Powell is out and Division likely in as Metro’s preferred route for its planned rapid transit.

The proposal revision is based on studies that indicate traffic-snarled Powell would slow current commutes by some 15 minutes. Metro, in charge of regional mass transit, planned the project to speed travel between downtown Portland and Gresham.

Making fewer stops, using speedier boarding processes and implementing longer green lights for buses would make commutes along Division 15 – 20 % faster than the current Line 4 bus. Improved transit times are needed to secure federal funding.

Some question how routing along inner Division would interface with narrow corridors and new development. The line would need to cross the river and interface with Union Pacific and MAX tracks without significant delays or construction of a costly bridge over the tracks. That dilemma puts the Hawthorne Bridge in play as an option.

Linda Nettekoven, longtime community involvement member, says she is particularly concerned about the need for an overpass at the railroad and connections at SE 11th and 12th. With fewer planned stops, people in the neighborhood will have longer to walk – a hardship for seniors and the disabled. MP