That didn’t take long.
Less than two weeks after the Columbia River Crossing was proclaimed dead, a non-profit in Vancouver is hosting an open house to gather “alternative proposals” to the “failed megaproject”. The event is being organized by ThirdBridgeNow.com, an advocacy group that has been pushing their vision of the I-5 crossing for years and who have been re-energized after the demise of the CRC.
“Come be part of the solution!” reads the event flyer. ThirdBridgeNow.com also lists nine steps they say can be taken now for “immediate congestion relief on I-5”:
1. Remove northbound HOV lane on I-5 in Portland
2. Add mid span lift to rail bridge reducing lift by over 85%
3. Realign exit to SR-14 from I-5, raising and lengthening exit
4. Announce lift times on reader boards
5. Construct full north/south on/off ramps at Lombard and I-5 inside Right Of Way
6. Resume buses routes that loop from residential into industrial areas, a One Stop Hop
7. Relocate ODOT Truck Permit Center to Hayden Meadows
8. Place gutter on current bridge to catch road run off and dispose correctly
9. Add a deck on eastside of current bridges for bike and pedestrian sidewalk
The event will be an informal open house with a celebratory atmosphere that will include live music and a raffle. It goes from 4:30 to 9:00 pm tomorrow (7/11) at The Academy, 400 East Evergreen Blvd in Vancouver.
— Read more coverage of the Columbia River Crossing project.
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They had me until they mentioned removing the HOV lane. Typical suburbanite Vancouver residents…
agreed. Removing it would actually reduce capacity. But, they don’t understand that.
Keep in mind Garlynn, That’s just one idea and I think the event is really meant to be open to everyone/all ideas. If I were you I wouldn’t get hung up on the fact that you disagree with one of the nine ideas on their event flyer.
But it was the first suggestion on the list.
immediate congestion relief on I-5
-> Remove northbound HOV lane
It is hard not to notice the cognitive dissonance.
If you added a *second* HOV lane, and extended them further South/North, then you’d have immediate congestion relief, for those who cared to qualify for that lane. If you still insisted on driving alone then, well, you’d have no one to blame, would you?
“If you added a *second* HOV lane, and extended them further South/North, then you’d have immediate congestion relief,”
What evidence do you have for said statement?
Others more knowledgeable than I will likely jump in here presently, but since I opened my big mouth I’ll take a crack at this.
An HOV lane works best when the number of eligible vehicles per hour does not exceed a certain number. If the present HOV lane is oversubscribed (I have no idea if it is, but complaining about it can really only be based on three conditions (1) underutilized, (2) oversubscribed, or (3) too short/poorly integrated with surrounding infrastructure) then adding another lane will extend the logic by which the first HOV lane was installed to accommodate more qualifying cars.
If it is currently underutilized, adding a second HOV lane will immediately have the effect of further reducing capacity for single occupant vehicles, further incentivizing doing whatever it takes to qualify for that second underutilized lane.
We could make the whole bridge/section of freeway HOV, extending the logic even further, as was done after 9/11 in and out of NYC if memory serves me. Lot of options to choose from, but suggesting removal of the only HOV lane is idiotic if the goal is to reduce congestion immediately.
The HOV lane will also make the bus a more attractive option because they will not be stuck in traffic.
No joke. I think it should be the opposite and that should be a PERMANENT HOV lane.
Typical Portland hipster tripe. Maybe we should make one of the southbound lanes a bike lane…
Yes, because encouraging people to car pool is oh so bad for traffic. Oh the horror!!!
I sent this notice onto Jonathan, for that very purpose of spreading the word AND getting ALL voices to the table early on vs. just the highway driving centric types who want to remove the HOV lane, etc vs. add a southbound one, etc.
So bicyclists, peds and transit wonks … come on up to Vancouver!
The meeting location is very very convenient: it is across from the new downtown library, the CTRAN 105 Express bus (20 minute ride from Downtown Portland) stops 1 block from it and the site is a 15 minute bike ride from the Expo MAX station.
(Though secure bike parking at the Academy is not very good (my memory) so park your bikes at the library racks.)
CSA! CSA! http://vimeo.com/22915646
The website ThirdBridgeNow.com was registered by Jim Karlock, a busy citizen activist against light rail, pedestrian, and (presumably) bicycle infrastructure. Registrar info
The cartoon animation is hilarious. I really hope they change that soon if they want to be taken seriously.
Karlock runs http://www.debunkingportland.com/ .
Thanks. It’s so important to “consider the source.” Not that hating Portland automatically disqualifies his stance on a bridge, but it sure colors the situation, doesn’t it?
That site is amazing. It’s obviously a clever sci-fi piece written from the perspective of a traveller to an alternate-reality Portland where up is down, and geocities is still going strong.
I really enjoyed the “Traffic Calming is Killing People”
“8. Place gutter on current bridge to catch road run off and dispose correctly”
…this leads to congestion relief how exactly?
In a recent discussion here someone pointed out a federal law that prevents tolling existing interstates. That, to me, would seem to be one of the first and most pressing places to start if reducing congestion at this location is a priority. I don’t know the history of that law or what it might take to undo it, but it seems pretty obvious that it needs to go.
I keep harping on the “no tolls on existing roadways” angle but it is not from any knowledge of the laws involved; it is only my observation from 100’s of thousands of road miles traveled nationwide in the last 30 or so years.
Federal highways are generally only tolled in one of two conditions: new construction or complete reconstruction of a preexisting piece of critical transportation infrastructure.
I doubt this is indicative of anything other than Mob Rule: try getting someone to pay for something they thought they were getting for free before and you’ll have a riot on your hands.
I suspect that the only politically tenable strategy for any form of I-5 bridge tolling will involve a compromise where the pro-“cars forever” people in Vancouver think they are getting the better deal.
Having lived in Clark County for a while now, I have observed many people operate with an attitude that they try to get others to pay for something they get for free…and at the same time, they bitch about taxes and government..all the while availing themselves of those same government services for which they do not want to pay. It’s why the Tea Party is so popular here. BTW, I don’t think the federal government will pay 80% for a freeway project here or anywhere which way why tolling was required for the CRC.
I get the feeling that the only thing that will satisfy these anti-tax zealots is an Official Opt-Out card. They don’t pay any taxes but must pay up front before using any government services like roads, schools, drinking water, EMS service.
Optimally the a-la-carte fees should work out to be about 50-100% per use to encourage tax haters to sign up for an annual subscription plan of government services they are willing to pay for.
Yes…this was how Vancouver got a short lived HOV lane when there was some work done on I-5 five plus years ago. But HOV lanes that end at the bridge have less utility…
Is adding a deck a feasible thing for better pedestrian and bike access?
I disagree with adding anything to Lombard, I would actually call a lack of North bound onramp a ‘feature’. That area is congested enough with Fred Meyers and Gas stations, I don’t need extra North bound I5 traffic jamming through the area in a big hurry. It wouldn’t solve much anyways.
Surprised they are not pushing for tolling. Tolling now to fund these improvements was shown to eliminate congestion in the corridor. And I am disappointed the right-wing libertarian types are not all gung-ho about making people pay their own way. Suppose theirs is an ideology of convenience.
Third Bridge? That site shows three new bridges, a tunnel, three viaducts, and a freeway over Smith and Bybee including, what should be part of the North Portland Greenway.
Basically, this plan is a non-starter. I’m not sure how an open discussion is going to help when there plan is this messed up from the start.
I need an edit button!
I guess I saw this event more as an open invitation to come and share ideas and meet other people who didn’t like the old CRC and who had ideas for a different approach. I could be wrong, but I don’t think these folks are looking to inculcate impressionable activists with their sinister plan. I write this comment because it seems folks are getting hung up on the group and their ideas, instead of just seeing this as an event announcement and an opportunity to do some networking.
I agree, all these should be discussed and curious what WA resident bring to the table. I cherry picked my argument with their list of topics. But because I live near it.
Tunnels: one to NW Industrial rail yard, one to the northern terminus of Hwy-217, one to NW Marine Dr & NW Portland Rd.
Do you have ten billion dollars?
Lemme check the couch cushions…
This whole CRC thing makes me so very ashamed of my state and local government on the topic. I’m so, so glad the politicians and citizens of Washington are thinking clearly on this issue.
A big “Thank you” to all you ‘Couver-ites’ from one lonely, outcast, anti-CRC voice in Portland. Please keep up the good fight!
Wait … I could be wrong about this, but isn’t our quaint little 3-hours-a-day HOV lane already the only freeway HOV lane in the entire state of Oregon? The answer isn’t fewer HOV lanes, it’s more of them. The Banfield and the inbound Sunset sure could use them. And with more rational timing, if the existing lane is still not to be full time: the 3-6pm schedule should at least be adjusted for when the roadway is actually congested. How many Fridays see the congestion magically end at 6pm?
I support some of the other ideas (reader board for expected bridge lifts would be good, and is a bike/ped deck hung off the side of one of the existing bridges actually feasible?) but some of the CSA ideas seem a little better baked. A new bridge for local traffic on/off Hayden Island should be top of the list, followed by fixing the railroad crossing so ships don’t have to S-navigate.
Adding a new wider cantilever bridge (ala Broadway Bridge) might be much easier on the old upstream side vs. removing all the 1950s concrete side…and the 1917 side’s deck seems to be less damaged by corrosion.
I’ve long wondered why we don’t have HOV lanes through the entire metro area. Anyone know?
Because Portland just gave up on Autos all together?
You both are right though, it’s crazy how little HOV access we have. Seattle is at least smart enough to keep their HOV 24/7. Closing the HOV at 6 is absolutely ridiculous, as is the fact that it ends miles before the bridge. (it should go over the bridge)
Has anyone ever thought of designating a 24/7 HOV lane on the whole stretch of I-5 that I-205 parallels? It would be a worthwhile experiment to see if it drove enough through traffic (like, non-PDX bound traffic) off of I-5 to improve flow.
So you want the HOV on 205 (as that is supposed to be the currently designated bypass)? your post wasn’t very clear.
No–I want HOV lane on I-5 from @Wilsonville to 139th St. in Clark County, the whole stretch that 205 can be an alternative for. This is an idea to “nudge” through traffic–say, a Salem resident driving to Longview–onto 205.
And another thing–HIghway 30 is a TERRIBLE motoring road. Bad lines of sight, many unsignalled and barely visible intersections, high speeds, bad surface. Not bad on a bike but really sucks in a car. There could not be a worse choice to dump a bunch of Vantucky-originated traffic onto.
No mention of tolling or transit? There go 2 major sources of funding (considering that transit was necessary to get the Federal funding in the first place).
If Oregon would add another carpool lane anywhere in the state I would have no issue with the I-5 Northbound HOV lane.
If it is such a benefit why do only Vancouver drivers enjoy it?
That’s cognitive dissonance.
Or how about we use the Northbound HOV lane for light rail?
Glad to hear the 3rd bridge folks supporting a new bike/ped deck.
Also glad to hear them championing something fairly reasonable and modest — the 3rd bridge never got much air time in the overall debate, but they’ve been persistent for a long time.
I’d also like to see a bike/ped bridge from Safeway over to the main bridge on Hayden Island. Crossing the freeway on/off ramps. There used to be a crosswalk here eons ago, it would cut off a minute or two of very gnarly sidewalk riding/crosswalking on Hayden Island.
It’s sort of amusing to read the comments here and reflect on the failure of the design of the CRC to please anyone. Even within the relatively narrow demographic of Bikeportland readers, there are strong and wildly different
opinions on what should be done.
Now take two adjoining cities, in different states and each with residents with vastly different lifestyles, values, and commuting patterns, and attempt to get them to agree on a bridge.
The problem with design-by-committee is that it bogs down with many different individuals loudly and steadfastly insisting that their vision is the only correct one. Take the N. Williams bike/pedestrian project, for example.
Democracy is hard.
except in this case we hold a lot of the cards as most of the people up north want to come down to us to work or shop.
“the failure of the design of the CRC to please anyone”
I don’t think that is the chief problem. The design pleased many in the (short sighted) world of jobs now!, e.g., politicians, big labor, and those who pander to them.
“Democracy is hard.”
What irks many of us was the patently *un*democratic nature of the process by which this freeway expansion (this was far from being merely a bridge, dude) was rammed through. While democracy is hard, I don’t think this particular boondoggle is a very good illustration of either democracy or it’s hardness.
i think the north williams traffic safety project turned out okay. does not even slightly resemble what i would have done if it were left entirely to me, but hey, that is what “democracy” is about.
davemess – people who think like you are the core problem. Clark County Washington is the third highest tax paying county for Oregon. We do not view going to Portland as ‘wanting to come down to you’. To the contrary we are an interconnected city and region. The issue is folks like you in Oregon who think we are all plantation workers over here in Vantucky – term used above. You in the south are plantation owners who think you can rule us and if we don’t agree we are called names and looked down upon as somehow inferior.
I’ve seen in national publications that Portland has been termed the ‘City where the young come to retire’.
Sad to say I don’t know anyone in the north who came here to retire.
Seems some of you in the south believe we are all here to help support your retirement.
Sorry I have my own retirement to think about and can’t agree with all your grand ideas.
There’s no denying that the Oregon portion is the economic and cultural engine of the region. Clark County is functionally a bedroom community for those who for whatever reason find it a more attractive place to live, even though their jobs are in Oregon. It relies on Oregon, to a large extent, for its viability. The growth in Clark Co. has been primarily due to the fact that Portland is an attractive place to live, not Vancouver.
The Portland region has some very different ideas about how we want to live, grow and develop our little corner of the world. Simply expanding our road system is a failed experiment that we’re choosing not to repeat. All the CRC would have accomplished is to reduce travel times by a few minutes, while imposing more vehicles on Oregon.
The argument that “Clark County residents pay a ton of taxes” so therefore you’re entitled to a new bridge is bogus. No one forced you to live and work where you do. I think you can live wherever you want to. But I fail to understand why you think that Oregonians should pay to support your lifestyle. The tail doesn’t wag the dog.
It appears your chain has come off the derailleur. When has anyone in Clark County asked Portland or any of it’s other bedroom communities to foot a bill.
Once again the Plantation Owners in PDX justifying their lifestyle. You have the freedom to live any lifestyle you wish. Clark County was being asked to pay for the privilege of coming to PDX. What do you pay for the privilege. I bet not 9% of your income.
So in your world a whole bunch of Vantuckians would move south. I’m all for that. They would have to move to were they can ride a bike or take a bus to go to work. Kids would be in PDX schools with no money and families would be living in neighborhoods where the only grocery store is a Whole Foods. Maybe if they’re lucky they can find a lower middle class neighborhood the Intelligentsia has not Gentrified yet.
Just asking – where are those neighborhoods?
If you do not like paying the 9% income tax, do not work in Oregon. This is the language of entitlement. Sorry you may be upside down in your Ridgefield McMansion but that is your choice. I’m really tired of Clark County people feeling they are entitled to have a say in Oregon politics when they do not live in Oregon. I also find the “plantation” language highly offensive. If you know your history, you will know that people were physically forced to live and work on a plantation. Again no one if forcing you, work in Washington if you don’t like paying Oregon income tax. It’s not rocket science.
Actually we pay an average of at least 10% to our state income to “pay for the privilege”. And many in Portland were not asking for this bridge either. Why do you think that traffic patterns are what they are on the bridges, because people from Vancouver come to Portland to work.
Chris, I come to Vancouver at least weekly and have plenty of friends in Vancouver. I probably have a better taste and appreciation than most in Portland for our Northernly neighbor. I have no ill will towards Vancouver, but people who live there choose to live there. It’s a pretty standard fact that many if not most of the people in Vancouver work in Portland (the bridge traffic will attest to that). And I think you would be hard pressed to find many Vancouverites who wouldn’t come across the river to make a purchase in Portland. So what of my statement is incorrect?
Your plantation analogy is pretty weird. And your knowledge of Portland appears to be pretty lacking (and frankly you seem kind of ignorant of the huge gap in wealth in Clark County). Come on down to my neighborhood (outer SE) and you won’t find a Whole Foods, and you’ll find plenty of people who HAVE to take public transit or ride a bike to get around. You’re falling right into the Portlandia trap of thinking. We’re not trying to “rule you” (the taxation debate is a whole other topic) the bottom line is that a new or “improved” bridge would benefit Vancouver much more than Portland. Therefore many here don’s see it as our burden to cover a majority (or even 50%) of the costs (both financial and social). Do I get annoyed on the rare occurrence I have to sit in traffic to get to Vancouver? Sure. Do I think we should continue to enable and encourage this growth design? No.
Davemess, I agree with most of your comment. However, most people in Vancouver do not commute to OR. Not even close. Enough do, and I’d say too many for lots of reasons that have nothing to do with either the bridge or the border between the states, but nowhere even close to most. As more “many” that is subjective, I’d even say I disagree with that. Many in absolute numbers but in percentages, or many of the people in my neighborhood or people I know? Not even.
According to this source http://www.qualityinfo.org/olmisj/ArticleReader?itemid=00007228 out of about 800,000 workers in Clark, Lewis and Skamania counties, 60,000 commute to Oregon jobs. I don’t call that “many” even.
Since I am on my soap box, although it doesn’t directly relate to your comment, it is very possible to live in Vancouver and commute to Portland and have a shorter (distance and time) commute that co-workers who actually live in Portland. That was the case for me when I worked in the Delta Park industrial area. Downtown and close in neighborhoods of Vancouver are far closer to the north Portland Industrial areas than the majority of Portland. Same for PDX and the retail and industrial areas along Airport way.
I may have read that report wrong, let me review it more carefully and amend my comment.
Okay, I’ll amend my comment and go for Yes, “MANY Clark County workers do commute to Oregon.” about 1/3 of all workers in Clark County in 2008 and I’ll call that many. From the report linked above:
I will still point out that less than 1/2 of the residents of Clark County are actually in the labor market, the rest either retired, students or disabled etc…
Paul thanks for adding that. Interesting numbers. Regardless of the semantics of a “majority” or “many”, I think we can all agree that A LOT of people commute over the bridges and thus we have traffic problems because of it. I hear you about Vancouver being closer to many Northern Portland areas. Problem is it may be geographically closer but you will have to cross one of only 2 choke points right now (unless you are on a non-traditional schedule (or bike)). Versus my 5 mile commute in Portland where I can take any one of about 100 ways to get home.
Much like Clackamas county, it just seems silly to me to wave the “we’re autonomous and don’t need you” flag that many seem to up in Vancouver (definitely not putting you in that category).
Thanks Davemess and sorry for my bad first take on that report. I don’t know for Vancouver specifically. Actually, I suspect, that percentage wise people who drive to OR are actually somewhat more likely to live outside of Vancouver or at least in the farther reaches. Similarly to Portland, people who chose to live in inner neighborhoods of Vancouver seem to me to value convenience and shorter trips and are willing to pay higher taxes and pay more per square foot of housing than those who live further out. Hard to say really.
I totally agree with you about commuting by car in general and the choke points. It is hard to compare apples to apples though. I know there are people who commute to Portland from Longview. Certainly many people commute from Ridgefield, and Battle Ground and particularly from parts of Camas (prune hill). There are also plenty of people who do pointless commutes in OR. Yes, people in the Contiguous greater Portland area may have many options for routes, but there are actually people who commute from Corbet and Kaiser and Banks to Portland. I even know of a few people that commute from Hood River at least part time.
My two thoughts that I am trying to express are:
First that there are only two (maybe 3) things particularly different about Clark County freeway commuters and Freeway commuters in general 1) there are only two bridges, 2) there is a state boundary and (maybe 3) 3) Clark County has perceived advantages to families looking for value in homes and school etc.
Second that Vancouver is not primarily a Portland suburb with the majority of it’s economy dependent on Portland. Vancouver exists pretty well as a place in for it’s own sake with a good # of large industrial employers, it’s own neighborhoods and culture. That may be part of the reason this discussion keeps going around in circles. Some people aren’t all that interested in living someplace weird.
I’m just very tired of both sides of this pointless discussion. Both Portland and Vancouver benefit from the freeways and bridges and both benefit from jobs and employees. BUT long distance freeway commuting is stupid infrastructure and stupid design. The fact that a river and political border are involved don’t change anything in my mind.
PS. DId you find any stats for Vancouver specifically? I have to imagine it would be a higher percentage than Clark as a whole.
“Maybe if they’re lucky they can find a lower middle class neighborhood the Intelligentsia has not Gentrified yet. Just asking – where are those neighborhoods?” -Chris Hickey
Oh, let’s see … how about all over town? As in, MOST of the city beyond downtown and the inner eastisde core? If you think there are more Whole Foods and New Seasons than mainstream grocery stores in the city limits of Portland, or if you think we lack lower middle class neighborhoods, you clearly have been paying more attention to Portlandia than Portland. Or are suffering from severe availability bias.
“When has anyone in Clark County asked Portland or any of it’s other bedroom communities to foot a bill?” Hmm. That would be when the CRC proponents asked (and got) the people of Oregon to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to help fund the project. I’d sure rather our money (as well as federal dollars flowing into the region) go to more beneficial projects than subsidizing your commute to another state. The fact that you pay Oregon income taxes (and by the way, I pay 9% too!) doesn’t give you any special privileges; it’s the cost of participating in our economy, and your daily presence here as workers and drivers disproportionately clogging up our roads incurs plenty of cost to Oregon even without reconstructing I-5.
And CRC won’t eliminate the I-5 bottleneck; it will just push it further down into central Portland. That will just jam up the local roads WE use to get around on our shorter, more sustainable trips with a bunch more aggressive Washington drivers who don’t know how to get along with bikes and pedestrians. And you call us “plantation owners” (rolling eyes now) for not wanting to help pay for it?