The next rapid transit corridor to be extensively studied in the Portland Metro area, what many in the media (including us) have been calling the “Barbur Boulevard” corridor, has a new (and more generic) name (The Southwest Corridor) and a $2 million grant from the FTA.
The next rapid transit corridor to be extensively studied in the Portland Metro area, what many in the media (including us) have been calling the “Barbur Boulevard” corridor, has a new (and more generic) name: The Southwest Corridor.
And it has a new page at Metro’s website.
And–it now has $2 million in the bank, or on the way, thanks to a $2 million grant from the Federal Transportation Administration to study the corridor, defined roughly as the travel sheds of Barbur Boulevard/OR99W and I-5. The study areas include the cities of Portland, Tigard, King City, Tualatin, and Sherwood.
At this point, Metro insists that no decisions regarding mode or routing have been made–although many critics would scoff at this claim, believing that “the decision” has been made to build light rail, and that discussion of other alternatives will be for show. (I’d suspect that LRT enjoys a strong advantage, given the 50+ miles of existing track and the potential length of the corridor; but that other options have not been ruled out). Whether service to Tualatin is part of the corridor definition is unclear–the City of Tualatin is involved, but that may be simply because 99W passes through Tualatin’s northwest corner just across the river from King City. (The city of Durham is NOT included; which makes me suspect that downtown Tualatin is not within the project scope). And another unanswered question is how much of the defined corridor will actually get served–Gladstone and Oregon City were part of the South Corridor project (which spawned the Green Line and MLR) but rapid transit service to these two cities remains a long-term goal.
Still, a project isn’t really a project until it gets a name. And the first milestone on the next rapid transit corridor in the Portland metro area has hereby been passed. :)