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Old Posted Mar 26, 2007, 4:10 PM
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Portland - Milwaukie Light Rail (PMLR) | Completed

Co-chairs give two transport packages $350 million
by Libby Tucker
03/26/2007


Alternative transportation scored big in the Ways and Means co-chairs’ recommended budget released by the Oregon Legislature on Thursday.

“There are two key investments we’re proposing,” Rep. Mary Nolan, D-Portland and co-chair of the joint Ways and Means committee said, “subject to the whole deliberative procedure.”

Included in the $15.3 billion budget for the state’s general fund and lottery fund in 2007 to 2009, was the proposed $100 million ConnectOregon 2 multimodal transportation funding package.

The lottery-bond-backed transportation package comes on the heels of the $100 million ConnectOregon package passed by the 2005 Legislature for aviation, rail, transit, and marine infrastructure.

The $250 million Milwaukie light rail project also received an official nod from the co-chairs for lottery-backed bonds slated for 2009 to 2011.

Portland to Milwaukie light rail “has been on the drawing board for quite a while,” said Olivia Clark, TriMet’s executive director of governmental affairs. “The people in inner Southeast Portland and in Clackamas County have been waiting a long time for this.”

Now ten years in the making, the proposed Milwaukie light rail extension project was recently revived by the regional government Metro. If approved, the 6.5-mile line will be completed in 2014, connecting an estimated 20,000 riders to the existing MAX system.

The state allocation will cover 40 percent of the project cost, with the remaining 60 percent provided by the Federal Transit Administration, according to TriMet.

“We need to take advantage of all the planning and preparation for the Milwaukie line,” Nolan said.

Overall, transportation and economic development received $238.7 million of the ’07 to ’09 co-chairs’ budget. The co-chairs’ budget also recommended the creation of a $50 million fund for county roads to supplement money lost from federal timber harvest receipts.

Missing from the budget, however, was any additional allocation for much-needed road maintenance or repair and capital improvement projects. Neither was the proposed Wilsonville to Salem commuter rail extension included.

The Portland Business Alliance, for example, had lobbied for a $350 million transportation funding package to increase freight mobility and decrease highway congestion.

“There’s probably some additional flexibility (for funding) in the transportation subcommittee,” Nolan said. But “probably nothing that would compare in magnitude to those that have already been proposed.”

To view the full budget online visit: www.leg.state.or.us/comm/ lfo/home.htm.

http://www.djc-or.com/viewStory.cfm?...29177&userID=1
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 2:13 AM
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Portland - Milwaukie Light Rail (PMLR) | U/C

The next expansion of Portland's MAX light rail will be heading south. This is actually the second phase of the South Corridor Project, the first phase of the project being the under construction segments from the Gateway District to Clackamas (Green Line) and the simultaneously constructed Transit Mall tracks down 5th and 6th Avenues in downtown.

-image from Trimet

This next phase will add tracks from the new Transit Mall's southern terminus over a new bridge to downtown Milwaukie and optionally further.

-image from Metro

Currently the project is partially funded by dedicated State bonds, and Metro, with Trimet and City and State agencies, are conducting public meetings on the final design before additional funding from the Federal Government is sought. This new line is more than likely going to be an extension of the Yellow Line from North Portland due to its history of being part of the old North - South Light Rail route and the future alignment of the Yellow line down the remodeled Transit Mall. Further expansion will be possible to Oregon City at some future time, however this is unlikely to occur before other proposed lines to Vancouver, Tigard and Forest Grove come to fruition. Increased bus service will be included in the project from the Line's terminus to Oregon City in the mean time.

Last edited by NJD; Jul 10, 2008 at 2:17 AM.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 2:15 AM
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A new bridge over the Willamette
Posted by The Oregonian October 04, 2007 16:56PM

Plans are in the works for Portland's first new bridge in 34 years, one that would carry the MAX, streetcars, bicycles and pedestrians over the Willamette River -- but no cars. The bridge would be part of an $810 million planned light-rail line from Portland to Milwaukie.

The exact route the bridge takes across the river could be set within the next three months. A final design and type of construction could take another 18 months.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 10:30 AM
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sounds good.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 1:49 PM
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Could this be PDX's next bridge?

A new span for the region would carry trains, walkers, bikers, maybe buses. No cars.

Friday, October 05, 2007
DYLAN RIVERA
The Oregonian Staff
Portland's first new bridge in 34 years could be a 30-story, white monument climbing from the Willamette River into the skyline and standing in contrast to the many steel truss structures that define bridge city.

The span would carry light-rail and streetcar service, bicycles, pedestrians and possibly buses. But it would have no cars -- a testament to a generation that built one of the nation's most coveted transit systems.

The bridge would link downtown and OHSU, the city's largest employer, with OMSI, one of its biggest tourist and educational attractions, and with Milwaukie to the south. Carefully sculpted, the span could become a symbol of the region's aspirations as a national center for design and innovation.

"I don't think the Marquam Bridge does that," says Lloyd Lindley, a landscape architect and chairman of the Portland Design Commission. "What would make a great iconic bridge would be something that translates those qualities into something that's identifiable. It can be something as literal as Portlandia or as abstract as the Fremont Bridge."

The exact route the bridge takes across the river is crucial to many riverfront interests -- there are at least five alignments now in play. The route could be set within the next three months. City Council and Metro hearings would follow until a final selection by July. Construction could start in 2011, with an opening in 2015.

That's a dramatically different situation from the last decade or so of wrangling over the light-rail line, money for which failed by a 2 percent margin in a 1998 referendum. Now, the bridge is part of an $880 million planned light-rail line from Portland to Milwaukie that got a big jolt when the Legislature committed $250 million earlier this year.

With money for a bridge within the region's grasp, planners are pushing landowners and businesses on both sides of the river to decide on a route.

"I think this can actually happen," Portland Planning Director Gil Kelley says.


Adding to the core

Aside from the overall goal of connecting the region's growing Southeast suburbs with downtown, Kelley says the bridge has a crucial role to play in Portland's core. It can link the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State and Portland Community College in what he calls a "science and technology quarter."

"Rather than have the river as a separator, this bridge has the potential to literally join the two banks," Kelley says. "To do that, it needs to be as low as it can possibly be, it needs to be as pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly as it can possibly be, and clearly be transit supportive."

City and regional officials in 1998 chose a route that would link OMSI with the RiverPlace area just north of the Marquam Bridge. A committee of design and civic activists picked a bridge type called a "cable-stayed" structure.

Popularized by the 1992 bridge in Seville, Spain, designed by Santiago Calatrava, cable-stayed spans have a tall column or set of columns tied to a bridge deck with a series of cables. The result often appears like a permeable fan of cables running from the tower's top out to points all along the bridge deck. The design they chose included a 380-foot tall center column, taller than downtown's Fox Tower office building.

Cable-stayed design

TriMet and Metro planners are contemplating a cable-stayed design and a normally less costly concrete segmented design, much like the Glenn Jackson Bridge, which ferries Interstate 205 over the Columbia River. But a segmented bridge could result in multiple columns dipping into the Willamette, disturbing salmon habitat more during construction and leaving more impediments to river navigation.

Metro and TriMet will settle on a bridge type during preliminary engineering, from September 2008 to September 2009.

Before the region picks a bridge design, however, nearby landowners are going to put it through an acrobatic test:

Can the bridge deck leap from ground-level near OMSI to a height of 72 feet above the river, to allow barge traffic? Then, can it descend on the west side in such a way as to remain high enough to clear a waterfront bicycle trail but dip low enough for a street-level station in South Waterfront?

And how well can a train ride up and down steep grades? The wheelchair-bound?

That's just the height issue.

Can the bridge meet the west bank farther south than the 1998 alignment, making for an easy transfer for OHSU employees from the light rail to the Portland Aerial Tram?

Most area landowners say the old route under the Marquam Bridge would not serve the South Waterfront area, which has gone from lines on a map in 1998 to a new high-rise neighborhood that continues to expand. Hundreds of residents have moved into condos, hundreds more units are under construction and 950 OSHU employees report to work daily at the university's first South Waterfront office tower.

OHSU has several more blocks to build on near the tram, and it plans an expansion to the north, on 20 acres donated by Portland's Schnitzer family.

"The way we look at it, the southern end of our property line in the Schnitzer Campus really is the center of our campus," says Mark Williams, OHSU's associate vice president for campus planning, development and real estate.

But that southern alignment could cut off land owned by Zidell Marine, says Bob Durgan, a real estate consultant for Zidell. The longtime family-owned company operates a barge building business on part of 33 acres it owns between OSHU's tram-area land and the Schnitzer Campus site.

Zidell would rather see the bridge touch down wherever it would help the city spur private-sector biotech development in the district, Durgan says. That would also generate tax revenue for South Waterfront's urban renewal district, which has ambitious goals for affordable housing, parks and riverfront wildlife habitat.

Thousands of future South Waterfront workers and residents -- not just OHSU's Marquam Hill employees -- need access to rail, Durgan says.

"It's about the transportation at the bottom of the hill, not the connection to the top of the hill," he says.

OHSU could build on Zidell's land and the Schnitzer site, Durgan says -- that might speed rail service to downtown, and still be within a third of a mile of the tram, according to TriMet estimates.

OHSU's Williams contends that a southern alignment, along what Metro refers to as Porter Street, serves the whole waterfront area, even south of the Ross Island Bridge. And it would leave Zidell with plenty of ripe development sites.

The southern push on the bridge's west end is already prompting planners to nudge the route to the south on the east end as well.

That could mean landing the east bank station a block south of OMSI, between 6 acres it recently bought and the Portland Opera's headquarters just to the south. Opera and OMSI officials say that's their preference.

Such a southern route could morph the bridge design into two columns of a lower height, TriMet officials said.

But what if that produces a zigzag line -- from the opera building to the southern route near the aerial tram? How much track and expense would that add to an already nine-figure project?

How much time would it delay Milwaukie-to downtown Portland commuters? And would it jeopardize federal funding?

Metro and TriMet say they'll have answers by springtime.

And their answers may determine whether the bridge itself is all about utility or also about creating another Portland icon.

Dylan Rivera: 503-221-8532; dylanrivera@news.oregonian.com For environment news, go to http://blog.oregonlive.com/pdxgreen
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 6:40 PM
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^ I was previously for the original alignment, but now that I am seeing more information out, I think I am more leaning towards the "red" Meade to Caruthers bridge. It would serve the new campus, plus it is closer to the tram and south waterfront, it comes close enough to OMSI, and it is aligned directly between the Ross Island and Marquam Bridges creating huge view corridors and is far less cluttered.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 7:35 PM
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Either of the new bridge alignments is a major improvement over the original. However, I still question the wisdom of using Lincoln to get from the bridge to 5th/6th. I-405 would be more direct and operate at much faster speeds (grade-separated) than a Lincoln alignment. Also, a station between 1st and 4th would provide better access to the areas both north and south of I-405.

Oh, and let's hope the final design for the bridge doesn't look like a giant clothes pin.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 8:12 PM
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That bridge looks great! I really like it. Is it high enough from river transit though? I know most of that is north, but sail boats and some barge steering bridges are fairly high.
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2007, 10:31 PM
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Speaking of boats, how popular is the river-boating-dining-sightseeing experience to Portlanders? Has anyone been on the Portland Spirit or any other boat tour, recommendations?
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Old Posted Oct 9, 2007, 12:11 AM
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The Phase II-Portland to Milwaukie Route, is really going to help spur revitalization in the Inner Central SE and Milwaukie Areas. It is my observation that this region of the Metro has not enjoyed the prosperity that has been witnessed in other areas. This line will definately bring much needed re-developement above what is currently going on in downtown Milwaukie and also ease the traffic issues along this corridor. I really am pleased that the line will connect with OMSI because it is real cumbersome trying to get there now and should really help drive upward the numbers of paid admissions.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65MAX View Post
Either of the new bridge alignments is a major improvement over the original. However, I still question the wisdom of using Lincoln to get from the bridge to 5th/6th. I-405 would be more direct and operate at much faster speeds (grade-separated) than a Lincoln alignment. Also, a station between 1st and 4th would provide better access to the areas both north and south of I-405.
Agreed! We really don't need the MAX and Streetcar both paralleling a slow-streetcar like service in the PSU area, which already has pretty good transportation connectivity. The MAX should focus on providing fast, efficient transit corridors when it can.

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Originally Posted by Okstate View Post
Speaking of boats, how popular is the river-boating-dining-sightseeing experience to Portlanders? Has anyone been on the Portland Spirit or any other boat tour, recommendations?
I have been on the Portland Spirit a couple of times; I found it quite fun and enjoyable - more people should ride it!
I think there is also a riverboat that operates further up the river, but I'm not sure if it goes all the way to Portland or not. I would be intrigued to ride it, actually.
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Old Posted Oct 10, 2007, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65MAX View Post
Either of the new bridge alignments is a major improvement over the original. However, I still question the wisdom of using Lincoln to get from the bridge to 5th/6th. I-405 would be more direct and operate at much faster speeds (grade-separated) than a Lincoln alignment. Also, a station between 1st and 4th would provide better access to the areas both north and south of I-405.

I completely agree. In fact, the more grade-separated the better.

On another note, does anyone know if Tri-met has looked into adding "Express" service to any of the new MAX extensions? 4 tracks like New York has probably isn't feasible or needed, but a third track that could be reversed during rush hour times and only hits certain stations (maybe the park&ride and downtown Milwaukie) would save a lot of time and ease loads on the normal trains.
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2007, 6:15 PM
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nothing really new, but here's press from The Bee:


FROM THE EDITOR
Dare we say it? — Inner Southeast light rail MAY get built this time
The Bee, Oct 31, 2007
Eric Norberg / THE BEE


At the first of the two workshops, this one at Cleveland High cafeteria, Metro Councilor Robert Liberty was involved the whole evening – starting out with introducing the meeting, and later pitching in to hold maps of the MAX stations under discussion, while participating neighbors summarized the discussions held during the evening about each one.

Since the Inner Southeast first started its invariable support of plans and funding for light rail in the metro area, some three decades ago, it has always been promised it is part of the plan. Taxpayers in this part of town helped pay for Gresham’s successful light rail; we helped pay for Washington County’s successful light rail.

When it came our turn, we supported that too, while Washington County applied a principle introduced to us many years ago in a talk by Jon Kvistad, then President of Metro: “The IGM-NGL factor”, which he translated as, “I Got Mine, Now Get Lost”. The funding measure did not carry for our MAX, and we got pushed off the table.

It was not till the turn of the 21st Century that Tri-Met and Metro attempted to address the obvious transportation needs in this part of town, with light rail seemingly forever off the table, that their suggestions that perhaps extra bus lanes on McLoughlin — or perhaps a nice motorboat service? — might be just the ticket for us. In these public forums, they discovered what we who live here already knew: Forget the speedboats, we want light rail.

One of this editor’s first headline stories late in 2000 when he assumed the position at THE BEE was the news that “light rail is back on the table”. (Two months later, the daily newspaper reported the same.)

Much due diligence in planning and public meetings followed, with the cautious proviso that it was all dependent upon funding appearing. However, things were looking brighter — till we attended an OMSI-sited “final open house” a couple of years later, at which for the very first time we heard of the possibility that instead of building light rail along increasingly congested four-lane McLoughlin Boulevard, it might instead be built alongside a six lane interstate freeway on the eastside.

The idea seemed ludicrous to us; even if projected ridership were similar, as was claimed, clearly the need was along McLoughlin first, and this area had been earmarked for the service from the beginning. However, shortly afterward, the I-205 alignment was selected instead, and they’re building it now. And we all still get stuck in rush hour traffic on McLoughlin.

For the third time, our own MAX line is actively back on the table, and this time things look surprisingly bright. Much of the needed “local” funding (to qualify for federal funding) has been taken care of by the legislature, which has dedicated lottery-backed bonds to our project; we have active supporters now at the federal level, apparently, as well as local advocates including Robert Liberty, this area’s Metro Councilor, Carolyn Tomei and Kate Brown in the state legislature, and Portland’s Transportation Commissioner and newly-announced Mayoral candidate Sam Adams, among many.

As part of the planning process, community workshops took place on October 2nd at Cleveland High and on October 11th at Sellwood Middle School to address siting of our MAX stations, and issues and opportunities surrounding such stations. As Liberty said in introducing these workshops, this was a remarkably early point in the process to plan stations, and it offered the opportunities for neighborhoods to get involved early enough in the process to make a real difference.

The mood was optimistic at the Cleveland High workshop, although residents of the Hosford-Abernethy and Brooklyn neighborhoods for whom it was held also had some concerns about station locations and track routing. For example, in Brooklyn, in order to accommodate the tracks in the center of 17th and still permit free traffic flow on the street, 17th would be widened, with the extra space suggested to come from the west side, thus taking out a few small businesses.

If that workshop was positive, the Sellwood Middle School meeting was much more so; we heard virtually no qualms from the neighbors participating, and the Harold Street station, once in the plan and then unobtrusively removed in the mid-’90’s is now back on the map “tentatively”, as we have long advocated. Next job: Remove the word “tentative”.

We also were quite impressed with the very positive response to a suggestion of our own: That since the proposed Harold Street station, on the east side of McLoughlin at the Brooklyn Train Yard vehicle entrance, would be only two blocks from Reedway, and a Reedway right-of-way still exists east of the rails from the days in the mid-1930’s before McLoughlin was completed and cut it off, why not build a bike-and-pedestrian footbridge over the Union Pacific main line at Reedway?

Such a path would allow Reed College students easy access to MAX, as well as residents in the huge Wimbledon Square apartment complex just north of there, and would additionally allow easy and fast bike and pedestrian access between Westmoreland and Reed College and the Reed neighborhood, and vice versa.

The Harold Street pedestrian crossing is an already established route generations have gotten across McLoughlin with, to catch northbound buses; with MAX and the additional traffic the footpath might create to and from Westmoreland, the only needed step (already long overdue) is upgrading the responsiveness of the timing mechanism on the Harold Street light.

At each workshop, facilitators worked with neighbors around tables devoted to specific proposed MAX stations, identifying issues and opportunities, and concluding with a summary for the whole room on the outcome of each table’s discussions, presented by one of the participant neighbors.

Next step: Late this month, two open houses, to summarize those workshops and provide further public input: On Monday, November 26th at Sellwood Middle School Cafeteria, and on Tuesday, November 27th, at OMSI Auditorium. Both events will run from 6 till 8 pm, and your invitation is to “drop in anytime”.
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Old Posted Nov 24, 2007, 9:39 PM
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Metro is studying the southern terminus options and is looking for feedback. I prefer the Tillamook Branch alignment for higher speed and less impact on historic and other existing buildings, and I also like the extension to Park rather than DT Milwaukie. Frankly, the further south the alignment is the more feasable an extension to Oregon City becomes.
http://www.metro-region.org/files/pl...heet-south.pdf
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Old Posted Nov 25, 2007, 12:01 AM
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the tillamook branch to park place is definitely FAR better than the others. also, probably cheaper - fewer sharp curves and less street-running.
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Old Posted Apr 28, 2008, 8:30 PM
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Some info from the latest Portland Streetcar Citizens Advisory Committee meeting minutes

Quote:
Karen Withrow from Metro made a presentation about the Milwaukie Light Rail Project. Metro started on the Portland-Milwaukie project approximately a year ago and they are preparing to release the Environmental Impact Statement in April 2008 which will start the public comment period. They will hold three open houses and a public hearing during the comment period. Metro wants to make sure that people are aware of the project and aware of ways they can contribute input into the project. Bob Richardson asked about where the bulk of the cost increases are going to be. Withrow responded that a substantial piece of the costs increase is that they are looking to extend the project further south approximately two miles from the original design, which includes some elevated track. Also, the cost of construction has increased since the original cost estimates were released. There will be a lot more information in the Environmental Impact Statement about the expected costs.

Chris Smith asked about the bridge crossing. Withrow responded that there is good discussion coming out of the partnership committee. Metro and the committees have been talking to property owners about the bridge alignment and it seems there may be something between Porter and Mead (Southern end of the OHSU campus) on the west side. On the east side the most support is for Sherman. None of the bridge crossing options come close to touching the island. They are all North of the Tram. Smith asked about the difference between the draft EIS and the final EIS. Withrow responded that the draft is more minimal and that there will be more detail when the final EIS is submitted. Susan Pearce asked about the height of the bridge. Withrow responded that there are ongoing discussions with the users of the river and that the two heights that are being discussed are 65ft and 72ft. Based on the discussions so far it looks like 72ft is more likely (the Sellwood Bridge is 75ft). Richardson asked about what the highest incline we can have and still have a navigable bridge. Withrow responded that the current grade is designed at an incline between 4% and 5%.
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Old Posted Apr 28, 2008, 8:48 PM
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Two full miles?? How far is OC from Milwaukie?

**edit: looks like approx. 6 miles? Man, I wish they'd just decide to go all the way, so a future extension would be unnecessary. Still, a 2-mile increase is good news...

Last edited by tworivers; Apr 28, 2008 at 8:59 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 28, 2008, 9:25 PM
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^ interesting... the earlier extension to Park is only 3/4 mile from the Milwaukie design terminus, which means it could extend to Oak Grove Blvd (I believe there is a Fred Meyer there) or Concord Road along McLoughlin (or the trolley ROW). Lake Oswego is also 2 miles from the original terminus...

Last edited by NJD; Apr 28, 2008 at 11:08 PM.
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 1:53 AM
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milwaukie terminus + 2 miles = Risley Ave
park ave + 2 miles = Naef Rd

but it would surprise if they're really doing this. there's nothing about it on metro's web site. the most recent document (3/28) shows the alignment with "potential" extension to park ave. honestly, i think following the route back over the river to lake oswego would be the best way to go (the streetcar route has always seemed fairly iffy to me).
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 3:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvpcvm View Post
milwaukie terminus + 2 miles = Risley Ave
park ave + 2 miles = Naef Rd

but it would surprise if they're really doing this. there's nothing about it on metro's web site. the most recent document (3/28) shows the alignment with "potential" extension to park ave. honestly, i think following the route back over the river to lake oswego would be the best way to go (the streetcar route has always seemed fairly iffy to me).
And from Lake Oswego west through the existing right-of-way to meet up with WES in Tigard. And continue on the east side down to Oregon City. If off-peak each line ran every 15 minutes that would still leave Milwaukie to Portland headways of only 7 1/2 minutes - off peak. Then continue the green line down I205 to Oregon City to meet up with that line.
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