AM
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Any development on MLK has to mediate the gentrification it brings with it.
I think this is a good point but I don't think it means MLK is somehow not an appropriate choice for the next streetcar line. There is a lot of grey when discussing gentrification and the choice shouldn't be between neglect and displacement. Perhaps an MLK streetcar, if done right from the get-go, could be a win-win for everyone if the benefits are also felt by historically oppressed, less-affluent residents.
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  #76  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2014, 5:09 AM
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The difference between a streetcar helping to densify and strengthen a neighborhood, versus the mass destruction of entire neighborhoods by a freeway ROW or Emanuel Hospital, is like night and day. Nobody gets kicked out of a neighborhood and no buildings are condemned because a streetcar gets built. Worst case is rents and property values increase, but that is happening anyway, in all close-in neighborhoods. All the more reason to vastly increase the supply of inner city housing along corridors like MLK.
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  #77  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2014, 6:26 AM
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MLK is a great street for a streetcar line, I would like to see 2-3 new eastside streetcar lines built in the next 10-15yrs.
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  #78  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2014, 11:01 PM
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if powell doesnt get rail then maybe sandy or 99e from the colombia river to omsi
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  #79  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2014, 4:50 PM
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A story in Bike Portland yesterday covered the recent three car-related deaths last weekend Fri/Sat/Sun. This may not otherwise make the news, but the city announced a Vision-Zero for pedestrian deaths just prior to this. Story here

If you look at Interstate avenue, on the pedestrian injury/death map, there are a couple incidents at Going (which is essentially crossing a freeway and needs to be redesigned), and Lombard. Otherwise the corridor has been pretty safe.

Looking at Powell, particularly inner Powell between 21st and 50th, there are numerous deaths/injuries every few blocks. These are the blocks that BRT will likely have no dedicated ROW, hence zero safety improvement.

The MAX on Interstate is essentially a pedestrian island. I have stood on that island with two bags of groceries, one foot in the crosswalk, and waved at drivers with no result (other than getting their attention). But despite their reluctance to stop, I am still safe waiting behind the metal fence. This is what Powell needs. If we can't change the behavior of drivers, we can certainly improve the infrastructure around them.
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  #80  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2014, 12:51 AM
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A story in Bike Portland yesterday covered the recent three car-related deaths last weekend Fri/Sat/Sun. This may not otherwise make the news, but the city announced a Vision-Zero for pedestrian deaths just prior to this. Story here

If you look at Interstate avenue, on the pedestrian injury/death map, there are a couple incidents at Going (which is essentially crossing a freeway and needs to be redesigned), and Lombard. Otherwise the corridor has been pretty safe.

Looking at Powell, particularly inner Powell between 21st and 50th, there are numerous deaths/injuries every few blocks. These are the blocks that BRT will likely have no dedicated ROW, hence zero safety improvement.

The MAX on Interstate is essentially a pedestrian island. I have stood on that island with two bags of groceries, one foot in the crosswalk, and waved at drivers with no result (other than getting their attention). But despite their reluctance to stop, I am still safe waiting behind the metal fence. This is what Powell needs. If we can't change the behavior of drivers, we can certainly improve the infrastructure around them.
There's plenty of safety improvements that could be made without adding MAX. Powell is a major state highway also, whereas Interstate parallels a major state highway (I-5) by a few blocks. They're really not very similar at all.

I don't think that reducing Powell to one lane is going to get much support, especially from the neighborhoods around it. Also I'm not sure where the extra 20+ feet of ROW that MAX would need would be something the neighborhoods would be okay with.

If a MAX line is going to be built east-west through SE then Holgate is probably the better option. It's already got a fairly wide ROW versus the number of lanes except from SE 24th to SE 28th, it could connect to the Orange line at SE 17th and Holgate, but would need to either replace or build a new viaduct to get over Brooklyn yard.

You'd lose a few industrial buildings and a storage place, but Portland seems to prefer that over losing houses. East of 28th you'd lose some on street parking and some houses might lose their front yards, and near I-205 it might be a little tricky, but it seems like it would be a lot easier than Powell.

As another option it could run across Holgate and cut up to Powell somewhere around 50th where the additional ROW from the Mt Hood Freeway starts to show up.
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