Your World ;
; Cars and buses choke cities.
; People need more options.
; Can we learn from the past?
in Portland, Ore.
Last winter a snowstorm immobilized Portland, Ore.,
for two weeks. Recently diagnosed with leukemia, Ann
Niles, 68, had scheduled a medical consultation, but bus
service was halted and driving strongly discouraged.
What did Niles do? She rode the streetcar to
“It turned out I didn’t have leukemia. I had some-
thing else, and needed a completely different treat-
ment,” she says. “Because of the streetcar, I was
able to proceed with the new treatment right away.”
Niles and her husband, Philip, never imagined such
drama would come from living on the streetcar line.
The experience was, however,
an extreme example of the con-
venience they expected from it
when they relocated from Min-
nesota to Oregon. They envi-
sioned the line, opened in 2001
along the four miles between
Nob Hill and Portland State
University, taking them uptown
to their doctors, downtown to
shops and to favorite destina-
tions closer to their home in
the Pearl District, a former
industrial area now bursting
with art galleries and restau-
rants, lofts and new condos.