With an eye toward refining potential high capacity transit routes in Tigard and Tualatin, Southwest Corridor Plan staff are gearing up for a busy October. An interactive comment map, Tigard community forum and a project steering committee meeting are all in the works.
Planners are trying to refine light rail or bus rapid transit options to serve Portland Community College's Sylvania campus, pare down five route options in the Tigard Triangle and downtown Tigard, and compare several options to serve southeast Tigard and Tualatin.
They are hoping that people who live, work or travel in the corridor will share thoughts online and in person this month.
An interactive comment map will go live on Oct. 19, inviting people to learn more about options under study and provide feedback. The map will be available until Nov. 9, and will include survey questions on the impacts and tradeoffs of high capacity transit options in Tigard and Tualatin.
Planners also invite Tigard residents, workers and business owners to a community forum at 6 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Tigard Public Works Building. That forum will provide an opportunity for the public to talk with project staff and decision makers and to comment on maps detailing project options in an open house style with stations on Tigard and Tualatin, mode choice and other project elements. The open house session will be followed by a moderated panel discussion.
Steering committee to discuss Sylvania
At 9 a.m. Oct. 12, the plan's steering committee will meet at the Tigard Library to discuss Tigard and Tualatin transit alignment options and terminus options. The steering committee is also scheduled to take action on whether to keep studying a light rail tunnel option to PCC Sylvania.
In July, the steering committee decided to continue further study of a direct bus rapid transit connection to the campus, and postponed the decision on further study of a direct light rail tunnel to October. A route that sticks to on Barbur Boulevard also remains on the table.
The original tunnel option has been contentious with local residents: a cut-and-cover tunnel that would require at least temporarily relocating residents of several dozen houses. In response, planners have developed an alternative bored tunnel that would drill much deeper and result in less impact to homes and streets above. But either tunnel would be costly and neighbors continue to raise concern about both, so planners are exploring other viable ways to improve transit access to the campus.
As a result, it is anticipated that the steering committee will again postpone a decision on further study of a light rail tunnel, in order to better understand non-tunnel options before making a decision.
Spring 2016 target sought
The Southwest Corridor Plan seeks to bring light rail or bus rapid transit plus a range of roadway, bicycle and pedestrian improvements to a swath of the region from downtown Portland to Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood.
Planners are working toward finalizing a package of investments to prioritize for federal, state, regional and local funding by spring 2016. This package will also define the transit project to be included in a detailed federal impact study, with a narrowed list of route options in order to reduce costs and time for the impact study.
The plan's steering committee – elected and appointed leaders from the corridor's seven cities, Washington County, Metro, TriMet and the Oregon Department of Transportation – must still decide whether to pursue light rail or bus rapid transit for the plan's high capacity transit component and determine where the line will end. Terminus options to be considered include the Tigard downtown transit center, a south Tigard location near Kruse Way, Bridgeport Village in Tualatin or downtown Tualatin.
Decisions about mode and terminus and a refined set of route options in Tigard and Tualatin are all expected this winter.
In July, the committee made several key decisions, including removing tunnels beneath Marquam Hill and Hillsdale in Southwest Portland in favor of continuing to study routes that would use Barbur Boulevard or Naito Parkway in South Portland. Previously, the committee eliminated options including running light rail or bus rapid transit on Highway 99W in Tigard and directly serving Portland's South Waterfront, Washington Square or Sherwood with high capacity transit.
Learn more about the Southwest Corridor Plan and sign up for updates