Via the Mercury Blogtown.
Are 12-lane Columbia River Crossing supporters finally admitting that their ambitions are unrealistic? An interview in the Columbian with Don Wagner may be the first signal:
“Just like most of us in the real world, we dream about the car we want,” Wagner said in a wide-ranging interview last week. “And at some point, stark reality says, ‘Huh. I dream about it, but I don’t have quite enough money to get it all today. Maybe I need to take off a few of the options off of this car.’ And we are starting those conversations right now.”
I’m not popping any champagne corks yet, but…
10 responses to “CRC Reality Setting In?”
One way to pare down and slash costs is to reduce the excessive amount of bicycle infrastructure attached to the project. In addition to charging tolls for bicyclists and pedestrians, reducing the bicycle infrastructure needs to include narrowing the bicycle crossing itself from 20 feet wide to 8 feet wide, and combining it with the pedestrian crossing. That would save about the same amount, possibly more, as taking away a highway lane which would also compromise highway safety. Additionally, all the additional bicycle trails on both sides of the river should be eliminated, at least until the bicyclists are willing to tax themselves to pay for such a financially negligent bicycle dream.
As for the light rail component; raise transit fares and implement a transit roll to cover the costs, or eliminate it!
“reducing the bicycle infrastructure needs to include narrowing the bicycle crossing itself from 20 feet wide to 8 feet wide, and combining it with the pedestrian crossing.”
That’s just completely unworkable from a technical perspective. Setting aside your (very repetitive) arguments regarding funding, you can’t expect bidirectional bicycle traffic to operate in adjacent 4ft lanes, and to pass pedestrians in the same space. What you’re proposing is an effective downgrade from even the rudimentary allowances in the current infrastructure.
That would save about the same amount, possibly more, as taking away a highway lane which would also compromise highway safety.
No, not really. Since it is currently proposed that the bicycle infrastructure be tucked under the bridge, interwoven with the superstructure, it is not practical to make direct comparisons to automobile lanes.
Your proposal is simply punitive against pedestrians and cyclists (and likely in violation of federal law) without any practical benefit.
I agree completely, and certain industries should pay for special road construction. The way I see, the trucking industry gets a huge subsidy from highway standards of overpass designs (heights at about 14′), thicker pavement to support larger loads, and wider lanes.
Why should someone who drives a Civic in effect subsidize design standards that are tailored to trucks? Sure, trucks pay a bit more, but not equivalent to how much damage they do or how much extra materials they need for their vehicle specific road designs.
This post is a bit sarcastic and mocking of your post, but in many regards it is a very real situation – and a bigger one than some bike getting a nice ROW that costs little to nothing.
I know a common retort will be “don’t you buy good that were shipped via trucks?” Yes, I do; and we should pay for the true cost of shipping/commerce at the checkout line.
Let’s apply your free market mindset to
everything, not just bikes.
I thought trucks and other commercial vehicles (trimet being a notable exception) pay a weight per mile tax in oregon—
How to pare the cost?
#1 glaring cost and a complete waste of money, waste of energy and big CO2 emitter is light rail. Not to mention the Thorium, Radium and Uranium emitted by its coal fired power plants and the birds and fish killed by its alleged “green energy” sources.
Compared to BHO’s rumored economy dictate for cars, LRT will be a non starter for saving energy or CO2.
In just a few years it will be truly an energy waster compared to an average car (if BHO gets his way.)
It is time to hack off this wasteful transportation mode and build capacity for the real energy (and CO2) saving transportation mode – CARS!!!
Those retirees, non-drivers, and students are just a waste of money anyway, right?
Bob said: “Since it is currently proposed that the bicycle infrastructure be tucked under the bridge, interwoven with the superstructure, it is not practical to make direct comparisons to automobile lanes.’
I totally disagree. Since any bicycle decking must also be built to standards that accommodate heavy maintenance vehicles and trucks, the cost per square foot of decking surface for a bicycle path and reducing the width by 12 feet is comparable to that of a highway 12 foot wide lane on the bridge. Moreover, until the costs for the bicycle infrastructure are detached from the highway infrastructure, separated out and specifically disclosed to the public, the only direct comparison available is the amount of deck space reduced.
Bob also said “That’s just completely unworkable from a technical perspective. Setting aside your (very repetitive) arguments regarding funding, you can’t expect bidirectional bicycle traffic to operate in adjacent 4ft lanes, and to pass pedestrians in the same space.
Your argument is interesting to say the least in that PDOT is continually proposing reducing the width of motor vehicle travel lanes (such as on West Burnside) to only 10 feet in width which is less than the width of a TriMet bus and most large trucks. The handlebars on an average bicycle are less than four feet in width, and therefore, bicycles will actually fit in a four foot bicycle lane while busses and large trucks do not fit in a 10 foot motor vehicle travel lane – yet bicycle and rail transit advocates say the 10 foot motor vehicle lanes are OK. Additionally, those same bicycle and rail transit advocates repetitively criticize the size of the CRC at 12 lanes, a design that is the most workable in terms of reducing congestion hot spots and providing the greatest amount of highway safety.
The two big differences between reducing highway capacity and narrowing the bicycle infrastructure is: 1) Reducing the highway capacity negatively impacts many times the number of bridge users as compared to reducing the bicycle infrastructure. 2) Currently motor vehicle users pay direct taxes and fees that fund transportation projects while bicyclists receive a free pass. From a business standpoint, the infrastructure for paying customers must be the last to be reduced and/or compromised.
I totally disagree.
I’m totally surprised.
Anthony:I thought trucks and other commercial vehicles (trimet being a notable exception) pay a weight per mile tax in oregon—
ws:Heavy trucks do pay more, and recently pay a good amount more in diesel gas tax (than regular fuel).
However, even so, one truck can do as much damage to a road as a few thousand cars, and they notoriously pay less to the amount of damage they do and are getting a lot of new infrastructure on the heels of the average driver.
Heavy trucks also have accident rates much higher than “pleasure” vehicles, they slow down traffic more, and pollute the most. These all have direct and indirect costs on society.
I’m not sure who pays for the regulatory forces to monitor the trucking industry.
We need the trucking industry, but do we need a trucking industry as big as we have now – and what are the market forces dictating this?
Highways are designed specifically to handle large trucks – shouldn’t the truckers have to pay extra for large, highly reinforced overpasses, stronger pavement, and road radius, and special superelvation design considerations?
These costs add up real quickly, especially consider the inflated cost of materials nowadays. Unfortunately, the trucking lobby is so huge, I’d wonder if anything will change. The only force will be higher energy costs.
For those posters so concerned about users paying their way:
Applying this methodology, revealed that no road pays for itself in gas taxes and fees. For example, in Houston, the 15 miles of SH 99 from I-10 to US 290 will cost $1 billion to build and maintain over its lifetime, while only generating $162 million in gas taxes. That gives a tax gap ratio of .16, which means that the real gas tax rate people would need to pay on this segment of road to completely pay for it would be $2.22 per gallon.
This is just one example, but there is not one road in Texas that pays for itself based on the tax system of today. Some roads pay for about half their true cost, but most roads we have analyzed pay for considerably less.
And this from TxDOT, one of the most pro-road agencies in the country.