Originally Posted by 2oh1
This must be for a few specific stops, because I live near the 10th & Jefferson stop, and I can't even beat the streetcar from there to the library four blocks away, let alone attempt to beat the streetcar to the Pearl. Even for whatever few specific stops people say they can walk faster than the streetcar, I won't believe it until I see it - unless those idiots are complaining about rush hour traffic, in which case my feet are apparently faster than a Porsche. I guess that means Porsches suck, eh.
Every time I'm on the streetcar and I see someone miss it by just a second and choose to run to catch the next stop, I almost never see them make it, and if they do, it means the streetcar hit serious traffic and a red light too... and still, the person who missed it had to run and is now huffing and puffing. I only ever see people try to catch the streetcar in the Pearl where traffic gets hairy. And like I said, they usually don't make it.
I'm not trying to suggest that the streetcar is as fast as a subway would be, but to say it's slower than walking on foot is exaggerating to the point of discrediting oneself in a debate.
Anytime the streetcar (or MAX for that matter) makes a sharp turn it's dramatically faster to walk, both because of stop signs/lights, and because of the reduced speed of the turns.
This is a very limited scenario however. Unfortunately the streetcar makes about 3-4 sharp turns around PSU, which is the single largest transit destination in the system, which is probably what contributes to the perception of walking being faster. (Also of note, the streetcar has to cross two MAX lines and Broadway in the vicinity, again slowing its travel speed.)
Overall, I absolutely use the streetcar to go places when one is coming. My "walking is faster" opinion usually stems more form the fact that lead times on streetcars are usually pretty close to 20 minutes when I'm traveling, making it faster for me to walk from PSU to the Pearl, but as urbanlife pointed out, not 23rd. (Although I very rarely am traveling from PSU to 23rd.)
I almost always choose to walk from PSU to Powell's, because it's faster. And that is because there simply aren't enough streetcars operating on the line.