Climate Change Integration Group Report

From Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder:

Attached is a big file, the final report of the Climate Change Integration Group (PDF, 1.9M), set up by the Governor to make recommendations on how Oregon should respond to and try to counteract, global warming.

In particular, check out the section on reducing vehicle miles traveled on page 50-54. Both transportation and land use policies to discourage driving and encourage alternate modes are recommended.

This report now goes to the new Global Warming Advisory Commission, set up by last year’s legislature and chaired by Angus Duncan, head of the BPA Environmental Foundation. The goal is to turn these recommendations into legislation for 2009 and actions by state agencies.

0 responses to “Climate Change Integration Group Report”

  1. What happens when people start realizing that excessively planned smart growth and light rail is a scam? Invent some doomsday scenario and scare people into accepting it.

    Sounds more likely then believing the equivalent to a speck of dirt in all of Earths history [humans] is the cause of climate change.

    Yet, WE ARE PART OF NATURE, so even IF we were able to change the climate significantly [which is both highly unlikely and still remains unproven] it would STILL be part of a NATURAL PROCESS.

  2. it would STILL be part of a NATURAL PROCESS.

    If you want to define it that way, sure… but then by that definition nothing could ever happen which wasn’t natural, because everything is all part of the same universe. An interesting philosophical debate, but not particularly relevant.

    The problem isn’t whether climate change is “natural”, it’s whether our influence upon the climate is causing a change which will be too disruptive for gradual adaptation.

    Mankind has proven that it can adapt to a wide variety of environments and social conditions, but that doesn’t mean those conditions are desirable or that the rates of change are harmless even if the eventual outcome is desirable.

  3. I agree completely with the need to reduce VMT to slow global warming. And so why are we even discussing a 12 lane CRC?

    Specifically, why are you advocating for a 12 lane CRC:
    When there are smaller/cheaper options to fix all the problems, (with the exception of congestion, which will fix itself if VMT goes down,) in the area:

  4. If Rex wants to keep up the local charade with help from his supporters he’s not being a responsible or truthful elected official.
    Instead he’s all agenda all of the time.

    Global Warming Skeptics attend International Conference in NYC

    100s of the world’s leading “skeptics” meet in NYC.
    100s of scientists, economists, and policy experts who dissent from the so-called ‘consensus’ on global warming.
    100s of scientists, many of them with distinguished careers and many appearances in the peer-reviewed literature, believe the Modern Warming is natural and moderate.
    They are being censored by the press and demonized by environmental advocacy groups.

    Will policymakers and skeptics ignore 400 or 500 ‘skeptics’ from around the world?

    100 Speakers Expected
    Plans for the conference include five keynote presentations and 25 panels of scientists discussing a wide variety of global warming-related issues. Approximately 100 experts will give formal presentations at the conference, with several hundred others expected to attend and share information in a more informal manner.

    Five tracks of panels will address paleoclimatology, climatology, global warming impacts, the economics of global warming, and political factors. Each track will consist of four or five panels composed of experts on some aspect of the general topic.

    Many of the presenters will provide written papers to supplement their presentations, which will be collected and edited for publication following the event. Other follow-up activities include planning for a follow-up conference in London in 2009, the launch of a scholarly journal, and publication of a rebuttal to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recently released Fourth Assessment Report.

  5. Re: Matthew comments:

    1) I am not advocating a 12 lane CRC. I am convinced the existing bridges need replacing and am supporting their replacement with Light rail and tolling. (The 12 lane configuration was created to be able to analyze the maximum impact for EIS purposes. Do we need 12 lanes or 10? This is info the Task Force has asked for as part of its decision making.)

    2) even a 12 lane bridge configuration adds 1/80 to the freeway lane miles in the region and will have negligible impact on total vehicle use and GHG emissions. But, tolling and light rail will have a real impact on driving and GHG and they will be part of this package.

    3) from my perspective, and that of the vast majority of the task force, there aren’t any cheap fixes to the problems with the bridges. Unfortunately.

    But, you can see for yourself all the information the task force has seen when the DEIS is published in the next week or so.

  6. “Yet, WE ARE PART OF NATURE, so even IF we were able to change the climate significantly [which is both highly unlikely and still remains unproven] it would STILL be part of a NATURAL PROCESS.”

    With that logic why don’t we just crank up the crematoriums again and get rid of about 1/2 the population, uh, maybe 3,000,000,000 people, so that there will be more resources for the rest of us.

    That would be part of the natural process right?

    While we’re at it lets start dumping nuclear waste into the ocean and let ‘nature’ take its course!

  7. John E –

    Would this be the same “Heartland Institute” which is funded by tobacco companies and Exxon, and staffed by former tobacco company and oil industry executives? Why Yes, it would be.

    But setting aside the source, perhaps the conference itself could be scientifically-based, unbiased, and open to people holding a diverse array of viewpoints, right? After all, the best way to be a “skeptic” is to lay out all the facts, without seeking a predetermined viewpoint, and see what can be learned.

    Or, maybe not:

    “The purpose of the conference is to generate international media attention to the fact that many scientists believe forecasts of rapid warming and catastrophic events are not supported by sound science, and that expensive campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not necessary or cost-effective.”

    OK, so the conference has a predetermined outcome. At least we can count on the representatives attending that conference to not be under undue influence from the conference promoters, right?

    Maybe not so much:

    [opinion from previous link] At the regular scientific conferences we attend in our field, like the AGU conferences or many smaller ones, we do not get any honorarium for speaking – if we are lucky, we get some travel expenses paid or the conference fee waived, but often not even this. We attend such conferences not for personal financial gains but because we like to discuss science with other scientists. The Heartland Institute must have realized that this is not what drives the kind of people they are trying to attract as speakers: they are offering $1,000 to those willing to give a talk. This reminds us of the American Enterprise Institute last year offering a honorarium of $10,000 for articles by scientists disputing anthropogenic climate change. So this appear to be the current market prices for calling global warming into question: $1000 for a lecture and $10,000 for a written paper.

    But at least those who show up and want to speak, there’s an open and free process to determine who gets the podium, regardless of speaking fees, right?

    Oh, maybe not so much either:

    The Heartland website is seeking sponsors and in return for the cash promises “input into the program regarding speakers and panel topics”.

    It looks like Heartland is “all agenda all the time”, as you so eloquently put it. I like that phrase.

  8. [Moderator] Al has once again given us a Godwin’s Law violation, but given the absurdity of the remark to which he was responding, and the creative way in which Al replied, I’m going to let this one stand, but please, let’s not go further down that road…

  9. The complete case debunking AGW

    Anyone show studies this and still has confifence in Rex’s charade is allowing their political agenda to cloud their judgement.

    Computer models don’t provide evidence
    of anthropogenic global warming.
    The IPCC has called upon climate models in
    support of its hypothesis of AGW.
    This report discusses the
    shortcomings of their computer models in great detail.

    The fact don’t lie.
    Politicians do.

  10. OH yea, Goodwin,

    forgot about him and how any mention of the worst that people are capable of gets the boot by virtue of his law.


    “Yet, WE ARE PART OF NATURE, so even IF we were able to change the climate significantly [which is both highly unlikely and still remains unproven] it would STILL be part of a NATURAL PROCESS.”

    —-> Well lets start dumping nuclear waste into the ocean then and let nature take its course, since nature has the FINAL say on everything that happens here.

    [bob-you can delete the previous comment]

  11. Rex –

    With all due respect, I think there is more opposition to this CRC proposal than you realize.

    I’m sure you’ve seen my postings here of the years, so you know I’m a pro-infrastructure and pro-light rail (within reasonable limits) kind of guy.

    But I get this vibe (not necessarily from you) from project supporters that pro-transit people are being asked to go along with this project because it will include BRT/rail, but ignore the other issues involved.

    Although you are correct that the total lane-miles are a small percentage of the entire system, we’re still talking about big impacts traffic-wise and upon the landscape.

    After viewing some of the project maps, especially with regard to the interchanges, it appears to me that the CRC proposal is a collection of everyone’s wish lists (that includes rail/bike/ped) without really considering the cost. Especially when you consider opportunity costs — there’s only so much local/fed money to go around and if the CRC were scaled back, it could perhaps be spent on other worthy projects.

    A number of people have raised the issue that in the CRC “no-build” analysis, the impact of tolling is not considered (it can’t be totally impossible to get a waiver), but the full build includes tolling and actually shows a VMT-reduction compared to no-build, which I find very hard to believe given the lane capacity.

    Now, I’m not saying don’t replace the bridges. What I am saying is that a project which is smaller in scope may produce a far more cost-effective set of benefits. It is clear that the interchanges need untangling (the interchanges through Delta Park to Hayden Island are perhaps the most significant congestion inducers, not the narrow bridges themselves), but do we need such massive structures? It is clear that bridge lifts cause backups, but would including improvements to the railroad bridge in the scope of the CRC result in a significant reduction of lifts on the highway bridge? Would an arterial bridge nearby take the pressure of local trips off of I-5, etc?

    Critics of the proposal have put forward a number of alternatives which they (rightly or wrongly) believe were not adequately address by the CRC evaluation process, or were rejected completely as being outside the scope of the project.

    Finally, I think a number of people rightly worry that capacity increases on a new bridge will simply drive the current bottleneck further south, affecting local access to I-5 and increasing pressure to widen I-5 through Portland, without realizing the massive future costs involved were that to happen. (Leaving out the air pollution and carbon impacts for a moment, widening I-5 would definitely involve rebuilding dozens of interchanges, overpasses, and viaducts, and would likely need areas of double-decking.)

    It is tempting when a project gets far a long in the planning process, and funding is on-the-table, to keep moving forward lest we risk losing it all. But I think there is still time to go back and review other alternatives which alleviate bottlenecks for motorists without breaking the bank for other future needed projects.

  12. Bob,

    You should run for local office. Your ability to ignore the obvious is astounding. Perhaps greater than Rex himself.

    That said, there’s no getting around the fact that this report shows clearly how the IPCC is misrepresenting science.
    Your all agenda all the time allows you to do you local part in misrepresenting.

    In stark contrast Heartland and this conferecne has no agenda other than real science.

    Your suggestions that they have an agenda of oil interests for profit is as valid as the IPCC.
    Only with zero authentic substantiation.

    You have nothing showing the conference, sponsors and attendees have any conlficts of interests what so ever.
    You are simply repeated the dismissive rhetoric
    which the closed minded agenda driven GW regime relies upon.

    But it’s a free country so have at it.

    However, being deliberatly wrong to support your activism is what it is.

  13. John E –

    I see that Heartland is offering to pay for press (does that include bloggers?) and elected officials to attend. The Marriott Marquis tower in Manhattan is a nice place, I’ve been there before, right in the Times Square area. Maybe Heartland will pay for PortlandTransport contributors and Rex to go?

    I’ll sit through whatever spin they want to put on climate change if they keep the cocktails coming.

    But you clearly ignore Heartland’s own claims as to the purpose of the conference, which I already posted above. Regardless of Heartland’s motivations, the conference is NOT science, because it has a predetermined viewpoint:

    [once again] “The purpose of the conference is to generate international media attention to the fact that many scientists believe forecasts of rapid warming and catastrophic events are not supported by sound science, and that expensive campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not necessary or cost-effective.”

    Those are Heartland’s own words, from the invitation letter. This is not a neutral conference investigating claims about climate change using customary scientific methods. It is a media event designed to promote a particular point of view from a particular subset of scientists, plain and simple.

  14. You should run for local office. Your ability to ignore the obvious is astounding. Perhaps greater than Rex himself.

    Please note that personal insults are against the rules, but despite the invective I’ll be sure to engage your support should I choose to run for office in the future.

  15. The reason I bring up various groups that are in apparent violation of;


    is because it is by examining these groups that we can see just how far the human mind can go to the extreme with various beliefs that now seem absurd.

    Nazism was totally acceptable, most Germans at the time supported it and actually there were many supporters right here in Amerika.

    I put the anti global warming fanatics into this same ‘mind set’ of extremist groups that threaten the very existence of human society with their ideas.

    This is why Goodwins law should not apply in this discussion.

    Your talking about behavior that could potentially
    destroy the entire species known as man.

  16. Al, I understood your point, and I let your comment stand, don’t worry about it. I just don’t want this to devolve into a “who are you calling a Nazi” flame war like so many discussions do once the allusion is made. Let’s move on.

  17. Rex states that “I am convinced the existing bridges need replacing….”Why is he convinced?

    The DOTs have produced no evidence that the existing bridges are structurally deficient. Their consultants claim they can be seismically upgraded for a fraction of the cost of a new bridge. Any navigational and bridge lift issues can be corrected by replacing the ancient swing span on the BNRR Bridge and the traffic safety issues (mostly rear end and sideswipe fender benders due to congestion) would go away if peak hour traffic were reduced with better transit and congestion pricing. The resulting decline of sov commuter use combined with some minor modifications to a few on-ramps would allow trucks to move more freely.

  18. Bob: Stop feeding the troll.

    Mr. Burkholder: I’ve been attending their open houses, and will continue to in the future. I got a balloon about congestion at one of them. (The CLF website actually has pictures of the balloons.) They couldn’t answer questions about air pollution impacts in N Portland, and given that my sister (who lives 100 feet off the soundwall,) has breathing problems that have been getting steadily worse, I haven’t been impressed so far, but maybe the DEIS will be better.

    One of the alternatives in the DEIS is to keep the existing bridges for northbound traffic, with a new bridge for southbound and light rail/bikes. In other words, right now we are studying the option of reconfiguring the interchanges, shoring up the existing bridges, adding light rail and better bicycle access, and tolling the crossing, the only difference between that alternative, and what that opinion piece/Bob R/I say we should do is that the alternative being considered includes 6 (or 5) more lanes of freeway…

    If we are serious about reducing VMT, (and therefor automobile traffic across the bridge,) and if tolling and light rail will do it, then why add freeway miles at all? It may be 1/80th of the freeway miles in the metro area, but it is by far the most expensive miles we’ll ever build. Couldn’t we save a bunch of money and environmental impact, (piers in the river, runoff, land taken up along the shore, etc,) by simply not adding those 6 lanes?

    And that will be the problem with the DEIS: The “middle ground” alternative will not look very good in comparison to the mega-bridge one because it includes a huge new span for those 6 lanes that aren’t needed.

  19. Bob,

    You sure go out of your way to ignore the overwhelming substantive science of the conference.

    I think you have some serious credibility problems.

    For some one who is exceedingly bias in favor of all the policies riding the GW train it’s a bit disingenuous for YOU to be suggesting the Heartland conference is itself bias.

    Bias in favor of what? Honesty?

    Your suggested evidence of their bias is ridiculous.

    Of course their conference is not a neutral conference investigating claims about climate change. It’s a conference to present and discuss the broadening science which contradicts the IPCC.
    Of which you have apparently chosen to ignore.

    The fact that it is important for the media to get a grip on the real science demands that it be a media event as well.

    Naturally your bias casts that as a strike against the conference?

    What did you call the IPCC Bali event? A media event designed to further promote the IPCC campaign?
    You’re simply wrong and are campaigning out your misdirected agenda.
    The essence of the conference and the Heartland report couldn’t be more clear.
    Your freedom of choice to ignore it disqualifies you as a legitimate contributor to the analysis.
    Categorizing any strong criticizing of your positions as personal insults is convenient hyper-sensitivity.

    Contrary to your MO, I have no agenda and the ultra clear comparison of IPCC modeling to actual known measurements in the H report
    leaves your position indefensible and devoid of any legitimacy or credibility.

    But agian it’s a free country. Have at it.

    And as contrary evidence stacks up and zero signs of AGW show up over the next decades you can claim Metro et al curbed the warming and saved us all.

  20. John E, you clearly have some strong opinions, but your recent statements seem to be quite the leap of faith.
    Heartland and this conferecne has no agenda other than real science
    Given that this is clearly a lobbyist-driven conference, how many reasonable people do you really expect to believe this? While there may be a significant portion of the population ignorant or ambivalent enough about the particular topic to believe what they want to, the readers of this blog actually care about these issues. I think any reasonable person living in this country is intimately familiar with the power of money to corrupt truth. Yet you want to bury your head in the sand. If it pleases you, fine, but I’d be embarassed to demonstrate such ignorance, even an an anonymous blog like this.

    The reality is that it is profitable for many large companies to deny the realities of health, safety, and the environment. It would take a real dope to miss the fact that these same companies spend large piles of money to deny the truths that hurt their business.

    Do you really believe there is no conflict of interest in lobbyists funding the pursuit of alternative “science”?

  21. I think you have some serious credibility problems.

    I report, you decide. I think enough has been said about this Heartland distraction by you, me and others for anyone reading along to make up their mind.

  22. I keep hearing this “need” to replace the old I-5 bridges. One dates from 1917, they say, and is too old to keep repairing. It’s held up by wood timbers in parts, they say.

    Are these reasons to replace the crossing? Because it’s too old?
    They didn’t replace this one, built in 1345: Ponte Vecchio
    or this one built around 1300: ADsek Stone Bridge
    And this one built in 1635 is still heavily used: Pont Marie
    as are the other 10+ bridges Paris built around 1850 including this one: Pont d’Arcole
    Even Bangladesh can keep their mile-long bridge opened in 1915 operating: Hardinge Bridge
    Why, even here in the US, we somehow managed to rehab this one from 1874: Eads Bridge
    and this one from 1883: Brooklyn Bridge
    from 1909: Manhattan Bridge
    and 1916: Hell Gate Bridge

    I’m not buying the argument that we need to replace the bridges a bit. I think rather that we need to do a better job of maintaining what we build.

  23. Global warming aside…though one would think it prudent to error on the side of reducing greenhouse emissions regardless…decades ago many cities or at least the residents of those cities decided that freeways through neighborhoods were destructive and unwanted.
    Portland was not alone in stopping the Mt Hood and I-505 freeways, but we got a leg up on the answer to the question, “if not freeways, then what?” Mt Hood freeway money went for better arterial connectivity and light rail, and the sky has not fallen. Indeed the SE Division/Clinton corridor as well as the NW Thurman/Vaughn corridor show that very propsperity that many cities in North America dream about…businesses, housing, growing tax base, etc.
    Motor vehicles trips produce not just carbon dioxide, but also smog and lots of other toxics that get into both our air (lungs) and water as well as noise…no small matter. Reducing those trips is about as close to a no brainer as one can get. And Portland’s success as a city is tied to this…not much congestion, good transit, fine biking, thriving neighborhoods. Whats not to like? Lower emissions AND more fun!
    The great failure of the CRC was their refusal to analyse the arterial only option with tolls, HOV and lightrail. The Governors’ Task Force voted 10-10 in Spring 2002 to include this in their DEIS recommendation, and ODOT promised me, a TF member, that this option would be included. But in the end, it was the option that no one wanted to evaluate…because it failed to replace the bridges. At the least knowing the costs/benefits of that option would make for a better informed final decision.

  24. Unit,

    I see you are following Bob.

    Dismiss the whole thing with mention of “lobbyists” and alike.

    Are you so naive that you don’t require anything to show that “lobbyists” are somehow fabricating the opposing science.
    You just imagine they must be?

    Stunning since it is the IPCC fabricating things.
    And the whole GW agenda is riddled with “lobbyists” from every imaginable GW interest.

    It’s not MY “opinions” which are “strong” it the sound science presented in the report and at the conference that is strong.
    Most importantly it is far stronger that the IPCC.
    Hypocritically it’s the IPCC that relies upon persistent leaps of faith.

    No, Heartland and this conference has no agenda other than real science.
    Despite your calling it “lobbyist-driven”.
    Which is absurd on it’s face but can you even describe what you are meaning by “lobbyist-driven”?

    Driven? What’s that’s supposed to suggest? That all of these experts at the conference are being directed, or driven, by oil lobbyists?

    That’s your wishful imagination.

    And far from reasonable.
    Believe what you want but avoid digesting the science in the report what ever you do.

    There’s plenty of people willing and capable of reviewing the skeptics information with an open mind and discovering what a sham the IPCC is.

    If you want to figure out what portion of the population is ignorant or ambivalent enough to blindly believe the IPCC you might want to start with readers of this blog.

    I see you are easily convinced that the suggestions of petty payments within some of the skeptics camp has corrupted their entire message.
    Yet the enormous sums being paid to the broad range of IPCC stakeholders means nothing.

    Any reasonable person living in this country is intimately familiar with the power of money to corrupt the truth would follow the real money.

    It aint at this conference pal. But the truth is and it’s crystal clear.

    Your boiler plate, shallow claims of lobbyist influences, burying my head, my ignorance, my embarrassment are no substitute for substance or reality.

    Your imagination has “many large companies are spending large piles of money to deny the truths” of GW.

    You make it up as you go. You have zero evidence of any large companies contributing any large sums to any contributor to this conference or that any of the conference experts have manipulated any science at all.

    Yet the IPCC is being shown to have manipulated science in their modeling and claims.

    It’s not “lobbyists” making up “alternative” science.

    It’s real experts doing real scientific studies providing solid analysis for everyone’s consideration.

    If you want to bury YOUR head along with Bob’s Al m’s, and Mathew’s in your imaginary charges of corruption versus review enjoy yourself.

    Al m,
    The only place there are fanatics in the GW debate are within the extreme groups loyal to the IPCC.

    Your fantasy about the skpetics threatening the very existence of human society makes you as fanatic as they come.

    ON my side there is NO fanatasism. Only rational pursuit of the truth. Comparing the IPCC report and summaries to the emerging body of science that shows it to be fatally flawed is a far more reasonable and honest approach your pandamomium and baseless trashing of the all of the many expert skeptics.
    What ever you do don’t go review the H report or the conference. It may brainwash you like it did me, right?

  25. John E. –

    Thanks, you’ve stated your view about the Heartland conference, you’ve provided your links, everyone’s had their say. You’ve made your perception of other commenter’s credibility loudly known as well. Terrific, all done. Now we can move on.

  26. Perfect Bob, I agree and you can move on while pretending the conference never happened.

    We can expect more sound policies around here with that approach. With the Governor and Rex trying to counteract global warming that’s been entirely fabricated. Somehow that’s a good thing?
    That is all.

  27. “even a 12 lane bridge configuration adds 1/80 to the freeway lane miles in the region and will have negligible impact on total vehicle use and GHG emissions.”

    “negligible impact” isn’t what we need, we need to reduce GHG by 30% in 2030. (If you’ve read “Heat: How to stop the planet from burning” by George Monbiot, he says that we need to reduce GHG emissions by 90% by 2050, and he explains how to do it. It isn’t that hard to do, but it would require that we actually work at it. And it will pretty much mean the end of the fossil fuel powered SOV as the middle class currently knows it.)

    But I don’t think we are ever going to actually do anything serious about global warming. I think we are going to talk a good game, but when push comes to shove we are going to do things like build a bigger bridge… There was a poll done last year, back when people were worried that cell phones were killing bees that asked the question of: “If cell phones really are responsible for killing the bees, and you had to choose between bees and cell phones, which one would you choose?” Something like 40% of the population choose cell phones. Think about that for a minute: A lot of people would rather loose the majority of edible plant life on this planet, (and most people would starve as a result,) than get rid of their cell phones…

  28. In any case, CRC type projects are exactly what the report is talking about here:

    “7.4.5 Transportation options programs to reduce VMT
    Other methods reduce VMT by shifting trips to more energy efficient modes. Currently, 71.4 percent of Oregonians drive alone to work, which produces far more greenhouse gases per person/mile than other modes such as carpooling, bicycling, walking, transit and rail. The State can invest directly in improving transit service, creating vanpools, or in building pedestrian or bicycle facilities in areas that are underserved. The majority of all federal transportation dollars are flexible, yet 53 percent of them go toward highway infrastructure, while only 12 percent go toward transit. The State could redirect more of this funding toward alternative transportation instead of using it primarily to build new roads.”

  29. Considering 100% of federal transportation dollars come directly from drivers via the gas tax, it would only make sense that 100% of those dollars went toward highway infrastructure and roads, while providing 0% to transit.

    Also, wasn’t it Sam Adams who said that the reason we keep building pet projects that benefit no one except a select few is because federal funds aren’t flexible and must be spent on trams and trolleys? Something doesn’t add up.

  30. P.S. I don’t suggest we cancel transit all together [maybe the MAX], but I think the funding should come from somewhere else, such as from the fare box. Then we can call it a “fair box.” :D

  31. .. wasn’t it Sam Adams who said that the reason we keep building pet projects that benefit no one except a select few …

    Sam’s never said that.

  32. When the cost of your mass transit projects exceed the revenue collected at the farebox there is an economic cost. These are invariably distributed throughout the whole nation. If, for every two dollars collected at the farebox an additional ten dollars needs to be covered by taxes then someone must work at a job to have the income needed to pay the tax. Their takehome pay reflects the true income (disposable) that will generate the tax that pays the subsidy. So, for the average American, figure $100 takehome pay to generate the ten dollars subsidy for the mass transit ride—or roughly a day’s work. The day’s work in most cases requires a car commute.

    So your mass transit ride requires a car commute trip somewhere else–when the ride is in the highly subsidized category. It’s very simple economics, dude.

  33. Getting back on topic I see two major failures in this report, that are sadly perpetuated by Metro.

    1. Lack of affordable housing near employment areas such as downtown. There is too much “give-in” to wealthy developers who have zero interest in actually providing afforable, decent housing; therefore service sector employees are still required to live far distances from work – and given the reliability of our transit system largely rely on single occupant motor vehicles, and often older, less fuel efficient and more polluting motor vehicles. Tax credits for “efficient” cars are not going to help these folks that can barely scrape up $3,000 to buy a ten year old junker. Affordable, quality housing must be PRIORITY ONE.

    2. There is absolutely zero mention of improving mass transit – specifically bus service. This is a constant refrain of Metro. The fact is that Portland is spread out and this isn’t going to change. MAX light rail lines are expensive to build and can’t just be plopped anywhere. Bus service is the solution for many areas, and can make a positive difference towards reducing congestion and pollution if Portland were willing to invest in it. And since Metro holds onto the regional transportation dollars, Metro needs to step up to the plate and start funding regional bus service to serve all of Metro’s service area.

    It is hard to tell someone getting by on $11/hour who has to work in/near downtown to “be more energy efficient” when they can’t afford downtown housing, nor their work schedules coincide with bus or MAX service. Telling someone that the solution is to drive to a MAX park-and-ride is counter productive because that old, polluting car is still on the road; still making trips to the grocery store and other destinations. Providing quality bus service “door to door”, literally, makes it more likely that someone will find it convenient to use the bus to the nearby grocery store that is just a few bus stops away.

    Ironically, section 7.3 discusses the use of hybrid-electric vehicles at length. It would seem that there should be natural support for TriMet to purchase hybrid-electric busses to further decrease the environmental impact of transit busses, but this appears to be “off the radar” of Metro like so many other issues involving bus service in the Portland metropolitan area.

  34. Yeah Matthew, the earth, in its billions of years of existence, has never experienced anything so destructive as humans!

    Comets, massive volcanic eruptions, ice ages … They we’re all a mere pittance compared to dreaded AGW!!

    However, we probably would agree we are overconsuming our ocean’s foodstocks and we have far too many people on this planet. Reducing our population growth is way more important than banning cars. Why do greenies never seem to talk about population control any more?

    That said, spending our precious tax dollars on economically unsound light rail projects and banning automobiles will do nothing but force the next generations into crowded, disease-ridden tenements ala Soylent Green. I don’t want to leave a future like that to my children.

    Controlling birthrates (which tend to come naturally with industrialization) and finding alternative fuels to power our automobiles is the best way to ensure a high quality of life for future generations.

  35. ala Soylent Green.

    Soylent Green mentions the “Greenhouse Effect” by name, the death of ocean life, as well as referencing runaway consumption. And aside from the “scoops”, nobody drives cars in Soylent Green, they only live in them. (I’m not making a point about anybody’s comments in particular, just noting how some of these issues were being reference in popular culture 35 years ago.) At least we’re not (movie spoilers deleted) just yet.

  36. There is absolutely zero mention of improving mass transit

    Under section 2.1, “Co-Benefits to Climate Change Mitigation”, page 25:

    Increased use of public transportation. Lack of physical activity is a major contributor to obesity and other adverse health outcomes. Because using public transportation requires walking to or from transit stops, increasing public transportation use can substantially increase daily physical activity.

    From Table 2.4, Page 33:

    TRAN-15 | Improve mass transit and inter-city transit links.

    7.4.4, “Pricing policies to reduce VMT”, Page 48:

    An important ingredient to the success of these programs, however, was a substantial increase in spending (from revenues generated through the program) in public transit and other mobility improvements for affected citizens.

    7.4.6 “Land-use planning to reduce VMT”, Page 49:

    Higher-density, mixed-use developments are much easier to serve with transit and reduce the distances between residences and destinations, making bicycle and pedestrian trips much more feasible. […] Supporting transit-oriented development (or TOD; development that is close to transit lines and has facilities allowing residents safe access to those lines) in proportion with the projected increase in transit trips created by the development.

    Appendix 4, “Status of deferred measures from 2004 global warming advisory group”, page 5:

    TRAN 22 Convert Tri-Met, other bus transit fleets to hybrid or Low Emissions technology

    Also, buses are mentioned 7 times in the report, and rail is mentioned 7 times in the report (including individual references to freight rail and high-speed rail as well as light rail transit).

  37. page 33: ODOT has Federal funds for rural and intercity bus service to fund new or expanded service in Welches, Sandy, Yamhill County, Curry County, Linn County, Hood River, The Dalles, Columbia County and other areas of Oregon.

    The key is “rural and intercity” bus service. Further this program does not benefit nor encourage “dense” housing/development.

    page 59: Instead of concentrating on diverse behavior patterns (energy use, waste disposal, travel) in one sector (e.g., neighborhoods, businesses, schools) the project’s goal was to get people out of their cars and onto buses, light rail, sidewalks and bicycles regardless of whether they were traveling for school, recreation, work or errands.

    Busses are only noted as one example (albeit it is mentioned); however the report does not mention that TriMet’s bus ridership dropped in the last two years; indiciating a possible disconnect between the intent of the study and actual consumer action.

    Appendix 4 – Page 4: Currently have 2 roundtrip trains and 2 roundtrip buses.

    In general, buses now pay for themselves.

    Refers to Portland-Eugene rail service, in which two busses handle additional schedules due to the inability to fund additional rail service. Does not have anything to do with mass transit service.

    Appendix 4 – Page 5: Convert Tri-Met, other bus transit fleets to hybrid or equivalent Low Emissions vehicles

    If one looks at the “status” one would see next to TriMet:

    B5, electric light rail

    Compared with:

    Cherriots: 35 B20, 45 more compressed natural gas 14 EPA 2007 specs clean diesel on order
    Corvallis: All B20
    Lane Transit District: Testing B15 with 10 of 115 buses
    Umpqua Transit: Problems with biodiesel for 13 older buses. Resumed diesel use.
    Rogue Valley Transit: 15 compressed nat. gas, 8 diesel

    This shows that TriMet’s “commitment” towards clearer busses is far behind other transit agencies, and essentially states TriMet has fulfilled its obligations to limit greenhouse gasses simply by operating light rail; without taking substantial efforts to make positive investments towards its bus fleet.

    If there was any misstatement indicated by myself it is that I stated there was no mention; when in fact I should have stated little mention. Of the seven instances of the word “bus” only one had to do with access to mass transit; and even then had virtually nothing to say about Portland’s failure to invest in quality bus service that enables close to “door to door” service but rather Portland’s investment in subsidized “free” parking lots that enable single occupant motorists to drive to a parking lot, and drive home, while being subsidized by transit users who do not use such facilities and do not create additional greenhouse effect through their choice of using transit as a door-to-door solution, not a parking lot-to-door solution.

  38. Erik, you still don’t get it.

    Its not about greenhouse gasses or providing an efficient public service.

    Its about a post card image and the bragging rights of being the most “euro” city.

  39. Ugh… 1.9MB is going to take too long to download on dial-up before commenting.

    Since part of this has devolved into another pro/anti-CRC debate, I think that can be nicely summed up as follows:
    – Clark Co. doesn’t like it because it includes modes of transit other than those preferable to SOV users.
    – Portland doesn’t like it because it includes more freeway lanes.

    Just a few other things I’d like to provide my 2 dollars on (2 cents adjusted for “inflation and record diesel prices”):
    If, for every two dollars collected at the farebox an additional ten dollars needs to be covered by taxes then someone must work at a job to have the income needed to pay the tax.
    This, IMO, is the problem – to the best of my knowledge, there’s nothing in ADA/EOE laws that prohibit discrimination based on public transit usage. Employers and their HR departments and hiring managers have all been tricked into thinking that someone who uses public transit is inferior to anyone else they could hire. (I wish I could’ve made it to the “Transit’s Dirty Little Secret” presentation that Chris wrote about on here several times – actual facts and data to back up what I already know.) There is absolutely no reason why someone working a desk job with set days and hours, in an office that’s on a bus route that runs continuously from 5AM until 1AM the next morning, and who’s job doesn’t have anything to do with delivery or “runs,” should be required to hold a drivers license, nor should they be required to drive to and from work everyday (I’ve actually heard of places that require this even for the folks who only take phone calls and/or push papers across their desk).

    Lack of affordable housing near employment areas…
    IMO, another farce… right now I’m sitting in a privately-owned house my family rents. It was actually cheaper and was easier to get into than the so-called “affordable housing” that’s out there. It’s also easier to stay… any of us could make any amount of income we wanted that combines as any amount, and we won’t get kicked to the curb for making too much money. But with the income limits on “affordable” housing, once a family’s kid in high school gets a job flipping burgers to try to save for later higher education, it can put them over the income limit and the kid either has to quit the job or the family has to leave their housing.

    Also, I understand where Erik is trying to go with the mass transit comments. Most people are saying they’re interested with simple, decent, quality transit that reliably, safely, and efficiently gets them from point A to point B, regardless of mode. IMO, this should mean putting money into a campaign to change people’s perception of bus use. Instead, it might be interpreted as ‘let’s build more and more streetcar lines, MAX routes, and hey what about this maglev thing everyone keeps talking about?’ The reality is people just want to go between A and B, and sometimes want to go to C and D along the way. It would be interesting to run a survey where the question is “Since you’re riding the bus, is it your favorite mode of transportation?” My guess the prevailing answer would be “no, but I don’t care because I’m going to where I need to go!”

    The Edge in the Oregonian this morning has a blurb that humans are expected to be extinct within the next billion years. Maybe we’ll agree with each other by then.

  40. Jason: It makes a lot of sense why an employer would want someone to hold a drivers license and drive to an employment site.

    A. Its a first sign of responsibility. A person must be responsible enough to get the license, and then keep it, then they must hold down a job long enough to afford a car and/or have a credit rating allowing them to buy a car.

    B. Its a sign of reliability. A person who has a car will not call in to tell their employer that they will be an hour late because they missed the bus. An employee is able to make it to work in a reasonable time regardless of the time of day in a car but will be limited if they use public transportation.

    C. Outside of downtown, if a potential employee does not drive, they either can’t drive because they aren’t responsible, or wont drive because they are an activist. Employers want employees who will follow rules, produce, get the job done, and not give a lot of lip about it. Activists, for the most part, are lazy, under producing, and complain about everything.

    There are a select few who can’t drive because of a disability– which is understandable, but for the most part, people who don’t drive don’t because of poor choices or because they have an attitude that is undesirable in a work setting [outside of government work, of course].

    And about your billion years comment; the Earth in its natural process will be extinct within the next 800 million years due to the Sun warming [not from SUVs], causing the oceans and the atmosphere to boil off into space. We will most likely be gone or changed beyond recognition long before then.

  41. “We will most likely be gone or changed beyond recognition long before then.”

    By 800 million years humans will be living on 100s of other planets and enjoying the freedom of individual space and time travel while activists insist we group together and take space/time transit and live in planetary clusters. To save the universe of course.

  42. Referring to the Columbia Crossing, Rex Burkholder said: “I am convinced the existing bridges need replacing and am supporting their replacement with light rail and tolling”. Rex has also indicated to me directly in previous conversations that development should pay for itself.

    Increased and new development is synonymous with population growth. If humans are believed to be responsible for global warming as opposed to a natural occurrence which science also suggests, then some form of population control needs to be immediately implemented, and new development that supports that population growth should be discouraged. Adding light rail (and bicycle infrastructure) is not only new development, but it is also touted by politicians as a development tool to increase density to accommodate population growth. Additionally, high density development also creates urban heat islands that add to global warming. Therefore, light rail and bicycle infrastructure (streetcars too) come with not only a monetary cost, but also indirectly increase global warming by supporting population growth, adding to congestion when motor vehicle infrastructure is displaced to accommodate other alternatives, and in many ways, when the construction of transport alternatives occur. Therefore the costs of adding light rail and bicycle infrastructure needs to be paid for by the users, not the taxpayers or be subsidized by motorists. Consequently, if motorists are tolled on the Columbia Crossing, that also requires freeloading bicyclists to be tolled and transit passengers charged with a crossing tax on fares to directly pay for the specific share of the infrastructure to accommodate those transport modes. Anything less is politically motivated discrimination that is being used as a socialistic means to control and administer how the people choose to move about in a democratic society.

  43. I keep hearing this “need” to replace the old I-5 bridges. One dates from 1917, they say, and is too old to keep repairing. It’s held up by wood timbers in parts, they say.

    I don’t think there’s many other 3500’+ bridges in a situation where they are so regionally significant, crossing such a major river, serving so many drivers per day.

    They didn’t replace this one, built in 1345: Ponte Vecchio

    A pedestrian bridge with shops on it. A great landmark as well, my parents took pictures of it last fall. But, it’s not anywhere on the scale or significance to the regional traffic network as the CRC.

    or this one built around 1300: ADsek Stone Bridge

    About 1/10th the size of the Interstate Bridge as well.

    And this one built in 1635 is still heavily used: Pont Marie

    92m, less than 1/10th the length of the Interstate Bridge, and one of many, many, many bridges in the area. On top of that, stone arch bridges aren’t nearly as maintenance heavy as a dual truss vertical lift bridge.

    as are the other 10+ bridges Paris built around 1850 including this one: Pont d’Arcole

    Again, only 80m, meaning likely less maintenance, as well as being one of many, so any significant problem won’t have as much effect on the area.

    Even Bangladesh can keep their mile-long bridge opened in 1915 operating: Hardinge Bridge

    A rail-only bridge that was reconstructed in the 1970’s after being bombed in ’71.

    Why, even here in the US, we somehow managed to rehab this one from 1874: Eads Bridge

    Not by any means a major route, or even a regionally significant road. The Dr MLK Jr Memorial Bridge to the north and I-55 to the south serve the same areas it does.

    and this one from 1883: Brooklyn Bridge

    From the link you provided: A $725 million project to replace the approaches and repaint the bridge is scheduled to begin in 2009.

    Also, the historic and cultural significance of the bridge adds to the reason to repair and not replace. That, and it’s one of many bridges crossing the East River. Again, if they have to close it for repairs, it’s not nearly as significant to the entire region’s traffic flow as the Interstate Bridge would be.

    from 1909: Manhattan Bridge

    As I should have mentioned by now, all these suspension bridges generally (but not always) will last longer from my understanding. The Manhattan Bridge is one that’s been well maintained, for the most part, though sometimes that’s involved closures. Closing the Manhattan Bridge for major repairs is like closing the Burnside Bridge. Inconvenient, but not that bad.

    and 1916: Hell Gate Bridge

    Rail only bridge, longest span 1/3 the size, major renovations in 1996.

    It would be great to do major renovations, and keep the Interstate Bridge for local traffic, or as for overflow, but there are also good reasons to replace it outright rather than try to improve it. It is not doing the same job it was designed to, but much more.

    I’d love to keep it and demote it, but I doubt that can be done in a cost effective way.

    Materials are not going to get cheaper, and eventually this will be needed. Just because cars spew CO2 now doesn’t mean they always will.

  44. The point of the extensive list of older bridges is that the Interstate Bridges could be rehabbed and retrofitted. Proponents of the project tend to state that the bridges must be replaced because they are old. This is misleading because it is not a true statement.

    I respect the discussion of this project’s merits. But I want statements, particularly those made by the project team, to be factual and not propaganda.

  45. Unit: Fair enough point. The bridges could be rehabbed and retrofitted, but at not just a monetary cost, but how much more disruptive would that be than replacing the bridge? (Likely it would have a lot more closures than a replacement option.)

    The main reason I’m a proponent of the bridge in the current form is because of this one point I made earlier:

    I don’t think there’s many other 3500’+ bridges in a situation where they are so regionally significant, crossing such a major river, serving so many drivers per day.

    It’s not just that they’re old, it’s the entire situation the bridges are in, as a whole. The CRC project team has listed plenty of other reasons as well, but the age and condition are big factors still.

  46. Are the present I-5 bridges hazardous? Well, what sort of structures have collapsed in recent West Coast Earthquakes? Mainly the heavier concrete structures. I know the I-5 crossing has concrete decks; and I know there was some collapse during the Loma-Prieta quake on the Oakland-Bay Bridge which is essentially a steel structure with concrete decks. So are the I-5 bridges comparable to the Oakland-Bay Bridge? Perhaps so; but replacing them with a concrete structure might not be a big improvement.

    In the Portland area we have not had any bridges destroyed by earthquakes. In Seattle the Alaska viaduct is still functioning although with questions about is safety following the 2001 Nisqually quake. But it is an aging concrete structure. So our local bridges so far have been safe. But we want to plan for a Richter 9 event. Right? I don’t think anyone knows how this would actually play out, from bridge to bridge, but I think inertia would be a factor. The heavier a structure is the more inertia it possesses and a concrete bridge built with enough steel to theoretically withstand a 9 quake would be heavy indeed. In my experience with seismically engineered construction ( a fair amount) I would honestly say that half the time the engineers don’t have a clue. I hope it is getting better as time goes on.

    If we didn’t need to accommodate river traffic we could design a bridge with relatively short spans on numerous piers. But forget about it here. So think of long, heavy lengths whipping up and down as the ground heaves ten to twenty feet at a pulse. Do we know that anything would make it? I say if it isn’t broke now don’t fix it. Instead build at least one more crossing. Then id one collapses we still have two more.

    One last rant. Much is made about the loss of life in the I-35 collapse in Minneapolis. What was the final toll? 14? Well, every year in highway and bridge construction there are over 100 fatalities. So if this country embarks on a huge “Infrastructure works” program we will see nearly that same number in extra deaths of workers per year.

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