TriMet

Who climbs over a train when they’re tired of waiting? These guys

Avatar by on November 10th, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Today Portlander Mark Graves (who happens to be a photographer and reporter for The Oregonian) just happened to be waiting at a train crossing at SE Clinton and 12th.

You won’t believe what happened next. Or maybe you will. Heck, maybe you’ve done it?

As you can see in the video he posted to Twitter, several people — tired of waiting for the train to move along – picked up their bikes and then climbed up onto and then over the train!

This seems bonkers to me. I’ve been held behind a few trains in this area over the years and I have to admit I’ve let my mind consider doing this; but I’d be too scared. Scared of the potential injury consequences and scared of getting caught and/or shamed if someone saw me do it (can you imagine the field day on local media and Twitter if “the BikePortland guy” got caught doing this?!).

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When I first saw Mark’s tweet, I figured a lot of people would use the video to confirm their bias against “those stupid bicyclists.” The reality is, behaviors like this are mode-agnostic. People do just as crazy things in their cars. Our friend Jessica Engelman said, “I’ve seen people in cars drive up onto the sidewalk, make a U-turn, then go the wrong way up a one-way street when stopped at that intersection by a long freight train in an attempt to drive around. So yes, some people in cars attempt to do the same thing.”

Long waits for trains is a big issue in the central eastside and inner southeast. The railroad companies still use manual switches, which means a human has to come outo and adjust the tracks by hand. We’ve heard TriMet is trying to get new, automatic switches paid for in their Division Transit Project so their new, “faster” buses, don’t get caught waiting.

Have you ever done this? Any ideas on a better solution than portaging bikes cyclocross-style or doing dangerous things in our cars to get through?

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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TriMet eyes ‘bicycle slowing measures’ for Division Transit Project stations

Avatar by on October 18th, 2017 at 2:26 pm

The bikeway will go through newly designed transit stations on Division, and that’s raising safety concerns about speedy cycling.

As we reported earlier this month, TriMet is firming up designs for the 41 new stations they’ll build as part the Division Transit Project — a $175 million plan to improve bus service between the downtown transit mall and Mt. Hood Community College. (It started as a bus rapid transit project but has since morphed into just better bus service.)

At last night’s joint meeting of Portland’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committees in City Hall, TriMet planners shared even more recent and detailed station designs. They specifically wanted feedback on their “island stations,” where the bikeway (slated to be relatively robust and protected for the length of this project) runs directly adjacent to the bus stops. These island stations are “floating” in the roadway and separated from the sidewalk by the bikeway (see images).

TriMet is looking for “approaches to bicycle slowing” and they want feedback on “bicycle slowing measures” to potentially implement around these stations. The concern is that bicycle riders will come from the six-foot (plus buffer) bikeway and will enter the station areas too quickly and imperil people who are using the bus or otherwise walking in these crowded areas. One slide in their presentation listed a challenge of island stations as: “Requires added design applications to create safe environment for pedestrians and bicyclists.”[Read more…]

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

Jeffrey Owen (Contributor) by 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.
[Read more…]

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

Jeffrey Owen (Contributor) by 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.
——

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…]

At long last, TriMet says a new Gideon Street-Brooklyn bridge is coming

Avatar by on June 29th, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Yellow line shows the location of the old Gideon-Brooklyn footbridge. A crucial neighborhood connection, it was torn down by TriMet in 2013 and never replaced.

At long last TriMet says they’ll replace the old footbridge that used to cross over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks between Southeast Gideon and Brooklyn/16th streets.
[Read more…]

Faster buses, better biking: Weigh in on TriMet’s Division Transit project

Avatar by on June 28th, 2017 at 9:23 am

TriMet plans to build 10 of these station types east of 82nd on the new high-capacity bus line coming to Division Street.

Division Transit Project Open House

A key chance to weigh in

  • Thursday, June 29 from 5:00 to 7:30 pm
  • Portland Community College Southeast
    Community Annex Hall (2305 SE 82nd Ave)

Project website

Remember Metro and TriMet’s attempt to build a bus rapid transit line between downtown Portland and Gresham?

Three years ago the agencies embarked on an ambitious plan to route super-fast buses along SE Powell Blvd.

Unfortunately, a reluctance to constrain existing auto capacity on busy 82nd Avenue — a key link in the route — led to projected bus travel times that fell below federal requirements. In other words, their “bus rapid transit” wasn’t rapid enough.

The new plan agreed to by both agencies and a steering committee is to make significant bus upgrades and route a new, “high capacity transit” line on Division Street. If funding plans materialize as expected (they’re hoping to get into President Trump’s infrastructure budget), the $175 million project is scheduled to open in 2021 and will run 14 miles from Northwest Portland to the Gresham Transit Center/Mt. Hood Community College. [Read more…]

Is it time for more bus-only lanes in Portland?

Avatar by on May 11th, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Hawthorne Bridge traffic observations-3.jpg

TriMet buses idle in congestion on the Hawthorne Bridge heading into downtown Portland.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Beyond vandalism, Biketown faces ridership test ahead of summer season

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by 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…]

At TriMet board meeting, GM defends his advocacy for freeway expansion projects

Avatar by on March 24th, 2017 at 5:11 pm

At the TriMet board meeting on Wednesday, the agency’s General Manager Neil McFarlane pushed back against claims that he’s a “freeway builder.”

Last month we shared news (first reported by The Portland Tribune) that McFarlane advocated for three freeway expansion projects in the Portland region during a speech to the Washington County Public Affairs Forum on February 20th. The comments were met with strong criticism by transportation reform activists who felt the leader of our region’s transit agency should not be stumping for projects that expand urban freeway capacity and make driving easier.[Read more…]

45 days later, TriMet still has no estimate for re-opening of Lafayette Street bridge elevator

Avatar by on March 22nd, 2017 at 5:09 pm

“Temporarily.”
(Photo via @marneduke on Twitter)

An elevator on a bridge needed for cycling over light rail and railroad lines in southeast Portland has been closed for nearly seven weeks now. And TriMet, the owner of the facility, still isn’t sure when it will re-open.

On February 20th we reported that the elevator at the Rhine-Lafayette Bridge was broken. TriMet said moisture had gotten into the elevator shaft, causing the brakes the fail.

After posting our story we heard from several readers who were frustrated about losing such an important connection. As you can see in the map below, the railyard splits two neighborhoods and there are very few ways to get across it. While there are stairs with a wheel-gutter, the gutter is hard to use and for many people there are too many stairs to manage carrying their bike safely.

“This bridge being out is a significant impediment for those of us who use it to head North-South — makes my quick 15 minute ride from Sellwood to inner Clinton area twice as long and even longer if I’m headed further north,” wrote reader Carrie. “This whole thing is ridiculous. They tore down the old bridge because, well it was sketchy, but because it wasn’t ADA compliant. Then they build this new one, can’t afford(?) to build one at Harold or Reedway, and yet can’t maintain it and so now anyone who can’t do stairs, or can’t carry their bike up/down stairs (and it’s kind of scary to come down the stairs in the dark rain shouldering your bike) are screwed — there’s no where nearby to get from point a to point b.”
[Read more…]