Today’s questions comes from reader Chris C.
Chris was surprised when a TriMet operator told him he couldn’t put his Biketown bike on the bus rack. Here’s his question:
“I learned from first-hand experience today that a TriMet bus will not allow a Biketown rental bike to be transported, because it is a Biketown bike. (I don’t believe there’s a similar restriction on the MAX trains, but I may be wrong.) Do you happen to know the public policy reason for that rule?”
I first reached out to TriMet and they pointed me to Biketown’s terms of service which state bikes, “cannot be taken on a car, ferry, bus, streetcar, MAX or train…”
It’s time for bike, e-mobility, and transit riders to team up against the real enemy. With the Rose Lane project underway and e-bikes on the horizon, Portland should consider more carfree lanes.
– A guest opinion from Portland resident Henry Miller
There’s perhaps no more important place for high-quality bicycle parking than a location where bike theft is rampant and that sits at the bottom of a big hill separating two major employment zones.
That’s why many bicycle users were excited about the new bike parking at TriMet’s Goose Hollow MAX station. Unfortunately the facility is now over a year behind schedule and remains mostly unused. Reached this morning for comment, TriMet says a technology issue is preventing them from opening the high-tech secure facilities at three stations: Goose Hollow/Jefferson Street, Beaverton Creek, and Gateway Transit Center.
The cat is officially out of the bag.
In a story posted this morning, the Willamette Week reported that PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly wants to go big for bus only lanes.
In 18 months, Portland streets could see the most dramatic change in public transit since the arrival of the streetcar. All it will take is gallons of red paint.
After months of feedback from partner agencies and advisory committees, and “recalibrating” due to a budget shortfall, TriMet has released its latest designs for how bicycle riders will pass through its new bus stations as part of the Division Transit project. An online open house went live last week and is accepting public comments through July 12th.
We last shared TriMet’s plans a few weeks ago. Since then, the agency has held two open houses and firmed up the design.
TriMet is grappling with how to maintain a protected bike lane while achieving all the other design and budget goals for the project (primary among them is to increase bus speeds and reliability). When we took our first close look just over one year ago, TriMet planned on a design where the bike lane would go behind the bus island (something similar to this scenario in London). Now the design routes the bike lane between passengers and the bus.
Here’s what they presented in June 2017:
In September 2017:
In October 2017:
According to their latest maps, TriMet plans to build eight of these “Integrated–Shared Bicycle and Pedestrian” stations — all east of 82nd. The locations include: 84th Place westbound, 87th eastbound, both sides of the street west of the I-205 path, and in Gresham on both sides of the street at 174th and 182nd.
One of the key aspects of the design you can help TriMet finalize is how wide the bike lane and the boarding strip (aka “alighting area”) should be. This is the “to be determined” part of the cross-section in the drawings above. According to discussions I’ve overheard, the concerns is that a wider alighting area will encourage people to stand on it and result in more blockage of the bike lane (TriMet wants people to wait further back on the sidewalk). But a narrower alighting area might not do enough to slow down bicycle users and create a safe space for passengers.
Please share your feedback with TriMet at the online open house before July 12th. Construction on this project is due to start fall 2019 and be ready for service mid-2022.
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In yet another example of the wondrous potential of bus transit, the State of Oregon is starting up their Columbia Gorge Express service starting today.
Turns out there are other ways to solve auto overcrowding and congestion than spending billions on freeway expansions.
The first season of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Columbia Gorge Express bus service has “far surpassed” expectations, the agency announced this morning. “The public response highlighted a significant demand for transit service in the Gorge.”
Launched in May as a way to relieve serious overcrowding of private cars in the Gorge, the service carried more than 30,000 people between the Gateway Transit Center, Rooster Rock State Park, and Multnomah Falls. The service was offered for 18 weekends and it was the first year of a two-year pilot project. There were initially three, 20-seat buses, with a third, 53-seat bus added in July. All four buses had bicycle racks that ODOT says were “used every day.”
One of the arguments I made as I desperately tried to convince myself that I needed to buy a new car after parting ways with my partner (and our car) four years ago was that I needed a car to fully experience all of the natural wonders surrounding Portland.
I felt like I was going to be trapped in Portland until the end of my days.
Little did I know that, when you don’t have a car, you get creative. You use the old noggin. I no longer feel trapped in any way.
The unfortunately named new federal transportation bill, the FAST Act, is headed for a presidential signature after passing the House of Representatives Thursday.
While biking and transit advocates are sounding two cheers for the latest extension of the status quo (rather than the complete car-centrism favored by Koch-funded advocacy groups), it’s a good time to consider the ways transportation differs in cities across the country.