Friday, July 16, 2021
News & Notes
Frog Ferry project to take the leap as a pilot project
   WEA's Transportation Committee met with Susan Bladholm this week, who is the founder and president of the Frog Ferry project.
   The nonprofit is creating a public passenger service, similar to a water taxi for the Portland area.
   Going into the future, Bladholm explained how the Frog Ferry would have an anticipated route, starting on the Columbia River in Vancouver and transporting people as far as Oregon City on the Willamette River with stops in-between.
   Right now the project is going into a test pilot phase where a vessel will transport up to 70 people at a time between Cathedral Park in St. Johns to downtown Portland's South Waterfront, starting next summer or fall (2022).
   During the pilot phase, the project could transport up to 1,000 people per day, eliminating the need for 600 cars to be on the road.
   As the project evolves, Bladholm said there will be a need to build dock infrastructure for stops and to create fueling or charging sites.
   She said the pilot vessel will be powered by renewable diesel, but is expected to be changed to an electric engine in the future.
   To learn more, see Bladholm's slide deck from her presentation.
Highway 217 improvements heading towards the bidding phase
   ODOT's Matt Freitag also spoke with WEA's Transportation Committee this week.
   He talked with the committee about upcoming Highway 217 improvements.
   A collector and distributor road will be part of the future improvements to the highway, which will eliminate the need for the Allen entrance ramp and Denny exit ramp.
   With the two exits and entrance ramps being so close together, it has experience a lot of motorists "weaving" between lanes, resulting in car accidents.
   The project will also extend the Fanno Creek Trail along the east side of the highway up to Allen Boulevard.
   There will also be new bike lanes and a sidewalk added to the Hall Boulevard overpass in Beaverton.
   Freitag said the project is going out to bid soon, and ODOT is starting to connect with contractors right now.
   To learn more, see Freitag's slide deck from his presentation.
Portland is obviously still alive - making it in the top 10 best places to live
   U.S. News & World Report released its "Best Places to Live" list this week, and Portland, despite all of its bad press, ranked number 10 out of 150 metro areas in the U.S.
   The rose city comes in behind Sarasota, Florida and ahead of Boise, Idaho on the list.
   "Portland's population toes the line between an innocent playfulness and a shameless wild side," according to the report.
   The rankings of each city were based on desirability, value (of living there), job market, quality of life, and net migration.
   Portland's close proximity to the mountains and the ocean were listed as winning factors, but its housing costs and income tax were noted as negatives.
   To see what city ranks as the top place to call home, turn to U.S. News & World Report.
Odds & Ends
  • The City of Sherwood is having actual in-person open houses focused on residential design standards. The open houses are on Thursday, July 29 and Saturday, July 31 in the City Hall Community Room. To find out the times, see this flyer.

  • The Portland Winterhawks, a hockey team that trains on the Westside, released a slick new logo and branding this week. The logo replaces the Native American logo it'd had for years. University of Oregon alum, and former Nike guy, Brian Gundell designed the new hawk logo, which sports a tribute to Mt. Hood in the hawk's feathers. Take a look.
Events coming up
Wed. 7/21 at 12:00 p.m. - The Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact KC Reinhart.

Wed. 7/28 - The Board of Directors meeting is postponed and in the process of being rescheduled.

Wed. 8/11 - The Transportation Committee is canceled.

Th. 8/26 - The Westside Golf Scramble will tee off at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club. Sponsorships are available as are $10 raffle tickets for golf getaways to Bandon Dunes and Sunriver. You do not have to present to win either of these prizes. For more information, contact Teresa Dunham.