Tigard takes on light rail fight

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FILE -- Inside a MAX light rail train operated by the TriMet transit agency. (KOIN 6 News)

TIGARD, Ore. (KOIN) — The fight over light rail is moving to the Tigard area.

Similar to the protest in Milwaukie, there’s now an organized effort to stop TriMet’s commuter train plans before those plans go “too far.”

Signature collectors are expected to hit Tigard streets within the next several days. They’re trying to get a measure on the November 2013 ballot that could subject the use of light rail or bus rapid transit to a vote of Tigard residents.

Tigard’s Art Crino is co-sponsor of the signature collecting effort.

“There’s a lot of emotionalism here, but people haven’t yet had a chance to see numbers,” Crino said. “This will force the city of Tigard to explain what the impact is and what the cost will be.”

Decisions for transit options in Tigard are years away, but for people in Milwaukie the project is beginning to take shape. People like Jim Land bought a house there a year ago, in anticipation of the coming high-speed train

“I had a light rail opening here three blocks from my house,” Land said, “and that was a huge incentive for me.”

Others like Cherie Gervais are frustrated by traffic delays from the torn-up roads  — and fear light rail could bring crime closer to Milwaukie schools.

“It’s our small town,” Gervais said. “You don’t want that kind of stuff happening so close to kids.”

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