PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Residents in Portland’s Woodlawn neighborhood said they are trying to stop TriMet from building a layover station in their area.
After starting with about a dozen options for a layover facility at the end of TriMet’s number eight line, TriMet officials said they have the options narrowed down to two finalists.
TriMet brought their proposals to a community meeting with about 70 people Wednesday evening, and 99% of them said there is no way the layover can be built at the corner of NE Martin Luther King Boulevard and NE Dekum Street.
Woodland resident Anjala Ehelebe said the buses used to layover alongside homes and a park, but under the new proposal, she said the layover would be alongside residential homes.
The other possible site for the layover is near the corner of NE Martin Luther King Boulevard NE Lombard Street, where Ehelebe also said she does not want to see a station built.
“They create problems because of the noise and the extra concentrated diesel pollution,” said Ehelebe.
Ehelebe said the Woodlawn Neighborhood Association presented TriMet with several alternatives. One of those alternatives, which former TriMet Service Planner Jim Howell proposed, calls for an extension of the number eight bus line to an area at Hayden Meadows Shopping Center.
“This is by far the best option. They have a good place to turn around at the truck turnaround,” said Howell.
However, Howell said his former employer told him extending a line and building a layover facility are two different issues.
“That’s not good planning. I’m a planner. You don’t go doing things incrementally. You look at the big picture and what is the most effective,” said Howell.
TriMet responded late Thursday afternoon, saying their only goal is to create a safe and comfortable place for drivers to rest and will continue to take public comments until May 30 on the issue.
At Wednesday evening’s meeting, TriMet told Ehelebe and others in attendance that they hope to have a final choice to present to the general manage by June 11.