More on Historic Streetcar

I am working on a project right now with a fellow PSU student, Ben Kinkley, to overlay the historic streetcar lines on a current map of Portland. The idea is to determine how the streetcar system impacted Portland's development, particularly urban density.

I am really interested in looking at the Springwater corridor (probably because its one of the few places I know where we've had a streetcar line). Did population density change when the line stopped operating? Has the trail changed residential patterns? How about the widening of Johnson Creek Boulevard?

I plan to post our findings here, or perhaps on a mutual site created by Ben and I.

To all you readers out there, I ask: Anyone know where the historic streetcar maps of Portland might live? The City Archives, you say? Nope. Oregon Historical Society? Maybe, I'll find out today. Chime in if you've got any ideas...


Jon said...


Your project sounds pretty interesting, and my thoughts have been running along the same lines recently w/r/t streetcars and density. I don't know if you've looked at this site or how reliable its maps are, but it has maps of what seem to be most of the streetcar lines portland once had.


Scott Cohen said...

Jon, I have seen that site, but thanks for bringing it to my attention. It will be helpful in our study. I was hoping to find the entire system map, printed every ten years or so, in order to get the big picture of the streetcar network. I found some of those maps at the Oregon Historical Society. If others are interested, you can find them by typing "transportation network" into the OHS on-line.

Scott Mizée npGREENWAY said...

You might check out this cool historical map that I stumbled across through the portlandonline RSS feed the other day:

I'm pretty sure it shows some historic streetcar routes into North Portland to St Johns. Even if it doesn't, it is a really cool map to study.
Scott Mizée