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  #81  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2006, 6:47 PM
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I think I heard that commuter rail construction starts around summer of this year and I-205/Mall construction starts Jan 2007 but these schedules were announced before this latest funding.

Anyhow this is great news
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  #82  
Old Posted Feb 9, 2006, 7:18 PM
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The Columbian's take with a slant on Clark County

To help you track the inflow of ideas, PDXStreetcar


Panel OKs $1.9 Million Mass Transit Study

Wednesday, February 8, 2006
By THOMAS RYLL, Columbian staff writer

With little discussion, area transportation leaders voted unanimously Tuesday evening to forge ahead with a $1.9 million, two-year study of high-capacity transit options for Clark County.

While cynics will see the plan as a barely disguised scheme to rekindle the hopes for light rail here, the study will examine at least three types of systems light rail, trolley and bus rapid transit and where they might go, said Dean Lookingbill, Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council director. "We are going to look across all of these modes," he said.

A 2002 bistate effort called the I-5 Transportation and Trade Partnership Study recommended a high-capacity transit loop along Interstate 5, state Highway 500 and Interstate 205. In early 2003 and again in 2004, the transportation council asked for federal money to study the idea. It was not approved until 2005.

There was little to go over Tuesday, as the federal portion just shy of $1.5 million was earmarked in 2005 and is still available.

Still to be determined is how the council will pay for the $372,000 local match required as a condition of the federal money.

"I think we need to move ahead with this," said Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard, who called Lookingbill's summary of the issue "an excellent piece of paper."

The lone question was posed by Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart, who wanted to know about the opportunity for public input into the study. Lookingbill said that would be "a major piece" of the work.

Although the study money is earmarked as the "I-5/I-205/SR-500 Transit Loop," that apparently is not a foregone conclusion; other corridors, such as Mill Plain Boulevard, would also be examined, Lookingbill said.

Voters in 1995 soundly defeated a proposal for a sales and motor vehicle excise tax increase to pay for an extension of TriMet's MAX system across the Columbia River. Today, the MAX Yellow Line ends at the Expo Center, a mile south of Vancouver.

While the system's northward progress stalled there, MAX has seen constant expansion since 1995, including the Red Line to Portland International Airport, thereby bringing tracks to a couple miles south of Washington in the I-205 corridor.

Much more is in store for MAX: President Bush's new budget request includes more than $107 million for light-rail projects in the Portland area, including $80 million for an 8-mile extension along I-205 south of Portland, and $27.6 million for a 14.7-mile commuter line in the Wilsonville-Beaverton corridor in Washington County.

Tuesday's move by the transportation council authorizes Lookingbill to secure the federal grant, and is one of the earliest in what would have to be a years-long series of steps leading to some type of high-capacity transit plan.

There are many questions to be answered. And light rail is not necessarily the answer for Clark County, Lookingbill said, adding, "There are some new ways of looking at this."
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  #83  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2006, 6:17 AM
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Bus Mall Relocation Plan

It's starting to get real folks! This is what downtown bus service is going to look like for the next 2-3 years.

THE DOWNTOWN BUS SERVICE RELOCATION PLAN

Option 1
This option would move 21 lines to 3rd and 4th avenues, the closest pair of streets to the Portland Mall. Eight bus lines would move to Columbia and Jefferson streets to improve east-west bus service downtown. Some may remain there when the Mall reopens in 2009.
  • 3rd and 4th avenues: lines 1, 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 40, 44, 54, 56, 94, 99
  • Columbia and Jefferson streets: lines 6, 38, 43, 45, 55, 58, 68, 92, 95, 96
  • Unchanged: lines 15, 18, 20, 41, 51, 63
Pro: This option would most closely mirror current downtown bus service.
Con: Travel times likely would increase due to traffic congestion.

Option 2
This option maintains the same level of service but spreads it over three pairs of streets: 3rd and 4th, 10th and 11th and Columbia and Jefferson.
  • 3rd and 4th avenues: lines 4, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 31, 32, 33, 54, 56, 94, 99
  • 10th and 11th avenues: lines 1, 10, 35, 36, 40, 44
  • Columbia and Jefferson streets: same as Option 1
  • Unchanged: same as Option 1
Pro: This option would provide more connections to Portland Streetcar by using its stops and shelters, and would decrease the number of buses on 3rd and 4th avenues.
Con: Travel times likely would increase for riders on some bus lines due to increased distance. Riders who are accustomed to one main bus corridor downtown could be confused at first. Transfers between some bus lines might be more challenging. Also, residents have raised concerns about adding buses to the already congested Pearl District.

Shelters and amenities
Bus shelters will be added at stops wherever sidewalk space allows—most likely three or four blocks apart. All stops will be accessible, with easy-to-read signs.

Parking and loading
Some on-street parking will be reduced to make room for bus stops. Some loading zones may be relocated, but will not be lost.



Tri-met wants your feedback:
Email busplan@trimet.org
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  #84  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2006, 6:43 PM
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I wonder if there are any plans for at least one dedicated bus lane in each direction on 3rd & 4th aves (or 10th/11th)? seattle has pretty much dedicated all of 3rd Ave to buses for the tunnel reconstruction project


I have been skeptical that the vancouver LRT loop will be built although hasn't there been a positive shift of opinion in vancouver regarding LRT in the last 10 years making this project more likely? Maybe this is the plan but I could see the yellow line running across the columbia near I-5 into downtown vancouver, then north, then along 520 to vancouver mall then south along 205 across the columbia and into portland international airport. In addition have a second line from downtown portland via the banfield and gateway TC run north along I-205 across the columbia and ending at the vancouver mall.


One might notice construction around the streetcar barn in the Pearl, they are doing some upgrades for 3 new cars arriving this summer by building a turntable, storage track on 15th ave. and new switches.
more info

Last edited by pdxstreetcar; Feb 10, 2006 at 7:01 PM.
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  #85  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2006, 7:51 PM
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[QUOTE=pdxstreetcar]I have been skeptical that the vancouver LRT loop will be built although hasn't there been a positive shift of opinion in vancouver regarding LRT in the last 10 years making this project more likely? Maybe this is the plan but I could see the yellow line running across the columbia near I-5 into downtown vancouver, then north, then along 520 to vancouver mall then south along 205 across the columbia and into portland international airport. In addition have a second line from downtown portland via the banfield and gateway TC run north along I-205 across the columbia and ending at the vancouver mall.

I think Vancouver's mind set is growing up these days. Back then (in 93 or 94, I forget the exact date of the vote), the county commissioners set up the initiative as a super-majority, meaning that 60% of voters needed to approve light rail. It actually had a simple majority of 59% when it went down. I'm not sure the (county) commissioners will have such control over the vote now that the entire line will be within the city limits of Vancouver. Royce Pollard has always been pro-light rail.
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  #86  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2006, 8:41 PM
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I'd imagine it would pass now. The traffic is much worse than when the first vote happened and the red and yellow line get pretty close to the river already. However Vancouver does seem to attract the people who don't like planning and taxes, so it's probably far from a slam dunk.
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  #87  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2006, 1:31 AM
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Theres a big front page article in the Portland Tribune about a last minute effort to redesign or halt the transit mall project from downtown business owners, bus drivers, transit planners and transit activists who fear the project will be a huge mistake...

Transit mall plan draws mix of foes
A plan to mix vehicles, light rail and buses on the downtown transit mall has critics worried about congestion, safety and efficiency. They plan to present an alternative Monday at City Hall

As someone who also feels the Transit Mall project is headed in the wrong direction I am glad to see this last minute push and hope they will be successful.
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  #88  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2006, 1:40 AM
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I guess I have to agree. I'm not understanding this big push to put the MAX on the bus mall. What's so wrong with the bus mall that it needs an expensive redesign. I can think of many other projects more in need of money than a bus mall redesign.
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  #89  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2006, 2:06 AM
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its largely the downtown business community that wants a continuous auto lane on the mall. they saw the federal funds associated with I-205 MAX and tried to use those funds to redesign the mall. LRT on the mall is also an important part of the regional transit system if MAX is extended to Milwaukie. but i'm not against LRT on the mall, I'm against the configuration with weaving trains and buses plus the narrow street right-of-way that is supposed to handle light rail trains, many bus lines, wide downtown sidewalks and an auto lane.
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  #90  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 5:54 PM
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not sure if this has been posted here yet, but this is the simulated video of the MAX train weaving in and out on the transit mall. In the first 10 seconds you can see how easy it will be to get smacked by the train.

http://www.trimet.org/portlandmall/v...right_high.mov

The clarity of the mall is amazing, it looks just like downtown!
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  #91  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 6:35 PM
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theres a huge discussion on the mall at www.portlandtransport.com
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  #92  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 6:55 PM
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Quote:
I'm not understanding this big push to put the MAX on the bus mall. What's so wrong with the bus mall that it needs an expensive redesign
The reason for putting MAX on the bus mall is that the existing MAX is at capacity. They have to put the Clackamas trains somewhere. So most of this arguement comes down to the logistics of the mall (allowing cars, weaving trains,etc.)
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  #93  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 7:12 PM
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the slow steel bridge is also at capacity yet the Mall MAX still must use it

jim howell a long time outspoken transit advocate wrote a letter to the oregonian, he suggests rehabbing the mall for buses and using the money to extend the yellow line to hayden island/jantzen beach which is a better terminus until (and if) vancouver, wa happens...
Don't add light rail downtown
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  #94  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 8:17 PM
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I know it's not going to happen, but I wish they'd take the money and start building the subway that they will build someday.
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  #95  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 8:44 PM
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Quote:
the slow steel bridge is also at capacity yet the Mall MAX still must use it
I can't find the article right now, but I read somewhere that the Steel Bridge could actually accomidate faster trains at some point in the future. I guess there is some sort of disconnect between the wires and track that lift, and the rest of the span. I remember the fix costing in the millions but from what I remember it was supposed to be fixed during the Clackamas expansion, which would allow trains to travel at a faster speed, and therefore there wouldn't be a need for a new bridge as the short area of track all lines would use would be able to accomidate the traffic with the increased speeds and absence of any stops.
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  #96  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 8:44 PM
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I understand people's concerns, but why are they only being voiced now? Yes, the federal funds just happened, but this has been in the works for years and nobody voiced any opposition as TriMet asked for input. Why is Katz ripping this now, when the idea was developed on her watch? This redevelopment didn't come about overnight, and it's way too late for people to literally ask TriMet and the city to go back to the drawing board.
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  #97  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 8:49 PM
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I was shocked by the Tribs piece on the mall and Katz comments. I agree, the time to voice concern was a year or two ago. This isn't new to anyone. But Katz attacking her own plan and then blaming it on lack of info from TriMet, please lady, you've never bowed in to pressure before!
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  #98  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 9:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandonpdx
I know it's not going to happen, but I wish they'd take the money and start building the subway that they will build someday.
youre not alone in wishing that would happen, I too would like to see it

my guess as to why they are holding off on the subway is that if they build one it would have to run from the Lloyd Center, under the Willamette River, all under downtown to PSU and a little branch around City Hall west to Goose Hollow & west hills tunnel, which would be a huge and expensive project. i dont think building a subway just under downtown will work because they will have to find a place to surface the subway around union station and then have it cross over the slow and congested steel bridge. they will want to have the subway go under the river which then complicates things tremendously since now it has to go deep under the river and then since the terrain by the Rose & Lloyd District is on a hill, the subway then has to rise from all the way under the river to the surface at the top of the hill by lloyd district (which also continues to slope upward) meaning it probably wont be able to surface likely until around where the Lloyd center is. then there has to be a junction and small tunnel and portal for the interstate line to connect into the blue/red lines by the rose quarter. And then theres the other junction and small tunnel from city hall out of the subway to connect into the existing west hills tunnel. now were talking 3-4 miles of complex tunneling probably at upwards of $500 million a mile
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  #99  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 9:23 PM
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And what could people do? The choice to put the auto lane down the entire mall was political. During the public meetups the lane was off limits. It HAD to be in the project, not for efficencies or planning but for politics. Trimet themselves said they could do nothing about it. The business communities contribution to the project, an expensive forced auto lane. The added lane is what is forcing this bizarre configuration. Remove the lane and the rail line runs down the left side buses on the right and everything works fine.
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  #100  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2006, 9:24 PM
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I've posted this before but here's Tri-met's official response to why they aren't considering a subway:

from:
http://www.trimet.org/portlandmall/p...a_11-27-03.pdf

Quote:
"A Subway alignment was not advanced because the Downtown Light Rail Systems Analysis (TriMet and Metro: December 2002), indicated that the Portland Mall and existing Cross-Mall light rail alignments provide sufficient capacity until approximately 2040. In addition, preliminary estimates show that improved cross-mall subway travel time (11 minute improvement over the existing surface Cross-Mall) and the resultant ridership increases through downtown are not sufficient to offset the estimated $1.3 billion (current year dollars) price tag. Subways have been studied off and on ever since the 1972 Downtown Plan and every group that has considered subway has recommended light rail remain on the surface on Fifth and Sixth Avenues because the added capacity of the subway is not needed, surface alignments encourage a vibrant street environment, and that the cost of a subway is not justified if it would be used by two-car trains. Additional platform retrofit costs and environmental and traffic impacts for the rest of the light rail system would occur if train lengths in excess of two cars were desired to make maximum use of a subway investment."
In other words, "It's too much money too soon for not enough gain."
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