Next Round of Public Input on Columbia River Crossing Starts

As we’ve discussed, the staff recommendation (PDF, 1.8M) for the Environmental Impact Statement phase of the analysis of the Columbia River Crossing product is to look at two options (in addtion to the “no build” do nothing option which is required by Federal rules): Replacement Freeway Bridge with Light Rail and Replacement Freeway Bridge with Bus Rapid Transit.

The task force has scheduled two open houses for public input on this recommendation before the task force finalizes the options to be analyzed in more detail in the EIS:

January 17, 2007
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Battle Ground Police Department
507 SW 1st St.
Battle Ground, WA

Saturday, January 20, 2007
9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Lincoln Elementary School
4200 NW Daniels St., Vancouver

Thursday, January 25, 2007
4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME)
4134 N Vancouver Ave., Portland

As we did for the last major narrowing exercise, Portland Transport will offer an online discussion of the options. Stay tuned.


9 responses to “Next Round of Public Input on Columbia River Crossing Starts”

  1. I hope that everyone who cares about our regions future will go to some of these CRC Presentations.

    They are polished but do not tell the whole story. Compare it to what we knew going into Iraq with what the administration was telling everyone.

    The CRC Project will not reduce and/or eliminate the congestion and the terrible emissions in the I-5 corridor in fact it will make worse. When you induce and bring more vehicles into this 2 and 3-lane corridor without alternatives they are making a big mistake.

    We can extend Light Rail into Vancouver without replacing the I-5 Bridges. We can take steps to get trucks out of the I-5 corridor and that will a lot. We can continue with a plan to eliminate choke points in the I-5 corridor and keep the balance within our freeway system.

    A CRC Project Bridge with 6-lanes is not in balance with a 2 and 3-lane I-5 corridor.

  2. I read the report from the Taskforce and I think scrapping the existing bridge and creating a mid-level bridge (which won’t have to lift) with light rail on it (connecting to the Yellow Line) is the best option. The only concern I have about it is the vague terms they used to describe the bicycle & pedestrian crossing. As long as they suitably address that, I will be very happy to have light rail go to the ‘Couv (even though I rarely have reason to go there) just because it will help with the overall traffic flow on I-5 (which has reached nightmare level I think, I haven’t driven it in a while). The next step is to deal with how to pay for it and how to deal with the increasing congestion on the MAX, particularly downtown. If the yellow line becomes as crowded as the Blue and Red lines (with the addition of the new line to Clackamas), they might have to start seriously thinking about moving the MAX underground downtown.

  3. Blake –

    The current yellow line should be able to handle a significant amount of Vancouver traffic if extended… many of today’s trains are single car, and run at 10-minute headways during peak hour. Adding a 2nd car will not change frequencies or downtown congestion issues, and should be able to easily handle 1500+ Vancouver riders per direction during 2 peak hours, in addition to the existing ridership.

    However, you are correct that we will be coming to a capacity limit for the MAX system overall at some point in the future.

    – Bob R.

  4. I will be going to the 27th meeting. I will ask for the Light Rail option. I will again ask for the start of engineering for East Side High Speed Rail. Get Amtrak off the two Willamette River Bridges. Speed up the service Oregon by straighten the corridor! Engineering the High Speed corridor into the CRC will not cost much extra and you will save the billion (or more) needed in 2030. At some point, freight and passenger rail (Amtrak and communter) through Portland will need to be separated. Speed is of the essence. Passenger and freight trains need to move at different speeds.

    Start preparing the road (rail) for the future.


  5. Ray, if you want high speed rail concurrent with with freight rail you are not going to get it with the CRC Project period.

    With a North Portland Street/BNSF alternate multi-mode interstate arterial corridor we get everything including getting Light Rauil into Vancouver.

  6. Paul, you still have to slow down for two bridge crossings of the Willamette River. I and others have proposed moving a high speed rail asset to a east bank alignment totally. Currently, Amtrak has to crawl (5 to 10 mph at the bridgeheads to make the three turns and through NW Portland) through Portland and your proposal doesn’t fix this major issue.

    Straighten the line, bring up the speed.

  7. Ray, I am surly not against re-directing as much as possible of passenger and freight rail away from NW Portland. I am all for expanding our rail capabilities that result in acheiving better utility and economics.

    Among the Bottle Necks/Choke Points that has been a major impediment in our regional rail movement has been this section of rail from about Ridgefield in SW Washington south in through Portland. Everything seems to be just get caught up in the lack of north/south heavy rail capacity and the worse part of it to me is thrugh the Port of Vancouver to the Steel Bridge in Portland.

  8. Is there a reason not to create a new heavy rail alignment along I-205 with a new train depot at the airport and extending south to the depot in Oregon City? If the future of the Central Eastide is not going to be a center for heavy industry that uses rail transport, perhaps new industrial development can be promoted along I-205 in Clackamas County. Perhaps even freeing up the Brooklyn Yards for future development.

    It seems to me that anything like “high-speed” through the center of Portland is unlikely to happen. I-205 already creates a high speed barrier through the city, the train would simply parallel it. I’m not convinced that the train depot needs to be located in the central city if the transit and other transportation links are there to get people to and from it.

  9. We should push for the DEIS to include the Howell proposal…new arterial bridge with excellent bike/ped facilities as well as lightrail adjacent to the existing bridges. This is clearly the low cost solution; it provides excellent transit options for Clark county commuters…35 minutes downtown to downtown with connections to job centers in N & NE Portland. This option also removes a significant volume of traffic from the existing six lane freeway and allows removal of some of the on/off ramps that hamper its effectiveness. We owe it to the generations who will be paying off any bonds for this project to have at least looked at a low cost option and not just the high priced ones.

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