TriMet begins pedestrian safety upgrades along MAX Blue Line

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor
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The first in a series of pedestrian safety improvement projects along TriMet's Eastside MAX Blue Line in Portland, Ore., is underway, kicking off the pedestrian safety element of the Renew the Blue program.


The program, begun in 2011, is upgrading the nearly 30-year old Blue Line from the aging trackway and updating to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards to improved safety and security design elements.

TriMet’s Executive Director of Safety, Security and Environmental Services Harry Saporta outlined to the TriMet Board of Directors the initial phase of pedestrian safety improvements.

“These safety improvements were planned to better channel and guide pedestrians and bicyclists into controlled and predictable crossing paths,” said Saporta. “They also improve ADA accessibility and increased pedestrian awareness at crossing locations.
Additionally, these changes were designed to help operators better identify a pedestrian’s intent at a crossing. By fencing off large open areas where trespassers had easy access onto MAX tracks, both safety and security were enhanced.”

Gateway Transit Center (TC), TriMet’s busiest transit station with 2.5 million boardings in fiscal year 2013, was the first location along the Blue Line to see pedestrian safety improvement projects completed in this Renew the Blue phase.

Pipe barriers were installed at the Gateway TC MAX platform crossings to force bicyclists and pedestrians to slow and face toward oncoming trains before entering tracks. New signs and pavement markings were also installed and positioned to highlight the crossings.

In addition to pipe barriers, fencing and defined crosswalk striping to direct people and encourage safe passage, the south pedestrian crossing was widened and signs were added to promote looking both ways and to warn people of the presence of three sets of tracks. Pavement markings were restored and additional markings added and the tactile pavers, or textured ground panels, were replaced.