October 7, 2009
Whistling Past the Graveyard
Columbia River Crossing project sponsors have pretty much admitted that the current project scope is unfundable, but that hasn't stopped a stakeholder committee from agreeing on an interchange design for Marine Drive.
Interchanges represent one of the major cost components for the project.
October 7, 2009 3:31 AM
jim karlock Says:
All they need to do is to continue the current Marine Dr. add lane across the new, or used, 6 lane bridge.
End of problem. Many millions saved. No tolls needed (if they also dump un-needed, wasteful, not “high capacity” transit).
PS: Can anyone verify for me that the “light” in “light rail” is for “light capacity”?
October 7, 2009 1:37 PM
Not saying you're wrong, in fact I can't even tell what you're talking about w/o visualization; but I see a lot of armchair designers on here that simply look at a map and visualize where they think a bridge should go without understanding all the design constraints at hand such as wetlands, property acquisition, access for all users and stakeholders, etc.
Have you done a feasibility analysis for your position, Jim?
October 7, 2009 1:47 PM
jim karlock Says:
ave you done a feasibility analysis for your position, Jim?
JK: Already done.
See the DEIS and NoBridgeTolls.com.
It is a variant on the supplemental bridge option.
Without wasteful rail (no study needed to drop a $750 million proposal to serve 1650 people)
And postpone interchange rebuilds until really needed. Even the CRC is starting to talk of this.
October 7, 2009 2:45 PM
"no study needed to drop a $750 million proposal to serve 1650 people"
How can you be sure its 1650 people? My guess is most of those are commuters who would rather have a nonstop ride downtown opposed to a ride that stops every few blocks.
October 7, 2009 3:06 PM
I think Jim is right in this case. Add minimal improvements to the existing bridges, seismically retrofit them, and you're done with the freeway portion. Add basic rail/bike/ped facilities and call it a day.
commuters who would rather have a nonstop ride downtown
Not sure what you're referring to, I-5 certainly doesn't provide this during rush hours. Light rail will ensure I-5 works as well as it can given its constraints. Insistence that a rail connection between the two largest cities in the region won't have high ridership is baloney.
October 7, 2009 4:35 PM
Jason McHuff Says:
As I've said before, it is highly doubtful that over the long term the exact same amount of people will ride transit as do today, especially if it is highly improved by getting its own dedicated right-of-way, a direct route that doesn't make a double loop on Hayden Island, requiring less transfers and being a train.
What I would like to see is a parallel bridge for local traffic (along with MAX and room for walkers, bicyclists, etc) so people don't have to use the Interstate, even just to get to Hayden Island (and being able to remove that interchange from I-5 would be a big help). It could also be an alternative if I-5 is closed due to a crash or something.
October 7, 2009 9:36 PM
Douglas K. Says:
That's the problem with this whole process: no serious study of a supplemental bridge. They pretended to do a "supplemental bridge" alternative that really just used the existing bridge for six lanes of northbound freeway traffic, and put in a new bridge for southbound traffic, light rail, etc.
There was no serious consideration of one bridge for freeway traffic and a second bridge for arterial traffic, transit, bike lanes and walking. It could work with a new arterial bridge, or work with a new freeway bridge and convert the existing bridge to local traffic and transit.
Instead, the powers that be have resolved to tear out a perfectly good bridge instead of reusing it to save money building a new one.
October 8, 2009 5:22 AM
jim karlock Says:
Jason: As I've said before, it is highly doubtful that over the long term the exact same amount of people will ride transit as do today,
JK: Well, Duhh. The long term trend in transit market share has been down for many decades. To expect this to reverse is probably wishful thinking.
Unless people become poorer. Then transit usage may go up. But for short trips, even the 80% subsidized, $2 fare costs more than driving and is slower and less convenient.
Jason: especially if it is highly improved by getting its own dedicated right-of-way, a direct route that doesn't make a double loop on Hayden Island, requiring less transfers and being a train.
JK: Of course you still have the transfers at both ends of the toy train, unless you are one of the very few that live and work near stations.
Jason: What I would like to see is a parallel bridge for local traffic
JK: They looked at this option early on and dismissed it. Probably for some BS reason like they also dismissed any proposal except those directly on the current I5 right of way.
Jason: (along with MAX and room for walkers, bicyclists, etc)
JK: Why would you want to spend millions to accommodate 50 walkers and 150 bikers? (Numbers, like the 1650 transit riders, are from the CRC DEIS)
October 8, 2009 8:33 AM
Nick theoldurbanist Says:
"Can anyone verify for me that the “light” in “light rail” is for “light capacity”?"
>>>> MAX is definitely not a 'high capacity' system. One could obtain greater 'throughput' using buses.
And Seattle's semi rapid transit LINK, with 4 car consists, has potentially twice the capacity of MAX.
October 8, 2009 10:47 AM
Jim said: "The long term trend in transit market share has been down for many decades. To expect this to reverse is probably wishful thinking."
...Why would you want to spend millions to accommodate 50 walkers and 150 bikers? "
So let's be clear on your logic here Jim: historic trends dating back to the 1950s showing a decrease in transit mode split are paramount. Historic trends showing a significant, recent increase in bicycle mode split are irrelevant. Does that about sum it up?
October 8, 2009 11:58 AM
JK: "The long term trend in transit market share has been down for many decades. To expect this to reverse is probably wishful thinking."
How does JK come up with that one--is he factoring in the streetcar era a century ago (back when autos were largely only owned by the wealthy, and paved roads and motorist infrastructure were still not well-developed), noting the collapse of streetcar systems nationwide around WWII, and claiming a downward trend because transit use has not returned to its pre-automobile historic levels?
October 8, 2009 6:55 PM
Jason McHuff Says:
The long term trend in transit market share has been down for many decades.
I could be wrong, but I believe it actually has been reversing here in recent decades. But that doesn't matter--what matters is future travel across one of only two connections (which cuts down the competitiveness of driving since people can't take a more direct way) between two large cities (and surrounding areas) that have both been growing. And whether more people would be attracted to transit in that market if it was highly improved.
you still have the transfers at both ends
Many, many people work in the Portland central city near the stations. But I wasn't referring to that--I was only referring to getting across the river. And I wouldn't call something that people board over 100,000 times a day to actually get somewhere a "toy".
Lastly, given the minimal present facilities, I would expect bicycling/walking to increase just like with transit.
October 13, 2009 12:43 PM
"PS: Can anyone verify for me that the “light” in “light rail” is for “light capacity”?"
Nobody can verify that, because it isn't true. The "light" is for "lightweight vehicles" and the corresponding "light" track. Compared to trains running on freight rail tracks, light rail vehicles are very light, and the track can be made from lighter steel for that reason.