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Chris Smith

Brian, the vote on Thursday does not lock us into a southern crossing alternative. That will come out of the Milwaukie LRT EIS process.

Also, Mr. Smith is unlikely to be able to flip his property to a condo developer. Maintaining the industrial zoning was very much a part of the agreement with the neighborhood. The condos, offices and retail will be focused in the existing EXd corridor between 3rd and 6th. Nonetheless, I think Mr. Smith will see many benefits.


If you think that's bad, wait until you hear the new plan to route the Milwaukie MAX (green line) to South Waterfront instead, because the streetcar isn't enough of a transportation option for them.

Here's the link:


Seems like they would be using it as a tool to spur growth if it were on MLK. It sounds really good, but I think East-West lines would be in more demand, such as running up and down Hawthorne or Belmont. Sure would be nice to have a speedy subway here, with streetcar lines filling in the gaps. Damn I miss Prague :)

Chris Smith

I expect that the Loop will be the springboard for East-West lines. A city-wide Streetcar planning process is about to start up, sponsored by Commissioner Adams.


I agree. How does a loop serve anybody that might use the streetcar to go from home to work on the east side?

Chris Smith

We would expect that most people would use only a segment of the Loop. Very few will use the whole thing (think about Vienna's Ringstrasse or London's Central Line).


i agree with previous comments. this streetcar loop will wreak of boondoggle and will have the unfortunate effect of making future expansion unpopular amongst the public.

Brian Newman

If you think that's bad, wait until you hear the new plan to route the Milwaukie MAX (green line) to South Waterfront instead

"new plan?" The plan is hardly new since it has been part of the project since the mid-90s. The original South/North light rail proposal included a Caruthers street bridge between OMSI and South Waterfront and that decision was reaffirmed after lengthy analysis in 2003 with the South Corridor LPA decision by the Metro Council.


"the days of the Central Eastside Industrial District, at least as we know it, are numbered". I must say, that in the past I would have agreed with you on this point; however, there are strong reasons to keep this part of Portland in play. One being, have you ever seen a big rig in downtown PDX loading/unloading? No. One of the reasons for this seems to be the ability for suppliers to offload from large rigs in an industrial area close by and then supply to local users using small trucks. One of the other things I would point to is Granville Island in Vancouver, BC - a working island opposite the main downtown core of Vancouver. Here you find a farmer's market, a working cement plant, a fine arts school, small businesses, a hotel, housing, ... It is a vibrant, energy filled environment a short boat taxi ride away from downtown. Imagine a Portland central eastside industrial area with a similar fabric of density, variety and energy. In conjunction with this, I must say I have never understood the lack of high rise housing on the east side of the river. Portland seems to be the only river oriented city in the states to have not taken advantage of these views and proximity to the downtown core. One of the deterents to this kind of development (as I have heard mention from many people) is the I-5 corridor. "bury it" seems to be many people's point of view on this. what? Just what we need? A Portland big-dig travesty. What if you housed the corridor in some way? I reference Rem's recent addition to the IIT campus in Chicago - a tube encloses the L as it goes over and through the building. In regards to the streetcar alignment, I question the validity of its proposed location as well. I understand the city's want for an investment of this kind to spur development, but, at the same time, their solution needs to respond to current conditions as well.


Not sure if a transit line based on shuttling tourists around (Ringstrasse, Circle Line) is the best choice for a city of great beauty but limited tourist draw. Besides, the Circle Line has been shut or delayed everytime I've been to London, and totally full of Americans. What can we expect?

Brian Libby

I've been to London five times and never even heard of a Circle Line there. I just take the tube from the shortest route getting me from Point A to Point B, just as I'd like to be able to someday on the Portland streetcar.


A streetcar named desire...the pace of development of the streetcar is like its speed. It would be more useful for us on the west side to have a streetcar (argh) to take us deep into the east side, ie down Hawthorne or Stark or some such east to west axis. Or better yet a light rail line. Then we can close our eyes and pretend we have a subway (us romantics out there.) I would like to go to Ken's pizza by train, drink all the Bitburger I want and not have to drive back. That's what urban life boils down to. Being able to drink and not drive!

Skinny City Girl

Circle Line definitely exists...



It seems pretty clear that most frequently used bus lines would be excellent targets for supplementing with rail. Didn't there used to be streetcar lines running down belmont, hawthorne, and stark? Sounds like a good idea to connect all those houses/apartments to downtown. East-West is far more practical in my opinion that a North-south line on MLK. Is the idea to connect visitors from the convention center to MLK and Grand, increase rents and property values and drive out existing businesses, then install new trendy businesses? SE will start to look like NW.

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