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Thursday, June 24, 2010

How dumb are the taxpayers in Lake Oswego?

We are about to find out.

Comments (17)

Why not water taxis, jet boats, gondolas, or a bateau mouche?
Let's build a mono-rail too!

I support the Streetcar, but this definitely seems like a project that can wait.

A) the Streetcar works best in dense environments, not as a commuter train.

B) the folks in Lake Oswego don't even really want it.

C) unless this project is being used as a job stimulus (which isn't such a bad idea) the city and state government really don't have the money for it right now.

I like the streetcar. Having grown up in Lake Oswego's first addition neighborhood, I like the idea of putting a streetcar along Highway 43 to Portland. I understand why there's a substantial cost to environmental impact studies.

But I don't understand why it would cost $12 million to do "final project design". It's an existing rail line. They're running a train on it now.

Unless that $12 million includes actual construction work, I don't get it.

Can someone who knows more about this project - or projects like it - help explain why this project would need that much "design" work? (At $200/hour, $12 million would be 60,000 hours of work - or 30 people working full-time for a year.)

Exactly Kari, and why did WES cost so dang much when those tracks were already in place and Union Pacific trains were already running on them? No rights of way to acquire either...

Temporary job stimulus as a result of construction is soon negated by the maintenance costs that follow, especially on a little-used line (can you say "Wes?").

And once the project is complete, most of the jobs are gone.

And this project is unnecessary, particularly at this time.

I am having a hard time imaging the residents of Lake O and Dunthorpe needing or wanting a streetcar. Maybe Marylhurst students.

The train to ... Downtown LO & NEW (taxpayer-funded) Foothills shops and condos. Most of LO would be left out of the dubious streetcar plan (no real way to run public transit into the hills and neighborhoods where bus demand is almost non-existant) and yet would have to pay significant costs of development. Hwy. 43 would continue to be crowded with traffic to West Linn and beyond (streetcar terminus is in LO). Where is the demand for trains beyond planners, Foothills property owners and developers? All pain, no gain for LO taxpayers.

From the article, "Widening the highway is unfeasible because of the topography of the rocks along the highway. By exploring the streetcar option, we’re trying to meet the challenge of moving people, goods and services through that corridor.”

How does a streetcar help the challenge of moving goods? By putting people in a streetcar, this opens up the road for freight? Is that the argument?

It could be called Lake Oswego Automobile Displacement....or LOAD for short.

"I think I'll take a LOAD to Portland."

Why not better bus service along 43? No lines to construct and buses are cheaper to build.

Wow, Windbag Gustafson has been out making the sales pitch again....but how's he going to argue that "billions" in development will occur along the streetcar line if it's on 43? Can't be done, so forget the "spurrs development" argument to make it pencil...


At some point in time people need to ask why? Is this about providing people with a way to get around or is it for some other purpose such as development? If this is for development what is the difference between the people now in charge and the Republicans who are always being labeled as being in the pocket of corporations?

Over 2/3rds of the proposed trolley line is adjacent to the river, has parks (Willamette Park and Powers Park), and has constricted environmental zones, Willamette Greenway zone, and building zoning that precludes ANY development along the line. So over 6 miles are undevelopable, how does that meet Metro, TriMet and the three cities along the routes goals?

The environmentalist should be strongly opposed to this with the forests, greenspaces of the Riverview Cemetery along the west side and Willamette Park and Powers extending over three miles along the east side. I sure hope Blue Oregon comes out opposing this environmental disaster.

Couple this with the "F" level of road capacity at several intersections along SW Macadam (43) in the Johns Landing area, now proposed to have a 6 mph trolley taking up one and two lanes at different points, we'll have total gridlock. It certainly won't "move goods and services". Oh, maybe that's what the pols and Planners want.

Of course it's about development. The swells in LO and Dunthorpe certainly aren't clamoring to give up their SLKs to rub shoulders with the hoi polloi on a commuter train.

Who else would use the trolley to commute BUT people from LO and Dunthorpe into Pdx? I doubt there would be much demand for commuters coming TO LO for jobs - even with a fully realized Foothills development. The fact is that the trolley isn't needed unless there is more dense development in downtown LO, and even then, buses would be easier, cheaper, less damaging to the physical environment and neighborhoods, and more flexible overall. The trolly is desired ONLY to prod development of housing and commercial structures that are NOT needed - not now and not for the foreseeable future. Unsold condo units in the South Waterfront abound - there is a backlog of unsold housing units at all price levels throughout the metro area, vacancy rates for commercial buildings of all types is the highest its been in years with rates that favor the tenant.

On another note -- I grew up in Pdx but live in LO now, and for years we have had to endure put-downs from people who think we are all wealthy, or that people here should not have their rights respected as much as people who live elsewhere or make less money. We are undeserving of the title Lake Nonegro - it sounds as if Lake Oswegans are racist, biggoted "swells" -- a far cry from the truth. Most Oswegans don't say anything when we are being put down this way -- it's impossible to educate small minds that think in stereotypes - it's easier just to let it go and not start a fight. But it is wrong nonetheless. Think before you type and try not to label an entire populace with dismissive and discriminatory slurs.

In LO and Dunthorpe, those who can afford to do, so give the children the SLKs. The adults drive the S and E class.
NOLO, you are correct not everyone is wealthy in that zip code, however it is one of the wealthiest communities in the state, so I am afraid you are stuck with the stereotyping.
As for the trolley, it is just pure insanity and I would advise you and your friends to get busy and oppose it or you will get stuck paying for it for years and years and years!

"Who else would use the trolley to commute BUT people from LO and Dunthorpe into Pdx?"

Maybe people who want to rob the "people from LO and Dunthorpe"?

Celebrate Diversity. Gresham can only take so much crime. The metro area must diversify it's crime to be fully sustainable.

Something I heard a long time ago on a stupid, self-absorbed committee, was that there's a formula out there that the federal transportation people use to give out money for projects, and the reason the streetcar to LO is needed is to show that the streetcar system as a whole is a people-moving system, not a development-centered system, under that formula, so that future segments will qualify for more federal subsidies. That was the justification for this segment that I heard from its Italian or whatever designer.


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