I have been interested in the Portland Streetcar, see my website www.pdxstreetcar.com, since they first re-appeared in Portland after more than a fifty year absence. I can still see some of the remnants of the earlier time when the streetcar was a mode of transportation here; the streetcar barns, the streetcar tracks turned into walk/bike paths, the tracks still visible buried in the street. The streetcar suburbs are also a reminder. I have been working on a hypertext mystery that traces four characters along the streetcar route, “The Streetcar Murder”. I have a number of books that documents the many lines in Portland, at one time more than any other West coast city!
I am on the Portland Streetcar Advisory Committee, a volunteer position for which I applied. I am the West side representative. The committee meets once a month. What I love about being on this committee is that several people on the committee are more knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the Streetcar than I, a very high standard.
Risa- “So you work in North Portland, you ride the Max?”
James- “Yea, in the morning. Coming home I take the 75 it’s faster and I don’t have to transfer”.
Risa- “Yea that makes sense.”
The Streetcar Advisory Committee gets monthly updates from the Streetcar Board; ridership, challenges, future plans and options. We hear public comments and concerns at the meetings. The Committee weighs in on the concerns and plans and makes recommendations which are communicated to the Board, to the city and to TriMet which is the regional transit authority.
Portland now has a streetcar loop circling the intercity, two streetcars one circling clockwise and one circling counterclockwise on the loop similar to many European cities. We also have a new bridge over the Willamette River, the Tillicum, built for streetcars, Max, bicycles, pedestrians but no cars.