The next time you watch an episode of The Simpsons, created by native Oregonian Matt Groening, be sure to take a Streetcar ride through NW Portland’s Alphabet District immediately after and examine the street signs – look familiar? They should, as Groening named some of his famous characters after the district’s street names, including Flanders, Lovejoy and Quimby.
This piece of local trivia and dozens more are included in Portland Streetcar’s new app “Portland By Streetcar,” which provides Streetcar riders with an interactive tour of various landmarks, historical sites and points of interest located within a three-block radius of Streetcar’s three lines (A Loop, B Loop and NS Line).
The app features an interactive map containing photos and audio recordings of more than 80 attractions around the Streetcar lines. The app is also “location aware,” which means that as a user rides on Streetcar with the app open, their screen will update on its own to show all relevant attractions around them, with a simple touch of the screen providing more detailed information.
“In addition to providing an affordable and readily available transit option for the city, the Portland Streetcar lines have the potential to attract significant tourist interest,” said Portland Streetcar Executive Director Dan Bower. “Because of the lines’ proximity to popular areas, ‘Portland By Streetcar’ will support major public attractions along the lines and provide Portlanders old and new with illuminating facts about their city.”
“Portland By Streetcar” is free to download and use, and is available now on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Funding for the app is provided by United Finance Co. To learn more and get the most from the app, read through the User Guide.
KGW getting the word out!
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced Tuesday a grant award of $1,076,000 for land use and transportation planning along the proposed extension of the Portland Streetcar through Northwest Portland to Montgomery Park. The grant is part of the FTA’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning, which funds land use and transportation planning along fixed-guideway transit investments.
"This grant will help us continue to set an example for the nation in reducing carbon emissions as we grow our economy and address the housing crisis," Portland Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said. "As we expand public transit and grow the Central City, we will reduce traffic congestion and provide more opportunities for Portlanders to walk, roll, and bike through our public-transit oriented community."
With the grant, Portland Streetcar, Inc. will work with the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to study potential zoning changes, traffic impacts and development opportunities in the corridor—including an eventual east-side connection to Hollywood. The project is expected to extend from the existing streetcar line and run north along Northwest 18th and 19th Avenues, and then west on York and Wilson Streets, past the recently-sold ESCO property and terminating at Montgomery Park.
“This grant award is an acknowledgement that continued investment in Portland Streetcar will allow us to continue to grow while reducing carbon emissions and helping people get where they need to go,” said Chris Warner, Interim Director of PBOT.
The grant was submitted by regional government Metro, which oversees land use and transportation planning in the three-county Portland area. The project includes 2.3 miles of new rail and an east-side connection across the Broadway Bridge to a new turn-back at the Oregon Convention Center, which would provide double the existing service through the Rose Quarter and Lloyd.
Have questions about travel options for seniors? SeniorLiving.org recently published a helpful, visual guide to getting older and getting around.
Changes in vision, reflexes and other abilities as we age can make driving single-occupancy vehicles less viable for many people. The “Comprehensive Guide on Transportation for Seniors” provides an overview of travel options, things to consider and how to evaluate based on individual circumstances.
With expert opinions and a helpful range of statistics, the guide can be a useful reference for many Portlanders as they grow older. And remember—people 65 and older qualify as Honored Citizens and ride the Portland Streetcar for just a dollar.