Concerned about veto: 'Maybe the governor ought to come walk this street'

One of the concerns residents have over a one-mile stretch of Southwest Capitol Highway is that there are no sidewalks. (KATU Photo)

Gov. Kate Brown announced this week she intends to veto funding for a project to improve Southwest Capitol Highway.

The effort has been decades in the making. It is a one-mile stretch of main thoroughfare that’s in desperate need of attention.

Last month the Legislature passed the bill, and many people were happy – until now.

For years the community near Multnomah Village has expressed concerns about the dangers of that portion of the highway.

“Driving is dangerous. Walking is dangerous. Biking is dangerous,” said Randy Bonella, with the Multnomah Business Association. “If you’re a family with children, it’s incredibly dangerous.”

After spending 16 years trying to secure money to improve the section of highway, Bonella got the news this week that the governor wants to veto the project.

The governor cited a lack of proper vetting. It was something Bonella didn’t understand.

“We had two appropriations bills in 2010 at the federal level. I would say it’s been pretty well vetted,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer sent a stern letter to Brown, asking her to reconsider.

The veto threat is also stirring feelings felt by many for years in Southwest Portland.

“Maybe the governor ought to come walk this street,” said Brian Creamer. “My wife has to walk this section of the street every day, so do kids. And there’s no sidewalk on this side, and they have to walk in the road, and then they have cars and buses honking at them.”

Bonella hopes the governor hears his community’s concerns and doesn’t veto the project.

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