October 4, 2006
Feisty Trail Meeting in Lake O
Metro planned for 40-50 attendees at last night's workshop on the trail portion of the Willamette Shoreline transit/trail alternatives analysis. They got a substantially larger turnout, apparently due to outreach among neighborhoods along the alignment.
The small-group format, designed to answer the planners' questions about project parameters, went out the window as attendees politely but persistently posed questions about security and access if a bike/ped trail uses the current rail alignment (which in some cases runs through individual home lots). The questions also focused on ownership, easements and the legal status of the alignment if rail operations are moved to a different alignment.
After the initial Q&A period, the group did individually review the presentation boards, ask questions of staff and complete the comment cards.
The group that reconvened at the end of the meeting was smaller, and clearly had a different orientation. When SW Trails advocate (and project advisory committee member) Don Baack said in response to a question about rail/trail tradeoffs "There ain't no way there won't be a trail" he got an ovation from the remaining group.
October 4, 2006 9:23 PM
dick BARNARD Says:
do hope the powers in charge retain the rail link, services to LO and across the existing rr bridge would work, don't see a new bridge [Caruthers] receiving taxpayer support anytime soon with an existing cridge in place and underused..plus service to Milwaukie can be established.. existing rails...
October 4, 2006 9:51 PM
Personally I hope that the "trail" becomes no rail...
I'd really like to take a gander at Lake Oswego, but I'll be damned if I have to drivein a car down to that area.
October 5, 2006 8:49 AM
Lenny Anderson Says:
The historic trolley operation on this line has been supported by lots of jurisdictions in order to keep the rail easement. If rail operation ceases, it will be a real political/legal battle to do something else with the alignment.
October 5, 2006 10:10 AM
Ron Swaren Says:
I'm curious about your remark re: lack of taxpayer support for the Caruther's Bridge. Does this extend to the Milwaukie MAX Line, too? Indeed, I think we should be exploring the use of "existing rr bridge" and other routes. Not that this proposal would not have its hurdles, but why reinvent the wheel?
Ther is some discussion that Tri Mets construction allocations may be reaching their near-future limit. But, even with belt-tightening I wouldn't discount some commuter rail to the south METRO area--but perhaps on a different scale. I hope the West Shore streetcar line goes ahead all the way to LO. We need a major station at the west end of the Sellwood Bridge in order to, and in conjunction with other projects, stabilize the bank in that area (from landslide).
October 5, 2006 11:02 AM
dick BARNARD Says:
the river line to lake Oswego has been in place for most of a century...and as for Don B demanding a trail be put in place, a good choice provided he and friends purchase the right-of-way.. otherwise their rights are limited... no station is needed at Sellwood bridge, no place to park or otherwise need to enter the trolley here..
October 5, 2006 8:03 PM
Ron Swaren Says:
Dick B. says "no station is needed at Sellwood bridge,"---I don't agree.
This could be an important juncture. Besides, there are already projects in the works which will reshape that area--and the sliding hazard is a major contingency to be reckoned with. 1. A new Bridge will need new ramps on both east and west. 2. The western approach is more complicated since it intersects with four-lane Hwy.43. 3. Westshore SC will come through and this a logical place for a stop. 4.Commuter rail plans to Milwaukie and points south are still in flux. One option would be a streetcar from Milwaukie over the Sellwood Bridge. At the west end people could go either south or north. 5. If this ground continues to slide figure in multiple millions to repair the damage. So stopping that disaster would make economic sense.
So, there's 5 reasons....
October 6, 2006 11:51 PM
Erik Halstead Says:
I don't think there is a purpose for a Streetcar stop at the west end of the Sellwood Bridge; there really is nothing there (except a cemetary/masoleum).
It would make more sense for a Streetcar terminus slightly to the north, either adjacent to the Oregon Public Broadcasting facility or at Willamette Park - where a transit center could be located for busses to the west (43 Taylors Ferry), south (35 Macadam) and east (40 Tacoma) could connect with the Streetcar. Such a facilty would be better suited geologically and safer for busses and passengers, instead of being located in close proximity to the highway and a cliff.
I don't see the route south being used for anything but a trail; there are so many close clearances with houses and poor railroad-street crossings. There are some poor sections north of the Sellwood Bridge, but at least a Streetcar would make sense going through a condo or office development, or could easily be routed around it on a street (or east towards the river). Try doing that south, where the land values are in the hundreds of thousands per acre - if not more. The "Willamette Park Transit Center" would also make a good trailhead for the trail, which would end up being only three miles long, and could serve as a "North Willamette Greenway Trail" that starts at Kelly Point Park, continues to Mocks Bottom, then along the Esplanade, then the Springwater-on-the-Willamette, across the Sellwood to the west side and then to Lake Oswego, and further south from there.