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Far under budget, TriMet’s Orange Line may return tens of millions to federal government

Friday, March 20th, 2015
Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People
TriMet has at least $34 million, and maybe much more, unspent within the project’s scope of work.
(Photo: TriMet)

Four years after the Portland area’s transit agency furiously chopped costs and recruited other local governments to balance the budget for its new $1.5 billion rail line, the price tag so far is turning out to be more like $1.3 billion.

Though a few remaining bills have yet to be paid, the combination of far more cost-efficient track and systems construction than expected and persistently low interest rates has been so large that TriMet has been searching for new ways to spend some of the unexpected surplus locally.

(more…)

Touring Tilikum: My first walk across the new bridge (photos)

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
My first walk across Tilikum Bridge-16
Looking west toward South Waterfront from the eastern end of the new bridge.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

There are just 179 days until the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge opens. This exciting new piece of infrastructure will grab a ton of headlines not just because it’s the first new bridge to be built across the Willamette in over 40 years — but because it’s one of the only spans in America where every mode will be allowed except for private cars.
(more…)

Will SW Corridor bring millions for biking, too? It might depend on the route

Monday, February 9th, 2015
biking walking projects further sw
Possible biking and walking projects that might accompany a transit line through Southwest Portland.
(Maps: Metro)

This post is part of our SW Portland Week.

Interstate Avenue owes its bike lanes to the Yellow Line MAX. The new Tilikum Crossing wouldn’t be standing without the Orange Line.

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Portland’s low-car transportation web ranks 7th nationally, study says

Thursday, February 5th, 2015
abundant choices
Image by the Frontier Group and U.S. PIRG.

When the news went around last year that Helsinki was planning to “make car ownership pointless within 10 years,” it was misread in some quarters as a plan to remove cars completely from the Finnish capital.

(more…)

Two miles south of Portland, residents see a fresh canvas for car-lite development

Thursday, January 8th, 2015
trio bike
Oak Grove residents Chips Janger, Joseph Edge and Eleanore Hunter say TriMet’s new MAX line has made their inner-ring suburb ripe for dense bike- and transit-oriented development, and that neighbors are eager to help it happen.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

While Portland prepares to block increased development along parts of TriMet’s newest MAX line, a group of residents further down the Orange Line say they’re welcoming more density with open arms.

Their dream, they say, would be to use three-to-five-story apartment buildings and clusters of new small houses to turn their corner of unincorporated Clackamas County — the last stop on the new MAX line — into a bustling but more nature-rich alternative to Southeast Division Street.

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What do you think? Encouraging high-vis gear

Friday, December 12th, 2014
People on Bikes - Copenhagen Edition-48-48
Can’t miss this guy.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Publisher’s note: “What do you think?” is a new series we’re trying out where we gauge your opinion and ask for feedback on a specific topic. Think of it as our version of those ridiculous and annoying reader polls you see on other sites so often. — Jonathan

It seems innocent enough: When days get shorter and people are commuting in the dark, transportation agencies will often encourage people to wear bright-colored and reflective clothing, use lights, and so on. That might sound like important, common sense information to some of you; but to others it’s a cringe-worthy offense. To them it’s a form of victim blaming that actually results in ever more dangerous streets.

This week, both TriMet and the Portland Bureau of Transportation promoted high-visibility cycling.

TriMet did it as part of their annual “Be Seen. Be Safe.” campaign. I got an email yesterday asking me to enter a contest to win a “bike visibility kit”. The $135 kit includes a flourescent yellow helmet cover, a reflective safety patch, hi-vis gloves, and a rear light. “Make yourself visible to drivers and cyclists around you!” the promotion urged. (more…)

TriMet lengthens transfers to 2.5 hours, a long-awaited victory for riders’ group

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
OPAL organizer Orlando Lopez talks to a TriMet rider
in 2010, gathering support for what became a
successful campaign for longer-lasting transit tickets.
(Photo: Michael Schoenholtz/Portland Afoot)

On March 1, the lifespan of a TriMet ticket will rise 25 percent.

Raising the transfer duration from two hours to two and a half hours is effectively a price cut for anyone who takes round trips on the Portland region’s transit system one ticket at a time — either because they’re only an occasional rider or because they don’t have the cash or fancy job to have a monthly pass.

(more…)

Comment of the Week: Nike’s self-inflicted recruitment challenge

Friday, December 5th, 2014
Nike World Campus
Gilded cage? Inside the berm of Nike World
Headquarters near Beaverton.
(Photo: Tracy Lee Carroll)

Is one of the region’s most important companies turning its back on talent by locking its campus off from biking and transit?

It’s hard not to feel that way after reading a series of comments this week from reader s30t. Here’s what s30t wrote in response to last week’s post about the potential for Nike’s planned expansion to finally upgrade nearby bikeways:

Interesting reading through all the comments here. I recently joined Nike, despite having heavy concerns about the commute. One year in I can say my concerns are justified. I try my best to commute by bike (or at least a bike/max combo) – but the time investment is huge. I’ve tried multiple different routes, but I live in NE Portland and it is almost impossible to keep the round trip commute less than 2-2.5 hours via bike or combo bike/public transit combo. if you work with Asia and Europe (which I do) you end up with many early a.m/late calls…that means hopping on my bike at 5 am and not getting back home until 7pm or later. I can see why commuting by bike is not an option for anyone with children (or even a dog for that matter!)

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TriMet bus kills man who had been walking bike in bike lane (UPDATED)

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
bus stop
The bus stop on 82nd Avenue near Clackamas Town Center where the incident reportedly took place.
(Image from 2011: Google Street View)

A man who had been walking his bike in the bike lane down 82nd Avenue at SE Causey Wednesday night was killed beneath the back wheel of a TriMet bus, Oregon State Police said.

The man, a 60-year-old whose name has not yet been released, had apparently been passed by the bus while walking in the lane, caught up with it, and was beating on the back of the bus before his death.

(more…)

First look: New bike facilities open along MAX Orange Line

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
Update on PMLR bikeway progress-46
New multi-use path goes east-west just south of MAX line/UPRR tracks between SE 7th and 17th.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s less than one year to go until TriMet takes the wraps off the Orange Line, a 7.3 mile extension of the MAX light rail system that will connect downtown Portland to Milwaukie in northern Clackamas County. While the marquee component of the $1.5 billion project, the Tillikum Crossing Bridge, won’t open until next fall, many parts of the new project are already open for business. (more…)

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