Saturday, December 8, 2012


This is a less than “formal” After Action Report for the Jingle Bell Run (Operations Order 121201-1) because…well, the Rail Department’s services were not needed for large part because someone in a hummer decided to practice their obstacle course maneuvers down the Glisan Right of Way west of the Steel Bridge.

Upon our  signing into the West side Controller’s air, we were directed to give Unit 9909 a phone call for instructions.  We were told that there was no service on the mall due to an auto in the ROW at the Glisan ramp.  We were given alternate assignments to assist with train movement.  Supervisor  went to the Galleria stop to assist in offloading trains, and I went to the 11th Ave. terminus to assist with switch work for incoming Green/Yellow trains.


At approximately 0900, I received a phone call from Unit 9909 directing me to report to the Glisan ramp to assist in test train operations, as there may be some things that may come up that he may not be certified/qualified for. 

While enroute, I was stopped northbound on 5th at Burnside due to the run and Portland Police traffic control.  Upon my arrival at this point, two buses pulled in behind me.  My overhead lights were on and flashing.  I asked the officers posted there when they thought I would get a chance to get through the group, even suggesting maybe a break through one of the gaps.  The non-transit officer X said that he had instructions to only allow trains to be bumped thru and then once in a while; he had no instructions about buses or Trimet trucks…I’d have to find another way or wait till the end of the race.   

I told him I was trying to get to the place where the accident had occurred in order to start testing trains in order to resume service.  He asked me why couldn’t I go around?  I attempted to show him on the map that the area I needed to get to was surrounded by closed roads.  I again asked about maybe being allowed through a gap with the buses (there were now 3 or 4).  As I was trying to explain this, he just turned and walked away while I was still talking to him (during this, one of our road sups had walked to me and basically told me “good luck”).(wow, the police have no respect for Trimet obviously)

I looked at the Transit Officer  for help, and she came over and asked again about going around.  I showed her on the map.  She went over to X and spoke with him and then after a moment, they stepped up to stop foot and vehicle traffic to make a gap for us.  I almost missed it because no one had said anything to us that they were going to do this and Ofc. X was just so indifferent.  We got through the gap and I attempted to thank them on the way thru.  This incident from start to finish was about 20-25 minutes.  I proceeded to the Glisan ramp without further incident.

This situation highlights an ongoing problem we seem to be having with PPB.  While I personally LOVE having their assistance and this IS NOT a matter of them not doing their job (quite the contrary), somehow the details are not getting passed down from the organizing committee(s) to the ranks.  In the relatively few (dozen) events I have worked at/for TriMet, the PPB reps at the corners seem to have a disconnect as to what they can and cannot allow thru the intersections and they will not waver from that mandate they believe they were given (while commendable, difficult to deal with when your boss is wanting the exact opposite).  They ARE doing their jobs wonderfully and we ALL greatfully appreciate their presence in helping us to maintain control.

I respectfully request your assistance in helping OUR planning team find a way to assist PPB AND US with this. 
First of all, getting a phone call at 1115 to tell me that I could not get the requested shifts except by using district cars, when the briefing was scheduled for 1130, is just plain pathetic. I had it figured out yesterday what I needed to do so the phone call was wasted time.

As for the event itself it would appear numbers were down significantly. At the beginning of the event route we were all clear in less than 25 minutes where in years past it took 45-60 minutes to clear. We were clear of all reroutes and blockages associated with this event by 1256. I will list all the locations where I used supervisors and give a brief description of their duties.

SE 28th/Holgate to assist inbound 17 with reroute and advise when tail of event was clear of 26/Holgate.
Center Garage to be sure deadheading buses used Center St. and advise operators of reroutes to line 17 and NB 70. (earlier I had spoken to the Center S/A and advised that operators wanting a 17 or 70 to go to a relief would have to get up to Milwaukie to get their bus.)
NB Milwaukie @ Powell to assist line 19 IB and NB 70 as needed.
WB Powell @ Milwaukie to assist IB line 9 and 17
SW Capitol/SW Terwilliger to assist OB lines 44, 45, 54, 56 and IB buses as needed.
VA Hospital to assist line 8 to turn around and not get stuck up on the hill.

Reroutes used were as follows:
Line 70 NB regular to 17/Insley, L Insley, R Milwaukie to Center and reg.
Line 70 SB regular to 17th/Center then R Center, L Milwaukie, L Insley, R 17th and regular.
Line 17 OB regular to Mil/Powell continue Powell to R 28th, R Francis, L 27th L Holgate and regular.
Lines 44, 45,54,56 OB only regular Barbur/Capitol continue Barbur to SW Terwilliger, R Terwilliger L Capitol and regular.

The right lane of Barbur was closed (and coned off) from approximately SW Lane St. to Capitol. OB stops at Hamilton and Rasmussen Village were closed. It would appear that because of the timing of this event the best way to staff it is with am or pm district cars. Whatever seniority allows. Just be careful not to cut yourself short of having a couple of first responders in the event of an unrelated disruption of some kind. That about sums it up.

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