Category Archives: Catch the Orange

How It Works: Tilikum Crossing Art Lights

By now you’ve seen how Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, lights up the night — but how exactly do those lights work?

There are 178 LED lights aesthetically placed on 40 bridge cables, the four transmission towers above and below the deck, and on the Sonic Dish artwork along the Eastside Esplanade and future Willamette Greenway at the ends of the bridge.

Monitors from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, located in the water near the Morrison Bridge, collect data from the Willamette River. A program developed by digital artist Morgan Barnard translates the data into a colorful and aesthetic display.

(Video: December 2014 Testing)

The temperature of the river controls the color of the lights. Warmer river conditions will display warmer colors, like orange and yellow, while cooler temperatures will display cool colors, like green and blue.

Tilikum Crossing in September (Photo Courtesy: Victor von Salza)
Tilikum Crossing in September (Photo Courtesy: Victor von Salza)
Flickr
Tilikum Crossing in November (Photo Courtesy: Sky Schemer)

Notice how the lights seem to dance across Tilikum Crossing? That’s controlled by the tide. When the tide is coming in, the lights move towards the center of the bridge. As the tide goes out, the lights move towards the ends of the bridge. Additionally, the tide levels affect the speed of the lights. When the tide is higher or lower, the lights move faster. At midpoint, the lights move slowly.

Video Credit: Mike Warner

The speed of the river controls how quickly the colors change. If the river is moving fast, the colors will appear to move and cycle through quicker.

The river’s height affects the contrast in the lights. The higher the river, the more contrasted the colors appear, which affects the pattern and movement of the lights. This change varies with the season, so in the summer (when the river levels are pretty static) the bridge color will appear even and bright. In the spring, when the water tends to move more, the bridge colors will appear more fluid.

While a lot of scientific data is gathered to create this aesthetic light display, the bridge lights aren’t meant to serve as a weather tool. The artists, the late Anna Valentina Murch and Douglas Hollis, wanted these lights to represent a dialogue between the Willamette River and Tilikum Crossing — quite a poetic way to look at the lights, don’t you think?

Learn more about Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People

Learn more about our Public Art Program

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I’m TriMet’s Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I’m a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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Alternatives to the MAX Orange Line Park & Rides

Commuters parking in nearby neighborhoods was never a big issue following the opening of previous MAX lines. But since the Orange Line opened in September, we’ve seen its two Park & Rides fill up quickly on weekday mornings, leading some drivers to find spots along residential streets.

The Park & Ride at the SE Park Ave MAX Station has quickly proven popular.
The Park & Ride at the SE Park Ave MAX Station has quickly proven popular.

It’s not that we didn’t want to offer more parking. After all, more commuters using a Park & Ride means more riders — and that’s a good thing! But faced with reducing the scope of the Orange Line project after federal funding was reduced from 60 percent to half, we decided to limit the size of the Park & Rides (while laying foundation for future expansion) and try our best to secure the funding later. This was just one of many cuts we had to make; unfortunately, even after the new line came in under budget, the Federal Transportation Administration didn’t allow these deferred items to be added back to the project.

(There’s a chance the savings will be returned to us — along with our local partners — in 2019, when the last phase of the project concludes.)

So while we anticipated that the Park & Rides would be popular, we also hoped the excellent network of bike routes, trails and transit connecting to the Orange Line would mitigate problems with packed parking garages. If you’re an Orange Line Park & Ride user, consider the following as ways to potentially save time, money and sanity.

Bike there (or walk!)
There are Bike & Rides at the Tacoma and Park Ave stations with plenty of secure and enclosed parking. Plus, both facilities are connected to great off-street trails (the Springwater Corridor and the Trolley Trail, respectively) and bike-friendly roads. Many bike commuters ride year-round; if you’re thinking of getting started now, check out the Community Cycling Center’s tips for riding in the rain.

There are a total of 146 secure and enclosed bike parking spaces at Orange Line Bike & Rides.
There are a total of 146 secure and enclosed bike parking spaces at Orange Line Bike & Rides.

Connect
Many buses serve Orange Line stations, either directly or via a nearby stop. For example, there are eight lines that stop at SE 21st & Jackson in Milwaukie, less than a quarter-mile from the Milwaukie/Main St Station. Try planning a trip to see how you can connect to MAX.

An alternate Park & Ride
The Milwaukie Park & Ride connects to the Orange Line via Line 34 — a quick one-mile trip will get you to MAX and on your way. Walking’s an option, too, and a great way to get fresh air and exercise before starting your day. And don’t forget: During commute hours, Line 99 will take you all the way into Downtown Portland.

Carpool
Chances are a neighbor or coworker is headed the same way you are. Give carpooling a try and better your chances at getting a spot at the Park & Ride.

The Trolley Trail runs six miles between Gladstone and Milwaukie and connects to the SE Park Ave MAX Station.
The Trolley Trail runs six miles between Gladstone and Milwaukie and connects to the SE Park Ave MAX Station.

Be considerate if you park in the neighborhood
If you miss out on a spot at the Park & Ride and decide to park on a nearby residential street, keep it legal and be courteous. Please respect private property and don’t park in nearby lots. There are parking ordinances that apply (check out this helpful list from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office) and, just as importantly, neighbors’ feelings to consider. Neglecting these could earn you a costly citation or a nasty note.

The Orange Line has been successful because riders were willing to try something new. Changing our routines isn’t easy, but it often leads us to discover some great benefits, both for ourselves and our community. In that spirit, why not see if there’s a better option for your next commute?

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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Catch the Orange Art!

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to ride the new MAX Orange Line, but have you checked out the Orange Line public art? With 25 artworks, including over 200 individual elements, there’s plenty to explore! While most of the artwork is easily spotted, some of the pieces may take a little more effort to discover.  All of the artwork was created by 26 artists specifically for the 7.3-mile Orange Line.

For those of you who are interested in learning more, we’ve created a comprehensive MAX Orange Line Public Art Guide.

You must have heard about the colorful aesthetic lighting at night on Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, which corresponds to the conditions of the Willamette River. Did you also know that Kerf, the massive earth-cast sculptures at the SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek MAX Station, were created right in the ground near where they currently stand? Or that the poems stamped in new concrete sidewalks adjacent to all of the stations could have been written by your neighbor?

Do you know how many sculptures along the Trolley Trail, near the SE Park Ave Station, are made from the trees that were removed to build that portion of the trail? What do you think might have inspired the artist to create movement in her glass painting of Crystal Springs at the SE Bybee Station?

(Courtesy: Todd Trigsted)

These and lots of other fun facts can be found in the Art Guide. We’ve also created a MAX Orange Line Art Brochure that provides a quick reference. Print copies of both are available at the Pioneer Square Ticket office or by request to publicart@trimet.org.

Of course, there’s no substitute for experiencing art in person! We hope you will ride the MAX Orange Line to catch the incredible variety of artwork firsthand and learn more about our community along the way.

Michelle Traver

Michelle Traver

As TriMet’s Public Art Administrator, I commission original artwork for our transit system to create connections to the communities we serve and celebrate our shared humanity. I’ve been a TriMetian for over 10 years!

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Now streaming: All Classical Portland’s Tili-Cam

Prepare to be mesmerized.

Our friends at All Classical Portland set up a 24/7 live video stream of Tilikum Crossing from the rooftop of their eastside digs.

So dramatic!

Some things you might see when you tune in:

  • MAX, buses and Portland Streetcars (bonus points if you spot combos)
  • Cyclists
  • Pedestrians (bonus points if you spot a selfie)
  • The bridge’s pioneering aesthetic lighting program
  • Tilly the Tili-Cam spider

Plus, you can listen to the live audio stream of All Classical Portland while you watch!

Watch live: All Classical Portland’s Tili-Cam

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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Making the MAX Orange Line green

The Portland area thrives on sustainability. From its city-wide recycling programs to a nationally recognized bike-friendly ranking, it’s clear to see our region cares about the environment — and we do too.

From the early stages of the MAX Orange Line project, we’ve been committed to sustainability. Of course, the new Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, set new standards by being the first (and only) vehicle-free bridge in the United States dedicated exclusively to transit, bicycles and pedestrians, but sustainable practices can be found all along the Orange Line — from the vegetation planted along the rails to the energy initiatives set in place, sustainability has been a focus the entire time.

Going green

eco_track

You’ll find 4,204 square feet of flowering, low-growing evergreen plants between the tracks at the Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave MAX Station. Although green trackways exist in Europe, this is a first for Portland and the only known eco-track treatment in the U.S. These plants help enrich the urban experience along the MAX line and reduce train noise and vibration.

Additionally, eight buildings on the alignment—six on the east side of the Willamette River and two on the west side—have eco-roofs. This top layer of vegetation and soil improves a building’s insulation, absorbs carbon dioxide, helps filter dust and pollutants out of the air (A 1,000-square-foot green roof removes about 40 pounds of airborne particulates per year!) and diverts stormwater by absorbing rainwater.

ecoroof

Speaking of stormwater…

Bio-swales, stormwater planters and rain gardens are found all along the Orange Line so that stormwater runoff can be collected and safely filtered back into the groundwater. Rain that falls on Tilikum Crossing is directed to treatment facilities on both sides of the river — another first for Portland as runoff from the other bridges flows directly into the city’s combined sewer overflow facilities.

stormwater
Stormwater is captured and filtered at 252 curbside facilities and 34 other swales and basins.

Energy usage

At most of the Orange Line stations you’ll see solar panels on the shelter roofs. These panels generate electricity from both sides and help offset the power usage needed at each station.

solarcells

Additionally, all lighting along the Orange Line is LED instead of conventional halide bulbs. LEDs use one-sixth of the electricity as halide bulbs and will only need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.

Collaborative sustainability

The SE Park Ave Park & Ride is a prime example of many sustainable practices coming together as a whole. Metro, the Oregon Department of Transportation, Urban Green and members of the community all joined together to create this innovative parking structure.

parkride

Some key practices in place:

  • All of the building’s stormwater runoff is captured and treated onsite.
  • Invasive plants were removed and native species were planted to restore former habitats.
  • Over 100 bike parking spaces are provided, as well as an area for future car-sharing programs.
  • Solar panel energy operates all of the Park & Ride’s functions — including its elevators and lighting — allowing the building to achieve net zero energy usage!

The MAX Orange Line project’s deep commitment to sustainability and social benefit will help shape how we plan projects in the future, and hopefully, encourage other agencies and industries around the world to keep sustainability in mind.

Learn more about the sustainable practices in place on the MAX Orange Line.

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I’m TriMet’s Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I’m a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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MAX Orange Line Grand Opening: A historic convergence [VIDEO]

It’s what we’ve wanted since the beginning: for the new Orange Line to connect us as families, friends, neighbors and communities.

And if last Saturday’s opening day celebrations were any indication, this wasn’t just wishful thinking. Thousands gathered to commemorate a new chapter in our region’s history as they caught the Orange, crossed the bridge and partied from Oak Grove to Portland (and back).

MAX Orange Line Grand OpeningYou caught the Orange, crossed the bridge and partied from Oak Grove to Portland (and back): bit.ly/1LdjOsr

Posted by TriMet on Monday, September 14, 2015

 
The morning began with an extraordinary sight as the first Orange Line train from Milwaukie, filled with community leaders, crested Tilikum Crossing with a procession of members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Morning sun poured through the bridge cables, illuminating the regalia and bringing the moment’s full splendor to light.

Grand Opening (1 of 1)

Soon after, when the train reached the Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave Station, the party began. Toasts were given, balloons were released (biodegradable, of course!) and music marked the festivities. Hundreds of eager riders lined the sidewalk to catch the first trains to Milwaukie and, just like that, the MAX Orange Line was in service.

The next seven hours of celebrations were a testament to the new line as a vital connection: The crowds that explored the route saw new things, met new people and formed new associations. From Grand Ronde’s Tilikum Village in the South Waterfront to the festival atop the Park Avenue Park & Ride, everyone showed an abundance of curiosity, excitement and patience — our community’s finest traits.

At the outset, our hope was simply for people to show up and check out the new line; what we witnessed was something bigger, both in scope and significance. More than just a celebration, Opening Day was a story — and it’s all thanks to you.

The Orange Line has arrived! Head to catchtheorange.com for schedules, stations, parking 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.

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Tilikum Crossing’s First Light [VIDEO]

We had a great night celebrating First Light on Tilikum Crossing. Thanks to everyone who joined us!

Tilikum Crossing’s First LightWe had a great night celebrating First Light on Tilikum Crossing. Thanks to everyone who joined us! bit.ly/1ETyD2m

Posted by TriMet on Friday, September 11, 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.

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