July 11, 2008
EPA Doesn't Think Much of CRC Either
From the Oregonian:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds that bridge planners did not adequately examine the potential for a bridge to induce sprawl, increase pollution and contaminate an aquifer that supplies Vancouver and Clark County's drinking water.
Among other things, the DEIS apparently fails to analyze whether they might be driving pilings into (and contaminating) the aquifer that supplies most of the drinking water for Clark County.
And here I was hung up on them overlooking induced demand...
July 10, 2008 11:40 PM
And a nice quote for the EPA letter:
"Seriously consider selecting a preferred alternative that places less emphasis on the expansion of I-5 and more emphasis on the provision and use of public transit, bicycle and pedestrian modes, and on TDM and TSM strategies."
July 11, 2008 2:44 AM
jim karlock Says:
did not adequately examine the potential for a bridge to induce sprawl
JK: Can someone define sprawl and explain why it is bad for people to live where they want to live?
I have some pictures of sprawl at: PortlandFacts.com/Smart/sprawl/sprawl3.htm
July 11, 2008 7:45 AM
Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is the spreading of a city and its suburbs over rural land at the fringe of an urban area. Residents of sprawling neighborhoods tend to live in single-family homes and commute by automobile to work. Low population density is an indicator of sprawl. Urban planners emphasize the qualitative aspects of sprawl such as the lack of transportation options and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods. Conservationists tend to focus on the actual amount of land that has been urbanized by sprawl.
The term urban sprawl generally has negative connotations due to the health and environmental issues that sprawl creates. Residents of sprawling neighborhoods tend to emit more pollution per person and suffer more traffic fatalities. Sprawl is controversial, with supporters claiming that consumers prefer lower density neighborhoods and that sprawl does not necessarily increase traffic. Sprawl is also linked with increased obesity since walking and bicycling are not viable commuting options. Sprawl negatively impacts land and water quantity and quality and may be linked to a decline in social capital.
July 11, 2008 10:37 AM
Dave Sohigian Says:
The reason that sprawl can be bad has less to do with the individual and a lot to do with the community. There was a time when suburban living made a lot of sense and was the best of both worlds - the space and freedom of the country and the access to amenities of the city. But this can only scale so far. The effects on the whole (environment, society and health) now outweigh the benefits to individuals. If you want to accurately represent sprawl you should consider showing not just the house an individual would live in, but the miles of roads they would have to drive, the health of the people in those houses and the community ties that they do, or do not, enjoy.
July 11, 2008 2:27 PM
Erik Halstead Says:
What is the City of Portland doing to decrease sprawl and encourage density OF ALL INCOME LEVELS AND HOUSEHOLD MAKE-UPS?
I don't see the City of Portland creating aggressive policies demanding affordable housing in the downtown core; punishing developers (through elimination of tax credits and other benefits) for failing to provide affordable housing; and ensuring that family-friendly housing is both attainable and affordable in the core.
Until the City of Portland gets with the program, families and lower-income people are going to live where they can afford it which includes Vancouver, among East Portland, Gresham, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Beaverton and Hillsboro, as well as Columbia, Yamhill and Marion Counties.
July 11, 2008 3:35 PM
Ron Swaren Says:
I certainly don't believe that a seismic event knocking down the I-5 bridges is something we need to be worried about. And I do see the point in the EPA's concern with the steel pilings that the proposed CRC structure will be setting on. There must be a hundred of them, from the renditions of their main plan, when you include all the elevated span over Hayden Island plus all of the ramps. They want to make sure the pilings don't pop out of the ground in a heaving quake so they will sink steel pilings very deep into the soil, and the leaching could get into potable water table.
Well, what if the ground spreads apart? Even a foot or two or a little better? Then it's lateral earth movement against reinforced concrete. So even if the reinforced structure underneath the bridge doesn't come apart, it is still "challenged." What are they going to do then? Dig a hundred feet down on each suspect piling and saturate it with additional concrete?
Honestly, I don't think a Richter 9 quake is really what we need to be worrying about. We're not anywhere near the epicenter of the Cascadian subduction. The whole faultline is 150 miles west of here and runs from Eureka, CA up to the West side of Vancouver Island. Most of the associated seismic activity has been near Brookings, OR so that is four hundred miles away from here.
None of out metal bridges show any evidence of earthquake damage, to my knowledge, and I have never read of any either. The older I-5 bridge has been here ninety years, and been through a lot of quakes of the size we would expect in this area. In fact is there any damage to any of Portland's bridges from the 1964 Alaska quake? That's the last thing that would be comparable. I would be more concerned about Cascadian subduction damage on the WPA coastal bridges but I don't think there is any there, either. I feel safer with the eight pairs of concrete piers the I-5 is on---especially if the two bridges were linked together with some structural steel, than I would 175 feet in the air on a new bridge with metal pilings moving around. With such long pilings there is just that much more chance for Mother Earth to somehow move against or tweak the footings and piers that this elaborate structure rests on.
July 11, 2008 4:52 PM
Nice million dollar homes Jim. I didn't realize that "sprawl" was only possible if everyone was CEO of a bank.
July 12, 2008 1:56 PM
AL M Says:
July 16, 2008 10:06 AM
Terry Parker Says:
Just like the spotted owls that scientists say need a range of old growth habitat, the elephants at the Oregon Zoo where zoo keepers claim they need a larger compound to roam around in; and with an exception of the singles hipster crowd, most (family) people rebuff the confinement of cubical living associated with high density heat island people warehouse districts; moreover aspiring to single family homes that have full attached yards for family activities. So called sprawl is a similar habitat sought by humans that can be compared to what is sought for spotted owls and elephants.
The real issue here is the world is becoming overpopulated by humans. Density is to human families what managed tree farms are to spotted owls. The singles hipster crowd embracing density and wanting somebody else to pay for the government services they receive can be compared to the spotted owl’s predators, the barred owls.
So in other words, when is the EPA going to take on population growth as the real issue instead of kibitzing on bridges that should be bringing people and communities closer together instead designing them as barriers for the most common form of transport, the 80 percent of human trips made in automobiles and light trucks?