Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Transit for the few

TriMet Southwest Service Enhancement Plan

It's been just over a year and a half since Trimet presented its Draft Southwest Service Enhancment Plan to streamline bus service to Metro's Southwest service area which includes Lake Oswego.  Route changes were proposed for several routes, but #36 was left in its existing configuration.

That plan didn't last long.  

Trimet's Final Report/Vision of the Future of their"Enhancement" Plan dramatically changes the South Shore Route #36.  This route is the only transit alternative for the city of Rivergrove and the Rosewood neighborhood, but the new plan wipes them off the map.


Low ridership?  When the bus hours and and days are reduced, transit usage goes down as it has throughout the city and Metro area for years now.  TriMet is killing bus transit to get people to use light rail now.  How do people get to and from the train stations without a car and convenient lots?  What if a potential user doesn't drive?

The REAL reasons?  

To support the Southwest Corridor Plan.  The SWCP will have a bus or train station at Bridgeport.  The SW Corridor Plan supports development in SW Portland, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, and eventually, Newberg.  If high capacity transit takes lanes of roadway out of service, it won't relieve congestion, but no matter, it will be a boon to developers who see fixed transit routes as an amenity.  Metro planners have admitted their HCT plans won't reduce travel time or congestion at all.  In essence, all transit plans these days are to effectuate higher density development and not to support existing neighborhoods.

TriMet used to have a comprehensive bus system that served the "last mile."  Real people, right now, are being sacrificed for the elites' utopian dreams of mixed-use, walkable and bikeable station communities where the masses will live car free.

Another, not insignificant loss, is Trimet's LIFT service which only operates within 3/4 miles of established bus routes, and only during the operational hours of the routes.  Limited routes and limited hours mean limited or no access for those who have no other transit options.

Draft SW Service Enhancement Plan (7/2014)

Final Vision (12/2015)
Read the Final Report - Link above.

Challenge:  The next time you go to a meeting where a transit official, planner, politician, activist or bureaucrat talks about the need to use transit, ask them how they got to the meeting, and how they are getting home.  Then ask them why.


  1. Hi D -

    I just wanted to mention that there's an item on this week's Portland Council meeting agenda that relates to this.
    It's relatively small, by PDX standards, but it caught my eye.

    There's a small park in a residential area just-off 99W/Barbur, just-above Tigard. The neighbors have been clamoring for safety enhancements there - or at least a sidewalk - for years.
    So Fritz/Novick's offices have sold them on that "HCT" will soon be going right-by them on 99W, so they've got the Council voting on a LID for the park improvements (making it sound like they'll want that sidewalk soon! So they can walk to their fabulous new HCT!).

    The way I view this move - the City has not been focusing their gentrification/density efforts in that part of the city yet, and so they're getting existing residents to pay for infrastructure improvements that will benefit the people who will soon be moving-in & flooding their neighborhoods.
    Of course, it also serves to satisfy a neighborhood who's been frustrated for years - and the 2 Councilors involved happen to be up for reelection very-soon.

    Take care,


    1. Karen - I believe you are correct. The reprehensible thing is that for residents caught up in the financing of transit or redevelopment districts, they wind up paying a much larger share of the benefits that are eventually awarded to the developers the city expects/wants to come as a result of the transit or other infrastructure improvements (parks, streets, etc.)

      Part of every land use "Plan" (SW Corridor Plan, SW Employment Area Plan, etc.) there is a section about how to pay for the infrastructure and/or subsidies for developers so that redevelopment can occur. Some of the bennies are code exceptions that don't cost money directly, but the costs will come later. E.g: reduced parking for developers, but the city builds a public garage.

      It is the fact that the least politically connected and unorganized groups are targeted for abuse that galls me. You have to have political clout or be a developer to make this game work for you.

  2. 2016 Apr 05 Tuesday 12:00 U (12:00 PM PT)


    Spot on with recommendation that
    "transit activists" et. al disclose how they
    travel to meetings.

    Please add to that disclosure the requirement
    that all planners, engineers, Public Info Officers,
    elected officials, and appointed policy advisory
    committee members be required to:
    1. Develop list of critical trips.
    Example: LO City Hall to Meridian Park Hospital.
    2. Personally prepare a report that verifies and
    validate trip in TriMet schedule
    regimes of:
    2.1 Mo-Fr peak AM
    2.2 Mo-Fr mid-day
    2.3 Mo-Fr evening
    2.4 Sa (Good luck!)
    2.5 Su/Holiday (Good Luck!)
    3. Itemize transfer times between
    modes, vehicles ect. List the amount of
    time real riders spend freezing their
    behinds off and holding the load.

    I could go on but I will stop.

    Charles Ormsby (Skip)
    Rejected Applicant to LO Trans Adv Board
    Years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
    Five time looser.