The amount of money being directed towards this could be used on increased bus service. I would be interested in the percentage of people living in Lake Oswego who use public transit. The equivalent would be building light rail down Shawnee Mission Pkwy in NE Johnson county. Would that justify $$$ being spent. Would there be a high demand for ridership? I don't think so, but I don't know for sure. Lake Oswego=Mission Hills. What is affordable housing in Mission Hills?
if mission hills city council, johnson county, MARC, KCATA, and a private developer were lined up to support a modern streetcar
down shawnee mission parkway to mission hills, i suspect it would move forward... especially if an adjacent highway that served mission hills was congested and an abandoned rail corridor would speed up part of the route. also, to consider this a parallel we'd need 2-3 full light rail lines already in existence in KC and a downtown chock full of modern streetcars.
also, these projects don't move forward unless they do a ridership study. does the number of riders justify the $500m price tag? that's for greater portland and the feds to decide.
you can always
spend the money on increased bus service (or highway capacity), but that's not the option they chose. that's why the feds call the outcome of the process a locally preferred alternative