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Thursday, September 27, 2012

What the eastside streetcar needs to attract some riders

Isn't it obvious? Exotic dancers. The cars already have the poles. And you could pay your $1 fare in a much more memorable way than currently.

Comments (20)

Las Vegas has already done this, but not with public transportation:

"It's akin to a small U-Haul truck but with Plexiglas surrounding the brightly lit cargo area instead of walls. In the middle is a gleaming stripper pole. Swinging around the pole is a scantily clad young woman. Two of her fellow strippers are in the back of the truck too, awaiting their turns.

Puttering up and down Las Vegas Boulevard on Monday night, it was photographed by nearly everyone it pulled alongside, from CityCenter construction workers to an SUV-load of 20-somethings from Colorado."

Extending this to public transit is another opportunity to demonstrate Portland's environmental correctness!

When Portland starts handing out little blue books, I'm heading to Reno.

Good one! A little blue book titled "Quotations of Mayor Adams".

Someday there will be no more streetcars or trains in Portland. Bikes will have been a passing fancy as well, gone the way of VHS. Small electric and NG powered vehicles with much parking for all will populate and re-invigorate the downtown district. One permanently parked streetcar will remain in the center of a park. A relic to help us reflect on a corrupt and failed vision.

Meanwhile, I think the dancers would be great.

What is truly interesting is that the rail supporters decry the fact that "as soon as a road is open it's immediately congested and crowded".

But when rail lines are opened - sure, there's an opening day hoopla and the trains are busy. But when the trains get down to their regular workday schedule - they underperform. The Green Line, WES and the Eastside Streetcar all suffer from this; in fact to this day, it's still possible to ride a Portland-Gresham light rail train in Gresham or East Portland during rush hour and easily find a seat. (Maybe not so much from Gateway to Portland, but you can thank TriMet for ending a lot of bus lines at Gateway and forcing that transfer onto MAX, when prior to 1986 those buses continued onto downtown. And the Lloyd Center Park & Ride (not officially a TriMet facility), and the Gateway Parking Structure ("free" parking courtesy of TriMet's bus fares.)

It only shows that highway projects are often built reactively and then as minimally as possible (can anyone say Tualatin-Sherwood Road?) while light rail projects are built optimistically.

There are exceptions, but not many: the Sunset Highway in Banks and North Plains isn't very congested, and it's been a four-lane freeway since the 1970s. But since then - how many highways have been built to accomodate future growth; how many transit lines were expanded or enhanced just to accomodate current ridership? Anyone who's ridden a crush-load TriMet bus knows that TriMet doesn't ever actually improve current services, even when all it takes is replacing the 22 year old junk buses with new articulated or double-decker buses.

I rode the yellow line from PSU to Delta Park at 5:15 (rush hour) yesterday. First time I've done that at that time, but I did not want to drive.

I was amazed that it wasn't standing room only except for a small segment from the Rose Garden to about 2 stops north. This was rush hour.

That pole is called a stanchion. And it's for holding onto. By the riders. If there are any.

Great idea! ... and the trolley stop closest to the Taboo adult entertainmment venue could get very busy.
New motto? "Try the Taboo Trolley"

It also runs right past Wentworth Chevrolet. I thought there was some kind of restriction on automobile related businesses being too close to rail "transit"? I remember when Ron Tonkin got into some kind of trouble with that out near E Burnside some years back.


Wentworth was there first. The streetcar was added after the fact. Wentworth also just remodeled their showroom on Burnside and MLK (looks a lot like the buildings in the Pearl to me).

So expect they'll be driven out of business, much like anything else along those lines. Luckily they can join the other auto dealers further out in Milwaukie on McLoughlin. At least until the mystery train goes in.

Actually since the funding wagon seems bottomless and the planning honchos are definitely topless, this little trolley should end at a strip mall. Naked capitalism at work.

So would the exotic dancers be considered part of the "creative class"?

As a regular commuter along the route I can say that riders or not, the trolley has definitely accomplished one of its objectives by completely effing-up traffic flow between the I-5 off-ramp and McLoughlin during rush hour. Sometimes it's backed up northbound all the way to Greeley.

Traffic flow to points further south is going to feel the pain when the MLR is completed and cross-crosses 99 several times, full, empty, or not.

And whatever riders there are will have the convenience of being forced to transfer and linger in the heart of Portland's downtown shopping district surrounded by world famous food carts.


I had an appointment on NE 7th at 3:30 pm today (10/27) which is the start of rush hour. I passed a streetcar a few blocks South of Broadway headed South - and it had no passengers at all, and was holding up Southbound auto traffic AND bicycles. Is it any wonder so many people in my neighborhood avoid traveling West of 82nd?

I know somebody's riding it, because they're parking up all the blocks from 7th West.

What is truly interesting is that the rail supporters decry the fact that "as soon as a road is open it's immediately congested and crowded"

At what point in the last 30 years could anyone in Portland claim to have seen a road opened?

ODOT, and Portland's "transportation" bureau aren't in the business of building or maintaining roads, and haven't been in some time.

Just saw an Eastside streetcar go by.

Three passengers.

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