You can see me in the 6th picture. I’m wearing the green shirt and the black pants on the right side of the picture, (I’m facing away from the camera.)
Mother Nature appears to have voted on the issue already by giving the rally such spectacular weather. Do those photos look like early April in Portland?
I’m sorry to have missed the rally. The position I take is contrary. I believe 3 thru-lanes are necessary, and the real question is how many additional auxilliary or entrance/exit lanes are best, 1, 2, or 3?
Three auxilliary lanes, (the 12-lane option), may step over the line of what’s sensible, creating such a wide berth that ‘some’ motorists will subconsciously register this width as a license to speed while entering and travelling through.
In Vancouver, there are 2, ‘southbound’ entrances near enough together to justify the 10-lane option which could possibly narrow to 8 lanes at Hayden Island. Also in Vancouver, the 12-lane option ‘northbound’ has the environmental impact of widening the shoulder (cutting into the hillside) as far as SR-500.
From my experience with Seattle area freeway planning, Washington State DOT is obstinantly “vindictive” about freeway expansion and will promote the widest possible freeway expansion if they can get away with it, nevermind the cost, the environmental impact, any question of whether it’s the best solution.
My preferrence is for a 10-lane version at Vancouver that narrows to 8-lanes at Hayden Island and 6-lanes in North Portland. Whether this is a sensible compromise or not, I’m not sure.
I’m unsure about putting light rail and pedestrian/bicyclist infrastructure below the new freeway, enclosed in its support structure. My preferrence is for some version of the widely published image of a separate light rail/pedestrian/bicyclist bridge which I still believe should be built first, and rebuild I-5 later.
The bike Nazis seem to be forgetting that there are other people who use that bridge than Portlanders. When they build this new bridge, they should also look into widening I5 from the state border to Wilsonville. That entire stretch is a traffic congestion and when they build the bridge the bottleneck will be moved to the South.
If three lanes in each direction are auxillary lanes–perhaps they should be separated from the main flow of traffic by a median?
“bike Nazis”? Either you’re on drugs or you need to be.
A six lane bridge is completely adequate as long as they don’t proceed with the completely unnecessary demolition of the six lanes already there. As Robert Liberty pointed out, the existing bridge is still in pretty good shape and can be rehabbed for about as much as it would cost to tear it out.
So we could be looking at a new six-lane or eight-lane bridge — which will cost less than a new twelve-lane bridge — and putting light rail, a couple of auto lanes and a built-out sidewalk on the current bridges, completely saving the cost of a new light-rail bridge. Probably could bring the whole project in for a couple of billion dollars less than the proposed mega-bridge.
That’s just one of a number of options that the CRC process absolutely refused to consider. As best as I can tell, anything that looked like a sensible alternative was immediately taken off the table, because it would make their pre-selected project look like the sham that it is.
Another point that came out in the rally: the Oregon legislature can stop this thing dead by withdrawing funding. There already is support from some Metro area legislators. We need to get others on board … and then convince downstate legislators that it makes no sense to throw over a billion Oregon tax dollars at this boondoggle that won’t benefit their constituents at all.
Actually, here’s a compromise I can live with.
Let Washington have the full 12-lane freeway bridge, since their sprawl drives the apparent need for it. And let Washington pay for it. The whole thing.
But let Oregon keep the existing pair of three-lane bridges and pay the cost of rehabbing them and converting them to arterial and light rail traffic.
Oh, and Oregon shouldn’t put forth a penny to widen the freeway south from the new mega-bridge. If Washington wants to build six southbound lanes into a three-lane traffic jam … let them. As long as they are paying for it, let them overbuild the infrastructure as much as they want.
But we shouldn’t play along.
The funny part is it’s three lanes to three lanes, through. The auxiliary lanes are because there are too many exits and entrances too close, so to give cars extra space to merge the on ramps and off ramps get combined.
6 lanes in one direction is a bit excessive (unless two are separated as through, and the other four are all aux lanes, but even that is messy.) 5 in one direction isn’t unprecedented, it happens in a lot of other places around Portland like I-5 and 217 for example. It doesn’t prevent all backups, but it definitely smooths things out compared to the existing stop and go.
One again it appears the freeloading pedal pushers of the BTA, who in actuality poach highway funds, are once again attempting to dictate policy to everybody else instead of paying their own way with a hefty bicycle tax. Any bicycle infrastructure on the CRC needs to be paid for only by the bicyclist users, with not a dime coming from motorists.
I hope you are well. I wanted to know if you would ask your reader the questions about reporting, and reported being embedded so close to an issue that they either don’t tell the whole story or have stopped looking for the story. I feel this is the case with the rally on Sunday April 5th. The rally for a Better Alternative for Crossing the Columbia River Rally. Our group was invited to participate in the rally so I was present. I would like to point out some thoughts I had that where missing from the Oregonian article. If I hadn’t seen, the gentleman there I would not had thought he had attended from what he wrote.
We Can Do Better and For So Much Less Rally
The Columbia River Crossing process has not followed the NEPA process required for Federal Funding.
The first of a series of
Bi-State Meet Ups was kicked off Sunday with
The We Can Do Better and For So Much Less Rally
Metro Council Robert Liberty and Washington State Senator Benton, now that is history in the making.
Council Robert Liberty one of the founders of 1000 Friends of Oregon and Washington State Senator Benton a with strong Republican views happily shared the stage with an audience of up to 500 citizens cheering, as they pointed out common major flaws with the Columbia River Crossing process and project. Yes this is March, lambs and the loins lay down together.
Oregon Representative Nick Kahl named many mainstream groups and organized who have stated that they are against the current Columbia River Crossing alternative and are having a hard time being heard. He also stated that there are many elected officials in Salem who have great concerns with this project, the objectives, and the cost. This was most evident when Ms. Debbie Peterson of Vancouver spoke of the letter Senator Benton has sponsored. The letter states; the Columbia River Crossing has not followed the NEPA process of studying a range of alternative requirements for Federal Funding and that a Supplemental Environmental Impact Study must commence immediately. The letter has 13 elected officials signatures now, others who have committed to sign, and this letter is just coming out.
Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fitz spoke about the enormous amount of problems with the Environmental Justice and total disregard for meaningful dialogue and respect for our communities. The Commissioner stated several concerns including having no neighborhood or Environmental Justice representatives on the majority of the committees, and Sponsor Council as unacceptable behavior in the GREAT NW. The Commissioner reminded the crowd who passionately cheered while she spoke, that she knew she was standing in front of a new coalition. One that understood their power to create the change needed to bring about what was best.
“You can tell, you IT ….. You know from past experience that the people have the power, and how wonderful it was to be in front of a crowd that really gets IT”
The other speakers talked on Environmental Justice and laws that will be followed because we will insist even if it meaning electing new officials.
More bridge was definitely on the table. From arterial crossings, additions to the rail bridge, and the “Port to Port Connection” a new Third Bridge Corridor inside the I-5 Corridor removing traffic from the I-5 Freeway and providing local access.
The where No Light Rail citizen represented at the rally. Their views were mostly the high cost, buses would help the very limited bus routes in Vancouver most, history properties, and a 90’ foot wall of concrete dividing and overshadowing the waterfront and downtown Vancouver. Additional buses would service Vancouver as well, while taking workers to Portland creating better transit system in the I-5 Corridor without the use of vehicles to access public transit.
How much money has the CRC project spent and on what? Who okays the spending? Has CRC spent $58 Million, $61 Million, $65 Million $78 Million or $85 Million on this study? do they have a staff of 50 or 84 full time employees? Doing what? Is it required when Washington State funding is involved that they have an itemized expenditures and expense budgets made public every year? CRC started in 2004……. Where on line is this information? Call a elected official and ask how MANY MILLIONS HAS CRC SPENT TO DATE?
The nerve of people who say this is the best alternative when a range of alternatives has not been thoroughly studied, there is no comparable data. So, that claim can not be made. Hear it and “say show me the data.”
The Rally’s leaders and speakers asked the crowd to involve their families, friends, and neighbors to come be part of the solution by contacting the Governors, US Congress Members, State Legislator, and the new Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Let them know about concerns with the Columbia River Crossing. The problems have been brought the Department of Transportation in both States since 2006 with no responds, or change in process. The local officials have not set up committees or subcommittees to handle the multi-million dollar Columbia River Crossing project, nor any leadership role, or oversight. Local official have not set up any independent oversight of the Columbia River Crossing process, which leaves us with our US Congress Members to remove funding, please contact them today. TAKE ACTION
Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbery wanted to speak yet was unable to attend.
Clark County Commissioner Tom Meilke wanted to speak and was unable to attend. The Commissioner is the first elected Republican in 30 years to win his seat. Part of the Commissioners platform was “Scraping the current CRC project in favor of a new Third Bridge, No Tolls, and No Light Rail! ” His opponent supported the current CRC project.
So of the 6 elected officials four from Oregon and two from Washington that wanted to speak four did. The letter sponsored by Senator Benton currently has 13 elected officials, others who have committed to signing, and some still making a decision. This doesn’t include the elected officials that came as speakers, and didn’t know Senator Benton had sponsored a letter. Great start ya….. Commissioner Amanda Fitz called it when she said, I am standing in front of a crowd that gets it…. Show up and change happens.
Now look at what I saw off hand and what was written in the Oregon….. would you please bring up these points with your reads…. Embedded how about sun stoke.
Why when the Mayors where not there did the reporter write about them….???? And how come he didn’t write about all the signs about Mayor Sam Adams not being at the rally, missing in action, and “Just stick a sold sticker on Sam” signs every where.
Have you had any stories on the Columbia River Crossing on your Blog? I apologize I haven’t really checked, I’m more of a phone person than writing, I love lectures. So please would you see if they feel differently if they had heard these type of facts.
Thanks again, I appreciated you time.
Peace be with you, and I hope your day is a dazzler!
Of course, Terry, the CRC doesn’t need any dedicated bicycle infrastructure whatsoever. Simply post 15mph speed limit signs for the primary travel lanes, and let them be shared by all vehicle modes — no special funding needed. This is the way it works, for example, along all but 2-blocks of the multi-million dollar through-lane which has been added to the transit mall.
Terry Parker Says: One again it appears the freeloading pedal pushers of the BTA, who in actuality poach highway funds, are once again attempting to dictate policy to everybody else instead of paying their own way with a hefty bicycle tax. Any bicycle infrastructure on the CRC needs to be paid for only by the bicyclist users, with not a dime coming from motorists.
That’s odd. What I saw there were Americans using their constitutional right to freely assemble and express their opinions. There isn’t a tiny bit of “dictate” in there at all. Your last sentence, on the other hand, sounds pretty dictatorial to me.
If our freely-elected legislators determined that a specific percentage of highway funds are spent on pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, how is this not democracy in action, Terry?
If there are too many on/off ramps, close a few and build a “frontage road” with its own bridge to accommodate local traffic. Why have them on a freeway at all?
Build a local traffic bridge with lightrail, a big wide sidewalk…bikes woud be welcome in the two motorized lanes (though most motorists would prefer a separate bike facility)…and we are done.
Spend all the rest of that money on higher speed rail, freight rail, commuter rail, and a regional trail network, not to mention light rail and Streetcar rail.
Email (will not be published) (required)
Live or work somewhere that could benefit from live transit schedules? Check out our Transit App.
Please consider a cash or vehicle donation to keep Portland Transport running on time.