Upcoming Events

Editorial:Where in the world is Maria Rojo de Steffey?

Commuters in and around the Brooklyn Neighborhood found an even worse than usual evening commute on Thursday, July 31st.  A large water main at SE 11TH Avenue and Tacoma streets, broke and caused an emergency closure of the aging Sellwood Bridge.  Traffic along Tacoma Street, Milwaukie Avenue, Powell Boulevard, McLoughlin Boulevard, the Ross Island Bridge and the Hawthorne Bridge came to a near standstill.  One can only wonder if this is an omen of what future commutes will be like if the Sellwood Bridge is closed permanently.Multnomah County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey, who also represents the Brooklyn Neighborhood on the commission, has made replacing the Sellwood Bridge one of her top political priorities.  Although much has been done to determine where the bridge should be and what it should look like, next to nothing has been acomplished towards actually building and paying for anything.

The County Commission has also failed to show any leadership in the planning of the Portland to Milwaukie light rail line.  Although every other municipality held lengthy hearings and discussions for this Federal mega-project, the Multnomah County Commission didn’t even bother to hold a formal vote on the issue.  However, County Chair Ted Wheeler did submit a standard, one page letter of support to avoid complete embarassment.

Most of the blame for this lack of leadership falls back on to Commissioner de Steffey.  Although she was named to the powerful Milwaukie Light Rail Steering Committee, by some reports she has only attended two of their meetings.  During the critical discussions of the past 12 months, she never bothered to show up. 

During this next week, the Sellwod Bridge will be closed to traffic during several evenings so that a construction crew can literally glue the bridge back together with apoxy so that it can hopefully last a few more years unitl a solution can be found.  Area residents area advised to keep their fingers crossed for a real solution sometime before the existing bridge has to be closed for good.

Lance Lindahl, Chair of the Brooklyn Action Corps

Leave a Reply

Weekly Email Newsletter

Social Media