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TriMet is considering reducing Barbur Boulevard to just two lanes to save money on the SW Corridor MAX project.

PMG FILE - The Orange Line was the last new MAX line to be built. It staeted service in 2015.Don't remove traffic lanes from Barbur Boulevard.

That's the message from the people who represent Southwest Portland neighborhood associations to Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. She sits on the steering committee that is considering proposals to take away one lane in each direction on Barbur to accommodate a potential light rail line.

TriMet needs to cut the proposed budget for the light rail project and is studying how much money would be saved by "skinnying" Barbur.

At the board meeting of Southwest Neighborhoods Inc., Wednesday, Sept. 25, leaders from more than a dozen neighborhood associations voted unanimously to send a letter of opposition to Eudaly, who also is the commissioner in charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. There was no debate.

"The proposal to narrow SW Barbur Blvd. to one motor vehicle travel lane in each direction is a broken promise that will create serious motor vehicle congestion issues, both on SW Barbur and in our neighborhoods," the letter reads.

The Southwest Corridor Project Steering Committee is supposed to vote on whether to remove lanes from Barbur Boulevard in late October or November. It also will be deciding if the proposed light rail line would go to Bridgeport Village in Washington County or only as far as downtown Tigard.

The project's proposed budget is at least $400 million more than the $2.375 billion TriMet believes it can raise to build the light rail line through Southwest Portland.

You can read a previous Portland Tribune story on the issue here.


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