Letters for Oct. 30
A bridge landing at the corner of Fairoaks Avenue and Courtney Road is full of challenges, because currently traffic converges from two directions (three when you include the driveway at the corner).
There is a steep grade on Courtney starting at that corner that doesn't level off until Maloy Lane. Although it seems that a sidewalk and a two-way cycle track would be added to Courtney if a bridge were built, it would take a great deal of engineering ingenuity to create a safe convergence of cars, bikes and pedestrians if a bridge were added to this site. Beyond this complex intersection and the immediate steep grade, the rest of Courtney does have a comfortable incline to River Road, and then a slight decline to get to the Trolley Trail, which would take a traveler to the Park Avenue MAX Station or towards Sellwood and the esplanade.
In the abstract, the bridge seems like a good idea. But in reality, it would have very negative impacts on the families living at the corner, and on a quiet, narrow stretch of Courtney, where the houses are not set back far from the road. A 74-foot tall bridge would be a huge, imposing piece of infrastructure spanning and degrading the only river park in Oak Grove, Rivervilla Park. To promote this bridge requires looking away from the heartbreak neighboring residents and those who cherish Rivervilla Park would feel. It would be better to reopen the conversation and widen the research to find a better alignment or a different way to get across the river. Saving time getting to one side of the river or the other shouldn't require sacrificing the livability of a neighborhood or the river views and restorative qualities of a nature park. Diminishing parks and the river experience in the name of sustainability would be a sorrowful turn of events.
I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed bridge between Oak Grove and Lake Oswego. I have seen no cost/benefit analysis of this project that persuades me it is a worthwhile expenditure of our tax dollars.
What is in Oak Grove that requires this bridge for residents on the west side of the river to get here? What is in Lake Oswego that requires this bridge for residents on the east side of the river to go there? There are already three bridges across the river within five miles of where I live in Oak Grove. Why another bridge? Why this bridge, here?
I can see why cyclists might want a shorter crossing than going through Sellwood or Oregon City. But a less environmentally and socially destructive answer to their problem would be an electric ferry, powered by the current of the Willamette River charging its batteries. Landings on each side of the river would not require millions of dollars to build, would not replace the beautiful trees of our parks and neighborhoods with bridge footings, and would not bring off-ramps into our beautiful wooded neighborhoods.
If there is a legitimate transportation problem — and I am not persuaded that there is — an electric ferry would be a less costly, less disruptive solution. But first, what is the multi-million dollar problem that needs to be solved?
J. Wesley Brown
Time for a thriving McLoughlin
Is there something wrong with Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard between the city limits of Milwaukie and the city limits of Gladstone?
We have encouraged other businesses to establish themselves on McLoughlin Boulevard, but no takers. When Clackamas Town Center was built, many businesses from McLoughlin moved out to the Town Center area. In their place, we received multitudes of used car lots. We want a thriving, exciting McLoughlin Boulevard with a variety of businesses instead of used car lots. And we don't like having to travel out of the area all the time to shop. There are plenty of shoppers in the Oak Grove/Jennings Lodge (Oak Lodge) area. And we would like more eating establishments instead of fast-food places.
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