It's no secret: Inner Division Street in Southeast Portland is changing. A lot.
Take a look using Google Street View's Timeline and you'll see change all over the place.
Surface parking lots and one-story businesses have sprouted into three- and four-story apartment buildings, often with busy restaurants, bakeries and stores on the first floor. Division has become a destination in addition to being a neighborhood's main street.
A survey in August-September 2016 received more than 4,000 responses. Most supported the proposed changes to bus service on inner Division, though some raised concerns as well. Get a recap in this document:
Next, the project steering committee will decide whether to formally recommend a Division route for the line. They are expected to do so in October 2016. Sign up for updates
Growth has increased activity on the street – from cars, delivery trucks, bus riders and people walking and biking. And as new construction continues, demand will grow further.
Planners from Metro, TriMet and the city of Portland think a different kind of bus service can relieve some of the pressure on inner Division helping meet the demands of growth while also easing congestion on the busy artery.
Could a streamlined bus service contribute to a smoother inner Division for everyone? Longer buses, less stopping, multiple-door boarding and priority at traffic lights could better connect bus riders to destinations from downtown Portland to East Portland and Gresham, while also reducing headaches for people driving cars, biking and walking in the neighborhood.
Want to know more? Here are five important things to know about the potential new service.
One longer bus can hold more than 5 blocks of auto traffic – and 60 percent more people than a regular bus.
The improved service would use articulated buses, 20 feet longer than today's buses. (Kids might call them "accordion buses".) But they're not wider than a regular bus, and their turning radius is actually better. That means they can easily fit on Division, even getting around obstacles like double-parked cars, improving travel times with minimal impacts to existing buildings and properties.
Does this mean more buses on Division?
No. West of 82nd Avenue, this new frequent service would replace the current bus. Read answers to more frequently asked questions
The improved bus service would be 15 to 20 percent quicker and more reliably on schedule.
A quicker, more reliable trip comes from coordinated traffic signals, fewer stops and faster boarding. That time savings extends beyond inner Division along the line further east in East Portland and Gresham. And with the longer buses, riders could be better assured they'd find room on board, reducing the frustration of getting passed by a packed rush-hour bus.
74 percent of riders would get on at the same stop they use today.
One way the new line would achieve faster travel times is by stopping less frequently. Today on inner Division, buses usually stop every two to three blocks. Each time that happens, they have to pull over, open the door, possibly deploy a ramp, handle payment, then get back out into traffic. All those stops add up.
Stopping less frequently – and speeding up the boarding process – means significant time savings.
But fewer stops won't mean a longer walk for most riders. Most would find a new station where they get on the bus today. Only about a quarter of riders would need to walk two to four blocks farther to a station.
Better transit could actually smooth car traffic.
Buses that stop less often make the cars behind them stop less often, too. Boarding is quicker though multiple doors, so the wait would be shorter. They're less likely to bunch up as today's buses sometimes do, creating a phalanx of buses that contribute to inner Division's stop-and-go traffic during rush hour.
You can influence important decisions.
More than 4,000 people responded to a survey about inner Division options in summer 2016. A committee of community leaders will make recommendations on this new service this fall and your feedback will help inform their decisions. Stay informed by signing up for project updates
Need even more background? Read a detailed FAQ on the next page.
This story has been updated since the survey closed.