Portland Just Got Greener: Streetcar Line Expands Service Expands, Connects City

One of the best things about Portland, for me, is its firm committment to green living. More than just press releases or sound bytes, the actions the city of Porltand takes to minimize the impact of urban life on our natural environment actually work. Our public transportation system offers a perfect example. Undergoing expansion as I write this, both the exisiting street car lines and a future light rail will make navigating the city and the metro as a whole-- and doing it without a car-- easier than ever. I'll write more about the light rail in another blog, since it won't join the Portland lanscape until sometime next year. Instead today I'll focus on street car service exansion-- a project that's turning into a party.

In honor of its newest line, the Central Loop, which will begin service on September 22, 2012, The Portland Streetcar will host a series of community celebrations. The first one will be on 9/22 at 10AM, with a press conference and ceremonial ribbon cutting before the the first train departs at 11am. Those of us interested in boarding that first train should gather at OMSI Plaza with bells and whistles (but maybe ride our bikes or carpool there, to stay in the green spirit). And from there, cozy and comfortable on the decidely cool looking Portland streetcar, we can travel all over the city on this train. Portland Streetcar.org lays it out: 

"The Central Loop will connect with the existing streetcar on 10th & 11th in Downtown Portland. From there it will cross the Broadway Bridge traveling along Broadway, Weidler, 7th, MLK and Grand connecting to the Rose Quarter, Lloyd District, Oregon Convention Center, the Central Eastside Industrial District and OMSI. This is the first streetcar project in the country to be funded with a Federal Grant and includes new vehicles made by United Streetcar located in Clackamas, Oregon."

Other celebrations planned for the expanded streetcar service? You know we'll have them, and you know they'll be both fun and purposeful, typical of Portland- parties with a conscience:


Saturday, September 22, 2012
10:00AM Press event and speeches on the plaza in front of OMSI in SE Portland
9:00AM – 12:00PM SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup at South Waterfront. Sign up at their website.
10:00AM – 3:00PM Entertainment and vendor booths on the OMSI Plaza
10:00AM – 4:30PM "Streetcars Build a City" Exhibit at the Architectural Heritage Center on SE Grand at Alder
11:00AM – 5:00PM Community Showcase featuring local businesses and entertainment at the Oregon Convention Center Plaza on NE Oregon between Grand and MLK
11:00AM PSU Viking Spirit Ride from OMSI on the PSU Sponsored Streetcar
11:00AM – 5:00PM Urban Art Network's Art Fair at NW 11th & Northrup
11:00AM – 5:00PM Oregon Rail Heritage Center Grand Opening


Anna Marie Erwert writes from both the renter and new buyer perspective, having (finally) achieved both statuses. She focuses on national real estate trends, specializing in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pacific Northwest. Follow Anna on Twitter: @AnnaMarieErwert

Photo: Portland Streetcar.org

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