Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Sunday, August 6, 2017

PDX traffic dangerous

Portland Tribune, August 2, 2017. By Paris Achen
Report: Portland travel times, crashes grow with population 
In case you hadn't noticed, report by the Oregon Department of Transportation shows it takes longer to get around Portland.

"The region's infrastructure is now tasked with accommodating additional traffic as more residents travel for work and daily activities and more businesses need to move goods and services on the highway system," the report states. 
The intensifying bottlenecks, unforeseen road conditions and unreliable travel times took an economic toll. In the I-5 corridor alone, congestion, crashes and delays caused more than $80 million in lost productivity. 
The Portland Region Traffic Performance Report by ODOT staff and consultants shows travel times took longer because average speed declined on all Portland-area highways between 2013 and 2015.

These commenters said what I would say - only better,
so I will save myself the trouble.  However, I will repeat that the main purpose for light rail is to encourage redevelopment along major traffic corridors in order to build Transit-Oriented Developments.  I have written about this previously - search Metro or this website for info. on Metro's plans and links to their "tool kit" manual. (The how-to on cities can redevelop an area - relies chiefly on urban renewal districts and community development code changes.) 

The metro area is done, there was a golden moment when they could have effected tangible transit systems but they didn't. I'll agree with anyone that says you can't build your way out traffic jams. However, The planners have myopically and methodically spent resources for expensive single server mass transit while neglecting surface road infrastructure. An infrastructure that wasn't created to handle not just the population but the commerce needed of today let alone tomorrow. Even worse, they have deliberately created traffic congestion by spending valuable and limited road fund resources to "calm traffic" on streets like Division from 12th to 30th removing 2 of the 4 lanes and extending the curbs so buses stop in the street stopping all traffic with them at each stop. Blocking vehicle traffic on roads like Clinton, removing a lanes of traffic on Nato park way, Stark street. The metro population is 2.3 million and We are facing 1 million more people here in 10 years nearly 50% increase. McLaughlin Expressway from Harold to Tacoma is 2 lanes each direction it was built in 1922.  Nearly 100 years later and 8X the population it's the same.

Eric H.
Now we are planning the Southwest Corridor, a $2.6 BILLION light rail and pet project between PSU and Bridgeport Village, that will reduce roadway capacity, increase vehicle usage, decrease overall transit access, and increase infill density (and population).
It will remove lanes of travel on Barbur Boulevard, and reduce a key reliever route for I-5.
It will encourage single-occupant motor vehicle use on collector and local arterial streets, especially in Tigard and Tualatin, as local bus service is eliminated and massive parking lots are built to encourage people to drive to MAX instead of walking to a closer bus stop.
It will result in the loss of significant bus service, including total elimination of the 12, 64, 65, 94 and 96 routes, a reduction of service between Tigard and Sherwood to just one bus every 30 minutes during rush hour, with no added west-east bus service to connect neighborhoods and business centers with MAX. As more and more people become dependent on MAX only transit, they will rely more heavily on their cars for local transit, further congesting local streets and especially Highway 99W.
The #1 purpose of the Southwest Corridor is for the City of Portland to encourage redevelopment along Barbur Boulevard, resulting in hundreds and thousands of new residents, most of whom will still drive and be auto-dependent, but without any new automobile infrastructure. The same is true of the Tigard Triangle. Since the Southwest Corridor MAX line will run north-south; anyone who works in the Triangle and lives in Beaverton, Tigard, or Lake Oswego will be driving on local two-lane streets.

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