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Chris Smith

Brian, the challenge is that in both Johns Landing and in Dunthorpe the existing line runs VERY near residences and there is resistance in both places.

There is also the issue that the right-of-way itself has something like $75M in value when applied as local match for Federal funds.

So there are strong forces both to use it and to avoid using it. This is a puzzle we'll have to keep working on and the steering committee did the right thing in keeping all the options alive.

Meanwhile, we WILL be working on further extensions in the east side and elsewhere as the City-wide Streetcar planning process gets moving this fall!


I could not agree more Brian. I find it hard to believe a LO option is even on the table considering it's a suburb of Portland while so many Portland districts lack any rail. I'm turning red in the face thinking that a LO line might open while I still cannot take a train from my NW house to the SE, the two most heavily populated areas of Portland!

Chris Smith

I find it hard to believe a LO option is even on the table considering it's a suburb of Portland while so many Portland districts lack any rail.

Not sure I follow that logic. Under that reasoning we wouldn't have built MAX lines to Hillsboro or Gresham?

And it's probably better to think about this line more like MAX than like the downtown Streetcar. This is a regional corridor. MAX is not on the table because the right-of-way is too physically constrained, but between LO and Portland, it will operate more like MAX than like a local circulator (although that changes as soon as it hits Johns Landing).


I agree Brian. I thought the original reason for considering rail transit to LO was due to the fact that there is an existing row. I understand the concerns Chris expressed, however I believe that if the existing row is not suitable, then rail transit to LO should be put on the back burner.

I definately would not support the expense of putting rail on Macadam before SE and NE Portland are served by the streetcar. In addition I would support rail along the Barbur corridor to higher population centers in Tigard before any rail to LO.

What will be interesting is to see if the residents of Dunthorpe will be able to derail the project altogether.


Maybe the residents of Dunthorpe can tax themselves to cover the $75M.


Something that nearly everyone can agree on is that LO residents are blissfully ignorant to the concept of mass-transit in any form. This project should go down in flames. Streetcars only work in dense settings, something Dunthorpe most definitely is NOT.

Chris Smith

The City Council in LO actually aspires to relatively dense (by suburban standards) in both the Foothills area and along Highway 43 (e.g., Albertson's area).

Francie Berg

I am wondering what happened to the bicycle/pedestrian path. I am tired of schlepping my bike in the back of the car over to Sellwood in order to ride to work. Come on!

A young L.O. resident

Many of you are probably thinking "now those rich, selfish Lake Oswegans want their own streetcar to Portland?" However, there is much local opposition to the idea. It is seen as a whim of our elitist city council, who enjoys squandering our tax money on worthless projects because they're a neat thing to have. Lake Oswego taxpayers have enough to pay for, such as a multi-million dollar sewer system repair, and many of us hate the streetcar as much as anyone else.

Brian Libby

Young L.O. resident, I'm afraid we're in disagreement here. Streetcars are not frivolous. They are important mass transit that gets cars off the road and fosters more pedestrian-oriented development. The problem with the Lake Oswego streetcar line isn't that people want to build it. The problem is residents who don't want to use the already-existing line belonging to the Willamette Shore Trolley, and instead want Portland to take on an unnecessary huge expense by building another line.

To characterize your city council the way you have is a mark of understandable frustration. But don't be so quick to fall into cliches about politicians. They're not scheming to screw up your life because it'd be 'neat'. If you're a tax-phobic conservative, I can understand it. But it's such an easy knee-jerk statement to throw the blame on a few people in office. How about the voters who put them there, and then ask for conflicting things like more funds for schools and roads at the same as tax breaks?

Jerry Moss

I have lived along this line for most of my 55 years and I don't see how the existing tunnel and tressel have been addressed in any of the discussions and minutes I have read. The tressel is over 75 years old and very little if any maintenace has been done on it. Why not look to the express bus option from LO to Portland /John's Landing and have the street car line extend also to Johns Landing. The Dunthorpe area is not going to have easy access to the streetcar if the existing line is used but they would have access to a rapid bus line if it was on highway 43. I suggest that the committee that is looking at this should actually get out and walk the whole line and see what it is that they have!

R A Fontes

For what it's worth, that $75 million is "under review" according to Metro's Ross Roberts at the Lake Oswego - Portland scoping meeting this spring. He said it's expected to go down.

It's kind of hard to imagine that it has much value at all, given that a couple of miles of the ROW are held as easements or leases which restrict use to rail transport. Who would buy it? Once a couple of striplets were sold to interested adjacent property owners, the easements would evaporate and the rest of the neighbors could just sit back and not worry about it anymore.

Bottom line: FTA won't be subsidizing this one anywhere near to what Metro originally put out in their project evaluation summary.

Mark Ulrich

My property borders the proposed street car line and what I would like to see is this line converted to a bike and pedestrian path. This would make for a safe way for bike commuters living in suburban Clackamas County to get to Portland. If anyone has ridden on highway 43 they know what a death trap it is for a biker due to the lack of proper bike lanes. I also agree with Brian that the tunnel and tressel are huge issues for the project to move forward as a street car line. If anyone has used the east side trails which I believe use to be tracks converted to trails then why not continue this system to alleviate traffic and promote clean transportation for all Portlanders to use.

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