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August 2007
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People commute in SW Portland, too

The Oregonian has a story this morning about Commissioner Sam Adams’ plan to extend streetcar services to the eastside. As a Portland resident, I feel kind of upset. Here’s why.

I live in the southwest, near Hillsdale and Multnomah Village. I work near Washington Square in Tigard. The 4.5 mile drive takes me about 10 minutes. I would love to take public transportation, regardless of the fact that my car has a pretty small carbon footprint. However, taking the bus would add over an hour to my commute. Over the course of a week, that extra time spent on buses would be equivalent to working another day.

If I worked downtown, which is about 7 miles away, I could get there by public transportation in almost half the time it would take me to take the bus to where I work now. I think it’s time to start looking at better public transportation options for those of us who don’t already have a streetcar line within a 15-minute stroll of our high-rise condos.



Comment from Rick Turoczy
Time: August 15, 2007, 10:04 am

Amen, sister.

I currently work from a home office, so my commute is zero miles. I would love to use public transit when I have client meetings, but I simply don’t have three hours to waste getting there and back.

Your assessment is dead-on: the public transit out here is abysmal.

Comment from ValkRaider
Time: August 15, 2007, 11:38 am

Transit outside of the central core is not so good. I needed to get from St. Vincencets area (Barnes / 217 / 26) to Kruse Way in Lake Oswego.

Over an hour by bus. Less than 10 minutes by car without traffic, and less than 30 minutes in traffic.

I was as desperate to get out of my car as a person can be, and yet I was forced to drive. If *I* won’t take transit, then there is little hope for the masses because they are usually not as dedicated as I at not driving.

We desperately need more “cross town” support. Ways to get somewhere on Transit that doesn’t go through downtown.

And we need a 99W / Barbur / Southwest metro rail line, and we need a “ring” rail line, connecting the suburbs (Hillsboro to Tigard to Tualatin to Lake O to Oregon City to Happy Valley to Gresham to Vancouver. That sort of thing. (And no, washington county commuter rail doesn’t count).

If people could use transit they would I think. But in the burbs it is really hard…

Comment from so NOT cool
Time: August 15, 2007, 12:08 pm

Chris should be weighing in on this. Madison’s mayor just recently gave up on his attempt to bring streetcars to the city. I have no opinion as I don’t see myself moving toward modern civilization any time soon.

Comment from george
Time: August 23, 2007, 10:21 am

too few of you with too many destinations. thats the problem.

inner city folks are housed and are serviced in ways that are more efficient for public transit.

if you wanna reduce trips, relocating can help.

Comment from Christine
Time: August 23, 2007, 10:28 am

George, thanks to our urban planning, most of us can no longer afford to relocate to the downtown. I’m not seeing how your suggestion could make any practical sense.