Share your comments on the DEIS.
Light rail has the potential to transform communities.
On Southwest Barbur Boulevard, the MAX line could run in the middle of the four-lane historic highway. This option would reconstruct Barbur to retain four traffic lanes plus continuous sidewalks and bike lanes.
Students from PCC Sylvania could walk from the campus to a station at Southwest 53rd Avenue. Drivers on Highway 217 in Tigard could see the light rail trains cross over on a new elevated bridge, connecting new transit-oriented development in the Tigard Triangle to Downtown Tigard.
These choices are available for review in a 300-page draft environmental impact study that details the impacts and benefits of a proposed light rail line in the Southwest Corridor. The 12-mile light rail line would run from downtown Portland to Tigard and Tualatin in Bridgeport Village.
A team of more than 50 people from Metro, TriMet and the Federal Transit Administration prepared the project’s draft environmental review. The team, which includes physicists, engineers, biologists and an anthropologist, compiled its findings over the course of a year and a half.
“We’re really excited to share the DEIS and hear from the communities that the new MAX line could serve,” said David Unsworth, director of project development and permitting at TriMet. “The comments we get during this stage will help define what’s important for the next several years of design and public engagement.”’
The study analyzes the transit project’s costs and benefits, environmental as well as social, compares several proposed routes under consideration, and explores ways to minimize negative impacts of the project. It also identifies an initial route proposed by project staff, which was publicly presented in March. This information along with public input will be considered by decisionmakers in selecting the final light rail route.
A regionwide transportation ballot measure in 2020 would help fund the project along with matching funds from the federal government. The project is competing with other transit projects across the country for matching federal dollars.
Environmental reviews and public input are required of projects seeking federal funding. Under the National Environmental Policy Act, federal agencies have to evaluate the environmental impacts of their decisions and consider alternatives to minimize impacts.
“In the past, the federal government funded new freeways, garbage dumps and electrical facilities without letting anyone know,” said Eryn Kehe, a Metro communications specialist. “That resulted in pollution and other negative impacts for the people who lived around those projects.
“Now we do things differently,” Kehe said. “We are asking for the public’s review and comment to make the project better.”
The DEIS helps bring transparency and accountability to projects, she said.
How to get a hold of the DEIS
The report is available on online. Physical copies are available at the following locations:
–Metro Regional Center: 600 NE Grand Avenue, Portland, OR 97232
–TriMet Transit Mobility Center: 515 NW Davis Street, Portland, OR 97209
–Portland State University Millar Library: 1875 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97201
–National University of Natural Medicine Library: 049 SW Porter St, Portland, OR 97201
–Multnomah County Library: Hillsdale and Capitol Hill branches
–Hillsdale: 1525 SW Sunset Boulevard, Portland, OR 97239
–Capitol Hill: 10723 SW Capitol Highway, Portland, OR 97219
–PCC - Sylvania Campus Library: 12000 S.W. 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219
–Tigard Public Library: 13500 SW Hall Blvd, Tigard, OR 97223
–Tualatin Public Library: 18878 SW Martinazzi Ave, Tualatin, OR 97062
–Multnomah Arts Center: 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219 (available after June 15)
–St. Anthony’s Catholic Church-Tigard: 9905 SW McKenzie Street, Tigard OR 97223
Metro Councilor Bob Stacey encourages people throughout the corridor to take a look at the report and offer feedback.
“This report is a starting point – it’s very much a draft.” Stacey said. “Now is the time for people who would be affected by the proposed transit project to review the report, see if there is anything in it that might need a closer look, and to let us and the federal government know."
The steering committee will review the DEIS on Monday, June 11 at Metro Regional Center. Visit a calendar of upcoming events to learn about upcoming public meetings and share your comments.
The public has 45 days, from June 15 to July 30, to weigh in on the study and the light rail route.
A final decision is not expected until the project’s steering committee recommends the final route to the Metro Council. A steering committee recommendation is expected in August.
Your voice matters
Read the executive summary and the draft environmental impact statement. Submit your comments online, by email or mail:
600 NE Grand Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Order a copy on a CD for free, or a paper copy for a fee by sending an email with your request.