Richmond Should Look to Portland 

Greatly as I enjoyed Edwin Slipek’s enthusiastic report on the first day of Norfolk’s Tide light-rail service, I would strongly encourage Richmonders serious about mass transit to seize any opportunity to visit a medium-sized city with a fully-developed light-rail system that reaches virtually all of the region’s urban and suburban areas.

In several visits to Portland, Ore., I have had the opportunity to use its Metropolitan Area Express light-rail system and to appreciate what a great thing such a system can be. A few examples:

- Passengers arriving at Portland International Airport can catch a train, known as MAX, and be downtown in about 20 minutes, at a trivial cost compared with cab fare. Alternatively, those choosing to stay at airport hotels can avoid renting cars by catching a convenient train from the attractive Cascade Station shopping center.

- To accommodate Portland’s large community of bicyclists, each train is equipped with hooks on which bikes can be suspended by their front wheels, avoiding inconvenience to other passengers.

- Because trains are clean, modern and well-appointed, ridership is remarkably democratic, bringing Portland residents of all backgrounds together in a way Richmonders would find surprising.

I certainly intend to take Mr. Slipek up on his suggestion and visit Norfolk to ride the new Tide. But any Richmond-area resident serious about mass transit should look for an excuse to visit Portland, where light-rail is a way of life.

’Rick Gray



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Newsletter Sign-Up

The Flash
The Bite
The Scoop

Most Popular Stories

  • OPINION: Failing the Test

    OPINION: Failing the Test

    If educators object to standardized testing, the answer is not to cheat but to find ways to teach the next generation about honesty.
    • Jul 10, 2018
  • OPINION: Et tu, Mayor Stoney?

    OPINION: Et tu, Mayor Stoney?

    Despite promises to be different, Mayor Stoney wants to reward Stone Brewing with a $20 million sweetheart deal that includes demolishing an historical structure.
    • Jul 3, 2018
  • Zero Tolerance, Zero Sense

    Zero Tolerance, Zero Sense

    Noncitizens have the same constitutional rights as anyone else to not have their children ripped away.
    • Jun 26, 2018
  • More »

Copyright © 2018 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation