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Council approves Hwy. 43 plan

The West Linn City Council approved the Highway 43 conceptual plan during the Dec. 12 council meeting.

The plan, more than nine months in the making, focuses on a multi-modal outlook that adds continuous bike lanes and sidewalks throughout the stretch of state highway that traverses a good portion of West Linn from Interstate 205 to Lake Oswego.

It does not add more lanes for cars.

That's where some contention arose. The council sent the plan back for revisions during an October council meeting. The approval, however, came after very little change to the original plan other than to add consideration for future changes.

The revisions emphasize locations where traffic congestion is a problem and where additional lanes may be needed. It is also made clear that nothing prohibits the city from expanding right of way.

Another revision indicates the importance of adding more park and ride locations through additional planning with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Tri-Met.

The conceptual plan, which already has been submitted to Metro's Regional Transportation Plan for consideration for state and federal funding, was developed through a process that included public input through workshops, a citizen's advisory committee and help from an outside consulting firm. The plan's emphasis on alternative forms of transportation was due in large part to, what city Planning Director Bryan Brown said, a desire by community members to maintain the small-scale character of the Highway 43 corridor that adding additional lanes would eliminate.

'In the end, ODOT has final say of whether any concepts of this final plan are implemented or not,' Brown said. 'This plan ensures consistency with state, regional and public input.'