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TRAIL FROM LAKE OSWEGO TO PORTLAND IN JEOPARDY!

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  • Aaron
    For those of you who are not on the Shift list, this important bike connection would be a great area to support.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6, 2007
      For those of you who are not on the Shift list, this important bike
      connection would be a great area to support.

      Emily Gadner of BTA wrote:

      > Lake Oswego to Portland Public Hearing: July 16th, 2007
      > Metro Council Chambers and Annex
      > 600 NE Grand
      > 4pm-6pm
      > *Tell Metro Councilors that you want this trail!*
      >
      > In 2005 we released our /Blueprint for Better Biking: 40 Ways to Get
      > There/ report based on roughly 1000 surveys of cyclists and experts
      > from around the region. One of the top 10 regional projects cyclists
      > identified was a connection from Lake Oswego to Portland, as currently
      > cyclists must either brave Highway 43 or go a circuitous, hilly route.
      > Highway 43, which serves as the primary north/south route between Lake
      > Oswego and Portland, presently experiences heavy traffic volumes that
      > are forecasted to increase and cause greater congestion in the future.
      >
      > For several years, community members, business people and elected
      > officials have been thinking about this area and considering transit
      > alternatives, all of which include a complementary trail component.
      > After years of research and analysis, the study group concluded that
      > the two alternatives that would best address the needs in the corridor
      > are Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or streetcar.
      >
      > As the time for final recommendations approaches, members of the Lake
      > Oswego to Portland Transit and Trails Alternative Analysis Committee
      > (LOPAC) have been reviewing cost projections for the two alternatives
      > and complementary trail alignments. In a nutshell, BRT is cheap ($50
      > million), as is BRT with a trail ($57 million). Streetcar is expensive
      > ($130-$150 million), and streetcar with a trail even more so due to
      > the acquisition of additional property required for a trail adjacent
      > to streetcar ($200-$233 million).
      >
      > With such a significant difference in price for the two alternatives,
      > *_members of LOPAC are balking at the price tag for a multi-use trail
      > and considering removal of the trail from the project entirely._* If
      > that happens, the opportunity to connect the region for cyclists is lost.
      >
      > From the outset, the stated purpose of the LOPAC process has been, “to
      > develop a transit project that will meet future travel demands and
      > support local and regional land use plans.” Various criteria are being
      > used to evaluate the options, including decreased travel time and
      > congestion, ability to accommodate projected ridership, cost to build
      > and maintain a facility, and potential for economic development. An
      > integral piece of a successful project is the completion of a
      > continuous, safe pedestrian and bicycle trail as part of the desired
      > end results. Using the evaluation criteria listed above, a bicycle and
      > pedestrian trail surpasses the ability of the two alternatives to
      > reduce congestion along the corridor, yet it is the trail that could
      > be dropped from the final recommendations of LOPAC.
      >
      > Consider the following:
      >
      > *Projected Use / Congestion Mitigation
      > *Research from Alta Planning and Design, one of the nation’s leading
      > bicycle planning firms, indicates that if a trail between Portland and
      > Lake Oswego were on the ground today, approximately 4,000 people would
      > use it each day for commuting or recreational purposes. While Metro
      > staff has not done the projections, past experience and anecdotal
      > evidence from around the region indicate that the trail would
      > experience a significant increase in use in the upcoming years, seeing
      > as many as 6,000-12,000 daily users by the year 2025.
      >
      > By comparison, the bus has 1,870 riders today and 8,700 projected for
      > 2025. Streetcar is projected to have 10,900 riders each day in 2025.
      > Therefore, a walking and biking rail could meet 50-100% of the travel
      > demand at a fraction of the cost of the other options. It should be
      > strongly considered at least in addition to either option, if not an
      > option on its own.
      >
      > *Travel Time / Efficiency
      > *When we consider the travel time along the corridor, Metro estimates
      > that BRT will take 39 minutes and streetcar will take 30 minutes to
      > get from Portland State University to Lake Oswego. Using the Portland
      > Office of Transportation’s “no-sweat pace” bike distance calculator
      > (10 miles/hour), it would take approximately 35-45 minutes for a slow
      > cyclist to bike from Lake Oswego to Portland. By factoring in walking,
      > transferring, waiting and looking for parking, bicycling compares
      > favorably to, both BRT and streetcar in terms of efficiency.
      >
      > *Building and Maintenance Costs
      > *BRT is cheaper in the short term, but becomes more expensive due to
      > maintenance and equipment costs over time. Implementing BRT would cost
      > $50 million, with the addition of a trail costing $7 million.
      > Streetcar is expensive in the short term, but more cost effective over
      > time due to lower maintenance and equipment costs relative to BRT.
      > Implementing streetcar will cost $130-$150 million, with the addition
      > of a trail costing $70-$83 million.
      >
      > Bicycle trails cost less to build and maintain than roads, BRT or
      > streetcar. BRT will cost $7.5 million annually to maintain, streetcar
      > will cost $3-$4 million annually to maintain, while the trail
      > alignment will cost a mere $6-$10 thousand annually to maintain
      > according to Alta Planning and Design.
      >
      > *Economic Growth and Development
      > *The high cost of building a streetcar alignment is mitigated by the
      > potential for development that has been identified, and by the federal
      > funding that is available for such projects. What has not been
      > articulated throughout this process is the potential for development
      > along trail alignments. While development varies, a 3.5 mile trail in
      > Vancouver, WA cost $3.5 million to build and had helped catalyze over
      > $300 million in private redevelopment along the trail; a pay off of
      > almost 100:1!
      >
      > A Wisconsin DOT study estimates bicycling provides $765-$835 million
      > in annual economic benefits throughout the state in the form of
      > retail, service, advocacy, distribution and manufacturing jobs in
      > addition to fees from bicycle related tourism and events. Portland’s
      > bike industry is estimated to provide 800 jobs and over $63 million a
      > year to the City.
      >
      > Given all these factors, it is imperative that Metro Councilors hear
      > from cyclists about the importance of this trail. Bike routes should
      > be safe for people of all ages and abilities, and work as true
      > connections within the region. If the Metro Council decision on this
      > corridor fails to include a walking and bicycling trail, we will have
      > squandered the opportunity to build the facility that will best serve
      > the corridor in the upcoming years.
      >
      > Public Comment Period: June 27th – August 31st
      > email: _trans@..._
      > hotline: 503/797-1900, option 3
      > mail: LOAA, 600 NE Grand Ave., Portland, OR 97232
      > info: _www.metro-region.org/lakeoswego_ or 503/797-1756
      >
      > Contact Emily Gardner with questions at _Emily@..._ or
      > 503/226-0676 x. 11
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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