Today is the day, the bus mall is opening up! I've heard so much positive vibe about this I'm honestly somewhat surprised. Everytime I've gotten on a bus in the last 2-3 weeks I've heard mentions of the bus mall opening. As the date has gotten closer even more exuberance has bubbled up.
A couple chatted about the time they'd save when they come downtown to shop, since the bus mall is better aligned to all the stores they tend to frequent. Another couple discussed how nice it will be to eat at sidewalk seating without the buses coming by directly on 3rd & 4th. Another person was talking about how much further from their work they'd have to get off, but they didn't mind and would be happy to walk the extra block. They followed up that statement with, "but it'll be nice that the bus will actually get through downtown faster so it'll actually be faster even though I have to walk further".
Also the jaywalkers have been getting ticketed and other "Darwin Effect" prevention officers, as I call them, have been out in force trying to get people to realize and know the bus mall will have traffic en force starting this work week.
Overall the negative vide that everything is going to wreck into everything and pedestrians and cyclists will be crushed by LRVs has died a silent death. Now that people have seen the LRVs running back and forth for a few weeks now, and they've started seeing buses back on the bus mall, the worries have drastically subsided. I'm in that camp myself, as there is still vast potential for wrecks and death, it is a lot less than I had imagined. The final judgement will be when operations start this week and the work week resumes after memorial holiday.
I'm pretty stoked, how about you?
I don’t know about further downtown but the whole bus mall thing is pretty subdued at my (south) end of the Mall on the PSU campus. There’s the new Rec Center/Archives building under construction but otherwise there’s just not a heck of a lot of activity. It doesn’t help that TriMet wasted several blocks which COULD have been used as bus stop space, but instead "straight-lined" MAX through, preventing a bus stop from being placed on the mall. (As a result, several buses, including the 12, will still enter downtown on 4th Avenue, and the 94 no longer will serve PSU inbound.)
Another thing which makes little sense is the continued routing of Washington County buses – the 38, 43, 45, 54, 55, 56 – continue on Naito Parkway and makes their stops on Harrison Avenue, where bus stops are less-than-desirable (one stop, for example, has a shelter but no way to get from the shelter to the street!)
Yeah, I’m not getting those Washington County bus stops, it seems they’d be much better served by shooting out on off of 5th and 6th like many of the others. Not sure of the logic, maybe a TriMet employee will read this and provide an answer to the idea behind the routing? 🙂
"maybe a TriMet employee will read this"
I sent an e-mail to TriMet and was given a generic response…that actually made no sense. When I replied for follow-up, I was ignored.
I’ve noted an interesting observation this morning:
Last week, TriMet was quick to remove a bus shelter at Broadway & Harrison, leaving dozens of riders out in the rain (which came later that day). WHY???
Meanwhile, today, bus stop signs (at Naito & Harrison and at 4th & College) still show buses which no longer stop there, with very little information to tell riders where to go…
Unfortunately I rode the 45 in today, not the 94, to gauge the riders opinion of their bus skipping over PSU…
Gonna have to wait to see how the mall actually operates.
I’ve gotten some very NEGATIVE feedback from bus operators that get "stuck" behind a bus that is in the #1 position and wont move for whatever reason.
Of course getting stuck behind an immovable bus for 5 minutes or more can ruin a bus drivers day.
The rule that says YOU MUST STOP AT THE FRONT STOP could be a disaster.
I don’t like any of it.
Of course the old transit mall was basically a very good picture of mayhem and somehow seemed to work.
I was reading you comment Al and thinking the whole time, "just sounds like the chaos that was the mall before!" 🙂
I’m about to head down there and grab some IPhone shots of the chaos during rush hour. Maybe I’ll catch some interesting bits.
It would be interesting how well things go with MAX using the mall in near future.
The mall has been in heavy use today during rush hour, WITH MAX TRAINS!! 🙂
So far, all has been going very well. I seriously don’t think we’ll have any more issues than we had in the mall before, if anything, there will be a lot less issue with contention and collisions/etc.
…and if it ever does get bad, we can merely ban cars from the street. Simple fix.
If they’ve properly scheduled the buses so they don’t stack up there should be not much problem.
We have to give this more time to evaluate.