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Questions persist on transit issues

An open letter with an invitation to respond /investigate / discuss / debate / negotiate / mediate (?) and / or initiate voter review of Local PreferredAlternative (LPA) options to:

1. 'Representative' stakeholders on Lake Oswego to Portland Project Advisory Committee (LOPPAC).

2. Lake Oswego City Council.

3. Clackamas County Board of Commissioners.

4. Metro Council.

5. Region 10 Office of the FTA - Federal Transit Administration, Seattle Washington.

$149.3 million is a high-value (conservative) cost-comparative estimate in 2007 dollars for a streetcar line between Portland 'downtown' / SouthWaterfront and Lake Oswego.

$149.3 million + $83.3 million = $232.6 million (for) streetcar plus adjoining bike trail (freeway). Lots of implications and questions. Let's begin.

Even with a possible 50 percent federal subsidy / grant for construction: Who is to pay the local share and estimated additional annual operation and maintenance costs of $6,300,000? And by what means? What strings will be attached to any full funding agreements?

Who will benefit? Industrial land owners in the Foothills area east of State Street / Oregon Highway 43?

These are the same people who have repeatedly asked the City Council of Lake Oswego to make hundred-million dollar commitments and get moving with the Foothills Area Plan for redevelopment. Please note the comment period for the new FEMA flood plain maps in the Lake Oswego area has begun. This includes the Foothills area along the Willamette River.

Ask the League of Women Voters about implications of urban renewal and TIF - Tax Increment Financing.

Demonstrate how 'D' level congestion or 17 - 20 mph is to be attained along State Street / Oregon Highway 43 in Lake Oswego during peak hours. Note streetcar alternatives require parking for 400 vehicles and / or two additional rail crossings of State Street.

The streetcar is purported to travel to Downtown Portland. Yes it does go to 'downtown' but not to the central Section of the Portland Transit Mall on Southwest Sixth and Fifth avenues north between Jefferson and Burnside Streets. Today direct service to the mall without mandated transfer is provided by Line 35 - Oregon City, and 36 - South Shore. Proposed streetcar service however requires a transfer at PSU to access the central section of the mall. Streetcar service is on 10th and 11th Avenues north of Jefferson Street and functions as a downtown circulator.

As a test, I walked six minutes / six blocks west and uphill on Southwest Jefferson Street from Fifth Avenue at Portland City Hall to 11th Avenue to reach the streetcar.

Nice walk on a sunny day. Do not attempt at twilight or at night alone, especially if you are a child, or female or elderly. How are Oregon Highway 43 transit riders to be compensated for increased walk times, risks or time required for multiple transfers with the streetcar option?

At the last LOPPAC meeting on Tuesday May 8, I witnessed the LOPPAC Chair David Jorling cut short the reading of a letter delivered by Jody Carson, a West Linn City Councilor and envoy. The letter was from Mayor Norm King of West Linn and about required multiple transfers to the Portland Transit Mall. West Linn issues / grievances / expected results with LOPTTAAS process and products have not been effectively addressed by any government entity.

The Lake Oswego water system is connected with its source on the Clackamas River through facilities graciously located in West Linn. This includes a filtration plant and pipes. What will happen to both Lake Oswego and the cost of water if West Linn residents say no to any further expansion of these facilities? Initial upgrade estimates have been reported at $73,000,000. This figure assumes facilities are still located in West Linn. Should West Linn residents continue to be tolerant of their exclusion from voting membership on all LOPTTAAS committees?

Determine all LOPTTAAS project representatives along with their present positions in writing prior to the next open house. They are scheduled to make key choices between June and September. How are they to be contacted?

Birdshill Perspective on LOPTTAAS (Oregon Highway 43 corridor): www.neighborhoodlink.com/org/or43corr/.

Charles 'Skip' Ormsby lives in the Birdshill area of Clackamas County outside Lake Oswego.