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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2013, 9:52 PM
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Division Transit Project

In hopes we can have a conversation about mass transit on Powell/Division:

https://secure.flickr.com/photos/101...07/9631057190/

I would love to see a MAX down Powell and BRT from 205 to Gresham as depicted in the image above.
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2013, 7:47 AM
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MAX down Powell would make a ton of sense. Making it happen wouldn't be easy though.
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2013, 9:53 PM
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Max

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Originally Posted by Derek View Post
MAX down Powell would make a ton of sense. Making it happen wouldn't be easy though.
Agreed. I think that is why we should gather support for it now before the Powell-Division Corridor excludes it. Talk about BRT has had overwhelming support, particularly with the recent study about investment concerning the Blue Line vs. other BRT lines.

A rapid transit bus on Powell will be just as slow as a normal bus, become inundated with traffic on peak hours (particularly close in from 39th to downtown where there is no option of an exclusive ROW), and suck for bikers to ride in. Quote from Garth Marenghi: "If you're a cheap asshole, expect the shittiest portion."

Here's a quick picture of one alternative that includes BRT and MAX. I imagine the green line down Powell Blvd to Clackamas, cutting that trip by 10-15 minutes or so (and Key point: reducing the traffic on the overburdened Steel Br.). Express buses from Gresham run down Powell and Division to 92nd where both have access to frequent MAX service downtown.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/101004589@N07/9631057190/
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  #4  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2013, 12:07 AM
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A BRT option doesn't require dedicated lanes the entire way. If we had them for segments where they're available, and allowed it operate in mixed use traffic otherwise it could still be a lot faster than the 9 by having limited stops. Keep the 9 in the same corridor and make it 9MAX.

It could be routed over the new TriMet bridge to the transit mall, and serve SE Milwaukie, SE 26th, SE 39th, SE 50th/Foster, SE 60th, SE 72nd, SE 82nd, I-205/Green Line MAX, SE 112, SE 122, SE 136, SE 148, SE 162, SE 182, then maybe (not familiar at all with Gresham) Birdsdale, Wallula, and loop up Main back to the East end of the MAX?

Could this maybe be done with larger buses, nicer stations, and a few lanes that allow the buses to jump ahead of traffic where space is available? Maybe median lanes with stations if there's enough space?

It would seem to be a tradeoff between a MAX line and a bus, but at a relatively lower cost than trying to acquire ROW for rails the whole way. It's not suited for streetcar style service.
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Old Posted Sep 29, 2013, 1:10 AM
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Originally Posted by davehogan View Post
A BRT option doesn't require dedicated lanes the entire way. If we had them for segments where they're available, and allowed it operate in mixed use traffic otherwise it could still be a lot faster than the 9 by having limited stops. Keep the 9 in the same corridor and make it 9MAX.
Here's the main problem with BRT. If the point of improving transit is increasing speed/frequency during rush hours, BRT on inner Powell doesn't help. There is no way of separating traffic from buses from about 33rd to downtown on Powell. There is no space. BRT will mean just another (perhaps larger) bus waiting. In general with a few exceptions outer Powell is a different story (but let's put that off for now).

So we are left with the decision to either stay with buses (that may be bigger, but will not be faster during rush hour), or acquire some ROW in inner SE. BRT has its place, but it is not on inner Powell Blvd. The flickr image I posted is one way to solve this.
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  #6  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2013, 1:43 AM
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that would be cool, if there could be three tracks one for express trans. would make it really cool.
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  #7  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2013, 5:12 AM
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I'm actually not certain that a Powell Blvd MAX line would make the most sense. I think that Division would be a smarter investment. Its a longer street and has more development east of 92nd.

Unfortunately, neither Powell nor Division have enough width to accommodate a MAX line from the river through 82nd, and would likely require an elevated line (fat chance!) or a subway.
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  #8  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2013, 5:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
I'm actually not certain that a Powell Blvd MAX line would make the most sense. I think that Division would be a smarter investment. Its a longer street and has more development east of 92nd.

Unfortunately, neither Powell nor Division have enough width to accommodate a MAX line from the river through 82nd, and would likely require an elevated line (fat chance!) or a subway.
The only thing besides bus that would make sense would be streetcar, but it would only really work on a 4 lane road that you could shave down to a 2 lane road.

Southeast is going to be much tougher to provide better transit to, though they need to do something for Division because that area is growing fast.
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Old Posted Sep 29, 2013, 5:37 AM
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Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
I'm actually not certain that a Powell Blvd MAX line would make the most sense. I think that Division would be a smarter investment. Its a longer street and has more development east of 92nd.

Unfortunately, neither Powell nor Division have enough width to accommodate a MAX line from the river through 82nd, and would likely require an elevated line (fat chance!) or a subway.
You're right that Powell has very little space up until around 33rd to 39th area. However, on 39th, for example, there are 4 lanes East (one left turn lane), and two lanes going west. There are actually 7 lanes including parking on the East side of the intersection. I believe that's quite enough room (including any station as well).

I would prefer a MAX go under 39th so it disrupts traffic as little as possible, but it would have ample room if it took two or even three of these lanes. As for further out, luckily much of Powell has adjacent parking streets and a median. This makes any ROW acquisition (if necessary) avoid any demolition of buildings. Difficult to find a better street for a MAX.
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2013, 1:52 AM
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How about elevated from SE 17th (where it could branch from PMLR) to 52nd where there is excess right of way from the Mt Hood Freeway land to run in a redesigned street in a median. Elevated stations at 21st, 39th. This is hardly an attractive highway anyway, so why not elevated?

On the other hand...

The place where you need exclusive lanes is where traffic is the worst, it makes little sense to build exclusive lanes where it is easy with excess capacity and little traffic. It actually improves traffic to take lanes at the most congested areas for exclusive use of HOVs, what viable alternative is a single bus carrying 100 people stuck behind a 100 people in a 100 cars? if you are going to sit in traffic no matter what, most people will choose to their own car. But that just makes traffic worse as it encourages SOV travel. At least prioritizing a HOV over SOVs gives people a real incentive to ride the HOV and therefore there is a real viable alternative.
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2013, 6:37 AM
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I still believe that if you are going to build a subway, it should go down Division. There is more density and investments going on Division than Powell - much more. A Division MAX line could branch off from the new Milwaukie MAX line at Division, descend into a tunnel and surface somewhere around 82nd, where the street is wider. Then run at grade, like the blue line along East Burnside, all the way to Gresham.

Powell really only has retail between Milwaukie and Foster. There is very little density along its length. East of I-205 Powell is a 2-lane road without sidewalks for much of its length. It has more of a rural character than Aloha or SW Portland!

By contrast, Division is a 5-lane highway with bike lanes, dense development, retail, complete infrastructure (including sidewalks), along virtually its entire length.

On the flip side, both streets run all the way into downtown Gresham, although Powell serves more parks, such as Powell Butte, Kelley Butte and Creston. But parks don't attract ridership, either.
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2013, 2:50 PM
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Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
I still believe that if you are going to build a subway, it should go down Division. There is more density and investments going on Division than Powell - much more. A Division MAX line could branch off from the new Milwaukie MAX line at Division, descend into a tunnel and surface somewhere around 82nd, where the street is wider. Then run at grade, like the blue line along East Burnside, all the way to Gresham.

Powell really only has retail between Milwaukie and Foster. There is very little density along its length. East of I-205 Powell is a 2-lane road without sidewalks for much of its length. It has more of a rural character than Aloha or SW Portland!

By contrast, Division is a 5-lane highway with bike lanes, dense development, retail, complete infrastructure (including sidewalks), along virtually its entire length.

On the flip side, both streets run all the way into downtown Gresham, although Powell serves more parks, such as Powell Butte, Kelley Butte and Creston. But parks don't attract ridership, either.
If ever a subway is on the table, I would agree. I don't think anyone has proposed this in the thread. The image in my previous post would all be--apart from the rail yard crossing at 17th, and the Powell TC at 205--at grade.
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2013, 7:20 PM
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i think skytran would probably be the best way
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2013, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
I still believe that if you are going to build a subway, it should go down Division. There is more density and investments going on Division than Powell - much more. A Division MAX line could branch off from the new Milwaukie MAX line at Division, descend into a tunnel and surface somewhere around 82nd, where the street is wider. Then run at grade, like the blue line along East Burnside, all the way to Gresham.

Powell really only has retail between Milwaukie and Foster. There is very little density along its length. East of I-205 Powell is a 2-lane road without sidewalks for much of its length. It has more of a rural character than Aloha or SW Portland!

By contrast, Division is a 5-lane highway with bike lanes, dense development, retail, complete infrastructure (including sidewalks), along virtually its entire length.

On the flip side, both streets run all the way into downtown Gresham, although Powell serves more parks, such as Powell Butte, Kelley Butte and Creston. But parks don't attract ridership, either.
I don't think Portland would ever do a subway line, but the Division subway line would make a lot of sense. I love how much that street has been developing, even though it seems like most of the more dense development has only been happening on Division and not so much on the side streets along that route. (But I could be wrong, haven't lived in Portland in a little bit now, and just didn't notice much new denser development off of Division.)
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2013, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dabom View Post
i think skytran would probably be the best way


For once, you're making a little bit of sense.


I don't think a subway makes sense in Portland aside from the downtown core, but I do believe an elevated line going down Division would make (some) sense. I'm looking at Vancouver's SkyTrain as an example. It's mostly elevated through residential neighborhoods comparable to Portland's, and goes underground as it approaches the downtown area.
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2013, 1:21 AM
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A subway down Division? I can't imagine it ever happening. We just don't have the population to support such an expense. No one's even seriously proposing tunnels downtown, much less outside of the core. I could see MAX on Powell, potentially even elevated sections (although TriMet seems very reluctant to do much elevated work - part of the reason for not building a station at RiverPlace, I've read somewhere, was that they didn't want the expense of escalators, elevators, etc), but I doubt we'll ever see anything other than streetcar on Division.
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Old Posted Oct 2, 2013, 4:26 AM
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bvpcvm: As I understand it the problem is more that they're building smaller scale systems than other cities, so building stations like Harold St (designated as a future station of the Orange Line) get left off the current plans because they're really just too expensive.

A subway to connect the Robertson and Banfield sections was estimated in the billions last time I saw it estimated. Like, more than the CRC billions. There are reasons that we can't afford a fully grade separated system in most corridors yet.

The reason a BRT-Light for Portland makes sense is that with the new bridge, a few buses and a few more drivers we could make the 9 have twice as much service while skipping some stops that are lesser used. The 9MAX (for example) could then go from SE 52 to SE 39 and use the existing left lane to pass local service buses, giving it a slight speed advantage.

It wouldn't be perfect, but for someone who lives just far away that a 15 minute transfer can screw up their morning it might increase the catchment for an existing bus line that would serve certain stops at least twice as often.
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Old Posted Oct 2, 2013, 6:32 AM
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with less expencive elevated train tracks or skytran you could have it go down division to gresham and also have a line from division go up north along 205 up buy the colombia river. have a big park n ride for people acrosed the river.
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  #19  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2013, 11:49 PM
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Davehogan,
It would be nice to have express buses down Powell now. The buses that skip stops, however, would often be just as slow as the local buses during the morning and evening commutes.

I think what is more at issue here is not whether BRT would work, but how slow it might be during peak traffic, and how worthwhile it is then to create a ROW for them. If we find it necessary (after solid evidence is found to support/not support our opinions) to create a ROW anyway (I'm thinking from 33rd to 17th), then it seems logical to also consider a MAX.

Here's what I was thinking if you didn't catch it on a previous post:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/101004589@N07/9657053996/
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  #20  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2013, 12:35 AM
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Aerial Tram down Powell, it can connect with the OHSU line!
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