Reception - Monarch Hotel, Clackamas County
Remarks: Administrator James S. Simpson
July 2, 2007
It is an honor for me to be back in Oregon on behalf of President Bush and Secretary Peters.
When I was here in January, I got a first hand look at your transit system. I rode the light rail, the streetcar and the aerial tram. I was extremely impressed, not only by the variety of choices transit riders have, but also by the quality of these systems.
Now, as I understand Clackamas County history, this area operated as a major crossroads for Indians, hunters, trappers and Hudson Bay Company voyageurs…and later the Barlow road was a major route for immigrants during the 1840s. So now history repeats itself as the I-205 South Corridor/Portland Mall Light Rail Project puts this county, once more, at the crossroads of transportation.
As Clackamas County grows, this project will put you ahead of the curve when it comes to managing the congestion that inevitably follows economic growth.
We know that your community has waited a long time for this project. Your elected officials, citizens and local business leaders have all demonstrated a great deal of patience and determination to help make this project cost effective and supportable in the eyes of the Administration and Congress.
The urban renewal district for the Clackamas Town Center area has certainly been a major target for growth in the County and quite successful as your assessed valuation has grown by 1,000 percent in the last 25 years. The extension of this light rail should also help attract more jobs to this county and continue to enhance the urban renewal district’s effectiveness for the Clackamas Town Center.
The Bush administration and FTA believe that transit systems are one of the basic building blocks of economic growth, for local communities and for the nation. Dollars invested in transit systems built and designed to last will pay off… well into the future.
Our investment of $345.4 million in New Starts Funds to extend the light rail will foster the continued growth of this region. The Federal Transit Administration makes this investment with confidence that it will help preserve your quality of life, catalyze growth and keep Oregonians on the move.