Metro District 5 candidate Helen Ying’s answers below are in response to questions sent to candidates running for Metro elections. To see the original request click here. All responses from
Helen Ying are shown in there entirety:
1. Please explain your familiarity with the Willamette River Greenway Trail between the Eastbank Esplanade and the Columbia River?
I have met with one of the board members and my campaign manager attended the first planning meeting. I look forward to the day that my family can use the trail to ride from our home near downtown Portland to the tip of Kelley Point Park.
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?
My experience lies with bringing people together and work toward solutions through collaboration. Successful negotiations with railroad companies have been accomplished by the painstaking work of previous leaders. Historically, railroads are very difficult bargaining partners. Acquiring the necessary land will require finding the right combination of inducements and public pressure to allow these federally protected national companies to recognize the benefit of their participation in a project that will benefit everyone.
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?
Right-of-way takes can be a very difficult process requiring an immense amount of time in negotiations. If easing requirements (creating fewer government regulations on the business) is an incentive to allow completion of a section of the trail, then I would gladly make that part of negotiations. I believe all stakeholders will see the benefit of fewer incentives to drive to work.
4. What funding proposals would you propose to construct the trail?
Metro MTIP funding and Rails to Trails Conservancy could be possible sources as a start. However, it will most likely require other sources such as a bond to get the project completed. Metro has convened a group of community members to examine new funding revenue streams through its Community Investment Initiative. It would be helpful to explore their recommendations.
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?
I definitely support the Willamette River Greenway Trail. It is one of the top priorities for neighbors in the district I wish to represent. There are other important priorities as well, such as the Sullivan’s Gulch Trail. Funding a project in full or in part really depends on where the project is in its development, as well as where the other projects are in the funding queue.
6. How can npGreenway assist you in getting the trail constructed?
Help me get the message out about my support for this great path. It’s a regional priority that has many benefits. We’re talking about a project that can stimulate the local economy with local jobs, offer healthy commute options, and improve livability. I would love to work with NPGreenway to help make sure there’s a clear path to success in our region’s vision for multi-modal connectivity.
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