Downtown Construction

Trimet has this bright idea to run a new Max line down the middle of the Bus Mall. AND open it to car traffic. I think this is colossally dumb, as does everyone I know who rides public transportation. I think that the converging of all three of those modes of transportation will be a disaster. But Trimet is undeterred, so our Bus Mall has been interrupted for 2 years. despite the annoyance of construction, it’s very interesting to walk around and see what is going on.

It looks like here they are installing bump-out sidewalks on this corner. Portland is in love with bump out sidewalks, because they allow pedestrians to see oncoming traffic without peering around cars (and huge SUVs).

This is one of my favorite things in the bus mass construction. They have moved all the cross walks back from the intersection 10-15 feet. And they still needed the street signs to tell us to walk/don’t walk. Solution? Cut those suckers off, drop them in a round of cement, spray paint some white lines on the street and Voila! New crossing.
New Max tracks going in. The sign in the background says what businesses are open on this block. Merchants are grumpy, because business is down.
Another favorite of the downtown construction process. And I mean that sincerely. As they lay the tracks down, they also put down these temporary bridges. When they were constructing near my school, I never knew where the crossing would be. I also feel like an urban Lewis & Clark crossing the makeshift bridge. It makes a pleasant metal “thunk” when you walk across it.
This weekend, they shut down all downtown Max service so that they could make the new line and the existing lines cross. The new line runs perpendicular to the existing lines. It was interesting to be downtown and see all the activity.