SW Corridor Transportation Planning—What we need to have a successful transit system, and what we have been given to choose among. City of Portland, Metro and TriMet are busy investigating the possible routes for a rapid bus or light rail route from downtown Portland to Tualatin. Surface and tunnel options are being considered.
As I (Don Baack) observe the SW Corridor Project moving forward I have a strong feeling that many important inexpensive sidewalk/extended shoulder and trail projects are being left out of the discussion. The project list includes a large number of very expensive projects, but ignores many simple and inexpensive improvements needed for individuals to safely access transit. In an effort to bring this problem to the discussion, I have assembled the following list of projects that I feel will better address those simple needs of residents in our community. This is a list of street improvements within ½ mile of the routes I personally feel should be considered if a high capacity transit is brought to SW Portland.
This list is organized from north to south with Hillsdale projects on a separate post. It has two components: 1) The projects in yellow,yellow, are those additional projects within a half mile of possible stations, beyond those listed elsewhere that are needed to build out the SW Urban Trail Plan, and 2) those needed to improve the 4T Trail, some of which were ignored by those assembling the project list, in some cases because there are not on existing plans.
Some routes have 2 trails on the same alignment. I have listed the needed improvements only once. The projects highlighted in grey, grey, are the projects selected by Metro, I have indicated if they provided only bicycle facilities without concurrently doing pedestrian improvements. All of these projects are within roughly 1/2 mile of the transit alignment. I have not attached numbers to the city/metro list.
The items not in grey are my suggestions of projects that should be considered. While I have added a large number of small projects, I suspect they will total less that the Naito/Ross Island Ramps Removal Project in SW Portland, or some of the other very expensive projects on the list. All projects are Portland unless ODOT or Tigard are listed where they are involved.
I understand we are some time from having an identified alignment and mode; my intent is to make you aware that some of us think there needs to be more citizen input on the project list and the selection of the projects we want to support. Bureaucracies tend to move along and do what is easy, if we do not speak up, they will not look at these other access issues. We have been told we cannot change the project list! . If you feel we should reexamine the project list and possible add several inexpensive additions, please contact your city and metro leaders with your views.
I believe the list of projects proposed by the City of Portland and Metro are not adequate to get folks to transit as they ignore the lack of local sidewalks and some bicycle infrastructure to safely get the transit riders to the stations in all times of day and all weather. I have not included the metro/city id numbers of the projects on their list. I hope we will discuss the list and add, subtract projects that we can agree on. My point is we need to clearly state what improvements we want to see installed by the high capacity transit or some other funding source before we move forward with the kettle of fish before us. If we do not make clear what we want, we will only have ourselves to blame if we do not have the infrastructure we need to have a usable transit system, and a neighborhood we want to live in.
Please look this over with emphasis on the area where you travel, especially where you walk or bicycle. Are these improvements needed? Should others be added and your thinking? Should some be deleted, your thinking? Remember we are only looking at about 1/2 mile from the transit route.