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Should we build it? Decision time nears for Oak Grove – Lake Oswego bridge project

Posted by on October 8th, 2019 at 1:49 pm

One of the leading choices for the alignment of the bridge. (Graphic: Clackamas County)

“I am extremely opposed…I feel that this project mainly benefits a small group of avid cyclists.”
— Public comment on OGLO Bridge project

Just about two weeks from today, the committee tasked with deciding whether or not a new carfree bridge should be built between Oak Grove and Lake Oswego will meet for the last time. Their choice could come down to how willing they are to push beyond opposition from a handful of homeowners who live near where the bridge would be built.

As we reported back in August, Clackamas County is overseeing a feasibility study that’s looking at 10 potential alignment options for a future bridge. Now the project’s Policy Committee has whittled those down to just two options and is set to make a final decision at their October 25th meeting. If the project is deemed worthy of construction, Clackamas County wants make sure it gets on the Metro T2020 funding list.

The two alignment options under consideration (D3 and A3, see graphics) are the only ones that could easily meet ADA requirements and that also fit within existing public right-of-way and/or publicly-owned property on both sides of the river. Both of the potential alignments would land on SE Courtney Road on the east side of the river and would connect (via a few blocks on surface streets) to the existing Trolley Trail. On the Lake Oswego side, Option D3 would connect to Foothills Park and option A3 would connect to Tryon Creek/State Street (Highway 43).

Connecting Rivervilla Park in Oak Grove to Foothills Park in Lake Oswego has been an idea with strong support since Metro first studied it in 2009. A mere 800 feet separates the two parks across the Willamette River, but you have to travel about 10 miles to go between them. With major paths (Tryon Creek and Trolley Trail) and growing neighborhoods on each side, interest in the bridge has never been stronger. Unfortunately, neither has the opposition. And they’ve made their concerns loud and clear to the project’s policy committee.

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The policy committee is made up of four elected officials from each of the jurisdictions: Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas; Lake Oswego City Councilor Jackie Manz; Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba; and Metro Councilor Christine Lewis. Here’s a sampling of the public comment they heard at their last meeting on September 6th (taken from official meeting notes):

“I am a resident of Courtney Ave right near the proposed landing site of the bridge. I have only become aware of this project in the last 30 days. I am shocked at the lack of engagement with the community affected and also the lack of transparency that is surrounding this project. As it stands… I am extremely opposed…I feel that this project mainly benefits a small group of avid cyclists, and that it would be used more for pleasure than commuting. A project of this scale should benefit more than a handful of people.”

“During my vacation I sat at Riverilla Park to inform visitors about the project and how problematic it would be for the park. It would hurt parking. Rivervilla Park is a beautiful, active park and place of neighborhood unity and that unity could be torn apart.”

“This is a foolish project that would benefit few people while the rest of the public foots the bill. A bridge that does not also alleviate traffic congestion is not worth building at this time.”

“I own a house on State Street in Lake Oswego. The project should post all objections to the project on the project website in addition to a good cost estimate. I’m concerned about user access; more parking must be considered. I don’t like the northern landing options in Lake Oswego but could live with the southern one. Consider light impacts on neighbors, as well as homeless management.”

In a recent policy committee meeting, Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas acknowledged that he has heard more negative feedback from the public than positive. Lake Oswego Councilor Jackie Manz said she’s heard from constituents that are concerned about “the homelessness issue and crime.” And strangely, the issue of parking (where people would do it and how much would be needed) has also been a major sticking point. Apparently, many people assume that the bridge will be a recreational destination and that people will drive from around the region in order to use it (either that or they simply oppose the bridge and are using parking as an anger container).

Keep in mind this was the highest rated project based on public feedback when Clackamas County updated their Transportation System Plan in 2012. It’s also strongly supported in regional plans and has the backing of dozens of elected officials and community leaders. But as we know all too well, it’s often the people most strongly opposed to something that make their voices heard.

If you want to make sure policy committee members hear from the full range of potential users of this bridge, please consider sending them an email:

– Project Manager Stephen Williams, : swilliams@clackamas.us
– Clackamas County Commissioner Paul Savas: bcc@clackamas.us
– Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba: GambaM@milwaukieoregon.gov
– Metro Councilor Christine Lewis: Christine.lewis@oregonmetro.gov
– Lake Oswego City Councilor Jackie Manz: jmanz@ci.oswego.or.us

And if you want to show up in person to make a stronger impression, come to the next policy committee meeting on Friday, October 25th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Clackamas County Development Services Bldg Room 115 (150 Beavercreek Road in Oregon City). For more info, check the project website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

80 Comments
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    John Lascurettes October 8, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    I feel that this project mainly benefits a small group of avid cyclists, and that it would be used more for pleasure than commuting. A project of this scale should benefit more than a handful of people.

    Two can play that game:
    I feel that this project is mainly opposed by a measurably small group of home owners, that it is being blocked for the self-interests of their own benefit rather than for thousands of people every year. A project of this scale should not be blocked by a handful of myopic people.

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      Ken S October 8, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      John Lascurettes, that is beautifully worded.
      May I quote you in my sternly worded email to the city and county officials?

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    JH October 8, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Ultimately Lake O is going to do what Lake O does when it comes to cooperating with anyone that might bring anyone unfavorable into their area. I can hear it now: “Can you imagine people from *gasp* SouthEast coming in?”

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      JeffS October 8, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      Pointing them to the pristine Portland bike trails and parks should assuage their fears. Oh wait…

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    Chris I October 8, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Wow, they really don’t want any connections to the “poors” on the other side of the river. I went paddleboarding down here a few weeks back, and it’s a pretty cool spot. It is terribly isolated, from an access standpoint. With a pedestrian bridge, it would be possible to ride the Trolley Trail and have great river access once you cross over. But, I suppose that is the objection. They don’t want to share it with anyone.

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    JF October 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    The opposition in LO isn’t from a few nearby homeowners. It seems pretty much everyone is strongly opposed to it. Look, Portland is great. But it has become a bit of a mess and I can’t fault people for wanting to do what they can to keep their community from becoming more like Portland. Lowering a drawbridge across the Willamette isn’t what people seem to want.

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      Chris I October 8, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      LO and this bridge are in a different county. They are not in Portland. If they oppose this bridge, it shouldn’t be “because Portland”. We don’t create the homeless, but they are attracted because of our enforcement policies. LO police can continue to bus skulls or do whatever else it is they do to purge the homeless from their community.

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        JJ October 10, 2019 at 10:40 am

        Being one of those “avid cyclists” and also a resident of the LO area I can tell you that LO police will not “bus” (bust?) “heads”. I have called in and reported homeless folks in dangerous spots(camped on a median and camped near the train/trolley tracks), the dispatcher told me, “that it was their right to be there”. So I guess take that with a grain of salt… in any event I support this bridge and think that it would actually bring money to these communities and be a positive. I don’t think this bridge is going to “lure” homeless folks to LO. That’s silly.

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      Michael Hoeye October 9, 2019 at 3:59 pm

      More nimble than N.I.M.B.Y.
      Neighborhood opposition to the bike bridge as currently proposed is not actually a NIMBY response. This is not a NIMBY community. It’s more a community that takes its responsibilities to the larger community seriously.
      About 10 years ago we opposed serious outside pressure to close our outdated sewage treatment plant and export our sewage 5 miles south to Gladstone as part of an enormous area wide sewage consolidation.
      Instead the Oak Grove community opted to replace the old plant with a new state-of-the-art water treatment facility right here where it’s always been. It’s less than a block from my house. We actively participated in the planning process, supported the financing through rate increases, and endured up-close and personal several years of blasting, grading, hauling and construction. We shared our narrow roads with cement trucks, dump trucks, bulldozers, cranes and uncountable crew trucks. We endured dirt, grit, noise, smells and we continue to host the regular comings and goings of sludge trucks and the periodic smogs of sewage off-gassing.
      And we did all of this without much complaining. We were enthusiastic and willing exactly because we were fulfilling a real need of the greater Oak Grove and Jennings Lodge communities. It made the inconvenience and the expense worthwhile. We were proud to participate and have been justifiably proud of the result.
      The OGLO Bridge is different in every way.
      Our problem with the OGLO bridge is that the design and the siting are lousy. The public process has lowered the bar dramatically where transparency is concerned. It has been manipulative and misleading from the beginning. But this is not about keeping the riff raff out of the neighborhood. We’re pretty riff-raffish ourselves.
      This is about intelligent design.

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        Chris I October 10, 2019 at 6:52 am

        Where would you site the bridge?

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        The Dude October 10, 2019 at 8:02 am

        That’s a great story, but it’s difficult to see what it has to do with what is obviously a NIMBY response here. Just saying that there is no NIMBY response here does not make it so, and of course it stretches credulity.

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    JeffS October 8, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Make sure when you contact them that you let them know you don’t even live in their county.

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      Chris I October 8, 2019 at 3:21 pm

      LO residents and their representatives in Clackamas County had a lot of input on the Sellwood Bridge, which is outside of their county.

      This is a region-wide issue. Trail connectivity is really important, and everyone should have a voice.

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        B. Carfree October 8, 2019 at 6:06 pm

        I wish it were so. All too often, regional car amenities are considered too important for their damage to be considered, but regional alternatives to car use are hammered into a tin can and discarded by NIMBY.

        This is why we have massive highways/freeways criss-crossing our state but can’t even begin the process of creating rail-with-trail to do the same for active transportation.

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        J October 8, 2019 at 8:18 pm

        The new sellwood bridge is a nightmare for anyone living SW who used to cross to SE. It destroyed the social merging of traffic between the two directions (from N&S on 43 heading east onto the bridge) because of a No Turn On Red light. Now Portland is less cooperative even if we wish to be. The cycle route should have been made separate from vehicles, but corner cutting broke that.

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          Andrew Kreps October 8, 2019 at 10:56 pm

          I live in SW and use the Sellwood bridge to get to SE nearly daily. I don’t understand what you’re on about here, it’s perfectly passable. In fact, I pass a lot of cars on it every single time I use it.

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            Fred October 9, 2019 at 7:49 am

            I think I get what J is saying, Andrew. The old Sellwood bridge had no amenities at all for cycling. The new Sellwood bridge has bike lanes on both directions, but the connections on the west end are clunky. Does anyone really love stopping that gorgeous westward roll and waiting for THREE lights to change? I especially hate the mandatory stop for the first light to allow every single car to turn right ahead of me, while I wait there like a pedestrian. It would have been much better to create a dotted-merge area to take advantage of the speed we have coming down the grade. But I guess the design fits some non-cyclist’s idea of safety.

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          Chris I October 9, 2019 at 10:43 am

          What? The old Sellwood Bridge was a nightmare for everyone. Granted, the new one is a bit of a monstrosity, with that overbuilt interchange on the west side. From a walking/cycling perspective, though, it is fantastic.

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            GlowBoy October 9, 2019 at 12:26 pm

            The new Sellwood bridge isn’t perfect, but it’s vastly better than the “Walk bikes across bridge” and “Men below please don’t throw” (those were actual signs on it) half-sidewalk we had before.

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          Ron Swaren October 9, 2019 at 3:42 pm

          We should have saved the old bridge (replaced with a lightweight top section) and used the extra money for an express tunnel under Tacoma St. for through traffic. Tacoma is very difficult to cross and will only get worse. Plus a sizable number of the new apartment inhabitants do park on the street. My opinion as a Sellwood resident. Also how about a larger intersection of the Springwater Trail at the S. end of 19th Ave? Not like you might not see someone coming from the other direction……

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      The Dude October 8, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      Yeah, if only people who live in other communities wouldn’t come in and make trouble, right?

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    Lisa Nowak October 8, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    The reason people think it will become a destination and cause parking problems is because project manager Steve Williams said so on KGW news. Here’s a quote and a link to the video: “We actually think if this bridge is built it will become a destination. That people will start to come to downtown Lake Oswego and over here to Oak Grove just so that they can get on the bridge and walk out. We think it’s going to be a beautiful view of the river. Y’know, something that’s unmatched anywhere else in the region.”
    https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/car-free-bridge-proposed-to-connect-lake-oswego-oak-grove-in-clackamas-county/283-02409a9d-d13d-4880-abb4-62c0e74c487b

    One issue that few are mentioning is that the intersection of Courtney and Fairoaks, the proposed east side landing site, it a dangerous blind corner with a rise that prohibits people from seeing oncoming traffic on Courtney until it’s about 100 feet away. Bicyclists and pedestrians unfamiliar with this area would be walking or riding into an extremely hazardous situation. And many of those involved in the study didn’t bother to do a site visit. They based their recommendations on what they could gather from an aerial photo. The PAC committee, listed above, won’t do their site visit until right before their final meeting on the 25th. This means they have two hours to visit two locations in Oak Grove, two more in Lake Oswego, and get to the meeting in upper Oregon City. That doesn’t strike me as allowing much room for being thorough.

    And if we’re going to be talking about a “handful of people” who stand to lose or benefit from this, we should put that in real numbers. Project proponent Paul Savas estimated that 70,000 people will benefit from this bridge. The population of the metro area is 2.43 million. That means only 1.65 percent of the people paying for this bridge will actually get anything for their money. That seems like a bad investment considering how many other, more practical, ways the funds could be spent to benefit bicyclists and pedestrians. For example: creating a dedicated security patrol and clean-up crews for policing and maintaining the Springwater Corridor and the Trolley Trail.

    It’s wasteful and insulting to taxpayers and the bicycling community to build yet another structure that will be neglected.

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      John Lascurettes October 8, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      “…a rise that prohibits people from seeing oncoming traffic on Courtney until it’s about 100 feet away. Bicyclists and pedestrians unfamiliar with this area would be walking or riding into an extremely hazardous situation [100 feet away].”

      That’s a mighty long ways away for bike and walking speeds. If you’re saying the issue is speeding drivers not paying attention, there are abatement methods that could be pulled out as part of the new construction.

      “Project proponent Paul Savas estimated that 70,000 people will benefit from this bridge.”

      Ever? Per year? Per month? 70,000 people is twice as many as live in Lake O.

      “The population of the metro area is 2.43 million. That means only 1.65 percent of the people paying for this bridge will actually get anything for their money.”

      Just like not everyone has crossed the Tilikum Bridge or have taken the Tram. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t benefit the region at large to a great degree. That’s a pretty nifty trick you tried to do with numbers there.

      I also found the NIMBY woman in the video you posted as being deceitful. Walking/biking bridges don’t “make noise” — traffic bridges full of cars do. There would be none on this. Those watercraft shown in the video are what create noise — and pollution that hurts the “sensitive” creek she acted concerned over.

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        Lisa Nowak October 8, 2019 at 5:50 pm

        John Lascurettes, until you’ve visited the proposed landing site yourself, you’re in no position to evaluate it. A car traveling at thirty miles per hour can cover a hundred feet very quickly, so it doesn’t really matter how far the distance appears to be for someone on foot or a bike.

        As for noise, there’s a very good chance there would be vehicles on the bridge. Metro is pushing to have it built to accommodate small buses. Yes, this is a change from the original plan, and yes, that’s the level of consistency and transparency that’s plagued this project from the start.

        And finally, if your idea of civil dialog is to accuse a woman you haven’t met of being deceitful and “acting concerned,” then I really don’t have anything else to say to you.

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          The Dude October 8, 2019 at 6:35 pm

          I agree with John. These concerns are classic NIMBY tactics; find and exaggerate small issues with the project and use them as an excuse to catastrophise the result.

          Either it’s going to become a regional destination or it’s going to only benefit a few people and be neglected. But not both. Your argument doesn’t even make sense.

          Same thing for the idea that “Homelessness exists, therefore no new bike infrastructure can be built.” Classic NIMBY nonsense.

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            J October 8, 2019 at 8:24 pm

            The spring water corridor has become unusable and unsafe. Perhaps once that can be resolved then building more should be postponed. I’m an avid cyclist, but now it’s not safe to be out alone on many of these routes (think puncture repair alone from broken glass and other trash on the trail. Been there, not fun with tweakers harassing!)

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              Andrew Kreps October 8, 2019 at 10:58 pm

              Are you aware there are still hundreds upon hundreds of people using the Springwater Corridor every day?

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              Fred October 9, 2019 at 7:55 am

              What the heck are you talking about, J? “The spring water corridor has become unusable and unsafe.” I ride it almost every day – it’s perfectly usable and perfectly safe 99.999% of the time. Yes, you encounter people with issues, but you take precautions.

              Please don’t make verifiably false statements in this space – save them for The Oregonian’s comment sections.

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              BradWagon October 9, 2019 at 9:52 am

              Woah, look out everyone. “Avid cyclist” here who is uncomfortable with… *squints* riding the dedicated MUP. Oh.

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          Buzz October 8, 2019 at 11:49 pm

          Please don’t show up here with your rant and then get all insulted when someone else criticizes it.
          🙂

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          Chris I October 9, 2019 at 10:56 am

          Can you share the information you have on these supposed “small buses”? From what I’ve read, the bridge would be designed to accommodate emergency vehicles, and only if the worst happens (major region-wide disaster, earthquake, etc). Anyone sharing the idea that there will be buses driving over this is either lying to further their agenda, or is choosing to accept poor information because it is inline with their way of thinking. Small buses? What would that even be?

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            Lisa Nowak October 10, 2019 at 10:31 am

            Jason H, I don’t particularly appreciate being called a liar by someone who is simply going on opinion and hasn’t bothered to check the facts.

            For proof of buses, check out pages 18 and 19 of this presentation to the OGLO CAC on September 19th
            https://dochub.clackamas.us/documents/drupal/bd9f6abb-fbf2-4ad6-8f9e-ad70de136e51

            And page 5 of this summary of the OGLO PAC meeting on September 6th. https://dochub.clackamas.us/documents/drupal/f65b78ed-09a0-44ad-8ea1-15816d8d3168

            Furthermore, at the September 19th meeting (which the county has yet to provide a summary for), Project Manager Stephen Williams announced that Metro is indeed asking for it to support full-sized buses. Only one would be allowed on the bridge at a time, and there would be traffic signals installed at both ends to prevent collisions.

            BTW, you executed poor logic in stating that I was arguing both that the bridge would be a destination and that no one would use it. I quoted Stephen Williams, project manager and proponent of the bridge, simply to answer a question the author of this article presented. That is, where did the idea of the bridge being a destination come from. It is not my argument and I don’t necessarily believe it, though if people keep plugging it that way, I suppose it will be more likely to happen.

            For anyone else who insists on arguing in favor this project without knowing anything concrete about it, you can educate yourselves here: https://www.clackamas.us/transportation/oglo

            There seems to be a preponderance of logical fallacies, name calling, and snobby attitudes on this site. I’ve been defending the bicycling community to those who rant that you’re all entitled elitists who refuse to obey traffic laws, but if this is the way you engage in public discourse, you’re not doing a lot to earn my support. It IS possible to present your opinion without being insulting.

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              John Lascurettes October 10, 2019 at 11:02 am

              Again, one bus at a time is not a noise nuisance. Bumper to bumper traffic at speed is a noise nuisance.

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                John Lascurettes October 10, 2019 at 11:06 am

                And reading through the docs, TriMet has stated they’re not even interested adding a bus route to the bridge if built with bus access. And it’s a proposal to study the option, not a hard design.

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            Lisa Nowak October 10, 2019 at 10:35 am

            Okay, I lost track of threads here. It was Chris I who called me a liar, not Jason H. My bad. Jason phrased it as “trying to obfuscate,” however he was just as belittling in his arguments.

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              Chris I October 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm

              I apologize for the comments, but to be fair, from what you have shared, it looks like Metro has just requested that they study the concept of a bus on one side of the bridge. Trimet has expressed no interested in running a bus line, and no where else on the project website is it mentioned. I would agree with you that building to accommodate a bus would be a poor choice. I think it would double or triple the cost of the project, with very little ridership benefit.

              The reason that people can be so defensive and salty here, is because we’ve seen this fight over and over again. Bike/Ped infrastructure is relatively cheap, and in general, makes our region a much more livable place. There is no noise pollution, no air pollution, and countless recreational opportunities that they bring. This particular project fills an insanely large gap in our regional infrastructure. There is no reasonable way for pedestrians and cyclists from LO to cross to Milwaukie right now. HWY 43 is very dangerous, and the distances involved are very long.

              With this in mind, I would ask you the following:
              1. Do you oppose all pedestrian infrastructure, or just this one?
              2. If you can at least acknowledge that there is a need here, where would you locate a similar bridge to fill this need?

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              Jason H October 10, 2019 at 5:26 pm

              You know, I had a bunch of comebacks all cued up and was just deciding if it was worth the effort to post them or let it go when I decided to do a little Googling. Apart from confirming no you’re NOT the diaper wearing “Lucy in the Sky” astronaut, I got a peek at how much the river means to you and why you would fight for the status quo. So instead I just want to say if they build the bridge they’re almost certainly not going to build one of the alternate plans with transit. The neighborhood will keep it’s quiet, sleepy character and the river will be the same river you love, just with more people able to see and appreciate its marvel.

              If it’s built I for one will make sure while using it to be quiet and respectful both to the spirit of the place and the residents who call the area home, and would hope everyone would do likewise. It’ll all work out and while I feel sorry the process has been acrimonious, I’m hopeful some of those opposed will come to appreciate the jewel it could be.

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      Jason H October 8, 2019 at 6:32 pm

      Good grief! So it’s both a destination that will attract too many people with congestion and parking while also not being used enough to justify the cost/benefit for so “few” people using it. You’ve got some real whack’a’doodle logic there. How many people use parks, public pools, libraries? Probably worth closing all of them too and never building any more. Population is aging, soon children under 18 will be a smaller percentage of the population, no need for schools either huh? Better just stick to only building freeways and strip malls.

      Guess what. people who live in the region want to enjoy the river, the nature and the views too, not just the privileged few who’ve bought in and now want everyone else out. The people who would use this on the weekend will yes, be mainly families, children and visitors enjoying the existing parks and the new beautiful ways to get between both rather than have to only visit one, or make a long polluting vehicle trip in between. On weekday mornings and afternoons, it will provide a much safer direct connection for commuting cyclists and walkers and connect east side and west side trail systems. Trolley Trail to Tryon Creek in minutes vs hours.

      I visited the site in person several moths back and absolutely nothing struck me as dangerous or irresponsible if drivers stay at a normal, reasonable slow residential speed, and bikes and peds go, well bike and ped speeds.

      It is absolutely NOT wasteful, it’ll be a wonderful regional connection for active transportation and access to parks and nature, to say otherwise is simply exclusionism.

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      Fred October 9, 2019 at 8:04 am

      Thanks, Lisa Nowak, for reminding me that I need to write to the city council today and ask them to close my street. I have been thinking recently about how my street mainly benefits my neighbors and me. In fact, your post inspired me to do the math: the street mainly benefits 25 people, and given Portland’s population of 2.43 million, it simply makes no sense to have a street that benefits a mere 0.00001028806 of the population!

      By the way, you did a fantastic job of picking a population that is not just Portland’s but is in fact “The Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the 23rd largest in the United States, [with] a population of 2,226,009.” Ridiculous argument!

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      Engineer October 9, 2019 at 8:17 am

      Look at the profile in the exhibit. They are proposing tying in above the slope and/or regrading the area so that hill is gone.

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      GlowBoy October 9, 2019 at 12:27 pm

      There are a whole lot of multimillion-dollar infrastructure projects that benefit fewer than 70,000 people. But when those beneficiaries are driving cars, I guess it’s okay?

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      GlowBoy October 9, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      I guess the chance of LO (local opposition, or Lake Oswego, take your pick) killing this is pretty strong.

      After all, we’re talking about a city that has a lakefront park, but will arrest you if you so much as dip your toe in the eponymous waters. Where recent attempts to allow public access have literally been met with screams of “Communism!”

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      Jason October 11, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      But what about practical ways to get from SE PDX to Lake Oswego? As I mentioned in another post in this thread, my office is moving from SE Waterfront to Lake Oswego. No big deal for a car driver, but it’s a daunting commute. No matter which route I take. Mind you, I’ve rode on Terwilliger and Barbur countless times. But doing that ride five days a week will take dedication. There are a lot of people that commute from either LO to downtown or SE to LO. You probably don’t see them on the Springwater because that’s a road to no where. Think about the carbon offset of just a “handful” of commuters vs some transitory notion like budgets.

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    dan October 8, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    Just trying to close the italics tag

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    Peter Goodkin October 8, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    I live in LO. Everyone in town is not against the bridge. I championed the study a few years ago as chair of the CC Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee. Also commuted by bike south on HWY 43, crossed the the OC Arch Bridge and connected to Clackamas, where I worked, via an incomplete I-205 path. This bridge would have cut my commute nearly in half.

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    BradWagon October 8, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Avid Cyclist! Nice, mark your bingo boards folks.

    Every opinion in every one of those quotes is wrong. Amazing.

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    Jon wang October 8, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Not support a carfree bridge. No bridge or multi use bridge.

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      rick October 9, 2019 at 9:37 am

      The bridge would be built to support first responder automobiles.

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      Chris I October 9, 2019 at 11:07 am

      Multiple uses: walkers, runners, cyclists, roller-bladers, dogs, cats, emergency vehicles.

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      John Lascurettes October 10, 2019 at 11:11 am

      Jon Wang, there’s already two legally auto-only bridges in the area and a couple more that are pragmatically car-only. I think we can afford more than one walking/biking(/transit) only bridges in the area than the one and only one we have already.

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    Jim Lee October 8, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Denizens of Sucker Lake beware! The “Crime Train” terminates not far distant!

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    WestRiver October 8, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Sucks that these committee meetings are always scheduled to benefit the privileged…

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    Mike Perham October 8, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    I live in LO and am on the citizens advisory committee for this bridge. Personally I would use it several times per month and am really excited to see a whole new area for us Lakers to enjoy and visit by bike.

    I would ask anyone that can, please go to the policy meeting and show your support.

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    Rip City October 8, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    I didn’t even know about this proposal until now: that would be awesome finally having a good way to get from the Milwaukie area to Lake Oswego. Not to mention that Courtney Avenue is an easy bike ride to the Orange line. I’d bet big money that the exact same people who opposed the new Sellwood Bridge and the Orange Line oppose this now, and look at how those turned out…

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    Tom October 9, 2019 at 5:46 am

    I frequently ride from SE Portland to Lake Oswego and have three routes, none of which are that great.

    (1) Springwater Corridor to Sellwood Bridge, then up through Riverview Cemetery and down through Tryon Creek State Park. Preferred route, but it has a 500-foot hill to ride over in both directions.

    (2) Springwater Corridor to Sellwood Bridge, then onto Highway 43 all the way to Lake Oswego. Shortest route, but 43 has heavy traffic with no shoulder in some sections, and there is still a 250-foot hill to ride over.

    (3) Springwater Corridor to 17th Avenue Path, then Trolley Trail to Gladstone and onward to Oregon City. Over the bridge onto Highway 43 and North to Lake Oswego. Exceptionally long route that only makes sense if I have some business in Oregon City.

    With the Oak Grove/Lake Oswego Bridge I’d have a fourth route.

    (4) Springwater Corridor to 17th Avenue Path, then Trolley Trail to bridge and Lake Oswego. Much shorter than the other three routes, practically flat, and nearly the entire distance on dedicated bike paths.

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      Ken S October 9, 2019 at 1:05 pm

      I’m in the same boat, commuting from Oatfield to Tualatin. Either 17 dangerous miles going through Oregon City, or 19 less dangerous miles through sellwood, LO, and the Stafford hill.

      The bridge would cut my ride down to 12 miles.
      I could do that every day(!) instead of once a week to stave off the madness of driving I-205 every day…

      I said as much in email to the city/county folks.

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      Ken S October 9, 2019 at 1:20 pm

      If anyone knows the guys at lakeside bikes, I’m sure they and their well to do clientele would appreciate the new bicycle connection.
      I’m also sure a letter of support from a local small business would have a great impact on the LO dep of commerce.

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      Tad Reeves October 14, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      I’ve had very similar experiences living both in Lake O as well as where I now live in Oak Grove on the Trolley Trail near where this bridge is proposed. My kids go to school and daycare in West Linn and I bike commute to the city. Options currently are awful, as you’ve stated – made especially worse when you’re pulling a bike trailer. I’d like any of the people saying this bridge isn’t needed to please attempt to pull a bike trailer up the Riverview Cemetery hill or up Tryon Creek. And there aren’t any other alternatives unless you divert all the way down through Oregon City and add another 10 miles to the ride.

      In Portland we /should/ be setting the example for the rest of the country on how to prioritize sustainable transportation, and this bridge, if built, would do wonders to move that forward for a huge section of the area. In addition to people this side of the river being easily able to walk/bike to the fabulous retail areas in LO, LO residents would be able to bike to the Max and have a viable car-free way to get in to the city that doesn’t involve OR-43.

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    ADD October 9, 2019 at 9:40 am

    I live very near the proposed terminus in Milwaukie and really hope this gets built. I’ll make sure I write in, thanks for the heads up.
    I know more than one person who drives across the river from LO, parks in Milwaukie/Sellwood, and then bikes up the Springwater-Willamette back across the river to downtown Portland. Maybe this bridge could convince them to eliminate the car leg.
    Perhaps someone should point out to LO that a bike/ped connection to the Orange Line could help them avoid getting their own very scary Crime Train forced upon them for a little while longer?

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      BradWagon October 9, 2019 at 9:56 am

      Awesome, this was my immediate thought. How many people would prefer this over the sellwood/cemetery climb for traveling N-S in this area?

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      Tad Reeves October 14, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      Same here – I’m on the Trolley Trail, and have a neighbor who just got a job in LO. He really /wanted/ to bike to work every day, but after a few times traversing the Cemetery climb he sadly ended up having to buy a second car just to commute in.

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    pdx2wheeler October 9, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Our Metro region is horribly divided by both geographical features and our own man-made obstacles. We desperately need to better connect our communities and this bridge exactly fits that bill. As a Clackamas County resident I’m 100% for it, let’s build it!

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    Jason H October 9, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Oh, forgot this pearl! As far as I’ve read or heard the bridge would be engineered to be strong enough to accommodate emergency vehicles, and likely only be needed or used in the case of a regional emergency or natural disaster. Just trying to figure out whether by “small buses” you’re trying to obfuscate saying fire trucks or ambulances LOL!!

    Would be ironic if they build the bridge and in 5 years we get the Cascadia earthquake. Courtney Rd cracks on the slope from Oak Grove and it’s a fire truck from Lake Oswego that can make it to the other side and save houses (maybe yours?) from a natural gas fire.

    Lisa Nowak
    As for noise, there’s a very good chance there would be vehicles on the bridge. Metro is pushing to have it built to accommodate small buses..

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    Hazel October 9, 2019 at 11:02 am

    I sent an email to all the contacts listed in this article and got a fairly quick reply back that they are taking all written comments into consideration with the proposal so please email them with your support!

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    q October 9, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    I love all the types of routes that aren’t open to cars, but are to people walking, running or biking: Trails, stairways, pedestrian bridges…I love the idea that they can make it significantly faster to bike or walk than to drive. I’d use this bridge just for the fun of crossing the river on it.

    It just happens to be a great location for a non-vehicle bridge, too.

    If it does turn out to be used “more for pleasure than commuting” as the objector in the article stated, so what? I believe it could end up being that–not because it’s not popular for commuting, but because it would be even popular than expected for recreation.

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    q October 9, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    I like how it fits into the river’s portfolio of bridges that work for walking or biking. The Sellwood Bridge is far better for that than the old one, but you’re still walking alongside cars, something I’m sensitive too given that I’m often with my dog. Hawthorne Bridge is similar–not bad for walking or biking, but you’re still next to cars. I’d call them functional but not much more.

    Tilikum Crossing provides a better crossing experience, since the bus and streetcar traffic isn’t constant as with typical vehicle bridges. But when they do pass by, they’re loud.

    The Steel Bridge is an incredible experience–close to the water, and right up against the historic industrial structure, and totally separated from vehicles (except for their noise).

    What’s missing is a true pedestrian and bike bridge, with no vehicle or rail traffic, where you can cross midspan to look up and down the river without being run over. Imagine the quietness.

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    q October 10, 2019 at 11:21 am

    I’ve never seen a case where calling someone or their arguments “NIMBY” is productive. Same goes for people who point out that others lack “credentials” or are not “experts” or not “licensed engineers” or whatever.

    Arguments are either valid or not. If someone is a neighbor making poor arguments, it should be easy to rebut the arguments, if they truly are poor.

    I’ve been called a “NIMBY” when testifying about a project seven miles from my home. I’ve had arguments involving basic arithmetic (“The traffic study shows 24 parallel parking spaces in 50′, which would mean each space is only 2′ long”) responded by the Design Commission with “Mr. q, are you a licensed traffic engineer?” It’s crazy.

    I also think the quickness to call “NIMBY” in regard to any neighbor’s concerns clouds the discussion about projects. Some neighbors get to feeling that concerns about how a project will impact them personally won’t be listened to, so they move to complicated arguments about things they’re less concerned with because they think at least those may be considered valid. Concerns about livability and personal impacts of projects are always valid. Better to drop the name-calling and address them, just as neighbors should not discount concerns of others.

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    Dan A October 10, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t think Metro should spend a dime on Lake Oswego until they allow public access to Oswego Lake, per Oregon law.

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    K Kofler October 10, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    I grew up and have lived most of my life in the Oak Grove area.
    Though I’m not opposed in principal to a car-free bridge, between The Grove and Lake O, I’m not interested in paying for it.
    I feel that this is a project for which it’s supporters should fundraise, much like the new foot bridge on West Burnside; only they should pay for the whole thing instead of half.
    As we’ve got way bigger fiscal fish to fry in Clackamas County, this largely recreational project seems like a squanderance of tax dollars.

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      Chris I October 11, 2019 at 7:11 am

      I feel the same way about the I-205 bridge project.

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        Tad Reeves October 14, 2019 at 1:25 pm

        Unpopular opinion: I think the entire US Interstate System should be toll-only. There’s a prevailing opinion that driving a car should be “free” that feeds this toxic sprawl that we all have to pay billions for.

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      q October 11, 2019 at 8:35 pm

      I have a feeling that every time non-vehicle infrastructure gets proposed, people are going to bring up that West Burnside bridge. “If they could pay for that one, why can’t they pay for all of them!”

      A better way of thinking might be, “Since private money paid for that Burnside footbridge, now it’s time for public money to pay for this one”.

      Or just think of this proposed bridge as an opportunity for all the people in Clackamas County who use the Sellwood Bridge, that they didn’t pay for, to chip in to even things up at least a tiny bit.

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    Jason October 11, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    I say build it! My office is moving to Lake Oswego, so my two mile commute will turn into a 15 mile commute. Highway 43 is a no go with no shoulder. My route will most likely be Barbur > Terwilliger > Country Club > Kruse Way. That’s over 1000′ of gain. A bridge at just the right spot would make bike commuting much better.

    This is not just for avid cyclists.

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    Bill Jensen October 11, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Just noticed from the aerial photo, there are sewage treatment plants on both sides of the river. Obviously if it gets built, a nickname will emerge, but I’m calling dibs on…

    Smellikum Crossing
    le Pont de Poupou
    The Brown Gate

    N.B. I am super mature.

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      Tad Reeves October 14, 2019 at 1:22 pm

      You should try going to Rivervilla Park which is directly adjacent to one of those treatment plants, as well as the proposed site for the bridge. It’s a totally lovely park that already has a great view of one bridge (the P&W Rail bridge) and presuming they make a nice cable-stayed bridge like Tillicum or steel arch like Sellwood, it would be just as lovely as the current Sellwood river front park to take in the bridge and the river. And no, it doesn’t smell.

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    David DeFauw October 15, 2019 at 10:08 am

    I just emailed this to the bridge committee:
    Good morning,
    I want to give my whole-hearted endorsement of the proposed pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Willamette connecting Lake Oswego and Oak Grove. This bridge is a no-brainer for the creation of a complete and safe transportation system. I don’t think of this as an attraction in itself that needs it’s own parking. This would be like the Tillicum Crossing Bridge, a wonderful traffic and congestion free asset that gets a person from place to place.

    I used to live on Mapleton Drive in West Linn and I worked in Portland. At first I did not have a car and bicycled into Portland. I bicycled once on Hwy 43 and I feel that that was one of the more dangerous things I have ever done. I instead bicycled over the Oregon City Bridge and then down SE River Road, adding about 6 miles to my commute. If this bridge were there, I could have had a stress free commute on Old River Road, The Trolley Trail and the Springwater Trail. I finally bought a car and lined up in the endless line of traffic and congestion that inches along Hwy 43 into Portland. It is that exhaust fueled commute that finally got me to move away from West Linn.

    I now own a home in Milwaukie that I am planning on moving into in the next year or two. I am hoping I can use this bridge to access the nice restaurants in Lake Oswego.

    In building the bridge, I feel that you should pick a bridge that can support emergency vehicles and that can be be a lifeline after the Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. Many of the bridges over the Willamette will collapse and we will need these crossing points for our recovery. I also feel that the bridge should meet the requirements of the ADA. Therefore I suggest that you pick either plan A-3 from Terwillager to upper Courtney, or D-3 from Foothills Park to upper Courtney. This is the time to make this happen. Don’t let a few loud voices that are scared of change stop the creation of this critical infrastructure.

    Thank you for considering my thoughts.
    Sincerlely,

    David DeFauw

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