Columbian Says Adams Considering 6-lane CRC Proposal

Things are getting interesting. The State of the City address is just around the corner.

I just have two words for the Mayor: supplemental bridge.

17 responses to “Columbian Says Adams Considering 6-lane CRC Proposal”

  1. Early tolling would solve the peak hour problem when combined with an aggressive vanpool/carpool program. I-5 has plenty of capacity…its in the passenger seats of the all the SOVs in the peaks.
    An arterial bridge may be necessary and can include a High Capacity Transit facility and upgraded bike/ped access.
    At a minimum, Clark county residents need to remember: no tolls, no lightrail = no new bridge.

  2. One presumes that Sam would add Light Rail and a bike/ped path, but at the point I think you really need to consider that a supplemental bridge is a better cost/benefit tradeoff.

  3. Oregon used to have a tourism slogan, “Things look different here.” I think there is a reasonable limit at which being different becomes a liability.

    While other cities in the US, and in fact all over the world, have adopted the “Ring Road” concept to keep regional traffic and travelers separated from the local traffic, Portland planners apparently are seeking to fly in the face of what is standard practice.

    Mr. Adams, in his 2005 report with the Freeway Loop Advisory Group, had already determined that Interstate 5 was at its limit and that any further traffic increases would trigger major challenges and, likely, expensive solutions. Even with a light rail bridge traffic is bound to increase on I-5 as the entire West Coast continues to grow.

    , Furthermore,what type of “supplemental bridge” is needed seems to provoke a wide variety of concepts.

    We have simply met our Waterloo on the I-5. Sure, the I-5 could handle a greater load—but the reconfiguration would be expensive.

    I agree many US cities have fostered an excessive dependence upon cars. But with the forecasts of growth that are unique to our area, I don’t see how just “supplementing” the I-5 would work. I have been looking at METRO’s map of proposed urban reserve areas. Two thirds of those are west of the Willamette.

  4. Yeah, we already have six lanes. So why build a new bridge when we can just renovate the one we’ve got. Simple approach: cantilever wider sidewalks (like on the Hawthorne Bridge) and you have three lanes of freeway traffic each way, with adequate pedestrian and bike crossing. The bridge lift issue can be mostly eliminated by putting a lift span on the railroad bridge, allowing most river traffic to travel under the hump of the Interstate Bridge.

    As ridiculous as a 12 lane bridge is, it makes even less sense to demolish a perfectly functional bridge simply to add wider shoulders.

    On the other hand, as I’ve pointed out many times already, if we simply build a new six or eight lane freeway-only bridge, we can take care of everything else — light rail, arterial lanes, bikeways and sidewalks– by re-using the bridge that’s already there. So if Sam decides to push for a “six lane freeway bridge plus recycling the existing spans for transit and stuff” then I’m good with that.

  5. Where would you put a “ring road”? Do you consider I-205 as such (or at least a partial ring)?

    I suspect the amount of “through freight” (long haul trucks passing through town but not making deliveries or pickups in Portland) is minimal. In places wehre “ring roads” are commonplace, including much of Europe and in several Canadian cities, the ring road is INSTEAD of downtown freeways, not in addition. The point of the ring road is so that you don’t need a freeway through downtown.

  6. It’s interesting, though–Leavitt seems to pretend that he was double-crossed by Adams; that because he and Adams (and others) jointly wrote the letter to Kulongowski and Gregoire, he thinks that Adams ought to agree with Leavitt’s vision of the bridge.

    If Leavitt thinks that, he’s either naive or stupid. More likely, he’s just being disingenious.

    A replacement bridge that’s six lanes (same as the current) with only transit/ped/bicycle support probably won’t fly–my suspicion is that Adams knows that, and is taking a hard-line on the auto lanes to get to 8 or so–enough to relieve the bottleneck, but not enough to eliminate it.

  7. Where would you put a “ring road”? Do you consider I-205 as such (or at least a partial ring)?

    Yes, I would consider I-205 to comprise half of it. The SW quarter is Hwy 217. That leaves only the NW area—which is where our group has been proposing a third interstate bridge and (I think) a route through the hills (or alternatively a tunnel), connecting to Cornelius Pass Rd and then to Hwy 26. This is not a smooth “ring” as large prairie cities have, but it would still function pretty well for the metropolitan needs we have, since the NW route would intersect two main highways, 30 and 26.

    I realize the “Western Bypass freeway” was not a very popular concept, but this is nowhere near that. In fact within the Forest Park and Skyline area I don’t see any need for something more than just a highway that is easy to travel on. I don’t see why it would require a controlled access design. Hwy 99 in S. Seattle might be a comparable example.

    If a person is traveling from Vancouver to the Silicon Forest area, this is five miles shorter than the I-5 and US 26 route—so it would be more amenable to bicyclists and would also be suitable for express bus service. I would suggest that anyone look at METRO’s urban reserves map and observe the size of those areas that are west of the Willamette.

    With this plan we could avoid both the CRC project and the ultimate improvements or relocation of I-5 that Adam’s study had called for. I-5 can still be covered over on significant stretches in downtown Portland, to reclaim the waterfront areas. The main obstacle to this—the sweeping on and off ramps in the vicinity of the Morrison Br.— can be reconfigured into a compact design that would free up several blocks, as well.

  8. We can hope the “soap opera” goes on and on and on…better that wasting $4B on what the CRC folks want. The Governors’ Task Force split down on the middle in 2002 on studying just what Sam is talking about. The CRC thumbed its nose at that vote, and if there are delays its due to their failure to look at all the options as was promised the night of that vote.

  9. The existing bridges are a danger to our region. They sit on one hundred year old rotten wood piles.
    They are built of sub-standard rusted old steel. The risk of them collapsing is real ,and it is NOW.
    Upgrading them is ridiculous , nothing is worth keeping. Would you upgrade a 20 year old toyota,
    or get a new car?

  10. These bridgesa are in better shape than many and the cost to retrofit is the same as to remove.
    Submerged Doug Fir does not rot…no air. In recent years the following bridges have been retrofited: St. Johns, Broadway, Burnside, Hawthorne, Ross Island. What’s the big deal.

  11. Spending money for the same amount of lanes is about as dumb as a megabillion dollar 12 lane bridge.

    How many times has Adams changed his mind about the # of lanes he wants? Probably equal to the number of lanes he’s proposing currently (hint: it’s 6).

    I used to wonder why people complain about the leadership in office today. Now I know why. Recall Adams for being a moron, not for inappropriate relations.

    Send the bridge to a vote. If people want more lanes, just tell them they have to pay more in tolls. If they want to pay more in tolls and agree to the terms, then great. If they don’t want the toll rate higher, then fewer lanes w/ appropriate toll fee.

    Is it really that difficult? You can’t have a mega highway project w/o user fees. And you can’t make people pay punitively for a new bridge w/ the same capacity.

    Seriously? WTF?

  12. The existing bridges are a danger to our region. They sit on one hundred year old rotten wood piles.
    They are built of sub-standard rusted old steel. The risk of them collapsing is real ,and it is NOW.
    Upgrading them is ridiculous , nothing is worth keeping. Would you upgrade a 20 year old toyota,
    or get a new car?

    The Brooklyn Bridge is 35 years older. Should it be replaced?

  13. the six-lane bridge is NOT working. I live in Hazel Dell, and commute via 2 C-Tran buses over the bridge to the Yellow at Delta Park, thence to downtown PDX – and have to avoid both morning and evening (particularly evening) rush-hour traffic in order to keep my commute under 90 mins each way (if caught in rush-hour traffic, it takes over 2 hours to get to 78th St from downtown PDX).

    We need carpool lanes added to the bridge, and Oregon needs to step up to the plate and WIDEN I-5 from two lanes through NoPo, from Lombard north to the bridge…or at the very least, raise the effing speed limit from 50. Beyond that, I’m not sure why Portlanders are so opposed to having the MAX go to Vancouver – are y’all worried conservative libertarians might invade en masse across the river? We already do for shopping and jobs…and we’re not going away, as much as those who call for tearing down the I-5 bridge (replace with what? A ferry??? kayaking???) would prefer.

    Maybe the narrowness of I-5 here (and the narrow-mindedness or Portlanders who prefer nothing to be built or the bridge to be torn down) is something akin to an apartheid quota – is the City that Works going to start issuing work permits to Clark Co. residents, or what?

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