Improvements to Portland's transit network must be considered
hand-in-hand with the removal or relocation of the eastbank freeway.
While Portland's population will continue to grow indefinitely,
it is crucial that the demand for mobility of this new population
be accommodated with transit and bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
- The existing light rail routes in the downtown area (solid red lines)
must be expanded to the south. South MAX, instead of crossing into
downtown, could run on 1st Avenue (with opposite direction on 2nd)
replacing the freight rail line (dashed red line). This would hook
any new high-intensity development on the eastbank into the regional
light rail system. Additionally a south light rail line could run
from downtown across the new bridge planned for options B and C.
- The light rail system in downtown has reached its rush-hour capacity.
Trains are constricted to 200' in length to fit onto downtown's small
blacks and only so many can squeeze across the Steel Bridge per hour.
The east-west MAX system will need to pass through downtown in a
subway tunnel in the near future. The alignment that makes the
most sense would be underneath Broadway (dashed blue line at left).
Additionally, if a need arises for a subway tunnel on the eastside,
light rail trains could be accommodated within the previously-discussed
tunnel below Grand Avenue (dashed blue line at right).
- The first phase of the streetcar system in Portland (solid green lines)
should be expanded to the south and east (dashed green lines). The
streetcar alignment is already planned to serve North Macadam to the
south, but it could also cross the river and reach the eastside via
the new bridge in options B and C. This streetcar line could then
continue east along Division Street, or turn to the north and run
along Hawthorne Blvd.