Tag: Division Transit Project

A SE Division Party on Saturday

TriMet will host a grand opening celebration for the new FX2-Division bus line this Saturday. Activities will span three festival locations in SE Portland and Gresham. Each site features entertainment, prize giveaways, and food vendors. Attendees can take unlimited free rides on the new articulated FX buses along the route between noon and 6 p.m. on September 17th. The new service begins regular operation on Sunday the 18th, offering high-capacity and fast bus service along Division Street. Montavilla residents should arrive to the event at the SE 82nd and Division stop near Portland Community College, located at 2305 SE 82nd Avenue.

Raimore Construction partnered with TriMet for this Grand Opening Celebration. The construction company is the prime contractor for TriMet’s Division Transit Project. As a minority-owned firm, this project represents the largest contract awarded to a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Oregon. It is a notable success for the City’s Inclusive Contracting initiatives.

Raimore Construction President Jeff Moreland speaking, TriMet Interim General Manager Sam Desue, Jr and Division Transit Project Director Michael Kiser left. April 3, 2021

TriMet posted full schedules for each event location on its website. Guests are encouraged to take the bus between each celebration site at OMSI Station, PCC Station, and the Gresham Farmers’ Market. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to a giant “paint-by-numbers” mural project. Event coordinators placed sections of the mural project at each of the three event sites. Cascade Behavioral Health building on SE 42nd and Division will host the completed public art project.

Attendees should plan a long day exploring SE Division Street and experiencing the new FX bus service. Drivers in the area should anticipate a change in bus operation beginning tomorrow as the new extended transit platforms go into service with more frequent service. Bus riders not attending the events should plan for higher than usual usage of the number 2 bus route. However, the new higher-capacity vehicles should accommodate the surge in demand.


Title images courtesy of TriMet

Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the Board for a group partnering with TriMet on this event.

Repaving and New Signals on SE Division

Road crews repaved a section of SE Division Street between SE 87th and 82nd Avenue this week. Workers redirected traffic, reducing the road to one travel lane in each direction and closing some side street access. This current activity marks the final stages of the combined TriMet Division Transit Project and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOTOuter Division Safety Project. Over the next month, repaving efforts will continue up to SE 92nd Avenue, and crews will activate new traffic signals on SE Division Street from SE 80th to 174th Avenues.

Initially, the two projects lacked ADA corner ramp restoration and repaving between SE 82nd to 92nd Avenues. PBOT was issued additional funding to repair the pavement in this area and enhance sidewalk accessibility. Crews will complete the final striping along the corridor after completing the pavement restoration this summer.

PBOT Posted schedule for reaming SE Division Street work

As part of its project, PBOT added many new or improved traffic signals to enhance safety for pedestrians and vehicles crossing SE Division. Within the Montavilla area, crews from Raimore Construction built three new controlled intersections and upgraded older signals at SE 92nd Avenue. Traffic lights at the new controlled intersections are in various stages of completion. SE 80th Avenue and Division Street is complete, with new lights hung on pole-attached mast arms. The lights are shrouded with Signal Head Covers, awaiting activation.

Signaled intersection at SE Division and 80th Ave

Signal work is needed at two of the new traffic-light-controlled intersections. SE Division and 89th Avenue, along with SE Division and 84th Avenue, are awaiting traffic head installation. Based on PBOT timelines, staff should activate all three new controlled intersections sometime in July. Traffic signals will turn on in sequential order, from east to west. The change may catch some regular commuters off-guard, as it will break up previously uninterrupted thoroughfares, requiring greater driver attention to the road.

Signaled intersection at SE Division and 89th Ave

After repaving work completes, painters will re-stripe the road and add protected bike lanes in each direction of SE Division Street. The enhanced cycle route spans SE 80th to 174th Avenues and utilizes vertical delineator wands, raised dividers, and some parking lane buffer zones.

Signaled intersection at SE Division and 84th Ave

Expect lane closures and delays as repaving work continues over the next two weeks. Later this month, drivers should prepare for new traffic-light-controlled interactions to become active in the area. By the end of summer, crews should complete all work on SE Division Street, and in September, rapid bus service will begin on the new Trimet FX line.

SE 82nd and Division Bus Stop Rebuild

Update – Crews have partially completed the bus stop reconstruction on SE Division Street at SE 82nd Avenue. Their progress reveals a design change for this station that will route bike riders behind the bus shelter instead of keeping bikes on the roadway. In this design, pedestrians will need to cross the raised bike lane to enter the bus platform.

Project documents from 2019 indicated that this location would implement a Pedestrian Bypass Station design, but work completed to date suggests workers are creating an Island Station. Consequently, crews are relocating the crosswalk signal currently in the middle of the future bicycle path. Despite this station’s changes, designers have maintained the sidewalk cutout to support replacement street trees near the bank building.

The final design will become apparent within the next few weeks as concrete work completes. As one of the last stations constructed in the Division Transit Project, it signals the imminent arrival of faster bus service. Look for TriMet FX™ (Frequent Express) service to begin in September 2022.


Original article published March 5th, 2022

This week, crews working on the Division Transit Project closed off traffic lanes on 82nd Avenue and SE Division Street as they demolished the intersection’s northwest corner. Workers removed two trees, a Trimet number 2 bus stop, and the drive-through exit driveway at Bank of the West. Soon TriMet will construct a new rapid bus station at this site and plant two new trees behind the bus shelter.

Bank of the West has two entry points to the financial institution’s parking lot, one on SE 82nd Avenue and another on SE Division Street. When the bank reworks their parking lot, drive-through ATM users will turn left, head back into the parking lot, and use either of the two remaining exits. Previously, users of the drive-through ATM could turn right and drive out onto Division through a third exit-only driveway. The longer articulated busses used in the Division Transit Project require more curbside space. Consequently, TriMet shifted the bus platform further west, blocking the drive-through exit path.

TriMet design plan for Division Transit Project. X marks removed trees and O indicates added trees.

This corner has ample sidewalk area, allowing TriMet to use its Pedestrian Bypass Station design. In that platform configuration, people walking past the stop have clear space to travel behind the waiting bus riders at the shelter. Additionally, this design allows bicyclists to ride past a parked bus in a separate lane to the left of the stop.

TriMet Pedestrian Bypass Station design

This latest TriMet work is one of the few reaming reconfigurations needed before the Division Transit Project begins service. Some limited use of the new bus stops will start in April, with full rapid bus service commencing later this year. A temporary number 2 bus stop is located less than 300 feet to the west form the construction site. Use cautions near this intersection and expect some delays over the next month.

SE Division Turn-Lane Reconfigured

This month, construction crews began lane reconfiguration work on SE Division Street near SE 92nd Ave. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will replace a continuous painted center turn-lane with physical separation and left turn controls. Portions of the center divider will transform into a raised median with street trees and pedestrian islands. This work is part of the Outer Division Safety Project and the Division Transit Project.

Out past 82nd Ave, SE Division Street features five lanes dedicated to automobiles traffic. Two lanes accommodate vehicles traveling westbound, and two are for eastbound traffic. The fifth lane is a multi-directional turn-lane used for short distances while executing a turn. PBOT determined that a significant number of crashes occurred to vehicles using the turn-lane. By adding a raised center median to SE Division, PBOT expects to reduce collisions between cars and produce safer pedestrian crosswalks.

Example of marked left turn space. Image courtesy of PBOT

Creating a raised median will change how drivers access businesses and side streets. The continuous divider will restrict left turns along the road except for designated areas. Drivers needing to access a location on the left side of the road may need to drive past their destination and execute a U-Turn at a marked left turn space. This configuration confines cross-traffic to specific locations and eliminates head-on collisions by cars using the turn-lane simultaneously.

Image courtesy of TriMet

Non-motorists will also benefit from the raised median. A lane-width divider will provide a mid-crossing island for pedestrians to safely wait for cars to stop. This protective space allows two shorter crossings and reduces the length of time both directions of traffic need to stop when yielding to foot traffic. Additionally, bicycle commuters will be less vulnerable to unexpected cross-traffic with the new configuration. The raised median does not resolve all bicycle collision issues. However, it will reduce those interactions to marked intersections where there should be better visibility.

Work on SE Division will continue until the Summer of 2022. Look for disruptions to normal traffic flow over the coming months as crews install the permeant median. Drivers and pedestrians should use extra caution in this area as people adjust to the new configuration.

TriMet Opens New SE Division Platform

Friday morning TriMet announced the opening of their new platform serving the Division Transit Project. This event celebrated the fifty-percent completion point for the Rapid Bus initiative. When finished, it promises to deliver fast transportation from Gresham to Downtown Portland along 15 miles of the number 2 bus line.

TriMet’s Interim General Manager, Sam Desue Jr., emphasized the project’s economic and equitable merits. “This project here is going to spur economic recovery from the Pandemic. It created over 1,400 jobs and added more than $138,000,000 in economic value in this corridor.” Desue continued to explain that seventy percent of the companies involved in construction were majority staffed by people of color and women.

Raimore Construction President Jeff Moreland speaking, TriMet Interim General Manager Sam Desue, Jr and Division Transit Project Director Michael Kiser left

Raimore Construction serves as the lead contractor on the Division Transit Project. Rainmore President Jeff Moreland Sr. spoke about the challenges of keeping the project moving during the Pandemic. He stressed the value of his company’s 20 year-long relationships with TriMet and the transportation agency’s support for disadvantaged businesses.

The Division Transit Project is on budget and achieving timely milestones on its way to the completion date in the Fall of 2022. Starting this Sunday, line 2 buses will begin using two of the completed stations for regular service. Both stations work differently than most in the transit system. They implement a shared bicycle and pedestrian design, diverting bike lanes over the raised platform.

Much of the Southern edge of Montavilla is actively under construction in support of this project. Beyond better service to TriMet riders, it has reconstructed large portions of the sidewalk and upgraded many adjacent street corners. The community will not feel the full benefit from TriMet’s investment for another year. However, the improvements on this often neglected road are already becoming noticeable.

New Division Bus Station at 85th

Concrete work is complete on the new bus platform along SE Division Street, east of 85th Ave. It is one of several enhanced bus stations designed for faster public transportation between the outer Southeast and Downtown. TriMet’s Division Transit Project is underway at many points along the busy street, creating new infrastructure improvements. 

Image courtesy TriMet

Over the next year, upgrades to bus stops along this route will facilitate faster passenger loading and reduced bus merging times. This station’s platform design features a raised curb for better floor alignment with new longer buses. The platform’s curb extends out from the sidewalk through the bike lane to meet the travel lane. This design allows the bus to stop in traffic, eliminating the need to merge when the vehicle begins moving again. Integrated ramps on both edges of the platform allow bikes to pass through the bus stop. Bicyclists will briefly ride at sidewalk level to pass over the platform. However, to avoid collisions with TriMet riders, bikes will yield to pedestrians while buses load passengers.

Image courtesy TriMet

Some property owners at this location had expressed concern over the new platform design. Construction at this location removed a driveway that once provided off-street parking from the property at 8525 SE Division Street. Despite the removal of the curb-cut, the property still maintains two access points on SE Division Street. TriMet representative Roberta Altstadt explained that this “project will not completely eliminate any property’s access to a public right of way.” General community benefits brought by this work outweigh sidewalk reconfiguration concerns. This project not only improves transit but also rebuilds large sections of sidewalk and street corners.

One of two remaining driveways for 8525 SE Division Street

The Division Transit Project will complete in 2022. Although a year away from full use, SE Division Street improvements are already apparent, providing this worn roadway a needed refresh. Transit projects at this scale can attract further development to the area and draw in more commerce. Look for continued construction along SE Division Street over the next eighteen months.

View from the bike lane

Sidewalk Changes at SE 85th and Division

This week, construction crews are working on a portion of SE Division Street as part of the Division Transit Project. Currently, reconstruction of the northwest corner of SE Divisions Street and 85th Ave is underway. The work will remove a none compliment driveway curb cut and create new ADA curb ramps.

For a year, construction on the Division Transit Project has progressed towards an expected fall 2022 completion date. Work on this project will provide fast travel time to the city center and create safer conditions for none motorists using these streets. It is a massive project that will transform a critical transportation artery in the city.

In rebuilding the sidewalk near SE 85th Ave, crews temporarily deconstructed a section of Master Kong‘s parking lot. The portion of the restaurant’s driveway that leads onto SE Division Street is now permanently removed and replaced with a level sidewalk. TriMet representative Roberta Altstadt explained that the removed curb cut was mostly unused. “There was a curb cutout to Division just a few feet from this corner, but it appears to be too small for a car or a legal driveway.”

Image curtesy of TriMet. Full Plans are available at the Open House site.

Across SE 85th Ave on the north side of SE Division, another driveway’s removal will accommodate a new bus platform. “A bus station platform will go in at the site of the current Line 2 bus stop. The bus station platform is roughly 70 feet. The project will rebuild the sidewalk at that location. It will mean closing one driveway and improving another that is approximately 40-50 feet away.” said Altstadt.

Some local business people are concerned about the changes. Losing access to SE Division could impact the traditional flow of customer access. Altstadt expressed that this “project will not completely eliminate any property’s access to a public right of way.” Additionally, “TriMet has already been in contact with the property owner there, and are working through negations with them.”

Improvements to NE Glisan Street are needed, as many pedestrian spaces are in poor condition. Better transit through this part of Montavilla will only improve conditions for the people who work and live near this roadway. Many density housing projects proposed near this busy street have limited parking, requiring public transportation improvements. Unrequested changes to existing properties can be disconcerting for the owners of those locations. However, the roadway enhancements will likely increase property value and bring more people to SE Division Street businesses.

With this project just 40% completed, many more changes are in process for SE Division Street. The adjustment period will not be without conflict. However, changes have a high likelihood of creating a safer and more functional area for everyone traveling to and through this section of Portland.

The northwest corner of SE Divisions Street and 85th Ave before changes.
The northwest corner of SE Divisions Street and 85th Ave after changes.

TriMet Testing New Bus Shelters on Division

This week, TriMet tested a prototype bus shelter for the Division Transit Project. This installation validated the real-world functionality ahead of construction. Permanent deployments along the 15-mile project route will begin in 2021. Engineered for space-constrained stops along SE Division Street, the new shelter’s versatile design can expand into larger spaces while maintaining a constant appearance.

The shelters, built by Landscape Forms, needed to adapt to the project’s unique requirements. “Early studies determined that TriMet’s current bus shelters would not work within the extremely constrained and diverse Division Street corridor,” explained Tia York, Public Information Officer at TriMet. “The project’s modular shelter design provides a more cost-efficient option for the diverse conditions of Division Street, and the functional demands and safety considerations corridor-wide.”

Located at NW Division and Eastman Parkway in Gresham, the prototype only stood a few days before crews dismantled it. The TriMet Facebook post announcing the prototype contained several reader comments with design change requests. However, the planning phase for bus stop design has concluded. “The shelter design was heavily vetted and guided by input received [from] the project’s Community Advisory Committee during a two-plus year period from 2017 to 2019”, York commented. Additional input by the Committee on Accessible Transportation, The Oregon Commission for the Blind, and other stakeholders shaped the chosen design.

These bus stops offer more than a new look. Future riders will appreciate modern integrated lighting, digital TransitTracker, and hardened glass panels providing weather protection around seating areas. New sheltered stops include waste receptacles, dramatically increasing trash can availability on SE Glisan Street.

This prototype shelter demonstrates the general appearance and function of what TriMet riders can expect from the Division Transit Project. Construction will start next year and run through Fall 2022. The completed transit project will create a faster and more enjoyable commute to the city center for Southeast Portland residents.


Article image courtesy of TriMet

12 Unit Apartment on SE 90th

The southeast corner of Montavilla will gain an impressive 12 unit apartment building offering a wide range of different sized residences, with some onsite parking. Located at 2444 SE 90th Ave, the project has affordability and housing diversity at its core. This development aims to bridge the gap between the working class homes around it and the urbanized nature of nearby SE Division.

The development will transform an overgrown patch of land, positioned one parcel back from SE Division Street. The lot has remained empty after the 2009 demolition of both a single-family residence and a detached garage. This portion of SE 90th is an older paved road without sidewalks. Most of the surrounding properties are single-family residences “built during 1925-1971. The architecture of each building is compact and affordable.” Said Kym Nguyen of Concept Design & Associates, the project’s Design Manager.

Nguyen worked to incorporate the functional design of the surrounding buildings into this new three-story apartment building. Many of the design elements chosen will complement the other buildings on the street while incorporating contemporary style. Each apartment offers an open floor-plan desired by modern-day residents. Traditional siding is used in vertical bands to break up the massing on the building’s streetside. The build uses a conventional roofline featuring modest eaves, similar to neighboring properties. 

The project’s owner instructed Nguyen to create a complex that attracted the most comprehensive range of renters. Including older adults, families, single people, and couples. Mixing the unit types between studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom options will help attract a diverse renter. However, greater diversity comes through offering units on the ground floor, making space available to residents needing special mobility consideration. Support for a variety of transportation needs further increases renter diversity. 

The building will offer six garages for residents needing secure parking. PBOT required 17 feet of dedication along SE 90th Ave to accommodate new sidewalks and street parking, adding more parking options for residents. The location is also near both a MAX station and bus lines, providing fast transit downtown. The onsite parking makes a peace offering to the surrounding homeowners who may fear parking congestion. However, this project will encourage mass transit for a portion of residents and help meet the cities environmental goals.

Nguyen explained all phases of the property include resident income considerations. “Affordability is the key for this project, so people are able to afford to buy [them] when these units [convert] to Condos from apartments.” The owner of this property plans to use the rental income from this building for his retirement. However, Nguyen designed them to convert into condominium units eventually. This affordability lifecycle will start with renters and then grow into ownership, perhaps with some of the same residents making the transition with the building.

This project could signal a subtle change in how density housing comes to market. Opening as an inclusive apartment building and then transforming into a condominium may become a successful Portland development path. It can retain the nearby community’s tradition of attainable ownership while first alleviating a housing shortage. Buildings that include some parking are better able to transition from apartment to condominium as many realtors struggle to list properties without a garage.

This is a project to pay attention to over the coming years. Its success could become a model to emulate. They have made many choices through parking, design, and floor plan variety that should meet their longterm goals. Regardless of this project’s future successes as a condominium, it will offer ample housing options now, when Portland needs it most.

2444 SE 90th Ave

Rendering provided by Concept Design & Associates