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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 9:58 AM
Pavlov's Dog Pavlov's Dog is offline
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TriMet/Metro Southwest Corridor Planning (Portland to Tigard/King City)

I can't recall the potential SW corridor being discussed specifically here.

This is what Tri-Met has to say about it in it's Transit Investment Plan

Quote:
Barbur Boulevard/Highway 99W high-capacity transit
The Barbur Boulevard/Highway 99W corridor is a traditional transit
corridor that is served by Frequent Service and numerous regional bus
routes. The introduction of high-capacity transit in this corridor as called
for in the Regional Transportation Plan would support the 2040 Town
Centers in the corridor at Sherwood, King City, Tigard and Burlingame
and relieve congestion along I-5. This corridor has been studied in the
past for various combinations of transportation improvements and is
identified through the Metro Corridor Initiatives planning process as a
priority consideration for high-capacity transit study.
TriMet has conducted very preliminary alignment studies in this
corridor for Bus Rapid Transit along a two-mile section, and for light
rail transit. High-capacity transit would complement commuter rail
operation in the Beaverton-Wilsonville corridor along Highway 217
and I-5. This corridor has been identified by Metro for a formal corridor
study, but no resources have been identified to date for the conduct of
a study.
What are your thoughts on the routing of the line?

If it follows Barbur Boulevard as currently envisoned on Tri-Met maps it will not serve some major employment, education and population centers.

Should it serve?:

OHSU- Should it tunnel under Pill Hill with an elevator like the Zoo station? How about a funicular such as this one in Paris?



Hillsdale and Multnomah which are designated town centers and main streets according to metro.

PCC-Sylvania- This is a major transit destination which would also be best served by tunneling underneath.


Should the corridor go through downtown Tigard to Sherwood or along I-5 towards Tualatin and Wilsonville? What about Washington Square- Scholls Ferry Road? How about some combination? Can it use any of the rail infrastructure for the Westside Express be used?
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 1:35 PM
bvpcvm bvpcvm is offline
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in my daily commute along this corridor, i've thought about this quite a bit. my version: tunnel with stations at ohsu, hillsdale and burlingame tc, then surface along i-5 to station at capitol, then tunnel again with station at pcc. from there, you could make arguments for both tigard and tualitin as terminals, but i might tend to lean toward tualitin - sending it down i-5 south from haines would allow it to get pretty close to kruse way, which is one of the biggest employment centers in portland.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2008, 5:16 PM
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I was a little surprised not to see Kruse Way in the vicinity of any high capacity transit in Metro's latest planning map. I guess they have a potential frequent service bus line on I-5, but for the most part it seems like Kruse Way is off their radar. I've written them about introducing some kind of bus or shuttle service between the Tigard WES station and Kruse and never heard anything. There was some mention of it in the regional transportation plan or the TIP or somewhere, but I haven't seen anything about it lately.
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 5:33 AM
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two variants
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 5:49 AM
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Thanks for the map bvpcvm. This the one line I would love to see get built, sooner rather than later. I don't know the exact estimates but I would think that this route would draw great ridership, especially of it goes all the out to sherwood or king city. I like the I-5 route at the end too. Do you think tunneling would be something trimet even considers? That sounds too rich for trimets blood.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 6:25 AM
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where did the map come from? Is it a Metro/Trimet plan or did you make it up? I would like to see both branches on the SW portion (i.e. one to Tigard and beyond and one south on I-5).
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 6:38 AM
bvpcvm bvpcvm is offline
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^ the map is entirely a nerdy fantasy on my part. it comes from the darkest recesses of photoshop.

pdxman: well, they did tunnel thru the west hills, over ten years ago... and this is one route with similarly steep grades. i'm sure, though, that it would be a long shot, esp. the part under pcc: trimet would most likely skip pcc, thus potentially avoiding 20,000 (i'm guessing) riders per day, but also avoiding the political controversy resulting from trying to build an effective, though expensive, facility.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 7:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvpcvm View Post
^ the map is entirely a nerdy fantasy on my part. it comes from the darkest recesses of photoshop.

pdxman: well, they did tunnel thru the west hills, over ten years ago... and this is one route with similarly steep grades. i'm sure, though, that it would be a long shot, esp. the part under pcc: trimet would most likely skip pcc, thus potentially avoiding 20,000 (i'm guessing) riders per day, but also avoiding the political controversy resulting from trying to build an effective, though expensive, facility.
well done on the map. I love fantasy transit maps and yours seems well thought out.

I agree with you that trimet will skip the PCC portion of your alignment and keep the alignment at grade along I-5 or Barbur. But I don't blame that on Trimet or Metro. There's only so much you can do with such limited funds. If the federal govt were more willing to look at (and fund) public transit as part of a viable solution to the problem of "peak oil," I think local agencies would have a much easier time building and operating lines like these. I'm actually a little surprised we haven't heard more about increasing funding for transit to help ease "America's addiction to foreign oil"... especially in an election year and with gas prices as high as they have been.
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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 8:49 AM
Pavlov's Dog Pavlov's Dog is offline
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Great map bvpcvm!

Looking at the tunnels I imagine they could both be a bit shorter and cheaper if they had different entry points.

I'm starting to think that maybe Hillsdale and Multnomah may be better served by a streetcar that could share tracks with MAX on the northern Barbur section, follow Capital Highway and correspond with MAX again at the SW Portland regional center TC.

Could you indulge me with a 3rd branch that goes up 217 to Washington Square and then down Scholls Ferry Road?
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 3:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlov's Dog View Post
Could you indulge me with a 3rd branch that goes up 217 to Washington Square and then down Scholls Ferry Road?
w/217 i think there's a completely different market to be served by running lrt in that corridor - from beaverton to somewhere in the south. wes stations are just too far away from places ppl want to go. wes will make sense as long-distance transit if they expand it to salem or mcminnville, but in the meantime, "not so much" (btw, where did that phrase come from? i hear it everywhere!). you could have lrt that goes from beavert tc down hall, to washington square (with a stop near the wes station as well), then passes by lincoln ctr (? the 12-story office tower), then tigard tc, then hits the 1-5/217 office parks. combined with wes, i think a line like that would do wonders for undoing traffic bottlenecks, but i think it's way off metro's radar.
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2008, 8:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvpcvm View Post
w/217 i think there's a completely different market to be served by running lrt in that corridor - from beaverton to somewhere in the south. wes stations are just too far away from places ppl want to go. wes will make sense as long-distance transit if they expand it to salem or mcminnville, but in the meantime, "not so much" (btw, where did that phrase come from? i hear it everywhere!). you could have lrt that goes from beavert tc down hall, to washington square (with a stop near the wes station as well), then passes by lincoln ctr (? the 12-story office tower), then tigard tc, then hits the 1-5/217 office parks. combined with wes, i think a line like that would do wonders for undoing traffic bottlenecks, but i think it's way off metro's radar.
My thinking is that the Washington Square area is a major regional center in Metro planning. Their must be some sort of vision in the Tri-Met/Metro offices for that area to be something other than low-density commerical, office and light industrial.
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2008, 1:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvpcvm View Post
w/217 i think there's a completely different market to be served by running lrt in that corridor
purple = wes
217 lrt = red

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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2008, 3:46 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Barbur MAX would be a godsend. We need more non-car transportation infrastructure to be able to access the west side of the Metro area.

In addition to a single Barbur MAX line, it could branch off at several points - I think bvpcvm makes a good point in having one section hit PCC; another branch could break off at the Safeway at Barbur to run along the former rail line along Multnomah Blvd and Oleson Rd. to Washington Square. This could help foster higher density infill development in SW Portland/Beaverton. Thoughts?


This could really help break people from their auto dependency in this highly auto-dependent part of the Metro area. I might even have reason to get out there and do shopping and stuff if there was reliable, frequent, high level of service MAX service out in that area.
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2008, 4:15 AM
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maybe an even better idea would be to convince pcc to close the sylvania campus and move everything to over by omsi. or, if having an educational institution in SW is considered critical, move it over to downtown tigard - next to the new WES station. and while we're at it, make mhcc move to dt gresham - that enormous abandoned kmart would provide an excellent building site.
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2008, 10:07 AM
Pavlov's Dog Pavlov's Dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
Barbur MAX would be a godsend. We need more non-car transportation infrastructure to be able to access the west side of the Metro area.

In addition to a single Barbur MAX line, it could branch off at several points - I think bvpcvm makes a good point in having one section hit PCC; another branch could break off at the Safeway at Barbur to run along the former rail line along Multnomah Blvd and Oleson Rd. to Washington Square. This could help foster higher density infill development in SW Portland/Beaverton. Thoughts?


This could really help break people from their auto dependency in this highly auto-dependent part of the Metro area. I might even have reason to get out there and do shopping and stuff if there was reliable, frequent, high level of service MAX service out in that area.
Good idea. Multnomah Blvd has plenty of space for the tracks due to the easements for the never built Multnomah Freeway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bvpcvm
maybe an even better idea would be to convince pcc to close the sylvania campus and move everything to over by omsi. or, if having an educational institution in SW is considered critical, move it over to downtown tigard - next to the new WES station. and while we're at it, make mhcc move to dt gresham - that enormous abandoned kmart would provide an excellent building site.
Excellent ideas if their are buyers for the existing campuses that would help to offset some of the cost.

PCC Rock Creek is another prime candidate for relocation. You pretty much have to drive to get there. I'd love to see high-density campus at Amber Glenn.
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2008, 9:32 PM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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I doubt they would move the campus; they have just completed at least one brand-new building there. It would cost a lot of money... probably a couple hundred million dollars that the college does not have.
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2008, 11:47 PM
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It is not unheard of to expand the community college to an additional "new" campus if there is sufficient student demand.
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  #18  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2008, 1:39 AM
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How soon will you be able to take light rail down 99W?
City takes a look at adding high-capacity transit down Barbur-99W corridor

By Leah Weissman

The Times, Sep 25, 2008


TIGARD – Is high-capacity transit down the Barbur-99W corridor in Tigard’s future? If the City Council had its way, light rail, commuter rail, rapid bus transit and streetcars would be transporting commuters through the city tomorrow.

But with the project development process expected to take up to 10 years, the city has hired a transportation policy consultant to help move the goal along and ensure that traffic won’t be Tigard citizens’ main concern in 2018.

Geoff Larkin has worked on every light-rail project in the Portland area and was project manager for the new WES commuter rail system. With his help, the city will compete against other cities’ proposed transportation projects and hopefully get federal and state funding for high-capacity transit down the Barbur-99W corridor.

“I really see this happening,” Larkin told The Times. “This corridor is a strong candidate and will compete very well regionally and nationally against other projects of its size and importance. Existing ridership is huge and the growth is tremendous. It begs for transportation solutions.”

But he also said competition would be fierce for funding.

“This project is not for those who seek instant gratification,” he told the City Council. “This is a contact sport. It’s expensive and takes years.”

Still, the City Council agreed it was time for Tigard to get its share.

“When asking what our residents’ primary concern is, it’s traffic congestion,” said Councilor Nick Wilson.

He listed sections of Interstate 5, Scholls Ferry Road and Highway 99W in Tigard as the most congested areas along the three strips.

“We have a mess and need to fix it,” Wilson said.

The first step in the lengthy process is looking at all the alternatives that will enhance transportation. The alternative analysis will include coordination with Washington County, TriMet, Metro, Tigard, other cities along the corridor and the public.

Council members agreed that light rail isn’t the only viable option, and that all forms of transportation and highway improvements should be considered.

Funding is also a huge issue and, at the moment, a mystery.

“Until we get into alternative analysis and see what the options are, we have no idea,” Larkin said. He said the region has a track record of having state funds match federal funds on high-capacity transit systems, and “I anticipate that model to continue.”

After the alternative analysis is complete, a locally preferred alternative will be voted on and conceptual design and preliminary engineering will take up to four years – adding onto the two years for the alternative analysis study. The final design and construction will then depend on the Federal Transportation Association’s schedule, Larkin said.

“We are just at the preliminary stages,” he emphasized.

To learn more about the city’s involvement and how residents can get involved, go to http://www.tigard-or.gov/new/08-08-2...ty_transit.asp.
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  #19  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2008, 5:21 AM
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Interesting.. Perhaps they need to talk to Metro and TriMet a little more.. Metro's already begun work on the Lake Oswego streetcar connection.. All these projects will starve regional transit funds for about a decade.. well over $2 billion for these three projects combined..

The Barbur Blvd. line will likely be one of the most expensive in the region's history. If I were Tigard, I wouldn't waste any money on this guy til the next president and transportation secretary are selected because we'll need people who support a huge increase in the federal New Starts program if we expect federal funds for another "mega-project" in the near term (next 10 years or so).
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  #20  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2008, 8:03 AM
IanofCascadia IanofCascadia is offline
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I wouldn't exactly classify a Barbur MAX line as a mega-project... not by a lot. I also highly doubt that it would cost any more (if not significantly less) than the yellow line extension down to Milwaukee (not taking inflation into account) as that requires a brand new bridge to cross the Willamette. This is one of, if not the most, needed MAX lines; it's great that Tigard is actually initiating the studies in this case.

As for whether or not this rests upon who the next president is... the election is in just over a month and it looks increasingly likely that Obama will win. Plus, there is no reason that I can see not to have the line studied... then, when the political environment is right they can move in for the kill.
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