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CRC rally planned for April; Commissioner Fritz will attend

Posted by on March 2nd, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Joe Kurmaskie-2.jpg
Joe Kurmaskie, seen here at the
“We are All Traffic” rally held in
November 2007 after two
bike fatalities.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Mayor Sam Adams’ support of a proposal that would authorize the construction of a new I-5 bridge that could “be built to accomodate up to 12 lanes” has sparked a new level of opposition to the current direction of the Columbia River Crossing project.

Adams’ decision to compromise with Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard on this issue has provided a spark for citizen activists to organize and rally in opposition to the project.

A loose coalition of activists has come together and is planning a rally at 12:00 noon on April 5th in Waterfront Park (which is, fittingly, the site where the Harbor Drive Freeway was once located before it was removed, thus sparking Portland’s green transportation planning legacy).

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“I trusted Sam and other city council members with my November vote. Since the ballot box failed me, the streets have my name written all over them. Bring me my walking boots.”
– Joe Kurmaskie

On Friday, activist and author Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie left a comment here on BikePortland that reluctantly put himself into the leadership role on the rally. He wrote:

“For me CRC is a linchpin issue. It’s a watermark to measure where a politician stands regarding Portland’s quality of life ten years down the road.”

Kurmaskie left his email address in the comment for anyone who had ideas or wanted to get together to discuss plans. When I met him on Saturday, he told me over 70 people had gotten in touch wanting to be part of the effort.

Kurmaskie is joined by many members of the Smarter Bridge Coalition. One of them, economist and outspoken critic of the CRC project Joe Cortright, showed up to the planning meeting on Saturday. “If you can’t say no to this,” he said, “what are you ever going to say no to?”

Commissioner Amanda Fritz, the only Portland City Council member who did not vote in favor of Adams’ proposal last week has already said she’ll appear at the rally (she has also been asked to speak at the event).

Kurmaskie says he hopes to bring in many different parts of the community to express widespread concerns about building a 12-lane bridge. For him, this isn’t about simply opposing the CRC project, it’s about presenting a more sensible way to move forward on the project and it’s a way to express his disappointment with Mayor Adams. He wrote:

“I trusted Sam and other city council members with my November vote to look out for Portland’s future. To back up campaign pledges with more than words and proposal promises to “manage” everything ten years down the line, AFTER 12 lanes and 4 billion plus dollars worth of bridge has been built.

Since the ballot box failed me, the streets have my name written all over them. Bring me my walking boots.”

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Comments
  • Jonathan Maus March 2, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    New blog post: CRC rally planned for April; Commissioner Fritz will attend http://tinyurl.com/cxr2n2

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  • Hollie Teal March 2, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I’ll try to be there, too.

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  • Adam March 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Noon is exactly the time I start work that day, too bad. My support goes out to this rally.

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  • a.O March 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    CRC Sam, meet the Metal Cowboy. He’s going to lead Portland in calling shenanigans on your stated goal of making Portland “greenest city on Earth” by putting a 12-lane freeway through the north end. And when we’re done with you, you’re gonna regret this more than you do kissing Beau in the bathroom.

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  • Ben March 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    What are the key arguments against 12 lanes?

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  • Joe Rowe March 2, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    RSVP metalcowboy@metalcowboy.com
    if you plan to attend the rally.
    He will email out the details.

    The coalition for a livable future and other groups are somewhat hobbled in resisting the CRC? Is it their tax exempt status? Trusting their insiders too much? Trying to swap one agenda for another?

    We are dangerously close to getting a jumbo bridge and major freeway expansion all over Portland.

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  • Oh Word? March 2, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    So is Jasun Wurster right? Is he turning on the cyclists because he to weak to stand up to the bigger interests?

    “I fear that he is at the mercy of his most powerful and wealthy supporters,” explained Wurster, “These people generally do not care too much about bicycle issues.”

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  • matt picio March 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    No Steve, “CRC Sam” is not an insult worth removing, but your second “nickname” is. Technically, it’s libel, since no charges have been filed nor proven against Sam Adams in that respect.

    You’d be a lot more effective if you’d stick to the actual issues rather than trying to force your little morality play down everyone’s throats. Totally IMO, but there it is.

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  • matt picio March 2, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Arguments against 12 lanes:

    1. Creating more lanes creates more traffic – fact. Numerous studies have proven that any attempt to reduce congestion by adding more lanes backfires – the transportation system will re-balance itself, and the temporary reduction in commute time will create more housing at the Vancouver end until the congestion level returns to what it currently is.

    2. Additional traffic means more pollution.

    3. 12 lanes at Jantzen Beach pushes traffic downstream into N. Portland.

    4. 12 lanes at Jantzen Beach increases the probability of car collisions in that area – There will be people making a 5-lane change to get over to the exit for Jantzen Beach.

    5. Funding – the funding sources for CRC have not been fully identified. With the current recession, they aren’t likely to for some time. Current funding of CRC will likely draw funds from other important projects

    I’m sure given a little time, we can come up with a number of others.

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  • steve March 2, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Sam has publicly admitted to making out with a minor boy in a city hall bathroom. Libel my ass!

    Sam is also a public figure. Study up a bit-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Times_Co._v._Sullivan

    I am so happy that Samisstillyourmayor. He is doing such wonderful things for our city. Congratulations on your new bridge!

    Amy Ruiz for mayor!!

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  • metalcowboy March 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Before we start too far down this thread with a bunch of name calling and blaming people for who they have supported etc. I’d like to say that I am not going after the Mayor or the council members on a personal level. I want it known that for me this is about policy. The CRC is this generation’s Mt Hood Freeway. People in powerful poisitions have already gotten in touch with me privately to wish me well on this AND point out that, how many of them have tried behind closed doors to get this thing killed B/c of this I’m likely tilting at windmills, that this thing is about too much money and power and it’s already left the station.

    I choose not to buy into that vision of our future. They may be correct, but if we can put enough facts on the ground and make a loud enough arguement with viable, rational options – that we don’t need this much bridge, if any more lanes at all. That now, today, we need to step up real pressure discussions about fixing the existing bridge, tolling both bridges, I-5 and I-205, carpooling like co 2 emissions meant something, planning trips, bicycling more, extending light rail to Hayden Island and Vancouver, fixing on ramps and really looking at how tolling and the arrival of peak oil will reduce the need for this size bridge.

    These options will cost about 10 percent of the 4 billion for the 12 lane bridge project.

    Why haven’t I been at council and other meetings before now? I have been very vocal for some time to elected officals by phone and email about the crc, but I honestly thought that electing Sam ADams would get this bridge project back down to Earth. If you want to blame anyone like local advocacy groups for being somewhat hobbled, then you can also blame me and first, for not stepping up more firmly until now.

    But this bridge is not built yet. Now is the time for everyone who cares about getting other options for this project more exposure and a good thorough look at by the public… please join us. There is strength in numbers and power in standing up for what you believe, win or lose. And I’ve helped win battles against dirty industry locating in poor neighborhoods that looked hopeless, but we got creative, we had a good time, even in the face of threats, and we made sense with our arguments – we formed coalitions beyond one interest group – don’t be afraid of a good figh for what you care about – I’ve taken more than a few punches. It’s that first punch you fear the most and I’ll take the ones for this. Please spread the word to anyone who wants Portland’s north end neighborhoods to stay livable, who doesn’t want gridlock choking the rose quarter, who wants to use funding wisely. Built Less Bridge Rally April 5th noon waterfront park near Hawthorne bridge.

    I want to say that Hollie Tel and I have organized memorial rides together and she is a stand up person. That she wants to show her support for a more sane option for her community by coming to the rally – I welcome that. I voted for Sam, I campaigned for Sam. Hell, I still have the yard sign in my garage. I want this to be about a policy choice on the CRC. I hope the focus stays on that. I feel betrayed by the proposal, the vote and the direction it indicates to me about my local government’s leadership.

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  • peejay March 2, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    steve:

    What you are doing may feel good for you but does no good for us. Go and make these immature jokes somewhere else, and when your head’s clear, come back and participate in an adult argument. And we’d welcome you at the rally under those conditions.

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  • a.O March 2, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    I’d like to expand on Matt’s third argument (@ #8).

    The widening of the I-5 segment crossing the Columbia River is a wedge that will be used by proponents to argue for widening other segments of I-5 throughout the Portland metro area.

    The current argument is that the bridge is a “bottleneck.” If it is widened, traffic will flow more efficiently through Portland.

    But, other segments of I-5 through Portland are about as wide as the current bridge and also have carrying capacity problems (e.g., the I-84 interchange). And the the wider bridge will induce the flow of traffic into Portland from Washington (Matt explains “induced demand” in his first argument).

    These two facts will mean that, if the Columbia River bridge is widened, the “bottleneck” on I-5 will move south into Portland.

    Proponents will argue that widening the bridge is a waste of money without addressing other bottlenecks in the area. They will want to widen I-5 first through North Portland, then through downtown, and then on through the Terwilliger curves.

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  • a.O March 2, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Since I know some of you are fellow fans of the Dude, I thought for the sake of levity I would provide the quote below:

    Walter Sobchak: He’s a sex offender, with a record. He did six months in Chino for exposing himself to an eight-year-old. When he moved to Hollywood he had to go door-to-door to tell everyone he was a pederast.

    Donny: What’s a “pederast,” Walter?

    Walter Sobchak: Shut the fu** up, Donny.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) March 2, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Just for the record I have deleted two comments by Steve. Sorry, back to the discussion…

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  • steve March 2, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Thank you for quoting my source material, a.O.!

    At least someone around here has a sense of humor. In light of our current goings on, that is the best security one can have.

    Amy Ruiz for mayor!!!

    Jonathan Maus for Handicapper General!

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  • peejay March 2, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks, Joe, for lifting the heavy load of getting this thing off the ground. Sorry I couldn’t make it Saturday, but I’ll be there to help out from now on.

    Remember, this isn’t just about bikes. In fact, one might argue, if we play it clean, we’ll wind up with a spiffy new bike facility on the monster bridge. (Some of us who comment here – they’ve made that deal.) No, it’s about the future of the city of Portland, a city that has rejected the idea that everything will be OK if we just make it easier for cars to get around. We rejected it when we took out the Harbor Freeway, we rejected it when we stopped the Mt Hood Expressway, we rejected it when we spent that money instead on the foundations of mass transit.

    What this is about is the neighborhoods in North Portland, who don’t want their houses bulldozed, who don’t want the streets where their kids play to be turned into feeder roads for interstate traffic, who don’t want their children to grow up with two-pack-a-day coughs when they don’t even smoke.

    What this is about is the rest of the city, that we don’t want to become the place where people who live in cheap houses in Clark County come to get jobs and do their tax-free shopping, while our tax base dries up because wages come down. It’s about making our city the first truly sustainable city, where we live, work, and play within close proximity to one another, and treat each other like people again, not like traffic.

    It’s even about the areas North and East of Vancouver – yes, Vancouver – the parts that are yet unbefouled with suburban blight, that they may stay that way. It’s about the wider region, and the idea that it should be more expensive to transport goods from far away, and thus more valuable to make things here, for ourselves. It’s about us setting an example for other cities, where people are still trying to eke out an existence in a sea of cars, where they’re trapped behind their two-car garages, where the need of a quart of milk still means getting in the car and driving to the strip mall.

    [/soapbox]

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  • John March 2, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    (Please, dftt!)

    From the Vancouver side: I think contacting the westside neighborhood associations would be fruitful. None of us who’ve seen (or contributed toward) the revitalization of our downtown neighborhoods from the trashed rentals and squatters of not much more than a decade ago want to see increased freeway access tear the place up like what happened in east Vancouver.

    And a few of us did take notice of the date our mayor had scheduled to review the input from neighborhood associations. The day after he had submitted Vancouver’s final official position for the CRC DEIS. Our input was not only ignored, but pushed completely out of the schedule to keep it out of the way. Royce Pollard does not represent the population of Vancouver.

    I don’t think you’ll find a single westside Vancouver neighborhood association supporting the 12 lane option. What are the odds of a similar result in Portland? And how would a single written objection to this agreement, sponsored by every (or at least, nearly) westside Vancouver and Portland neighborhood be received? If our respective governments don’t react to a consensus objection from the population they are intended to represent, perhaps our local media would be willing to rake those coals for fun and profit.

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  • Bob_M March 2, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Quote A.O. (#12)
    “The widening of the I-5 segment crossing the Columbia River is a wedge that will be used by proponents to argue for widening other segments of I-5 throughout the Portland metro area.”

    DING DING DING…. We have a winner!

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  • jgadamski March 2, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    one of the aspects that troubles me the most about CRC is the Economic Justice piece. Why are the poorest communities continuously asked to live with the long term consequences of poor planning while more affluent communties reap the benefit? ( this is the same question that killed the Mt Hood Freeway)

    This jumbo bridge will not only add more vehicles and more pollution,but add to the number of cars cutting through the poorest neighborhoods in the city( the re rarely is an economic benefit to cut through traffic).There has been no effort to look at CRC with an Economic Justice view, and in truth, CRC made sure anyone they picked for the EJ piece intentionally had no experience with EJ process. the folks at Hayden Island who will live right next to the bridge have exactly the same voice as folks in St Johns. So someone asked for 12 points of opposition. I just want to add the EJ piece,because from my read, CRC pats themselves on the back about being sensitive to Economic Justice issues, and purposely sabotaged those community members who actually had standing.

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  • Dennis March 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    the 12 lane behemoth is being forced onto us in the core area of Vancouver. It’s designed to open up traffic, primarily to create more development north of salmon creek. This is strictly a “sprawl enabling” tool, of developers. It’s going to create more suburban wasteland, and more traffic. I can still remember the methodology behind the creation of the I-205 freeway, as a way to “reduce traffic” on the overloaded I-5 bridge. All that did was eliminate all the farmland between Camas and Vancouver. Soon, all the land between Vancouver and Kelso will be sprawling ugliness and strip malls.

    All that we can hope for is $4.50 gallon gasoline to kill this project, and the filth that will follow.

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  • peejay March 2, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Great to hear our comrades from north of the border joining in! Please come to our rally, and if you plan your own, we’ll come to that one!

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  • peejay March 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    I encourage everybody to go to the BTA blog, and to Sam Adams’ blog as well, and leave constructive comments there. It’ll do some good.

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  • tim h March 2, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    re: #10

    metalcowboy, you stated:

    “People in powerful poisitions have already gotten in touch with me privately to … point out that, how many of them have tried behind closed doors to get this thing killed B/c of this I’m likely tilting at windmills, that this thing is about too much money and power and it’s already left the station.”

    So here’s a thought -

    This is federal, taxpayer money, our money, being invested here, right? The President has stated that he and the American people will hold officials and businesses accountable for how our money is spent. He has called for complete transparency.

    It is either naive or disingenuous to project that increasing lanes will not increase traffic volume. Increasing car and truck traffic contradicts the President’s stated goals for the use of the federal stimulus funds.

    Who do your contacts identify as the “money and power” people who cannot be stopped or challenged?

    Should not these “money and power” brokers be identified and called upon to account for themselves?

    If those “people in powerful positions”, know who pulls the strings and who profits from the contracts resulting from this colossal project, can they name the individuals, businesses and politicians?

    Would not efforts to make this project conform to our national and local goals (energy conservation and climate /environmental protection as opposed to increased traffic and development) be more effective if we were to take the appeal higher up the ladder of power rather than vent our disappointment with the compromises of local politicians?

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  • metal cowboy March 3, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Tim h

    You ask some good questions. My short answer is that all politics are local. We start in our backyard.

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  • metal cowboy March 3, 2009 at 12:11 am

    John 17 and Dennis 20

    Please get in touch with us about the rally. It’s really important that Vancouver folks show their support and make their case to the public. And it would make a big statement if we have a large showing from across the river.

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  • Matthew Denton March 3, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Some of the best arguments about what is wrong with the CRC are summed up in the EPA’s comments on the project:
    http://blog.oregonlive.com/environment_impact/2008/07/EPA-OnCRC.pdf

    Here are some quotes:
    There is no analysis or disclosure of near roadway pollutants – their composition, concentrations, identification of the sensitive receptor locations and populations, and the associated potential human health effects. This information would be particularly relevant to the communities and populations living within approximately 500 yards of the roadway, although the distance may vary depending on traffic and environmental conditions, and are hotspot in nature when there are localized concentrations…..As a result, the project may exacerbate conditions that are currently affecting human health and well being in the project area (such as air pollution, noise, financial stress, construction zone traffic, safety hazards, and health effects, potential contamination of drinking water and subsistence food supplies)…..Citizen allegations and documentation indicate that there is concern that the public participation process, while extensive in nature, may not have fully engaged and informed affected populations so that they feel they are well informed, involved, heard, and responded to in project development, implementation, and operation…..Replacement Crossing Alternatives propose to double the number of highway lanes from six to twelve. EPA is concerned that roadway expansion of this magnitude, even with tolls and transit, may stimulate travel demand for use of privately owned vehicles (POVs), and may contribute to pressures for dispersed development….However, the recent and current trends in land use and growth, particularly in the Vancouver area (see The Columbian, 5/16/08 article by Michael Andersen: “Growth board rules in favor of preserving farmland”), provide a stronger indication of the growth pressures and patterns that may be expected with the significant transportation improvements proposed by the CRC project, and in combination with other significant transportation improvements along I-5 and near the project area that are listed in the Draft EIS.

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  • KWW March 3, 2009 at 12:47 am

    It depends on what you do with the 12 lanes that matter. If there are dedicated mass transit lanes, dedicated bicycle lanes and lanes that switch directions depending on which way rush hour traffic flows (thereby reducing pollution), I am in favor of the 12 lane bridge.

    I often wonder what percentage of total traffic on I-5 is through traffic, ie from Kalifornia and Seattle and back, that has nothing to do with Portland.
    IMO, the quicker they are on their way, the better.

    Otherwise, a too small bridge will cause more pollution, and will turn North Portland into the ‘Tacoma of Oregon’.

    Finally, Sam is right and is consistent, Portland’s road infrastructure is probably the worst out of the 50 largest cities in this country.

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  • Matthew Denton March 3, 2009 at 1:19 am

    KWW #27 It is 16 lanes if you count mass transit and bicycle lanes. It is 22 if you re-stripe the shoulders as lanes, (how do you think we got a 6 lane bridge with no shoulders in the first place?)

    All the traffic heading north from south of the I-5/205 split to north of the I-5/205 split, and the other way would fit on one lane. (Obviously, with some traffic signals at the ends: the lane would flow north for a few minutes, then south for a few minutes.) One could actually fit all the through traffic and all the freight and all the carpools that want to cross the Columbia in the state of Oregon over the Bridge of the Gods. The other 10 lanes on the CRC, (and the 8 on the Glen Jackson) are only needed for single occupancy vehicles.

    You mean they are going to name a pickup truck the “North Portland”? The CRC will most likely make our air pollution worse: See my comment above about what the EPA thinks of this bridge.

    Portland’s congestion is 23rd worst in the nation. Our population is 23rd highest in the nation. If you look at the list nationwide, New York is 2nd for congestion, but 1st for population. LA is 1st for congestion but 2nd for population. Chicago is 3rd for both, Houston is 4th for both. When you remove the effects of population on the ratings, (and what are you going to do, stop people from moving here?,) the comparison seems to suggest that good mass transit and bikeable/walkable cities are the best way to solve congestion. Roads actually make congestion worse.

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  • PortlandNews_ March 3, 2009 at 7:19 am

    CRC rally planned for April; Commissioner Fritz will attend: Joe Kurmaskie, seen here at the “We are All Traffic.. http://tinyurl.com/cxr2n2

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  • Mike B. March 3, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Why does this subject get so much coverage on this site? I thought this was about bikes?

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  • GLV March 3, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Re: bottlenecks shifting south, when they finish the widening project at Delta Park early next year, the existing southbound bottleneck will shift to the I-5/405 split. That’s going to be a tremendous weapon against this monstrosity.

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  • peejay March 3, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Mike B:

    Because:

    a) the bike community is not so insular and short-sighted that we can’t think about the bigger picture;

    b) the bigger picture affects how we will be able to use our bikes in Portland in the future.

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  • metal cowboy March 3, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Mike H,

    In so much as this project will directly effect the streets we pedal on, the congestion on those streets, poplution levels with pedal around, the funding in the overall community to pay for other bike projects.

    If the Mt Hood Freeway had been built would Portland be a different place for cycling today?
    What about the harbour freeway that is now waterfront park?

    This site covers things suchas car free conferences and issues that indirectly relate to bikes.

    But it is a valid question for you and others to ask.

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  • Dan Kaufman March 3, 2009 at 8:41 am

    It’s great to see this rally coming together. Count me in.

    One thought. 12-lanes shouldn’t be the issue. Trying to solve congestion by investing in more roadway IS the issue.

    A funny thing I heard from about Environmental Study on this project. It said that even though there would be more lanes the bridge would not induce more car trips because of the light rail and tolling.

    Which begs the question: why is tolling and light rail not on the table by themselves? The easy answer… it was not on the list of options. We need a new list

    It’s not too late to put a halt to this mistake (8, 10, or 12-lanes). There are several things that could stop it in tracks now and rally is a great way to exposure on the issues.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) March 3, 2009 at 8:43 am

    “Why does this subject get so much coverage on this site? I thought this was about bikes?”

    Mike B,

    That’s a good question and one I’ve been thinking a lot about myself.

    I think a few people above have made points I agree with, but I am still open to feedback.

    What do you (all) think? How closely should I follow the CRC? Or, should I leave it for someone else to cover?

    thanks.

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  • Dan Kaufman March 3, 2009 at 8:49 am

    It’s also important not to be to quick to demonize the folks who are in favor of this construction.

    Most are well intentioned and if you listen to the testimony of commuters, truck drivers, contractors, EMTs, and the residents of Hayden island then you know there is a big problem with the bridge.

    The thing that these bridge supporters don’t realize is that, in the long run, these problems won’t be solved by more lanes. This is the point we must convey.

    Let’s be constructive. The first step is to scrap ALL the poor options we’ve been given by the CRC task force.

    See you at the rally.

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  • Dan Kaufman March 3, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Sorry for all the posts.

    The simple answer, Mike:

    How we spend billions of OUR transportation dollars matters to cyclists.

    Keep dumping it into motor-expressways and bicycle transportation will continue to be marginalized.

    Jonathan, please follow your gut and keep this story on the front page.

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  • Heather March 3, 2009 at 9:20 am

    In Europe, many projects of this scale require not only an Environmental Imapact Assesment but a HEALTH impact assesment (HIA). An HIA is a process that uses a variety of methods and
    approaches to identify and measure potential health impacts, both positive and negative, that may result from a particular policy or project. Furthermore, an HIA seeks to link these
    impacts to a given segment of the population (for example, children, older adults, people living in poverty, or residents of a particular neighborhood). An HIA was completed for two major projects in Atlanta, GA (City of Decatur Transportation Plan and the Atlanta Beltline) and would be a great tool to determine the impacts of a 12 lane bridge.

    The rally’s on my calendar and I plan on being there.

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  • peejay March 3, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Or, should I leave it for someone else to cover?

    Jonathan, nobody’s covering this issue as well as you, right now, so I’d hate to see you stop. Your site attracts some of the most committed and involved people in Portland, so you host an ideal forum for us to exchange ideas.

    Anyway, I say the CRC means a lot to cyclists. As Dan said, if the Mount Hood Expressway were built, SE Portland, my neighborhood, would not be known as a bike mecca. If the CRC were built as currently planned, your neighborhood in N Portland will suffer as a safe place to ride a bike. A healthy city is a great city to ride bikes in; the CRC will reduce the health of Portland and Vancouver.

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  • John March 3, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Cowboy: #25 — Done. Let’s get out there, Vancouver. Look at east Vancouver. We don’t want more of that.
    I’ll also toss out a line at our neighborhood association meeting this Thursday and see who bites.

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  • peejay March 3, 2009 at 10:02 am

    As Dan said, if the Mount Hood Expressway were built

    Oops. Joe said it. Dan said a lot of great things, too.

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  • Suzanne March 3, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Way to go Joe, and everyone else who has stepped up in organizing the resistance to this project. I will be there and I will bring along as many people as I possibly can, and help out as much in the meantime as I am able. I can’t think of anything more important for the future of our city and keeping Portland the livable place we love.

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  • KWW March 3, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Mr. Denton, you bring up good points, and I don’t dispute them. It would be nice if the bridge was somehow tied to anti sprawl legislation in Vancouver…

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  • mara March 3, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Another element of this — the state legislature is considering including $30 Million in its budget for the project this biennium. When funding is being slashed all over the budget, when we don’t have enough funds to design bike infrastructure much less build it, we’re looking at $30 Million for the CRC.

    And what do we get for it? The privilege of spending $600 Million in state funds later (or actually borrowing it, because we don’t actually have that kind of money lying around). Of the $4 Billion total price tag, the plan is for Oregon to kick in $600 Million. $600 Million of our future money, spent on one mega-bridge.

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  • metal cowboy March 3, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Re: coverage – we are getting talking points and press releases ready to send to all Oregon and South Washington media outlets. That said, I hope that bikeportland continues to cover this issue
    b/c bicycling is transportation/energy policy related, quality of life,, neighborhood livability – it’s all connected and not as distant cousins. Plus, as a former daily journalist myself, I appreciate the dedicated and care JM takes to cover issues and give opposing viewpoints a chance to air – i.e not just stories from us. He hasn’t grown into a media force in the community by luck or magic.

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  • Zaphod March 3, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Regarding the question why the CRC is being covered here…

    As I see it, cycle commuting is part of a larger organism of all travel modes. Building for one (cars) especially high speed highway is often at the detriment of the others. Are Portlanders just fanatic cyclists and it’s our pure drive that gets us rolling? Or is it that we are a good size, reasonably dense (population wise ;^) ), with superb cycling infrastructure?

    There are some cultural elements that drove the visionary decisions to get us here but a giant costly freeway will not be good.

    It’s quite easy to predict how this will play out. Capacity will be met with bedroom communities in Vancouver. Hopefully the ‘couv will develop a robust business center but if job offers appear in PDX (or Beaverton, etc.) people will commute. Then politicians will be facing a “needed” expansion project along much of I5 through PDX. It’s a self inflicted problem that we can avoid.

    There’s so much interrelated here. If there are cheap homes in Vancouver, the demand for downtown PDX, close in PDX and outer PDX real estate will fall and we will induce blight and sprawl at the same time. Urban design has many working parts and building too much capacity has significant outcomes well beyond those within 500 meters on either side of the thing.

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  • Andrew March 3, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Great news about the rally.

    I’m opposed to _any_ new bridge being built unless it is solely for mass transit and/or bike lanes. this combined with tolling would be the ideal solution for the people of the area.

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  • redhippie March 3, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    THere is a ton of retoric on this subject, but I think adding the big bridge really is about serving the suburban vancouver and clark co. areas. The instate transit can jsut as easilty go via the 205 bridge and upgrades to the interstate down by Oregon city and Tualitin would address that issue.

    I say save the 4 billion, put in one bridge at I5 to handle the Max, Dedicated bus lanes, ped and bike traffic. Use the rest to build the new sellwood bridge, new max bridge at OMSI, and some more street cars and express bus routes.

    In the long run we would get a whole lot more usable infrastructure that does not benefit people in SW washington who do not subscribe to our planning concepts. Maybe if there is more collective urban planning this could change, but I feel like the CRC is about boosting SW Washing land values.

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  • Ben March 3, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    That’s a pretty big generalization of SW washington people. Alot of us do subscribe to “your” planning concepts, redhippie. It’s not an US against THEM for the majority of people I talk to, and we take pride in being part of the Portland-Metro area.

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  • John Reinhold March 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    We have a historical precedent of taking roadways that were designed and built with a certain number of lanes, and re-configuring them to add lanes.

    The 12 lane build option is easily reconfigurable to be 14 or 16 smaller lanes with no shoulders.

    Fixing the current problems that exist in the I5 Interstate bridge corridor is VERY important.

    Fixing them with a “one size fits all” mega expensive bridge is a mistake.

    There have been hundreds of people in hundreds of testimonies before many meetings present valid, effective, and cheaper options. Some of them include:

    1. Build a small local arterial to Hayden Island and close the I5 ramps to the island to all but emergency vehicles. Gets rid of a huge safety and congestion problem, keeps local traffic off the interstate, and provides “bridge redundancy” in the event of a disaster on the island. Also provides jobs for stimulus.

    2. Toll. Toll NOW. Toll both I5 and I205. This reduces congestion and provides funds for development.

    3. HOV lanes all the way through the problem area, heavily enforced. Add in extensive bus service and increace frequency and capacity. Increases carpool and transit usage, decreases single occupancy vehicles. This is cheap, only requires signs and paint.

    4. Reconfigure railroad bridge, and align shipping channel with hump on interstate bridge. Reduces need for bridge lifts to almost none. Also provides jobs for stimulus.

    5. Seismically retrofit existing bridge, and add larger sidewalks at the same time (similar to Hawthorne bridge project). Makes bridge safer and more reliable, and increases bike/ped capacity and safety. Also provides jobs for stimulus.

    6. Increase funding for van-pool and car-pool operations to vancouver.

    7. Reduce the demand for Vancouver SOV commuting. Increase funding for affordable housing in the Portland CBD, and make home/condo ownership easier in Portland. Increase funding for Portland Schools, and improve Portland schools. Provide incentives across the metro area for people to relocate closer to jobs or school.

    8. Increase regional rail shipping, and improve regional rail corridors to reduce dependence on highways for truck freight.

    9. Implement WES style commuter rail between Vancouver and Portland during peak commute hours.

    There are so many options that are so much better and more effective than a new 4 billion dollar mega bridge.

    Every excuse to build this mega project falls through, because you could solve the issues with a smaller more cost effective fix.

    Safety? Get rid of some of the on/off ramps.

    Bridge lifts? Reconfigure the shipping channel.

    Old bridge? We have old bridges all over the world. Fix and maintain the current bridge and it is not a problem.

    Freight? Make a HOV lane and give freight the use of it. Toll extensively. Provide transit. Get people out of their SOV and make room for freight. Use more rail freight. Redirect “thru” freight to use 205.

    Bike Ped? Make better sidewalks on existing bridges.

    Building more lanes to relieve traffic is like buying bigger pants to lose weight. It has never worked, and never will work.

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  • John Reinhold March 3, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Oh, I forgot in my last post:

    Anti-CRC sticker:

    http://www.cafepress.com/stickdeez.196693919

    Facebook group:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=26627484883

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  • Spencer Boomhower March 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Just to underline the great points others have already made about why BikePortland should cover the CRC: the way cities and transportation infrastructure are designed directly impacts the bikeability of those cities.

    It’s worth remembering that bike-mecca SE Portland was originally designed as a “streetcar suburb”, and it’s atop the buried bones of those old streetcar lines that a great bike city has flourished.

    We need more of that, and less crap like this monster freeway from hell. (The part of hell in this case being played by downtown L.A. :)

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  • Spencer Boomhower March 3, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Put another way: if you like to hike, it’s natural that you care about wilderness; if you like to canoe, it’s natural that you care about healthy rivers; and if you like urban cycling, it’s natural that you care about livable cities, and transportation infrastructure.

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  • revphil March 3, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Vancouver plus mass transit minus sprawl equals awesome future neighbor.

    to redhippie #47

    you got it, except that there is another important wrinkle, the matter of barges. presently with the railroad bridge just west of the I-5 bridge tugboat captains often have to do some pretty dangerous maneuvers (one told me during a city council meeting). Barges and Bridges should not be siting next to each other at the dinner table.

    This could fixed with some millions spent on the railroad bridge, or some billions on the I-5.

    The CRC will do more to change the feel of the NW more than anything else in our generation. Im glad to read about it here, and stoked Joe is ready to organize!

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  • Donna March 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Anyone who wonders what the CRC has to do with bikes in Portland ought to go on one of Shawn Granton’s Dead Freeway Rides. The connection will become abundantly clear.

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  • metal cowboy March 4, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Visit this group on the web by using this URL:
    Hey – we’ve started a google group to keep folks up on the crc rally and things folks can t to help.

    http://groups.google.com/group/buildlessbridge?hl=en

    You can unsubscribe from this group using the following URL:

    http://groups.google.com/group/buildlessbridge/unsub?u=uOKO2QgAAABJ-FQIrwiPh4XgzWtvsxnQ&hl=en

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  • Ron Swaren March 19, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    People in Clark County have a vastly different view of transportation needs than what our Oregon “leaders” are pushing. I’ve found a lot of interest over there in smaller, more affordable projects that would reduce mileage traveled and take pressure off the I-5 bridges. I think we could get a Clark Co. commissioner to come and speak, Apr. 5. Are you open to that? Please email me.

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  • metal cowboy March 20, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Ron – send me your email address and we can talk about getting vancouver speakers to the event – email me @ mtcowboy@teleport.com

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