Bridge Gets its Own Web Site

That’s right. The Sellwood Bridge now has its very own web site, courtesy of County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey.


7 responses to “Bridge Gets its Own Web Site”

  1. Hi, I’m Jason Barbour, one of the members of the Sellwood Bridge Community Task Force. I’ve posted here before using only the name “Jason” – just not on the subject of the Sellwood Bridge (for obvious reasons).

    So there isn’t any confusion with the rules/general assumptions of posts here at Portland Transport, any and all comments in this post are my own and not necessairly reflective of others on the CTF, the group as a whole, and/or Multnomah County.

    Glad to see this posted here – I had been debating as to whether or not to post a link myself.

    The CTF has had a few meetings so far, the most recent was held earlier tonight (9-18-06). I really hope we can come up with a plan that the community supports and wants to fund the building of (it’s common public knowledge the current funding is only for the planning and design, a funding source package has not yet been identified), not just create another report that sits gathering dust on a library shelf. It’ll take input from everyone.

    At this point, everything is on the table (rehabilitation, replacement, and the public’s suggestions), and we’ve (the CTF) asked for a “do nothing” “option” for comparison purposes.

    Thanks to everyone in the community for the excellent quality public comment at the meetings so far, including tonight. I’ve been in the spectator section of 3 and 4-hour meetings myself, and out of every TV show, event, or meeting one could possibly attend, I’m glad people are keenly interested.

  2. As I said at last nights’ CTF meeting, the prevailing opinion in the Sellwood Moreland neighborhood is that the Sellwood Bridge is one part of a range of transportation concerns in the south METRO area. North Clackamas County is experiencing phenomenal growth, which as things stand, disproportionately impacts the Sellwood neighborhood, as our bridge is the only crossing in a fifteen mile stretch of the Willamette beginning in Oregon City.

    Surely, in the interests of reducing the volume of traffic and miles traveled in this region some other point to cross the Willamette needs to be found. The days of creating bland, modernistic structures such as the Marquam Bridge have yielded to much more aesthetic and appealing designs. Further, easy connection between neighborhoods serves to enhance commercial success. Even if the 1999 Willamette Crossing Study held out no further options I think the weight of public opinion would indicate otherwise.

    I have a specific opinion on what needs to be done and I think it can be accomplished in a relatively painless way–and even enhance the communities in question.

  3. Jason, I appreciate the efforts of citizens on these committees. Thirty years ago I was on the CAC for the “Banfield Transitway” battling to get light rail put back in as an option after ODOT, CRAG, Tri-Met, and the City of Portland removed it. Our ally at the time was Multnomah County. Citizen skepticism is important.

    Are you in a position to do something about getting information posted to the new web site in a timely fashion? It was frustrating to read today’s Oregonian article implying that rehab, including the underhung bikeway, was not going to be cost-effective. I wonder what the assumptions were. I think that the material presented at the Sept. 18 meeting should be available by now, but it isn’t.

  4. we’ve (the CTF) asked for a “do nothing” “option” for comparison purposes.

    There is always a “do nothing” option, but who wants to spend a couple years worth of evening meetings to recommend doing nothing? Especially when doing nothing really means “nothing for now”, the problems won’t go away and there will be another task force created to address them again in a few years. For that reason, “doing nothing isn’t an option” becomes the mantra of almost every citizen task force.

    With the Sellwood Bridge the do nothing option probably will eventually mean closing the bridge entirely. So one option ought to be just that. Close the bridge and either remove it or transform it into a pedestrian and bike only facility. That might slow the growth in Clackamas County that is based on people working elsewhere in the region. That would probably help Damascus establish itself as a new focus for both employment and new residential development.

  5. Ross,

    I think ther are few things–short of a terrorist attack or a new ice age–that will slow the growth in Clackamas County. But ther e are some responsible things that can be done:

    1. Plan for more traffic. Even if jobs are created in suburbia ther is no guarantee people will stay put in those jobs. How often does that happen?

    2. Plan to shorten routes. Like getting across the Willamette–why detour several miles out of your route? That’s wasting both time and fuel and the condition of your vehicle. The bald fact is that Clackamas County, as a non-personal whole, doesn’t want to take responsibility for the traffic it generates and would rather “let George do it.”

    Sure, put in the alternatives to autos. But don’t expect human nature to significantly change. The supposed fuel crisis–now abating–has only spurred fuel saving measures and proposals–it hasn’t changed the reliance on the personal vehicle.

    Last night at the SMILE board we discussed the possibility of a complete closue of the Sellwood Bridge. It might be a good thing if it spurred Clackamas County or METRO to finally take some action.

  6. 1. Plan for more traffic. Even if jobs are created in suburbia ther is no guarantee people will stay put in those jobs. How often does that happen?

    I think it happens a lot. Most people do not want to spend an hour commuting and will take a job closer to where they live to avoid it. Or buy a house closer to their job.

    I think in an urban area you will always get more traffic than you plan for if planning for it means providing the excess capacity that most people take to be “normal” driving conditions.

    Plan to shorten routes. Like getting across the Willamette–why detour several miles out of your route?

    I agree that shorter routes are a good idea, that is the advantage of street grids and part of the reason limited access highways increase congestion.

    But I am not sure very many people are really detouring several miles ouf to their way to get across the Willamette. There are just not that many people who live in Lake Oswego and want to get to Milwaukie.

    Of course, if you put a bridge there that would change. Clackamas county would become a more desirable location for people who work at Kruse Way. And Milwaukie and Lake Oswego would get the “benefits” of their traffic going to work and back. Just as Sellwood gets the “benefits” of people who live in Clackamas County and work in Southwest Portland.

  7. Are you in a position to do something about getting information posted to the new web site…
    Sorry, no. I also have no idea why one of the pages says “Next CTF Meeting is scheduled for September 18, 2006.” It’s actually Monday 10-16-06, and our open House is Wednesday, 10-25-06.

    Last night at the SMILE board we discussed the possibility of a complete (closure) of the Sellwood Bridge.
    I think just about everyone’s concerned about this, which is why last week I brought up the sceneario of a bridge inspection that would say the bridge is not suitable for use and cannot be rehabilitated. Another inevitable possibility around here is a 1989-Oakland-style earthquake, where the entire region is going to be dealing with a lot more than just the Sellwood Bridge.

    Most people… will take a job closer to where they live… (p)lan to shorten routes…
    IMO, This theory seems like a good idea. Not everyone will, though, because we live in a free country – that means you can live in Oregon City and work in Battle Ground (WA), or live in Gresham and work in Hillsboro if you want to. We can plan for people traveling from just Oregon City to Milwaukie, or Battle Ground to Vancouver, or Beaverton to Hillsboro, but that’s just another reason certain people in our community feel they’re being ignored. We can’t have everything – drivers want this, transit riders want that, bikers want something totally different – and I haven’t even mentioned pedestrians, boaters, homeowners, renters, political commentators, tax watchdogs, the kids – the list goes on and on. However, I feel if we all try to listen to each other, respect each others’ views (not necessarily agree with them), and all of us compromise a little, everyone will gain a lot. Not just on the Sellwood Bridge – but every major project that comes our way.

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