Metro Council District 5 candidate Sam Chase’s answers below are in response to questions sent to candidates running for Metro 2012 elections. To see the original request click here. All responses from Sam Chase are shown in there entirety:
1. Please explain your familiarity with the Willamette River Greenway Trail between the Eastbank Esplanade and the Columbia River?
Metro District 5 includes the Greenway. I have lived in the district for 20 years and explored many of the areas that would be linked together by this critical piece of our region’s trail infrastructure.
The Greenway will provide much more than just a trail through North Portland. It will link a critical set of regional trails and support the Intertwine structure that seeks to provide active transportation options for recreation, work, and exercise. That also means we’ll reduce vehicle miles traveled, reduce smog and sprawl, and create a healthier population.
I will be a champion for efforts to promote and fund the Greenway.
2. What experience do you possess in working with a railroad company to procure use of or purchase of some property to place a multi-purpose trail on?
Railroads are a challenge throughout the region for a number of reasons and are federally protected. Part of our regional agenda needs to be working with our congressional delegation to seek changes in Federal law.
In the mean time, we’ll need to develop plans that show a benefit to the railways by ensuring that populations can more safely navigate their way around tracks by building bridges, fences and other tools that will divert people from crossing tracks dangerously.
It will take resources to navigate these challenges. When elected leaders are faced with funding challenges like the Columbia River Crossing, or downtown projects, they have found a way to fund them. I am committed to finding resources that will serve our neighborhoods, and the Greenway will be a priority for me.
3. ‘Taking’ is a concern for both the government entity and the private property owner when requiring the owner to construct a portion of a trail when development is proposed. Would you be willing to work to develop standards that would enable the trail to be constructed in exchange for requiring fewer parking spaces?
Yes. I am not a fan or parking requirements in the first place.
4. What funding proposals would you propose to construct the trail?
I’ll look to both Flexible Funds and Open Space Bond funds. But I also believe we need to fund the Greenway and other Intertwine projects with a long term solution that will help not only acquire trails and open space, but for maintenance. I’ll look to partner with existing efforts such as the Community Investment Initiatives to make trails a regional infrastructure priority.
5. If a bond measure were to be submitted to the public for trails would you support the Willamette River Greenway Trail being one of the trails to be constructed? If so, would you support construction of the entire trail at one time or a portion or portions of the trail?
Yes on both fronts. However, I will not hold up the project if it turns out phasing will be the most feasible strategy.
6. How can npGreenway assist you in getting the trail constructed?
Community leaders must be active and present in the conversation. They have the vision and knowledge to carry solutions forward. We need to be flexible by providing alternatives and different options that will get the greenway funded. I’ll look to npGreenway to provide guidance, and will bring Metro’s convening, facilitation, and physical resources to the table where I can.
Contact information for Sam Chase:
Friends of Sam Chase
PO Box 10513
Portland OR 97296