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(Updated) BTA on CRC bike/ped design process: “We’re not going to play this game any more”

Posted by on August 26th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

[8/26, 4:42pm: This story has been updated with reaction from CRC project staffer David Parisi.]

“The BTA is done with this public involvement theater… we’re not going to play this game any more.”
— Michelle Poyouorow, Bicycle Transportation Alliance

As reported earlier today, the staff from the Columbia River Crossing project held a meeting of their Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting in Vancouver this morning. The big item on the agenda was to get an official recommendation from the committee about which of two design options (with the bike and pedestrian pathway above or below the main deck) they prefer.

According to sources that attended the meeting, the committee voted to recommended the underdeck option, but only if the CRC Project Sponsors Council (which includes Mayor Adams, Metro Council President David Bragdon, DOT Directors from Washington and Oregon, etc…) signs off on a firm maintenance and security agreement.

But for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA), the deadline for that commitment has come and gone. BTA Avocacy Manager Michelle Poyourow, who was at today’s meeting, told us that she voted against the recommendation and that they plan to walk away from their advisory role on the project altogether.

“We’ve been trying to make something good out of this project…but there’s nothing on the table for us to support.”

Poyourow said that today’s meeting was their deadline for getting that firm commitment in writing from one of the project’s lead agencies, but that no such commitment exists. She made it clear that the BTA does not support either option on the table, and that — beyond the on-bridge path design — as it’s currently planned, the project does not provide the type of bicycle connections they want.

Beyond the bike/ped pathway discussion, Poyourow said “Bottom line, this project is just bad for the health of our region.”

Poyourow said she believes the CRC staff was caught off guard by the tone at today’s meeting, where what was supposed to be a half-hour agenda item turned into a two-hour heated discussion. “I believe they expected us to just write a memo outlining our concerns, not to request a hard commitment.”

For the past three years, Poyourow estimates the BTA has sent a staff member to twenty 3.5 hour bike/ped advisory committee meetings. But no longer. “The BTA is done with this public involvement theater. This project has not been successful in hearing the communities concerns and we’re not going to play this game any more.”

While Poyourow made it clear she will officially withdraw the BTA from the CRC’s bike/ped advisory committee, she also said that her organization would love to see “something break this stalemate”. “If there’s a proposal that comes from outside the CRC…or a new proposal for this project comes out, we want to support good improvements between the two cities.”

Bike lawyer Mark Ginsberg attended the meeting as a representative of the City of Portland’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. He said they will put out a letter on Friday stating their support for an underdeck facility with the strict condition that the security and maintenance agreement goes through.

David Parisi, the head of the CRC Ped and Bike Advisory committee said he feels the talks “are going very well.” Parisi told us today that he was disappointed to hear that the BTA would no longer be on the committee. “I am disappointed that they decided to stop participating. They’ve provided some good insight and have helped the process.”

Parisi added that the BTA put a motion on the table today to not support either option without further clarification on security and maintenance issues — but no other committee member supported it. He also added that the BTA is just one of 12 members on the advisory committee.

Asked about funding for the bike and ped component of the project, Parisi said that his previous comments — which we have characterized as a threat that funding could be in jeopardy if advisory groups did not reach consensus in the CRC’s timeframe — were taken out of context. “It wasn’t a threat, it’s like anything else on this project, if you have consensus on project elements, it’s harder to do value-engineering on it.”

The recommendation of placement of the bike/ped path, and the request to commit to a maintenance and security agreement, will go in front of the Project Sponsors Council on September 4th.

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  • beth h August 26, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    I wonder if this may backfire for the BTA, in terms of being left out of the loop in the future; or if this action will actually get the BTA some respect at the table. It’s not clear.

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  • Opus the Poet August 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Interesting. Rather than settle for poor facilities the BTA would rather not have any facilities at all, or not even a bridge. actually I can see the not even have a bridge point of view. The Golden Gate is about 70 years old, most of the major bridges in NYC are over a century old, and there are still bridges dating back to Roman times in use in Europe, why does the I5 bridge need replacing already?

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  • kitty August 26, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Good. Calling the CRC for what it is: a PR sham! I can not believe I read that right, TWENTY 3.5 hr meetings? Clearly quantity does not produce quality. I can’t wait till gas hits 5+/gal, and people really start freaking out again about future transport options. Go BTA!

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  • John Thomas August 26, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Yet another reason to stop supporting the BTA. If you can’t have your way, take your ball and go home. That’s real effective, Michelle.

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  • Evan Manvel August 26, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    The CRC is not just about the facilities – it’s about the land use impacts of the MegaBridge and what that means for the region and its bike-friendliness in the long term.

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  • nahbois August 26, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Interesting. If an above and below bike/ped is not an option for the BTA, what do they recommend?

    The current bike/ped access (if you can even call it that) is horrendous.

    How are these options not better? Even if they are not perfect. I hate to settle and be in a position of something is better than nothing, but unfortunately that is the reality.

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  • Spencer Boomhower August 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Way to go, Michelle and the BTA!

    It’s just as well the BTA is pulling out, because: 1) best-case scenario, this thing is going to cost a ton of money, 2) projects like this inevitably go over budget, and 3) it seems very likely the bike/ped facilities – despite constituting a small percentage of the budget – will be the first lambs to be sacrificed. That the O is already implying the bike/ped path might not be worth it – even before the CRC gets a chance to bury itself in its own inevitable budget overruns – does not bode well for bike/ped facilities ever seeing the light of day. With or without the BTA’s support.

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  • Chris Smith August 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    I appreciate the BTA’s principled position, but this scares me a bit. The environmental justice advisory committee members left in a similar way and got replaced by people who rubber-stamped the plans.

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  • Spencer Boomhower August 26, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Also, it seems like the CRC backers have been trying to force stakeholders and community leaders to choose from an artificially limited menu of options: “Eight, ten, or twelve lanes?” “Above-deck bike path, or below-deck bike path?” In doing so, I think they’ve been trying to seal the deal in the minds of those leaders, and in the minds of all of us who will be stuck paying the bill for this thing.

    They’re trying to make it seem like this bridge is inevitable. It’s not. There’s another choice on that menu: don’t waste money on this boondoggle. By shrugging off the constraints of an artificially limited set of choices, the BTA has helped make that clear.

    If only the city council could have shown that kind of leadership, instead of going for the twelve-lane, supersize-me option.

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  • David Haines August 26, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    The bridge needs replacing because it’s a drawbridge on an interstate highway. It’s a choke point for both highway and river transportation, and the options for what can be built there are limited by the river’s shipping channel and airport’s approach/departure routes.

    Even as a 90% carfree cyclist, I can appreciate the need to solve this bottleneck. But a 12-lane bridge is a boondoggle.

    Following this issue, it’s often seemed like bike/ped facilities are an afterthought. The fact that 12 lanes of exhaust fumes are considered mandatory while cycling and walking accommodations get lost in the cargasm says a lot.

    Politicians and lobbyists like to stand beside artist’s renderings and chant “world class,” but this project has mutated into a monster, complete with neck bolts and sewn-on head. I understand the BTA’s position and completely agree that the current plan is “just bad for the health of our region.” Hopefully they have the political chops to stay relevant.

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  • Esta Nevando Aqui August 26, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Maybe if people are no longer “participating” in the public process sham, they can start working on organizing some more potent opposition to this public policy disaster.

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  • peejay August 26, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I am finally seeing some backbone from the BTA. Good for them! They were being played, and they finally realized it. The CRC planners weren’t bargaining in good faith; they just wanted some cover — as cheaply as possible — so they could build their megabridge with a little green stamp affixed to it. Whatever facilities that get incorporated into the design of this monster will have been built out of the margins of the cost overruns, if built at all, and nothing the BTA did was going to change that. I’m glad they got out now, with some dignity intact.

    Time to think about renewing my membership!

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  • Ted Buehler August 26, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I can see why they are bailing.

    15 months ago when the DEIS came out the CRC bike/ped facilities were okay. Not great, but okay.

    In the last 15 months, almost bike/ped amenity has been stripped

    * From a path on each side of the bridge (16′ and 26′) to a single path under the bridge (width varies 16′ – 24′)

    * From a sunny, above-deck path next to light rail to a lower deck, dark path under the freeway

    * from 2 Vancouver-side entrance points to 1.

    * from several belvideres (overlook balconies) to 1.

    * From 2 elevator locations to 1.

    The intent of the CRC powers is clear — strip all possible amenities from the bridge. They’ve already lost almost everything they achieved, only 15 months into the “value engineering” process. It’s easy to see why the BTA is skeptical that they would be willing to commit to a security plan.

    The bridge as proposed in the DEIS wasn’t great, the bridge as currently posed has almost no redeeming virtues, except that the current bridge is so terrible that it would be an improvement.

    My biggest beef with the bridge is that it only feeds the Vancouver waterfront — you grind down a spiral ramp from 90′ to 20′ elevation get spat out at a roundabout. It would be much better if they had two bike exits on the Vancouver side — one spiraling down to the waterfront, and another to Evergreen Boulevard so you wouldn’t lose your momentum and wouldn’t need to fight traffic in downtown.

    We’ll see how this unfolds…

    Ted Buehler

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  • Andrew August 26, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    OK, so BTA pulled out on principle. I don’t think this shows any backbone – I feel it is a realization and acceptance of their inability to effectively influence diverse stakeholders.

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  • Patty Freeman August 26, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    I’d like to hear from PBOT on this. My impression during my involvement was that ODOT was never sincere about facilities for alternate modes. I think that a qualified acceptance of the below deck option from the rest of the committee will backfire – the details will be ignored, the maintenance plan will not be funded, and the route will be scary – I have to say, worse than being next to traffic. At least there are eyes on the peds and bikes now.

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  • Snowflakes Seven August 26, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    “Bottom line, this project is just bad for the health of our region.”

    Its good to hear the truth was pushed forward in this meeting and that the BTA firmly stood up to declare it.

    I hope to see the BTA’s involvement in Smarter Bridge activist increase dramatically.

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  • Randy August 26, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Evan Manvel

    “The CRC is not just about the facilities – it’s about the land use impacts of the MegaBridge and what that means for the region and its bike-friendliness in the long term.”

    Well said Evan. It’s about the health of Portland and the region. Some of the most polluted air in the Northwest will get worse if CRC is built. More cars equal more air pollution.

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  • Spencer Boomhower August 26, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    #10 David Haines:

    The bridge needs replacing because it’s a drawbridge on an interstate highway. It’s a choke point for both highway and river transportation, and the options for what can be built there are limited by the river’s shipping channel and airport’s approach/departure routes.

    The fact that it’s a drawbridge may be less of a problem than the fact that its most easily-navigated high point is misaligned with the swing-span of the rail bridge downstream.

    None of which made any sense to me until I saw this video by Nick Falbo:

    http://vimeo.com/groups/10810/videos/5419575

    Of course, even eliminating the S-curve problem probably wouldn’t entirely eliminate the need to occasionally raise the drawbridge… But it would help quite a bit! At a much lower price.

    Now, if you already knew all that, then please disregard; maybe others will find the video interesting.

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  • Allan August 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    @10:
    you said:
    The bridge needs replacing because it’s a drawbridge on an interstate highway. It’s a choke point for both highway and river transportation, and the options for what can be built there are limited by the river’s shipping channel and airport’s approach/departure routes.

    i respond:
    this is not the only drawbridge in the interstate system (at least one example: I495 which has just rebuild the Woodrow Wilson Bridge connecting VA and MD in the DC area).

    “the options for what can be built there are limited by the river’s shipping channel and airport’s approach/departure routes.”

    the airport in question (pearson field) has been a questionable place to fly in and in/out of since the interstate bridge was built because of the high altitude of the lift spans. (i have flown in and the lifts are noticably close although not dangerously so). Improving on the status quo in this regard is only required IF we build a new bridge.

    Additionally, the shipping channel issues that require bridge lifts could be resolved by replacing the rail bridge for much less $$ than this if the bridge lifts are truly a big issue.

    The freight issues surrounding the bridge could be solved by putting more of that traffic on rails, which would be done anyhow if the bridge isn’t improved. basically, congestion of one mode will increase use of another mode. if we were dumping 4$billion into rail infrastructure (commuter and longer-distance freight), we could easily remove the need for a 12-lane bridge in our future.

    A bigger auto-oriented bridge is not the answer. I certainly don’t want all this extra traffic in our region. Maybe some of our political leaders will step up and oppose this bridge.

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  • BURR August 26, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    F*ck the CRC is what the BTA should be saying

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  • Peter W August 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    > Parisi added that the BTA put a motion on the table today to not support either option without further clarification on security and maintenance issues — but no other committee member supported it. He also added that the BTA is just one of 12 members on the advisory committee.

    This is disappointing. Makes you wonder – what is wrong with the other 11 people on the bike/ped committee?

    Jonathan, perhaps theres more to the story? Where was Roger Geller? Basil Christopher?

    Besides BTA are there any other real advocates on the committee, or is it just stacked with officials who told what to do by their superiors, who aren’t really free to push for a ‘world class’ bike/ped facility?

    The BTA’s position seems like a good move (go Michelle!). I hope they’re aiming their guns at the CRC and I think it’s time the bike community steps up to back them with some firepower.

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  • peejay August 26, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Honestly, I don’t see this bridge getting built. And I think a lot of people know that already, but they are perpetuating this operation for their own self interests, like fat consulting fees or whatever. One thing I have never been able to figure out is Sam Adams’ motivation in this fiasco. What’s his interest in this? He loses the support of his prime constituency and he never gained any political support from the business interests anyway, so I just don’t get it. Is there an untold story waiting to come out?

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  • Anonymous Comment August 26, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Kudos to the BTA for (finally!) taking a stand. Now we need the BTA to do what it hasn’t done in many (many!) years: grassroots activism. It’s time to topple this beast.

    The last time the BTA flexed was when it sued the City of Portland like 40,000 years ago for bike lanes in front of the Rose Garden. That was a watershed moment for the organization.

    It rolled over like a bitch when ODOT dared them to sue on the St. Johns Bridge.

    Now the stakes are even higher with this mega nonsense project. Once again, ODOT is betting BTA doesn’t have the balls to flex. Hey, BTA- each of us sends you $25-$250 to have our backs. You’ve taken the citizens’ dollars for granted for a long time while you’ve fattened up on City contracts and the like. As Tom Paine said in his day, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” In 2009 Paine would say it’s time to flex.

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  • Q`ztal August 26, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    “CRC staff was caught off guard by the tone at today’s meeting, where what was supposed to be a half-hour agenda item turned into a two-hour heated discussion. “I believe they expected us to just write a memo outlining our concerns, not to request a hard commitment.”

    This seems to directly indicate that the CRC Imagineers do not see bike, pedestrian or environmental issues as important. The sole motivating factor seems to be the ODOT and WADOT desire to move 18-wheelers and SOV commuters as if tax revenue is based on the amount of road traffic that can be generated.

    In reality the BTA has little political leverage to wield by staying at these pointless talks. By distancing themselves from the CRC they can setup for the long term battle. And it will be.
    As much as I despise the litigious society that America has become the only way we can stop the $4.2 billion dollar boondoggle is to tie it up at every single step in long term court battles.
    Force the CRC to accommodate cyclists.
    Force the CRC to accommodate pedestrians.
    Force the CRC to accommodate mass transit over SOV.
    Force the CRC to obey ADA mandates.
    Force the CRC to adhere to environmental mandates.

    When the CRC committee realizes that they can’t save money by marginalizing legal road users they will have to ask the taxpayers for a new high ball total; should be more than $4.2 billion, I’m hoping for a nice round $5 billion. Once the total keeps heading up and the public realizes they can’t “value engineer” a minority off their replacement they just might be more open to more cost effective, or I dare say intelligent, ways of solving this traffic problem.

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  • Todd Boulanger August 26, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    In reply to PETER W (#21):

    [...Roger was not at today's CRC PBAC (a few other long time members were out on summer holiday or had a stand in). The Cities and DOT representatives were silent on the votes as many of their councils had already taken a position and submitted it to the CRC.]

    As a long time attendee at the CRC PBAC meetings…I was there today – though only as a non voting citizen.

    One important aspect of the PBAC meetings is that it is an advisory committee… the PSC and CRC staff seek advice from the committee members. [I too sometimes forget this nuance.] They can choose to support the PBAC recommendations or not.

    The power from advisory committees is the information they can offer [...and hopefully their members' grassroots power can reinforce these recommendations at a higher administrative/ political level for adoption and survival through the 'value engineering' onto funding.]

    The other PBAC members discussed recommending Option B with the request that the DOTs/ PSC sign off on the Maintenance and Security framework by the PSC meeting in October. Option C was the other design option on the table. [Option A - 3 bridges was dropped recently by the UDAG and CRC.]

    The PBAC attendees struggled over several hours with the BTA’s position [that they had to have this guarantee now vs. next month]. The question of how could the PSC members effectively respond publicly to this request given the short turn around time (BTAs deadline) and process within agencies by Sept 4.

    …As a long time BTA member I am sad to see BTA leave the process – especially at this point.

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  • Chris Shaffer August 26, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Guess it’s time to join the BTA. Good job.

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  • Timbo August 26, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Well it looks like its all politcal now.

    I was happy with the thought of a seperated from traffic covered from rain and heat bike path. Which would be as secure as the spring water trail (no security, but no one cares).

    But now we got this unfortunate political stuff which will cost the BTA in the future when they work on our behalf. Bummed…..

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  • John Lascurettes August 26, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    @Spencer (#18):

    Thanks for the link to the video around fixing the bridge without rebuilding the bridge. These are ideas for the bridge I never heard discussed in any articles covered by major media.

    Looks like there’s other ideas over at http://www.smarterbridge.org/ too.

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  • DT August 26, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Likewise @ Spencer #18:

    I too had never seen that video, and I’m impressed with its content. Why hasn’t it seen a much wider audience?

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  • sexy bike chick August 26, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    I’m on the BAC here in Vancouver and I think the meetings have been very interesting.

    I love the BTA and support them, but I feel they are being a bit difficult. I wasn’t at today’s meeting, but I do attend regularly and was at a meeting a week ago about the bridge options.

    I ride over the Interstate Bridge several times a week and I hate it. It’s unsafe and inconvenient. I’m not pro-car, but the whole car issue will handle itself. Oil is going to turn the car industry on it’s rear view mirror.

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  • Ross Nicholson August 27, 2009 at 2:06 am

    Wow. We expect better from Portland. Surely all bridges should have off traffic walkways and bikeways?

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  • Ethan August 27, 2009 at 2:13 am

    Seems like the BTA and bridges don’t mix (again)

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  • La otra August 27, 2009 at 4:57 am

    -hey, it’s ALL political. Surprise!

    -cars may be dying, but I’d like to avoid building multibillion dollar monuments to their memory.

    -if we’re gonna sue, who pays the lawyers?

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  • Scott Hillson August 27, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Score!

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  • robert wallis August 27, 2009 at 8:35 am

    I agree completely with the actions of BTA on this. I deeply appreciate BTA’sleadership on this most important issue. I am particularly impressed with the good work of Michelle Poyouorow.

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  • Spencer Boomhower August 27, 2009 at 9:52 am

    DT #29,

    Not sure why, but the more play it gets, the better! Nick did a great job on it.

    If you want to explore more, you can see an interactive tour in Google Earth via its browser plugin:

    http://vzzy.wordpress.com/2009/05/12/crc-google-earth-tour/

    And there’s a couple more videos of the tour here:

    http://vzzy.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/crc-presentation-videos/

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  • Mr DeJerk August 27, 2009 at 11:32 am

    This is the most responsible action the BTA has taken on the issue.
    There is nothing for any of us on those plans, indeed.
    Thanks for not compromising.

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  • Steve August 27, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Its obvious that BTA is whining like a baby. They have only made it to 20 out of 27 meetings. Why leave the table like a spoiled brat, anyway? You should stay and fight for whatever you can get. Leaving the table does not show leadership, it show a lack of leadership by picking up your toys and going home.

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  • peejay August 27, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Steve;

    It is logical and right to leave the table when the game is rigged. All the BTA was doing by staying so long was to allow the CRC to claim that they listened to everybody, when in fact they have no desire to listen. I’m surprised they stayed so long.

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  • Joel Batterman August 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Peejay: re #26, it’s important to note that in January 2009, around City Council’s CRC decision time, the mayor’s political future appeared to be hanging by a thread. In addition, it’s not just business, but labor, that’s pushing for the CRC. You may remember that Gov. Kulongoski said that the bridge was about jobs first and foremost . Take a look at the Columbia River Crossing Coalition supporters page: you’ll see dozens of union locals and the Oregon AFL-CIO, among others.

    It all demonstrates the need for enviros to redouble our new emphasis on job creation through green infrastructure, rather than absurd boondoggles like the CRC.

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  • peejay August 27, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Good point, Joel. It’s a shame that unions cannot realize that the type of development the CRC would encourage is just the kind that is bad for unions. Suburban voters tend to be more anti-union, for a variety of reasons.

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  • Ruthie August 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Why are cars above and bikes/peds below? Who is this bridge for?

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  • Racer X August 27, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    ‘Good grief’… bikes below means a lot less hillage to pedal up.

    ‘Low is the way to go.’

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  • Peter W August 27, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Less of a hill is good, and I’d prefer the lowest bridge of ‘em all: an arterial bridge with an occasional lift.

    On another topic… I wonder how bad the designs would be if the process had been based out of Portland instead of Vancouver? I’m guessing the fact that WDOT is funding most of the planning doesn’t help us.

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  • rev August 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    smarterbridge.org has some stuff on it, but its all pretty old.

    smarterbridge.BLOGSPOT.com has got lots of good content, including a series of videos from Joe Cortright: http://smarterbridge.blogspot.com/2009/07/economy-of-future-part-1.html

    thanks for taking a stand BTA!

    If people really want to stop this the best thing they can do is to tell a neighbor about it. Good luck everyone!

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  • vantucky matthew August 29, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    politics and business as usual.

    the crc will proceed regaurdless of public sentiment or input. by pulling out of the disscussion the bta is doing exactly what the political beauracracy wants. and to think they were a big player in the decision process is just naive.

    i live in vancouver and have seen this firsthand. in 1995 we overwhelmingly voted down bringing light rail into vancouver. royce pollard has made it a personal mission to do otherwise. vancouver has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in feasability studies to stay in the running for federal dollars despite the “will of the people”. royce has even said publicly “if you don’t like it vote me out”. the crc and light rail funding will never be voted on in vancouver. it will be a city council decision. business as usual. public meetings and committees are in many cases little more than dog and pony shows. they may have some effect on a small scale but the major issues are decided for us. that is the political reality.

    from what i’ve gathered of the crc it is actually a reasonable and sound project. adding merging lanes for on and off ramps and keeping the flow of traffic faster and safer. the major downside is the impacted length is a fairly short one. the commute from vancouver past delta park will be great but once freeway traffic gets into portland there will be higher commute times into downtown due to only having three lanes. the clog will basicly be yours, just shifted south from vancouver, hayden island and delta park. get ready folks! mlk, vancouver, interstate, denver and all the other major north/south streets will get a huge boost in traffic. tolling and better mass transit options will encourage folks to consider not driving.

    changing how people think about transportation is what is really needed and is long overdue. even if it comes at the point of a stick. poke, poke, poke…

    i ride to downtown portland several times a week lately and have been riding to portland for over 20 years. I-5 just sucks for bikes. not to mention the routes and transitions to interstate/denver and vancouver/williams av. pretty much anything would be better. i’d rather have some voice in the process to improve it even if i’m just a sqweaky mouse compared to the trumpeting elephant that is our government.

    a well lit, safe and clean bike path sound pretty good and quite attainable.

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  • Joe Rowe August 30, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    I’m glad the BTA has taken these new brave steps. There is some small risk in walking away from the table, but far greater risks if bike advocates attempt negotiations with a process that has no room for stakeholder concerns.

    We should all beware any time we ask for something in writing and don’t get it.

    Thanks to Michelle, Scott and everyone at the BTA, this is much bigger than just a bridge.

    There are so many ways to solve the concerns of cyclists and commerce without building one more lane to promote the single occupancy commuter.

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  • [...] seems to have become a buzz-word for a project that has frustrated stakeholders like the BTA, which wiped its hands clean of the public process surrounding the bridge design. With the City of Portland, Metro, the [...]

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  • bike militia August 31, 2009 at 9:41 am

    The only question at this point is where can I donate money to the people who are going to stop the CRC in court?

    Thanks for finally coming around, BTA.

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  • Seth Alford September 1, 2009 at 12:09 am

    The BTA is right for walking away from any under-bridge bike path design, regardless of guarantees of security patrols. If this sort of facility was going to be securely maintained we’d be able to point to similar facilities that are already securely maintained. Instead, we have facilities like the Springwater bike path where there already have been security problems.

    Even if somehow there was an agreed upon security plan, and there was gauranteed funding for the plan, it could still be derailed by one judge ruling that the homeless have a right to sit on the under-the-bridge bike path, just so long as they don’t completely block the bike path.

    Now if only the BTA would also more vigorously support projects that help people who are already bicycling, instead of things like the cycle track on Broadway, then I might actually renew my BTA membership.

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