October 2, 2006
Development Plan for an Alternative Columbia Crossing
Will Macht is an Adjunct Professor in the College or Urban & Public Affairs at Portland State University teaching courses in real estate development planning. The Urban Land Institute has published over 60 of his articles in Urban Land and in a book entitled “Remaking the Urban Waterfront”.
Will has produced an opinion piece (PDF, 961K) on how an alternative Columbia Crossing near the existing rail bridge could stimulate a major high density urban development in the "Quayside" area of Vancouver's waterfront.
Guest Column at 12:00 AM
October 2, 2006 11:44 AM
You know, speaking of this crossing. I just stumbled upon a "REAL" solution to this whole problem.
#1 First, whack the east side interstate in Portland like Vera Katz wanted to do. That opens up millions of dollars of real estate.
#2 Reroute all primary traffic to the I-205 Corridor.
#3 Put in place breaks along the length of the current I-5 and make it a simple "Highway" instead of interstate.
Another bridge needs to be built already...
October 2, 2006 4:37 PM
Macht's article makes good sense to me. I have two question:
1. Will captial resources be available for a project like Macht descirbes? It seems that when federal transportation money is involved, projects must be big in order to secure/attract funding. If the feds would be less willing to invest, where would the money come from?
2. What about bike/ped connections across the river? If we keep the current bridge, are we to keep the current bike/ped path (which is woefully inadequate)?
October 3, 2006 10:36 AM
Paul Edgar Says:
It is about time that reasonable people start truly analyzing the fact that the I-5 corridor through Portland is broken beyond our ability to fix it to meet 2025/2030 Interstate Highway standards.
There is NO-WAY that we can put enough money into the I-5 corridor through Portland to make it meet what is needed 2025/2030 for reasonable Freight Mobility to satisify what our region needs for local economic development and job creation. Not Good!
The fact that $8 to $10 Billion Dollars would only be making a down payment on starting to TRY TO FIX this I-5 corridor has to tell all of us that the corridor is broken beyond our ability to fund what would be necessary to make a dent in fixing all of its problems. Not Good!
We must start developing alternatives to the I-5 corridor, what ever they end up being. Smart!
The current efforts by special interests to replace the Interstate Bridges on I-5 at the Columbia River with a new wide CRC Project Bridge will bring more vehicles into the I-5 corridor and make the problems even worse. Not Smart!
With more congestion we will get more emissions coming from vehicles, worse air quality (it is now the 3rd worse air quality area in the nation) and more disruption to the quality of life for all of the stakeholders associated with the I-5 corridor. Not smart!
To build and fund the replacements of the Interstate Bridges, Rex Buckholder has publicly stated to the best of my knowledge that for the Oregon region to participate in ths CRC project both the Interstate I-5 and Glen Jackson I-205 Bridges/corridors would have to be made toll bridges/corridors. This would be very regressive on to every working man and women who has no other option but to use either of these bridges/corridors to go to work to support their families. A fact of life and a reality!
The problem is that there are alternatives to replacing the Interstate Bridges and making the I-5 corridor congestion even worse and less affordable to the lower income segment of the population. That is Good that there are Alternatives!
The CRC Task Force Staff has lead the CRC Task Force in a direction that prevents most any and all alternative options from seeing the light of the day including getting reviewed in the EIS process. Not smart!
It is time that the people take charge, get involved, build a transportation IQ where you are just not lead down the garden path by special interests, with extreams agenda's that satisfy a limited number of people at the expense of the mass majority of the true stakeholders.
This requires knowledge, reason, common sense and the ability to put your own agenda behind what is in the best interest of the people of our region.
October 3, 2006 8:37 PM
Terry Parker Says:
“There is NO-WAY that we can put enough money into the I-5 corridor through Portland to make it meet what is needed 2025/2030 for reasonable Freight Mobility to satisfy what our region needs for local economic development and job creation.”
It should also be noted that there is NO-WAY just throwing more and more taxpayer dollars into only transit and bicycle infrastructure is going to solve the any of problems either. As I have previously stated, the greatest need for the I-5 Columbia Crossing is to get local motor vehicle traffic off the freeway and on a local connector bridge and road that goes between Vancouver and Columbia Boulevard, and serves Hayden Island. This should be top priority for the project. Beyond that, any crossing that involves transit must be a shared right-of way with motor vehicles to be at all cost effective.
“It is time that the people take charge, get involved, build a transportation IQ where you are just not lead down the garden path by special interests, with extremes agenda's that satisfy a limited number of people at the expense of the mass majority of the true stakeholders.”
Special interests include: Transit (light rail and exclusive bus lanes) and bicycle infrastructure that are 80% (operational) to 100% subsidized respectively.
The mass majority of true stakeholders include: Motorists and freight carriers that are taxed and pay for the bulk of transportation infrastructure.
October 4, 2006 11:31 AM
Terry Parker Says:
Another special interest where the public has been led down the garden path to increased congestion is the perception that HOV lanes are an improvement. On I-5, HOV lanes have only taken away the use of a portion of the freeway for all the gas taxpaying users who helped pay the costs, and made the congestion in the other travel lanes considerably worse. HOV lanes are a politically motivated dictatorial attempt by the socialist thinkers in the transportation corridors of government to limit freedom of choice and place controls the way people move about.
October 4, 2006 8:59 PM
Jason McHuff Says:
But remember that even if everyone using a HOV lane only takes one other person per vehicle, the lane only needs to be half as full to move the same amount of people. Overall, when buses and vanpools are considered, a HOV lane can look relatively empty but still be carrying more people. What I would like to see is an expanded HOV system that also allows freight and other business vehicles.
October 5, 2006 10:36 AM
Terry Parker Says:
“But remember that even if everyone using a HOV lane only takes one other person per vehicle, the lane only needs to be half as full to move the same amount of people. Overall, when buses and vanpools are considered, a HOV lane can look relatively empty but still be carrying more people.”
A HOV lane is not necessary to have multiple people ride in one vehicle. Those same vehicles with multi passengers spread out over all travel lanes with all travel lanes available to all highway users increases the total capacity of the freeway for everybody. Furthermore, single drivers are paying the same high gasoline taxes that paid for the construction of all lanes on the freeway, therefore should be able to use all lanes on the freeway and not be negatively impacted with increased congestion because of one lane that has restricted usage.
October 5, 2006 11:56 AM
Paul Edgar Says:
To say HOV lanes are all bad is wrong. But HOV lanes can end up not providing enough positive benefits over the negatives to be justified.
On I-5 in the HOV effected areas at peak periods we see approximately 2400 vehicles in a measured distance, in an measured increment of time at the max LOS "F" conditions in the GP lanes.
These vehicles have been reported by David Evans Co. as traveling at approximately 19 MPH or less.
This adds to and helps create the 3rd worse air quality conditions that are experienced in the nation in a given highway corridor.
This kills people and places an undue burden on society and our environment.
This hurts our ability to move freight and do commerce in the Portland/Vancouver area. It almost stops most all freight activity in the core north/south I-5 corridor.
This reduces our ability to create new jobs and maintain our ability for area businesses to be competitive in the world marketplace.
It allows C-tran to redirect buses from their more easterly path of I-84 to I-205 into east Clark County on to I-5 and SR-14 inflating transit use numbers in peak periods in the HOV lane of I-5.
The HOV lane has to move 2400 people in HOV vehicles; cars, buses and Van's and that is hard to do with the gapping/density in these vehicles in the HOV lane.
I think if there were more GP lanes in the I-5 corridor to satisfy the number of SOV and freight moving vehicles trying to get through the I-5 corridor HOV lanes would not be contested, but that is not going to happen.
People have to recognize there are more demands with more vehicles then the I-5 corridor can handle with its current and planned capacity improving enhancements.
If something is not done to truly redirect traffic and create new alternatives we will just end up killing the people, businesses and environment and that is just not right, it is not smart.