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Portland - March 2003

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Rail Transit Online, March 2003

Streetcar Extension

Construction of a 0.6-mi. (1 km) extension of the Portland Streetcar is expected to begin late this year once environmental studies and final design are completed.  The $14.6-million line will run from the current terminal at Portland State University to RiverPlace on the Willamette River and is expected to be completed by mid-2005.  Financing will come from assessments on adjacent property, the Portland Development Commission, property sales by the city and federal grants.  A further expansion south to the North Macadam Urban Renewal District is in the planning stage.

Eastside Streetcar Proposed

An advisory committee from Portland Streetcar Inc. (PSI), which promoted the highly successful downtown streetcar line, now wants to know if residents east of the Willamette River favor an extension into their neighborhood.  Non-profit PSI has hired planning consultant Peter Finley Fry to determine if the concept will have enough appeal to generate the kind of support needed to get the project off the drawing board.   “It won't happen unless people want it, demand it and say we want it to come to us,” Fry told The Oregonian, adding that he hopes to have a recommendation ready by May.  No route has yet been selected, although PSI has suggested crossing the river on a new Caruthers Street bridge, then along the Grand Avenue-MLK Boulevard couplet to Northeast Seventh Avenue and the Broadway-Weidler couplet, returning on the Broadway Bridge.  A recent public hearing drew other ideas including a route farther east, looping back near Lloyd Center.  Funding for the project, which could cost $100 million or more, is uncertain.  Ridership on the current 4.7-mi. (7.5 km), one-way loop is approximately 4,800 on weekdays, 4,400 on Saturdays and 2,800 on Sundays.  It has provided an economic boost along its short route, something developer John Carroll, chairman of PSI’s citizens advisory committee, thinks could be repeated on the eastside.


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