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Lake Oswego to Portland Transit Project: Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Planning and conservation    Transportation and land use projects    Lake Oswego to Portland transit    Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Review the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and preliminary Section 4(f) assessment, which present information about the alternatives' impacts and benefits to the natural and human environment.

Public comment report

Public comment was accepted during the 60-day comment period, Dec. 3, 2010, to Jan. 31, 2011. Find out what residents said about the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. More

report cover

The Federal Transit Administration, Metro and TriMet have issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act for the Lake Oswego to Portland Transit Project. Cooperating agencies are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement and preliminary Section 4(f) assessment, with preliminary findings of de minimis impacts to public parks, present information about both the adverse and the beneficial potential impacts of the three alternatives: no-build, enhanced bus and streetcar. The analysis includes the future effects that each alternative would have on communities, traffic, travel options, parks and the natural environment.Download your copy of the Draft Environmental
Impact Statement below

Find out more about the preliminary Section 4(f) assessment below

Errata published Jan. 21

The errata corrects known errors or clarifies statements that were in the DEIS released for public review on Dec. 3, 2010. Revisions include corrections of typographical errors as well as clarifications or corrections related to the station area redevelopment potential and changes to short-term employment.

These revisions do not change the relative performance of the alternatives and options evaluated in the DEIS, nor do any of the revisions change the DEIS findings regarding the affected environmental and environmental consequences of the alternatives and options.
Download the errata (PDF)

Other ways to review the document

Paper copies of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and preliminary Section 4(f) assessment are available for review at these locations:

  • City of Lake Oswego Public Library: 706 4th St., Lake Oswego, OR 97034
  • City of Oregon City Public Library: 606 John Adams St., Oregon City, OR 97045
  • City of West Linn Public Library: 1595 Burns St., West Linn, OR 97068
  • Clackamas County Oak Lodge Library: 16201 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Oak Grove, OR 97267
  • Lewis and Clark College Aubrey R. Watzek Library: 615 Palantine Hill Road, Portland, OR 97219
  • Marylhurst University Shoen Library: 17600 Pacific Highway, Marylhurst, OR 97036
  • Multnomah County Central Library: 801 SW 10th Ave., Portland, OR 97205
  • Multnomah County Sellwood-Moreland Library: 7860 SE 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
  • Portland State University Branford P. Millar Library: 1875 SW Park, Portland, OR 97201

To request a copy on CD, call 503-813-7535 or email

Alternatives and the decision-making process

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement analysis allows the public and decision-makers to evaluate the alternatives and design options that provide the best solutions to transportation needs in the corridor. The DEIS analyzes benefits and trade-offs of the physical characteristics, operating plans, ridership, revenues and social and environmental impacts. After the comment period, a recommendation for the Locally Preferred Alternative was made in February 2011.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement analyzed three alternatives:

No-build option

The study examines existing transit services and facilities and only those transit and highway improvements that are deemed achievable within financially constrained resources by the year 2035. This alternative is also used as a basis for comparison for the enhanced bus service and streetcar alternatives.

Enhanced bus service

The study includes an evaluation of potential bus improvements and transportation systems management techniques to benefit bus service between Portland and Lake Oswego. The enhanced bus service alternative would include frequent bus service between Oregon City and downtown Portland along Highway 43 with connections to the Lake Oswego transit center located on Southwest Fourth Avenue between A and B streets. The enhanced bus service would have fewer stops than a normal local bus service – similar in number to the streetcar alternative, more frequent service than the current TriMet Line 35, and a 300-space park and ride facility near the Lake Oswego Albertsons.

During the alternatives analysis for the corridor, more intensive capital improvements for a version of bus rapid transit, such as queue jump lanes at intersections, were evaluated for the corridor. These improvements are not a reasonable option due to community access impacts and the potential need to acquire private property.


The study evaluates streetcar operation between Portland and Lake Oswego, where the line would terminate near Albertsons. Park and ride facilities would be located at the terminus (300 spaces) and in Foothills (100 spaces). The streetcar alternative looks at potential operation in the Willamette Shore Line right of way and design options where it may leave the right of way in in some areas.

During the alternatives analysis, streetcar running entirely on Highway 43 was dropped from study due to safety concerns. A minimum operable segment to the Sellwood Bridge is also being considered.

Section 4(f)

The DEIS also provides analysis under Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966. After the Locally Preferred Alternative decision and just prior to the completion of the FEIS, a Section 4(f) determination will be made by the Federal Transit Administration. This Section 4(f) determination will be made after consideration of minimization, mitigation and enhancement measures and could result in a de minimis conclusion. There are four parkland resources that could be affected by streetcar alternative:

  • Willamette River Greenway Trail, Willamette River in Johns Landing – no direct impacts, changes to temporary connections in some areas
  • Willamette Park, Southwest Macadam Avenue and Nebraska Street – no direct impacts, construction impacts, including potential staging, could temporarily extend into the park
  • Powers Marine Par, Southwest Macadam Avenue south of the Sellwood Bridge – no direct impacts, construction impacts, including potential staging, could temporarily extend into the park
  • Kincaid Curlicue Corridor, adjacent to Foothills Road – 0.7 to 1 acre required to realign trail connection adjacent to proposed station.

The preliminary Section 4(f) assessment is presented as Appendix E of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, below.Go

Preliminary Section 4(f) findings of de mininis impact

The Federal Transit Administration is seeking public review and comment on proposed findings of de minimis impact for the Kincaide Curlicue Corridor in Lake Oswego. A de minimis impact is one that will not adversely affect the features, attributes or activities qualifying for protection under Section 4(f).

Preliminary Section 4(f) findings on historic resources

Of the eligible historic resources in the corridor, the Red Electric Eastside Rail Line (generally the Willamette Shore Line right of way) would potentially result in a no adverse effect (a de minimis impact under Section 4(f)) or a potential adverse effect (a use under Section 4(f)), depending on the transit alternative, further design work, analysis and coordination to be completed during preliminary engineering. After the Locally Preferred Alternative decision and just prior to the completion of the FEIS, a Section 4(f) determination will be made by the Federal Transit Administration.

National Environmental Policy Act

The transit project is a collaboration of local, state and federal partners. Metro is responsible for complying with the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires agencies to integrate environmental values into decision-making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. Find out more about this process (PDF)

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The document is available as a single download and as component parts. CD and printed copies are available on request.

To view PDF files, download free Adobe Reader. To translate PDF files into text to assist visually-impaired users, visit

To view MOV files, download free QuickTime.

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Online open house

Walk though a virtual Lake Oswego to Portland Transit Project open house with the posters from the December 2010 open houses. Download the PDF (5M)

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Health impact assessment

Oregon Public Health Institute has published a health impact assessment on the Lake Oswego to Portland Transit Project. The assessment is an additional resource to inform your comments on the DEIS. Visit the OPHI site for the full report and summary documents. Go

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