July 8, 2008
Vancouver USA City Council Votes for CRC LPA
Light Rail would extend as far as Clark College.
The vote for the Columbia River Crossing Locally Preferred Alternative was unanimous.
July 7, 2008 11:16 PM
Ron Swaren Says:
When I spoke before the Vancouver City Council one week ago, I sought to make a comparison between the Portland metropolitan area and similar areas in the Unites States. What similarity? That of a (1) major city with (2) a water barrier and (3) a neighboring state across the water barrier.
Most of the examples I found (Philly, St. Louis, Cincinatti, Washington DC, Memphis) were well served with Interstate, State or federal crossings of their water barriers (rivers in these cases). The only city of this group with only two bridges (across the Miss.) was Memphis with metro population of 700,000. Cincinatti (pop. 350,000) has four Interstates. Moreover I didn't spend millions of dollars to find this out; I used my thirteen dollar US road atlas and about an hour, including making copies. A lot of other US cities on water barriers also have a large number of federal highway bridges. So why should we have only two?
While I was saying this certain members of the Council sat there, noticeably nodding their heads. Still those same people voted for the CRC proposal--which I guess shows you how powerful this spell is. And the reasons Portland leaders think only two bridges will suffice---flying in the face of the experience of a large number of other, similar areas are: (1) They already know that the rest of I-5 will have to be reworked--at great expense (2) They have a vain hope that Clark County will embrace an Interstate light rail (3)Federally subsidized public works projects are what a coalition of Democrat politicians, labor union leaders and professional bureaucrats really want. So if the CRC project doesn't actually solve Portland's traffic problems...we'll just try again until we get it right!! It's only money!!
July 8, 2008 12:30 AM
Istanbul, Turkey (Metro area population 11M: 21st largest in the world,) has exactly 2 bridges across it's river. They are 6 lanes and 8 lanes, exactly the same as our current highway bridges. They have plans to build a railroad tunnel, but at the moment the only way for trains to cross the river is on a ferry.
Both bridges are tolled. They also pay $10/gallon for gas, so there isn't much pressure to build a bigger bridge...
And Istanbul is on the only highway between Europe and the Middle East. There is no I-15 or I-25 running parallel, it is pretty much Istanbul or a trip through Russia. And we should keep that in mind how important Vancouver Canada thinks I-5 is: They put a stoplight on it.
July 8, 2008 1:19 AM
jim karlock Says:
Matthew Says: Istanbul, Turkey
JK:I just love it when local progressives suggest copying poverty stricken third-world countries.
July 8, 2008 1:50 AM
Bob R. Says:
Which local progressive is suggesting such a thing?
Everyone I know who opposes the massive CRC proposal is in favor of various alternatives, including local arterial crossings.
The point is that it is not the norm to cram all the connectivity between our two economically-linked communities into a couple of large freeway bridges.
Imagine if none of the arterial Willamette river crossings existed, from the Sellwood to the St. Johns Bridge, and the only choices were the Marquam or Fremont. Traffic would be highly congested... the solution would NOT be to double the size of those two bridges and bury both sides of the river under a massive maze of interchanges, but rather to add a series of arterial crossings to handle local traffic.
July 8, 2008 2:33 AM
John Russell Says:
Just curious, but where would such arterial bridges go? About the only connections that look doable would be Grand Blvd to either a reworked MLK/Vancouver or 33rd, Ellsworth Rd to 82nd Ave, 164th to 148th, 192nd to 181st, and WA 14 in Camas to 223rd.
With the airport taking up close to 70 blocks of the Columbia River shore, where would an arterial bridge be effective? With the airport where it is, and the current two bridges spaced the way they are, my guess is the only such bridge with a chance of being built would be the one from Camas to 223rd and Marine Drive. What do you say?
July 8, 2008 6:38 AM
Douglas K. Says:
We could transform the existing Interstate bridge into an arterial bridges if a new freeway bridge was built.
Also, put an arterial bridge next to the railroad bridge, starting from W 8th Street in Vancouver, going across Hayden Island and lining up with North Portland Road
Put a low drawbridge from 33rd to Grand Boulevard, possibly with a swing span to avoid potential problems for air traffic.
Aa low bridge could link 122nd in Portland to 164th in Vancouver across Government Island, with a drawbridge to the north. In fact, the same bridge also could connect to 148th.
And as noted, a bridge from 223rd to Camas would be feasible.
That's five possible arterial bridges.
We really don't need an overbuilt 12-lane freeway bridge.
July 8, 2008 7:55 AM
Ron Swaren Says:
"Just curious, but where would such arterial bridges go?"
Even though we can't do everything, I think the point of any new bridge is to reduce vehicle miles traveled. A multimodal bridge in the BNSF corridor would be helpful because it could also aid in improving freight and passenger rail in that corridor. (BTW, are you gonna publish my thread on the Mag Lev train? Bob R., Chris?)
Another viable possibility is from Highway 14 at Washougal, which dips pretty close to Oregon as the highway goes down onto Lady Island. So, a bridge there doesn't have to be huge. This would provide a shorter connection to Gresham and the US 26/Mt. Hood area. Unless, of course, you don't want anybody going anywhere.
These two crossings are far enough apart that they serve a population that doesn't have time to drive to the more centrally located I-205, or get on the overused I-5.
Now, who's a progressive? I'm a right-wing populist!!
July 8, 2008 8:39 AM
al m Says:
BUILD THE FREEWAY!
July 8, 2008 8:44 AM
al m Says:
Some of the best transit systems exist in third world countries.
Some people think that America is somehow the best in everything.
Disneyland thinking is truly an American characteristic.
'He who has the most toys win' hypothesis.
July 8, 2008 9:26 AM
Ron Swaren Says:
"And we should keep that in mind how important Vancouver Canada thinks I-5 is: They put a stoplight on it."
Much ado is made of the fact that Vancouver doesn't have a "freeway" through it. This is far from true, and I have been there at least a dozen times. Hwy. 1 does penetrate quite a ways into the interior of Greater Vancouver and then continues around the city proper by crossing Burrard inlet. Hwy 99a pentrates from the south. Kingsway is a huge boulevard which turns into something akin to US hwy 99 the further southeast it goes. The Highway 1 on the north bank of Burrard Inlet, linked by Lion's Gate Bridge, is essentially a freeway, albeit much prettier than the concrete canyons we have been building..
And why should Vancouver have a controlled access freeway anyway? There are few major destinations beyond it. The biggest one, Victoria, is served by ferries. So, this whole argument is like comparing apples and oranges.
July 8, 2008 10:04 AM
Bob R. Says:
"BTW, are you gonna publish my thread on the Mag Lev train? Bob R., Chris?)"
The maglev comment was published yesterday.
I'll leave it up to Chris if that should be worked into a new dedicated thread (or you can contact him directly), as I'm a bit swamped at the moment.
July 8, 2008 10:32 AM
Have there been any discussions as to LRT location in Vancouver? Clark College is not even two miles in from the river, doesn't have any significant connection to the downtown gridded Vancouver area, and is surrounded by busy roads. Plus, its on the other side of I5 from downtown Vancouver; how would this promote connections? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#25573628
I guess the bigger question is, are we just moving the Delta Park parknride across the river, or are we encouraging TOD and revitalizing downtown Vancouver so maybe less of the exurban Washingtonians drive all the way into Portland? I admit, I don't know a whole lot about trips in Vancouver that don't involve commuting to Portland, but I think it will be interesting to see how the light rail will be fit into the urban fabric north of the columbia.
July 8, 2008 11:31 AM
"JK:I just love it when local progressives suggest copying poverty stricken third-world countries."
Turkey isn't a 3rd world country, they are a member of G20 and a founding member of the OECD. Their GDP is higher than Sweden. The GDP of the Istanbul metro area is actually higher than the GDP of Portland's metro area. And I know you hate wikipedia, but there is a nice map on this page that is color coded by 1st world, 2nd, and 3rd, and Turkey is 1st world:
July 8, 2008 7:06 PM
Erik Halstead Says:
Ron Swaren wrote: The only city of this group with only two bridges (across the Miss.) was Memphis with metro population of 700,000. Cincinatti (pop. 350,000) has four Interstates
I was in Memphis to teach a class for my then employer back in 2000, and spent some time riding Memphis' streetcar system (which long pre-dated Portland's system) as well as drove into West Memphis.
Long story short: There isn't much in West Memphis. Much of the land is low-lying along the Mississippi River (whereas downtown Memphis is some 40-50 feet higher than the river); and the road system in Arkansas is pathetic compared to Tennessee (the freeways, as soon as crossing over the bridges, were pull of potholes and ruts; while Tennessee's highways were very modern and well maintained).
On the other hand, Vancouver is a popular suburb to Portland and yet choked by the lack of access.
July 8, 2008 8:16 PM
Ron Swaren Says:
Erik Halstead wrote:
"On the other hand, Vancouver is a popular suburb to Portland and yet choked by the lack of access."
That's exactly my point. With only two bridges we are, for all intents and purposes, equating ourselves with Memphis, TN, even though we have 2 or 3 times the population.. We do need more access---such as a bridge in the BNSF route--and maybe a fourth out at Washougal-Troutdale.