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...