A Graphical CRC One-pager


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A variation on the supplemental bridge theme, Spencer Boomhower gets his idea onto one page with full illustrations. Very nice!

10 responses to “A Graphical CRC One-pager”

  1. Light rail could be addressed as a completely separate project. There is no particular reason to bundle light rail and freeway together except to build political support on the south side of the river.

    However, I’d make sure there was room on the local bridge to extend light rail from Expo Center to Jantzen Beach.

  2. This is EPIC! Awesome job, Spencer, and right on with the concept. “Maybe the I-5 bridge isn’t the cause of the congestion?” Love that, thanks.

  3. I don’t see an arterial connection between Hayden Island and Vancouver. Is the thinking that if the big boxes go away, there’s no need for it?

    And, it could always be added at a later date if needed.

  4. The northbound entrance from Jantzen Beach is one of the BETTER examples of how traffic should be merging. So I don’t think you can blame Big Box shoppers for the traffic It’s the last one before you get on the bridge and traffic on the bridge moves pretty well. The merging of I-405 further south has a lot more vehicles trying to get on during the same length of time as any other on ramp. It generally has two full lanes trying to squeeze down into one as it joins I-5 northbound. Even though this merger has been there for a long time, I don’t believe there was such an enormous crush of traffic from it until the industrial expansion began in the Silicon Forest in the late 1980’s. (Marine Dr. is bad, too.)

    Does anyone remember if I-5 in North Portland had such terrible congestion woes before then? (It’s always been a little slow, yes) I think it got a lot worse after the Beaverton/Hillsboro area went into rapid growth.

    There is simply just more traffic later in the day—not just shopping centers, but all kinds of traffic. That’s why the northbound afternoon commute has a lengthier snarl. Some people are even headed north for their late shift job.

    A local connecting bridge is an unneeded extra if all other bridge purposes previously expressed on this blog are incorporated into the Third Interstate Bridge further west on Hayden Island.

  5. The exit for SR-14 is a big part of the problem also. Traffic has to slow down while still on the bridge to safely make the turn. In larger vehicles speeds over 25-30 mph are too high. Between that and the City Center exit there’s really only two lanes effectively able to move.

    The existing bridge has a similar problem southbound from SR-14 in the morning. I-5 isn’t so bad southbound in the morning if you’re coming from north of Mill Plain, since you can get over. But the right lanes after Mill Plain, especially due to the super short SR-14 merge backs up things badly.

    A local bridge, removal of the Jantzen Beach ramps, and reworking the SR-14 interchange would probably make a huge difference. The problem is figuring out how to make the SR-14 interchange more efficient without a new bridge.

  6. Thanks everybody for the responses so far!


    “I don’t see an arterial connection between Hayden Island and Vancouver. Is the thinking that if the big boxes go away, there’s no need for it?

    I just didn’t give an arterial to Vancouver much thought; what you suggest is probably the reason.

    One thing that would seem to work against a new arterial to Vancouver would be the fact that it would have to be quite a big bridge; the Columbia there is twice as wide as where the Willamette passes through Portland.

    I did have one idea along those lines, but ran out of room for it. Basically, even though this proposal is for the simplest approach – upgrade what we’ve got for a freeway bridge – it seemed like it could be married to a concept in which some new freeway bridge is built over the Columbia. I imagine a sleek, slim freeway bridge in essentially the configuration proposed for the megabridge, but without the 22 lane tangle of pavement over Hayden. In that case, the existing I-5 bridge could perhaps be converted for use as an arterial to Vancouver.

    And in that case, perhaps the I-5 bridge could also be converted to carry bikes, peds, and light rail.

    There’s lots of other things I’d have mentioned if I’d had space. Among them: fixing the downstream train bridge, eliminating the S-curve, thus eliminating bridge lifts.

    But this one-pager kept to its essential mission: examine the difference between morning and evening rush hours, propose that the interchange might be the problem, and apply the most pragmatic and cost-effective fix to that problem.

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