Republican lawmakers say cyclists should be tolled, question bike lanes on new Interstate Bridge

One is “traffic.” The other is not. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Republican lawmakers from both sides of the river are concerned that the project to widen I-5 between Portland and Vancouver and replace the Interstate Bridge is too focused on non-drivers.

In comments made Monday during a meeting of the bi-state legislative committee for the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program (IBR), Washington lawmakers questioned the wisdom of devoting lanes to walkers and bicycle users, and one wondered whether bike riders should have any access at all. And an Oregon House representative floated the idea of tolls for pedestrians and bicycle riders.

These are not random elected officials speaking out of their lane: these are influential legislators on important transportation committees that decide the fate of billions of taxpayer dollars.

The IBR is estimated to cost upwards of $7.5 billion, with $1.1 billion each coming from the states of Oregon and Washington and the rest split between tolls and federal grants. The project will widen five miles of I-5, build seven new freeway interchanges, and replace the existing bridge over the Columbia River (see graphic below). Despite delays due to traffic modeling disagreements, permitting negotiations, and environmental analyses, IBR Administrator Greg Johnson said at Monday’s meeting they are “steaming toward a path” of construction in 2026.

“I have a concern that we’re paying more attention to modes of transportation that are not at the top of mind. We need to be paying attention to, and directing our building of this bridge, according to the majority of what the bridges should be used for, which would be traffic and freight.”

– Lynda Wilson, Washington state senator
Left to right: Sen. Lynda Wilson (State of Washington), House Rep. Ed Orcutt (State of Washington), IBR Admin Greg Johnson (IBR), House Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis (Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Monday’s meeting was a chance for Johnson and other project staff to convince lawmakers that the project is doing great and moving forward as planned. There was a real “nothing-to-see-here” vibe to the presentations from project staff. As for legislators, beyond pointed questions from Oregon House Rep. Khanh Pham about modeling projections and concerns voiced by Washington reps about the possible loss of buildings on the Vancouver riverfront due to the freeway’s wide footprint, the most notable exchanges were, surprisingly, about bicycles.

Washington Senator Lynda Wilson, a Republican who represents the 17th district that includes rural Clark County, doesn’t seem to think that bicycle riders, transit users, or walkers are “traffic.”

“Traffic remains below 2019 levels and transit is actually lower than that. So I think we cannot lose sight of the fact that we’re building this big bridge with this big train on it to move very few people —and the important thing is that we have traffic moving,” Wilson said during the meeting.

Sen. Wilson also expressed concern about figures she read about in a story published in The Columbian on May 23rd, that despite the new bridge being almost three times as large as the existing one (208 feet of surface area compared to 75 today), it will devote only 55% of its lane space to “cars and freight” versus the 89% currently devoted to those modes.

Scope of the project (told you it’s not just a “bridge replacement”). North Portland is on the left. (Source: IBR)

Johnson knew what Wilson was getting at: “We’re not neglecting the highway mode,” he said, in a diplomatic but forceful tone. Johnson explained that while the new bridge will still have three through lanes for car and truck drivers, they will be wider (12 feet instead of 10 and-a-half today), there will be two auxiliary lanes, and four, 12 to 14-foot wide safety shoulders (in addition to the light rail and bike/walk lanes).

Then Johnson offered a question of his own: “Folks who believe we can widen this thing and put more through lanes in it, I ask the question: ‘What do you want us to tear out, Fort Vancouver or downtown Vancouver? Because if you widen and put more through lanes, that’s exactly what you will end up doing.'”

Then later in the meeting when Johnson was sharing a series of bridge visualizations, Wilson asked another question.

“Biking, walking, rolling, whatever you want to call it, ‘active transportation’, we can do that [on the bridge] now,” Wilson said, as if to question the wisdom of funding a major bikeway upgrade. “I would like to know what percentage of the rolling, walking biking is happening now compared to traffic?” she added, once again making it clear that in her mind, bike riders are not “traffic.” Then Wilson dropped all pretense:

“I have a concern here that we’re paying more attention to modes of transportation that are not at the top of mind, right? We need to be paying attention to and, and directing our building of this bridge, according to the majority of what the bridges should be used for, right? Which would be traffic and freight.”

Once again Johnson was ready with a quality response:

“I have walked across the bridge back-and-forth 42 different times. And it is an unpleasant experience on the best day. You have very narrow walkways, you have folks who are hauling bottles and cans on large conveyances on that pathway. You can’t hear well because if someone is coming they have to basically holler to get your attention for you to slide into the truss members. So the current bridge does not encourage walking or biking… I’ve been a bike rider all my life, and I refuse to ride across the bridge.”

Then Johnson made it clear that it doesn’t matter what his personal opinion is because quality bike and walk facilities are called for in the project’s adopted “Purpose and Need” statement so the project is obligated to build them or jeopardize federal funding.

“So we’re not neglecting any mode,” Johnson repeated. “We’re making sure that we’re building something that if you choose not to be in a car, you can safely have an enjoyable trip across this bridge.”

A few minutes later, Oregon House Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis followed-up on Wilson’s comments. Boshart Davis is a Republican who represents rural Willamette Valley, owns a trucking company and is co-vice chair of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation.

Rep Boshart Davis was also hung up on how much space on the new bridge would be allocated to non-drivers. “As we’re talking about that great percentage of space [going to bikers and walkers] — which in my mind says money and costs — in that aspect, is that part going to be tolled?… We’re talking about a $7 billion budget and how we’re paying for the project. Is it equitable across the modes of transportation, and the people actually using the bridge?… I want to make sure that as we’re paying for the system, that we are looking at equity, as we’re talking about it all the time.”

“We’ve heard the question of whether there will be tolling for bicycles or pedestrians,” Johnson replied. “I’m not aware of situations across the country — or even across the world — where bicycling or walking is tolled. We’re trying to create options to to decongest the freeway system and that would be at odds with that purpose.”

Then Johnson took it a bit further as he sought to reset the narrative. “The thought that the biking and walking is an add-on is a misnomer. This is part of the Purpose and Need of this project. So as freight is a part of the Purpose and Need, so is biking and walking a part of the Purpose and Need. We can’t pick and choose which Purpose and Need statements we’re going to meet and which ones we’re not.”

Beyond their clear bias against and misunderstanding of people who can’t or don’t want to drive, the comments of Sen Wilson and Rep Boshart Davis are in part motivated by cost concerns, which became clear when Wilson asked Johnson to give her the total dollar amount the project will spent on the “extra lanes” for biking, walking, and transit. (As in “extra” because they’re non-essential.)

Even the bi-state legislative committee’s chair, Washington House Republican Ed Orcutt, got in a dig at bicycling and walking. Orcutt challenged Johnson’s reference to biking and walking as an important component of the project: “There’s about 308 miles of I-5 in Oregon, and I believe 280 in Washington. You say part of the need for this project is bike/ped. Can you tell me how much bike/ped is allowed on the other 590 miles of I-5 in Oregon and Washington?”

And again Johnson kept his cool while responding to another bad faith question. “Representative,” Johnson responded, “one of the one of the issues is that we have very limited crossings of the Columbia River in the Portland-Vancouver area. So when we have an opportunity to connect biking and walking facilities on each side of the river, that was part of the Purpose and Need that was established and agreed to by the transportation partners. So once again, we can’t ignore it… this is a unique opportunity that would be missed if we ignored the bike/walk community at this location.”

It’s good to know Johnson won’t be cowed by these legislators. But it’s not good to know we have such high-ranking public officials in positions of influence over transportation funding who suffer from such intense windshield bias.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

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

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Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago

Given the number of people transporting bottles and cans across the bridge, I think it would be fair to consider the bike and pedestrian facilities “freight” as well. Unless the Oregon Bottle Bill is eliminated, or WA adds its own redemption program, the freight/Bottle Bill Arbitrage will continue.

I know this seems like a joke, but I’m only half joking. The few times I’ve used this bridge, I’ve passed more bottle redemption riders than recreational riders.

qqq
qqq
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris I

 The few times I’ve used this bridge, I’ve passed more bottle redemption riders than recreational riders.

In other words, the new bridge needs wider sidewalks because on the current bridge’s narrow sidewalks, you’re running into constant bottle necks.

Sky
Sky
1 month ago
Reply to  qqq

“you’re running into constant bottle necks”

Not sure if the pin was intentional, but it was good!

Zander77
Zander77
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris I

Few things would heal Portland’s chaos and degradation more than the elimination of the Bottle Bill. I can think of no program, past or present, that has done more harm.

blumdrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Zander77

God forbid we have a program that allows people to make minor amounts of money to support their basic need while also helping to reduce litter.

The bottle bill is a win-win, sorry you would rather make poor peoples lives even worse just so you maybe won’t have the inconvenience of seeing them

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 month ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Keep the program, change the way it is paid out.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

Amen, MoRG! Put the redemption value on an Oregon Trail card or some other food-purchasing program. You shouldn’t be able to buy drugs with container deposits.

dw
dw
1 month ago
Reply to  blumdrew

Not sure it really reduces litter. I see people all the time who are flinging garbage everywhere in search of a can or two.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago
Reply to  dw

Well, that’s because they’re taking away the trash cans. Not everyone is going to hold onto their trash until they find One of the quickly disappearing cans to throw it into.

Micah Prange
Micah Prange
1 month ago
Reply to  Zander77

On the contrary, we should expand the bottle bill system to cover all of the packaging that our current system uses. Forcing retailers to bear the cost of recycling/disposal of the packaging they produce would allow market forces to find better solutions than what we have now, which encourages extra packaging to societal detriment. I know this is not a realistic proposal, but the morality of it is clear.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Micah Prange

I agree, Micah. I pick up trash all the time, as a public service, and I marvel at the amount of trash people toss. But if it had value, people wouldn’t toss it so readily, and when they did, others would pick it up and get the deposit.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago
Reply to  Zander77

Explain.

Bill Berry
Bill Berry
1 month ago
Reply to  Zander77

You’ve got little experience with poverty or empathy. Maybe both.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

you have folks who are hauling bottles and cans on large conveyances on that pathway.

True! I’ve spent just a couple of hours in the past 2-3 years crossing the I-5 bridge, yet in just that short time I encountered 3-4 guys hauling large bags of returnable containers from the WA side to the OR side. Wouldn’t be surprised if those were illegal returns of containers not purchased in Oregon (WA has no bottle bill, unfortunately). Maybe when we have a better bridge the cops can stop those guys.

As for all of the anti-bike and anti-ped comments by Repubs, I say: Get real! Every bridge in the country is now required to have bike and ped facilities. We’re not in the 1950s anymore!

Nick
Nick
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

I’d bet a decent number of those cans were purchased by Washingtonians in Oregon to illegally avoid paying sales tax

VanBiker
VanBiker
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick

Ugh. WA hate is as exhausting as bike hate or homeless hate.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick

Maybe some were, Nick, but the guys hauling those bags don’t look like they have much disposable income (they didn’t buy the beverages).

resopmok
resopmok
1 month ago

It’s not nice to know about it but politicians these days are looking for anywhere they can stoke culture wars in order to maintain their relevance. The unfortunate side effect is that ostensibly nonpartisan issues like climate and transportation get dragged into the mud with everyone else. Ashes to ashes, we all fall down!

Douglas K.
Douglas K.
1 month ago

Eliminate the “bridge removal” component from the project, and there’s no need for pedestrian, bike, or transit lanes on the Columbia River bridge. The Interstate Bridge could handle all of that stuff while freeway traffic goes elsewhere.

Which means that ODOT could make the Columbia River Bridge skinnier and save some money. (Not that ODOT would ever do that, of course.)

Basiluzzo
Basiluzzo
1 month ago
Reply to  Douglas K.

I’m no expert but I suspect the cost saving of eliminating bike/ped lanes wouldn’t be that much. And remember that part of what’d driving (pun, sorry) this project is that when The Big One comes, the old bridge falls into the river. So it needs to be removed so that its debris will not block river traffic.

blumdrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Basiluzzo

This may be true, but there’s countless bridges and ramps that run over/near every freeway in this state. Almost all of them will collapse in the big one, or at least be severely weakened. If we were to remove all legacy transportation infrastructure that isn’t likely to survive a 9.0 earthquake, we’d have nothing left.

And what about the BNSF bridge then? Or any of the non-seismically resistant Willamette river bridges? I just feel like it’s insane to remove the existing bridges (especially the 1950s one)

Douglas K.
Douglas K.
1 month ago
Reply to  Basiluzzo

Alternate scenario: ODOT turns the bridges over to Trimet under an agreement that the bridges are Trimet’s problem now, and if Trimet allows private cars, they will charge a toll 10% higher than the freeway. (Reduces competition with ODOT, and discourages excessive traffic on the old bridges).

Trimet immediately opens the 1958 span to two-way tolled traffic. They use that revenue to give the 1917 span a complete overhaul and a seismic upgrade, and stripe it for two 11-foot car lanes and a 10-foot protected bike lane. Then they move the tolled traffic over to the 1917 span, and rehab the 1958 span for two-way light-rail and bus traffic, plus another protected 10-foot bike lane.

Trimet works with C-Tran and the DOTs to replace the big loopy freeway ramp at W 5th and Washington with a large transit center, providing a transfer between MAX and all C-Tran downtown buses.

Once finished, tolls on the 1917 span will pay off the whole cost of the project over time. And when the Big One hits … we all find out how well the seismic upgrades worked.

Wooster
Wooster
1 month ago

Have they never heard of the Pedestrian/Bicycle Bill?! It would be completely illegal to build a brand new bridge and not include pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago
Reply to  Wooster

You know, as well as I do that Republicans aren’t gonna read anything that has bicycle and pedestrian in the title.

Pockets the Coyote
Pockets the Coyote
1 month ago

Sen. Wilson also expressed concern about figures she read about in a story published in The Columbian on May 23rd, that despite the new bridge being almost three times as large as the existing one (208 feet of surface area compared to 75 today), it will devote only 55% of its lane space to “cars and freight” versus the 89% currently devoted to those modes.

Since it helped me to see these numbers written out differently, I’ve copied the math below. I do wonder if the percentages called out are comparing driving space to the total bridge, with structure, safety and maintenance access being lumped together or if it is only comparing what it publicly accessible, because not acknowledging the increase of safety/structure engineering and maintenance/utility access significantly changes the arguments.

“other” – Cars&freight
8.25 – 66.75 (currently)
93.6 – 114.4 (planned)

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 month ago

Can you tell me how much bike/ped is allowed on the other 590 miles of I-5 in Oregon and Washington?”

This person sits on a transportation committee and doesn’t know basic traffic laws. Outside of cities where there are alternate routes bicycles are allowed on interstates.

From ODOTs website:

Pedestrians and people riding bicycles are banned on the following segments of interstate freeway:

I-5: from Beaverton-Tigard Highway Interchange, MP 292.20

to Delta Park Interchange, MP 306.70

I-5: Barnet Road (South Medford) Interchange, MP 27.58 to the

Crater Lake Highway (North Medford) Interchange, MP 30.29.

That’s it so out of 308 miles of I5 in Oregon cyclists and pedestrians are banned from a whopping 17 miles 95% of it is open to them.

Washington is a bit more at 61 miles. Nevertheless that comes to about 75% of I5 in Washington that is open to cyclists.

Edit: Not sure what’s up with that weird formatting. Oh well.

Basiluzzo
Basiluzzo
1 month ago

Amused that the same people who are against tolls for motor vehicles would raise the idea of tolling bikes/peds. It’s all posturing, I think. Agree with prior commenter who said they politicize what doesn’t need to be political, to signal to their constituencies.

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago
Reply to  Basiluzzo

They aren’t making a good-faith argument. They are just salty that their car obsession is going to start costing them. The Bike/Ped elements of this project are a rounding error in the overall budget. In addition to not complying with Federal and state laws, the elimination of the Bike/Ped facilities, or tolling on Bikes/Peds would not reduce or eliminate the need for car tolls.

Bicycle Dude
Bicycle Dude
1 month ago

I’m glad that Greg Johnson continued to remind the Republican Representative members of the “Purpose and Need” aspect of this project, and the fact there are only a few options for walking and cycling across the Columbia River.

My biggest fear is our respective Oregon and Washington Republican Representatives will throw a wrench into this project much as what happened a few years ago when Washington State pulled their funding, killing the the previous CBC, wasting $200M and 10 years of planning on a projected $3-4B bridge replacement. Now we’re looking at an estimated $10-12B bridge replacement.

What isn’t mentioned in all the hubbub is the fact that I-5 is part of the National Interstate and Defense Highway System. It’s a vital component of our interstate commerce, multimodal transportation and defense infrastructure that we all depend upon.

Eventually the river crossing traffic will return to, and surpass, pre-pandemic levels including public transportation via bus, and yes, light rail into Vancouver necessitates the adherence to the Purpose and Needs federal funding requirements for the new bridge.

blumdrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Bicycle Dude

It’s good that the CRC died, it was also a bad project. The IBR is barely different than it, if it dies it will be the fault of the state DOTs who figured they should just try functionally the same design that didn’t work last time.

multimodal transportation

The Interstate and Defense Highway System is, by definition, not really multimodal. Most states ban pedestrian and cyclist traffic from freeways when alternate routes are available. Sure, it’s common for some shared use on bridges (for obvious reasons), but it’s a mistake to imagine that the system is “multimodal”.

Eventually the river crossing traffic will return to, and surpass, pre-pandemic levels including public transportation via bus, and yes, light rail into Vancouver necessitates the adherence to the Purpose and Needs federal funding requirements for the new bridge.

Is that a hunch? Traffic is still below 2019 numbers, and elsewhere (thinking of Cincinnati) traffic armageddons have been forecasted by state DOTs unless they can light $5B on fire for twice as many lanes on a bridge.

PdxPhoenix
PdxPhoenix
1 month ago
Reply to  Bicycle Dude

EXACTLY. Nothing ever gets cheaper to build. One must only build it in a cheaper way.

And while there might not be as much now as before… The area is/will grow & surpass whatever prior records there were.

ugh

SD
SD
1 month ago

The most important aspect of this conversation is highlighted by the misconception of equity and its application in public policy.

Lynda Wilson’s and Shelly Boshart Davis’s comments betray their ignorance that people are segregated into groups by the mode of transportation they are using. It reveals that they think of people who are not making the choices that they are as an entirely different group of people. That resources should be allocated primarily to the dominant group regardless of the societal cost.

If taken seriously, this approach ultimately would parse everyone into overlapping and conflicting groups that would not provide a rational basis for any decisions.

More importantly, they would quickly find that people who are incompetent and greedy are extremely over-represented on this committee, and the magnitude of their enthusiasm for bad ideas and disingenuous comments would prevent them from being on future committees.

Noelle
Noelle
1 month ago
Reply to  SD

Expecting 45% of the bridge to be anything other than vehicle traffic is absurd.

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle

Where is the citation on your 45% figure? Go ahead and peruse the cross sections here:
https://cityobservatory.org/ibr-floats-new-bridge-design-proving-critics-right/

For the single level options, you’d be generous if you assigned even 25% to non-car lanes. For the two-level options, they are just cramming them into the box structure of the bridge.

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris I

Replying to myself above. It looks like this figure comes from this quote in the Columbian:

Eighty-nine percent of the current bridge’s width is dedicated to cars and freight, said Greg Johnson, the bridge replacement program’s administrator. The new bridge will bring that down to 55 percent, he said. The rest will be dedicated to public transit, pedestrians, bikers and rollers.

I see no evidence that nearly half of this bridge will be devoted to non-car transportation. They haven’t published updated cross sections, so this quote is bunk until they give us some proof. Everything I have seen so far shows at least 2/3 of the bridge capacity going to motor vehicles.

SD
SD
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle

Exactly, meaningless proclamations just like the one, Noelle, are over-represented on this transportation committee. A committee that would struggle to demonstrate a high school level understanding of the factors involved in transportation decisions.

But, I guess if this is a serious statement, Why? Dedicating 45% to modes that would have 4 to 20 times the capacity of the car and truck lanes is a great idea. It could move people more efficiently while freeing up those car and truck lanes.

On top of that, you can get at least 3 modes of rational transportation in less space than wasteful transportation. This in itself shows what a waste it is to double down on personal vehicles as the primary mode of travel.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle

But Noelle, we *NEED* to reduce motor-vehicle traffic by 10-20X in order to stop lighting the planet on fire. The design of this bridge provides only incremental movement toward those NEEDS (notice they are NEEDS – they are not optional).

Your status quo will kill us all, sooner than later.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago
Reply to  SD

Clever comment of the week!

MelK
MelK
1 month ago

Gotta love the argument that because someone isn’t walking or biking from Bellingham to Ashland, they don’t deserve a connection from, say, downtown Vancouver to North Portland. Are we also going to require that drivers–specifically Clark County residents who work in Portland–drive the entire length of WA-OR if they want to use this bridge? Why stop there? Why not require us all to travel to San Diego to make this investment worthwhile in Ed Orcutt’s mind?

These are the people in charge of our transportation system and the idiocy is staggering. We never should have allowed freeways through the middle of our cities in the first place; it established a level of entitlement and cognitive dissonance that I worry we may never be able to overcome.

Dave Farmer
Dave Farmer
1 month ago

An important item is separating bike traffic from pedestrians, who often have dogs, small kids on bikes and scooters, and kids on foot.
Any three of these can quickly move in front of a bike rider going above 10 mph. There could be serious injuries for both. Legal E bikes can go 20 mph.
Dogs and kids on foot can get in the way quickly.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Farmer

I agree, Dave. The idea that peds and bikes can safely share every MUP is pretty ludicrous, when you consider the space dedicated to cars and trucks, who NO ONE assumes can space safely with other modes.

RipCityBassWorks
RipCityBassWorks
1 month ago

I wonder if a weird collation of car brained Republicans and environmentalist/urbanists will be able to derail this project? The “auxiliary lanes”, wide shoulders, and amount of interchanges are super excessive. ODOT/WSDOT are trying to conveniently move the “bottleneck” from the bridge to North Portland as part of their attempt to manufacture consent to tear down thousands of homes and businesses to expand the freeway there. While interchanges are conflict points and too many of them drive up cost and act contrary to the supposed goal of speeding up traffic, we really only need two.

Basiluzzo
Basiluzzo
1 month ago

I wasn’t aware that this project as proposed would require demolition of thousands of homes. Can you point to where this would happen, and perhaps cite to the plan documents that show mention this? I’m in favor of the project but trying to be open minded to problems/objections and this one is new to me.

James
James
1 month ago

I stopped reading after “Republican law makers say”.

Noelle
Noelle
1 month ago
Reply to  James

It’s a rare time when they aren’t wrong. The proposal that 45% of it be for something other than vehicle traffic, especially when it would require destroying a historic landmark or Vancouver’s downtown, is beyond absurd. You Portlanders may not care about what would be destroyed here, but we kinda don’t want things destroyed so you can have 45% of the bridge for foot traffic when you’re not going to use it.

Chris I
Chris I
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle

We don’t want this project, either. They are destroying so they can double the car capacity. Half of the cost is just to widen and rebuild freeway interchanges.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Noelle

Oh, we’re gonna use it, Noelle. Just give us a functional bike lane – not the obstacle-strewn, narrow one we have now – and we’ll be coming over to visit you all the time! You opened that lovely riverfront area and I can’t wait to visit it as often as I can.

For people who don’t bike, the improved MAX and improved bus connections will incentivize use of those modes.

Mick
Mick
1 month ago

More lanes…..traffic engineers have known since the beginning of road projects this will do nothing to alleviate traffic. If politicians were truly concerned about moving freight and people efficiently, they’d be expanding rail lines & high speed options.

Serenity
Serenity
1 month ago

Perhaps these Republicans would be happy if we just demolished the old bridge, and entirely cut Washington off from Oregon.

Matt Z
Matt Z
1 month ago

Glad to pay my dues as a pedestrian/biker for the roadway, but I think it should be equivalent to the damage/maintenance I cause: A bike is easily 50x less impact on the road than a zero occupancy non-commercial vehicle. The Math: An average car weighs 4500 pounds with 4-wheels (much more for EVs and trucks). I weigh 200-lbs on a bike with 2-wheels: 4500/200=22.5 x 2 (2- vs 4-wheels contact on road) = 45x. That’s not counting: speed (faster = more damage), exhaust (oil/acidity damages asphalt), and more(??).
So, if a passenger car even get charged even $10 per crossing, that would be $0.20 for a bike or pedestrian.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Z

I would gladly pay 5X that, every time, to cross the bridge.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

The comments by these conservatives politicians are why we have the saying “This is why we can’t have nice things”. The bike and ped infrastructure is a small percentage of the total cost. But these politicians can’t accept anything less than full autoism welfare.
If they must have a toll then all tolls should be scaled to environmental, health and maintenance costs associated with each mode. If we set a car’s toll at $5, that would make a bike or pedestrian toll about -$10.

John
John
1 month ago

I can understand the ignorance of overlooking active transportation in the past. But with climate change and what we know about the value of exercise, these attitudes are unforgivable. Wake up Republicans and aspire to a better quality of life.

Dave W
Dave W
1 month ago

Conversations about cost often exclude the indirect but potentially substantial conglomerate health care cost savings associated with more people bicycling and walking versus sitting in cars. Externalities like environmental costs–which also impact health–are often excluded as well.

HJ
HJ
1 month ago

Sounds to me like those complaining politicians should get tossed on a bike, made to cross the bridge on it, and then have to walk back so they can experience it. Along with a reminder of the legal requirement for the bridge to have said facilities.
Oh and their abject terror as they do it should be recorded so it can be played back the next time they try to pull this nonsense. Easy way to shut down their ridiculous lines of inquiry. Automatic response, want to gripe about bike/ped? Ok you are now required to experience the thing you’re advocating against.