Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Oregonian slams BTA’s new stance on CRC

Posted by on March 27th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Anti-CRC sign-1.jpg

An anti-12 lane CRC sign
(Photo © J. Maus)

An editorial in this morning’s Oregonian criticizes Bicycle Transportation Alliance leaders for their recently stated opposition of the plan to build a new, 12-lane highway bridge over the Columbia River, and for encouraging their members to attend a rally in opposition to the plan.

Claiming that the BTA seeks “to destroy the bridge,” the editorial board advises the organization to “broaden its reach” instead of compromising the “fragile coalition” of interests working on the project.

And, oh by the way, it’s a terrible move for cyclists, too. The governors of Oregon and Washington have promised that the new I-5 bridge will be the most environmentally friendly bridge ever built, providing vastly improved access for cyclists and walkers, in addition to light rail and tolling to control congestion.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that downtown Vancouver is just a few miles, a few minutes and two rivers away from downtown Portland. It’s easy to forget because the nightmare of congestion across one river, the Columbia, thwarts easy access. A drive that should take no more than 15 minutes can easily stretch into 45 or more.

The editors go on to quote at length from a critical comment left on our story about the BTA’s opposition. The commenter claims that the BTA’s stance “only serves to widen the divide between our community of cyclists and the motorists who waste away their lives stuck in traffic.”

Talk of two divided communities of “cyclists” and “motorists” may sound familiar to readers who followed our coverage of the media frenzy around this idea last summer.

The BTA’s Michelle Poyourow has posted a response on their blog (which she also submitted to the Oregonian as a letter to the editor), countering that the editorial “revealed a lack of understanding of what makes communities safe for bicycling.”

Poyourow’s letter continues (emphasis mine):

Our 5,000 members in Portland, Vancouver, and around the state of Oregon overwhelmingly oppose the widening of I-5. Expanding the freeway will result in more traffic, faster traffic, and wider roads, particularly in Clark County. Nothing could be less conducive to safe bicycling and walking.

A better bicycling and walking path between the two cities would be wonderful, but it could not possibly undo the enormous damage done to bicycle safety by the rest of the project. …we cannot get behind the overall project if it contains such an enormous freeway expansion. For bicycling conditions alone, this would truly be “One step forward…ten steps back.”

Story continues below


Sarah Mirk at the Mercury has also responded with a blog post opining that the Oregonian has missed the mark by a wide margin. She writes that

…the BTA made the right choice. Their position isn’t “extremist” or “out of touch with reality” as the Oregonian claims. Their position is well-founded, well-researched and strongly supported among cyclists in town.

Mirk also takes the editorial to mean “that the O is taking the opposition to the bridge seriously.”

The Build Less Bridge Rally (which will be held at 12:00 pm on Sunday, April 5th under the Morrison Bridge in Waterfront Park) is supported by a grassroots coalition that includes the BTA as well as other groups that oppose the bridge for reasons not solely related to bicycling.

Rally organizer Joe Kurmaskie told us earlier this month that the goal of the event is not solely to oppose the current, 12-lane plan for the bridge, but also to promote alternatives such as instituting tolling to relieve congestion.

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  • Anonymous March 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    The O hasn’t folded yet??

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  • RMH March 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    The Oregonian is trying to paint opposition to the current I-5 bridge proposal as headed by a small cadre narrow minded cyclists. It is not just cyclists who oppose this boondoggle. It is all of us who value this community and don’t want it forever changed by the pollution produced by thousands more commuters pouring in from vast stretches of farmland erasing suburbia to the north.


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  • axe March 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    “And, oh by the way, it’s a terrible move for cyclists, too.”

    Because clearly the BTA didn’t do any research before reaching their conclusion… Duh. What does the Oregonian know that the rest of us don’t?

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  • Joe March 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Ohh I live in wilsonville near the main park here, I could hear I-5 all night. ahhh

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  • are March 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    the downside risk to tolling is possible privatization.

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  • bike militia March 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    This editorial is the best news yet for those of us who are opposed to a 12-lane I-5 in Portland.

    There it is, front and center: the Oregonian and the narrow upper-class business community it speaks for are genuinely terrified that the 12-lane CRC is going to bust!

    And they have good reason to be! It wouldn’t take twenty minutes for any halfway moderate judge to toss out the Environmental Impact Statement on this project – its a joke! No analysis of air quality impacts, no analysis of urban sprawl, no analysis of CO2 output – not even anything on salmon habitat in the river!

    But as the O is clearly aware, the even bigger problem for the CRC as it is currently drawn is that 95% of the population in Portland would NEVER SUPPORT A 12-LANE FREEWAY HERE. Any most of us are smart enough to know that you can’t just build a 12-lane bridge that dumps into a 6-lane freeway and call it good.

    A 12-lane I-5 bridge means 12 lanes to downtown Portland. It means 12 lanes from Wilsonville to Portland. It means 12 lanes from Hillsboro to Portland, Gresham, you get the idea. The more people in Portland hear about this boondoggle, the closer it inches toward collapse.

    I am so glad that the BTA finally came around. If, as the Oregonian fears, the BTA helps the bike community, the smart transportation community, and Portlanders generally knock the CRC back down to 8 lanes (MAX!), its going to come out as the big winner here.

    As for the O – apparently they didn’t learn anything from their decade long effort to build a freeway over SE Clinton/Division (the “Mt. Hood freeway”). Adams, Leonard, Fish, and Saltzman might do well to read up on that little debacle. Get it straight: Portland does not want any more freeway expansion!

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  • peejay March 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    The Oregonian is doing whatever it can to become irrelevant, isn’t it?

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  • mark March 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Perhaps my favorite line from the Oregonian editorial was “And, oh by the way, it’s a terrible move for cyclists, too. The governors of Oregon and Washington have promised that the new I-5 bridge will be the most environmentally friendly bridge ever built.”
    We can all rest easily now that governors have promised. There is a 20-lane gap between what they might promise today and what happens when designs are re-drawn and budget realities set in. Their bully pulpit will not guarantee anything.

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  • bahueh March 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    bike militia..WTF are you talking about?
    Salmon habitat? what?

    The bridge, over the columbia will hardly affect “salmon habitat”..where do you come up with this stuff? The I-5 bridge has NOTHING to do with declining salmon runs…

    95% of the population? where do you get those numbers?

    stop making stuff up, it only makes you sound totally foolish…and wouldn’t even an 8 lane bridge technically be “freeway expansion”?

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  • peejay March 27, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    If I had a subscription, I’d cancel it today. Of course, if I had a subscription, I’d have cancelled it about a hundred times before today. Like, when they endorsed Bush, etc.

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  • toddistic March 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks Oregonian, so the governors promised great bike and pedestrian facilities? Will those mirror the fantastic facilities on I-205? I find it refreshing to bike across the columbia on I-205 while I inhale exhaust fumes from both sides of the freeway! I also enjoy riding around the glass, trash, rocks, and whatever happens to get thrown over the divide from the lanes of traffic, I did once find a nickel and boy was it a great day!

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  • Donna March 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I thought the editorial board of the Oregonian tended towards fiscal conservatism. I guess I was wrong.

    Although, is it actually fiscal conservatism to allow future generations to choose how their GDP will be spent? (After all, this bridge will be paid for by the GDP of our children and grandchildren – not us.)

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  • old&slow March 27, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    The Oregonian is losing revenue and readers faster than most papers are because they are run by idiots. Usually the only paper in town would try to reflect the community they live in. The O tries to antagonize their audience because they think that is real journalism I guess. They finally got rid of David Reinhold after years of having him lecture us about the conservative values we didn’t have. Conservatives hate the paper because they think it is liberal and liberals think it is a joke. Nice business strategy. They hate cyclists in a cycling town and think they need to have conservative columnists lecture us in a liberal town, Their support for the CRC is typical for these nitwits.

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  • Mark Allyn March 27, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    We all know that the Oregonian is a joke of a newspaper.

    In fact, there have been a few instances where I learn of news regarding Oregon from the website of the Boston Globe (www.boston.com) before I learn of them from the Oregonian or oregonlive.com.

    I don’t have a subscription.

    I have even told them to stop delivering the freebie weekly that they deliver on Tuesdays to my house.


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  • Lisa G. March 27, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    I met someone today at the Better Living Show at the Expo Center who owns an electronics recycling business in Vancouver. Most of his business comes from Portland. He also does not want a 12-lane bridge.

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  • peejay March 28, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I had some fun on the O’s comments section, and I encourage you all to do the same. Here’s my best jab at them:

    And, oh by the way, it’s a terrible move for cyclists, too.

    Says who? The Oregonian? The paper that tried to stir up a bunch of ill will between cyclists and motorists last summer? I have news for you: cyclists and motorists are all people and as people, we all want the best for our great city. I’m not so sure that the Oregonian does.”

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  • peejay March 28, 2009 at 12:25 am

    I also linked back to bikeportland, since the geniuses at the O couldn’t figure out how to in their editorial.

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  • John March 28, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Follow the money – Print media has been seeing devastating declines in advertising income recently. Of the advertising revenue remaining, auto dealerships represent a significant portion. You can find an entire section of the paper named, “autos”.

    Partly that, and the long term decline in critical thinking and fact checking, due greatly in part to understaffing or misapplied lean. We’ve seen what happens when individuals are able to publish online with inadequate moderation; the same seems to apply to other forms of publishing as well. Paper trolls?

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  • Coyote March 28, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Sometimes it’s easy to forget that downtown Vancouver is just a few miles, a few minutes and two rivers away from downtown Portland.

    Sometimes it is easy to forget that a few miles and two rivers has been a long way away for the vast majority of human history. Only with a car-headed perspective can you muster any legitimate dismay that traveling over a mile of water takes more than 15 minutes.

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  • Jim Lee March 28, 2009 at 9:32 am

    There is another major bridge project that the Oregonian has editorialized for rushing forward, in spite of irresponsible promotion: Sellwood.

    Certainly we need a new Sellwood bridge, but its present promoters have voted to give us a 4 to 6 lane concrete monstrosity, thinly disguised as a bike-friendly 2-laner.

    Published cost figures demonstrate how bloated the Sellwood project has become: $330 million versus $130 million for TriMet’s new bridge that actually is 2 lanes with wide side-paths for pedestrians and cyclists.

    The only possible rationale for a monster bridge at Sellwood is the intention to ram a 4 or 6 lane highway connector up Tacoma Street to Highway 99 in the near future, which now is forbidden by the City of Portland’s planning goals for that neighborhood.

    Cyclists should challenge Multnomah County, which is running the Sellwood project, on this. Talk to your County Commissioner. Write to Ted Wheeler, Chair of the Commission. Buttonhole Metro Councillor Robert Liberty, who is on advisory groups for both bridges.

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  • fredlf March 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

    For some insight into what the O thinks of their readers, check out my post in the forums. The response I got from their political editor when I complained about the Stop Law piece is mind-blowing, imho.

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  • revphil March 28, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I’m excited more attention is being brought to the issue.

    There is a lot of inaccurate bridge info out there and we should expect a lot more to come. It is our responsibility as aware citizens to tell our neighbors the truth about the CRC.

    I hear the new bridge will feature a “martini only” bike lane and Metro Council is pouring.

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  • Paulo March 28, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    The only new bridge we should be looking at right now is one that could accommodate high speed and commuter/light rail. Designate 205 as I-5 and tear out I-5 as it exists in the city of Portland. It’s a useless freeway in my opinion, taking up precious waterfront land.

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  • molleeeb March 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    It seems that the O has failed to see that the rally is not simply about stubbornly opposing the bridge project, but promoting alternative solutions that have been left out of the process. I am so frustrated that the only options ever put forth were to do nothing, or have 8 (I believe) vs 12 lanes with bus or max. That initial decision left out so many viable options (freight lanes + tolling!), and I believe that part of the rally’s purpose is to provide a forum for voicing alternative ideas. So the O needs to pipe down.

    All in all, I bet the press is a good thing for the cause, and I am not surprised by the O’s stance. Can’t wait for 4/4!

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  • metalcowboy March 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    molleeeb you’re correct that the rally is to demonstrate opposition AND share alternative – and just to clarify the rally is on 4/5. See you there.

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  • Michael March 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    So what would be a better solution than building a new bridge? of course adding a MAX line up to vancouver is necessary and both Portland and Vancouver would benefit from such a thing. There is although still a major stigma in this country about public transportation, more so with buses than anything else. So, I don’t see how adding more of them is automatically going to get people out of their cars and onto buses.

    I’m not for a 12 lane bridge, but I am for a new bridge because quite frankly, the current one looks like crap. I’m nervous when driving across it, especially next to buses and tractor-trailers, as i’ve had bad experiences driving next to them.

    [/End stupid little rant]
    And I get

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  • peejay March 28, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Under the Morrison Bridge, don’t forget!

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  • bike militia March 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm


    “EPA: I-5 brige impacts on pollution, growth unexamined”

    Anyone who is interested in why the 12-lane CRC is going to fall in court can take 10 minutes to read the above article. The gist is, I noted above, the CRC’s Environmental Impact Statement failed to examine critical issues, such as air pollution, urban sprawl, and yes, impacts on endangered fish.

    As an interesting topical side note, the EPA’s (and we’re talking Bush Admin. EPA here) concerns about the 12-lane I-5 would have gone largely unnoticed had the Oregonian’s Dylan Rivera not written this article.

    Yes, the O’s editorial positions are often terribly biased, but the fact is without newspapers like them to at least draw attention to things, the 12-lane I-5 might be 16 lanes, and it might already have been built.

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  • Hart March 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    The Oregonian should just stick to sending out racist anti-Muslim hate speech DVDs in their Sunday additions and leave the urban planning to those who actually care about the city.

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  • Jim Labbe March 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    The most disingenuous claim in the Oregonian editorial is the part that charges the opposition to the I-5 bridge for treating “Vancouver punitively and dismissively, as if were some strange, far-off land full of odd creatures in cars, and as if improving the link between the two cities was inconsequential, instead of vital.”

    That is ridiculous representation of the substantive issues raised by those who have opposed the 12-lane option. It also misrepresents the real interests and arguments of proponents of building the largest replacement bridge proposed.

    The main argument of those advocating for the 12-lane super bridge has not been that we need the biggest bridge possible for a better connection between Portland and Vancouver. Instead they’ve been making false arguments that we need the 12-lane option for a better connection between Mexico and Canada. They have falsely claimed that the current bridge is somehow a “critical bottleneck” between Los Angeles and Vancouver. Local connections between Vancouver and Portland have been, at most, a sideline concern of the super-bridge advocates, perhaps because they know a massive freeway is not likely to improve the connection between the two cities.

    Meanwhile those arguing for a smarter, more human-scale connection between Vancouver and Portland were actually the early opponents of the replacement freeway bridge option. They were folks like Jim Howell, Fred Nussbaum, and Lenny Anderson who proposed an arterial bridge option with rail, bike and pedestrian facilities, and street-level vehicle traffic. This proposal was brushed aside by the freeway-builders at ODOT and WSDOT who have wanted the 12-lane option all along and have controlled the process and analysis to get us where we are now.

    We should bring the arterial bridge proposal back, it would be safer for people and the planet and it will genuinely foster healthy human-scale connection between Vancouver, East Hayden Island, North Portland neighborhoods.


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  • old&slow March 29, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I think Vancouver is a strange far off land full of odd creatures in cars. That was the only thing in the article I thought was right.

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  • Doug Allen March 30, 2009 at 8:16 am

    I think that the improved BTA position will tip the balance. Like any fraud, it takes a lot of psychological effort to overcome the propaganda that has been paid for by our tax dollars.

    The Oregonian editorial reveals that the promoters of this scheme are running scared, but we need a strong push now to swing public opinion. The most insidious lie is that this is a “done deal” or “the ship has sailed.” See you at the rally.

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  • Zaphod March 30, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Jim Labbe #30

    Well said

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  • Suzanne March 30, 2009 at 9:34 am

    “And, oh by the way”, the us vs them business is completely irrelevant, but well done for trying to stir it up once again. In case the O hasn’t noticed, cyclists couldn’t give a rats ass that this ugly monstrosity will have a lovely new bike lane.
    What we do care about is the massive freeway expansion that is proposed by this project. The lack of foresight on this is absolutely astonishing. Having a 12 lane bridge dump into a 6 or 4 lane freeway? And they think the bottleneck we have now is bad? Just imagine how is going to be once we add 6 more lanes worth of cars.
    I can just see it now, all the single-occupancy commuters will be sitting in traffic at the new bottleneck down by the rose quarter and they will be scratching their heads, “wait a minute, why am i still sitting in traffic, my fancy new bridge that my children are going to pay for was supposed to solve this problem. Oh well, I guess they’ll just have to demolish Portland to make room for all these cars”. Yes, very bike friendly.
    My favorite part in this article was the line about how the distance between Portland and Vancouver is walkable and bikeable??????? Um, yes, so why don’t we examine our options for expanding these forms of transportation instead of jumping into building a 4.2 billion dollar 12-lane mega bridge?

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  • Vance Longwell March 30, 2009 at 11:08 am

    The size of this bridge will effect cyclists precisely zero. Since the building of any bridge will likely include the addition of features for cyclists, cyclists only stand to gain from building it.

    The size of this bridge is of concern to those who self-identify as environmental, and livability advocates, and those who have a steak in clearing up some of the motorist congestion there.

    Therefore, this is not a cycling issue. Furthermore, entangling the cycling-agenda with an even more contentious issue, like the Green Religion, can only hurt the cycling movement; and further galvanize the Us vs. Them combativeness that is hampering both civic improvements, and the new construction of bike-infrastructure in the area.

    The quality of life for a million, or more, native Oregonians was drastically lowered throughout the later part of the last century, and continuing into this one. This unprecedented explosion in population has driven property values through the roof, annihilated middle-income wages, destroyed one of the best transportation systems in the country, eaten up countless acres of wildlife habitat, and on, and on, and on.

    Those who oppose this bridge, IMO, are quite frequently the newcomers who have necessitated the construction of this sort of thing in the first place. To then oppose it’s construction, on the basis of how other people choose to use their freedom, is outrageous to me. Mine, and many other’s, outcry for some government intervention in population growth in the area, fell on deaf ears. “Like it, or move.”, became the mantra of those flooding into Oregon, “I have a right to be here.”.

    I offer the same advice to those who oppose the construction of the largest bridge that can be afforded. If you don’t like it, move. Plus, please quit dragging bikes into this, it has nothing to do with bikes.

    Keep your religion off my bike!

    You know, with all due respect and whot.

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  • KWW March 30, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I would like to know what Vancouver-ites think of this. Especially the ones that don’t have a viable bike lane as it stands, and/or the ones that are stuck in traffic polluting the air.

    I don’t agree with the 12 lanes, but a new bridge (with light rail!) is needed.

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  • Hutch March 30, 2009 at 11:28 am

    What is it with The Oregonian and cyclist advocacy these days? Did anyone see the Jack Ohman’s caption contest this week?


    If you read this, submit an entry that satirizes the O’s take on CRC, the Idaho Law, etc.

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  • peejay March 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Vance #35:

    If you’re so concerned about population growth and suburban sprawl in the region, why would you support the single greatest driver of both of those phenomena?

    The quality of life of Oregonians was, as you say, drastically reduced in the latter half of the last century by exactly the same kind of short-sighted roadbuilding that this bridge is a continuation of.

    If Green is a religion, then perhaps Internal Combustion is an even more pervasive one.

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  • peejay March 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    This is not to say that cars are the problem. It is to say that that placing the needs of cars above the needs of the people in those cars is the problem, and the big lie is to convince us that the cars’ needs are actually ours!

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  • bahueh March 30, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    salmon issues are being raised only as political posturing…the fish would only be exposed to “dangerous toxins” for a few miles of river on an other wise 2000+ mile migration…

    if the EPA can claim danger to salmon, they can stall proceedings…its a political move and has nothing to do with fish. if this is true, building time schedules could be arranged around migratory patterns…its a thin argument….but one with federal weight.

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  • Jim Labbe March 30, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    The significant issues associated with salmon and their habitat mentioned in the DEIS relate to the number and size of pilings and footings for any new or retro-fitted bridge and the duration and timing of in-water disturbance to the river bed.

    However, the landscape-scale changes in land-use and development patterns and the resulting cumulative impacts to streams, rivers and entire watersheds that support native salmon populations and other biodiversity have clearly not been adequately documented and addressed in the DEIS. These impacts are likely to be of far greater magnitude than those posed by the actual construction or retrofitting of any bridges.


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  • bahueh March 30, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    chris heaps……I take your snide response and give you Jim Labbe’s rebuttal…

    don’t have any thing constructive to offer apparently..just bored and want to argue? do you honestly…honestly think the CRC opposition has anything to do with fish?

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  • jim March 30, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Which do you think would cause more pollution and make the salmon angry?

    An old 6 lane bridge with cars moving at a stop and go pace


    A new 6 lane bridge with enough onramps and exit lanes to keep things moving smooth and safe (you may call it a 12 lane if it makes you happy)

    I would think the new bridge would be much better for the enviroment

    Do you think it’s going to hurt the fish when the army corps is going to dredge the river for bigger ships?
    I would be worried about what effect that would have on the ability for the sands to wash up onto the beaches like it does now. That’s a corcern. With a chanel going out to sea that sand will be directed away from the shore and guess what? coastal errosion….
    The new bridge- Not an issue

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  • Curt Dewees March 31, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Personally, I find some small comfort in the fact that the Oregonian editorial board has got exactly backwards and wrongheaded yet again. At least they are consistent! Had the O’s editorial leadership come out in agreement with the BTA on this issue, I would have felt somewhat alarmed and confused. (Whew! It’s comforting to see the world hasn’t suddenly turned upside down!)

    Print newspapers are a dying breed, a relic of the past, and the Oregonian’s editors know this better than anyone. This editorial is but a pathetic, last gasp of a dying dinosaur.

    We should feel pity for the Oregonian’s hapless editors: They are like chimney sweeps at the beginning of the age of electricity. They are like harness-makers at the dawn of the 20th Century. Their future doesn’t look very bright. Whatever will they do now … after the entire world has found their life’s work irrelevant and unnecessary?

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  • a.O March 31, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Truth hurts, bahueh. What’s you name again?

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  • bike militia March 31, 2009 at 10:22 am

    I’m not a fish biologist (nor is my name Chris? or is that someone else).

    The point isn’t that a few thousand fish might be killed by this project – they could have come to that conclusion in the DEIS and still proceeded perfectly legally. They also could have said, this project will increase sprawl x percent, asthma in N. Portland x percent, pollute Clark County’s water supply x percent, etc. and still proceeded just fine as far as the law is concerned. Federal law doesn’t say you can’t f- over the environment, just that federal projects must state exactly what and how much f-ing over they are doing.

    The point is that, as the EPA said, the DEIS for the 12-lane CRC just ignores or glosses over most of the environmental questions it raises. Why? Because the conclusions would make the project much harder to sell to the public. But informing the public is the point of federal environmental law in question (NEPA), which is why this project will be tossed if taken to court.

    What does that have to do with biking in Portland? Well, besides the air quality and traffic, bicyclists have many good reasons to oppose 12-lane freeways, which have been stated very well on this website.

    I’m just trying to inform people of how this can be stopped (I hope).

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  • Lenny Anderson March 31, 2009 at 10:41 am

    PM peak traffic counts across the I-5 bridge are actually down for the last couple of years. The problem is just in the peaks…too many commuters with empty passenger seats! It would cost more to remove the bridges than to retrofit them to current seismic standards. The CRC 12 lane proposal is absurd. See you Sunday.

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  • bahueh March 31, 2009 at 11:41 am

    heaps…so the answer is “yes”? if you knew the truth, it may hurt yes. but you don’t, you just like to troll online and argue.

    please..inform us all as to your extensive experience with endangered species and environmental law?

    I thought you were only good at handing out citizen citations with your copious amounts of freetime…

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  • Elly Blue March 31, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Alright folks. Please keep the conversation about the issues.

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  • peejay March 31, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    bike militia:

    Good and informative posts. I agree and am not ashamed to use the salmon issue to defeat the bridge, much as a lawyer has no shame in getting his innocent client saved from the electric chair on a technicality. Whatever the law says, we all know that there can be no good done to the Columbia River and its denizens as a result of the increased low density housing created by adding lanes to the crossing.

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  • peejay March 31, 2009 at 4:07 pm


    Please inform yourself fully of the currently proposed bridge design. The number of lanes going over the Columbia River in that design: 12.

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  • jim March 31, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    3 through lanes north and 3 through lanes south. The other lanes are for merging on and off exits, to reduce congestion and to improve safety. This is according to Maurice Hines from the columbia river crossing project. Portland city council does not want to accomidate any more cars in the future than what is coming across at this time.

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  • jim March 31, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    When they made the alaska pipeline they said it was going to be bad for the caribou. The caribou like the pipeline, that is their favorite place to go mate at. maybe the fish will come to mate at the new bridge? Or if one cyclist was going way fast one way and another cyclist was going way fast the other way….

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  • metal cowboy March 31, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Jim – The one thing not being debated by anyone but you is that these bridges/megabridge as proposed will have 12 lanes. six in one direction, six in the other, and a third bridge for lightrail/bike and ped. Call them merge/auxill, freight/truck lane – they are still lanes starting before the bridge, spanning the length and ending after the bridge.

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  • jim March 31, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    I guess if your going to count things like that then the park blocks will be an 8 lane road if you count all the spots on the rendering, who knows- someday someone may decide to drive in those parking spots…

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  • jim April 1, 2009 at 12:12 am

    ok that was a little obscure, but back to the bridge- the 3support lanes end at enterchanges and do not add through traffic, there are only 3 through lanes (each way). There is not going to be a 12 lane freeway rolling through north portland

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  • Lenny Anderson April 1, 2009 at 10:17 am

    No, but a 12 lane bridge will dump twice the number of commuter vehicles…mostly SOVs…onto north/northeast Portland arterials as the current 6 lane bridge does. 40K to 60K additional vehicles per day on Portland streets. Most traffic across the River has destinations in N/NE Portland.

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  • Hart April 1, 2009 at 10:23 am

    April 5th will be the day that the 12-lane nightmare dies.

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  • Evan Manvel April 1, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Vance, think about opportunity cost.

    That is, when you spend money on one thing, that same money can’t be spent on something else.

    So, $4 billion ($5000 per household in the region) goes towards the MegaBridge. That $4 billion could go to replace the Sellwood, connect the western suburbs to downtown, build a world-class mulituse path/trail system separated from cars, build a comprehensive network of bike boulevards, and soforth.

    The opportunity cost alone makes this very much a bike issue.

    That said, encouraging costly sprawl instead of thoughtful infill discourages using bikes too, as people are much more likely to bike shorter distances than longer ones.

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  • jim April 1, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Lenny Anderson –
    Maybe there will be 40-60% less cars in NE because they will actuaally be able to get out of here. NE portland is a pretty low destination spot for most anyone, it’s not my first choice of places to go. There are only 3 through lanes so twice the # of cars is an impossibillity

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  • metal cowboy April 1, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Jim I shouldn’t keep engaging you in discussion at this point, but you really should spend some time brushing up on the induced demand, basic tansportation studies on what hapopens to communities as they try to build themselves out of congestion or just transport yourself back in time ( in your mind’s eye) and consider what was north of the columbia river before they built the i-5 and glen jackson bridges. developers of suburban housing want this freeway expansion project for one reason and it’s not to ease congestion or move freight.

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  • jim April 3, 2009 at 1:26 am

    Were you refering to car traffic or truck traffic? More truck traffic is what we need to get this economy going again

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  • Velo Vanguard April 3, 2009 at 8:31 am
  • Lenny Anderson April 3, 2009 at 8:54 am

    90% of the time the bridges are fine for freight. The problem in the peaks is too many SOVs, not freight. Then you must ask “which freight?”…empty containers heading to T-6? Loaded log trucks thru the city center? If you really want to help freight, get WA to legalize triples, and get more loads on to rail.

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  • jim April 3, 2009 at 11:18 am

    These Mexican trucks have no patience for stalled traffic in portland, loaded or not. Why don’t they load containers onto railcars at the border and ship them out?

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  • revphil April 9, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I know this thread should be dead, but please dont believe this idea of Portland being some international blocade for freight passing though.

    Any other big I-5 city on the west coast has immensely worse traffic issues. Seattle is a parking lot for 5 hours between Tacoma and Everett. Even during rush hour the I-205 crossing of the Columbia is pretty fast so most trucks go that way. In fact only very determined people cross I-5 when there is so much traffic.

    Do not let these kind of people tell you what needs to be built! They are not interested in the common good and they will tell you anything to get their way.

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