The Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates in a letter dated March 8th, is asking the Federal Transit Administration to appoint an independent reviewer to assess the Transit Mall light rail plan.
Among the concerns expressed:
All trains serving Washington County must cross the Steel Bridge and pass through the Rose Quarter interlocking, because there is neither a turnaround nor any useable storage tracks on the west side of the river. Consequently, the Steel Bridge and the interlocking will effectively limit all further growth in service to Washington County. All service diverted from the Cross-Mall alignment to the Mall will be at the expense of service to Washington County. Today, the Rose Quarter interlocking is at its effective free-flow capacity. By building delays into the schedules to produce queuing at that junction, which will increase travel times, the capacity of the current configuration may be pushed somewhat higher. However, the 30 trains per hour envisioned for the year 2025 may come at the expense of significant delays, and are likely the practical limit.
The full letter is available here (PDF, 71K).