Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 10th, 2009 at 10:00 am
Cascadia Rising Tide — a grassroots network of activists that, “take direct action to confront the roots causes of climate change and promote local, community-based solutions to the climate crisis” — will lead a ride next week exploring areas of North Portland that will be impacted by the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project.
Calling the CRC “our region’s biggest threat to bicycles and the people that love them,” Rising Tide has decided to do the ride during Shift’s Pedalpalooza event (which kicks off Thursday).
The ride is also planned to meet up with a “surprise non-violent direct action also in opposition to the CRC.” My guess is that direct action will come from the same, Joe “Metal Cowboy” Kurmaskie-led crew that put on the Waterfront Park rally and the CRC spoof videos on YouTube.
Organizers say the ride will be a display of non-violent civil disobedience against the CRC project. Rising Tide is opposed to the currently proposed project because they say it will enable a 30% increase in single occupancy vehicle traffic, which will lead to global warming and increased pollution in the I-5 corridor and will be accompanied by increased rates of chronic health diseases like obesity and asthma.
While regional politicians, project staff and consultants continue to meet and discuss the CRC (the issue of tolls and bridge design are hot right now), there remains very little in the way of financial commitments. The Oregon legislature left money for a new I-5 bridge out of its recently passed, $960 million package of highway spending, Congressional leaders called for a smaller, less expensive bridge, and the Portland Business Journal recently reported that, “Supporters of a new Columbia River Interstate 5 bridge face huge funding hurdles.”
our Mayor.” Graffiti spotted on
N. Williams Ave.
Mayor Sam Adams, who has received a lot of criticism from Portlanders about his compromise deal with Vancouver to allow a bridge that could be built to “accomodate up to 12 lanes”, has now started to flex some muscle in design discussions.
Even with a growing lack of enthusiasm to fund the project, the fact that it still has support from every regional transportation agency and and nearly all regional politicians means the CRC will continue to move forward. With no major non-profit organizations stepping up, grassroots groups like Rising Tide feel like they’re the only ones left to voice opposition to the project.
- Pedalpalooza Bike Ride to Protest I-5 Bridge Expansion
Ride meets at 3pm on Sunday, June 14th and departs at 3:30 pm
Peninsula Park (N Ainsworth & Albina)
More info here