Saturday, November 24, 2007

Street Car Part II


PDX0353
Originally uploaded by NeiTech
In my first post about possible streetcar routes we talked about expanding on the concept of the Sugar House trolley to make it even a more useful route.

Today's picture is little closer to home than Barcelona as it is from the Portland Streetcar in Portland, Oregon which was the first modern street car line put in.

Our next route proposal will replace part of Route 9. It will start at the Intermodal depot and travel on 600 West to 700 South to 400 West. Along 400 West it will briefly travel the route of the expanded Sugar House Trolley but then turn again on 900 South.

It will travel 900 South until 900 East were it would branch.

Branch one will continue traveling on 900 South to Guardsman Way, then travel Guardsman Way until it meets up with the Medical Center TRAX line and follow that route to the Medical Center.

Branch two will travel along 900 East, 1300 South, 1500 East, and then either turn on 1700 East to Foothill or continue on 1500 East, travel through Sugar House Park and connect up with the Sugar House line. From there it could continue to 2100 South TRAX station and make another connection with TRAX.

There is several positives about this route.

First the section of 900 South from 400 West to 200 East is ripe for quality redevelopment especially affordable transit oriented development.

Second both branches would service the 9th and 9th business center, and the second branch would service the 15th and 15th business center.

The only downside is that NIMBY's along some of the eastern half may bulk at having the streetcar.

2 comments:

Silus Grok said...

Why a street car? How would this differ from the TRAX system — besides its name?

Why not just a full-on BRT?

JMD said...

I guess the best way to describe the differences is a streetcar line is designed for more urban short hops and frequent stops. Streetcars are designed to work in traffic better than light rail. In fact the Portland, Seattle, and Tacoma streetcars are even equipped with turn signals. Figure TRAX is your express while streetcar is your local.

In fact in my opinion the airport line should be what is called rapid streetcar instead of TRAX. Along North Temple it should stop were buses do now which will help the local community better than TRAX. Then become rapid when it hits the I-215 underpass.

The problem with BRT is that when compared on an equal basis it can cost more than LRT and does not attract the same number of riders as rail.