December 18, 2006
Columbia Crossing Attitudes - Quantitative
Last week we explored the focus group results from the Columbia Crossing task force.
At the end of the week, the quantitative results from the task force polling came out. The Oregonian covered these, focusing on the fact that the results from Clark County are more favorably disposed to Light Rail than in the past.
Here are the full poll results (PDF, 348K). There are lots of interesting tidbits in here, but I want to focus in on the questions about tolls on p. 12.
The tolling question was asked three different ways.
Tolling as a congestion management tool only garnered 35% support.
Tolling as a way to get more predictable travel times did only slightly better, at 36%.
Only when tolling was presented strictly as a way to fund construction, with a lower toll for maintenance after construction was paid off did support for tolling reach a majority (51%).
Note that there was no mention of tolling on I-205 as well.
December 18, 2006 12:57 PM
Generally perhaps; maybe not much more than that. The Columbian had their take on the survey Friday; in our piece over at LoadedO about it, we tend to think that the CRC, at least, may have cherry picked and oversold the results. A close look at the open-ended question about "minimizing the problem" still overwhelmingly engenders road-based solutions, with light rail options barely getting a mention.
December 18, 2006 4:48 PM
Ross Williams Says:
Its interesting that they didn't even query the fundamental argument against adding new freeway capacity across the river: Widening I5 will result in more traffic and an increase in congestion on local Portland streets.
December 18, 2006 7:36 PM
My concern about tolls is if the Interstate or New Interstate Bridge(s) are tolled for whatever reason, two others should be tolled as well: the Glenn Jackson for obvious reasons, and also the Lewis & Clark Bridge between Longview and Rainier.
Why L&C as well? To keep Hwy. 30 from becoming a freeway between Portland and Seattle that its most likely no longer designed to support.
December 18, 2006 10:07 PM
Terry Parker Says:
With the costs to accommodate bicycles in the $125 MILLION dollar range, and the costs to accommodate transit at the very least exceeding four times that amount, what continues to be a missing link from the official tolling conversation is requiring tolls for the alternative modes of transport. The three ways the tolling question was asked only demonstrates a socially engineered agenda designed to pick the pockets of motorists so the users of other modes can have free ride and not pay their fair share for the required specialized infrastructure they would use. Therefore, “IF” motorists are charged tolls to cross the river when using I-5 or I-205, all other user modes MUST also be required to pay a toll. That includes transit riders (the toll can be paid through a surcharge on the fares) and bicyclists, not just the drivers of motor vehicles. Furthermore, “IF” motorists are required to pay tolls and the users of other modes are not, no specialized infrastructure for transit (bus or light rail), and no specialized infrastructure for bicycles should be included in the project thereby reducing the overall costs,
December 18, 2006 11:05 PM
Wes Robinson Says:
Terry, as a cyclist I'm more than happy to keep the current bridges.
December 18, 2006 11:41 PM
Wes, well said. As a cyclist (and an auto driver) I'd be happy if we only spent our dollars on maintaining our infrastructure. If Terry wants to figure out the costs of wear and tear on asphalt by my bike, I'd be happy to contribute to that as well.
December 19, 2006 9:12 AM
Bob R. Says:
With the costs to accommodate bicycles in the $125 MILLION dollar range
Is this an official figure from somewhere? I know that JK came up with this number, but he didn't (yet) share his methodology.
If (sorry JK, I'm guessing here) the calculation was based on lane widths for bikes vs. cars, divided over the total cost of the bridge, I believe that would be incorrect... there are fixed costs to the bridge whether or not there is a bike lane. I'd like to know the real incremental costs of supporting bikes on the bridge vs. not supporting bikes. Also, isn't the bike path going to be mixed-use, also open to pedestrians?
And, as others have said, I'd rather consider alternatives to building a mega-bridge in the first place.
- Bob R.
December 19, 2006 5:57 PM
Terry Parker Says:
A Is this an official figure from somewhere? I know that JK came up with this number, but he didn't (yet) share his methodology.
B I doubt there will ever be an official figure on the amount of money spent for bicycle infrastructure. The current political agenda is to continue to play a shell game hiding behind budgets and calling off budget spending for bicycling other programs.
What was done to come up with the $125 million dollar figure was to take the total number of proposed motor vehicle lanes for a new bridge, add in two more lane widths for light rail, and since two bicycle lanes are equal in width to one motor vehicle lane, add in another lane width for bicycle infrastructure. In that all modes will share the same engineered structure to carry the lanes over the river, the total cost of the proposed new bridge is then divided the total number of lanes, one width for bicycles. The real issue here is not about just adding some extra width (piggy backing) for bicyclists, but bicyclists accepting financial responsibility for their entire share of the structure.
If motorists are tolled, they should not be expected to subsidize and pay for the infrastructure used by alternative modes such as bikes and transit. If bicyclists are unwilling to pay for their fair share of the complete bridge infrastructure, maybe another less costly crossing option needs to be explored; such as pedal boats with bike racks.
December 19, 2006 6:47 PM
Bob R. Says:
What was done to come up with the $125 million dollar figure was to take the total number of proposed motor vehicle lanes for a new bridge, add in two more lane widths for light rail, and since two bicycle lanes are equal in width to one motor vehicle lane, add in another lane width for bicycle infrastructure.
Exactly my point... this methodology artificially inflates the cost of any bicycle infrastructure. Remove the pedestrian/bike path, and you do not delete $125mil from the cost of the bridge.
To use an example at the other end of the spectrum, a two-lane automobile bridge does not cost twice as much as a one-lane automobile bridge.
- Bob R.
December 20, 2006 10:55 AM
Terry Parker Says:
A Exactly my point... this methodology artificially inflates the cost of any bicycle infrastructure. Remove the pedestrian/bike path, and you do not delete $125mil from the cost of the bridge.
B My counterpoint: Take the motor vehicle lanes and basic infrastructure subsidy out of the equation and the costs to construct a crossing for alternative modes of transport only increases the price tag per mode. Therefore all modes must also pay their fair share of basic infrastructure and not just for their portion of the roadbed.
December 20, 2006 9:09 PM
I want to make sure that I understand your point. Are you saying that if the motor vehicle lanes were not being built that it would cost a great deal to create a dedicated bridge for bikes? I don't think that anyone is asking for one. Read Bob's post above again. His logic is clear, point made.
December 22, 2006 10:23 AM
Terry Parker Says:
If one of the primary purposes for a new river crossing is to extend light rail into Vancouver and improving the crossing for alternative modes of transport such as bicycles as the politics on the Oregon side suggest; transit and the bicycle mode of transport would divide up the lion’s chare of the overall costs of the structure. Adding motor vehicle lanes would then cost far less because alternative modes of transport are paying the initial costs to support the bridge.
Therefore my counterpoint and opposite view to Bob is that each mode of transport should be financially responsible for their share of total structure based on number of lanes used and not just an increase in deck width.
There is a cost to bicycling in Portland. The problem is that Commissioner Sam and Metro continue to play a shell game hiding the overall price tag. Bicycling in Portland must become financially self-sustainable with the bicycling community accepting the fiscal responsibility to for to pay for bicycle infrastructure without the subsidies from motorists.
December 22, 2006 3:01 PM
Paul Edgar Says:
All motorist get a lot more of a return on investment from the bicyclist then what most understand.
In core Portland then number of bicyclist/commuters that free up space on our roadways is now like adding another travel lane and that is a big deal.
Portland spends approximately 2% on Bicycle lanes and facilities and the return on investment in Portland for this money is something most people should not argue about.
If Portland should move to new dedicated Bike Blvd. like in Sullivan's Gulch from Gateway that would be great too. But this is where Bicycle Groups need to step forward with a plan where they start fundign this type of development. Without their support with real dollars a needed Bike Blvd like this may not get built.
Everyone wants to see good faith on the part of the Bicyclist to fund infrastructure or we will continue to see a big divide between camps. We all win with the balance we gain with the bicyclist/commuter.