Put streetcar on the ballot and let the citizens decide
Two thirds of the testimonies against the streetcar project at the Lake Oswego City Council meeting (April 12) demonstrated a mandate from the people.
They pointed out that there will be a disruption of the daily stream of 32,000 cars traveling on State Street caused by traffic leaving or turning left into the new parking garage and Foothills. Adding more signal time for the changes in traffic flow will probably cause gridlock throughout the downtown area.
The environmental impact brought on by the construction of this railline will destroy the wildlife habitat and block their access to the Willamette River. None of the proponents suggested where the money will come from to pay for our share of the construction cost not to mention the annual maintenance expense. The financial burden of the streetcar will be put on the backs of the taxpayers so a rail line can support a developer who wants to expand a failed South Waterfront vision to build up Foothills.
The streetcar mass transit concept has now evolved into a means to justify building condos in Foothills. And the city council refuses to review the options, e.g., enhanced bus service and possibly a reversible third lane designated for rush hour traffic. They might consider that within six years, oil-dependent buses may be a thing of the past.
It seems apparent by those opinions voiced by most of the people of Lake Oswego that they like their village as it is. If a resident wants to experience the urban life, (he or she) should consider moving to a city, rather than impose their will on our neighbors.
Too few people will benefit from such a huge outlay of taxpayers' money. It is not fair that the decision to turn Lake Oswego upside down for the sake of progress and the financial gain of a few people should be left up to four city council members. The stakeholders in the community are entitled to make the decision regarding the transit options that will impact their lifestyle, not to mention taxes. The options should be put on the ballot for a vote.
Dave Sengenberger is a resident of Lake Oswego.