Portland transportation officials are looking at the Williams/Vancouver corridor and MLK as possible street car routes.
Officials are looking at neighborhood support and whether the street has under-developed property.
Mike Warwick, Eliot resident and longtime land-use committee chairman, says MLK fits the bill perfectly.
And clearly, the street car won’t be built on both streets.
Warwick encourages Eliot residents to express their support to city officials.
He says the Lloyd District is pushing hard for extending it on Broadway, despite the fact that the street is not under-developed.
Warwick worries that adding a street car to Broadway/Weidler could reduce traffic speed and push cars into Eliot.
Slowing traffic on MLK, on the other hand, would be helpful for pedestrians, especially parents taking children to school.
Warwick says Eliot residents should point out several advantages in extending the street car to MLK:
- slowing rush hour traffic and possibly diverting it back to I-5 where it comes from.
- enhancing pedestrian safety and neighborhood cohesion across the “MLK divide” through the introduction of structured intersections with crossing aids.
- focusing pedestrian traffic at the designated “commercial nodes” along MLK, Knott, Fremont, etc., and thereby enhancing commercial business development and job growth.
- facilitating the development of housing that isn’t auto dependent to increase density without the burden of parking structures.
- stimulating “better” development and redevelopment along MLK than is there now and has been going in. There is a lot more undeveloped and under-developed land along the northern section of MLK than south of Broadway, along Broadway, along Williams/Vancouver, Sandy, and the other routes on the map.