Tagged: Railroads

This trestle leads up to the swing bridge, currently unused, spanning Back Cove’s opening into Casco Bay and connecting Portland’s East End with East Deering.

In the afternoon people fish from the trestle.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about what to do with the swing bridge and about Portland’s transit infrastructure, past, present and future.

Portland Trail’s proposal, as I understand it, is to retrofit this railroad bridge, which does need to be repaired no matter how it’s used, for pedestrian and bike use only. According to the Portland Press-Herald article (link’s above) there’s no time to modify the proposal to incorporate a proposal to share the bridge with alternatives to alternative transportation, like (light) rail. This is dumb.

Looking at light rail throughout the country (look at the other Portland), and you’ll see that light rail implementations alleviate highway traffic congestion, and it can revitalize urban areas and increase property values in neighborhoods with rail lines service. And light rail’s environmentally friendly.

Short view: Building a walking/bicycling trail is cheap. It can be done faster than preparing for eventual light rail use. If you take the medium to long view you need to consider how you manage traffic and regional transportation after oil goes away.

I use Portland’s excellent trails 3 times a week, sometimes more! But the proposal should be rewritten, shelved or if submitted rejected if it doesn’t accommodate mixed use.

The railroad trestle over the Presumpscot River’s no longer used for rail traffic, but it was modified at some point with a grim looking (my opinion) pedestrian walk way.

The railroad trestle over the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine.

The next day’s photo shows the pedestrian walk way added to the railroad trestle. This woman, the two kids, and the photographer were not risking their lives walking on the old rail part of the bridge.

I’m always anxious, probably more than I need to be, about taking pictures of people.

Should I tell them they’re going to be in my picture? If I tell them before I take the picture I’m certain that’ll always make the picture I want impossible. Do I tell them afterwards and risk their being upset or, even worse, asking for the film?

River Trolley Park was an urban park on the banks of the Presumpscot River open at the beginning of the 20th Century. There was a casino and an open air theater. A streetcar ran from Portland’s downtown up Forest Avenue to the park.

There are detailed stories, and timelines, of Riverton Trolley Park here, here and here. Some of these links have pictures showing how the park used to look.

Portland Trails has made walking trails on the site of the ruins on both sides of the Presumpscot River.