Ballot Measure 3-406 will bring Lake Grove where it should be

When I was growing up, our family came to Lake Oswego for the holidays and summer vacation. Both of my grandparents lived here, one near downtown, and the other in Lake Grove. I moved to Lake Grove in 1976 to begin law school, and I have practiced law in Lake Grove for 33 years.

Maggie and Mucka, as I called my dad’s parents, would still recognize Lake Grove. The original Lake Grove post office, next to Gubanc’s, has not changed much until the recent face-lift under way. Naomi’s, the Lake Grove Garden Center and The Giant remain. Only recently has the “Wizer’s” (originally Carter’s) shopping center been reborn. All of these changes are the result of private investment. But private investment does not and should not be expected to build safe, public infrastructure. That is our job.

Monie and Rumdaddy, as I called my mom’s mother and father, would not recognize their Lake Oswego. All that really remains from my youth is the downtown Wizer’s. A variety of parks with water features invite. Traffic and pedestrians flow smoothly and safely on A Avenue with ADA-compliant chirping crosswalks and boulevard landscaping.

Missing in Lake Grove is the infrastructure that will help Boones Ferry Road to drain in the rain, and make it safe to cross the road at new crosswalks and by car. The bonds funded by Ballot Measure 3-406 are not buying pretty and non-essential improvements. Instead, $18 per year on a $300,000 house will fund improvements necessary to bring to safety and accessibility in the Lake Grove business district.

Business and Lake Grove residential neighbors spent a couple of years evaluating various options, including widening Boones Ferry Road to five lanes, with a center lane for left-hand turning, or reducing it to two lanes with angle parking. The narrow width of the right-of-way and business of Boones Ferry Road limited options. Phased installation of improvements would mean repeated disruption to Lake Grove businesses and their patrons. The Lake Grove Village Center Plan was well thought through before gaining approval by the planning commission and adoption by city council.

We recognize that some of our fellow citizens are worrying us about frivolous spending on new neighborhoods and pie-in-the-sky projects, while essential government functions, like street maintenance and improvements, languish. And I agree. As taxpayers in leaner times, we should make investments that really matter. The renovation of Boones Ferry Road is such an investment in basic improvements designed to restore safe function to Lake Grove, Lake Oswego’s other town center.

John W. “Jack” Lundeen is a resident of Lake Oswego.

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