Portland Oregon is sometimes viewed as a transportation model for other cities because of our light rail, buses, and bike lanes.
But in the last ten years or so we have had nothing but transportation failures.
1. The Tram
(to nowhere) came in almost four times over budget, the operating costs
are almost twice estimated, and the fare is almost twice estimated. AND
they said you would be able to ride it with your Tri-Met bus/train
transfer. YOU CAN’T.
2. Fareless Square killed. Portland had a fareless square where
anyone could ride buses and trains downtown for free. It set us apart
from other cities and was ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS ABOUT PORTLAND. It
is now gone, first replaced by the Free Rail Zone in 2010 then
3. Tri-Met has cut back service and at the same time raised fares.
THESE THINGS SHOULD NEVER BE DONE SIMULTANEOUSLY. If you need more money
OK, if you need to cut service OK, but how can you do both at the same
time? You should see the results of one on your budget before doing the
other. Always wondered how reducing service and raising rates at the
same time would translate to other businesses. This is how tri-met
treats their customers they do it because they have no competition so
they can do whatever they want. It should be noted that Tri-Met board
members DO NOT RIDE TRI-MET!
4. Portland Streetcar. This should be a success once the PMLR bridge,
aka Tilikum Crossing, is finished, but they should have waited until
the Streetcar connection to OMSI was finished before eliminating the
Free Rail Zone. Also enormous delays and cost overruns due to the city
choosing a contractor to build the streetcars that HAD NEVER BUILT STREETCARS BEFORE.
5. The complete and total failure of the CRC , an ill-concieved
bridge between Oregon and Washington. It failed mostly because of
opposition to Light Rail and tolling. 175 Million spent on a BRIDGE THAT WILL NEVER BE BUILT
. This is a tough issue. To receive federal funding we need to put the
Light Rail through, but Vancouver WA doesn’t want it. Also, if you toll
one bridge people will just drive to the other. You can’t toll the I-205
unless you make improvements to it in some way, so the answer could be
to eventually toll both bridges, and also put light rail through to
Vancouver on both bridges at the same time. Since this will probably be
opposed by Vancouverites, Portland should concentrate on its own
problems, and the first thing they should do is extend MAX to Jantzen
Beach / Hayden Island by building a small bridge that would also allow
auto access to Hayden Island from Portland without having to take I-5.
Can we recycle a portion of the CRC plan to do this? Salvaging some of the wasted taxpayer money? It seems like they should be able to use one of these options. see also a great video on the CSA.
the MAX project to Jantzen Beach could be combined with fixing the
rail bridges to Vancouver WA, and since they don’t want light rail maybe
we could just run a commuter train similar to the WES on Portland’s west side on the existing rail lines.
Hopefully we can learn from the failure of the Columbia River
Crossing and design a smarter, dare I say prettier bridge to connect
Oregon and Washington, and eliminate the ONLY STOPLIGHT on I-5 between Canada and Mexico.
It might be a good thing this project failed, because the bridge was designed too low for river traffic and too high for pearson air field air traffic
It seems silly to design a 3 billion dollar bridge around a tiny
airport in the first place. And to give Pearson field traffic which is
mostly recreational priority over billions of dollars worth of
commercial river traffic business seems backward. If Vancouver wants a
new bridge they should shut down Pearson,
and accept the tolling and Light Rail so we can build a bridge. They
can fly out of Troutdale, further from metropolitan areas. Remember Portland had to move its airport once too
Or we can just do nothing, and hope we don’t get any earthquakes.
CATEGORY/TAGS Portland Transport 99825 99826