Green Critics Respond to 12-Lane Bridge

Comments

1
"The CRC's price tag is the same as "80 OHSU aerial trams,"

That's just a sign of how expensive the tram was. In relation to the importance of transportation, the new I-5 crossing should be about 100,000 times more expensive.

Side note:
"Instead, that money could build 14,000 $200,000 apartments to ease the indefinite waiting list for affordable housing in Portland."

One criticism of the CRC is that if it's 12 lanes than the amount of traffic will simply swell up to fill it and traffic will be as bad as before. Unfortunately, the same is true of affordable housing.
2
I am loathe to say it, because I generally view more discussion as better, but haven't we had a few too many separate threads on this topic in the past 24 hours? I know a lot has happened, but every time a discussion just gets going in one comment thread, it seems there's an entirely new post!
3
I love the way people like Jonathon Maus move here from out of state, buy a pretty single family home and then complain when others have the audacity to want the same opportunity YOU SHOULD BE BIKING TO WORK ASSHOLES. Let's just stuff all the others into high density slums. It's so damn selfish and arrogant. People are being born, they have the same rights to a good home like anybody else.
4
I love the way those white Europeans moved here from out of the country 300 years ago, displaced the natives, and then complain when the people who were already here have the audacity to demand respect for their land and cultures. It's just so damn selfish and arrogant, that these people should not allow others to come in and build their freeways for all those people being born.
5
Last time I checked, the other side of the I-5 bridge *is* out of state.
6
Anybody who voted for Adams believing that they were finding some kind of messiah, would be highly disappointed given such a scenario, one would think.

While others, having the misconceptions of other thrust upon them, might weep in their beer.

7
"I love the way those white Europeans moved here from out of the country 300 years ago, displaced the natives, and then complain when the people who were already here have the audacity to demand respect for their land and cultures."

Wah. Nobody owns the earth or has any more claim to it than anyone else. If your limited knowledge of history demonizes colonial america as the epitome of geographical robbery then it's time to crack a book. The world has a way of providing for progress and personally I'm happy with the progress that has come to this land.

As for the bridge, it seems to make sense to make it as wide as possible as we're constantly growing and perhaps in twenty years the city would have to pay for an expansion. However, it seems that Vancouver should be required to split the cost fifty-fifty.
8
"the most car-friendly option for the biggest public works project in our region's history"

Wait, did I read that right? A freaking BRIDGE is a CAR FRIENDLY OPTION? WTF?!!!!

People need to pull their heads out of their asses. Of course we need to build the bridge for the future, which means more people in the region. It is inevitable that we'll have more move here, barring the Rapture or some Mad Max scenario.... which may seem more likely these days.... A big bridge means more room for enviro friendly stuff like bike lanes, bus lanes, rail lines, hell, maybe a hemp patch. Twelve lane bridge does not mean it will for eternity have to be filled with Hummer lanes.

Like it or not, you can't force everyone to move to inner East Portland and ride fixies everywhere.
9
Can ANYONE explain to me the logic behing spending over $4 Billion on a bridge with the same number of lanes as the one sitting there now? Is it really worth $4,000,000,000.00 to add a MAX line and a bike lane?

And since when did cars become the friggin' enemy?! Car emmissions have been cut 98% per vehicle through technology alone the past few decades, and they will probably be emission free ten years from now. What are you bike-Nazis going to complain about then?
10
buch, there are 6 total lanes there now. There isn't train access, and pedestrian/bike access is limited.

The money is expensive because engineering a bridge carrying this type of traffic over one of the United States largest rivers isn't--and never will be--cheap.
11
Buch,

Not even the staunchest bike advocates believe that the current bridge is adequate. It's not earthquake-proof; and the bridge lifts (caused partly by the mis-alignment with the rail bridge as has been pointed out elsewhere) don't help anyone, on a bike or bus or train or car.

The problems people have with the wider bridge are twofold:
1. Ideological opposition to car-based infrastructure
2. Fear that a wider bridge will actually increase congestion, not reduce it (or at very least, will just move the congestion down towards the Rose Quarter, an area of much higher population density hence the fumes from idling vehicles have even more effect than currently)

Sadly, most people on here are pre-occupied with arguing over the first one, an argument that neither side is ever going to win or even come to a compromise on. But really, the second is the more important one, since it's practically based and fact based, and is something people might actually be able to discuss and come to agreement on.
12
Stu, NOTHING in the region is "Earthquake proof" - that's an unmeetable standard. And the bridge is far from the most earthquake prone structure in the region. Regardless, the current bridge could be shored up for $175 million, not $4 billion.

As far as the infrequent bridge lifts, they could be dramatically reduced by changing the downstream rail bridge at pennies on the dollar.

Those who support the MegaBridge ask "are there problems?" Those who support alternatives ask "what's the best way to spend $4 billion for the region?"
13
I second Evan's comments. The primary real complaints against the current bridge are for traffic reasons. This bridge is currently in much better shape than the Sellwood bridge. And an important footnote about that is that the money spent so far JUST IN PLANNING could have built a completely new Sellwood Bridge by now.
Most of the people driving single vehicles across the bridge because there is no other realistic option. Only a few die-hards are willing to take the underfunded bus/bike options. This just funnels more money to auto-advocacy groups like AAA. And the mass of cars is what impedes freight traffic (which we all depend on) not the number of lanes.
Stu, I am a bike advocate (as well as a transit and pedestrian advocate) who believes the bridge is just fine. If a seperate bridge were built either as part of the rail right-of-way or adjoining the existing hwy bridge for transit and bike/ped users the cost would be a small fraction and peopel would have realistic options. You also wouldn't have to contend with the mess of re-routing auto-traffic.
And by the way don't you just love it when suburbanites complain about people who can more easily buy a house because of the $7000 a year saved by not driving everywhere?
14
The thing is, the commute is only going to get worse whether the bridge is built or not. Seattle, San Francisco, and LA have much worse traffic and people still keep moving farther and farther out for cheaper housing, better schools, or whatever. At least if a bridge with some long-term insights and Portland-centric planning was built, there would be options beyond sitting in traffic spewing fumes while your car stops and starts.

I used to make that commute and it sucked. I would have loved better options. The interchanges there are terrible and there are several unnecessary congestion points in both directions because of poor planning. Biking down I-5 is awful. It took me 1.5 hours by bus. The yellow line should obviously be extended across the river, too.