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Conservative group asks Metro President for more freeways

Posted by on November 4th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Metro President
Tom Hughes.
(Photo: Metro)

Metro President Tom Hughes spoke at the monthly meeting of local conservative group the Oregon Executive Club last night. The purpose of his visit was to raise awareness of Metro’s Opt-In public involvement program (which has signed up many more Democrats than Republicans); but during the Q & A, the topic of transportation came up.

Metro’s in-house reporter Nick Christensen said one of the members of the club, well-known Metro and light-rail critic Craig Flynn, asked Hughes how he plans to deal with traffic congestion in the region.

Below is an excerpt from Christensen’s story:

“We haven’t seen a new freeway built since I-205, 30 years ago,” Flynn said. “What are you going to do to reduce congestion and add capacity to our freeway system that will improve our lives and make it easier for us to work and get around?”

The crowd applauded.

traffic on i-5 -2
Life getting better.

In response, Hughes listed a few ongoing freeway widening projects in Washington County. He also pointed out to the crowd that in Portland, people are actually driving less than they were in the 1990s.

“Flynn was unconvinced,” reports Christensen (emphasis mine)…

Every time we built (a freeway), life has gotten better,” he [Flynn] said. “We haven’t done anything since 205 [Interstate 205], and our lives have gotten worse since then.”

According to Christensen, transportation came up again later in the session and Hughes told the crowd that he knows discussions around transportation issues have become “charged.” Below is another snip from Christensen’s story:

“We as a region have created an atmosphere where people think there are morally superior ways of getting from here to there,” Hughes said. “We need to pay as much attention to people using a vehicle as those who use a bicycle or light rail.”

I’m not sure how to interpret that “morally superior” part (is he referring to bicycling?); but the second part makes it clear Hughes wants the room full of Republicans to think he’s giving car advocates their fair share.

Hughes hasn’t made much transportation-related news (at least that I’ve covered) since being voted into office last year. It’s been just over a year since Hughes said he’d like to see “a bicycle registration fee” in response to a citizen’s question during a candidate forum.

Read more about Hughes’ visit to the Oregon Executive Club on the Metro News page.

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Comments
  • Andrew N November 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    In my opinion the current Metro Council is utterly bankrupt. These are the same clowns who voted *unanimously* to send the CRC FEIS forward, even after acknowledging that the previous conditions they had set had not been fully met. When Hughes appeared at Bright Lights he BS’d the crowd by saying that he was unconvinced that the CRC was necessary and was open to saying ‘no’ to the project — I didn’t believe it but the crowd soaked it up. This is a man with very little understanding of complex transportation issues. Tom, I have an idea for you if you really want to pay “as much attention to people using a vehicle” (of course, “vehicle” to you means a car): a VMT tax.

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  • Kevin November 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    While I am a person who values motorized vehicle travel, this guy is a tool. Where would he “propose” slamming down a new freeway? More freeways arent going to fix the problem. Making the ones we have more efficient is helpful.

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  • Hart Noecker November 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Tom Hughes and the Oregon Executive Club don’t represent the values of this community. If Bob Stacey was METRO president we’d be having conversations about tearing down more freeways, not building them.

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    • Joe Rowe November 5, 2011 at 12:32 am

      You can thank the BTA for silence in that election, and thus the defeat of Bob Stacey. You see the BTA had their founder Rex Burkholder in the election. Rex and hughes are not only voting for the CRC freeway, they are the proud promoters.

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      • Hart Noecker November 5, 2011 at 11:39 am

        Trust me, I blame them.

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      • matt picio November 9, 2011 at 2:59 am

        You do realize that Rex Burkholder was head of the BTA at the start, and hasn’t represented that organization for over a decade, right? And for that matter, when did the BTA take over responsibility for the Metro elections? The BTA has had it’s share of problems over the years, but laying the entire CRC issue at their feet isn’t warranted by a long shot.

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  • Neighbor Gregg November 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Bob Stacey is running (Again) for Metro. He lost by a VERY small percentage to Tom Hughes last time. It’s time to mobilize the voters so that Tom Hughes and his Oregon Executive Club cronies can not own the entire Metro Board.

    We really should be asking “What can we do to fund and build the 2030 Bicycle Master Plan, and provide better, cheaper, faster, further reaching mass transit while we tear down the freeways?”

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  • wsbob November 4, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    “We as a region have created an atmosphere where people think there are morally superior ways of getting from here to there,” Hughes said. “We need to pay as much attention to people using a vehicle as those who use a bicycle or light rail.” Metro President Tom Hughes, as quoted by maus/bikeportland

    I notice how Tom Hughes seeks to introduce morality into an issue that amounts to the simple physical problem of far, far too many people that have been encouraged to travel about in single occupancy vehicles on the nations and our own metro area freeways.

    Not only does he seek to introduce morality into the discussion of practical transportation solutions, he seeks to use morality against members of the public that are working very hard to encourage use of a mode of transportation…bicycles…that have the potential to enable getting around our communities become easier and healthier.

    That Hughes would utter what he does in the second of the quotes in the excerpt above is rather astonishing for someone that’s advanced as he has in politics. Being in touch with the help of staff advisers and friend, as I imagined he must be, how could Hughes ever fall under the impression that people using a vehicle…presuming he’s referring to people using motor vehicles…are not receiving as much attention as are people using a bike or riding light rail?

    Is it not a safe guess that motor vehicle supporting infrastructure represents at least 80 percent of roads, highways and freeways in the Portland Metro Area, and has been for decades? That to me, sounds like a lion’s share of attention devoted to people using motor vehicles. How could this simple reality be lost on Metro President Tom Hughes?

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    • noah November 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      It was lost on him because he was scoring cheap ideological points?

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    • Al from PA November 5, 2011 at 5:46 am

      The absolute moral superiority of the automobile has been a given in American culture since the introduction of the Model T (before that the auto was actually condemned by many, as a dangerous ruling class toy). Any transport mode that threatens that superiority today will therefore be subject to fierce opposition *on moral grounds*– Much as any absolutist theocratic society will react fiercely against any religion it sees as a threat (think Inquisition). The sad irony of course is that most of us don’t ride a bike to make a grand moral point, but just to get around.

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      • wsbob November 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm

        “The absolute moral superiority of the automobile has been a given in American culture since the introduction of the Model T (before that the auto was actually condemned by many, as a dangerous ruling class toy). …” Al from PA

        I’m not sure about the moral superiority part of your comment, but from a practical standpoint, in large part due to the development and production of the Model T, U.S. citizens readily grasped that automobiles offered a very significant practical superiority over other modes of transportation of the time.

        T’s were very affordable, even for middle income and poorer people, and using them, for a long while people really were able to to make their lives better. For a time, freeways also played a big role in allowing common U.S. citizens to make their lives better. For common people, freeways led from the city to where the affordable land and housing was.

        Over the years, people made lots of money dealing in the exchange of that land, and in the construction of infrastructure involved in developing and using it. These kinds of people are partly to whom I think Tom Hughes was speaking. Hughes is a guy to whom successful economic growth means offering up open, previously undeveloped land at very competitive prices to development interests.

        Also though, I think Hughes is speaking to people that tenaciously hold on to the withering dream from many decades ago, that super highways…freeways everywhere enabling unimpeded motor vehicle travel, would allow them a sustained idyllic existence.

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  • Rebecca November 4, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    “Every time we built (a freeway), life has gotten better.”

    You could ask the (former) residents of NE Portland how well that last one worked out for them.

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    • Hugh Johnson November 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      Tom Hughes = Racism

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      • Hart Noecker November 4, 2011 at 11:47 pm

        I remember watching the debate between Stacey and Hughes at the Urban League Forum. Hughes said we needed to “re-gentrify” North Portland. I’m not if he understood what that meant, but the audience was not amused.

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    • was carless November 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

      Tom Hughes was speaking at a meeting of rich white Republicans. What did you expect? They are the 1%.

      What they’re really pissed about is that the freeway system for Portland was never completed:

      linkie

      Ironically, it was the Republican Neil Goldschmidt who helped stop the monster that is ODOT in the 70s. They will not let that happen again!

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      • jimbobpdx November 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm

        Oh c”mon – Neil Goldschmidt a Republican? No – not in the fact-based universe. And the humorusly-named Oregon Executive Club? Not rich Republicans, but a crew of low end East County tea partiers. Tho Don McIntire (along with his partner Bill Sizemore) has surely sown his share of mischief with property tax related ballot measures. New handle – “was careless”?

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    • Todd Boulanger November 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

      Or the loss of 1/2 of Vancouver’s downtown to: hwy 99, 1-5, SR-14, etc.

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    • Duncan November 7, 2011 at 11:59 am

      Thats one of those lies that you keep repeating until it sounds true- like “Republicans create Jobs”

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  • Dave November 4, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Every time we build more freeways, life gets better for the people who can continuously afford to (and want to) drive 30-50 miles per day and live in a big house in the suburbs, and it gets worse for everyone else.

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    • noah November 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm

      In other words, it gets better for everyone who wants cities to be convenient places for them to pass through and park in — whatever stands in the way of that be damned. These are the same people who were in control of Eugene from the fifties through the eighties and made the large part of town a blocky concrete eyesore. (And these people have a surprising amount of influence in “progressive” Eugene today!)

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    • Chris I November 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      I would argue that it doesn’t even get better for them. They may think it does, but they are actually degrading their lives. Another case to consider: just look at Seattle. They have more freeways than we do; do they have a better quality of life?

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      • Mindful Cyclist November 5, 2011 at 11:22 pm

        And, Seattle traffic is a lot worse!

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  • noah November 4, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Some interpretive glosses:

    improve our lives: do things I agree with

    Our lives have gotten worse: Some things have not gone according to the my wishes.

    people think there are morally superior ways of getting from here to there: Non-motorized transport advocates believe they are superior; and it is wrong to think that way, because we are superior.

    We need to pay as much attention to people using a vehicle as those who use a bicycle or light rail: Although the vast majority of transportation resources are lavished on us, we have lost a tiny bit of focus. If we fail to resist it, we are in danger of losing another tiny bit of focus.

    Was that helpful?

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    • q`Tzal November 5, 2011 at 1:24 am

      noah
      people think there are morally superior ways of getting from here to there: Non-motorized transport advocates believe they are superior; and it is wrong to think that way, because we are superior.

      Try telling a bully that you are smarter than them, or better and see what happens.
      Better still: tell them that you pity them and hold them blameless for their behavior, behavior that they are obviously unable to control.

      Some of us are sanctimonious about our morally superior ways of getting from here to there.
      We may be 100% right but we shouldn’t expect that the bully won’t bloody our nose.
      It’s a fight worth fighting so everyone that can take a hit and enjoys the taste of blood up front because we have to march non-violently in to their ranks.

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      • Alex Reed November 5, 2011 at 8:51 am

        I think you’re misinterpreting what Noah said. In my interpretation, he wasn’t seriously saying that we (people who ride bikes) are superior. I believe he was facetiously saying that people who drive cars are superior.

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        • noah November 5, 2011 at 9:39 am

          I think the literal meaning of Hughes’ statement was, “The belief out there that one form of transport is morally superior to another is wrong,” but that the coded message was, “Cyclists, etc., think they are superior, but actually, we are.”

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          • was carless November 5, 2011 at 11:08 am

            No, you’re wrong. He was alluding to the fact that the people in the room, asking for more freeways, consider motorized vehicles the “morally superior” method of transportation, and that “alternative transportation” (like those walking or cycling) also might need some funding equality, as they have been long neglected.

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          • noah November 5, 2011 at 11:25 am

            was carless, interesting interpretation. But if that were what Hughes meant, then he wouldn’t have proceeded to say, “We need to pay as much attention to people using a vehicle as those who use a bicycle or light rail,” as if those using motor vehicles weren’t getting enough attention. He would have said the converse.

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  • Joe November 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Too many conservatives in a room can poison anyone’s mind.

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    • Hart Noecker November 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      Or any at all.

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    • Donna November 5, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      I don’t know what Hughes & the “Oregon Executive Club” are, but they’re sure not conservative. No conservative in their right mind would propose a boondoggle as expensive as a new freeway in the middle of a nationwide economic Depression.

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  • Joe Rowe November 5, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Hughes has fully supported Rex Burkholder’s Metro Resolution to fast track the CRC freeway and end all public comment.

    The BTA could have held a candidates debate prior to the metro run off election for President.

    Due to apathy from the BTA, the CLF and most other liberal non profits: Bob stacy lost the race to Hughes by about 700 votes.

    To maintain connections with Rex Burkholder, most people in the liberal community let Tom Hughes and Rex usher in the massive CRC freeway.

    Jonathan seems to be keeping an eye on Tom Hugues but giving Rex the free pass from any scrutiny. Tom and Rex vote the same and talk the same at Metro meetings. The irony here is too deep. Most people miss it.

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    • Donna November 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      I actually trust Tom Hughes slightly more than I trust Rex Burkholder. At least Hughes is predictable. One would expect this kind of nonsense coming from him and ought to be prepared for it. Burkholder’s clearly playing a deeper game, and one would be a fool to trust a politician that can blindside his loyal voter base the way that he did & has done with the CRC.

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    • matt picio November 9, 2011 at 3:08 am

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but Rex is not the BTA. Rex hasn’t been part of the BTA in quite some time, long before the CRC debate flared up.

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  • q`Tzal November 5, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Economic viability is accelerated by access to a convenient low cost transportation infrastructure.

    Most commercial economic activity currently moves by trucking; industrial by a mix of rail, trucking and shipping.

    The problem is that with all the shift to human powered transit and public transit systems it seems that commercial transport has been left behind.

    It is much easier, quicker and cheaper to build vehicular roads than railroads. As long as the “greening” commerce transit is ignored they will resort to the only common mode they all use: roads.

    As far as practical business people are concerned there are no other practical options. Pavement goes everywhere, rail does not. Look at all the rail that has been ripped out, paved over or neglected to oblivion just in North Portland.
    Even taking in to account the obviously increasing scarcity of oil and the higher cost effectiveness of rail transport there are two very large stumbling blocks to installing all the rail capacity we need: geography/engineering problems and eminent domain.

    The latter is the same issue that got the Mt Hood Freeway stopped; needless to say it is potentially the biggest stumbling block. The geography/engineering problem the simple matter of railroads needing much lower grades, wider radius curves and legal right of way due to inability of high mass trains stopping in time to avoid idiot auto drivers.

    There are ways to avoid these last two issues but both drive up the initial cost of a rail system so business men fall back on an investment they understand: roads, big ones.

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    • was carless November 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      Hardly.

      Short distances: yes, roads are less expensive.

      Long distances (like cross-country): no, rail is cheaper.

      However, this is primarily due to the “last-mile” issue of freight delivery, and the closing of most spur railroads that used to serve individual factories and warehouses. You can see this by driving along Highway 30, and seeing all the RR spurs that enter industrial properties.

      Also, roads are subsidized by the government, while railroads are almost wholly paid for by private enterprise (aside from give-aways in ROW for transcontinental railroads in the 1800s).

      Fact: 42% of freight ton-miles in the US are by railroad – more than any other mode of freight transportation.

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  • wsbob November 5, 2011 at 1:27 am

    I’m thinking the chances are that this bikeportland story will get many comments criticizing Hughes and the audience member’s interest in Hughes working to build more freeways.

    Also, that very few of those comments will reflect efforts to understand why Hughes has a strong following among voters, or why audience member Flynn, implying he represents the general public’s interest, could associate the building of freeways with an improvement to people’s lives.

    Understanding these things is very important to building a strategy of support for active transportation infrastructure, from people accustomed to relying primarily on motor vehicles to meet travel needs.

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    • Andrew Seger November 5, 2011 at 3:38 am

      That’s a great point. I wish Tom Hughes had enough *** to point out that the best European country to drive a car in is….the Netherlands. Or the great benefits market pricing on street parking will have for people driving cars to downtown portland. Or that congestion pricing is a net boon to everyone driving anywhere. Sure it costs more but you get there faster and easier. Isn’t that worth a couple of dollars? We really need political leadership that will point out that the single biggest impediment to a person driving their car is all the other people driving their cars at the same time.

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      • Paul November 5, 2011 at 6:20 am

        You may be right, outside of the cities at least. I live in Amsterdam and in fact I was noticing last night on the train from A’dam to Utrecht on a late Friday afternoon at how nice and reasonably unclogged the freeways were. The Randstad area has a population of over 7 million, and if it weren’t for good planning traffic would most likely resemble the SF Bay area. Instead of houses, strip malls and freeways between the cities there are farms. Something is working here.

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      • Paul November 5, 2011 at 6:25 am

        Don’t get me wrong, there is still congestion on the freeways here. Consider Portland lucky to have a problem such as a lack of freeways. If only that ugly 5 freeway along the river would disappear.

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      • Chris I November 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm

        It’s not the best country to drive/live in if you want to own a huge house 50 miles away from your job and drive your Mercedes into work every day at 60mph. Think about the audience. They don’t want to live close enough to anyone to actually communicate with them or see them. They want to get to work quickly, again, without having to meet or communicate anyone.

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  • Rob November 5, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Anyone who complains about Portland “congestion” hasn’t spent time commuting by car in most of the other major cities in America.

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  • Hugh Johnson November 5, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Yeah, just get rid of I-5 and force more traffic onto I-205 where us poor eastside folks live. : (

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    • Hart Noecker November 5, 2011 at 11:43 am

      Get rid of both, put in high speed rail, progress to a better future.

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  • Mike Quigley November 5, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Ten buck gas and ten gallon limit should put an end to this freeway talk. It’s coming, the sooner the better.

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    • Hugh Johnson November 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      you are targeting the poor with this too. Sounds like more young white progressive talk. Exactly the reason things are going so smooth on Williams.

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      • was carless November 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm

        We’re at peak oil, so it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks, the universe doesn’t care!

        Too many people and not enough energy. Econ 101 – supply & demand. Pretty basic stuff.

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      • are November 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm

        the poor have been deceived into committing themselves to dependence on gasoline, just as they were deceived into committing to mortgages they could not afford

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        • Hugh Johnson November 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm

          Thanks President Clinton.

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          • are November 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm

            i hope you are not suggesting that i am an apologist for clinton

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        • q`Tzal November 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

          are
          the poor have been deceived

          Not just the poor.
          The rich investors in real estate derivatives were blissfully unaware of the volatility of a mortgage market dependent on paycheck-to-paycheck workers spending money on gasoline to commute from work to homes at distances that become economically unsustainable (for the mortgage payer) while gasoline prices rise beyond what anyone imagined they would.

          If I was well funded real estate investor I would take one look at the <a href="www.carfree.com/district.html"<CarFree District design and set up little “factory town” style neighborhoods that are centered on pre-existing light rail stops. To work I’d have to integrate many different types of light industrial, a diversity of compact commercial retailers and high quality residential units that people actually want to live in.

          For example: the former trailer park across from Nike in Beaverton, this would be a great investment for Nike to provide discounted housing to workers. Make it a gated community with a 30% discount for mortgage holders and some larger discount for renters. If I was Nike I’d put in a pedestrian bridge across Murray Ave so as to encourage that active lifestyle that they harp on so religiously while ensuring that at least those employees could come to work no matter the weather.

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    • Sigma November 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      So are cars that don’t run on gasoline.

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  • jim November 5, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Yeah-lets get rid of I-5 and have all those cars drive up Interstate ave like they used to do 50 years ago, that paints an ugly picture of gridlocked N Portland.
    Look at 99w going through all those little towns on the way to the coast, stop and go for miles. 50′s planning that is way out of date. when your car is sitting at a light or in traffic idling you are getting 0 miles per gallon. If you think you want all freeways to go away you had better start planting a large garden and buying some canning jars, maybe buy a baby pig or a beef cow, perhaps a milk cow, learn how to make things instead of depending on having them delivered to fred meyer (no freeways= no fred meyer). We will become a 3rd world country where people do ride bikes, walk, live in shanty’s, no internet.
    Yeah- thats all just a great idea, no more progress, we will all just live in a commune somewhere and be happy

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    • Paul Johnson November 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      Not talking about getting rid of freeways. Just not getting new ones. BTW, in case you didn’t know, Naito, Steel Bridge, and Interstate are all unsigned portions of 99W. Minnesota Freeway between Hayden Island and the state line is incorrectly signed as I 5 instead of OR 99 (I5 doesn’t actually exist across the drawbridge).

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  • Jack November 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    How about a compromise: build two nice new, very wide, North/South freeways. One at each edge of the urban growth boundary, connecting to I-5 South of Tualitin and North of the Columbia (or even North of Vancouver if they want to get in on this too). Add tolls on both.

    Then tear down all of I-5, I-205, I-405 and I-84 within the urban growth boundary. Fill in the many thousands of newly available acres with residential and commercial districts.

    Want to get to a road trip that passes by Portland and not get stuck in rush hour traffic? No problem. Want to commute into the city from 20 miles out every day? That’s going to cost you, both time and money.

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    • Hugh Johnson November 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      I don’t think anything can make people happy here other than turning Portland into a collection of grass huts and muddy roads. And even *then* some people will still complain.

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      • Chris I November 6, 2011 at 7:25 am

        I’m not sure how you get from destruction of freeways, to destruction of all infrastructure. I would say there are people here that would like Portland to look more like Paris or Amsterdam, and less like Houston or Los Angeles. Is that position really so extreme?

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        • naess November 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

          there is no rational behind his (hugh johnson) comment. just as there is no rational behind most of his comments. they seem to waver between: “building infrastructure = race/class/insert cause here-ism” to “removing infrastructure = race/class/insert cause here-ism.”

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          • Hugh Johnson November 6, 2011 at 2:36 pm

            who asked you?

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    • Paul Johnson November 10, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Better idea: Make all but the rightmost lane bus/carpool (2+ adults)/commercial vehicle only. If you want to be single-occupant in a private passenger motor vehicle, you get to sit and wait.

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      • Paul Johnson November 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm

        Also, don’t build more freeways, just make it harder to selfishly use the existing ones.

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  • Jim Lee November 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    If those who suffer from the obsessive-compulsive disorder that is personal urban motoring were rational, they would support anything and everything that takes traffic off their beloved freeways.

    It would not take much. Each lane of freeway flows smoothly up to about 1,800 motor vehicles per hour; try to force more flow through that restricted pipe and it chokes. The system is highly non-linear. Public transit need only skim 10-20 percent trips off the freeway to be highly effective for everyone, including motorists.

    Alas, few are fully rational. And nothing is so strongly defended as a delusion!

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  • Donna November 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Ok, fiscal conservative chiming in here… The short and simple answer is that we can’t afford any new freeways. If we can’t afford to pave all residential streets within the Metro region & have sidewalks in all neighborhoods, we sure as heck can’t afford a freeway and all of the upkeep costs that go along with its existence. Freeways are extremely expensive and anyone who does not realize this is far too ignorant and naive to be involved with politics or be an adequate choice for political office.

    Any “conservative” group that is pushing for any sort of spending that will either require a tax increase or an increase in budget deficits are a pack of lying hypocrites. They are definitely not fiscal conservatives, that’s for sure.

    If you wish to push against this idea, your best bet is to focus on the spending. Neither Tom Hughes nor the “Oregon Executive Club” care at all about issues like “livability”, pollution, or the environment. Hit them where it will truly hurt them. Show Metro region voters that they aren’t the least bit interested in “conservative” issues. Show the voters that Hughes and his pals want to spend way too much of our hard-earned tax dollars.

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    • was carless November 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      Bingo, you won the internets!

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    • Chris I November 6, 2011 at 7:27 am

      Just look at the ridiculous costs of the non-light rail portions of the CRC. $3 billion dollars for a bridge and a few miles of expanded freeway/interchanges. I can’t imagine how much it would cost to build a freeway from scratch. And where would we put it?

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    • Brian November 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      Oh, I’m sure they have a “fiscally conservative” answer for funding. Just divert money from public transit to fund massive freeways.

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      • Oliver November 7, 2011 at 8:07 am

        Totally. With all the money we could save by not striping a hundred of bike lane we could easily build a new freeway.

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  • Donna November 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Then there’s the issue of personal property being stolen by the government whenever a new freeway is built. (because no one ever really gets adequately reimbursed by the government when they pull crap like this) How many people will be hurt economically through the use of eminent domain? How many businesses that contribute to the tax base will be destroyed? What kind of true conservative group is advocating for that? What kind of political leader is Tom Hughes that he would even consider stealing from voters and taxpayers during the worst economic period since the beginning of WWII?

    If you want the support of actual conservatives, you want to emphasize the problem of eminent domain along with the costs when you’re arguing against a freeway. As I recall, it was the issue of eminent domain and the number of homeowners and businesses that would be affected by a new freeway that stopped any new freeways from being built in Portland in the first place.

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  • jon November 5, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    “Every time we built (a freeway), life has gotten better,” he [Flynn] said. “We haven’t done anything since 205 [Interstate 205], and our lives have gotten worse since then.”

    oh life has been so hard for wealthy conservatives over the last 30 years.

    “morally superior”? almost everyone born before 1970 looks down on anyone without a car and judge other people solely on what kind of car they drive, give me a f-ing break.

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    • Hugh Johnson November 5, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      Generalize much do we?

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      • naess November 6, 2011 at 9:01 am

        generalizing = racism!

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        • Hugh Johnson November 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm

          then naess = racism!

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  • BURR November 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Meh

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  • Paul Johnson November 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Every time a new freeway has opened, the population has exploded and the slice of Oregon’s economic pie each person gets has gotten smaller. More people = everyone gets more poor here.

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  • Pete November 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Reading many of these replies, I can see the “moral superiority” Hughes is talking about. Get out and ride!

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  • Eric in Seattle November 6, 2011 at 9:25 am

    By what evidence does he think that more freeways will decrease congestion? In fact, after a brief easing, the opposite usually occurs.
    Also, why is a so called “conservative” pushing for a big public works project? Doesn’t he know that the car-centered system requires huge public subsidies to operate?
    How is a system that requires such public subsidies (both direct and indirect), enriches people who don’t particularly like our country, requires lower and middle class people to spend huge portions of their earnings, causes vast property damage, causes many health problems, not to mention a great many serious injuries and deaths be “morally superior”?

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    • Oliver November 7, 2011 at 8:15 am

      Because Patriotism = for God and Country, and consuming lots of petrol requires us to fight the brown people around the world, and supporting our troops = Patriotism = for God and Country = morally superior.

      Simple circular logic.

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  • Otto November 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    The future shouldn’t be held hostage by the past or the status quo.

    I love my bicycle and my car, but nobody is going to tell me that a solution for freeway congestion is more of the same.

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    • 9watts November 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      “nobody is going to tell me that a solution for freeway congestion is more of the same.”
      nobody except those folks Tom Hughes seems to want to court. Tells you something, doesn’t it?

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  • Lenny Anderson November 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    You may be sure that even those who call for more freeways, do not want them thru their community. Why does I 205 loop so far to the south? Ask the residents of the richest city in Oregon.
    If these so called conservatives want a freeway, let them propose one that connects I-205 via the UP branch line thru LO to 217. Maybe a nice, sexy double decker affair with a massive bridge over the Willamette offering easy access to downtown Lake Oswego. Paid for with tolls.

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    • Chris I November 7, 2011 at 7:03 am

      Or maybe a nice new bypass freeway over the top of Bull Mountain, to, you know, bypass Highway 99. Or an extension of 217 north through Cedar Heights.

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  • Todd Boulanger November 7, 2011 at 9:15 am

    And readers be sure to use the correct terms: highways or interstates and not ‘freeways’. Freeways are never free to build or operate for the community.

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    • matt picio November 9, 2011 at 3:14 am

      That could be confusing, since the state uses “highway” to refer to any road.

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  • Ben Guernsey November 7, 2011 at 11:05 am

    “Let’s build more freeways!”
    “Yeah!”
    “But let’s never raise taxes!”
    “Oh heck yeah!”

    Does the irony of this stance ever soak in?

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