Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Neighborhood residents rejoiced on Monday with the early completion of the TriMet bus stop sign replacement project at northbound Murray Blvd. and Linda Ln. “Since the old sign has been missing for the past two years, church service attendance has suffered.” says Rev. Larry Falwell of the nearby Village Baptist Church. “ The temporary sign they put up had been there so long that the letters were totally faded and unreadable. Most parishioners and many bus drivers had no idea a bus stop was located there.”
Funding for this project was part of TriMet's new green line MAX expansion. When no one at the agency could figure out what a bus stop in Washington County had to do with the MAX line, TriMet officials decided to “fast track” the replacement and finish one full year ahead of the scheduled Fall 2009 target date.
Of course a project of this enormous scope involved some controversy. A comprehensive environmental impact statement was required. Many activists who are now opposing replacing the Interstate bridge were on board early insisting that a toll should be required to pay for the new sign. Their objections subsided when they were reminded that a fare is actually required to board a bus in that part of the city. A few rouge bus drivers were also grumbling, saying that they were turning in yellow cards regarding the missing sign and felt that TriMet was ignoring them. One driver thought that a road supervisor could have spent five minutes several months ago and put up a new temporary sign. If only life could really be that simple.
On a related note, TriMet also announced on Monday that a new division of the Transit Police has been established to battle theft of TriMet property. Since the transit agency has practically eradicated fare evasion and rowdy behavior on the system, manpower can be utilized for two goals: Prevention and recovery of stolen bus stop signs and to curb the alarming increase of bus operators taking rubber bands home with them.