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Parking and traffic are concerns for Wizer Block development

In reading the pros and cons about the Wizer development and the article on density from Karen Bowerman (“Coming to a neighborhood near you,” June 26), it is clear that there are mixed reactions to what density is to different people.

We are experiencing a density infill in our city and in a proposed 16-home infill development in the Hallinan Heights neighborhood that has laid this all bare for many of us. Lake Oswego is the suburbs. People move here for that reason — to have a little space, less traffic, less noise, a different community feel than the high-density city life.

The city is releasing its Transportation System Plan this month and in March released its Comprehensive Plan for Lake Oswego. Both are are available on the City’s website. (Most of us have no idea such things exist; I know I didn’t.) Since these high-density developments are taking precedent, let us consider what the city has to say about traffic, safety and livability in comparison with the downtown development. I will address the Hallinan Heights safety and livability issues at another time.

In the Wizer development area, there is high pedestrian traffic and very little on-street parking. For the proposed development with 207 apartments, there is little more than one parking spot per apartment.  They have allocated 27 guest parking spots on the street. This makes parking a premium and can’t help but cause overflow into the Evergreen neighborhood.

Parking is an issue for people coming downtown. If  we are forced to circle round and round or park far from our destination, then this is a problem.

The main goal of the 2014 Lake Oswego Comprehensive Plan for a Town Center is to “provide a full range of economic development opportunities that enhance prosperity and livability.” In the Transportation System Plan, Goal F (Livability) states:

n F3: “Minimize the impacts of traffic generated through new commercial development on adjoining neighborhoods.”

n F7: “Commercial and industrial parking should not intrude into adjacent residential neighborhoods.”

Goal G (Sustainability) states:

n G5:  “Ensure that an adequate supply of parking is provided to support economic activity while balancing the need to drive, take transit, and bike and walk to and within employment centers, town centers and neighborhood villages.”

My hope is that the City will honor their own good goals as they go forward with this development and plan adequate parking for the many new residents who will be living downtown, while also taking into account those who will be visiting, driving, parking, biking and walking in this beautiful Town Center on a regular basis.

Liz Martin is a Lake Oswego resident.




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