MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2010
8:00 AM MOBILE WORKSHOPS
#1 INNOVATIVE BUS RAPID TRANSIT IN EUGENE
Eugene, Oregon, located two hours south of Portland, is only the second U.S. city to build a bus rapid transit system based on the one in Curitiba, Brazil. This corridor and its EmX Green Line connect Eugene to nearby Springfield, creating one of North America's premier small-city examples of a bus rapid-transit system. This tour will include a ride on the EmX and feature some of the significant public and private investments along the corridor.
#2 SUBURB-TO-SUBURB COMMUTER RAIL COLLABORATION
True collaboration benefits everyone. Just look at the WES (Westside Express Service) Commuter Rail. This project — which connects the suburbs of Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville — involved two transit agencies, federal agencies, state and federal legislators, a state agency, a county, four cities and diverse stakeholders such as educators, police, firefighters and business leaders and the Portland & Western Railroad. Traveling by light rail and the WES, you will discover how these diverse partners worked together to create Oregon's first (and the nation's first all-suburban) commuter rail project.
#3 PREPARING LAKE OSWEGO FOR RAPID STREETCAR
The city of Lake Oswego may soon be the terminus of the Portland region's first rapid streetcar, but there are some daunting considerations to expansion: the city is built around a pristine man-made lake and the City and private property owners are both key stakeholders. Long before the proposed transit, however, this community had already made significant efforts to create a downtown environment that would provide easy transit access for residents and visitors. This tour will — via streetcar and trolley — showcase these built efforts and illustrate further exciting plans that are under way.
9:00 AM MOBILE WORKSHOPS
#4 THE WEAVE: URBAN TRANSFORMATION WITH LIGHT RAIL
Not "just transit." The Portland Transit Mall is a collaborative effort of urban designers, architects, artists, engineers and transit planners to transform an urban corridor in downtown Portland. Project leaders envisioned a vibrant corridor to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers and transit riders, punctuated by urban spaces that enhance the corridor's architectural frontage. Ride TriMet's new Green Line light rail and learn about the strong support from the downtown business community, as well as the incorporation of public art, innovative safety improvements and real-time transit information.
#5 SOWA: A HIGH-DENSITY STREETCAR NEIGHBORHOOD
South Waterfront is Portland's big leap towards high-rise, high-density urban living. Oregon Health Sciences University, progressive developers and the City partnered to build a transit-friendly neighborhood served by an aerial tram, streetcar expansion, bikeways, walking trails and a soon-to-be-built transit bridge. Many are asking, "Is Portland ready for this new step?" The tour — via streetcar and aerial tram — highlights many of the district's innovative concepts, how developers and local agencies are responding to the current economic recession, and transit's role in determining the district's eventual success.
#6 PORTLAND'S LOST FREEWAYS BY FOOT
In 1955, the Oregon Department of Transportation proposed 14 new freeways in the Portland area. The most infamous, the Mount Hood Freeway, would have bisected southeast Portland and destroyed one percent of the city's housing stock. It was a proud moment in Portland history when a citizen-led revolt halted the proposed construction and its funds were transferred to other transportation projects, including the creation of the Portland area's first light rail line. This tour explores Portland's waterfront — a green space that is shaped by built freeways, removed freeways and by freeways that almost were. This tour is offered both as a walking tour and as a bicycle tour at #7.
#7 PORTLAND'S LOST FREEWAYS BY BICYCLE
Same tour as above, via bicycle. Approximate distance: 10 easy miles.
#8 TRANSIT DOUBLE FEATURE: STREETCARS AND LIGHT RAIL
The Portland area's newest light rail line leads to the front door of the only streetcar manufacturer in the U.S. — making this tour a "must-see" double feature. Ride TriMet's Green Line south along I-205, a freeway built long ago with future light rail expansion in mind. Stops will illustrate some of TriMet's latest station designs and discuss some recent challenging development strategies. A factory tour of United Streetcar will provide a fascinating look at how this heralded form of livability and sustainability also helps bolster new manufacturing jobs and new economies.
9:00 AM CHARRETTES
THE FOOTHILLS DISTRICT (LAKE OSWEGO)
Lake Oswego, one of the region’s town centers, has recently seen much success in redeveloping its downtown business district onto its lakefront. This charrette will seek to extend that success to the edge of the Willamette River. You will tackle issues related to redeveloping an industrial district that is planned to include an extension of the streetcar line from Portland. This 120-acre Foothills Area in the city of Lake Oswego contains the last remaining industrial area that is ripe for redevelopment along this portion of the river. The goal is to develop the entire area into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood that provides a variety of new housing opportunities and supports Lake Oswego’s downtown. Daunting design challenges and constraints include: limited access for bikes, pedestrians and cars; a large floodplain; significant topographical issues; and the presence of a wastewater treatment plant.
Jack Hoffman, Mayor, City of Lake Oswego, Oregon
Brant Williams, Director of Economic and Capital Development, City of Lake Oswego, Oregon
Dennis Egner, Long Range Planning Manager, City of Lake Oswego, Oregon
Tom Brennan, Principal, Nelson/Nygaard, Portland, Oregon
Jeff Tumlin, Principal, Nelson/Nygaard, San Francisco, California
Nadine Fogarty, Principal, Strategic Economics, Berkeley, California
Matt Brown, Development Manager, Williams, Dame & White LLC, Portland, Oregon
HOLLYWOOD TOWN CENTER (PORTLAND)
Help shape ideas for creating an urban park/plaza that will serve as the heart and soul of the Hollywood District – a growing, vibrant area adjacent to the downtown core and heavily dependent on transit. Developed between the 1920s and 1960s, the Hollywood District boasts several recent major infill projects such as: a new grocery store with housing above, a gym, an office complex, and a large regional health system headquarters. Despite these many significant improvements, the area woefully lacks a large-scale, thriving urban park or plaza to support community activities. During the charrette, you will visit and evaluate several potential sites using community-identified criteria and will develop alternative design scenarios for this missing cornerstone of the Hollywood District success story.
MILL DISTRICT (VANCOUVER, WASH.)
Vancouver, Wash., is a major suburb of the Portland region and has emerged as a key presence in the region’s commitment to livability, sustainability, economic success and social equity. The city’s historic downtown has created more than $300 million in private development during the past decade. A light rail line is proposed to cross the Columbia River that serves as the gateway to Vancouver and the state of Washington. Help identify transit-oriented development opportunities that will spark livable, sustainable, vibrant and economically successful development in the city’s historic Mill District. Visualize ideas for transit-oriented development potential along the future light rail line.
12:00 PM MOBILE WORKSHOPS
#9 HANDCRAFTING PORTLAND’S 20-MINUTE NEIGHBORHOODS
Portland is home to one of North America’s largest expanses of neighborhoods built by first-generation streetcar. An abundance of trees line these pedestrian-oriented, vibrant commercial centers. The neighborhoods provide local residents with everyday needs, all within a 20-minute trip. While the original streetcar has long been removed, these areas continue to thrive due to regular bus service and bicycling facilities. Portland’s entrepreneurial culture is infusing new energy into these commercial areas, and developers and architects are responding with projects that respect existing neighborhood character and create unique identities. You’ll explore the districts by foot and via transit.
#10 INCORPORATING AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND CO-HOUSING
There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for affordable housing. Since affordable transportation alternatives are a significant component of affordable housing, the Portland region has attempted to encourage these developments in areas where walking, transit and bicycling provide residents with real economic alternatives to owning a car. See some of Portland’s recently-built housing developments — by transit and on foot — and discuss innovative approaches and partnerships that have created accessible transit to help shape community housing.
12:30 PM WORKSHOP
Transit Agency and MPO Peer-to-Peer Exchange CM 2
Grab lunch at one of Portland's local restaurants or food carts and take the elevator to the 23rd floor.
As communities, regions and states look to improve their sustainability and livability through coordinated transportation, land use, housing and environmental programs, productive organizational partnerships among service providers and stakeholder interests are essential. Transit agencies clearly need to be engaged with regional organizations for transit plans and programs to be fairly considered in funding decisions. Partnerships between public transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and elected officials and stakeholders are essential to both sustainable long-range plans and short-range programs. This roundtable discussion will focus on those partnerships, as well as institutional arrangements, transit-oriented development, street design, economic development, urban circulators and financing that support livable communities and other sustainable outcomes.
This special roundtable session is open to transit agency, MPO and local jurisdictional staff, as well as elected officials and decision makers. (Lunch not provided.)
Moderator: Catherine M. Cox-Blair, AICP, LEED AP, Program Director, Reconnecting America and The Center for Transit-Oriented Development, Denver, Colorado
Cynthia Hoyle, AICP, Transportation Planning Consultant, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, Urbana, Illinois
Charles Goodman, Director, Office of Systems Planning, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC
Richard Weaver, AICP, Senior Program Manager, APTA, Washington, DC
Heather Tabbert, AICP, Project Manager, Regional Transportation Authority of Northeastern Illinois, Chicago, Illinois
Alan Lehto, Director of Project Planning, Trimet, Portland, Oregon
James Cromar, Principal Planner, Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Cheryl King, AICP, Assistant General Manager of Planning and Transit System Development, Atlanta, Georgia
Tom Weynadt, Planning Director, Atlanta Regional Commission, Atlanta, Georgia
Megan Gibb, Manager, Transit Oriented Development, Metro, Portland, Oregon
Deborah Bilek, Transportation Planner, Department of Transportation Planning, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC
Sarah Crawford, Transportation Planner, Department of Transportation Planning, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC
Lynda Kompelien Westin,Transportation Planning Manager, Real Estate, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Pompano Beach, Florida
1:00 PM MOBILE WORKSHOPS
#11 PORTLAND’S MATURING STREETCAR NEIGHBORHOOD
It's been 10 years since the development of Portland’s renaissance streetcar neighborhood. Once a muddy rail yard with scattered industrial buildings, today the Pearl District is a national model for success. Creative partnerships between multiple city agencies and innovative developers created this 21st-century streetcar neighborhood. The tour shares Portland’s lessons for integrating streetcars into the urban fabric and will explore the significant role of green architecture, parks, pedestrian-only streets, public art and adaptive re-use of existing buildings when creating such neighborhoods. (Also offered on October 21 as #19.)
#12 BIKEWAYS AND GREEN STREETS PDX
As one of the nation's Platinum bicycle-friendly cities, Portland is home to the best on-street bicycle network in the U.S., affirmed by the fact that more than six percent of Portlanders commute by bicycle. While innovative on-street bicycling facilities — such as cycle tracks, bike boxes, bike boulevards and bike-only traffic signals — have contributed to creating an effective network, Portland has identified many other tangible benefits by promoting this transportation mode. Bicycling is helping create a new, locally-based economy. It is also helping spur urban redevelopment, safer pedestrian environments, greener streets and increased transit ridership. Portland’s bike network now shares the podium with transit in its ability to transform Portland’s streets into people-friendly places. Approximate distance: 10 easy miles.
2:30 PM SYMPOSIUM
New Starts Symposium CM 3
Converting your vision for a New Starts project — or even extending an existing line — into reality can be filled with challenges and opportunities. Learn directly from professionals who have overcome the challenges in bringing rail transit and bus rapid transit to their communities. In addition, Federal Transit Administration representatives will share insights into their program objectives and explain how communities have successfully blended local and federal considerations to fast-track federal review. Hear straight talk about how to avoid common pitfalls and successfully follow in their tracks. Experts will discuss how you can make the difference between failure and success by articulating your vision, getting ample local and private financing and understanding federal priorities throughout the project development approval process.
Jeffrey Boothe, Partner/Chair, Holland & Knight/New Starts Working Group, Washington, DC
Cheryl King, AICP, Assistant General Manager of Planning and Transit System Development, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, Georgia
Elizabeth A. Rao, Vice President, National Transit Development Director, HNTB, Denver, Colorado
6:00 PM NETWORKING EVENT
Pure Space, Pearl District, NW 14th and Overton
Don't miss the ultimate Portland experience when the 2010 Rail~Volution Local Host Committee and local sponsors present an evening of networking, regional fare and a taste of the city's homegrown entertainment. The event will unfold at Pure Space, a soaring glass-walled pavilion that provides an open, light-filled space for connecting with colleagues and livability leaders from around the nation. Sample hors d'oeuvre and libations brimming with Northwest ingredients and flair, and enjoy the creativity and energy of Portland originals such as MarchFourth Marching Band and the Rose City Rollers.
The reception takes place in one of the nation's most successful transit-oriented neighborhoods, the Pearl District. Travel to the venue via streetcar, light rail, bus, bike or foot. Guided tours to the Welcome Reception will leave from the Hilton Lobby.
Please visit the Local Host Committee booth on the hotel's mezzanine level for more information. Registration badges will be required for admittance to the reception.