TriMet story archives

Browse headlines below for all my TriMet stories.


‘Rogue’ union member blamed for candidate question tying road diets to bus driver attacks

Posted on April 10th, 2018 at 1:58 pm.

We’re still friends, right?
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Someone snuck their “pet issue” into an official questionnaire.

One of the many roles BikePortland plays in the regional transportation sphere is to keep people honest. A recent episode involving a candidate questionnaire gone wrong is a good illustration of that.

Last week a candidate running in an election in Washington County alerted us to a questionnaire from the Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC). “Check out question #12,” he wrote to me in an email.

Here’s the question:

The City of Portland and Metro have advanced a concept they believe will motivate the general public to get out of their cars and seek alternative modes of transportation. Using speed bumps, bioswales, road diets, lane elimination, car lanes turned into bike only lanes, curb extensions and speed reductions to encourage more people to use Mass Transit. The unintended consequence is that it makes it impossible for Bus Operators, who share the same roads, to meet their schedules resulting in a record number of attacks on drivers. The number of assaults has nearly doubled each of the last four years.

Please share your thoughts on this strategy and do you think it makes sense to continue?

[Read more…]

Guest post: Candidly, TriMet (part two)

Posted on March 22nd, 2018 at 11:13 am.

Aaron Brown.

This is the second of a two-part article by Aaron Brown, founder of No More Freeways PDX and former board president of Oregon Walks. The first part is here.

So, candidly, if freeway expansion is so obviously detrimental to the TriMet’s goals and ability to provide service to the region, why has TriMet supported it? Urban scholar Jacob Arbinder wrote in Democracy Journal last month about the bumbling, abysmal state of transportation governance in cities like New York and Boston. The piece is worth reading at length; he identifies the problem as a “broken political economy,” which is a fancy, academic way of stating that transit agencies suffer from a dearth of adequate democratic mechanisms for community input and budgetary accountability.
[Read more…]

Guest post: Candidly, TriMet (part one)

Posted on March 21st, 2018 at 2:31 pm.

This two-part article is by Aaron Brown, founder of No More Freeways PDX and former board president of Oregon Walks.
[Read more…]

Eyewitness describes bicycle rider’s collision with MAX train

Posted on March 20th, 2018 at 12:59 pm.

Streetview of where our eyewitness commenter was stopped in his car while he watched the collision unfold. The red lines show the path of the bicycle rider. The crossing and collision is marked with an “X” in the background.

On March 13th a man riding a bicycle was involved in a collision with a MAX light rail train in southeast Portland. We haven’t heard much in the way of official updates in the case, but thanks to a comment left on our story yesterday we now know more about where and how it happened.
[Read more…]

PBOT’s new ‘Enhanced Transit Corridors’ plan and what it means for our streets

Posted on March 15th, 2018 at 1:52 pm.

This could be a lot more common in the future.
(Photo: PBOT)

ETC plan cover.

Portland is changing and so are our streets. Whether those changes help or harm our city is entirely up to us.

One of the biggest changes is an increase in the amount of people who drive. Congestion is everywhere and one of the victims are bus users. During peak hours especially, they get stopped behind single-occupancy vehicles. It’s maddening when public transit is delayed by such an inefficient and costly mode of transportation.

One way the Portland Bureau of Transportation has decided to deal with this problem is to focus on getting cars out of the way of buses. For the past year or so they’ve worked on the Enhanced Transit Corridors plan, which is now in draft form and open for public comment (until March 26th, sorry for late notice). The plan aims to institutionalize the concept of “enhanced transit” within the City of Portland, and to identify projects that will improve transit capacity, reliability and travel time.
[Read more…]

TriMet is firming up its designs for outer Division bus stations

Posted on October 5th, 2017 at 7:39 am.

The latest rendering of future bikeway-bus interaction on outer Division Street.
(Images: TriMet)

Portland’s regional transit agency is hoping to raise $175 million for bigger, faster-moving buses on Southeast Division Street, and some major bikeway upgrades would be in store.

From SE 82nd Avenue to the Gresham city limits near 174th Avenue, the agency is planning to pay for a vertical barrier, mostly a series of concrete curbs, to protect the bike lanes that will have been recently widened and buffered by a separate City of Portland project. And when the Division bike lanes pass bus stops — as they would at 87th, I-205, 101st, 112th, 122nd, 130th, 135th, 143rd, 148th, 156th, 162nd, 168th and 174th — they’ll often be wrapping to the sidewalk side in order to reduce bike-bus conflicts.

[Read more…]

TriMet Corner: Inside look at new ‘Bike & Rides’ coming to Beaverton and Goose Hollow

Posted on September 7th, 2017 at 8:20 am.

Details of conceptual design images of new Goose Hollow and Beaverton Creek Bike & Ride facilities by ZGF Architects.

This is the latest from our columnist and TriMet Senior Planner Jeffrey Owen. Last month he gave us the inside scoop on the Orenco Station Bike & Ride.
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Portland’s ‘Growing Transit Communities’ worth supporting for bikeways, bus upgrades

Posted on August 30th, 2017 at 2:40 pm.

From PBOT’s Enhanced Transit Corridors plan.

If we don’t want these additional buses stuck in the same traffic, we need to provide dedicated space on our streets for them.

This post was written by Luke Norman, a BP subscriber and volunteer with Portland Bus Lane Project.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Growing Transit Communities Plan is slated for a hearing (and possible adoption) on September 6th. Now is the time to learn about it and consider sharing your feedback.

The plan is primarily focused on improving access to TriMet bus lines 20, 77, & 87, which include some great safety and connectivity projects for people walking and biking. However, hidden in the document are two corridor studies that have the potential to significantly increase transit connections for East Portland residents.
[Read more…]

TriMet Corner: Artist J. Shea adds color to Orenco bike and ride facility

Posted on August 2nd, 2017 at 9:29 am.

Artist J. Shea has added some flair to the new Orenco bike and ride facility.
(Photos: Jeff Owen/TriMet)

Jeff Owen.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Publisher’s note: We’re trying something new. We’ve invited TriMet Senior Planner Jeff Owen to write a guest column (tentatively named “TriMet Corner” unless you have a better idea). Owen was hired by TriMet in 2012 as their active transportation planner and brings a ton of experience to the table. He also happens to be a very nice guy who’s dedicated to his work in making our transit system work better for bicycle users. This is his first article for BikePortland.
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This past June TriMet hired a local artist to breathe life and art into the interior of our new Orenco Station Bike & Ride facility.

TriMet’s Bike & Rides offer an option for secure bike parking on one end of your commute. They eliminate the worry of bringing your bike on-board crowded trains or buses, only to find the spaces filled.

Now, thanks to the TriMet Public Art Program and a very talented local artist, the Orenco Bike & Ride really stands out from the crowd.
[Read more…]

Beyond vandalism, Biketown faces ridership test ahead of summer season

Posted on April 11th, 2017 at 10:58 am.

Biketown bike share -14.jpg

Biketown is popular with tourists, but the system needs more annual members if it wants to flourish.
(All photos by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s bike sharing system could have a bumpy road ahead even if political vandals decide to leave it be.

Annual members

A comparison of three bike share systems.

  • Biketown Portland: 2,837 (after nine months)
  • Pronto Seattle*: 2,878 (after nine months)
  • Capital Bikeshare Washington D.C.: 16,000 (after 12 months)

*Pronto has ceased operation.

Biketown launched nine months ago next week with 1000 bikes and 100 stations. Thanks to title sponsorship from Nike, it was one of the country’s largest bike-share launches — double the station and bike count of Seattle’s Pronto system when it launched in 2014.

Pronto, which like Biketown was operated by New York-based Motivate Inc., turned into the country’s highest-profile bike-share failure to date. Plagued by low ridership and a series of financial missteps and miscommunications, it shut down at the end of last month.

And though Portland’s Biketown is a very different system with a different price structure, its annual membership numbers for year one are on a very similar trajectory to Pronto’s.

[Read more…]