planpdx.org: Riverfront for People
By Ernie Bonner
This history was compiled from newspaper accounts, public records and the personal papers of Ernie Bonner and Allison and Bob Belcher. It does not purport to be a complete history, only the personal recollections and records of Mr. Bonner and the Belchers. If you have additions to make or corrections to suggest, please contact Ernie Bonner at email@example.com.
1942: Harbor Drive is completed.
1958: The Oregon State Highway Department begins study of alternative corridors for the I-5/Eastbank Freeway. High-level, low-level and various alignment alternatives are considered. An alignment on fill along the Willamette River is selected by the City and State, primarily to save costs.
1959: The Portland/Vancouver Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (PVMATS) is initiated which results in proposal for an extensive system of new freeways and streets. In total, 50 new freeway projects are proposed to be constructed by 1990.
June 25, 1961: Journal article pg. 3 (sketch): "East Side freeway to offer view, mile-long park."
1964: Eastbank I-5 freeway is completed.
August 8, 1964: Oregonian editorial: "Riverfront Needs a Park."
1968: State Highway Department proposes widening and relocating Harbor Drive between Front Avenue and the west bank of the Willamette River.
July 1969: Allison and Bob Belcher and Jim Howell form Riverfront for People organization and with early members draw up campaign against the expected widening of Harbor Drive on the riverfront.
July 15, 1969: Letter from Governor McCall to Glenn Jackson, Chair of State Highway Commission reiterats his objectives for the development of a riverfront park and requests a timely decision of the task force.
August 1, 1969: Ron Buel leaves St. Louis on way to Portland to head Neil Goldschmidt's campaign for City Commissioner.
August 8, 1969: City Club report "Journal Building Site Use and Riverfront Development" warns Portland of the impending widening of Harbor Drive on the riverfront by an Intergovernmental Task Force established by Governor Tom McCall. Club recommends that the 'primary consideration' of any riverfront plan should be: 'varied public use of land; esthetically pleasing environment; and easy and attractive pedestrian access to the esplanade and the river itself.' The Club also recommended that 'no action...should be taken to reconstruct Harbor Drive until adequate studies of alternatives have been completed and public hearings held.'
August 8, 1969: Norm Heffron Commentary on KGW-TV: "...Glenn Jackson, in a recent speech and again in a letter to the president of the Newport Chamber of Commerce: 'Can we continue to treat our environmental problems as secondary in the face of an influx of additional people?'"
August 11, 1969: Letter to the Editor of the Oregonian by Robert Belcher, Chairman of the Riverfront for People Committee: "We believe that the Portland City Club report on riverfront development states the crisis of the riverfront objectively. We are urging Governor McCall by letter to affirm publicly his support for this report and to initiate real guidance by his Task Force."
August 18, 1969: Doug Baker column: "Riverfront for People, a group of guys and gals who share the commendable idea that the west bank of the Willamette River should not be allowed to become, like the east bank, one of the Oregon State Highway Commission's concrete mystic mazes, will hold a no-host picnic at noon Tuesday just north of the old Journal Building. 'We want everybody to come,' says Mrs. Robert H. (Allison) Belcher, one of the organizers. 'Old people, young people, children, fat people and lean people. We'll provide the balloons, but people will have to bring their own picnic lunches.' Sounds like a fun party for a worthy cause. (And woe unto the first cynic who reminds the picnickers that the best thing about an uncluttered west bank is that it will provide an unobstructed view of the concrete ramps on the east bank.)"
August 19, 1969: Oregonian article: At least partly as a result of the citizen outpouring, Governor McCall instructs his nine-member Intergovernmental Task Force to prepare for a public hearing, possibly as soon as mid-September, on three options: a 'cut and cover' plan which would bury Harbor Drive; a plan for relocation of a six-lane Harbor Drive along Front Avenue; and a plan simply to straighten and widen Harbor Drive when the Journal Building is demolished. State Highway Engineer Forrest Cooper states that the Task Force has ruled out any possibility of closing Harbor Drive as projections show 90,000 trips per day in the corridor by 1990.
August 20, 1969: Journal article: 250 adults and 100 children show up for Riverfront for People picnic protesting plans to use the riverfront for a freeway, without citizen participation in the decision. Robert Belcher, Si Stanich, David E. Thompson, John W. Foster and State Representative Connie McCready quoted in the news story.
August 20, 1969: Oregonian article: In address to the bi-weekly meeting of the Portland Art Commission, City Club spokesmen David J. Lewis and Neil Goldschmidt call for delay in State plans to widen freeway on the riverfront.
August 21, 1969: Daily Journal of Commerce article: Governor Tom McCall says that those at the August 18 meeting in Salem of the Intergovernmental Task Force favored the so-called 'cut and cover' plan, but recognized that it would be costly.
August 28, 1969: Radio Station KPOJ editorial: "We urge careful consideration of the proposals for Harbor Drive. Without this deliberation, the riverfront on the east side of the Willamette River has been lost to Portlanders forever. We do not want to see the same situation on the west side... The Governor, the Highway Commission and the City owe it to themselves and to their constituents to allow full public hearings and consideration."
September 3, 1969: Journal article: "Second Protest Planned." Riverfront for People Committee planning a 'block party and public hearing' for September 16 at noon. Bob Belcher says the Committee hopes to gather several hundred citizens to press for a park site at a public hearing called for recently by Tom McCall.
September 16, 1969: Journal article: "Campaign opens for Downtown Riverfront Park." Riverfront for People committee opens up petition drive for downtown riverfront park. Keith Burns, Robert Belcher and Jim Howell quoted in article. Estimated 150 persons turn out in the rain.
September 17, 1969: Op-Ed piece in The Clarke Press (City Northeast): "Let's Reclaim our River" by Bob Belcher. 'What we need is a riverfront for people, reclaiming the Willamette for ourselves, establishing a great city park directly accessible to pedestrians...'
September 19, 1969: Oregonian article: "Art Group Hits Traffic." Portland Art Commission supports opponents of widening of Harbor Drive: 'The future growth of Portland as a pleasant and exciting place to live and work, in large measure, depends on how public and private developments are oriented to people.'
October 3, 1969: Oregonian article: Harbor Drive Task Force announces that it will conduct an all-day public hearing on October 14 for discussion of plans for the development of plans for Harbor Drive between the Steel and Hawthorne Bridges. The announced hearing is an outgrowth of citizen demands for more participation in the Harbor Drive decision.
October 6, 1969: Oregonian article: "Debate Slated on Riverfront." Attorney Neil Goldschmidt and architect Robert Belcher will speak on the theme that the west side waterfront should be developed as a park with grass and trees instead of the plan for more highway asphalt and concrete.
October 10, 1969: Journal article: "Detailed Riverfront People-Pleaser Plan Shown." Architect members of the Riverfront for People Committee present a proposal to the Civic Design Committee of the Portland Chapter, American Institute of Architects at their offices in the Dekum Building.
October 15, 1969 Oregonian article: "Speakers Criticize Proposals of Waterfront Development Task Force." Governor McCall's Intergovernmental Task Force gets an earful at hearing at all-day hearing. Glenn Jackson, Chair of the Task Force, says all testimony will be taken into consideration before any final decision. Robert Belcher, heading the Riverfront for People Committee submitted petitions bearing about 2,500 signatures asking for a unique riverfront and urging the Task Force to make no little plans.
Journal article: Glenn Jackson, Chair of the Task Force, summarized what he had heard:
- Integration of any plans for redevelopment of the SW Harbor Drive area into a comprehensive core area planning process.
- The possibility of eliminating Harbor Drive completely from the waterfront.
- Hiring of independent professional consultants to work out a plan.
- Designing whatever riverfront space is available so that it can be used by people on foot.
- Studying financing means other than the property tax base.
- Establishing procedures that permit closer and better communication between the task force and the public.
November 4, 1969: Oregonian article: Governor McCall requests $7 million in highway funds for development of riverfront; and urged at the same time the appointment of a citizens' advisory committee to help plan the project.
November 21, 1969: Lloyd Anderson begins appointed term to City Commissioner #4, to fill unexpired term of William A. Bowes.
December 19, 1969: First meeting of 18-member citizens' committee to Harbor Drive Task Force. Task Force hires firm of DeLeuw Cather & Company, San Francisco, to do traffic study of Harbor Drive options.
September 9, 1970: Letter from Glenn Jackson to Mayor Schrunk announcing that the State Highway Commission plans to close Harbor Drive as a traffic facility in the Spring of 1972, when the Fremont Bridge is expected to be completed.
November 1970: Neil Goldschmidt elected to City Council. Commissioner Francis J. Ivancie narrowly fights off challenge by Tom Walsh.
January 14, 1971: State Highway Commission hearing on closure of Harbor Drive. About 120 persons at meeting. Robert Belcher of Riverfront for People Committee called for 'agreement with other responsible groups' in setting the date for closure of Harbor Drive.
November 13, 1971: City Council ordinance calls for closure of Harbor Drive.
1974: Harbor Drive is closed. Tom McCall Waterfront Park development begins.
February 1974: Judge Burns decides against the Mt. Hood Freeway corridor.
1975: A consensus is reached to withdraw the Mt. Hood Freeway from the Interstate Highway System, and earmark the funds instead for regional transit and highway projects.
1978: Central East Side businesses, as part of a City initiative to promote economic development, open discussion on need for south-bound access to I-5.
1978: Project development activities are underway for improvements to the original I-5 freeway. The improvement project is initially intended to address traffic operations on the freeway mainline of I-5 and connections to I-84 and I-405. The original cost of the entire project totaled $150 million.
1979: The Metro Council adopts a Regional Corridor Improvement Strategy designed to provide analyses of corridor problems and develop potential transit and highway solutions. The Southern Corridor, centered on McLoughlin Boulevard, is one of the corridors identified for substantial improvements. After discussions with the Central Eastside Industrial Council and the City, the project development process is modified to consider access ramps to Water Avenue and McLoughlin Boulevard. Six alternatives which attempted to make use of the remnant Mt. Hood Freeway ramp stubs are discarded for various technical reasons. Three alternatives and a 'no-build' alternative are selected for environmental review.
1980: City Council approves a multiple phase East Marquam Interchange Ramps Project, which includes new access ramps to Water Avenue (up over the freeway and out over the Willamette Greenway) and McLoughlin Boulevard, improved connections to the Banfield Freeway and related freeway mainline improvements. Approval includes a condition that requires ODOT to obtain a Greenway permit for the reconstruction of the Esplanade. Subsequent to this, the required environmental documentation for the project is completed.
1981: Willamette Greenway Plan for Portland approved.
1984: City Council initiates the Central City Plan process. Public participation in the process includes thousands of requests to consider relocation of the Eastbank Freeway. The possibilities for development of the Eastbank of the Willamette River overwhelmed all other topics of discussion.
1986: ODOT obtains a Greenway Permit from the City of Portland for the East Marquam Interchange Ramp Project. On an appeal from Citizens for Better Transit (Doug Allen), LUBA remands the permit to the City with directions that a Greenway Goal Exception would be required in order to construct freeway-related improvements within the 25-feet Greenway setback zone.
1987: State Highway Department applies for a greenway fill permit from the City of Portland in order to construct a south-bound truck ramp over I-5, the Willamette River and the Eastbank Esplanade. Riverfront for People (RFP) testifies against ramps before City Planning Commission, offering alternatives to the course proposed by the State. The City Council, in due course, awards the permit. Doug Allen (and friends) take the matter to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), citing inconsistency of the proposed project with adopted Willamette River Greenway goals. LUBA agrees with Allen; sends matter back to City. The City appealed the LUBA decision, and set in motion a process to grant both a Greenway and Goal Exception. A recently re-formed Riverfront for People II testified against granting the exception, proposing alternatives, and asking that the City and State study other options before permitting the ramp over the greenway. During that process, the City agreed to finance a study of alternatives to the State's freeway plan hoping that Riverfront for People would agree not to appeal the Council's decision on the Greenway Exception to LUBA or the Court of Appeals. Riverfront for People is willing to agree to this condition, but the City canot legally impose it, so no official agreement was struck.
January 12, 1988: Consistent with that agreement, City Council by Resolution No. 34388 established an 8-person Eastbank Options Steering Committee representing a broad variety of views appointed by the Mayor and City Council. The Committee membership: Senator Jane Cease, Chair; Joseph Angel, City Planning Commission; Ernie Bonner, Riverfront for People, Bob Bouneff, Central East Side Industrial Committee; Dennis Gilman, Riverfront for People; [Before the end of the study, Dennis Gilman resigned and Bob Belcher replaced him on the Steering Committee]; Moshe Lenske, Southeast Uplift; Vern Ryles, Central East Side Industrial Committee; and Tom Walsh, Convention Center Design.
This committee listened to experts, looked at a number of options, and held open discussions with the public throughout the first half of 1988. City and ODOT agree jointly to fund a $100,000 study of economic and transportation engineering issues in support of the Committee work.
February 9, 1988: Portland Development Commission formally opposes relocation of freeway; directs Chairman Harry Demorest to immediately send letters of protest to the City Council and the Eastbank Options Steering Committee.
March 1988: Planning Commission recommends approval and City Council adopts the Central City Plan. Plan includes an action to conduct a feasibility and engineering study of the Eastbank Freeway, with the intent to include a relocation option. A required study completion date of January 1, 1989 is included in the action so as not to preclude construction of the Water Avenue ramps. Specific objectives of the study are also identified.
March 13, 1988: First segment of 6-part cable television series covering the issues and alternatives being considered on the Eastbank (produced for Riverfront for People by Ernie Bonner) is first aired on public access TV. Other segments followed on March 26, April 6, April 24, May 8 and May 22.
June 27, 1988: Eastbank Options Steering Committee votes to support a variation of the Riverfront for People plan [the so-called 'Option 2'] which called for building a new freeway 700' from the river, aking 32 acres of land available for development related to the river and the people of the City. This plan was judged to meet the original ODOT project objectives better than the original plan, and better than an eleventh-hour alternative proposed by the Highway Department. This plan also met the City Council's stated objectives for the project better than the other two options evaluated.
Other options considered were "Option 1," the original East Marquam Ramps Project, and "Option 3," a freeway alignment located east of the SPRR tracks. ODOT introduces a new option at the Committee's final meeting (later referred to as the "ODOT Modified" alignment), but the Committee maintains support for "Option 2."
July 1988: The Planning Commission adopted the report of the Options Study Committee and recommended that the City Council fund additional studies of unresolved technical issues identified during the study process, with the intent of finalizing "Option 2"
August 24, 1988: Oregonian article: "Federal Freeway Money Safe."Oregon Department of Transportation officials discover that the $54 million in funds approved for projects other than relocation of the Eastbank freeway would not be lost because of a delay in planning for the relocation.
August 26 1988: Riverfront for People representative Ernie Bonner presentation to City Club in support of the June recommendation of the Eastbank Options Steering Committee.
September 7, 1988: Riverfront for People delivers petitions bearing 583 names to City Council in support of the 're-design of I-5 on the East Bank of the Willamette River as unanimously proposed by the East Bank Options Citizens' Committee on June 27, 1988; and as unanimously recommended by the Portland City Planning Commission on July 26, 1988.
City Council adopted Resolution No. 34473 (September, 1988) directing further study of two options: ODOT's eleventh hour proposal (the "ODOT Modified" alignment) and the Study Committee's proposed alignment. Council also requested that ODOT, at the same time, proceed with final engineering and design for the original project. Council established specific guidelines for the study, expanded the Study Committee membership to include representatives of surrounding Counties which would lose transportation funds if the freeway move were to be approved, and requested a recommended alignment and funding strategy.
January 26 1989: Letter to Mike Hollern, Chair, Oregon Transportation Commission, "...strongly supporting 'Option C,' the plan that provides 32 new acres of park and developable land on the Eastbank of the Willamette River." Letter signed by Vera Katz, Speaker of the House; State Representatives Mike Burton, Gene Sayler, Phil Keisling, Ron Cease, Margaret Carter, Tom Mason, Beverly Stein and Judy Bauman; and State Senators Jane Cease, Frank Roberts, Dick Springer, Shirley Gold and Bill McCoy.
January 28, 1989: The expanded Study Committee recommended Alignment C, (the same option recommended by the Eastbank Options Steering Committee), but cannot agree on a funding strategy )
January 30, 1989: Oregonian article: "Secrecy Casts Doubt on Vote to Move I-5." An expanded Eastbank Options Committee (adding to the original committee Multnomah County Commissioner Pauline Anderson, Washington County Commissioner Bonnie Hays, Clackamas County Commissioner Ed Lindquist, Portland Development Commission Chair Harry Demorest, and Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission Mike Hollern) voted 7-6 to relocate I-5 as recommended by the original committee. Of the 6 new members appointed to the Committee, 5 voted against the relocation. The vote for the relocation recommended by the original committee: Jane Cease, Ernie Bonner, Bob Belcher, Tom Walsh, Moshe Lenske, Pauline Anderson and Joe Angel. The vote for an 11th hour proposal from the Highway Department: Mike Hollern, Bob Bouneff, Vern Ryles, Bonnie Hays, Harry Demorest, Ed Lindquist.
February 2, 1989: Oregonian article: "Regional criticism of plan to move I-5 draws fire." Members of the Joint Policy Advisory Committee at Metro (which determines transportation spending priorities in the region) express fear that funds for the relocation will take away from projects in their jurisdictions.
February 6, 1989: Letter from Mike Hollern to Jane Cease offering to work with her Committee to find sources of support for the relocation, but spelling out a long list of hurdles to be overcome--in a short period of time (i.e., by June 30, 1989).
February 15, 1989: Jonathan Nicholas column in Oregonian: "In Moving Freeway, no way is free." Nicholas discusses Tom Walsh idea of financing the freeway relocation locally with a bond issue.
March 12, 1989: Oregonian editorial: "City needs bold leaders to open east riverbank." 'Even if the odds are long against finding the right financing formula, the effort should be made. It is time for the Mayor and City Commissioners Dick Bogle, Bob Koch, Mike Lindberg and Earl Blumenauer to come out from behind their excuses and reasons for not moving the freeway and lead Portland residents toward a city united, not divided by its river. Portland stands at the shore of the 21st Century. It should not miss this boat across the Willamette.'
March 16 1989: City Council hearing on Eastbank Freeway relocation.
Council adopts Resolution No. 34534 to terminate the options study process and request ODOT to proceed with construction of the original East Marquam Interchange Ramps Project. It was determined that although alternative alignments are technically feasible, a feasible funding strategy could not be identified that would not threaten the completion of other regional transportation projects such as Westside Light Rail Transit.
1989: The State Land Board considers the PDC request to grant a permit for fill in the Willamette River to construct the Eastbank Esplanade: The Board advises PDC and ODOT to return with an alternative that has little or no fill.
1990: Before ODOT could proceed with Phases One and Two, "Citizens Concerned About Freeway Expansion" (CCAFE) attempted to stop any further construction, but after losing a preliminary injunction attempt, withdrew its complaint regarding the first two phases. In rejecting the preliminary injunction, the judge relied on ODOT/FHWA claims that the first two phases did not irrevocably commit ODOT to construction the Water Avenue Ramp, and so stated. Doug Allen, Ron Buel, George Crandall, Howard Glazer, Jim Howell, et. al. funded this legal action, hiring Kirk Roberts, whohad previously assisted pro bono in the earlier legal actions as a "1000 Friends of Oregon Cooperating Attorney".
ODOT proceeds with the first two phases of the East Marquam Project, constructing the new ramps to and from I-84, and seismic retrofit of the structures. Phases three (Water Ave. on-ramp) and four (McLoughlin ramps) are delayed pending the completion of a supplemental Environmental Assessment for the project, as required by the Federal Highway Administration due to the incursion of the project on the Willamette Greenway and the age of the original document.
1991: ODOT begins the Supplemental Environmental Assessment report and later established a citizen involvement process for the project.
1992: City Council passed Resolution No. 34936 (Janary 1992) adopting the Eastbank Master Plan Process Report to act As a guide for the development of a plan for improving the Willamette River waterfront between the Steel Bridge and the Ross Island Bridge. This was a plan to develop a narrow strip of land as an esplanade between the freeway and the River.
November 1992: Vera Katz elected Mayor and Charlie Hales elected to City Council.
December 1992: PDC and Parks Bureau solicited Statements of Qualifications from consultants for development of a Master Plan for the Eastbank Riverfront Park. The Urban Design Committee of the AIA petition the City Council to re-examine freeway relocation options, saying the present freeway alignment severely limits the potential of the Master Plan.
January 1993: ODOT and City conduct a Public Meeting (January 1993) to explain the process and schedule for the Supplemental Environmental Assessment. Schedule at that time was for Public Hearings to be held in May and for City Council consideration of the Final Hearing Study Report in September.
February 15, 1993: Oregonian article: "Eastbank Freeway just might have to go." A new City Council majority is taking another look at getting I-5 off the river, but the project might be unreasonably expensive now. With 3 new members, all of whom supported moving the freeway in the past, the City Council appears ready to take up the issue again, perhaps to consider removing the freeway completely. Newly-elected Mayor Katz is sympathetic to the plan. 'I'd vote tomorrow to set a goal of closing the freeway.' Commissioner Mike Lindberg was optimistic after meeting with the Mayor. Commissioner Charles Hales said it would be irresponsible not to explore the issue. 'Maybe we could be the first city in the country to remove a section of the interstate freeway system. I'd love to push the plunger to detonate the Marquam Bridge.' Businesses in the Central Eastside are nervous.
March 10, 1993: Meeting at Karen Halvorsen's house to fire up Riverfront for People group. Plan of action and assignments made for campaign to get I-5 removal reconsidered by City Council. Letter to Mayor Katz from Riverfront for People representative Ernie Bonner supporting a re-assessment of the relocation. Op-Ed column in Oregonian by Brian McCarl, 'Leadership needed for freeway change.'
March 15, 1993: Letter from Mayor Katz to Riverfront for People representative Ernie Bonner. The last paragraph: 'Thank you for writing... I will continue exploring East Bank issues with Commissioners, staff and citizens to determine an appropriate process for developing a future vision of the East Bank without the I-5 freeway in its current setting.'
March 21, 1993: The Oregonian editorial: 'Revisit the I-5 Vision.' The City should look again at the costs and benefits of moving the Eastbank Freeway.
March 24, 1993: Oregonian article: "Study delays proposed Water Avenue ramp.' Federal law requires new environmental assessment of the ramps, including new information on traffic and on historic buildings.
March 25, 1993: Letter to Federal Highway Administrator Gernhauser from Riverfront for People representative Ernie Bonner stating need for an Environmental Impact Statement, even before the Environmental Assessment is completed.
March 25, 1993: Memo to accompany proposed resolution by Commissioner Blumenauer confirming support of the City for timely completion of the East Bank freeway improvements. Memo also includes Blumenauer statemnt: 'All of us share a long term vision which could give new life to an area currently dominated by the noise and concrete of the freeway; I believe all of us are in agreement that the long term vision for the city is not laced with freeways and returns the Willamette River to recreational use. The City has devoted considerable resources to building a regional transit system and cleaning up the Willamette River--both of which are essential to realizing a longer term vision of reclaiming the river through eventual removal of the eastbank freeway.'
March 29, 1993: Memo to accompanying proposed resolution by Commission Lindberg affirming the goal of reclaiming and redeveloping the Eastbank of the Willamette River and to add a future 25-year goal of a reconfigured I-5 freeway.
April 4, 1993: Riverfront for People meeting. Agenda includes 'Where are we now?' 'What do we want?' and 'What should be our strategy?'
April 6, 1993: Oregonian article: "City will reconsider east bank freeway." Compromise resolution co-sponsored by Commissioners Lindberg and Blumenauer. 'Blumenauer still opposes moving the freeway, but he now thinks the ultimate solution will be to remove the roadway completely, but not until the regional light rail system is in place.' 'The resolution does appear to be a bit schizophrenic, setting a goal, but affirming decisions that critics say take the City in the wrong direction.'
April 6, 1993: City Council hearing on joint Blumenauer/Lindberg resolution.
Member of Riverfront for People Ernie Bonner testifies that the group would like to amend the joint resolution in 3 important ways:
- The Mayor and City Council are affirming their already established goal of reclaiming the Eastbank of the Willamette River, and are now including reconfiguration of the Interstate 5 freeway between the Fremont and Marquam Bridges. We support that, and would like to request that you establish a time period of 15-25 years for achieving that goal.
- A goal without supporting action is only a dream. The Central City Plan established a goal. You are affirming it. Let's be serious. Let's take the first important step toward achieving that goal. The Mayor and City Council should take the lead to appoint a Regional Citizens Advisory Committee to evaluate options for realignment or removal of the I-5 freeway between the Fremont and Marquam Bridges.
- The City Council should ask the Oregon Department of Transportation to conduct a full environmental impact statement for the Water Avenue ramp upon completion of the Regional Advisory Committee's report.
May 1993: Riverfront for People produces post card ("Stop. Look. Listen.") and brochure "Let's get a new plan for the Eastbank' to advise Portland citizens of the issues and decision points coming up.
May 7, 1993: Letter to Mayor Katz from Bruce A. Warner, Region I Manager, ODOT. Warner threatens: "I have no reason or desire to advance Marquam Phase 3 (The Ramps) to final design if the City continues to debate whether to move the freeway... passage of a resolution indicating an intent to move I-5... would cause ODOT to consider deferring project development on the important Greeley-N. Banfield project.
May 19 1993: City Council adopts (4-1) Resolution No. 35141 proposed by Mayor Katz that: (1) reaffirms as City policy the goal of reclaiming and redeveloping the Eastbank waterfront; and (2) establishes interdepartmental team under Commissioner Hales to complete an update of options to address land use, transportation and economic development issues. The options are to consider expediting the Greeley-N. Banfield project and meeting regional development and transportation goals.
May 24 1993: Oregonian editorial: "East-bank vision lives." 'The City Council's decision Wednesday to review the costs and benefits of moving the huge concrete freeway flush against the river's east bank acknowledges both the importance of the river to this community and that it has two shores, not just one of the west side.'
July 1993: Commissioner Hales comments to Central Eastside Industrial Council: "We must find a new balance between livability and mobility. It means taking a much more comprehensive look at transportation planning than we have in the past. I believe that it means making land use decisions first, and transportation decisions second. It is the goal to make transportation decisions not in a vacuum, but in the context of a vision for our community and its future."
July 27, 1993: Oregonian article: "Hales seeks impartial look at moving I-5" Consistent with Resolution #35141 adopted by City Council on May 19, Commissioner Hales appoints 10 to Study Committee on East Bank: John Gray, Developer; Jo Ann Allen, development director of the Black United Fund; Paul Lorenzini, President, Pacific Power and Light; Doug Morgan, Lewis and Clark College; Ron Paul, Ron Paul Charcuterie; Kris Olson Rogers, Northwestern School of Law; Don Sterling, retired assistant to the Publisher of the Oregonian; Nohad Toulan, Dean of School of Urban Affairs, PSU; Karen Whitman, public relations consultant; Bill Wyatt, Executive Director, Oregon Business Council.
The Committee is expected to report back to the Council by November 30, 1993.
August 6, 1993: First meeting of the Willamette River Eastbank Advisory Committee.
October 2 and 13, 1993: Public Forums by Willamette River Eastbank Advisory Committee
November 6, 1993: Public Forums by Willamette River Eastbank Advisory Committee
November 29, 1993: Report of Willamette River Eastbank Committee submitted to City Council. Committee recommends removing the I-5 freeway from the Eastbank over the next 15-25 years and completing the Water Avenue ramps.
December 4, 1993: Oregonian article: "City to Kill Eastbank ramp to I-5" Commissioner Hales states at City Club meeting on previous day: 'Killing the $19 million ramp is the first step in a long journey leading to removal of the freeway entirely from the east bank. We must begin that change somewhere. I believe that the time to start that change is now and the place to start is in the eastside half of the heart of our city.'
December 8, 1993: Oregonian editorial: "Eastbank Opportunity." 'Portland freeway-ramp decision should trigger overdue coordination of eastside development.'
December 8, 1993: City Council adopts Resolution #35220 requesting that:
- ODOT not build the Water Avenue ramps, and
- ODOT and Metro spend the funds allocated to the ramps for a transportation master plan for the Central Eastside, and
- The master plan be prepared by an integrated planning team involving all relevant City bureaus, and led by the City's planning director.
December 9, 1993: Oregonian article: "City Council rejects eastside ramp to I-5"
January 14, 1994: Oregonian article: "Metro cuts $136 million for road projects." Metro Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation removes Water Avenue ramps from the region's proposed projects list.
January 20, 1994: City Council approves $40 million park plan for the east bank: a series of piers and docks, a public market, a community center, restaurants, a marsh and even a beach on the narrow strip of riverfront land between the Marquam Bridge and the Steel Bridge