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As a Seattleite, I really envy this plan.


A few other interesting things to note:

1) Powell Boulevard (US 26) has a lot of room for a potential light rail line because it was the planned route of the Mount Hood Freeway, whose cancellation led to the funding of the initial blue line. Right now, the street is paralleled in many places with a small frontage road which provides parking and such--this was land acquired for the Freeway, then no longer needed.

2) The city of Damascus is an interesting case. Damascus was an unincorporated community until a few years ago, when it was designated an "urban reserve", to be rezoned for high-density. Residents there, who like the quasi-rural character of the area, responded by incorporating--FTMP with the intent of opposing any density increases. So far, such efforts have been successful; Damascus is still mostly rural. The line east from Clackamas Town Center might make sense today out as far east as Happy Valley.

3) The two yellow corridors at the south end of the map (one along I-205, the other across the "green bridge" and through Lake Oswego) are probably mutually exclusive--they are two different ideas of how to serve a significant number of commuters who live in Clackamas County (in the southeast) and work in the high-tech centers of Washington County (in the west). Right now, such commuters are poorly served by transit of any sort.

4) One of the "high capacity corridors under advancement" (meaning the work is being planned and expected to start, though no spade of dirt has been turned yet), along the west side of the river, isn't Light Rail--it's the Lake Oswego extension of the Portland Streetcar. While this would be a "rapid streetcar" line--few stops, and the vehicles would travel near 40MPh--it isn't MAX. (On the other hand, MAX when it travels through downtown, behaves much like a streetcar--slow-- despite having an exclusive lane.)


Custom street cars are really normal purchased cars, whatever the brand, which are then customized according to the ‘visions’ of their owners.

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As an update to this story. While it isn't official, the Barbur Boulevard corridor (the green line heading southwest of downtown) has been selected as the "next" transit corridor to be developed.

It's an interesting choice. There are numerous high-value transit destinations along the inner part of the corridor (the OHSU Marquam Hill campus, the Hillsdale neighborhood, the Portland Community College Sylvania campus, the Washington Square shopping mall, and downtown Tigard); however geography is difficult. Both college campuses are located on hillsides--do you tunnel under these hills to serve them, provide shuttle service between the transit line and the campus, or do something else?

Beyond Tigard, though, you're dealing with sprawl of the worst kind. OR 99W is a major freight mobility corridor, and the primary road link between Portland and much of the western Willamette Valley and central Oregon coast. It's also a major tourist gateway. Past Tigard, it's a rural expressway, but between downtown Tigard and King City, it's a long collection of strip malls and auto-oriented businesses. And Tigard residents, when recently polled, seem to like it that way; and would prefer to widen the highway than to augment it with transit. (The same poll demonstrated strong resistance to infill or to increased densities among Tigard residents).

My guess is that a MOUS will be built, probably out to Tigard and no further.


Some local press coverage here.


EngineerScotty: actually, streetcars/LRVs are pretty good at hill climbing, if they have enough weight on drivers and good traction control. AFAIK, PCCs of Pittsburgh used to climb 12.0 % grade with 100 % weight on drivers and now thirty years old Tatra K2 with 60 % of weight on drivers still climb this 9.5 % grade on daily basis.

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