by Nathan Stecker, John A. Charles
Cascade Policy Institute
January 23, 2014
In June 2012 the city of Portland announced that parts of Moody Avenue in the South Waterfront neighborhood had been rebuilt, widened, and raised by 14 feet. According to the press releases, the reconstruction will improve travel options, allow for more development, and accommodate the Portland-Milwaukie light rail line. The total cost for the project at that point was roughly $52 million. Although the retrofit was impressive from an engineering standpoint, the new Moody Avenue, coupled with the vast ROW for light rail, will be an extremely inefficient use of land in one of the most land-constrained neighborhoods in Portland. Planners have declared that wider sidewalks, a dedicated cycle track, additional streetcar service, and a new light rail line will change the hearts of residents and commuters to abandon their cars. However, the modal share of motor vehicles on Moody has already gone up, not down, since the reconstruction.