Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 6th, 2009 at 3:01 pm
Here's more from the Portland Business Journal:
"The Columbia River Crossing Project Sponsors Council...wants six lanes in each direction for the replacement bridge, which would also offer bicycle and pedestrian lanes and a light rail line. Another advisory council formed by the group will explore tolling options for the bridge, expected to cost in excess of $4 billion."
That "advisory council' is the Columbia Crossing Mobility Council -- a group proposed by Portland Mayor Sam Adams and supported by City Council that would have management oversight of bridge traffic.
More on what that oversight might look like from the PBJ:
".. the new advisory group will study toll rates, auxiliary uses of the bridge, transit management and transportation demand management related to the proposed structure."
Sarah Mirk from the Portland Mercury made the trek up to Vancouver for the meeting today. In a report just posted on the Mercury blog, she has a quote from Metro Council President David Bragdon about his
support for position on a 12 lane bridge:
"When I lose, I'm not going to be a crybaby about it, I'm going to move onto the next step and be constructive and effective in the next effort. If 12 lanes is what the majority wants, we should just move forward as positively as we can." (*see update at end of story)
Mirk wonders if there's as much support for 12 lanes as Bragdon assumes. She writes:
Is 12 lanes what the majority wants? On City Council, obviously, but a different kind of majority may turn out for a protest against the 12 lane bridge, April 5th in Waterfront Park.
Just to clarify, the rally planned in Waterfront Park on April 5th isn't just to "protest against the 12 lane bridge". From conversations I've had with rally organizers, the intention is to voice concerns over the project in general and to propose different options.
However, with milestone decisions like the one made today, it seems like different options are getting less and less likely. But who knows, some people have called the CRC "this generation's Mt. Hood Freeway", so I guess anything is possible.
*(UPDATE, 8:38pm): Bragdon left a comment below where he attempts to clarify the quote above:
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"I am in favor of the 8 or 10 lane option and that I believe the 12 lane version will likely fill with traffic and cause more congestion elsewhere, especially if not managed. I observed that a MAJORITY OF THE COMMITTEE obviously did not agree with that argument - hence my observation that "I lose" - but that I have to move on to the next step to try to influence things then, rather than just whine about losing on this round."