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rosecitytransit.org: transit in the rose city...maybe even Rose City Transit

Hillsdale Transit Center
Improving transfers between the 9 different bus lines at SW Capitol Hwy and Sunset


Base image from PortlandMaps
NOTE: * show new routings that are also proposed; () show routings that would be changed

BACKGROUND

Lines 39, 44, 45, 54, 55, 56, 61, 64 and 92 currently pass through the intersection of SW Capitol Hwy and Sunset in Hillsdale, just north of Wilson High School. All but the 39, which only travels east through here, and the 92, which is an express bus and does not stop, currently have a westbound stop on the near side of the intersection (where the second bus is, to the left of the “55” on the diagram). All but Line 55 travel east/west on Capitol Hwy through the area.

PROBLEMS

Having 7 different bus lines stop on the near side of a traffic signal can cause congestion and delays, since every bus has to make it through the signal queue up to the intersection and then serve the same stop. This may be why Line 92 does not stop, missing out on many transfer opportunities, including to/from Lines 61 and 64, which are express buses that serve Marquam Hill and the many medical facilities there.

SOLUTIONS

Move the stop to the farside of the intersection. Room could be made for one (or two) by closing on the gas station’s four driveways, partially closing another one (but still leaving room for vehicles to enter and exit) and/or removing landscaping that exists next to the sidewalk. Line 55 would serve a new stop on Sunset (after it turns north).

This would allow buses to proceed through the traffic signal on the first possible green and not have to wait for the next cycle because of needing to stop there to serve the stop. In addition, if it allowed the 92 to stop there, there could be better connections including allowing express trips (with one transfer) between southern Beaverton (west of Washington Square) and Marquam Hill. One must now take two local buses (including going into and out of Washington Square to make a second transfer) for a large portion of the trip or travel all the way to downtown Portland and back.


Base image from PortlandMaps

Ideally, the gas station would be removed (though the store could remain, and be an asset for riders) and replaced with an off-street transit center, consisting of an island platform with buses to and from Portland stopping on either side. The signal at Sunset should allow eastbound buses to get a break in westbound traffic to enter, as well as get back onto Capitol Hwy. Line 55 would serve new stops on Sunset.

ALSO

Line 51 could also be extended down to here and possibly be combined with Line 39, maybe serving Bertha Blvd or Vermont/Chestnut in both directions. This would allow direct service between the Council Crest area and here; this trip now requires going north to downtown, transferring and heading back south. In addition, it could mean more service along Sunset Blvd since the 55 only runs during rush hours and has been cut back.

Line 55 could instead travel on a more direct route to/from PSU, along Patton Road and Broadway Drive. It would be much shorter/faster than taking the 51, which travels west through downtown on Washington St, over a half mile north of PSU

In addition, Line 1 could travel to here, and possibly follow the loop that Line 39 now travels. This would allow connections to the many other bus lines and possibly allow it to permanently not go downtown, given the high level of other service and nice transferring environment. And overall travel time should not be higher given that taking Line 1 currently requires traveling down to Barbur & Bertha and back. The loop would keep direct service to Barbur Blvd and Fred Meyer/other businesses there, though it would mean an indirect route from here to points west (or a transfer).


By Jason McHuff, rctmail@jasonmchuff.net