By Dan Werle | CNA Media Team
At the intersection of Killingsworth Street and 42nd Avenue lies a treasure trove of opportunity, including restaurants, a nearby park and Portland Community College’s Portland Metropolitan Workforce Training Center.
It’s also where two of the most frequent and high ridership TriMet lines intersect.
Line 72 offers service every 15 minutes or sooner. It travels back and forth from Swan Island to Clackamas Town Center. Last autumn the 72 experienced 87,920 weekly boarding rides – TriMet’s most among bus lines.
Line 75 runs between north Portland’s Pier Park and Milwaukie. Last autumn it experienced TriMet buses’ fourth-most boarding rides, behind the 72, 20-Burnside/Stark, and 2-Division lines.
Clay Thompson, TriMet outreach services coordinator, explained the crossing of the 72 and 75 lines is a great benefit to riders.
“Having frequent north, south, east and west buses is the kind of service seen at transit centers, downtown and just a few other locations throughout the city.”
One of the challenging intersections 72 drivers navigate is at 30th Avenue and Killingsworth Street. There, buses turn from westbound Killingsworth to southbound 30th Avenue and from northbound 30th to eastbound Killingsworth.
Vehicle parking near the intersection is limited. The southwest corner of the intersection on 30th has several feet of space unavailable for vehicle parking; however, it remains an area frequently used for illegally parked vehicles.
Because the 72 is a frequent service line, its buses are 40 feet long to accommodate large numbers of passengers. Buses traveling in both directions of the route often meet at that intersection.
When they do, and vehicles are parked illegally, the buses turning south cannot do so safely. Under those circumstances, both bus operators negotiate with the familiar back-and-forth exchanges to ensure safe passage.
According to Clay, there are rare circumstances when bus operators believe they cannot navigate safely, so they notify their dispatcher. Then buses may be detoured and miss stops where riders may be waiting.
That’s when a towing service is notified to remove illegally parked vehicles.
TriMet encourages drivers at that intersection to use caution, keep an eye out for people boarding and disembarking buses, and to consider walking, biking or riding the bus instead of driving.
For help on trip planning and safe travel options in the region, TriMet customer service is available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by calling or texting 503.238.RIDE (7433).
Information is available 24/7 on TriMet.org and Twitter @TrimetHelp.
Dan Werle lives in Concordia with his wife, Anna, and their dogs.