CRC machine greased by Feds, process marches on

Our old friend Mary Peters, the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary who said bicycle paths aren’t transportation infrastructure, earned the rebuke of the League of American Bicyclists, than tried to make good with a verbose explanation, recently paid our region a visit.

She was here to trump the urgency of rebuilding the I-5 bridge over the Columbia River. Her visit was also timed with the announcement of new cost estimates for the project. Previously thought to cost somewhere around $6 billion, new estimates put the price tag at around $4 billion.

Tour of Tomorrow

The Columbia River and the I-5 Bridge.
(All photos © Jonathan Maus)

The project, known as the Columbia River Crossing (CRC), has raised my concerns in the past and I still feel queasy about the whole thing.

Now, with this strategic publicity blitz by the CRC folks and the cheerleading from the feds (they promise to pay as much as 80% of the project) I’m getting worried once again.

The snowball is growing and gaining speed.

Sure, the new bridge (if it ever gets built) will have nice bike facilities: a bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee full of smart people has been meeting for months (I can’t stomach showing up). But bike access is not what I’m worried about.

I’m frustrated that there is so little talk about the big picture. Why, once again, are we being seduced by a mega-project, with glowing promises about how a $4 billion bridge will bring “opportunity” and “prosperity”?

“If it actually contributes to an increase in vehicle miles traveled in our communities…it will be part of the problem, which is not acceptable.”
–Jill Fuglister, co-director of Coaltion for a Livable Future

I thought we’d learned from the past that increasing single occupancy vehicle capacity only increases single occupancy vehicle use…and isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid?

Where is the serious discuss of innovative demand management strategies, how the bridge alternatives stack up in reaching our greenhouse gas emission targets, how this might impact climate change concerns, the impacts on community livability, and other serious health and environmental issues?

A major part of Portland’s success has to do with our livability and our smart choices about transportation and our impact on the environment. This project should reflect those values.

Freight movement and motor vehicle capacity are no longer the sole avenue to economic prosperity. Economist Joe Cortright is at the forefront of this thinking. He recently published a paper titled, “Portland’s Green Dividend”. Cortright’s research concluded that our city’s land use and transportation policies, combined with our high rate of transit and bike use contribute $2.6 billion to our local economy every year.

Many people expressed
concerns about the project
at a CRC Task Force meeting
back in February.

When the CRC Task Force held an important vote last February, dozens of concerned citizens packed ODOT’s downtown headquarters to express their disdain for this project.

Transportation expert and City Council hopeful Chris Smith said the CRC was “being seduced into building an icon” and he urged them to not focus on this one, five-mile corridor, but to spread the money and attention throughout the entire system.

The Coalition for a Livable Future — a non-profit made up of over 90 organizations that is “working for a just and sustainable region” — shares some of my concerns. Their co-director Jill Fuglister told me yesterday that,

“If the locally preferred alternative demonstrates that it actually contributes to an increase in vehicle miles traveled in our communities it will erase any gains from increases fuel efficiency. So, it will be part of the problem, which is not acceptable…

We are concerned that the proposals on the table aren’t considering these issues and are approaching this project in a business-as-usual manner, rather than thinking about this as the project where we demonstrate the 21st century approach to transportation planning that considers the relevant 21st century issues.”

I understand that congestion is a real problem, but when will we put our values into action and implement a different type of solution? Which mega-project will finally break away from the traditional highway-building mentality that has failed our country in so many ways for so many years?

If not here, where? If not now, when?

What are your thoughts on this project? (I would love to know that I’ve got it all wrong and that there’s really nothing to worry about.)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Matthew
Matthew
16 years ago

I heard that somewhere around 60,000 cars from Vancouver use the bridge to get to Portland every morning.

And around 5,000 cars from Portland use the bridge to get to Vancouver every morning.

The solution is clear. Raise the I-5 Bridge… permanently!!

Craig
Craig
16 years ago

Please don\’t start a discussion about the merits and/or future of the CRC with Vancouver bashing. It\’s not helpful.

Jerrod
Jerrod
16 years ago

RRRRR! How frustrating. Let\’s pretend they planned on spending 6 billion dollars on this new bridge. And right before they started to build it, they realized they could build it for 2 billion dollars less than what they had originally thought. Well, do you think they would take that 2 billion dollars they would have gone ahead and spent on the bridge and decide to spend it on bicycle transportation? I mean, they were going to spend it anyway. Ummmm, I wish.

Dillon
Dillon
16 years ago

Yet, Vancouver voted down the Max extension twice while Oregon supported it.

More Lanes
More Lanes
16 years ago

..are not necessarily a bad thing. Cars in gridlock idling causes more pollution than cars traveling unimpeded to their destination. The more fuel burned the more pollution. More miles traveled doesn\’t equal more pollution if it is done efficiently.

Doug
Doug
16 years ago

This frightens me too. I live about 200 yards from the 405. More traffic coming from Vancouver means more traffic on the streets around my home, and more pollutants in the air I breathe.

Realistically, what are our options here? Can the State of Oregon or the City of Portland refuse to be party to the expansion? If so, there needs to be concerted effort to pressure the proper \’deciders\’ by those of us who are concerned about this. There are a lot of ways that $2b could be used to improve Oregon\’s transportation system.

Or is the federal government likely to simply ignore any opposition and move forward regardless?

Schrauf
Schrauf
16 years ago

I can see both sides. Definite pros and cons each way.

I am more likely to support this project because it is not only about adding car lanes.

Mass transit will greatly improve – either a bus lane or light-rail track.

The bike paths will improve – no, I guess that is not worth $4 billion by itself.

Finally, the biggest design flaw to be fixed will be the fact this vital link in the I-5 corridor will no longer have to be raised for waterway traffic multiple times daily. That alone, even without adding car lanes, will help traffic, including mass transit.

I believe one of the spans will be almost 100 years old by the time it is replaced. So near the end of its useful life anyway.

Logan 5
Logan 5
16 years ago

Believe it or not, I-5 serves more people then the residents of Vancouver and Portland. It is a major thoroughfare for goods and people transiting up and down the west coast. I just moved from Portland to Seattle and as I was unable to find a bike mover willing to bring my furniture here, I was forced to drive my car and moving truck on I-5. Luckily for me, it was there and paved.

The original I-5 and PDX were very expensive transportation projects. Both of those are very useful for, say, people who move to Oregon from California. If you think our interstate highway system isn\’t one of the most important factors is our nation\’s prosperity, I would suggest looking at the economic and social stability of countries that lack one. I think you will find a blindingly obvious correlation.

Garlynn -- undergroundscience.blogspot.com

More lanes may remain free-flow for a short time, but eventually they, too, will fill up during the peak period due to \”induced demand,\” i.e. more people buying homes further out in Clark County because the drive back into Oregon \”isn\’t so bad.\”

Metro views ratings of C or D on roadways during rush hour as acceptable, as a sign of the success and health of the economy within the region. Based on this premise, a new bridge should not seek to provide free-flow traffic at speed limit or higher at all hours. Rather, it should seek to provide structures that will survive an earthquake, provide for the movement of all modes and meet other regional planning goals.

This mega project has got to be stopped, or changed into something smarter. There are many good alternative proposals; we should pick the one that does the most to reduce VMT, promote transit use and bicycling, and improve the quality of life and safety of the river and its crossings.

bikieboy
bikieboy
16 years ago

take a look at what Joe Cortright wrote about the CRC, on page 6 of the recent Coaliton for a Liveable Future newsletter:

http://www.clfuture.org/publications/connections/ConnectionsSummer07.pdf

cost is $2,000 for every person in the Metro area – and that\’s for the \”reduced price\” $4 billion bridge. With that kind of money in play, even a modest fraction, you\’d think we could coax some of the peak hour users off the bridge, or shift them to a different time, or on to different modes to free up some capacity for freight.

If you pay me $2,000, I\’ll promise to never drive over the I-5 bridge again.

Thomas Ngo
Thomas Ngo
16 years ago

Don\’t you notice how the pro-SOV crowd love to remain anonymous? (this is often done on the Portland Tribune\’s site as well)

\”More lanes\” forgets that because of smart growth and planning, Portland metro residents spend relatively less time stuck in traffic compared to similar cities, emitting less CO2.

A systemwide approach that Jonathan advocates would help ensure that Portland doesn\’t become a sprawling mess like Seattle. The interstate highway system that \”Logan 5\” talks about is the same system that brings us suburban sprawl and fuels our addiction to oil. If planners were smarter and politicians less corrupt, we would have better intermodal infrastructure in North America to facilitate a healthier and less carbon-intensive lifestyle.

JE
JE
16 years ago

This is not Vancouver bashing. Folks who choose to commute over the river have chosen to commute over the river.

Why should Portland make any adjustments?
Why should any tax dollars be spent to subsidize their decisions?

JE
JE
16 years ago

I\’ll make one amendment to my comment #12. I would support a ped/bike/light rail(bus?) bridge over the Columbia.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
16 years ago

\”If you think our interstate highway system isn\’t one of the most important factors is our nation\’s prosperity, I would suggest looking at the economic and social stability of countries that lack one. I think you will find a blindingly obvious correlation.\”

Logan 5 (#8),

I\’ve got nothing against highways and of course I realize their economic value and utility. But, similar to how I feel about cars, it\’s a matter of balance and being sensible about how much we use them and prioritize them in our system (to the detriment of other things).

Bjorn
Bjorn
16 years ago

Moving the bottle neck from the I5 bridge to the Rose Garden area isn\’t really an improvement. There has never been a case where building more lanes reduced traffic long term. What we really need is to start charging tolls on the bridge which change based on the time of day, ie congestion charging. This will have 2 positive effects, first it will smooth the number of cars going down the road which will reduce the need to expand peak use infrastructure that sits empty most of the time. It will also increase the use of mass transit by peak period commuters.

Bjorn

Matthew (different one)
Matthew (different one)
16 years ago

The bridge is raised 100 times a year, not multiple times a day.

Most of those are barges that can make it under the hump in the middle, but can\’t line up on the railroad bridge opening in the middle of winter when the river is flowing fast, so they request that the I-5 bridge be raised. The cost estimates for fixing the railroad bridge opening so that it is wider (about twice as wide,) and is closer to the middle of the river, (so you can line up from either the I-5 hump, or the lift span,) is $40M-$50M… The barge operators actually applied for a grant to fix the railroad bridge in 2002, but didn\’t get it…

Another 20 or so lifts a year are for a barge mounted crane that gets moved up and down the Vancouver waterfront for various projects. Certainly one cheap and easy solution to that would be to buy another crane so that one would be upstream of the bridge and another downstream of the bridge. That would run $1-$2M…

After you do those two things, what is left is about 1 opening a month, not exactly a big deal, especially since they don\’t happen at rush hour…

me  likey
me likey
16 years ago

Jonathan,

very well written editorial.

ML

Cøyøte
Cøyøte
16 years ago

I do not believe that the CRC decision should be Portland\’s alone. I-5 is the major west coast arterial. Businesses and communities from Bellingham to San Diego rely on the flow of goods and services I-5 provides.

I am no fan of cars, and if this was and intracity arterial like 405 I would have a different opinion. I think the best we can do is make sure that bikes, trains, and busses are given a high priority.

SHelby
SHelby
16 years ago

I\’m relatively new to the area, but have been following the I-5 bridge replacement issue closely. I\’m an officer in a Portland neighborhood association near the bridge, and live immediately adjacent to I-5. I have commuted to downtown Portland by bike, and am currently commuting to east Vancouver over the I-5 bridge.

The beidge is the single worst chokepoint on I-5, from San Diego to Bellingham. I-5 is in turn the West Coast\’s main north-south land route. Even if Portland and Vancouver didn\’t exist, there\’d be a real need to replace these aging, narrow bridges.

As it is, a lot of commuters also use the bridge. Planners are making a real effort to accomodate cars, trucks, boats, either express bus or light rail, bikes, and the local geography. Bitching that people shouldn\’t drive so much makes zero difference, except to alienate drivers who might otherwise be more sympathetic.

The bridge will happen; the only question is whether light rail (or buses) and bikes get a fair part of it. Personally I want to see the MAX extend into downtown Vancouver, and a broad bike/pedestrian pathway across the bridge with convenient access on each end. I\’d also love to have a \”signature\” bridge that can serve as a regional landmark, but that\’s lower in my priorities. (Not that I have any say in the matter.)

Cars and trucks are here to stay. There will be a new bridge, and it will focus on accomodating them. Once you accept that, you can work with the process to have bikes, mass transit, etc. better included.

Jim Labbe
Jim Labbe
16 years ago

Jonathon,

Thanks much for covering this as I can\’t seem to make it to all these meetings and hearings.

You said that you thought \”the new bridge (if it ever gets built) will have nice bike facilities.\” I hope that is more the case now than it in the past.

Last time I checked (which has been awhile) the proposed bike and pedestrian facilities appeared to be dramatically under-scaled in all the proposed alternatives for the DRAFT EIS. In both the freeway bridge and supplemental bridge options the alternatives call for drastically expanding automobile lanes while making relatively minor improvements to bicycle and pedestrian connectivity. The supplemental bridge alternative simply called for “wider bicycle and pedestrian lanes would be included on the existing bridges.” The new bridge proposal is inherently anti-pedestrian and anti-bicycle since its size and steepness will disfavor these modes. At one time CRC staff favored a 15-foot wide, 1-sided, multi-directional, mixed bike and pedestrian path for the new bridge. This “solution” should be unacceptable not only to bicyclists and pedestrians but to a public that expects CRC solutions to anticipate the inevitable future expansion of these bicycle and pedestrian modes in the face of rising energy costs and the imperative of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the latest on the bike-ped features of the CRC proposal? Have things improved? Are they going in the better direction?

Regardless I am sure it is going to require a lot of citizen advocacy to get the bike and pedestrian infrastructure we should for this project… whatever happens.

In my view, all CRC alternatives should include state-of-the-art bike and pedestrian facilities. The bike and ped facilities should strive to create rich human-scale connections between North Portland neighborhoods, West Hayden Island and downtown Vancouver to make these communities more walkable and more livable. This is critical in producing an equitable outcome. The over-emphasis on new freeway lanes primarily benefits commuters and real estate development interests in suburban Clark County at the expense of local residents living in Vancouver and North Portland who will face increased air pollution. Creating easy-to-navigate, human-scale connections for bikes and pedestrians between local neighborhoods around the Columbia Crossing would go a long ways to remedying this imbalance by making these communities more accessible and more livable for the entire population.

Thanks again for covering this stuff.

Best,

Jim Labbe

NPBike
NPBike
16 years ago

Nice article and I tend to agree Jonathan. I think the most important element of this bridge is tolling. Right now the plan is to toll users until it is paid for then remove the toll…why not raise the toll and use the funds to pay for alt. modes?

Bjorn
Bjorn
16 years ago

#18, 205 is actually the through route, for travel from california to washington. I-5 through portland is supposed to be more for local service while it is recommended that through traffic take the 205. Obviously this doesn\’t always happen because the 5 tends to be faster, widening it will only make the 205 be used less though…

bjorn

Jessy
16 years ago

I really don\’t understand all the talk about vehicles traveling from Bellingham to San Diego. I could be wrong here, but can you seriously tell me that traffic on the I-5 bridge here is worse than going through Seattle, Sacramento or Los Angeles? I really doubt it.

If the bridge is aging, then we should be able to replace it WITHOUT widening it.

If the traffic is too bad, the only people that are really going to complain are the ones commuting into & out of Portland each day. Not the people moving from state to state. Yes, we do NEED the bridge, but it does NOT have to accomodate more traffic than it already does.

There are lots of ways to improve the congestion without adding more lanes. In fact, adding more lanes is one of the least effective ways of improving the congestion. Adding light rail or enacting a bridge toll would be much more effective, I\’m willing to bet.

Peter W
Peter W
16 years ago

The CRC looks like another Mount Hood Freeway to me. Portland doesn\’t need it, and we shouldn\’t accept it.

toddistic
toddistic
16 years ago

Unless the city evoked eniminate domain on the I-5 cooridor building a new fancy dancy bridge won\’t fix anything. There is no space to expand the freeway system until you are south of the Tewilliger curves (which haven\’t expanded since my mom was living in Portland over 30 years ago).

That being said, this is just a waste of money where Portlander\’s subsidize Vancouver\’s suburban sprawl at the cost of our roads and infastructure so they can take their money back across the river.

bikieboy
bikieboy
16 years ago

\”Portlander\’s subsidize Vancouver\’s suburban sprawl at the cost of our roads and infastructure so they can take their money back across the river.\”

Maybe if we vote down Measure 49 we can git some (more) o\’ that there Oregon-type sprawl…won\’t that be a ton o\’ fun?

Disco D
Disco D
16 years ago

As someone who has lived in LA I am not 100% sure the bridge is the worst chokepoint on all of I-5…

Regardless, I say go ahead and build the bridge but make sure it has bike/ped/lightrail facilities attached. Add a toll, call it done.

brian
brian
16 years ago

Jon. Nice article.

You really are putting a focus on the short sightedness of this project.

American car culture needs to change. I tell that to everybody who will listen.

Somehow we need to get a forward looking government that plans for the future in a meaningful way.

Bicycledave
16 years ago

Sorry Jonathan, but you don\’t have it wrong. You\’re right on.

As has been said before adding more lanes only reduces congestion for a little while. Adding more lanes just increases traffic and makes pollution and liveablity worse in the long run. It is a subsidy for developers and an invitation to more sprawl.

I really think we could find better ways to spend this $4 billion.

Erik Hovmiller
Erik Hovmiller
16 years ago

It\’s important to remember that there were a plethora of options available and not just the new 12-lane bridge. That has since changed however in the current process. The most appealing idea to me was the supplemental bridge which would carry local traffic. For the sake of traffic flow, getting on a 12-lane bridge for a trip from downtown Vancouver to Jantzen Beach creates too much on and off-ramp traffic.

Like Jonathon, my main concern is not about bikes in this project. It is about sprawl and land-use. It is about more single-minded transportation solutions to the complex livability problems the region and the planet are confronted with.

This bridge is being shoved down our throats by transportation folks. It\’s a bridge conceived to reduce congestion. Why else would we double the current capacity? Nothing more than traffic. I seek and demand solutions that address the swath of factors contributing to livability and not just one aspect of it. We need to start thinking holistically about this thing.

P.S. Has there been any organized, committed resistance to this yet?

Matt Picio
16 years ago

Shelby (#19) said: \”Cars and trucks are here to stay. There will be a new bridge, and it will focus on accomodating them.\”

Not necessarily. Peak Oil is a reality, we\’re on the verge of a major economic downturn, and Portland neighborhoods have a long and successful history of opposing what they feel with disrupt the neighborhoods.

It\’s fine that the feds say they\’ll pay 80% of the cost – but that leaves $800 million the feds AREN\’T paying. Who is going to pay that? We balked at the tram, which cost $57 million. This is 8 times that amount. The existing bridge could continue longer if more \”long-haul\” freight was diverted from trucks to rail, which uses less fuel per ton-mile, and utilizes a separate bridge.

A new $4.2 billion dollar bridge isn\’t the only solution, and may not be the best one.

Eben
Eben
16 years ago

I don\’t want to get into \”Vancouver bashing\” but the fact remains that the majority of congestion on the existing bridge comes from people who have chosen to live in Vancouver because of lower taxes and have repeatedly voted against light-rail, bus service, and other sustainable, cost-effective solutions to the problem. These people avail themselves of Oregon\’s infrastructure on a daily basis without contributing directly to its upkeep.

Since it is obvious that Vancouverites are not going to help themselves drive less I think the real solution here is a toll on frequent users of the bridge. It would be simple enough to use existing technology to monitor vehicles that use the bridge during peak hours and bill them accordingly. To minimize the impact on occasional users the fees could be levied only against registered owners who use the bridge two or more times a week.

Use the toll money to:
1. Restore affordable express bus service to Vancouver.
2. Help fund a MAX/Pedestrian/Bicycle bridge to Vancouver.
3. Start a river taxi service from Downtown Vancouver to Downtown PDX (as long as I\’m dreaming)

Todd B
Todd B
16 years ago

There are some things to remember about our interconnected region:
– there are many of us up here that live too close to I-5 and wish we had less WA and OR traffic on it too
– at the Janzen Island town design meeting this week they mentioned about 50% of the sales on the island are to Clark County zipcodes (close the bridge ramps to Janzen Beach and it helps Clark County retailers and not Portland shops)
– if you desire less Clark County traffic, ask your legislature to mandate ID checks for any \’white goods\’/non consumable purchase over $100 (and then request out of staters to pay their state sales tax)
– yes about 60K Clark County residents commute into Oregon to work (they end up paying Oregon taxes without being able to vote; many Clark County residents feel that this windfall should be spent on bi-state transportation services – we just lost the Trimet #6 due to the cost of insuring Trimet drivers in WA – ~$90k/ year…as an example)
– yes the light rail vote failed up here (it actually passed in the old Vancouver city limits but the countywide vote won out; things have changed now…there are a lot of people supporting MAX up here…many used to live in Portland until the schools issue scared them north)
– did not the MAX vote also fail to pass in OR too back in the 90\’s…but Portland found a way to build it in sections (?)
– yes the new bridge with its new lanes and capcity is a poison pill of sorts for getting better transit and bike/ped facilities across the river (perhaps the silver lining is the strong option of reinstituting tolls
– if you wish to work for true solutions to this problem and project please request that your representatives vote to start the mitigations during the construction disruption phases, when things will be a mess (tolls to free up capacity, better express bus service, carpooling/ sanctioned slug rides, better far north portland bike facilities, Amtrak communter rail…all thos tools that worked so well for the 1997 trunion repair)
– for many years Oregon\’s dirty little UGB secret was Clark County…absorbing all the suburban development OR money/banks/developers could buy…that the Oregon facilitated i-205 bridge really trashed the northside of the Columbia
– remember that we tore down 1/2 our downtown twice in the last century to facilitate WAOR transport…our old downtown core along Main is \’under\’ I-5/SR-14 ramps at the waterfront

Me 2
Me 2
16 years ago

\”If you think our interstate highway system isn\’t one of the most important factors is our nation\’s prosperity, I would suggest looking at the economic and social stability of countries that lack one. I think you will find a blindingly obvious correlation.\”

Logan 5, post #8. I can\’t think of a country outside the US that has this type of road system. I spent the first 25 years of my life in Canada and it doesn\’t have an interstate highway system. We have a trans-canada highway that goes down to 2 lanes in some cities and through some fairly steep mountain passes. I don\’t think you can find any sane commenter who would argue Canada is an economic and socially instable country.

I tend to agree that the amount of lanes seems excessive and in the end it won\’t stop congestion, but fuel more sprawl in Clark County.

VR
VR
16 years ago

This bridge is being shoved down our throats by transportation folks.

Actually it seems most transportation folks are fairly opposed to this bridge.

Most transportation folks know that you cannot loose weight by buying a bigger pair of pants.

The CRC seems to be being majority pushed by developers, residents, and politicians of Clark County.

There have been many reasonable solutions taken off of the table.

But the CRC is a terrible mess waiting to happen. What we need and could afford is three fold:

1. Reconfigure the bridges to ease shipping below them on the Columbia and reduce bridge lifts. Possibly add some seismic retrofitting during this process where possible.

2. Add a local traffic only bridge from Portland into Hayden Island – over the channel, and remove the interstate on-off ramps from Hayden Island (or make them gated so emergency vehicles could use them if needed). Vancouver shoppers would exit at Delta Park and \”back track\” a short distance to the stores on Hayden Island. Or better yet – move the retail to the Delta Park area and switch Hayden Island to tourism related industry and residential.

3. Run rail transit over the railroad bridge into Vancouver.

There we go, problem solved – less than $4 billion and much more palatable to our way of life.

john
john
16 years ago

There is actually two bridges, one built around 1919? or so(northbound), the other in the 1950s (southbound). From what I\’ve heard the older one is actually in better shape… Built like a sh*t brickhouse., the bridges could last another 100 years, easily. The main pain the ass for Bicycle commutters is the Hayden Island maze… I think the best idea I\’ve heard, is built a small local traffic bridge , then close a bunch of the I-5 on-off ramps in both vancouver and oregon. and maybe try to add some banking to the curves on Vancouver side. or straighten it. Done right the through-put could easily double..

Mmann
16 years ago

Keep the pressure on and, like most contentious political issues, a compromise will be reached which most sides can live with. +1 on charging a toll – higher during rush hour. +1 on light rail and GOOD bike laneS. Emphasize that the new bridge must address the changing face of transportation – how long is the oil gonna last anway? Not another 100 years…

Logan 5
Logan 5
16 years ago

#34, I was referring more towards the system of well marked and maintained, intercity/interregional roads that can be used by anybody. I know that the our system was created by a huge federal bureaucracy – that also put interstate highways in Hawaii 😉 – and perhaps other countries\’ systems are more organically grown over time but they do still exist. Germany would be the easiest mention but pretty much everywhere in Western Europe would qualify.

I forget the exact statistic but doesn\’t a huge majority of Canada\’s population live within an hour of the US border? In that case, I would think that the Trans Canada highway is sufficient enough to be considered an interstate highway system.

It\’s all about getting quality people to quality jobs where they can achieve their max potential. That\’s the power of the car to me.

Mmann
16 years ago

\”It\’s all about getting quality people to quality jobs where they can achieve their max potential. That\’s the power of the car to me.\”

My first thought was: Codswallup – I mean, what the heck does that mean?

Flippant reply # 1: Quality people ride bikes.
Flippant reply # 2: I achieve my \”maximum potential\” every day – on my bike!

Less flippant reply: Gas is a valuable, finite resource, and it\’s this outdated thinking that created the suburbs, McMansions, and sprawl. You don\’t need a car to get to your \”quality job.\” If it\’s not close enough to bike to it, then move.

Logan 5
Logan 5
16 years ago

Mmann, I truly hope your comment about moving so I can bike to a job is a joke. If not, it\’s the absolute stupidest thing I\’ve read ever. I\’m not even going to explain the huge economic impact of that.

At no point did I ever say that people who bike are not quality people, I just said that driving a personal vehicle provides many options for employment due to the greater distances that can be traveled. To label so many who I don\’t know as low quality would be very arrogant as there are so many highly educated professionals such as city council members who read this blog and probably have more positive impact on this world then I do (although I reserve the right to consider the relative quality of lawyers in general as questionable).

And I\’ll let you in on a secret but don\’t tell anybody else. Cars can actually be powered by means other than petroleum products! Since we\’re at a critical mass in pollution, it\’s imperative that we find a better source of energy for our cars or we\’re ALL GOING TO DIE. But that\’s not going to happen unless there\’s a big market for it. So, by riding a bike, you\’re not supporting industrial efforts to generate cleaner propulsion systems which means you\’re actually creating more pollution! Hang Up (your bike) and Drive!

stacia
stacia
16 years ago

\”So, by riding a bike, you\’re not supporting industrial efforts to generate cleaner propulsion systems which means you\’re actually creating more pollution! Hang Up (your bike) and Drive!\”

ummm, who exactly is joking now?

Mmann
16 years ago

\”And I\’ll let you in on a secret but don\’t tell anybody else. Cars can actually be powered by means other than petroleum products!\”

Hmmm – guess it\’s not a secret now, is it? Yea, I was aware of that. And sorry if my \”move\” comment was offensive, but I was semi-serious only in that our highly valued \”mobility\” which seems to require every adult in our society having at least one, if not more, personal autos, comes at a great expense to the world\’s resources and our own health. I\’m not some Luddite ( though I tend that direction at times) looking to ban cars or torch the factories. But returning to the original theme of this thread – what about the bridge and why? I will not apologize for proposing, and even idealizing, an economy that focuses and supports local business and local products, and that encourages its citizens to reduce their global consumption footprint – of which the fuel and manufacturing needed to support our mobility addiction is such a huge part. I realize we can\’t turn the clock back, that as things stand we need the interstate highway network and long-haul trucking and all that. But each of us can and should make conscientious personal choices that take into account not just our own fulfillment, but also the impact getting what we want is going to have on others. Simple in theory, but tough to live it daily.

Dave Thomson
Dave Thomson
16 years ago

\”The beidge is the single worst chokepoint on I-5, from San Diego to Bellingham. I-5 is in turn the West Coast\’s main north-south land route. Even if Portland and Vancouver didn\’t exist, there\’d be a real need to replace these aging, narrow bridges.\”

Trains are much more efficient at hauling freight long distances. The only reason trucking has boomed at the expense of trains is the subsidy of highways by taxpayers. Let\’s NOT subsidize more pollution by using taxes to make it cheaper for trucks to haul freight from LA to Seattle.

007
007
16 years ago

Logan#5 – I regret to inform you that you are in need of some serious deprogramming.

You are either:
1. really young
2. from Texass, Arizona, or Flohda
3. drinking too much of the koolaid

I am totally with you, Mmann. There was no need to apologize for the live where you work comment. That is the one most basic and wisest things we can and should do in our lives.

If we all made our major life decisions based on the common good rather than the bottom line, this world would be a better place.

007
007
16 years ago

Logan5 post #41 said, \”Mmann, I truly hope your comment about moving so I can bike to a job is a joke. If not, it\’s the absolute stupidest thing I\’ve read ever. I\’m not even going to explain the huge economic impact of that.\”

Unfortunately, the \”huge economic impact of that\” has a huge, negative economic and sociopolitical impact on the rest of us.

Ross Williams
16 years ago

Cars in gridlock idling causes more pollution than cars traveling unimpeded to their destination.

Adding vehicle capacity on I5 southbound will just create congestion, and idling vehicles, somewhere else. Portland\’s street system is already overloaded. It cannot absorb any more traffic.

When the decision was made to widen I5 at Delta Park the promise was made by Clark County politicians that that they would modify their land use regulations to reduce auto-dependent development and increase development which can be served by transit. They have done the opposite – recently opening up even more rural Clark County lands to suburban development.

The solution to Clark County commuters is to get more people into each vehicle, not to provide for more vehicles. You can\’t do that if growth is largely in auto-dependent areas that cannot be effectively served by transit or even car-pooling.

There are 7 freeway lanes in Washington that converge on the a three lane bridge. The road builders at WashDOT who planned that are in charge of the CRC process. They have created a congested nightmare and not they want to push their mess across the river and drown Portland in the traffic they have created. They are going to ignore its impacts on Portland\’s street network, just as they ignored the impacts of their new freeways on the I5 bridge.

The folks at WashDOT see Seattle-Tacoma as the model to emulate. Far from looking at Portland as a leader, they see Oregon\’s land use and transportation planning as the work of unsophisticated yokels. And they don\’t intend to let it get in their way.

a.O
a.O
16 years ago

\”[B]y riding a bike … you\’re actually creating more pollution! Hang Up (your bike) and Drive!\”

That\’s the funniest thing I\’ve heard since Ronald Reagan said trees cause air pollution. Congratulations Logan 5, this really is the dumbest thing I\’ve ever heard anyone say ever. At least Reagan got campaign contributions from polluters. Unless you\’re planning a run for governor, there really is no excuse for such a statement. Can\’t you find some car blog to post these lies on?

Wiiliam Barnes
Wiiliam Barnes
16 years ago

You have it all wrong. The CRC is bringing a NEW SYSTEM to the corridor. The end result will be a safer system (better ramps thus better traffic flow), and a less congested system because each vehicle will have to pay for their system usage time. It will cut down on all this joyriding. People will have to make choices and changes in their lives about where they live in relation to their work and activities. Oregon is looking at a population of 5 million people soon. We can not continue doing things the same way. We must change our ways of paying for things. The CRC project is just the start. Such is the way of the world.