Friday, September 27, 2013

Portland mayor foresees more streetcars

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Portland, Ore., Mayor Charlie Hales is stressing to local media that the city's U.S. leading-edge role in streetcar placement should continue, with additional routes to be added.

Among other possibilities, the mayor suggested extending the Eastside streetcar line to Portland Community College.

The mayor made the observation Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, at a breakfast sponsored by the Portland Business Journal. U.S. rail advocates say the emphasis is an indirect rebuttal to anti-rail voices in the Portland suburbs beginning to push back against TriMet light rail transit expansion.

Hales helped to establish current Portland Streetcar operations connect downtown with the city's Nob Hill district, helping to trigger development growth in the Pearl District, though anti-rail partisans now argue such growth would have occurred regardless of a rail presence.