Willamette Shoreline Transit/Trail Options Come into Focus

At a meeting Tuesday of the Steering Committee overseeing both the Eastside Streetcar project and the Willamette Shoreline analysis, a few things got clearer.

The Lake Oswego Project Advisory Committee (LOPAC in Metro-speak) had recommended a dog’s breakfast of options for further review:

  • 2 River Transit options
  • 3 Streetcar options (in the current rail right-of-way, on Highway 43 and a hybrid of the two)
  • 2 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) options
  • Several variations on trail options using pieces of the riverside Greenway, the rail right-of-way and other potential paths
  • And finally, the no-build (do nothing) option

In addition the Metro Council sent word that it would like to see analysis of using the rail bridge between Lake O and Milwaukie to serve Lake Oswego via some kind of connection to Milwaukie Light Rail (it was noted that the bridge could not support a catenary system as long as it was still being used for freight, so some kind of self-propelled vehicle would be required).

While the Steering Committee did not formally kill any of the options it did ask that staff not spend any further time analyzing River Transit until LOPAC had the opportunity to review the three prior studies (all of which said it doesn’t pencil). They also similarly de-emphasized the BRT option that would go over Terwilliger and back to Macadam via Boones Ferry and Taylors Ferry (apparently as an attempt to avoid the congestion on Highway 43). And it was agreed that Metro would use its own staff to look at the rail bridge to Milwaukie.

So it looks to me like the detailed analysis will be between BRT on 43 and some variation of the Streetcar routing (and the no-build option), with either being complemented by a multi-use trail.

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