Monday, May 30, 2011

The Subtlest Of Actions

I regret not tackling this earlier.

So, I looked on the Service Alerts today- it's Memorial Day- to see what to look forward to should I take the bus today. That, and I'm a geek and feel a need to know. I noticed that just down the street, line 19 would not be running to Lincoln Memorial due to the possibility of excessive traffic.

Now that on it own seems like an inconvenience, but take a second and think about it. What a flimsy, flimsy excuse that is to cancel service to the Memorial Cemetery.

The Memorial Cemetery.

On Memorial DAY.

Did TriMet even think about this? What they just did is prevent anyone with low income and no car from going to the cemetery.

You could say that "Oh, the bus just got cancelled. You can walk." No, really, you can't. You can't walk from the MAX station and the temporary end of line 19, both at 92nd and Flavel, up the 1+ mile to 112th and Mt. Scott Blvd. Not only is it over a mile, it's entirely uphill and sidewalk is spotty. Trust me, I live in that area. It's actually a bit closer to walk from 112th and Foster on lines 10/71, but not much better. It's on a hill and sidewalk's equally as spotty.

It should also be brought up that traffic should not be a damned excuse to prevent access to relatives of fallen veterans from accessing the memorial on Memorial Day. I'm pretty sure that relatives of veterans aren't guaranteed to be wealthy or to have a car- there's no guarantee for a new car with every application. There are a number, I'm sure, of veterans or their families, friends or associates who take or rely on the bus. That's just common knowledge. I don't care if it's 10 people or 100 people, you shouldn't be preventing this right from people who have sacrificed so much. It's a slap to the face!

And it's not like there's nothing you can do. If traffic's a problem you have options, that you should consider for next year.

1) Run a shuttle. This is often done in the case of a drastic situation where a reroute is necessary, whether short term or long term, i.e. a weekend MAX closing or the closing of the Marine Drive bridge. Keep the line 19 routing as you have it from where and run a shuttle along the busy parts between Lincoln Memorial and Flavel Street MAX station. That way it's only the shuttle with a screw schedule and line 19 gets off without any late schedules. And really, a shuttle with some unreliability is better than no access at all. If you can do it for MAX, you can do it for Veterans who ride the bus.

2) Reroute. If you were to suck it up and route line 19 to the cemetery, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Or in this case, more than one route to take. Maybe 112th is less busy than Flavel, and you could use that to wrap around to the route in some way. Better yet, there's a back thoroughway along Knapp/105th between 105th/Mt. Scott and just past I-205 and Flavel/Mt. Scott Blvd. It's a straight thoroughfare for the most part- no intersections, no sidewalk, no surrounding houses or buildings between the start and the merge to 105th ave. It's a wide, usable street that you could at the very least utilize for that one day. That easily cuts off half the routing. Heck, you may, just may be able to make a deal with the Memorial Cemetery to borrow one of their roads- probably if you're just going to do a small shuttle. But there are many ways you could do it in routing as well.

Bottom line, this shouldn't have happened. This little reroute takes away so much. Traffic shouldn't be a reason to cut off something so important and necessary, especially since those who are visiting the cemetery have already probably suffered, one way or another, through a loss to get there. And now we won't even let them get there? It's maddening!

Overall, though, this planning and rerouting may not be necessary. I passed Flavel/Mt. Scott twice today. I saw next to no traffic- not at 1:30pm, not at 4:30pm.


1 comment:

  1. This is standard procedure Cameron.

    See the management has carte blanch to inflict pain on hundreds or even thousands of people with impunity.

    I'll give you a common example, say that 10 drivers called off sick for morning runs, they only have 5 extra board hanging around, they can't wake up anybody for overtime work, well they just CANCEL five morning runs and those commuters are left stranded till the next bus or whatever.

    Nothing on the transit tracker, nothing on the website, C'est La Vie!

    The cemetery thing is just an example of that!