I am a Lake Oswego business owner and board member of the Lake Grove Business Association and the Lake Grove Neighborhood Association. Mike Buck

Like many others I am proud of the positive, small town flavor of Lake Grove and I will be voting yes on the city of Lake Oswego’s bond measure 3-406 on the upcoming November ballot.

In an American Planning Association article on “Great Neighborhoods” in which our local First Addition neighborhood receives accolades, Mark Hinshaw distinguishes a great neighborhood from average ones by their variety of functional places to visit, the accommodation of multimodal transportation, interesting design and architecture, the encouragement of human interaction and involvement and its memorable character. These characteristics help a resident affectionately refer to such a place as “home.”

I write because many of these attributes are not vitally sensed when one passes down Boones Ferry Road. The lack of sufficient infrastructure does not allow our community to flourish since it detracts people from even wanting to be on the street except in a car.

In 1999, I witnessed a handicapped man in a wheelchair attempt to navigate a difficult sidewalk on Boones Ferry Road and accidently fall — chair and all — into the right lane of traffic. I decided something needed to be done to improve the situation on this public street that not only services our Lake Grove town center but is also a vital road link for residents and others traveling around the city.

I called our long time neighborhood advocate, Matt Finnigan, and asked if he would help bring these concerns to the attention of the city. Over the years, a great deal of collaborative study has focused on finding ways to improve accessibility and safety along Boones Ferry Road. Many neighbors and business owners came together with ideas, visions, problems and solutions — culminating after many years into the adopted Lake Grove Village Center Plan.

Our challenge now is to breathe life into this plan. Bond measure 3-406 is a first step to provide funding towards phase one construction of the public right of way which involve aligning traffic lanes, bike lanes, sidewalks, intersections and medians. This new streetscape will give Lake Grove a new identity and a more vibrant sense of self-worth. In the future, I would like residents of Lake Oswego to be able to walk safely in Lake Grove and see the village scale characteristics that appeal to their senses and memories in a way that they will proudly call our neighborhood “home.”

Michael Buck is a long-time advocate for progress in Lake Grove.

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