Transit riders, please make yourselves heard! As many of you likely know, the City of Portland has been investigating new ways to improve transit mobility on Congress Street between State Street and Franklin Street but through the grapevine it sounds like the City hasn’t heard from many transit riders who support and/or have comment on the suggested alternatives.
Without transit riders’ support, it may be tough to encourage productive changes amidst any vocal opposition. If you ever ride the bus along Congress Street – which most of us do – you know well what a delayed stretch that can be. Making this section of Congress Street a Bus Priority Corridor will improve general safety and traffic flow – and reduce congestion and energy costs.
So please take a few minutes to e-mail the City Transportation Committee (City Councilors Donoghue, Marshall, and Suslovic) and Mayor Mavadones by July 18th to lend your support to making Congress Street a Bus Priority Corridor, and/or any thoughts you have about the suggested alternatives (fleshed out in greater detail here, starting on page 9)! On July 19th the City Transportation Committee will be working on the question of whether to move ahead from Feasibility to Design (we say yes!) – and the terms and assumptions under which the City should do so.
The Congress St. Bus Priority Corridor was a recommendation of the recent Portland Peninsula Transit Study – so this current study is working to ascertain the feasibility of a Bus Priority Corridor along a downtown portion of Congress Street, including methods for resolving any associated traffic impacts on adjacent streets.
The Bus Priority Corridor would potentially:
- Run from the intersection with State Street to the intersection with Franklin Street.
- Improve mobility within this core business district; Enhance transit operations, especially at peak commuting hours;
- Improve bicycle and pedestrian safety; Result in additional parking and street amenities; and
- Require careful balancing between traffic flow and turn movements on Congress and adjacent streets.
You can read more of an overview of the study on the City’s website and find more details on the findings and suggested alternatives for transit on Congress Street here.
For now, the most important thing is for the City to hear from transit riders as part of the process!