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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 23, 2009 9:51 AM. The previous post in this blog was Rip (Off) City. The next post in this blog is Major development. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Coming soon to Macadam Avenue


A number of streetcar alignments have been looked at in the past, but the ones that will be included in the study are the Willamette shore line, and two hybrids which mix use of the shore line with Southwest Macadam Avenue in Portland. Hybrid 1 would share the outside lanes of Macadam with cars, while Hybrid 2 would use the outside lanes for a southbound route and construct a separate lane for the northbound streetcar and cars making right turns.
You'll never get home.

Comments (20)

Streetcars on narrow, hilly 43 / Macadam? That sounds like an obviuosly bad idea. Seems like you'd hardly need to do a study to determine the Bus only option is the way to go. Of course, that means the steering committee will probably recommend streetcars. Whatever the recommendation, do you think the folks in Dunthorpe will get things to go the way they want?

Didnt this come up a while back when they wanted to use the old freight line along the river?

I used to commute down 43 morning and afternoon through LO. I don't recall seeing anyone waiting for the bus except maids, gardeners, and the occasional aux pair. It would be interesting to get an actual head count on LO residents who would use a street car much less bus for anything other than a weekend trip to the Pearl. I for one, would prefer to be wafted into town in my S500.

Feels like Groundhog Day in Green City USA. Which are the ten or twenty bridges most likely to fail in Oregon ? If they were more well known these streetcars and the claimed effect on the global temperature might get a little harder to sell.

Anecdotally, as a Lake Oswego resident who lives on the west end of town and thus would not use the streetcar or Line 35 bus, I know of several "affluent" Lake Oswego and West Linn residents who use Route 35 to commute to downtown. The maids, gardeners and occasional aux pairs are presumably those in Dunthorpe itself.

Since Highway 43 and Macadam are already pretty full with cars, I don't think either a streetcar or an express bus is the way to go. Using the old railway line seems to be the only change from the status quo that has long-term promise.

But it would be very expensive to retrofit that old line, and I have my doubts that it is worth the cost.

Boy am I ever happy that I finally moved away from Portland (and the metro area). The 'uber' stupidity continues to astound me.

They need to build this anomalous part of the streetcar line to convince the feds that the purpose of the Portland streetcar system really is to transport people (not to develop real estate). If the feds ever change what they look at to make this determination, look for this project to get dropped immediately.

Most of the proposed streetcar line will run along the existing rail right of way where the trolley runs in the summer. Other than the portion at the north end, it will be completely separate from Macadam. Come on Bojack, site an original source:

So will this get me to Lake Oswego faster than if I walked there?

site an original source

it's "cite."

Thanks for the link. For fiction, I prefer Kindle.

Any streetcar on Macadam, anywhere north of the Sellwood Bridge, is pure stupidity.

Any streetcar on Macadam, anywhere north of the Sellwood Bridge, is pure stupidity.

If you'd said "south", I'd have agreed with you.

If it's insane it's likely to come about.

Aaron, you're wrong about the proposed trolley line location at the critical lengths along the line. Most of Macadam's congestion occurs north of Sellwood Bridge all the way to it's merging with Front Ave. The portion through Johns Landing has the trolley right in the middle of Macadam where there is now major backups. That would be a mistake.

Also, the trolley location isn't a fixed plan, several alignments are being discussed. In fact, the trolley should be put to a vote since there is a disagreement that it's ridership would meet the standards for any federal subsidies, or even a good investment for the ridership it may have. In fact, the trolley is not a forgone conclusion, but it is in the eyes of the Planners.

Furthermore, its astounding that little, real public input has been generated for this issue. Sure, there's a committee of a few and a few public meetings with maybe 20 people showing up. But that is not public input when there is over 5000 residents and 8000 working in the north end; 2500 between there and Lake Oswego, and all the citizens of Lake Oswego and beyond.

And is it wise to expend the money now on the trolley which generally has little density potential; is along the Willamette where only one side of line can feed people to the line?

And what happens to the zoning of Johns Landing that was fought for over a decade by the neighborhood association that limited FAR and heights so that views to the river could be maintained, that density would not be too great to flood the very narrow strip of streets (three to five blocks width from the river to the steep, unbuildable hills right up to I-5? So much for zoning, so much for a neighborhood, just more height now limited to 35 ft along Macadam to maybe 100 ft.

Damn neighborhoods, trolleys are the future.

If you'd said "south", I'd have agreed with you.

Is it even called Macadam south of the bridge?

Why not a water taxi service on the river from Ore City to downtown? No congestion and kinda fun.

And what happens to the zoning of Johns Landing that was fought for over a decade by the neighborhood association...

I believe the aerial tram gives a resounding answer to that question.

MAX to Lake O? I'm all for it. Look what MAX did for the crime rates in Beaverton and Hillsboro. Maybe someone will actually listen when the Lake-O set cries that MAX is just a vehicle to transport,distribute and give the criminal element a larger playing field with easier pickings in the suburbs. After it's built Lake Oswegans will wake up and realize they are suddenly in the gritty, real world. EEk Gads.

Jack, you're right about Macadam being only north of Sellwood Bridge, and called as such. It's State Hwy 43 to the south.

And have you noticed on any of the radio stations that give updated traffic reports how often SW Macadam is mentioned? Backups, time to travel to the Sellwood Bridge,'s one of the most mentioned traffic problem streets of Portland.

So the answer is to put 5 mph trolleys on it with a stop every four blocks to totally cause chaos.Then every one will take mass transit to Lake Oswego and West Linn.

Lee, you've been at the meetings where they spout nutty estimates that tens of thousands of riders will use the streetcar each day to and from Lake O. For some unknown reason, they talk about this line like it's completely different than the rest of the streetcar lines. This streetcar will travel 45 mph, and will be packed with passengers morning, noon, and night. It's the line that will magically transform the rest of the system from a development project into a transportation project worthy of hundreds of millions in federal subsidies.

Yes, anon, I've been to a few of those meetings. It like when PDOT's Matt Brown said there will be 40% transit ridership in SoWhat. What???? Then, when you politely question this unheard of high number, he answers, "Well, we have an independent study that shows that it is achievable". Of course the study was paid for by PDOT seeking that outcome, even though the metro area only has 5% mass transit usage.

With this mindset that is how the trolley planners come up ridiculous ridership numbers. It would be great to have the feds analysis how Portland hasn't produced the real numbers Portland has projected to extract money from the feds.


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