Category Archives: Catch the Orange

Five things to know about the MAX Orange Line Grand Opening celebrations

One. Day. Left. Can you believe it?

The Orange Line has been years in the making and we’re going all out for its introduction, with celebrations all day from Park to PSU!

If you’re joining the party tomorrow, here are five things to know before you go:

  1. It all starts at 11 a.m. — that’s when the Orange Line, Tilikum Crossing and all the special events are scheduled to begin. Rides will be free all day on all TriMet buses, MAX, Portland Streetcar and Aerial Tram.
  2. Lots of people will be celebrating. Excitement has been building in the community for a while now, so don’t be surprised if there’s a wait.
  3. There are events at every platform along the Orange Line, including a block party at Milwaukie/Main St and opera performances at OMSI/SE Water Ave.
  4. Orange Marks the Spot! Our updated TriMet Tickets app includes a community-wide scavenger hunt all along the Orange Line. Check in at local businesses and stations while you’re out celebrating — you could win some awesome prizes (seriously) and unlock coupons.
  5. Plan for a hot, fun day. Stay hydrated and keep cool — we’re gonna have a blast!

Get all the Grand Opening details at catchtheorange.com »

Join the Facebook event and invite a friend »

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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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.

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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.

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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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You asked: Why is the bridge still closed?

During the People’s Preview, many of you asked why Tilikum Crossing won’t be open for another month. Truth is, we’re almost done—We’ve just got a few things to finish in the next 30 days to ensure the bridge is safe and ready for use!

  • We have safety improvements to complete along the bicycle and pedestrian pathways on the bridge, like striping—our word for painting—a line to clearly define where the bike lane is.
  • There are also some areas on the pathways that need additional concrete work.
  • We still have interpretive signs to install at the belvederes (the extra space on the bridge that juts out).
  • Our Fireworks Spectacular event on August 22 will require us to close the pathways for about four days.
  • Lastly, we’re continuing to train our operators on the new MAX Orange Line for the next month. On August 30 we’ll begin “simulated service”—which means trains will be running on their actual schedules, but without riders.

We can’t wait for Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People, to open—but the wait is definitely worth it! In the meantime, feed your anticipation at one of our “Catch the Orange” events or stay in the loop with email updates.

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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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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