CRC Task Force subcommittee to identify a fourth alternative
The Columbia River Crossing Task Force unanimously accepted the staff recommendation to advance three alternatives into the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) process and appointed a subcommittee to identify a possible fourth alternative.
The subcommittee will work to develop a viable fourth alternative that aspires to meet the goals and needs of the Columbia River Crossing project and maximizes the utility of the existing bridges. The Task Force will discuss the subcommittee findings at the March 27 Task Force meeting.
4th Alternative Subcommittee Members
Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder, Co-Chair
Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart, Co-Chair
Jeff Hamm, C-TRAN
Fred Hansen, TriMet
Dean Lookingbill, SW Washington Regional Transportation Council
Tom Zelenka, Schnitzer Group
Scot Walstra, Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce
Walter Valenta, Bridgeton Neighborhood
Hal Dengerink , CRC Task Force Co-Chair, ex-officio subcommittee member
Henry Hewitt, CRC Task Force Co-Chair, ex-officio subcommittee member
4th Alternative Task Force Subcommittee Meeting Schedule
Monday, March 12, 2007
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Monday, March 19, 2007
8:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Monday, March 26, 2007
8:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Former Hayden Island Yacht Club
12050 N. Jantzen Drive
TriMet Bus #6
All subcommittee meetings are open to the public. Public testimony will not be taken during the meetings, but comment forms will be available and public comment is encouraged by email, mail, fax or phone. Comments received by the Wednesday after a subcommittee meeting will be collected and distributed to the subcommittee members by the end of the week before the next meeting.
9 responses to “CRC 4th Alternative Task Force Set to Meet”
“Fourth” alternative? Weren’t there, like, none beyond “multi-billion dollar freeway/transit bridge with no local traffic?”
DJK, as I understand, that’s what they’re doing – making sure there really is or isn’t another option.
I don’t see how an adjacent local bridge–even if it carries MAX–is going to do that much good. Look instead to developing the BNSF corridor into a crossing that can meet all the needs that have been advocated—local Hayden Island connection, MAX, truck freight route, improved rail and AMTRAK, bicycle and pedestrian, potential future NW streetcar. Only two paths into Portland from Washington is inadequate. I’m just as much aginst unneeded auto traffic as anyone, but with a growing population we need to be realistic and devise this one more option for connecting Clark County and Portland.
m just as much aginst unneeded auto traffic as anyone, but with a growing population we need to be realistic and devise this one more option for connecting Clark County and Portland.
What makes you think you can stop at one? The result of “one more option” will be that population in Clark County will grow just that much faster. What will they do when the congestion returns? Won’t they just have to build “one more option”? And then one more?
The key is not other options for driving, but attractive options if you don’t want to drive. The more attractive the alternatives, the less congestion people will tolerate and the less congestion there will be for people who continue to drive.
The problem right now, is that all trips have to get on a freeway. That puts the entire burden on facilities that have a lot of traffic with no other options – especially freight.
The problem with the BNSF corridor is that it really only exists on the Oregon side of the river. The connections on the Clark County would all suck traffic off I5 straight through neighborhoods in Vancouver, including downtown.
It is also out of the way for most of the current local trips across the river. There just aren’t that many people trying to get to the western parts of Portland. If you want to induce a bunch of new trips from Clark County to new locations in Oregon, that may be a good solution. But that doesn’t help I5.
What that corridor has going for it is that it takes freight traffic off the St.John’s bridge. But that assumes a new bridge across the Willamette in addition to the Columbia.
If you want to add a whole new corridor, extending 82nd street under the airport and across the river would make as much sense. Or, the preference of a lot of Clark County real estate speculators, a bridge out by Troutdale.
Ross says, “The key is not other options for driving, but attractive options if you don’t want to drive. The more attractive the alternatives, the less congestion people will tolerate and the less congestion there will be for people who continue to drive.”
Dream on, Ross. I sympathize with the ideal–I really do, I hate spending money on keeping up my vehicle–but people who have more money than me will want to keep their personal vehicles for all the discretionary trips that their rising middle class lifestyle demands. There would be less congestion, as you point out, except that it is inevitable that our population will continue growing. We’re one of the safest regions of the USA–and the world. It’s time to face reality. Either support the CRC with their new, mega bridge—or diversify to some other routes, which will be needed sooner or later anyway. Improving the I-5, with everything that really has to be done in that option, will suck up the available transit money.
“The problem with the BNSF corridor is that it really only exists on the Oregon side of the river.”
?? The congestion isn’t on Oregon’s side though. It’s in Vancouver. The city, the bridge, the river traffic, the east bound route toward Chicago, all of that is a problem for BNSF.
The fact of the matter is, Vancouver is a mess. At least as much or more than Portland when it comes to moving freight in and out of the area and from the loading docks. Of course Vancouver is working on this (They’ve allocated millions for another easier route in and out of the port area that doesn’t cross the main north south main lines).
But seriously, treating Vancouver like a seperate city (even though it is) isn’t rational. Because at the end of each day when families are sitting down to drain some brains out watching TV, in both Portland and especially in Vancouver, they do nothing more each day than act as if Vancouver and Portland are exactly the same functional city. Because really, that’s the smart thing to do. Now if only the politicians, transit planners, city planners and road builders can get that through their thick skulls!
As always, I’ve got my fingers crossed, and I hope to be able to attend at least one of those meetings. I want to see if the attitude really is toward a functional resolution or if politics are just being played out. I’m sure somewhere in the middle, as always, there is the truth. This whole CRC thing has gotten my ire up enough that I’m going to go, and possibly, if it would be of use, become involved.
people who have more money than me will want to keep their personal vehicles for all the discretionary trips that their rising middle class lifestyle demands.
Money has nothing to do with it, middle class lifestyles have nothing to do with it. No one wants to be stuck in traffic. And you can’t buy your way out of the congestion you create. At least not yet.
it is inevitable that our population will continue growing.
Yes it is. And the question is what investments will allow the region to adapt to that growth while sustaining it as an attractive place to live.
People are driving more despite increased congestion because they have no attractive alternatives. There can be no more congestion than people will tolerate. And people’s tolerance is determined by what other choices they have.
The need is for investments that provide better alternatives for more trips. Right now for many trips there are absolutely no alternatives. And for many other trips where alternatives exist, they aren’t very attractive.
We see a lot of development of auto-dependent housing in rural Clark county. The people who live there have no choice but to sit in congestion. The only places with enough jobs for all of them are on the other side of the river and the only way to get to most of those jobs is to drive. Is it any wonder they are willing to create terrible levels of congestion when that is their only alternative?
It’s time to face reality.
I agree. And the reality is that a $2 billion (much less $6 billion) bridge will not provide a long term solution that shortens driving times. Its just not worth the money. And I don’t think people are going to be willing to pay for it when they consider how else that money could be spent.
“I agree. And the reality is that a $2 billion (much less $6 billion) bridge will not provide a long term solution that shortens driving times. Its just not worth the money. And I don’t think people are going to be willing to pay for it when they consider how else that money could be spent.”
Well, we agree on that. And I agree that it is good to make alternatives to the auto attractive. Which is why I am favorable to bicycle routes and also to mass transit–as long as the latter doesn’t require extreme federal subsidies. I think we can build mass transit without the cost inflation we’re now seeing. Tri-Met seems surrendered to MAX system costs of $100 million/mi and greater. If it was full to capacity all day long it would be great, but it simply hasn’t been and what reasoning is there that it will ever be? Something sure is wrong here. I became interested in the Streetcar concept when I saw that it could cost less–but even that seems to be escalating. Having worked in construction for three decades I know that there are economical ways to accomplish the same result. It’s called “organization.” Our culture has had to make the same transition with other products–from hand built to mass produced.
Once the land is acquired where needed and the track is down, buying more vehicles to carry any extra passengers should be simple. (But don’t necessarily count on that when government money is being spent). I would like to see Streetcar costs fall.
There is a huge upward mobility trend underway in the Portland area. Due, I think, to rapidly rising property values, it may not last that long. But people will be spending their money and that means consumerism and–yes–auto travel.
But people will be spending their money and that means consumerism and–yes–auto travel.
I think you are conflating two things. People want to get where they need to go. A lot of people use light rail by choice, they have a car, they can easily afford to use it. They find light transit more attractive when going to work or the zoo or Forest Park or downtown or the Rose Quarter.
But if you work at Kruse Way, you don’t have that option. And if you live in Vancouver you don’t really have a decent transit option unless you are going to downtown Portland in the morning and returning in the evening. And Washington Square has transit connections, but they are not very attractive.
If we provide attractive alternatives to more destinations people will use them instead of creating more congestion. And that benefits even the people who continue to use their cars.
If it was full to capacity all day long it would be great
MAX is pretty full during the peak rush hours. Roads aren’t full to capacity all day either. And as more destinations are better served by transit, including rail and buses, all parts of the system will be more attractive and more heavily used.
For instance, once light rail goes to the PSU campus, transit becomes a more attractive alternative for any student who has a transit connection to downtown. And much more attractive for people who live anywhere on the east side. And PSU already has transit service, MAX will just make it that much better. And that means fewer students and faculty who are willing to contribute to congestion in order to get to school during peak hours.
The simple reality is that adding road capacity does not create an alternative to sitting in congestion. The capacity quickly fills up until congestion returns to the level people will tolerate. And if they have no alternatives, people have demonstrated they are willing to tolerate creating a lot of congestion.
The CRC’s bridge proposal is not going to provide a long term solution that reduces travel times. It simply isn’t worth the money.