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Foothills, streetcar challenged

On approach to possible cutting of the U.S. 'AAA' credit rating in August 2011 the 'Bonfire of the Vanities' continues in Lake Oswego with respect to Foothills and streetcar projects.

Public reception of the Foothills Framework Plan on Thursday, July 14 in the Lake Oswego City Hall Council Chambers was tepid at best. Even though 'Next Stop Lake Oswego' proponents along with Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce troupers and others of the Portland Metro Transit Industrial Complex were in the 'stacked' audience.

A smattering of 'professionally organized' Dunthorpe residents dared to attend. One or two West Linn residents looked completely lost as if they were a 2017 TriMet feeder bus line driver searching for a bus-to-streetcar transit platform stuck in traffic on State Street. And of course Dunthorpe / Clackamas County / Birdshill participants were mostly ignored; though they were thrown responses to questions about the Foothills District North Gateway Entry.

Now an extension of Terwilliger Boulevard to the southeast across a fill raised intersection of State Street with an at grade crossing of the Tillamook Branch Line (TBL) railroad tracks across the 'forgotten' Willamette River bridge to Milwaukie.' That is proposed to connect with an extension of Foothills Road 35 feet below.

If you drive an ambulance or fire truck after 2017 mind the likely at grade crossing of the TBL - High Speed Rail alignment and road slope of 23 percent (steeper than E Avenue north of Kady Carwash) on approach to Foothills Road when responding to head-on collisions between streetcars. This will not be a re-enactment of the May 9, 1929 Sunday interurban 'Wreck at Bertha' (north of 2011 intersection of Southwest Barbur Boulevard and Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard) that left five dead passengers, three dead train personnel and injuries to 10 train personnel and 92 passengers. There is no memorial marker to remind the present of this tragedy.

The Bertha segment and Jefferson Street (2011 WSL) right-of-way were part of the Southern Pacific interurban system between Portland Union Station and Eugene. Excellently documented in 'The Red Electrics - Southern Pacific's Oregon Interurban,' LO Library call number 385.5 / DIL.

The Willamette Shore Line right-of-way is to be 'Value Engineered' by 2012 to reduce estimated costs of (2017) $450 million and to be repackaged for Federal Transit Administration consideration in the Small Starts (Less than $250 million) grant program.

Local streetcar financing plus $68 million for Foothills renewal excludes debt for upgrades to Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This is to reduce processing odors. Most debt is to be paid by the public through an urban renewal area with Tax Increment Financing scheme and the rest by additional fee increases.

You will not get a binding vote unless you can convince China to continue to finance U.S. debt at 40 cents on the dollar and not shanghai Lake Oswego children and unemployed elders to dig for debt repayments in Chinese (Death Trap) coal mines.

The Foothills and streetcar projects are such a sustainable legacy to bequeath children by 'Next Stop Lake Oswego' proponents. Considering they drove home from the Foothills Open House and refuse to ride 'germ- ridden' TriMet buses left un-sterilized due to budget cuts.

Charles 'Skip' Ormsby serves as sentinel for the Dunthorpe/Birdshill area.