Portland's Long-Term Transportation Plans Include a Downtown Subway

Portland planners are picking up and dusting off an idea that's been around since the 1990s: a subway in Downtown Portland.

1 minute read

June 19, 2017, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Portland Streetcar

4kclips / Shutterstock

"Portland-area transportation planners are looking underground for a potential big-ticket project: a subway that runs beneath the downtown core and across the Willamette River," reports Elliot Njus.

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) planners included the idea Tuesday in a presentation before the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission on the "Enhanced Transit Corridors Plan," which will inform an updated Regional Transportation Plan expected in 2018. The 30- to 4-year timeline for the plan reflects the speculative status of any subway project that might move forward, despite the fact that the idea has been floated in one for another since the 1990s.

According to Njus, current versions of the plan include "more concrete proposals for speeding up the region's transit system," such as "pilots of transit-only lanes, priority traffic signals, bus stop consolidation and other low-cost changes designed to help frequent-service buses move faster in the city's resurgent traffic congestion."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 in The Oregonian

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