Members of the Portland to Milwaukie MAX Steering Committee voted unanimously on Thursday the 26th of June to adopt a new locally preferred alignment for the project.
Plans to build a station at SE Harold Street have been put on hold at this time. This despite an amazing outpouring of support in recent weeks among local residents, neighborhood association leaders, Reed College, and local transportation and land use planners. City Commissioner Sam Adams acknowledged community support for this station, but in the end agreed with others on the steering committee that a station would be too expensive to build in this area at this time due to the need for pedestrian bridges over both the rail tracks and McLoughlin Boulevard.
Other stations have been removed from the alignment as well. The City of Milwaukie will now be served by a single station at Lake Road. Other stations in the downtown Milwaukie area were removed due to opposition from local property owners and schools. A station at Bluebird street has been removed due to high costs and safety concerns. A station on SW Harbor Drive in Portland may be elmimated due to similar concerns.
Light rail plans for the Brooklyn Neighborhood remain relatively unchanged from previous plans. The line will run down SE 17th Avenue between Powell and McLoughlin. Stations will be located at SE Rhine and SE Holgate Streets. Additional engineering and design work will occur in the months to come.
3 Replies to “Milwaukie MAX Plan Adopted, Harold a “Future Station””
I’m surprised that Milwaukie is only getting one station. I’m looking forward to hearing the official explanation.
Here are the reasons why the other stations planned for Milwaukie were dropped:
1. Bluebird: Low ridership, and limited commercial development opportuniites. The station would have to be elevated and would therefore be expensive and would have serious ecurity challenges.
2. Washington and Monroe Streets: Would have required stations to be either on or next to the private Portland Waldorf School and St. John’s Catholic School. Both schools were opposed to having a station on their campuses.
3. Harrison: Station would have been too far from Main Street and would have also been located on the Waldorf School campus.
4. Southgate Theatre Site: Trimet recently abandonded plans to relocate the Milwaukie Transit Center here. Construction costs would have been much higher due to several large industrial businesses that would have been displaced. Road impacts would have been greater due to the need to realign Main Street. Serious impacts would have occured at the historic ODOT office building as well.
The decision to eliminate the Harold Street Station due to cost concerns is outrageous.
After spending tens of thousands of dallars and countless hours in meetings to gauge public opinion, the bureacrats and bean counters stuck with their original plan.
This station had overwhelming support from the surrounding neighborhood and was endorsed by the Tr-Met Citizens advisory council, and the Sellwood (SMILE), Woodstock, and Brooklyn neighborhood Associations.
Each time that support surged, the Metro planners would come out with another inflated (and yet unsubstantiated) budget projection for the cost of the station and bridges.
The planners can’t seem to explain why two proposed bridges for Harold, most recently quoted at $18 million, cost so much more than the three pedestrian bridges, crossing the same obstacles, at the Springwater Corridor only cost 4.7 million.
Unlike the majority of the other car focused “park and ride” stations, Harold Street is focused on pedestrian and bicycle access. To truly compare the cost of this station with the others, we need to see the costs of parking structures and lots tied to the other stations.
The failure of the steering committee to acknowledge the public and community support for this station is not only an insult to our citizens vision, but a mockery of the so called collaborative planning process.
I am thoroughly disgusted with this outcome, and will remember the decisions our elected officials made when the next election comes around. I would urge you all to do the same.