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Portland - June 2011

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Portland — Streetcar Support Resolution Delayed

Rail Transit Online, June 2011

The Clackamas County board of commissioners has delayed acting on a resolution of conditional support for the proposed Lake Oswego streetcar extension to give lawmakers an opportunity to get answers to questions about funding, ridership and community support.

The request for the postponement until early 2012 came from Lake Oswego Mayor Jack Hoffman, who said Portland Mayor Sam Adams agreed with his position. "He and I are in agreement that no further action should take place on the current locally-preferred alternative until the current concerns and conditions are addressed by the project team in the next six to eight months," Hoffman told The Oregonian.

However, a spokeswoman for Adams said he still believes "...it's a good project" that will help the city cope with its projected population increase. The Lake Oswego and Portland city councils previously voted to support the streetcar over various bus options, albeit with various conditions.

The proposed $458-million project would connect with the existing streetcar system in Portland's expanding South Waterfront district and run to Lake Oswego along the Willamette River shore. Hoffman said he wants to wait for a consultant study scheduled to begin on July 1 that will examine how the price might be substantially reduced. One of the cost-saving measures would be to reduce much of the route from double track to single track.

"At this point, we believe there are opportunities to significantly reduce the cost of the project," TriMet consultant Doug Obletz, who heads the project management group, told The Oregonian. "We don't have a specific figure in mind, but we believe the project has been unfairly tagged with this $458-million tag. I think our job will be to debunk that figure and come up with a realistic figure."


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