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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 30, 2006 9:41 AM. The previous post in this blog was Pulling the linchpin. The next post in this blog is Coveting my neighbor's Toyota. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Don't worry, Dunthorpe

As blueblood neighborhoods in Portland go, nowhere does the blood flow bluer than in groovy Dunthorpe. And some of the zillionaires down there have looked up from their Pimm's cups and noticed that they're talking about putting a streetcar through the rail corridor next to Highway 43. OMG!

But have no fear. As LocalNewsDaily gets around to explaining toward the end of this article, the fix is in, as usual:

Opposition to streetcar, if approved, is expected from areas of the Dunthorpe and Birdshill neighborhoods, which lie just north of Lake Oswego on the streetcar’s proposed route through Portland.

In Dunthorpe, some residents have threatened to take a fight against a streetcar to the courtroom. Others have shown support.

Meanwhile, Metro officials aim to approve a project that has the most benefits for the region long-term.

Metro Council President David Bragdon, eyeing potential problems, said he would weigh streetcar obstacles against regional transportation needs while setting priorities for new projects.

“I think we need to do some modeling on what the ridership would be but my hunch is that the studies would show that the projected ridership – based on population, demographics, current ridership, etc. – in that market would be less than on the Portland-Milwaukie or Portland-Tigard (Barbur) line.”

Translation: Sleep tight, Brahmin. If the Oswegans want a streetcar, let them drive over to Capitol Highway to get on it.

Comments (20)

The City of Portland annexed most of Multnomah County up to the Gresham border a few decades ago, but never went after Dunthorpe. Gee, I wonder why.

But just think of the addition to the tax base.

I don't get why this is such a huge issue either from a cost perspective or a neighborhood issue. There is already an existing rail bed running along side Hwy. 43, so that would seem to eliminate a lot of the engineering and property aquisition costs that will obviously be encountered with the Milwaukie line or the Barbur line. As for the objections of the neighbors they have little to stand on given that thousands of cars go roaring by just a stones throw from the rail line every day, in addition to the fact that the rail corridor has been there for decades. Buses also don't sound like a great option because they would have to run on already clogged Hwy. 43. Maybe I'm missing something here, but if it's relatively inexpensive to build and it takes hundreds of cars off the road everyday why not do it.

'Maybe I'm missing something here, but if it's relatively inexpensive to build and it takes hundreds of cars off the road everyday why not do it."

I guess it all depends on the meaning of "relatively inexpensive" and whether you believe it would really "take hundreds of cars off the road every day", don't it?

And how credulous you are of those sorts of claims by government.

$15M aerial tram, anyone?

Usual Kevin, do you honestly believe MAX has taken hundreds of carts off the road? I hope not.

We have more congestion then we ever had. Rail has done nothing to ease it.

I thought Metro tries to select projects that keep federal transportation money flowing to the next project, and so on. The order of projects is crucial, or they don't have as much money to throw around.

I also thought that Metro opposes running the streetcar down 43 mostly because that would stifle funding for other more useful light rail projects, like a Max line down Barbur.

Maybe after Metro figures out what's happening with the Sellwood Bridge, they'll run a Max line down to Lake Oswego instead.

I think maybe they are more concerned with crime issues...think about MAX going east past the Rose Quarter. I wouldnt ride out there after dark. I havent been out Hwy 43 in a while, but I dont remember a whole lot of streetlights and such out there. Just a lot of homes.

And "taking hundreds of cars off the road" is probably a bit of a stretch. Especially on that line. I would suspect most of the folks who live out that way have jobs that can afford them a nice car and parking downtown. They wont give that up. I know for myself, the only reason I take MAX to work downtown is because the of the high cost of parking. If I had a place to park for free, I would drive for sure. And I would be ahead in the game too...a months worth of work-commuting gas for me is 1/2 the cost of a monthly Trimet pass. And a dry 15-min drive instead of a wet 45-min walk/wait/ride.


It's unbelievable that the LO line is even up for consideration. Those old rich turkeys don't need a train.

I'm all about more rail options, but to LO? Why would I go there? Give me good NW to SE Portland connections and a downtown to Tigard line instead.

I don't get why this is such a huge issue either from a cost perspective or a neighborhood issue.

It's an access issue. There are plenty of "those people" (wink wink, nudge nudge) who currently don't have easy access to the sheltered enclave of Lake Oswego, but if we increase public transportation down there, well, then, it'd be lots easier for them to get down there.

Do Bragdon's parents still live in the Big"d".If so he better recuse himself. Those of us off Barbur will also go to court. They can stick their trains in Eastmoreland, Forest Park, the big 'd" and Alameda, along with some of the much needed density.Years ago, during the SW plan ruckus, I asked Goldschmidt how the big "d" avoided increased density and his direct response was we don't have meetings, we have lawyers.

Personally I could care less about a streetcar to LO for the purpose of creating a cheap transportation alternative for the well to do. BTW I don't live in L.O. but I know for a fact that there are plenty of non-rich working types in L.O. If, as asserted above, those in L.O. are more prone to using cars due to their affluence etc., the better the reason to give them an alternative to leave their cars at home. They are going to build a line down to Clackamas Town Center so all the people living in the $400K plus McMansions in Happy Valley can connect to downtown...why not Lake O? Public transportation is not some sort of social welfare project that only runs in less affluent neighborhoods the last time I checked. The point I was trying to make was that their is an existing rail line and it makes sense to use it. I have seen no estimates of what it would cost or how much it would be used. Also the roads are more congested because we have more population, not because people don't use light rail. In fact I have heard of people not using light rail during certain times of the day because it is too crowded.

Bragdon's parents (Paul and Nancy) are listed right here in the phone book. They don't live in Dunthorpe. They live on SE 31st near Reed where he used to be the college president.

Sarah Ames

I spent 17 years pissing and moaning about lack of light rail transportation and crappy bus service along the Barbur-I-5 corridor. We then move to LO and now they're talking about a trolley to downtown PDX. Having ridden the Portland trolley all through downtown from its inception to about 2004, I can tell you that it became patently obvious that I could walk to my destinations faster than ride the streetcar/trolley/downtown light rail. Put a light rail where it has a chance of actually benefitting people and taking at least a few cars off the road - I-5 /Barbur is a much more promising route than LO. I'd use the LO trolley to downtown if it travelled faster than cars or buses down 43 at rush hour. If it has to stop every 10 feet like the tram does, then forget it. It will become the streetcar to nowhere, or the streetcar that gets the rich from LO to their playground condos in downtown PDX. No value added except the fact that the tracks are already in place. Many better locations than LO or West Linn.

That rail line along the west bank of the Willamette river wouldn't make a very good passenger transport corridor. It's a single track on a very narrow right of way, parts of which could not be widened without moving houses. It has many grade crossings. For several years there was a novelty streetcar on it, running from LO to the shipyards under the Ross Island bridge. That's about all it is good for, now that the freight rail spur is no longer needed.
There'll have to be another way to satisfy the mean-spirited wish, so enthusiastically represented in the comments here, to visit unpleasantness on people living comfortably south of town.

I suspect I'm totally out of touch, but doesn't the Willamette Trolley already run parallel to Highway 43? What's the big beef? That LO will become like my neighborhood in SE Portland when East Side Light Rail came through and "gentrified" the neigherborhood with gangs and Sec 8 housing?

æI suspect I'm totally out of touch, but doesn't the Willamette Trolley already run parallel to Highway 43? What's the big beef? That LO will become like my neighborhood in SE Portland when East Side Light Rail came through and "gentrified" the neigherborhood with gangs and Sec 8 housing?"

those are the tracks they want to use.

Someone needs to tell Molly and the Brahmins that unlike the trolley, the doors on the streetcar will remain closed all the way to the "big city" of Lake Oswego so that none of the darkies and scary people from Portland can jolt them into reality with their mere presence. Sure, the occasional homeless genius may think to throw the emergency handle somewhere south of Riverview cemetery, but if he gets in your yard you can just let him sleep there and have him do a little maintenance.

the mean-spirited wish, so enthusiastically represented in the comments here, to visit unpleasantness on people living comfortably south of town.

I've always thought that what Dunthorpe needs is a methadone clinic. Maybe Lolenzo Poe over at the county can find them one, like the one he moved into Buckman.

I see the LO trolley as a connector for the "living challenged" who frequent/live in the long Powers Park that extends from Sellwood Bridge to Dunthorpe. Talk about drug deals, "prostitution along the Willamette, hobo living, you name it. I think Jack Bogs methadone clinic should be placed right next to the Lewis and Clark College sailing/rowing facility with an integral building complex with award winning design administered by PDC and expect a four times overbudgetproject.

David Bragdon's parents never lived in Dunthorpe. Since at least 1973 they have lived in the Eastmoreland house that Sarah Ames refers to.

"David Bragdon's parents never lived in Dunthorpe. "

So I guess they won't be taking the new streetcar to the Dunthorpe Methadone Clinic.


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