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Light rail costs too much, does too little

Portland’s Light rail is About Adding High Density, not transit


Charlie Hales, Portland City Commissioner: “Often, not always, often, light rail or streetcar push  the community in a development direction that  we want to go and buses don’t seem to add much momentum to that change.  (Northwest Illustrated, KOIN-TV, Oct 7, 2001.)  


Mike Burton, Portland’s Metro Executive Officer: (Referring to the Interstate Ave. light rail line): ”the opportunity to develop along that line is just absolutely incredible(Emphasis added, Northwest Illustrated, KOIN-TV, Oct 7, 2001.)


Sam Adams, Portland commissioner (now Mayor):  I believe we should plan to accommodate our share of projected regional growth ... 300,000 more Portlanders ... within ¼ mile of all existing and to-be-planned streetcar and light rail transit stops ... Because it will simultaneously encourage responsible, transit-supportive development. What would Portland look like  .. it would look a lot like Portland circa 1920 - a time when the main means of motion were your feet, streetcars and bikes.”     (City Club Speech July 20, 2007)


From a publication of the Portland Development Commission: “Develpoment Oriented Transit”: Development oriented transit supports improved livability for high density environments that support public goals for urban containment, sustainable living and reduced dependence on an automobile . But higher density development does not always mean a more "livable" community . In the case of development near Streetcar; however, the package includes parallel public and private efforts.  

(emphasis added,, page 5)

Porland's Metro recommends 22,600 people around EVERY light rail station!

By this recommendation, Vancouver’s  three initial stations would add 67,800 people to the small area near the line. To put this in perspective, that number of people would fill 204 MAX trains (332/train) At 3 minute spacing, this would take 10 hours to carry all these people to work each morning and another 10 hours in the evening. Clearly, MAX cannot do this.





How will these 67,800 more people get around?

Will they simply be trapped in their homes (along with you)?

Do You Really Think That You Will Have A Voice In Density?

They didn’t listen to the people along Burnside.

They didn’t listen to the people along Interstate.

Do you think they will listen to Vancouver?

Portland’s plan for Vancouver Rail

(Map from Portland’s METRO)


Portland’s Metro Already Has a Plan for Vancouver

This Portland’s Metro’s map, from 2000, shows  that Portland’s Metro already has a  light rail plan for Vancouver . The Orange & Yellow Circles are  “station communities” and Vancouver is a regional “town center.”


Metro code  (Metro code 3.07.130) recommends the following densities:





Station communities are defined as ½ mile around rail stations (ibid), so they contain about 502 acres which is 22,600 people EACH, thus:


Station Communities - 45 persons per acre

Town Centers  - 40 persons per acre