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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Solution for repeated Line 70 blockage

E-mail sent to the Portland Bureau of Transportation:

BACKGROUND:
Some TriMet Line 70 trips travel down SE 13th Ave in Sellwood, and a median island was installed on SE 13th at Spokane Street that requires vehicles to shift over towards the curbs and use what's normally parking area.  There is a section of "No Parking" opposite the island to allow traffic to get through, however people repeatedly violate it and park there.

PROBLEM:
Cars can get between the island and cars illegally parked along the curb but TriMet buses, being much bigger, can't.  Buses are forced to wait there, blocking traffic until a supervisor can arrive and get the bus unstuck by backing it up.  Supervisors can have a tow request submitted, however by the time that is done, the damage (delay) is already done, and the drivers will have often moved their offending vehicles, avoiding any penalty.

Along with getting delayed by trains at the railroad crossing between Powell and Division, this causes serious reliability issues for Line 70, and unreliable service discourages riders, which can result in more traffic, a need for more subsidies, etc.

SOLUTION:

Put some pylons ("candlesticks") or preferably a concrete triangle (possibly away from the curb so drainage isn't affected) in the no parking areas highlighted in the attached photo to physically prevent drivers from parking there, as well as helping redirect traffic back to the normal traffic lane.

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