It’s a huge day for Portland transportation reformers who want Oregon to more quickly adapt to a future where freeway expansions don’t happen and we finally break off our dysfunctional relationship with cars.
Activists who’ve spent years fighting against the negative impacts of our region’s car overuse problem woke up to a major story in the New York Times that gave their positions and opinions a national platform. To make it even better for them, the venerable news source framed their story around a question, “Can Portland Be a Climate Leader Without Reducing Driving?” that isn’t much different than the main tagline of local nonprofit No More Freeways: “Climate leaders don’t widen freeways.”
Also this morning was a meeting of the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program where project leaders outlined the Locally Preferred Alternative to elected officials from around the region. One of them, Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty picked apart their presentation and assumptions and offered some of her sharpest opposition yet to the project (full story in a few minutes). And that was Hardesty’s second meeting of the day. She was up early for Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation where she expressed discomfort about ODOT’s plan to toll I-205 and use the money to invest in more freeways.