Citizens, Pay Attention!

A few weeks ago I tried to answer the question of when was the decision to put Light Rail on the Transit Mall was really made.

I opined that these were continuous processes rather than discrete events (the adoption of a Locally Preferred Alternative is the discrete decision, but the consensus building along the way is far from discrete).

There was a signpost in yesterday’s Oregonian marking a milestone in another such process. A brief blurb in the “in Portland” section (too brief to make it to the web apparently) mentions a discussion in the North Macadam URAC (Urban Renewal Advisory Committee) about where the Milwaukie Light Rail line should cross the Willamette.

The current Locally Preferred Alternative is the so-called “Caruthers Crossing”, running from OMSI to the vicinity of RiverPlace. But there will be an opportunity to reassess this as the Milwaukie line goes through its next phase of planning.

The URAC is interested in advancing the idea of putting the crossing closer to the Ross Island Bridge, where it could serve the South Waterfront area. Development interests in that area will now try to flex their muscles to push for more service for their area.

On the other side will be OMSI and interests in the Central Eastside, who want to make sure LRT serves their area. They’ll be joined by Eastside Streetcar advocates (including yours truly) who want to use the Caruthers Crossing to get Streetcar back across the river.

In the middle is TriMet, who will be trying to figure out what configuration has the greatest ridership to help justify the application for Federal Funds.

So citizens, please pay attention and participate in the open houses and hearings. This is where these kinds of decisions get made!

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