The following statement was sent to the Oregon Passenger Rail Leadership Council on 11-17-13.
The Oregon Passenger Rail Leadership commission is (with emails…):
|Segment/Type of Representation
|Eugene – Co-Chair
|Kitty Piercy, Mayor of Eugene
|Portland – Co-Chair
|John Russell, President Russell Development, Portland –http://www.russelldevelopment.net/johnwrussell/index.html
|Charlie Hales, Mayor of Portland
|Tom Hughes, Metro Council President
|South Metro Region
|Sen. Rod Monroe
|South Metro Region
|Jeremy Ferguson, Mayor of Milwaukie
|Rep. Vicki Berger
|Anna Peterson, Mayor of Salem
|Rep. Sara Gelser
|Sharon Konopa, Mayor of Albany
|Rep. Nancy Nathanson
|Sen. Lee Beyer
|Hillary Wylie, Springfield City Council
|Neil McFarlane, Manager, TriMet
|TBD, Lane Transit District Board
|OR Transportation Commission
|Mark Frohnmayer, Arcimoto
|OR Business Development Commission
|E. Walter Van Valkenburg, Stoel Rives
|Out of Corridor
|Mike Quilty, Out-of-Corridor representative
|TBD, Land Conservation and Development Commission
|Matthew Garrett, Director*
|Lynn Peterson, Secretary of Transportation*
Dear Oregon Passenger Rail Leadership Council,
I am writing to you on behalf of the member of the Cascade Passenger Rail Association (Casprail.org) and myself, Larry Plotkin, Chief Advocate of Casprail.org –
We believe that the decision that is made in regards to choice of routes for the environmental impact study will have ‘100 year’ ramifications. When we study the criteria and rankings for Eugene to Albany route choice, it seems that Corvallis has very little chance of being the chosen route. We strongly believe that the routes that seem most reasonable in regards to engineering and cost criteria, may be in the long run be the incorrect choices for a successful long-term multi-use passenger rail system.
Corvallis has a large potential source of rail passengers, one indication of which is a petition to ‘Bring Passenger Rail to Corvallis’ (http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/bring-passenger-rail-1?source=s.em.mt&r_by=7818608) with over 2100 signatures, and a resolution from the Corvallis city council in favor of an EIS for the Eugene-Corvallis route. Corvallis is a growing university town with over 20,000 students who we believe would regularly ride the train to home towns and entertainment, if the train is convenient and timely. Corvallis has many growing entrepreneurial businesses that are a result of collaborations between the major Oregon universities and (mostly) Portland-centric business. We a need strengthen our links to the other major Oregon universities and the major airports and make these routes convenient to use.
When a joint venture between HP and Kodak was slated for siting in Corvallis, with the potential for over 500 jobs, a major reason for the decision to site in San Diego rather than Corvallis was the lack of a strong link to our major airports. Passenger rail would provide that link, as well as a strong link to our other major universities.
We know that humans respond strongly to ‘convenience’. Social engineering says that a route through a ‘target rich’ rider environment will be successful, and one where there is inconvenience to get to the train, and the last mile is uncertain, will not.
We need to provide a viable route for between Corvallis and Eugene, Corvallis and Portland and beyond – this will improve quality of life in the mid-Willamette valley for the next 100 years .
We urge you to recommend an environmental impact study for the Corvallis route.
Thank you for your consideration,
Larry Plotkin and the Cascade Passenger Rail Association.
-- Cascade Passenger Rail Association, LLC Lawrence Plotkin, Chief Advocate firstname.lastname@example.org 541-760-3282