“I trust ODOT to deliver the plan… They’ve made compromises. And I think we should move on.”
— Mary Nolan on I-5 Rose Quarter project (5/5/20)
Chris Smith is outraged by what just happened.
The Portland Planning & Sustainability Commissioner member, transportation activist, and Metro Council candidate watched this morning as the unelected, five-member Oregon Transportation Commission brushed aside considerable concerns about the I-5 Rose Quarter project and voted unanimously to let the Oregon Department of Transportation move forward without any further objective analysis.
In response, Smith wants to strip the OTC of its powers to oversee urban highways. Here’s the statement he just shared with us:[Read more…]
We’re at that awkward stage in a highway mega-project when the agency in charge is under a cloud of controversy and still (after years of planning) doesn’t have an official endorsement to start construction, but still wants money to keep the project moving forward.
Of course I’m talking about the Oregon Department of Transportation and the I-5 Rose Quarter Project. And it seems whenever I do, there’s growing skepticism and concern from regional leaders about it.
Here’s the latest…
Governor Kate Brown spent about an hour with members of the City Club of Portland today. At the event, a preview of the 2020 legislative session, Brown fielded two questions about the controversial I-5 Rose Quarter project.
As we reported Thursday, the Oregon Department of Transportation and their bosses at the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) are facing an intense barrage of questions and concerns from elected officials and community groups over their plans to expand I-5 between I-84 and I-405.[Read more…]
This story is by northwest Portland resident, Planning & Sustainability Commissioner and devoted civic activist, Chris Smith.
I confess, I’m a heavy user of Amazon Prime. Not in the “I’m too lazy to go to the grocery store” way, but more of a “there’s so much selection, I can get exactly the thing I’m looking for!” way. If I can buy what I need locally, I definitely do.
I’m aware of the potential negative impacts of this convenience: exploitation of workers at Amazon warehouses, impact on local retail and — especially given the focus of my activism — last mile impacts on the local transportation system.
It’s been a long time coming, but Portland is finally about to take a big step forward in road safety. The Bureau of Planning & Sustainability (BPS) announced today they’ll propose a change to the City’s administrative rules that would require all garbage and recycling contractors to fill gaps in the sides of their trucks by 2022. The new mandate would apply to about 195 vehicles that currently don’t meet federal safety standards.
“What do the neighbors have to be afraid of? It’s buildings, people or cars.”
— Chris Smith, Planning Commissioner
An earlier version of this post was published by the Sightline Institute. It’s by BikePortland’s former news editor, Michael Andersen, who started covering the need for “missing middle” housing — especially in Portland’s most bikeable neighborhoods — for us in 2015. We last covered this issue in May, just before the crucial public hearings described here.
The most provocative housing policy event of this week in the Pacific Northwest started happening four months ago.