Portland — Streetcar News
Rail Transit Online, October 2007
Citywide Streetcar Plan
With the existing Portland Streetcar an unqualified success and two more extensions in advanced development, the municipal Office of Transportation has embarked on a ten-month process to create a Streetcar System Plan that will be part of a larger citywide multi-modal transit growth strategy. According to a statement released by the Office of Transportation, the streetcar network will be designed to provide access and mobility and help achieve increased density, economic development and more walkable communities. “Existing streetcar lines have demonstrated that they can enhance and encourage livable and vibrant neighborhoods,” the statement said. A series of public meetings will be held through April 2008, giving residents an opportunity to participate in shaping the streetcar plan. The goal is to identify between three and five new corridors that would have track installed over the next five to 10 years.
Web site: www.pdxtrans.org
East Side Streetcar Gets Cash
The Portland City Council on Sept. 6 voted to contribute a total of $27 million from three urban-renewal districts toward construction of a streetcar extension to the east side. The price tag has been tentatively set at $147 million. TriMet has already submitted an application for about $75 million in federal funding from the Small Starts program; the remainder will come from state lottery bonds, a local improvement district and other federal and local sources. The approximately 3.6-mi. (5.8 km) of new route would divert from the existing streetcar at Lovejoy and cross the Broadway Bridge, running through the Lloyd District via Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Grand Avenue and terminating at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Officials hope the streetcar would trigger development similar to that which has occurred along the current route in downtown, the Pearl District, the River District and the South Waterfront. If all the funding comes through and final approvals are given, construction could begin in September 2008 followed by revenue service in February 2011.
Web site: www.portlandstreetcar/org
Streetcar Study Recommended
The Metro Council’s steering committee has suggested that environmental and financial studies get underway on the proposed streetcar extension from Portland to Lake Oswego. The recommendation called for an analysis of two possible routes, one on Southwest Macadam Avenue and the other utilizing the Willamette Shore trolley line, which now provides part-time heritage trolley trips. Examining both would determine which would best meet cost and air quality goals while minimizing the impact on surrounding property. Various municipal agencies will vote on the recommendation between the end of September and mid-October. The full Metro Council is expected decide the issue at its Oct. 18 meeting.
Web site: www.portlandstreetcar.org/lakeoswego.php