Sunday, February 3, 2013

Erik Halstead makes some interesting comments regarding the latest boondoggle

The new PMLR bridge is only about 10%-15% of the cost of the overall project, if my memory serves me correctly, and will (hopefully) be beneficial to bus service (and ped/bike) as well. (If the Hawthorne were used instead--would you make the center lanes transit only, or run LRT in mixed traffic, like MAX used to do on the Steel long ago?)
Yes, I have the colors mixed up, but that's besides the point.
The new Willamette River Bridge is just one of many unnecessary bridges. There is the bridge over Harbor Drive. There is the bridge over Powell Boulevard. There is the bridge over the driveway to Union Pacific's Brooklyn Yard. There is the bridge over the ramp to Tacoma Street (and then the tracks have to dip under Tacoma Street). There is the Johnson Creek Bridge (probably the only unavoidable bridge).
MAX could have easily used the center lanes of the Hawthorne Bridge. Just like the Steel Bridge. Whether automobiles are allowed to use it...doesn't really matter either way.
MAX does not need a grade-separated crossing to UP's Brooklyn Yard. It did not need a grade-separated crossing of the Tacoma Street on-ramp/off-ramp. Yet those overpasses added millions in unnecessary cost.
But...God forbid we ask for TriMet to fund bus stops and there's no money. Just eliminating ONE of those unnecessary MAX bridges would pay for hundreds of improved bus stops (shelters, sidewalk enhancements, lighting, bus information signs, landscaping). Just ONE. And the FTA would pay for it the same.

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