Friday, June 11, 2010

News from Metro, more on federal financing, and an ingenious parking solution.

A few tidbits for a Friday evening, prior to the War of 2010 commencing tomorrow morning.

Metro had two pieces of big news this week.  The first is the release of the 2035 Transportation Plan Update, which you can read here.   I'm still digesting it, and will probably have more comments on it in the future--at nearly 500 pages, it isn't exactly light reading....

The second is the announcements that the urban and rural reserves designations for the forthcoming decades were finalized.  The preliminary designations were published in March, and the final designations announced this week are mainly tweaks.. however, Washington County's Peterkort family apparently got their wish:  A large tract of land north of PCC Rock Creek, not specified as urban reserve in the preliminary map, is specified as such in the final map

In other news, a Save Our Ride transit rally was held downtown at Director Park, lamenting recent TriMet service cuts.  Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 (which represent TriMet operators) was there, as was John Kitzhaber, the Democratic candidate for governor (and two-term former gov, who must relish the thought of governing the state with a friendly Legislature).  The theme of the rally seemed to be "Congress, bail us out"--while that's not a bad idea, some of the more controversial ideas (such as mothballing rail projects) didn't get much play.

Speaking of federal funding, Yonah at the transport politic asks a good question:  Should the feds focus on operations, rather than on capital costs?  He makes a decent case--local funding of these often makes it rational for local politicians to cut transit funding (especially when the transit authority serves a single municipality, not an entire region).  And the Feds can more easily borrow money in lean times (whether they can save it in good times is the million dollar question), which would allow the stark service cuts seen 'round the country to be avoided.

And finally, the latest viral video making the rounds (Joseph Rose at Hard Drive posted it a few days ago, but my sister just sent it to me)--one way to get around no parking zones:

Maybe TriMet ought to set up a few portable bus lanes, and see if ODOT and/or the city public works department notices. :)

Have a nice weekend!

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