Discuss Detroit Ľ Archives - Beginning January 2007 Ľ Portland's new Public Trans. System: Aerial Tram!!! ę Previous Next Ľ
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Jhartmich
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Username: Jhartmich

Post Number: 11
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 8:28 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

RE: Public Transportation

If we only had 10% of what Portland, Oregon offers its citizens and tourists in regards to public transportation, we could actually brag that Detroit is a progressive city on the move.

I just found out that Portland installed an aerial tram downtown as a transportation "option".
ē Take a look at the pictures: http://www.portlandonline.com/ transportation/index.cfm?c=eba jf
ē History of "making it happen" http://www.portlandtram.org/in dex.cfm?event=News&PageID=86
"Before the Tram was even running, it became a catalyst for investment dollars in South Waterfront, with even greater investment expected in the future. This area has proved to be a significant and vital addition to the development and growth of Portland's future. "


Please take a look at some of the other options Portland offers such as vintage trolleys and high speed rail: http://world.nycsubway.org/us/ portland/trolley.html

They also promote Flexcar (car sharing) and of courses buses and Amtrak - WITH A DOWNTOWN SET OF TRACKS (something to think about). It seems rather than look for one option, Portland is using all the options.

Detroit has one of the most beautiful waterways of any major city in the United States. I know that right-of-ways and concrete structures are expensive to put up. Having a tram on wires is a very interesting concept. I could see a line running along the river and maybe one up Woodward. North of the Fox Theatre, the tram could connect with a rail or trolley going up Woodward (good) , or Cass (better) to Grand Blvd.

So many people want this. Detroit needs to LEAD the region and get "something" soon. Instead of having this massive plan to connect Oakland County, Pontiac, Ann Arbor, etc., how about we at least start with something around venues and areas that are in the growth stage: Downtown Detroit.

I am so hyped about what is happening in Portland, I am flying there for four days to check it out. As someone with an advanced degree who lives in midtown (supposedly the type of person Detroit wants to remain here), I have to admit, I see the progressiveness of other cities and then I look at my own. I know Detroit is growing, but the question is: Is it growing fast enough to keep the people they want to live here? While Detroit and Michigan promises better days, other cities are making for better days now!
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Jerome81
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Post Number: 1293
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 8:42 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You're going to Portland just to check out their public transit?! Jeez. That's a first.

Portland is a nice city, a little quiet for my tastes, but growing up in the northwest, it seemed everyone and their dog LOVES Portland (I always preferred Seattle by a large margin). Anyway, they do have an enviable transit system that has done much for the city and the area.

It is not a high capacity system from what I remember (haven't riden it in probably 8-10 years). Just a nice system to get people around a fairly small area, with a few longer spurs. But it was nothing like, say BART or CTA/Metra, etc. But perfect for a city like Portland (maybe 350,000 people).
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Jimaz
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Post Number: 1550
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 8:43 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/mes sages/91697/91452.html
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Jhartmich
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Post Number: 12
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 11:25 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jerome 81: What are you talking about? The new aerial tram? You mentioned you haven't ridden it in 8-10 years; it just opened in January.

I'm not saying it's the total package, but a piece of the puzzle. I like the fact that Portland is incorporating all these modes of transportation. And it does go 22mph which is not to shabby for a tram.

Yes, I am going out there to hang out for a weekend. What's so unusual about that? People do the same thing going to Chicago and Toronto.
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Jhartmich
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Post Number: 13
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 11:27 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Jimaz. I did not see that thread.
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Chow
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Post Number: 353
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 11:42 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Jerome 81: What are you talking about? The new aerial tram? You mentioned you haven't ridden it in 8-10 years; it just opened in January."

Um, he is quite obviously talking about Portland's transit system as a whole.
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Professorscott
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Post Number: 179
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 12:27 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jerome81,

With regard to your comment to Jhartmich, "You're going to Portland just to check out their public transit?! Jeez. That's a first.", I have travelled to many other cities specifically to see what they have for transportation systems.

Portland also is very progressive with regard to bicycle transportation. They have implemented a network of on-street bike routes, something Detroit could do very inexpensively but has not done.

Basically, Portland believes people should have choices as to how to get around. Metro Detroit does not.
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Gravitymachine
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Post Number: 1503
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 12:52 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jerome, I've used the tri-met as my dad lives in portland, last time i was there i took the light rail straight from that airport (the stop is yards from the baggage claim) downtown and grabbed a bus out to SW where my pops is. its a great system in my eyes.

http://www.trimet.org/max/inde x.htm
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Buddyinrichmond
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Post Number: 122
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 1:04 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Last time I visited Portland (11-06) there was significant crack dealing on the transitmall downtown. Police were having a tough time keeping up with it.
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Jerome81
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Post Number: 1294
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 1:22 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Didn't mean any disrespect in saying I was surprised someone was going just to see transit. Just that I had never heard of that being a primary reason to visit a city.

And in saying 8-10 years, yes, I was referring to the overall system, not the tram.

Sorry for the confusion.
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Miketoronto
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 492
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 7:11 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Portland is really doing good things. However even with all their push for public transit, the amount of people who actually use transit is very low.

Portland is a success in a way. But also in other ways has not really altered growth and travel as much as they brag.
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Al_t_publican
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Post Number: 164
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 9:11 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Portland may have the world best bookstore in Powell's Block of Books. It carries both used and new books and also ships them.

I was there in '05 and it's fab as is it's light rail system.

See powells.com
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Jhartmich
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Username: Jhartmich

Post Number: 14
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 9:59 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jerome81: No hard feelings, my apologies also; my statement was misleading. When I stated "I am so hyped about what is happening in Portland, I am flying there for four days to check it out", I was not referring to just the transportation, but the vibrancy of the city as a whole. Like I said, I think the tram in a downtown area is very interesting and would like to see how that and other aspects of public transportation promote a vibrant downtown. Enough said.

I do travel quite often and find it interesting the ways cities promote their central business district. I havenít been there since 1993 and look forward to seeing the changes. A colleague transferred to Portland from Detroit four years ago and sees an entirely different mind set as far as what it takes to promote a progressive urban environment. Iíll give you some feedback when I get back.

MikeToronto: I have no information of my own to disprove your statement that the rider-ship is ďvery lowĒ. I would just assume that there must be a few smart people out there that wouldnít keep building all these modes of transportation if no one used it, or there wasnít some master plan that would promote its use in the near future. (Kind of like: Build it and they will come.) But, maybe youíre correct. I guess Iíll see for myself.
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Billpdx
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Post Number: 25
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 10:00 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Miketoronto- Where on earth are you getting your information? Saying the amount of Portlanders using transit is low is laughable. Trains and busses are well used all day long, and at rush hour the trains are absolutely jam-packed. I can't even count how may times the 15 bus has gone by me without stopping because it was completely filled up... even though it runs every 5-10 minutes.
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Billpdx
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Username: Billpdx

Post Number: 26
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Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 10:07 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Have a good trip, Jhartmich - Portland is a great town. I actually just moved from there to Detroit last month. I had been out there since '95.

Perhaps I should have re-thought the 'let's move to Michigan in January!' idea.
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 187
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 11:38 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Billpdx,

Miketoronto is correct in saying transit use is low, because it's low everywhere if you compare it to the number of people driving cars. However, Portland has a high rate of transit use, the measurement being transit trips as a percent of total daily trips, compared to other US metro regions of similar size.

Detroit's transit use is among the lowest of any large urban area in the world. About 2% of our daily trips are on transit. Now, Mike, if we can get that to (a still low) 4%, we've doubled our use!

And Billpdx, if the transit vehicles in Portland are full, that means their system is operating near its own capacity, nothing more. Full vehicles are the transit version of a bottleneck.

Each person who switches to transit takes a car off the road and (on average) walks 200 miles more per year, so there are definite benefits to improving transit to increase use, as was done in Portland. There are lots of other benefits but this post is long enough already.
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Mossman
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Username: Mossman

Post Number: 22
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 8:46 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

People who live in the northwest are a different breed than those living here. It's almost a different country. there are fewer trans fat- eating, tobacco-smoking, ass-sitting, car-loving sloths and more who take advantage of hiking and biking opportunities. They see the advantage of leaving the car at home and limiting urban growth. Dream on. It will never happen here.
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Gravitymachine
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Username: Gravitymachine

Post Number: 1504
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 8:50 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

People who live in the northwest are a different breed than those living here. It's almost a different country. there are fewer trans fat- eating, tobacco-smoking, ass-sitting, car-loving sloths and more who take advantage of hiking and biking opportunities. They see the advantage of leaving the car at home and limiting urban growth. Dream on. It will never happen here.



testify!

so painfully true

(Message edited by gravitymachine on February 15, 2007)
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Jsmyers
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Post Number: 1891
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 9:36 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I lived in Portland for the summer of 04.

A couple of corrections. They do not have high speed rail. Amtrak uses a different kind of train for their service between Oregon and Vancouver, BC, but it doesn't go any faster than 79 mph. That is the same speed as much of the Detroit-Chicago trip (except part of that is ~100 mph). It is nicer because the train is newer and more comfortable. The state of Washington is working to shorten the Portland-Seattle trip time however:

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/rail/A C_long_range_plan.cfm

Jerome81, it is not a high capacity system compared to a BART or CTA heavy rail. It is much higher capacity than Detroit's buses and DPM. Portland is adding quite a bit of capacity to the system:

http://www.trimet.org/projects /index.htm

In fact, there has been some huge expansions in the last 8-10 years.

BTW, Portland is much bigger (half million in 2 million metro):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P ortland,_Oregon

Though I do prefer Seattle too.

Miketoronto,

I disagree with your assessment of change in Portland. When they first build the MAX, Portland was a dying NW rustbelt city, not much different than a smaller Detroit. It has completely turned around in the last 20 years. The region's economy has expanded rapidly and added quite a number of new people, so of course it has gotten bigger with suburban development (compared to Detroit, which spreads out with the same number or fewer people). Also realize that many of the investments and changes in policy made in the 80s and early 90s are really just starting to make a big impact now.
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Jsmyers
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Post Number: 1892
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Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 9:44 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As for the sloths Mossman mentions, I believe that many sloths changed their ways when given opportunities such as transit and greenways.

More importantly, Portland has been stealing nonsloths from metros like Detroit for the last decade.
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Miketoronto
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 493
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 10:09 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am not saying Portland has not done some great things.

I am just saying that while it has done some great things, it still has issues that need to be worked out.

Transit wise, yes they have done alot. But the ridership still pales in comparision to their peer cities like Calgary, Ottawa, etc.

Its going to be interesting to watch Portland. Because now Portlands suburbs are starting to build the massive suburban developments that before you never saw in Portland, and these developments are already causing many people to stop going downtown.
So we will have to see how Portland deals with this.

Overall though I would like to see the percentage of Portland transit use go up. 4% of the population really is not alot of riders.
We can do better then that :-)
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Jhartmich
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Username: Jhartmich

Post Number: 15
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 10:31 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jsmyers:

Thanks for the clarifications. I appreciate your contributions to the thread.

The last time I was there visiting, 10+ years ago, I was living in Seattle and working for Boeing. We use to run to Portland for the weekend and then over to Seaside.

I loved Seattle. It really was a great city. I always told my friends that in Detroit they carry around the sports page and a six-pack; in Seattle they carry around an Espresso and a book (book stores everywhere). Not bad Ė just different.

A little off topic: I went back to Seattle in 2005. I have to say I was not impressed. Driving up Evergreen Way to Everett Mall Way, I was astounded at how the area had become even more overcrowded and dirty. I felt it lost the charm it once had, Iím sure others would disagree.

I guess Iím a little excited to see Portland because, as you said, it really was a dying rustbelt city in the NW. Iím amazed at what I have read about the things they have done to turn the city around.

I think one of things that canít be overlooked is racism. There is a different mindset in Portland and I believe some of it may have to do with the fact that they are not hampered by the race issue that still permeates metro Detroit. I believe that race relations are the crux to a majority of our problems.
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Ray
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Post Number: 849
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Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 11:03 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'll be in Portland next week and am looking forward to seeing it. It was amazing 20 years ago (my last visit). I'm sure its spectacular today.

(Sigh). It's just so damn depressing to go to one fantastic city after another and wonder as I drive home from DTW what the fuck is wrong with this state.
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Jhartmich
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Username: Jhartmich

Post Number: 17
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Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 11:15 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ray Wrote:
"(Sigh). It's just so damn depressing to go to one fantastic city after another and wonder as I drive home from DTW what the fuck is wrong with this state."

DITTO!
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 191
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Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 12:08 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ray and Jhartmich,

It's simple: our political leaders think it's still 1948, cars are still the economy of the future, and if you build enough roads everybody will be happy. There doesn't seem to be any choice for voters; everybody running for office is like this (just about).
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Blackhelicopter
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Post Number: 4
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Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 3:20 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

From a Seattle vantage point, I agree about the outdated leadership in Michigan, business, political, and otherwise. But don't discount the creative people and assets of the region (a topic for another thread) and the way in which necessity can force people to adapt.

Seattle is a great place to live and I enjoy it, but being here helps me appreciate the many things about Detroit that Seattle lacks (topic for another post). My understanding of the differences also makes me feel that the gap between places like Seattle and Detroit is quantifiable and is actually something that can be closed -- we can learn from the failures and successes of prosperous areas (another post as well).

The whole "let's build more roads and have more cars philosophy" is indeed present in the Seattle area, just to a smaller extent. Perhaps more signficantly, the hilly nature of the area, the close proximity of natural barriers (Puget Sound on one side, the Cascade mountain range on another) mean that there isn't enough room to just buy more cheap land and spread out. Those constraints have forced the area to act a little more sane in terms of the balance of roads / transit than a place like L.A. or Detroit.

Btw, I am one person who would travel to another city just to try out its transit system -- great transit systems make you feel very powerful.
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Jjaba
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Post Number: 4836
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Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 2:14 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Contact jjaba to learn about Portland.
He'll give you some hot tips.
Post your email here and jjaba will follow up if you are going to Portland.

jjaba, Far Westsider.
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Jjaba
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Post Number: 4837
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Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 2:29 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba has ridden tram three times in Portland. Free rides all Fridays in Feb. 6-9 pm.
Free rides all day Saturdays in February.
Free rides all days tram down to River.
RT fares are $4.00.

MAX Train service are run by Tri-Met, meaning one-seat rides to three counties.
Blue line. Greshem to Hillsboro.
Red line. PDX airport to Beaverton.
Yellow line. Downtown to Columbia River, Expo. Ctr.
All MAX trains surface streets downtown service.

Streetcar service from NW 23rd Ave. Portland through downtown to Tram, one line. No conductors, just hop aboard.

jjaba glad to assist. Post your email.

jjaba, Far Westsider.

ps. On a clear day in Portland , you can see it raining in Seattle.
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 1578
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Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 2:46 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Did you take your valentine for a nice romantic ride on the Mt. Hood Railroad and Dinner train?

The Dinner Train out in Oakland County derailed yesterday afternoon, but ,fortunately, no one was injured.

But it sure beat being stuck in the ice on a Jet Blue airplane for 9 or 10 hours in NYC.
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Jjaba
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Post Number: 4839
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Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 6:15 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Rock flies Jet Blue and Oakland County Dinner train while jjaba rides all forms of Portland transit when he visits the Far Westside.

jjaba, Westside Bar Mitzvah Bukkor.
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Pam
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Post Number: 1067
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Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 7:14 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

People who live in the northwest are a different breed than those living here. It's almost a different country. there are fewer trans fat- eating, tobacco-smoking, ass-sitting, car-loving sloths and more who take advantage of hiking and biking opportunities. They see the advantage of leaving the car at home and limiting urban growth



I have a bunch of relatives out there and this doesn't describe any of them unfortunately.
My fat dad won't even walk around the block to my brother's house. I've been in traffic jams in both Portland and Seattle so the car culture is far from dead out there.
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Miketoronto
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Post Number: 495
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Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 10:10 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The car culture is very big out there. Something like over 85% of Metro Portland residents drive to work etc. Transit actually has a very small market share even in Portland.
Infact Portland's transit carries more rec trips then work trips.

Overall Portland does attract more riders then other cities. But still the use is very low and they should work at increasing market share.

Infact its interesting to note that without any growth boundaries or policy, Calgary which is a smaller metro region then Portland, has been able to attract over double the transit use Portland has, and build higher density suburbs, and more employment downtown.
Infact Calgary's LRT system that only like 39KM long, carries over 250,000 riders a day. portland's LRT at something like 95KM, carries 100,000.

Portland as I said is a great model in some ways. But there is much work to be done like every city, and it is not a utopia where everyone takes the the bus to work.

Here is a good stat though from Portland. 43% of adults in the region use TriMet at least twice a month.



(Message edited by miketoronto on February 16, 2007)
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Jhartmich
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Post Number: 18
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 10:54 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Miketoronto:

You consistently use Canadian cities that most people here probably are not familiar with other than by name. I think there may be some differences in the U.S. car culture versus the Canadian car culture. By your statistics, mass transit is working great in Canada. Wonderful! I just think that, yes, itís a struggle to make mass transit work in the states in many areas, but stop belittling the admittedly small advance we do have. Iím not comparing Portland to the world (Iím sure even Calgary would look like chump change as far as mass transit if it was compared to London or another city in Europe.) All we can compare Portlandís or Philly, or Denverís advances to are other cities in the U.S. that have experienced similar historical decline.
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Jjaba
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Post Number: 4846
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Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 2:05 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Portland is not a city in decline. There are urban growth boundaries which does enable some emphasis on city centers.

In the 1970s when Neil Goldschmidt was Mayor and then US Transportation Head, Portland stopped building invasive freeways destroying neighborhoods in the manner of Detroit.

Buses and MAX trains are popular if convenient and if people can get to destinations easily.
Employers pay up the ass in transit taxes so employees will use it. Some employers reward workers who ride bikes, drive hybrids, walk to work, or use mass transit with pay incentives.

jjaba.
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Swingline
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Post Number: 714
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Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 9:03 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Over the last 20 years, the urban growth boundaries that were in place in Portland helped promote the growth of their transit system. Transit corridors were created in locations where the most growth was planned. The passage of Ballot Measure 37 a couple of years ago, however, hasn't helped the transit situation in Portland. Measure 37 was a victory for the property rights advocates and now the urban growth boundaries have effectively been eliminated. I think that there might still be some court skirmishing going on but the development paradigm has changed. More residential growth is beginning to occur away from the transit corridors. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next five years.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 4847
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Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 8:19 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Because of the huge new neighborhood called South Waterfront with 20 new high rises going in, the City of Portland with OHSU Medical Ctr. built the tram and extended the streetcar line. Win-win.

jjaba.

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