Camp Murray Gate will stay as is: General Lowenberg says Lakewood’s City Plan for Tillicum included the new gate at Portland Avenue. The Plan that was proposed by BCRA did say that, however, The City of Lakewood never adopted that plan. It is unfortunate that official communication did not occur that gave the General and Camp Murray the go-ahead when he believes he had it. Operating on assumptions is very risky. As a resident of Tillicum, I could not imagine how Camp Murray could assault us by their last-minute announcement that they were building in 3 weeks, and their treatment of us as less valuable than their own campus residents. They wanted to improve their campus for pedestrian safety, yet pedestrians such as school children and others in Tillicum would be put at great risk.
Tillicum’s newly paved streets and sidewalks on Portland would have been torn up, homeowners fronting Portland would have lost more of their yards for the street widening, the exhaust from a long line of cars and commercial vehicles stacked along Portland awaiting entrance would pollute everyone and everything. And, the Camp Murray response to residents in a community meeting was that it wasn’t their problem, it would be Lakewood’s expense. It was much later in this short term span of “negotiations” that the General said there would be money offered by them, yet their amount was about 90% short of what is estimated as the expense to redo the roads. The attitude was disrespectful to say the least.
They wanted to make sure a soldier would not be struck by a train at the Berkely interchange when proposed high speed trains run through the area, something that isn’t even approved, and wouldn’t be happening until 2014 if it is. The interchange there is a WSDOT and railroad problem that could be resolved with trenching of the railroad tracks so the crossings go overhead instead of through. Had Lowenburg’s proposal considered a cooperative venture to resolve the interchange problems, everyone would have won. This General and others who wish to work with a neighboring community must be considerate, not pushy and demanding; we are good neighbors to our military. Had he included the community in these long-term plans years back, this may have been resolved. Last-minute trickery isn’t going to work here.