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Highway 43 could face key changes if streetcar is OKd

Will state highways become local roadways with new taxes and fees to mend deferred maintenance?

Discrete meetings convened by Metro have been held since August 2010 to address this issue.

At issue is the continued role and responsibility of Oregon Department of Transportation with respect to key state-controlled highways within the Metro Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

A process called the 'Working Group' format is being executed through Metro with partners along the length of a specific ODOT controlled highway. The aim of the process is to ultimately transfer ownership, maintenance and development responsibilities to local jurisdictions.

The selected ODOT highway to be the lead roadway in the Metro region for this transfer endeavor is the 10-mile length of Oregon Highway 43. This highway lies on the west bank of the Willamette River between the Ross Island Bridge in Portland south to the Arch Bridge between West Linn and Oregon City. Jurisdictions traversed by OR Highway 43 include city of Portland, Multnomah County, Clackamas County, city of Lake Oswego and city of West Linn.

TriMet Line 35 - Macadam/Greeley provides transit service along the roadway from the Oregon City Transit Center north to Portland City Center. This service is anticipated to be replaced with a $458 million streetcar extension from Portland to Lake Oswego and a feeder bus onto Oregon City that forces two vehicle-to-vehicle transfers. (This is all being proposed) in the name of greenhouse gas reduction and speculative transit-oriented development next to an operating sewer plant in Lake Oswego.

Many questions arise from the format selected by Metro to instill public trust and confidence in this transfer process. What laws, administrative rules, policies and agreements (LARPA) guide the operation and outcomes selected by the Metro 'Working Group?'

At the local jurisdiction level key questions include: What is the condition of the roadway and all supporting structures? Can local taxes and fees sustain operation, maintenance, and roadway upgrades required to meet level of service (congestion) needs for anticipated development? What are the current 2011 debt loads of the federal, state, regional, county, and municipal levels of governance that may be associated with the Highway 43 transfer?

I have placed a meeting note report with a one page cover sheet abstract that annotates the Feb. 16, 2011 meeting of the Oregon Transportation Commission meeting in Salem. It has been posted to the following website: https://sites.google.com/site

/or43corr/Home/xferor43. File: TNT_SNSK_OTC_2011Feb.pdf.

Examine the abstract and access links to five primary key documents in lower right hand corner.

They warrant your immediate review - prior to the 'next stop, your wallet' for unexpected local taxes and fees to support a Metro transit way with limited transfer of funds from depleted state resources.

Charles 'Skip' Ormsby serves as sentinel for the Birdshill CPO / NA Dunthorpe - Clackamas County.