Clackamas voters say no to $5 Sellwood Bridge fee

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Sellwood Bridge Tour with Richard M.-8

No love from Clackamas residents.
(Photo © J. Maus)

In case you haven’t heard, Clackamas County voters soundly rejected (63-37 percent) a $5 annual vehicle registration fee that would have raised $22 million to help pay for the ailing Sellwood Bridge over the Willamette River.

The fee was passed by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners back in December, but activist groups (including Americans for Prosperity) opposed the fee and organized to get the issue on the ballot.

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Trolley Trail groundbreaking ceremony set for Tuesday

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As we shared a month ago, Clackamas County is set to break ground on an exciting new six mile bike/walk trail from downtown Milwaukie to the City of Gladstone. The press release below has details on the groundbreaking ceremony slated for Tuesday, March 22nd:

North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District sets Trolley Trail groundbreaking ceremony for March 22
North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District, Clackamas County and other partners are working to build the future Trolley Trail. The groundbreaking will be Tuesday, March 22, at Stringfield Family Park, 3614 SE Naef Road, the trail’s main trailhead.

The Trolley Trail is about six miles of bike and pedestrian trail that connects neighborhoods from downtown Milwaukie to the City of Gladstone and beyond. The trail, beginning construction now, will follow the historic streetcar right of way that ran in the area from 1893 until 1968.

Elting Northwest of Gladstone was selected as the general contractor. Construction is expected to be completed by late fall.

The trail will be constructed to the approved final design and the only changes anticipated are those that may come about once construction begins and the conditions on the ground.    

The project is currently anticipated to take about nine months to build. It is expected that the contractor will build the trail in segments. The exact sequencing is not available yet but will be shared when details are known. NCPRD will be working to provide timely construction updates to the community and interested parties as possible during the course of the project.

Construction is a dynamic process and by its nature disruptive. There may be trail closures and street detours during the course of the work.   

What’s up with biking in Clackamas County? Here’s a roundup

[Publisher’s note: Our news intern, Patrick Croasdaile, happens to live in Clackamas County so he’s a bit closer to the action down there than I am. In the story below, he shares a roundup of Clackamas County bike news gleaned from a recent meeting of their biking and walking advisory committee.]

County Planner Lori Mastrantonio-Meuser
indicates the scope of the Clackamas
Regional Center Ped/Bike Connection Plan.
(Photos © P. Croasdaile/BikePortland)

The Clackamas County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (CCBPAC) held their second meeting of the year on Tuesday night. They covered a lot of ground. While the committee spent the majority of time reviewing the upcoming Clackamas Regional Center Pedestrian and Bicycle Connection Project, topics such as bicycle facility improvements on Highway 43, the Oregon City bridge shuttle, and the County’s application for an Oregon Scenic Bikeway all received considerable discussion. They even touched on Safe Routes to Schools.

First, we got an update on the proposed bike improvements to Hwy 43 we first told you about back in December.

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Clackamas County looks to create bikeway on Highway 43

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Clackamas County wants to take a look at
how to improve biking conditions on Highway 43.

Clackamas County wants to make Highway 43 a nicer place to ride a bike. The County released a request for proposals (RFP) last week to find a consulting engineer to study the feasibility of creating a bikeway on the highway. Currently, Highway 43 offers the only direct connection between Lake Oswego and Portland. The road — with the Willamette River on one side and hills rising up on the other — is a two-lane, high-speed corridor with shoulders but with no specific markings or facilities for bike-only travel.

The RFP specifically states that the County is looking for someone to, “perform an alternatives analysis on installing bike lanes on Highway 43 between the Lake Oswego city limits and the Sellwood Bridge.”

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Sellwood Bridge fee proposal headed for showdown Wednesday

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“Put that on the ballot, that’s really the best way… People need to be able to determine what should be done with their pocketbooks.”
— Sarah Seale, Director of Americans for Prosperity, Clackamas County

A proposal in Clackamas County for a $5 motor vehicle registration fee to raise $20 million to help pay for the replacement of the Sellwood Bridge will be voted on by the County Board of Commissioners this week — but not before they hear from the public one more time.

When the proposal got its first hearing in front of the Commission on November 25th, anti-tax group Americans for Prosperity turned out 150 protestors and their opposition made headlines across the region.

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Proposed development near Oregon City could impact popular bike route

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Residents have vocally opposed
the project with signs like these.

A scenic road and popular bike route between Oregon City and the Clackamas River could be severely impacted if a proposed, 139 acre development moves forward. Clackamas Compost Products, LLC filed a permit in August with Clackamas County in hopes of building a yard debris composting and biomass energy facility on Redland Road (about 10 miles southeast of Oregon City, map here).

The proposed development has raised quite a bit of ire from surrounding residents, who fear the industrial facility will ruin the bucolic setting of surrounding farmland and pastures. A traffic study carried out by the company themselves says the facility will add an additional 100 heavy truck trips to the road.

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