Be prepared to lose walking along a special section of the Riverwalk to enjoy the views and history of the river. This is the section between Second Street and the bridge, about which the Planning Commission has been holding study sessions on the Bridge Vista plan, to talk about what will be allowed to be built over the Columbia River.
They are proposing hotels, motels, multifamily buildings, restaurants, as well as a convention center be allowed to be built on the north side of the trolley tracks and over the water. According to The Daily Astorian (“Keep Astor West historic,” Dec. 22), the next Planning Commission study session at which you can express your views will be at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27, but there will be an important town hall meeting Tuesday, which all who read this should attend, and bring a friend. This special meeting for you on the Bridge Vista Area of the Riverfront Vision Plan will be held at the Holiday Inn Express from 6 to 8 p.m.
What they will not show you are pictures of the trolley with buildings on both sides of the tracks making a tunnel of buildings — even though pictures of this are in the Riverfront Vision Plan. They will explain that building over the river is necessary to provide jobs, but the meeting is being held in an example of a building which is south of the trolley tacks and providing jobs. Most of the proposed overwater structures allowed under this plan could/should be built south of the trolley tracks, and hopefully you will tell them that.
I encourage all of you to walk the Riverwalk starting at the Ship Inn, and passing Stephanie’s Cabin to the Holiday Inn Express. Enjoy the vistas and the river traffic. Some believe all that needs to be offered is a few points like at the end of 14th Street, where you walk out to enjoy the river and return to the Riverwalk.
I hope you will attend both meetings and explain that the existing views we now have should not be compromised, because they are what brings people, and therefore jobs, to Astoria. These majestic views are also something we all enjoy — no mater our income level.