Tag: TriMet FX

82nd Ave Online Open House

On April 19th, the three public agencies planning improvements to 82nd Avenue published an online open house presenting current roadwork plans and concepts for future projects. The resource site provides high-level information with links to more detailed resources. Construction begins this year and will run through 2030, shifting to different sections of the former state highway as work progresses.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), TriMet, and Oregon Metro collaborated on this new site, blending their community education initiatives. The information focuses on the physical road infrastructure and potential implementation of TriMet’s new FX express bus service, replacing the 72 line on 82nd Avenue. A group of site-wide survey questions allows open house participants to share their priorities for where some projects should focus the limited funds. Money for the road work stems from a 2022 agreement to transfer ownership of Portland’s section of 82nd Avenue from the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) stewardship to PBOT. A key requirement of that exchange was the $150 million commitment from the State of Oregon and a $35 million commitment from the City of Portland.

Although the committed funds seem significant, the allocated money is far less than needed to rebuild all the old and failing infrastructure that does not meet City standards. Federal funding provided $80 million of the State’s contribution, and the City must spend that money by 2026 or risk losing it. Consequentially, PBOT is already deploying those funds to address critical safety and maintenance projects that are shovel-ready. They include improved street lighting to fill in gaps where there is insufficient nighttime visibility. Repaving and reconstructing curb ramps to modern standards will occur throughout the corridor, along with new and upgraded crossings for pedestrians or bicycle riders. PBOT will construct median islands and traffic separators at select locations, and some intersections will gain new or enhanced traffic signals.

PBOT Interactive Map of Projects

The remaining $105 million will go to projects still under consideration. PBOT will need to strategically deploy those funds to achieve the most effective safety and operational improvements on 82nd Avenue. Not all projects are made from cement, asphalt, and wires. Throughout the construction, project planners are looking for ways to incorporate trees and other landscaping to improve the environment and make it safer for people walking during high-temperature weather events. People interested in commenting on those projects should visit 82ndave.info and complete the more detailed survey released last month.

Illustration curtesy TriMet

Outside of the 82nd Avenue jurisdictional transfer funding, TriMet wants to create FX express bus service to replace the 72 bus line. Similar to the Division FX transformation completed in 2022, the proposed rapid bus service will reduce stops to speed up travel times and have enhanced stations with near-boarding-height platforms to accommodate the longer articulated buses. This bus line adjustment would also change the northern terminus. Four different paths are under consideration, some as far north as the Portland International Airport. Designers are also considering dedicated lanes and signal priority changes to 82nd Avenue to get buses around car traffic.

Planning for these projects is happening now, even though residents and business owners may not see the changes for years. Planners invite all Portlanders to participate in the online Open House and sign up for project updates so they can provide further guidance as officials firm up the transformative changes. Participation in the planning process is the public’s best opportunity to shape the future of 82nd Avenue as it sheds its history as a former State Highway and becomes a city main street.

Illustrations provided by PBOT

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the 82nd Avenue Business Association Board and the Building a Better 82nd Community Advisory Group

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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.

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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.

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