Part 2 of the Orange Line series
Looking south from the top of the stairs at the Bybee Stop. This is pretty much the same view as looking north with respect to the landscape. BNSF’s tracks lie to the left, the east. The railroads have their own ‘landscape’ maintenance standards set primarily for safety reasons. Within so many feet of their tracks they have a zero tolerance for plant growth and use sterilants. There is also a zone within which the will ‘brush back’ trees and shrubs to keep site lines open. Metro will have its own standard. The two side by side show their combined effect. Also, typically railroads do not fence off their tracks making clear sight lines a more pressing safety concern. Trimet has fenced off the tracks from casual pedestrian ‘conflicts’. Fencelines are problematic for maintenance unless ‘dead zones’ are expanded to include both sides.
Heading south of the Harold St. overpass the Orange Line leaves the most urbanized portion of its route, or at least its most densely populated stretch. Traveling south to the Bybee, the Tacoma/Sellwood and then the Milwaukie stops, the line run alongside the BNSF tracks and there is very little ‘landscaping’ of the corridor. The railroads contract out maintenance of their thousands of miles of tracks. (For a brief look into their approach check this link.) Continue reading