Sellwood Moreland Improvement League

Harold Street light rail station endorsed by SMILE Board

Jul 04, 2008

As has previously been reported in THE BEE newspaper locally, TriMet and Metro have been resisting adding an originally-planned north Westmoreland station to the latest plan for Inner Southeast light rail on the east side of McLoughlin Boulevard. A computer model suggested that the additional station would cause a one-minute delay, sufficient perhaps to deter Clackamas County commuters from using the light rail system.

However, with mostly positive reactions to such a station from the neighborhood itself at open houses and in personal contact, the Citizens Advisory Committee for the project decided to vote in June in favor of adding a station at S.E. Harold Street.

Then, a band of neighbors on Ellis Street, who had originally organized to oppose a four-story development on their residential block, and who subsequently had determined that they were united in favor of the proposed nearby light rail station, approached SMILE to seek a formal statement of support for it from their neighborhood association.

At a contentious and lengthy SMILE Board meeting on Wednesday, June 18, and after much discussion and debate, a divided Board voted 6 to 4 (with two members absent) in favor of writing such a letter of support for the proposed station ?– adding provisions advocating pedestrian/bike bridges to provide safe access, and expressing concern for sufficient security being included in the planned rail line to keep it safe.

The advancing light rail plans already include stations at Bybee Boulevard and Tacoma Street ?– in each case, along the east side of McLoughlin Boulevard.

However, the maps of the proposed project had shown that the longest gap between stations on the line would have been between the Holgate and the Bybee stations ?– an issue which the proposed Harold Street station would rectify.

Portland, Oregon 97202

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