PORTLAND -- The cutting down of trees along SW Lincoln in downtown Portland signaled that the Milwaukie Light Rail project was moving forward, despite opposition.
The project is still several years from completion and some aspects of it are still in the design phase.
Around 60 trees were cut down Monday, part of an estimated 830 to get axed.
The tree removal will allow Lincoln to be widened to fit the rails, two stations, two-way car traffic and westbound bike lane and two 12-foot sidewalks.
Monday, both supporters and opposition spoke out.
It's awesome, we need it. WE need a MAX out here, said Milwaukie resident Barbara Evett.
I would ride it downtown. It would be a lot quicker and easier, said Milwaukie resident Laura Faust.
Park and Rides are not a good solution. You still have car traffic and pollution, said critic Fred Nussbaum.
TriMet predicts that as many as 830 trees may have to be removed along the entire rail line. The agency plans to plant about 2,000 trees, some 1,300 in Portland, 450 in Milwaukie and about 200 in other rail sections in Clackamas County.
Larger trees that are cut down will be offered to non-profits involved in construction or furniture making. Some of the trees will be used to build Portland parks playground equipment. The remaining will be cut into firewood and offered to the poor.