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Columbia River Crossing up for a vote at City Hall

Posted by on July 9th, 2008 at 3:42 pm

[Update, 6:30: Council has voted unanimously to support a replacement bridge crossing (with light rail) as the Locally Preferred Alternative. Read the full lowdown at the Mercury blog and read my report from City Hall below.]

Standing room only crowd at City Hall for the vote on the CRC.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The Columbia River Crossing is up for a crucial vote at City Hall this afternoon and a capacity crowd has turned up to voice their opinions and hear what the experts and the elected officials have to say about it.

CRC at City Council-1-2.jpg

Outside City Hall today.

Outside council chambers, an activist group with “Oil Enforcement Agency” written on their shirts was issuing citations to supporters of the bridge.

Inside City Hall, a standing room only crowd and a gaggle of media cameras are here.

Before the hearing started, I bumped in Jill Fugilister from Coalition for Livable Future. She said Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Commissioner Randy Leonard have both reported a record level of communication (in the form of emails and phone calls) from Portland residents about this issue.

The hearing started out with Commissioner Sam Adams reading the same statement that was published in the Oregonian today.

CRC at City Council-4.jpg

Commissioner Adams reading his opening statement.

Adams introduced ODOT director Matt Garrett and TriMet GM Fred Hansen. Garrett said he “fully subscribes” to Adams’ statement and spoke about the long process and partnerships that have led to this point. He said “when all is said and done, we’ll deliver a bridge that the citizens and this nation can be proud of.”

“When all is said and done, we’ll deliver a bridge that the citizens and this nation can be proud of.”
–ODOT Director Matt Garrett

After his comments, Commissioner Adams — wanting to calm fears that Portland will lose control of the project if they vote yes today — asked Garrett, “Will ODOT forward a request for funding of this project over the objections of a majority of City Council?”

“No,” said Garrett, “that would be a failure of leadership… as we work on these issues it is important to find consensus.”

TriMet’s Fred Hansen also shared his support for Adams’ position.

Robert Liberty offered compelling testimony against the CRC project. He encouraged Council to make sure they have a “Plan B and Plan C” in order if/when funding for the project doesn’t materialize (many skeptics see funding as the CRC’s Achilles heel). Liberty then got a warm round of applause when he ended with, “This is a project based on 1960 ideas but that’s charging 2030 prices.”

Leslie Carlson from the City of Portland’s Sustainable Development Commission said the project is working on poor assumptions. “We think there is a paradigm shift going on… and that people’s behavior in 25-30 years will be much different than it is now. Our concern is that the LPA is not built on what will likely happen in the future but on predictions from the past [when gas was $1.25 a gallon].”

Speaking in favor of the project were representatives from Schnitzer Steel, labor unions, and freight interests.

In total, 79 people have showed up to testify (they each get two minutes to speak) and City Council will vote on their “locally preferred alternative” (LPA) after all the testimony has been heard.

CRC at City Council-3.jpg

The CRC will most likely gain the support of a majority of Council tonight. Adams is clearly going to vote in favor of it. Commissioner Leonard and Mayor Potter will likely follow suit, giving it a majority. The only two wild cards are Commissioners Saltzman and Fish. Saltzman has already shown his distaste for the project and Fish — facing the biggest vote of his short tenure — is reportedly still weighing the issue and could go either way.

Once the locally preferred alternative is approved (as I assume it will), the big question is whether or not Portland will have ceded its ability to have significant oversight on the project going forward. Adams has offered every assurance that he will remain “vigilant” and that Council will remain in a position to shape the project to meet Portland’s sustainable transportation goals — but skepticism remains.

Will Council’s support of the LPA put the CRC project on a smooth path to a 12-lane “mega-bridge”? Will ODOT, WashDOT and CRC project staff work in good faith with Portland leaders to make the bridge something everyone can live with? Will a “yes” vote tonight help coalesce even more opposition to the project and a possible legal challenge that could derail the whole thing?

Speaking to Coalition for a Livable Future (CLF) director Mara Gross outside council chambers a few minutes ago, she says a legal challenge (at least from them) is not likely any time soon. It would come later in the process, she said, if at all. Characterizing the general vibe from advocacy groups who have opposed the project, she says after tonight’s vote, things will, “go from a boiling point, back down to a simmer.”

For now, CLF will focus their attention on Metro’s LPA vote which is coming tomorrow. “But we already know how they’re going to vote,” said Gross.

Stay tuned. There are many more twists and turns in store for this bridge.

For a blow-by-blow account of the hearing, check out the Portland Mercury’s coverage by Amy Ruiz.

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Bob_M
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Bob_M

The opponent with the mask looks like he has something to hide. devious and criminal. That is no way to represent yourself at city hall unless you are a politician. Opponents should not represent themselves like an anarchist fringe group. The messenger affects the message and if this is the face of the opposition, the bridge is sure to be approved.

a.O
Guest
a.O

Bob_M, if you\’re seriously saying you or actual decision-makers will have their opinion influenced by one guy outside City Hall wearing a bandana, then we\’ve got far bigger problems than the CRC. Also, I\’d say you\’ve got some serious psychological issue unrelated to anything relevant here.

bahueh
Guest
bahueh

Bob..pretty much what I was thinking.

While the bridge is a worth while fight, its going to be built. the cycling community will, as always, take such urban growth as a personal slap in the face but infrastructure growth like this in a modern economy is inevitable…and happens in every single city.

what are the realistic options? keep the old bridge in place until it falls in the river?

folks, if you don\’t like overcrowding in your cities and you want a sustainable lifestyle…lets start talking about the real problem here…overpopulation..its not this bridge that\’s bothering you.

bahueh
Guest
bahueh

a.o…are you insulting people today online using billable hours?

Bob has his opinion….you have yours. Bob also may have his issues…but then again…you also have yours.

Bob_M
Guest
Bob_M

I just think that if the opponent was a stand up guy he would show his face. Portland has its share of political activism and during events that are peaceful there are a cluster of masked trouble makers who make drop a turd in the proverbial punchbowl. That is the model of the protester pictured.

Serious psycological issues? WOW, talk about off topic, Would you be comfortable sitting on an airplane next to that guy? Have you never seen a cowboy movie? Your coment reminds me of Bill Frist who can diagnose over long distances without examination.

a.O
Guest
a.O

I just think you should get over it and focus on the real issues. Or just keep blathering about irrelevant stuff. Your choice.

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

\”if this is the face of the opposition, the bridge is sure to be approved\”

\”the opposition\”??

this is just one guy. it is not by any stretch representative of some larger movement or organization. it\’s just a photo of one individual.

Mike Gambler
Guest
Mike Gambler

I predict a 5-0 vote in favor!

Paul Cone
Guest
Paul Cone

Jonathan,

It may be one individual, but obviously it struck you, because you took the picture and posted it as the only photo representing the crowd outside, so without any other photos, one could infer that represents the crowd.

peejay
Guest
peejay

bahueh:

First, the bridge is in no danger of falling in the river. If it were, we ought to rebuild it (maybe with fewer auto lanes, but that\’s just my preference!)

Second, while overpopulation is indeed a problem, most models show a slowing of population growth, followed by a rather alarming contraction. We could have a world population of about one billion by 2100, according to some models. In the short term, it\’s an issue, but not so much in the US, as our birth rate is slower than that of most countries. The problem of sustainability is much more linked to the energy use and food costs of each person, rather than the number of people. Large numbers of people living close together is much more sustainable than that same number of people spread all over the place, since their travel needs are lower, which they are, because density makes more local business possible, and more needs can be met locally.

BikerinNE
Guest
BikerinNE

A picture is worth a thousand words…

I\’d say the picture did its job.

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

\”…so without any other photos, one could infer that represents the crowd.\”

with that line of thinking, I hope no one assumes that Sam Adams and Mayor Potter represent the entire Portland City Council.

Chuck
Guest
Chuck

God, the human race makes me ashamed sometimes. jumping to conclusions, judging someone from a split second of their existence, and all we\’re talking about here apparently is one dude with a sign and a bandanna, which is barely even as interesting as the actual story that\’s being reported here. why do I get the feeling that some people just skim these articles for the pictures, and don\’t even read the actual post? probably because that\’s what some of you do. c\’mon kids, take your ritalin, and focus here.

2GOAT
Guest
2GOAT

I find it mind boggling that the officials involved with presenting the CRC project from ODOT, WashDOT and the CRC all insist I-5 as the only transit corridor and minimize the presence of I-205 route for transit.
They also minimize the importance the effect of flow change, for SOV over a bridge that can be adjusted, with a new bridge to the passage of SOV traffic along I-5 directly thru Portland. A region of Portland that does not have an option for realistically adding lanes to manage an increased burden of SOV.
For safety reasons and to incorporate alternative transportation options, a new bridge is necessary….BUT NOT a new bridge that just promotes single occupancy motor traffic.

Icarus Falling
Guest
Icarus Falling

Did any of you actually think they were going to vote against this?

It would be political suicide to vote against this….

Use the bike vote to get into office, appease the rest to stay there.

Can\’t say I didn\’t tell you so….

peejay
Guest
peejay

I hate to agree with Icarus, but there it is.

Donna
Guest
Donna

Wow, it sounds like there are some very, very powerful interests putting pressure on the City Council. Observing where the limits to their integrity lie will be an illuminating experience.

Donna
Guest
Donna

Correction – we now know the limits to their integrity.

RyNO Dan
Guest
RyNO Dan

That is a very un-progressive vote by our council. There is nothing in this project for the sustainable residents of the city
of Portland. We got served.

Icarus Falling
Guest
Icarus Falling

Thanks Peejay,

Though I do disagree with \”some\” things you type, when I have been around you I thought you were a good person….And pretty funny.

That is my strange idea of a compliment…

Take and eat.

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

peejay – one billion population by 2100? Only if we kill ourselves off via nuclear, environmental or other disaster. Which is rather likely, but where in the heck did you get that statistic?

Icarus Falling
Guest
Icarus Falling

We are at like 300 million now aren\’t we?

a.O
Guest
a.O

Yes, Icarus (#13) is right: We are being betrayed by the people we elected, both at the City and at Metro.

This douchebag Rex Burkholder actually has the audacity to say, on his website: \”I will continue to advocate for regional plans that lower greenhouse gas emissions…\”

That got him elected by the well-informed, socially-conscious Portlanders who know that we are at a crisis on global warming and peak oil. And now he has blatantly lied right here on bikeportland about the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the new I-5 bridge so he can serve the interests of private profit. Disgusting.

And Sam has already gone into damage control before he even cast his vote. This is not why we elected you, Sam.

That said, I have no doubt their opponents would have done the same, so it\’s not like we made a poorer choice than we could have.

And finally, \”are you insulting people today online using billable hours?\”

No bahueh, I\’m having your mom type all this. She\’s always over at my place. Didn\’t she tell you?

a.O
Guest
a.O

I meant Icarus @ #15.

zilfondel
Guest

^ Yes.

And Icarus, I agree with you regarding the bait and switch of the policies our elected officials are supporting.

However… we are also quite a long ways off from selecting an actual design or having actual leadership on the project itself. I wouldn\’t be too surprised if the sheer weight of the bureaucratic process were to sink it. I also predict the pricetag going a heck of a lot higher than a paltry $4.2 billion.

Kevin Costner
Guest
Kevin Costner

If we build it they will come.

To think that more lanes will me less congestion is to engage in intellectually dishonest sophistry. More lanes mean more cars, more pollution, more noise, more accidents, more DUIs, more disconnected communities, more trucked-in resources, more billboards, tolls, taxes, maintenance, more road rage, more urban waste lands, more fast food, more oil wars, more climate change, more, more, more! It may be of little import though, considering that nature always bats last.

On a less philosophical note, if you are of the persuasion that more lanes means less traffic, please ask the many recent transplants to Portland from larger cities. When highway are expanded to decrease congestion, a number of historically predictable things happen. First traffic gets REALLY bad as workers muddle around for extended periods of time changing the existing roads. Next, cost overruns show up and blow the budgets and time line. Then, like a fool in Vegas, more good money is shoveled into the project to get the damn thing done. Next, it opens with some fan fair and commute times reduced by 10 minutes or so. Finally, it fills back up to the level it was before it all started, unless of course they add toll booths to pay for it all, but that is another story.

Lets hope the City Council really believes all this sustainability hoo-ha we helped elect them for. Otherwise, if we build it…

err
Guest
err

What kind of lawyer insults someones mother on the internet? Very bizarre behavior from you today.

As for the bridge vote – it was indeed bound to happen. Politics is a depressing thing for sure.

Icarus Falling
Guest
Icarus Falling

Rex has been busy backpedaling on the post \”Sizing up the CRC\”.

He left a comment recently…

Keith Walker
Guest
Keith Walker

Some of you are naive. As if city council would vote away their rights in having a say in the design process of the bridge.

Let me take that back, you may be not be naive, you may be a vegan who grows ALL their food in your back yard. In that case you are a luddite.

But if you have a car, ever went to New Seasons for food, moved here from out of the area, have not whittled your furniture in your house out of tree trunks you found floating down the Willamette; chances are there is something in your demeanor that is a bit disingenuous because you consume items from the world around us….

steve
Guest
steve

Let me help you wrap your noodle around this one Keith. No one is talking about REMOVING the I-5 bridge.

Just not making it bigger. You will still be able to eat at McDonalds and waddle your pudgy butt to the video rental store.

I promise.

Engineer
Guest
Engineer

@ peejay

Your first comment in #10 is incorrect. If we suffer a 6.0 earthquake in the area there is a good chance one of the spans will be underwater. That\’s one of the other reasons this whole thing came about. You know that the older span is held up by wood pilings put in the river about 1913 don\’t you?

Lets build it with MAX, buses, and big bike and walking lanes. I know you\’ll all disagree with that, but is biking over it and avoiding those columns really all that fun?

muleteer
Guest
muleteer

A.O. the mother comment is trully low and despicable, even if provoked. Act like an adult.

Bahueh: \”infrastructure growth like this in a modern economy is inevitable\”.
Sorry to have to be the one to tell you, but it is not \”inevitable\”. We have better options. They should be considered more thoughtfully.

For historical examples of false inevitability see also the Mt. Hood Expressway, Christianizing of Native Americans, that whole thousand year Reich thing, Eugenics, and a wide array of other (now) patently absurd crap.

Personally I think that \”infrastructure growth like this in a modern economy is antiquated\”.

And stop trying to provoke the lawyers, it\’s too easy and reflects poorly on your character. Unless it is an accurate reflection of your character, in which case you have my sympathy.

I think this is serious business and it\’s time to be seriously business-like about it…

Aaron
Guest

I have the strongest words for those of you who are using this message board as a means of venting cheap insults.
GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!
This is a website for serious discussion, and a means of debating ideas around cycling in Portland. Thus the name BikePortland. This is not insult.com
Please limit your comments to the constructive.
That said I have been very disappointed that this boondoggle has been approved. Traffic counts have been slowly decreasing since late 2006. The I-5 bridge is structurally solid and will easily handle real traffic counts for as long as it stands. The only new bridge we need is a transit and bike/ped crossing.

Mindy C
Guest
Mindy C

I fail to see how the progressive agenda isn\’t supported when all the CRC options offered an entire lane devoted to pedestrian and bicycling traffic, and either MAX or rapid transit bus options.

What would progressives prefer over these options?

Me – I\’d like to see a lane devoted entirely to small-engine modes of transportation. Like mopeds.

We need to build to support our increasing population – because IT IS increasing, whether we like it or not.

I would rather put tax dollars towards bridge expansions than towards more streetcar lines or god forbid, another OHSU sky tram.

Much Love, Mindy C

BikerinNE
Guest
BikerinNE

Know one has yet to mention that, studies nationwide show time spent in traffic is monies lost to companies, and those companies that lose money downtown, lose money on a global market. If for one minute you think that it\’s just people from Washington state that need to find jobs in their own backyard, perhaps you should find out where alot of them came from. I\’d gather to to say that perhaps a 25% of the Washington\’s Vancouver residents trek over the I-5, lived in Portland at one time. But thats just my 2 cents. A new bridge isn\’t going to make people move across town. It\’s just a better transportation project. Oh, and hasn\’t the \”Green Bridge\” been having money spent on it year after year. A repainting, Bird droppings noise bird removal, bridge lift malfunctions. Oh lets keep spending money on an old bridge that has overhangs to keep from birds pooping on cars! Yeah good idea.

Ian Clemons
Guest
Ian Clemons

Oh, well. This is going to be a major disaster. It\’ll make all the money wasted on the Tram look like chump change.

By the time they start building this extravagant piece of infrastructure, oil will be at $200/gallon and we\’ll be in a major depression. Traffic won\’t be a problem because commuter traffic will drop off a cliff. Gas will simply be too expensive for the profligate way we currently burn it.

My guess is we\’ll have a half-built bridge next to the current one which will never be completed due to lack of funds. If I\’m wrong, we\’ll have a world class bridge for cars and trucks which is amazingly underused due to the realities of Peak Oil and ongoing resource depletion.

-Ian

Keith Walker
Guest
Keith Walker

Well, I think City Council did Portland well, they advocated for light rail on the bridge and advocated 6 lanes (same as existing) with emergency runoff space.

Comm. Leonard also pushed for bicycle/pedestrian access.

peejay
Guest
peejay

Shrauf #21:

I got that from a Scientific American article from about 2000 or so. The conclusion seems preposterous without reading the article, but in a nutshell, it\’s like this: once a country becomes richer and more industrialized, there are material gains to be had by having smaller families. As the general population starts falling, there\’s no \”negative feedback loop\” on this trend, and birth rates should keep dropping until it\’s low enough that our infrastructure is at such over capacity it becomes a burden to us. Anyway, it\’ll all shake out past my lifetime. If you\’re young, good luck with it.

revphil
Guest

i want to thank all the people who called, emailed, spoke in person, or worshiped the 12-foot oil tower.

Regarding the bandanna-wearing CRC protester and the abundance of insults on bikeportland.org: i hope that we can merge more insightful comments with more clever shit talking. Higher standards all around!

bahueh
Guest
bahueh

wow..the old \”your mom\’s at my house joke\”…truly one of your finest moments there, Mr. Lawyer….do your clients know how you\’re using their time?

muleteer…of course bridge replacement and traffic system expansion is inevitable in todays economy…infrastructure must keep up if society continues to grow at its current pace and populations continue to increase…

sorry, I\’m a realist and the car culture is here to stay until oil is too expensive for the median income family…that time has not come and hedging bets for it is not realistic.

Adams is not pandering…Adams was not put in office soley through votes cast by the cycling community….he cannot, and should not, bow to one constituency over another…Adams is acting in what he sees as the greater good for EVERYONE, not just those riding to work on two wheels…

peejay
Guest
peejay

engineer #31:

If that is the case, then I expect that the cost of seismic retrofit to the existing bridge has been studied and calculated as well. You know, just for comparison\’s sake. Only I wonder if the same care went into it that allowed the DEIS to assume $1.25/gallon gas. Considering they spent upwards of $60 million on planning, I hope they considered all the options.

peejay
Guest
peejay

bahueh #40:

sorry, I\’m a realist and the car culture is here to stay until oil is too expensive for the median income family…that time has not come and hedging bets for it is not realistic.

Wow. Where to start with someone who would actually write this sentence? Oil already is too expensive for many family incomes, and will soon be for the average. This is not some projection into the distant future: it\’s now or very soon. So, yes, we could wait until people just cannot afford to drive before we bother to change our long term infrastructure, leading to major economic and social upheaval, and only then start reacting to the world we find ourselves in. Or we can prepare for the transit needs of the next decade, so we\’re not left in the dark after the sunset of car culture. Now bahueh, I guess you would prefer that we keep building that sand castle as the tide rolls in, because to do otherwise would be unrealistic.

Coffee Nate
Guest
Coffee Nate

Wow! Lots of negativity here today / yesterday. It is understandable though; we all knew how City Council would vote on this, but it is still a blow to see it happen. Let\’s all try to be nice to each other though.

a.O, are you ok? From the posts I\’ve read from you, your attack of someone\’s mama seems out of character; even provoked, as it was.

Mindy, you make a good point in that there are allowances being made for the progressive agenda, but that really isn\’t enough when the SOV agenda is the real reason the bridge is being built. Just my opinion. Thanks for the love; refreshing in today\’s comments.

PeeJay, your comments about a low US birthrate are only true compared to third world countries. Compared to other, so called, \’civilized\’ countries we have one of the highest birthrates. The problem of overpopulation seems undeniable to me. But, whether you agree with that, or not, I think everyone here can agree that the overpopulation of oil powered SOV\’s is a drastic problem.

Anyone have any good ideas on how we can progressively work together, in a positive manner, to promote sustainable solutions in regards to this CRC mess?

I think we are going to need some community organization (bicycle, neighborhood, progressive, etc. communities), and possibly a revolt similar to the one over the Mt. Hood Freeway.

It is time for Portlanders to lead the way once again; too bad we can\’t count on our city council. Guess we\’ll have to police the city council and anyone else that wants to set the progression of our city back three decades; right?

Love to ya all; and to your mamas 😉

Coffee Nate
Guest
Coffee Nate

While I was writing the previous entry, I received an email from Mayor Potter. More fuel for the fire, but here it is:

Office of Mayor Tom Potter

City of Portland

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the Columbia River Crossing. The input of the community has been invaluable to City Council in making our decision to move forward with the project.

City Council\’s vote yesterday was not our final word on the project. Approval only establishes that the existing bridge will be replaced with no more travel lanes than exist today and that it must include an expansion of light rail.

The need to replace the current bridge is obvious. This section of I-5 has an accident rate more than double that of similar urban highways. Narrow lanes, short on-ramps, and a lack of safety shoulders on the bridge contribute to accidents. These safety issues must be addressed.

City Council has been clear that Portland can only support a new bridge with light rail to Vancouver and tolling on the bridge to help pay for the cost of construction, encourage increased usage of public transportation and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to global climate change.

City Council will continue to make our voices heard as the process moves forward. As decisions are made in the coming months the City will engage the community every step of the way and conduct public hearings on all major decisions

You can also find other venues to participate and make your voice heard at: http://www.columbiarivercrossing.org/.
Thank you, again, for emailing.
Sincerely,
Tom Potter
Mayor

*****
The light rail to Vancouver seems like a good idea. However, the issue of Vancouver\’s culture (or lack thereof, depending on your paradigm) vs the PDX culture seems to be largely at the root of this issue but not openly discussed. What do y\’all think?

Mr DeJerk
Guest

Yeah, progressive mayor-to-be… I had that impression that \”keeping a balance between sustainability and development\” would end up meaning standing against the community for financial interests. Nothing justifies a new bridge. Out-of-control development is avoidable. But it seems that now that the votes were taken, is time to, politically speaking, stay on the side of the \”cool kids\” (investors).

peejay
Guest
peejay

Coffee Nate:

This is a tangential thread to the main topic, but I only brought up population because someone else had done so first. Whatever the exact data, I\’m sure you\’d agree that the birthrate – and indeed net migration rate to the region – is in a smaller change rate than the rate of change in energy usage by each person if we underwent major (but still possible) changes to our transit structure and household energy consumption. For example, if the Portland area population grows by 5% this year, and we reduce our VMT by 10% per person in the same time, we\’re ahead of the game.

2GOAT
Guest
2GOAT

I believe safety is the primary motivation of the city council. There was testimony that retrofitting the current bridge to improve earthquake safety was not cost-effective especially in light of the fact that it still wouldn\’t address the drawbridge dangers in the river and on the road and could not include improved mass transit in the absence of building some other crossing structure.
Bottom line some form of new bridge is necessary. I hope to god it is not the 12 lane SOV promoting monstrosity that that is currently being researched.
The City Council\’s current decision insures Portland, stays in the loop.

bahueh
Guest
bahueh

peejay…I don\’t disagree whatsoever, but your injection as to what I think or believe about this situation is quite entertaining since I haven\’t published those opinions. I\’m all for mass transportation and have enjoyed using it in many other big cities as an efficient and normal method of transportation.

Fact is, if you want to invest in future needs this bridge needs to be built…it will hold your bike lane…and it will hold light-rail…and to date, there is no acceptance that the bridge will be any wider than it currently is (see above letter)…the entire things sounds like an improvement over currently what exists…the majority of people will use light-rail before they ever sit on a bicycle. the emphasis in this discussion should be there if sustainability is the issue..

deal in reality..not a myopic view of how you think the world should work or how it will work in the future.

your projections of this country\’s or the world\’s population rate increases are speculation….humans are experiencing steep k-growth rates…but the timing of the impending peak and decline continues to be unknown for the large variance in ecological factors….

you\’ve stated a few good points, but the elephant in this room, is simply overpopulation, energy conservation, and energy efficiency (there wouldn\’t be an energy problem if transmission losses were addressed in a 21st century manner…but that\’s a whole other discussion).

this forum sure likes to attract a lot of discussion about bridges lately…

Graham
Guest
Graham

bahueh,

\”this forum sure likes to attract a lot of discussion about bridges lately…\”

It\’s the comment section of a blog post about a bridge, so yeah 🙂

I think I get your point though – that this is a bicycle themed blog, and much bridge discussion isn\’t directly about the bike lanes. However, my feeling is that good development – whether it\’s highway, housing, or business development – should affect cycling in a positive manner. As far as transportation goes, cycling is such a win-win-win, that all development should work to promote it.

With regards to Portland and the CRC, a major – if not THE major – issue to keep in mind is that, if it opens up that chokepoint to more traffic, it\’ll pour more traffic into all the other chokepoints downstream. That\’ll suck for Portland car traffic of course, and it\’ll be bad for cycling all over Portland.

And sticking a bike lane on a monster bridge doesn\’t offset that badness.

My most optimistic hope now is that the council is angling for a new CRC that increases safety, while not increasing capacity.

My most cynical speculation is that they gave lip service to smart development, and then once elected reverted to the old politician game of spending the community\’s wealth so that powerful business lobbies will like them.

Leat
Guest
Leat

The most significant issue, as I see it, is the run-away growth of Clark County. From my experience, many people move there to avoid paying taxes in both states. They live in Washington to avoid property taxes, and work and shop in Oregon to avoid paying sales tax. There is also the cheaper land values available there, that was until recently farmland. Driving to someone\’s house in the Vancouver suburbs, even on a good day, can take over an hour to reach the outer edge of development. By building this bridge we are accommodating poor planning and a culture that is anti land planning and mass transit, and even against paying local and state taxes. By not building this bridge we are in effect putting a brake on this growth. By building it, we are paying for their lifestyle.