All posts by Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

How the Orange Line is changing active transportation

I’m calling it: September is the best month for cycling.

Temperatures have begun to settle while the days are still long (and concern about rain-slicked fallen leaves is still a ways off). Perhaps that’s why the Bicycle Transportation Alliance chose the month to hold its annual Bike Commute Challenge, in which workplaces throughout the area go head-to-head to see whose employees can bike the most.

This year, biking in September will bear a new aspect for many commuters. The opening of Tilikum Crossing completes 7.8 miles of bike infrastructure associated with the MAX Orange Line, and introduces new options for thousands of cyclists and pedestrians.

A multi-use path links SW Harbor Drive to the Moody cycletrack.

The west side of the bridge connects to the bright green cycletrack on SW Moody, which Bike Portland called “the most intuitive, comfortable, low-stress set of bike lanes in the city.” Just down the road, the Portland Aerial Tram lifts off, carrying cabins of OHSU students and employees up to their campus in the clouds. (OHSU is Portland’s largest employer.)

At Tilikum Crossing’s eastern landing, 14-foot-wide paths weave into a network of new and improved bike lanes, signals and sidewalks along the Orange Line. This corner of the Central Eastside has always been tricky: Cyclists, trains and automobile traffic converge in a sort of asterisk, where each needs to cross the others. The addition of signals, bike lanes and bike boxes has immensely improved cycling through the area — something few people attempted before.

Farther south, the Orange Line makes an important connection at the SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek Station, where it meets the Springwater Corridor Trail, a popular multi-use path that runs from the Willamette River out to Boring, Ore. This could be a game-changer for many bike commuters in Southeast, who will be able to ride a low-stress route to a secure Bike & Ride, then hop on MAX to head to the office.

The Rhine–Lafayette Pedestrian Overpass in SE Portland opened Sept. 2, 2015.

And farther south, over the new multi-use path over Kellogg Lake in Milwaukie, the SE Park Ave Station houses another new Bike & Ride with secure parking for 74 bicycles.

Take a ride out to any of these places and you’ll notice that cyclists aren’t the only ones enjoying an upgrade. Walkers, joggers and strollers line the paths, too — they’re at the heart of 10.3 miles of new or replaced sidewalks and improvements to ramps, crossings and lighting along the Orange Line. And pedestrians will get the best look at the public art projects along the route, like the six sculptures lining the Trolley Trail between Milwaukie/Main St and SE Park Ave stations.

If your commute takes you through the Orange Line corridor, give active transportation a try. Ride or walk to the MAX station. See if you can work a new path into your trip. Recruit a friend or coworker, and see if both of you aren’t hooked by the end of the month.

See the summary of bike and pedestrian improvements »

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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You asked: Will there be Park & Rides along the MAX Orange Line?

Commuters in Southeast will be happy to know that we’re adding two Park & Ride facilities, along with two Bike & Rides, to the system with the opening of the Orange Line.

Whether you’re meeting your carpool, catching the bus or hopping on a train, you can park free up to 24 hours at both new Park & Ride locations. (You can park overnight, too, as long as you observe the 24-hour limit.)

SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek Station
318 cars, 72 bikes

The SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek Station is located near the Sellwood, Westmoreland, Ardenwald-Johnson Creek and Eastmoreland neighborhoods in SE Portland. The station is connected to the Springwater Corridor Trail, which runs from the Willamette River, through Gresham and out to Boring.

Along with 318 parking spaces, this station has a Bike & Ride facility with secure bike parking for 72 bikes, in addition to 34 bike rack spaces. There are also electric vehicle chargers with universal port connections.

This lot is expected to fill up quickly on weekdays. As an alternative, use the 401-space garage at SE Park Station (below).

SE Park Ave Station
401 cars, 74 bikes

The SE Park Ave Station, in Clackamas County’s Oak Grove neighborhood, is the Orange Line’s southern terminal. The station’s Park & Ride has 401 parking spaces, plus seven electric vehicle charging stations. Bike commuters can use the station’s Bike & Ride, which holds 74 bicycles, with an additional 28 bike rack spaces available at the station.

A signature feature of this Park & Ride is the building’s rooftop solar array. It will provide enough energy to offset annual electricity usage for the building’s basic functions like elevator and light usage — making it a net zero facility.

Nearby: Milwaukie Park & Ride

Another commute alternative is the the 329-space Milwaukie Park & Ride at SE Main Street & Milport Road, south of the SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek Station. While it’s not located at a MAX station, it’s served  by bus lines 34-Linwood/River Rd and 99-Macadam/McLoughlin, which connect to MAX on weekdays.

Learn more about the MAX Orange Line, station by station »
Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts

Orange All Around: Recapping the Orange Picnic + Fireworks Spectacular [VIDEO]

Last Saturday, a hazy orange day turned into a dazzling orange night.

The line of picnic-goers waiting to get in to Zidell Yards, a former shipbuilding site nestled between Tilikum Crossing and the Ross Island Bridge, popped with orange: shirts, hats, sundresses, blankets. At 5 p.m., picnickers began streaming in to the festival site, where they were greeted with games, food carts, a beer garden and a set by the Student Loan Stringband.

Kids chased bubbles and ate ice cream (Salt & Straw debuted their honorary Orange Line flavor: Olive Oil and Burnt Orange Marmalade) and curious onlookers chatted with the Portland Picnic Society about their picture-perfect spread.

Families and friends claimed tables and tucked into their orange picnics as Bearwater took the stage, and the deep orange sun dipped out of sight.

Thousands more spectators flooded in and lined the riverbank, buzzing with anticipation for the fireworks (and maybe a glass of BridgePort’s Orange Line IPA, too). And then it was time.

All eyes were on Tilikum Crossing as the show began with a magnificent cascade of white light pouring off the bridge’s deck. The crowd gasped as the sky lit up: red, purple, yellow, blue — and, of course, orange.

And to prove how well-planned the display was, even the soundtrack sparked joy. The Decemberists’ “On the Bus Mall” played our heartstrings and Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around” proved undeniable, despite its renown as the Portlandia theme song.

The grand finale was an incredible sight, as glittering bursts spanned the entire sky above the bridge.

For those 12 minutes it became clear that we were celebrating more than a bridge or a light rail line. I’m an optimist, but I’d say we were cheering for each other. Community — that’s what gets us out of the house wearing blaze orange and sits us down with thousands of neighbors we’ve never met. So to everyone who shared this special night with us: Thank you.

Orange Picnic + Fireworks Spectacular (music: “Good Times” by …Last Saturday’s all-orange party was one for the ages: bit.ly/1NQi0EvTo everyone who helped make the night special: Thank you!

Posted by TriMet on Monday, August 24, 2015

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts

Tilikum Crossing: Set Apart by Design

Building a new bridge across the Willamette River is a big deal.

So when it came to designing the first span over the river since the Fremont Bridge opened 42 years ago, we approached every aspect of Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, with an imaginative and intentional eye for the details.

At more than 1,700 feet in length, Tilikum Crossing is the only bridge of its kind in the U.S. The bridge will carry MAX trains, buses, streetcars, cyclists and pedestrians starting Sept. 12, 2015.

From the beginning, the bridge was designed to be different. Carrying transit, bicyclists and pedestrians — but no cars or trucks — meant the structure could be radically streamlined. A bridge built to accommodate private automobiles could easily be twice the width of Tilikum Crossing, because it would need extra lanes, places to pull off and ramps at either end.

Donald MacDonald, a San Francisco architect whose portfolio includes the new San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, envisioned something special for the small bridge. The cables on most cable-stayed bridges attach at the deck and on the tower, which bears the load. But given Tilikum Crossing’s size, 10 single cables could be threaded through each of its four towers, creating elegant triangular forms that mimic the distant slopes of Mt. Hood.

Artist Errol Beard's rendering of Tilikum Crossing
Artist Errol Beard’s rendering of Tilikum Crossing

Tilikum Crossing’s thin deck keeps its footprint small, though it offers plenty to cyclists and pedestrians. The paths on each side are 14 feet wide — the widest of any Portland bridge — and even larger at the belvederes, where they wrap around the towers.

CityLab: Why Portland is Building a Multi-Modal Bridge that Bans Cars

You might think Tilikum Crossing’s light, open look would be overshadowed by its neighbors — tall, stately Ross Island Bridge to the south and the Marquam Bridge’s utilitarian decks to the north — but even its presence has been carefully calculated. By day, it’s airy and even (at risk of sounding cheesy) aspiring. Its towers assert themselves without overreaching and it stands comfortably in its place.

At night, though, is when the bridge really stands apart. Artist Doug Hollis and his wife, the late Anna Valentina Murch, along with programmer Morgan Barnard, created an aesthetic lighting program that will control the 178 LEDs that illuminate the bridge. The program pulls data from the USGS river monitor and adjusts the lights’ colors according to the water’s height, speed and temperature.

Even its name figures into Tilikum Crossing’s design. Tilikum is the Chinook Wawa word for “people” — hence Bridge of the People. Historian Chet Orloff, chair of the committee that named the bridge, says the name was selected because it connects our region’s past with the promise of its future.

“Tilikum symbolizes coming together. It conveys connections, in not only the relationships between people, but in the connections we will make as we ride, walk, run and cycle across this beautiful new bridge,” said Orloff.

If the staggering turnout at our recent People’s Preview is any indication, the name fits. That Sunday, more than 40,000 friends, families and neighbors came together and celebrated their bridge. Could there be a more meaningful endorsement of Tilikum Crossing’s unique design?

Bridge facts
  • The first span over the Willamette in the Portland area since the Fremont Bridge in 1973
  • Four-pier cable-stayed bridge type (two piers on land, two in the water at the towers)
  • About 1,720 feet in length
  • Two towers, each 180 feet high
  • 75.5 feet wide (110.5 feet at the towers)
  • About 3.5 miles of cable
  • 14-foot-wide path for cyclists and pedestrians (one on each side)
  • 25 mph max. speed for buses and trains
  • For transit, pedestrians and cyclists only

Learn more: Tilikum Crossing and the MAX Orange Line »

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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What a day! Recapping the People’s Preview of Tilikum Crossing [PHOTOS]

Yesterday, between 40,000 and 50,000 people walked, biked or rolled over Tilikum Crossing during its public preview, a sort of “soft opening” for the country’s first car-free pedestrian and transit bridge.

Beginning just after sunrise, waves of cyclists streamed over the new bridge, which makes its official debut Sept. 12. Bike counters on the east and west sides (similar to the one on the Hawthorne Bridge) tallied thousands of Providence Bridge Pedal participants. The air buzzed with excitement as each made their first-ever crossing.

After the last of the Bridge Pedal participants made their way to the finish line, the public began queuing up for the People’s Preview of Tilikum Crossing.

What happened next was beyond our most hopeful expectations.

The People's Preview of Tilikum Crossing

Last Sunday, more than 40,000 people walked, biked or rolled over Tilikum Crossing during its public preview: bit.ly/1MlyTcEIt was a first-rate display of community, and it meant the world to us. If you were there, even if only in spirit: Thank you.(Produced by Jarratt Taylor)

Posted by TriMet on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

 
Tens of thousands of families, friends and neighbors came together and claimed their bridge. In true Portland spirit, they didn’t just cross it: they jogged, skipped, tall-biked and skated. They unicycled, bicycled and tricycled. And each had a smile — just check out the #PDXBridgie tags on Instagram for proof!

It was a first-rate display of community, and it meant the world to us. If you were there, even if only in spirit: Thank you.

When it opens next month, Tilikum Crossing will carry transit (bus, MAX and Portland Streetcar), bikes and pedestrians, but no private vehicles. Find out more at catchtheorange.com.

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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2015 Summer Events Guide: Street Fairs

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Alberta Street Fair

August 8 on NE Alberta Street

Photo: Alberta Main Street Facebook
Photo: Alberta Main Street Facebook

Three hundred vendors will line this iconic Northeast Portland street at the heart of the Alberta Arts District, welcoming you to an afternoon of food, art, entertainment and activities. And not just any activities: 3 v 3 Street Soccer goes down at 11 a.m., and Portland Bike Polo plays at 4 p.m.

And, since this is a fair in Portland, there are two beer gardens on the street: one open until late at 11th Avenue and one with wine, too, at 29th Avenue.

Head out »

Celebrate Hillsboro

August 8 in Downtown Hillsboro

Photo: City of Hillsboro Flickr
Photo: City of Hillsboro Flickr

More than a street fair, this is an event that showcases an entire city. Still, it’s got a block-party vibe, as it’s put on for Hillsboroans by Hillsboroans. (While Hillsboroans doesn’t sound quite right, is the official demonym for the city’s residents—although the people seem to prefer Hillsboroite.)

The city’s official Top 11 Reasons to Celebrate Hillsboro list includes live music, a sustainability village and magic shows. The number one reason? You could win an Apple Watch when you cast your vote in the first-ever Best of Hillsboro Awards.

Go celebrate »

Jade Night Market

August 15 & 22 at PCC Southeast Campus

10830558_705227366266034_3623893931324730165_o
Photo: APANO

The goal of the Jade Night Market, now in its second year, is to surface and celebrate the community centered around SE 82nd Avenue & Division Street. The district, so called for its blend of Asian influences, has a vision to become a center of art, entertainment and cuisine by 2018. If the success of last year’s Night Market is any indication, it’s well on its way.

This year’s Night Market is focused on two Saturdays in August, each featuring 80 vendors, plenty of performances, a Portland Brewing beer garden and an expected crowd of over 20,000. Market-goers young and old will have their pick of several ethnic cuisines, and the chance to see everything from Chinese yoyo-ing to Bollywood dancing to a set from The Slants, a self-described “Chinatown rock” band.

About that beer garden: Portland Brewing has made a limited edition Night Market Special Lager spiced with lemongrass, kaffir lime and ginger.

Hop on the bus »

Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways

August 23 in Inner Southeast Portland

Photo: Michael Andersen on Flickr
Photo: Michael Andersen/Portland Afoot on Flickr

Think of this as a fair that celebrates many streets. Walk, ride, scoot or stroll from park to park in Inner Southeast Portland, without vehicle traffic.

Some highlights along the way:

  • Disc golf, a bike skills track, slack lines and all-day Zumba classes at Colonel Summers Park
  • Live music, Circus Cascadia, Shakespeare and a slip-n-slide at Laurelhurst Park
  • A bouncy house, music and dancing at Sewallcrest Park

Plus, keep an eye out for the roving Umpqua Bank ice cream truck.

Start at Laurelhurst Park »

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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2015 Summer Events Guide: Keeping cool along (and in) the Willamette

Summer might be the Northwest’s best-kept secret. In this series, we’ll share our top recommendations for events and activities that you won’t need a car to enjoy.

Oregon Brewers Festival

July 22–26 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

obf
Photo: Oregon Brewer’s Festival

For five days in July, revelers on the waterfront will soak up the sun — and some of the world’s best craft beer. This festival is the biggest and oldest celebration of our “Brewvana” heritage, with 90 brewers pouring their award-winning wares. And with live music, on-site restaurants and a root beer soda garden, there’s more to do than sample suds.

With an expected crowd of 85,000 over the long weekend, parking will be scarce. Add to that an afternoon of drinking, and leaving the keys at home is the way to go. We’ve got plenty of bus service and MAX stations just a token’s toss away from the festival grounds.

Fun fact: When the festival started in 1988, only four microbreweries existed in Portland (BridgePort, McMenamins, Portland and Widmer); now you might find that many in your neighborhood.

Head out (and don’t forget sunscreen) »

The Big Float

July 26 between Poet’s Beach and Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Do you really need encouragement to hop in the river on a Sunday in July?

Start at the Tom McCall Bowl (the waterfront just south of the Hawthorne Bridge) and join the parade marching a half mile down to Poet’s Beach, floatation device in hand. Hop in and float back to the park, where the beach party will be in full swing, including a band barge, two giant slip-n-slides, food carts, a beer garden and kids’ activity area.

But there’s more to this one than a giant party on the river. It’s about awareness: the Willamette River, once the site of dozens of sewage overflows each year, has been deemed safe for summer recreation — including swimming — since 2011, when the Big Pipe project was completed. Now, even sensitive groups like children and pregnant women can enjoy the river without risking their health.

Grab your floaties and hop aboard »

Red Bull Flugtag

August 1 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

flugtag
Photo: Red Bull Flugtag

It’s a bit of a stretch to call this event on the river flugtag, which means “flying day” in German. Maybe it’s that “plummeting day” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

This celebration of human-powered flight will see 20 local teams launch themselves off a flight deck 28 feet above the Willamette. Will they plunge or will they soar? With team names like Soarin’ Sasquatch, PDX Flying Carpets and Flutter Punks, the answer is probably something in between.

In case you missed it, this is what happened last time Flugtag came to town:

Grab a good seat early »

Our 2015 Summer Events Guide continues soon with Street Fairs and more!
Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

More Posts