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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 27, 2009 1:04 AM. The previous post in this blog was Musical green eyeshades, Part II. The next post in this blog is Have a great weekend. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

About that 12-lane bridge to the 'Couv

An observant reader writes:

It's not 12 lanes. They are counting MAX, bike lanes, and merge lanes. It will still be 3 auto lanes south and 3 auto lanes north. But now with tolls!

Comments (68)

I wounder if they are planning on tolling bikes and pedestrians?

Great, so we have about 10 people and a bunch of politician-pushers deciding how to spend at least $4B. For this we get as many car lanes as we have now and a way to ride a bike across the river.

My faith in govt is once again restored.

Keep in mind $700 million of that is for Light Rail IN Vancouver.
That in addition to the added cost for Light Rail from Expo to and on the bridge itself.

So it's likely the Light Rail portion is nearly $2 Billion of the $4 = Billion total.

One thing is certain, dishonesty and scheming the Portland way guides the project.

Just as does the Sellwood Bridge process.

There we have an old bridge with narrow 40 inch sidewalks that make it hard for a bike to pass a pedestrain.

The proposed Portland answer?

12 foot sidewalks on both sides
4.5 ft. bike lanes in each of the two travel lanes
make the bridge streetcar ready.

No added capacity for the main thoroughfare that has 35,000 vehicles a day using it.
and make eto ytnl s klrme

the "old" bridge already does 90% of that.

the stunning part is, given the dozens of people working on this and the consequences of building it, the key issue for Adams and others is:

"how many lanes?"

the rest is details.

i'm still proposing we just cover the Columbia entirely, making the riverbank between here and Hood River a network of on-ramps. because the only way to deal with congestion is to build more, right?

The east side toy train is going to come in at about $39 million per mile.

If you like riding around a 3.9 mile loop and bum viewing, this is a project we can believe in!

I dont go up there that often, usually just once a month or so to get Sudafed. My question though...last I heard it was going to be electronic, no toll booths. So how will they enforce it? And even if they have cameras, I just need one of those clear covers for my license plate that makes the plate hard to read.

"Keep Portland Weird!"

The bridge that collapsed in MN, they rebuilt it 5 lanes in both directions and light rail ready for roughly 250 million. It's only half the length of the bridge we need so double that. Also it too is high enough for river traffic to pass below it.

This bridge plan is stupid and a waste of money.

The configuration for the new bridge demonstrates once again that our local politicians - especially Sam Adams and David Bragdon - don't give a damn about solving the area's traffic congestion problems. All they care about is developing another big revenue source for their governments and exercising their power by trying to herd people into mass transit options that aren't convenient or realistic for most of us.

The sad thing is, we keep re-electing them. We deserve the shabby treatment and poor decisions that we are getting.

I'm not so sure the observant reader is all that observant. The linked article says nothing about there being only 3 lanes north and 3 lanes south. ALL the "12-lane" bridge plans I've seen show 6 through-lanes and 6 "merge lanes" plus light rail and bike/ped facilities. Here's one view of the plan at the CRC web site:

http://www.columbiarivercrossing.org/CurrentTopics/LPA.aspx

Note that some of those "merge lanes" actually extend for multiple miles north and south of the bridge. They're nothing like on-ramps or off-ramps. They're more like widened freeway deep into north Portland. That sounds like ALOT more car capacity than there is today. Find out for yourself how long those "merge lanes" are before ranting away about zero added capacity...

As for the Sellwood bridge, would the transportation rocket scientist who seems to be advocating more auto lanes there please explain the point of a 4 lane bridge placed between two roads that each have only 2 lanes? What ever bit of sense does that make? If you want to pave the Sellwood neighborhood to accommodate 4 lanes & widen Hwy 43 to Lake Oswego, fine, be honest about that. If not, please explain in you quite common sensical thinking how a 1 mile stretch of 4 lane road (bridge) placed between two 2-lane roads increases road capacity in any way.

The linked article says nothing about there being only 3 lanes north and 3 lanes south.

That doesn't make it not true.

If at any point it goes down to three lanes, then it's a six-lane auto bridge.

BTW, Mark, save us the spandex superiority complex.

The MN bridge is a good example of gov working. Portland is a good example of locally elected idiots who don't work. The morons who run Portland city politics just like to play with toys, they aren't really serious about solving infrastructure problems.

The folks in MN solved a serious problem and got a bridge built in less time than the Portland morons have spent arguing about how many lanes it should have.

That doesn't make it not true.

If at any point it goes down to three lanes, then it's a six-lane auto bridge.

You're citing a news article that nowhere in it confirms your assertion, and you say the burden of proof is on Mark for calling you on it? Maybe you could find something that confirms your claim, since it flies in the face of all the other information out there.

And just because it narrows to two lanes in each direction down at the Rose Quarter, that makes it a four-lane bridge? Don't be absurd. The number of lanes is how many extend fully from one end of the bridge to the other. In this case, that would be twelve. Count them (I don't know what's up with the CRC site, but if you can get through, you'll see).

I actually don't really care one way or the other about the number of lanes, as long as there's a toll, but making this assertion with nothing to back it up except that the article doesn't explicitly say that "12 lanes" refers to car lanes (and really, why should it, since it's a pretty obvious reading) is rather shoddy.

PdxMark- Sam Adams, the city council and odot are all on record saying they want to reduce the vehicles miles traveled over that bridge. Now how do you have 12 lanes and reduce vehicle miles traveled?

Bus lanes, merge lanes and emergency break down lanes. They are not increasing the number of thru lanes for the bridge. The whole 12 lanes thing is misleading on purpose.

Next, can you explain why we have to spend 4 billion on a project that does not increase traffic? As MN has proven it can be done at a fraction of that cost and increase traffic at the same time.

That PDF link from PdxMark showing the add/drop lanes designs pretty much says it all. The "12 lane" design is 3 thru lanes in each direction, just like it is now. All those exit and merge lanes dont make it a 12-lane bridge.


Are we discussing number of car lanes (the initial topic in this thread), increasing traffic, project cost, or "vehicle miles traveled over that bridge?" Let's do them all, one at a time.

I posted a link to the CRC site showing a plan view of the 12-lane design (the CRC site is flakey at the moment). The diagram shows 12 car lanes crossing the Columbia River, not the 6 that were the topic of the intial post.

I don't know if any of these 12 lanes are designated bus or beakdown lanes, but they sure look like car travel lanes. Lane 4 runs from north of SR500 to Interstate. Lane 5 runs from Mill Plain to Marine Dr. Lane 6 runs from SR14 to Hayden Island. Lanes 1-3 are "through lanes," but the diagram looks to me that you could drive across the Columbia River in any of 6 lanes going north or 6 lanes going south. That's 12 lanes on the bridge, with added Lane 4 extending the furthest north and south of the bridge. My point was that no-where in the 12-lane plan are there only car 3 lanes going north [U]on the bridge[/U] or only 3 lanes going south [U]on the bridge[/U].

If the whole 12 lane thing is misleading, what is a better way to discuss the number of car lanes [U]on the bridge[/U] other than to, well, count the lanes? Is there another plan showing that these 12 lanes aren't car travel lanes? If so, I'd love to know about it. If not, what's the factual basis for asserting that 12 lanes aren't 12 lanes?

Are we discussing number of car lanes (the initial topic in this thread), increasing traffic, project cost, or "vehicle miles traveled over that bridge?"

Increasing Traffic

Is there a statement anywhere that anyone wants to increase traffic? I don't think so. Instead, I think you'll find that the point of the bridge is to decrease congestion. They're not necessarily the same thing.

One reason for decreasing congestion is to facilitate movement of freight through an important corridor, which is a fine thing. On the other hand, I can't recall any statement in any CRC documents saying that the point of the bridge was to facilitate sprawl in and car commuting from Clark county, which would then just be making the bridge a $4 billion subsidy to SW Washington property developers... (I'd call this anti-sprawl superiority much more than spandex superiority..)

Despite the bridge itself having 12 lanes, which I think I've shown absent some other information, I-5 just a couple miles south of the bridge will still have no more capacity than currently exists. As I was chastised for pointing out, admittedly inconsiderately, a larger through capacity segment (bridge) positioned between smaller capacity segments (NE Portland to the south) does not one single ding-dong thing to increase capacity through that overall corridor. Hence, the wide bridge can decrease congestion by facilitating some local car traffic and freight access to and through N. Portland without supporting anymore "traffic." I-5 in the middle of Portland cannot support any more traffic just because the bridge across the Columbia is twice as wide.

Re: the Minnesota bridge cost and example

This is a disingenuous comparison at the very most, because they replaced a demolished bridge with something similar.

This project is quite different because of the following:
• The Interstate Bridge will have to be removed at some point, which will require a demolition effort. The bridge in Minnesota only required a cleanup effort, because physics did the demolition for them.
• All the work will need to be done around a functional freeway. Because the Minnesota bridge had collapsed, the freeway was closed, allowing for much a more rapid construction schedule.
• All the work will need to be done around a functional waterway, with shipping traffic. Because the Minnesota bridge had collapsed and blocked the river, they were able to quickly do any riverbed work at the same time as clearing the obstructions, to lessen impact on shipping.
• The CRC will not be "light rail ready" but instead have an active light rail line on it. "Light rail ready" is just screwy talk for designing the superstructure to handle 60 ton trains. The Glenn Jackson Bridge (I-205) already has this by the way, and for the life of me, I can't figure out why they don't just extend the red line there; especially since that's where the growth in Clark County is right now (EAST of Vancouver).
• There is additional cost in this project to rebuild and realign the freeway both north and south of the bridge to upgrade the interchanges and ramps to modernized safety standards, rather than 1950s standards. This was unnecessary in Minnesota.
• Having an active light rail line going over the bridge also requires the building of light rail past the bridge in Vancouver to make it anywhere in the same timezone as not being a massive waste of money. This is also included in the project - and as we're seeing in Portland, this can cost around $40M/mile. The bridge in Minnesota didn't have that either.
• The bridge in Minnesota isn't being electronically tolled, so they didn't have to pay out for the infrastructure, technology, administration, and other costs for that.
• The bridge in Minnesota is half as long, and the costs of bridges don't scale in a linear proportion to the length of the bridge. Talk to a high school drafting student for reasons why (read: physics).

I'm sure there's probably others, those are just off the top of my head.

Are we discussing number of car lanes (the initial topic in this thread), increasing traffic, project cost, or "vehicle miles traveled over that bridge?" Let's do them all, one at a time.

Cost

The 12-lane design I linked to shows that the project includes a bit more than "just" a 12-lane bridge. I'd say that "just a bridge" would connect to roadway at either side of the river. Who knows what that would cost. The number might be somewhere at the CRC site.

In contrast, the 12-lane bridge project that I linked to shows 20-something on-ramps and off-ramps and multiple new freeway lane segments of 1, 2, or 3 lanes in Washington and some in Oregon.

I don't actually know what these different pieces cost, but I think that this systemic modification of several miles of freeway north and south of the bridge adds quite a bit to the overall cost of the "bridge project." Comparing this scale of project to a "bridge only" project in MN with different design constraints (including possible re-use of existing structures like piers) is at best simplistic comparison that inadvertently omits details and at worst a disingenuous smear that purposely omits details.

OR & WA officials might be spending recklessly on this project, but comparing it to an entirely different simpler project in MN is not a credible criticism.

Are we discussing number of car lanes (the initial topic in this thread), increasing traffic, project cost, or "vehicle miles traveled over that bridge?" Let's do them all, one at a time.

"vehicle miles traveled over that bridge"

I'm not sure what someone exactly said about "vehicle miles traveled over that bridge." I would think that the bridge itself would inherently carry more vehicles, and that the bridge length is fixed, so the vehicle miles over the bridge would necessarily increase.

I suspect that whatever the actual statement was more closely related to the overall capacity of I-5, or the desire to keep the CRC from simply encouraging more sprawl in Clark County. I addressed I-5 system capacity earlier, and I'm fine with preventing the bridge from being a mere "Sprawl subsidy."

Some major fraction of the current capacity crunch on the I-5 bridge relates to supporting a commute lifestyle in Clark county. The new bridge is an after-the-fact subsidy made by the entire region in support of, and addressing the consequences of, that lifestyle choice of a few. So be it. But there's no reason to simply repeat that mistake. Toll it up so the folks using the resource pay for an added portion of its cost to prevent an increase in "vehicle miles traveled over that bridge" (for car commuting).

In the resolution adpoted by the City CounciI, the CRC southern "bridge influence boundary" is Victory Blvd.

The resolution's attachment B mentions "phased lane openings"
gauged by a "performance based thermostat" as the means by which added volume will be absorbed.

There is no mention of any other consideration for increased volume in the resolution.

Yahoo

Toll it up

The new City of Portland slogan.

PS: The funny thing in this whole thread is that I'd just as soon leave it at 6 lanes...

echohuman because the only way to deal with congestion is to build more, right?
JK: Yes. Correct.
It works just like expanding more water, sewer, telephone and electricity services: increase supply to meet the demand. The fact that you can get these services, probably encourages more population, so do you propose we should quit expanding these as a population control measure? (And I am including expanding capacity to serve Portland’s new urban ghettos like the Pearl and SoWhat.)

It is sad that several major multilateral "echo" corporations, like the Sierra Club lie to us about this.

If you want a balanced read on the "induced demand" fallacy see this: fhwa.dot.gov/planning/itfaq.htm

Thanks
JK

Quite frankly, I think the Interstate Bridge is actually fine just the way it is.

Also, technically, tolling a freeway designated as an Interstate is against FHWA rules, if I'm not mistaken. The end result is that it could null out federal funding for I-5 in Oregon and Washington. Something I'm sure Bragdon and Tramuel and Earl "Let's Tear Down The Marquam Bridge" Blumenauer would love to see.

The only reason that "toll interstates" exist back east is because they were tolled before the interstate system was in place and they were "grandfathered" in.

The Interstate Bridge, if I'm not mistaken, is also a "grandfathered" thing--draw bridges are technically not up to Interstate standards.

pdxMark, since planners in this region are projecting one million more residents (disputed) by 2030, how can you rectify your position that CRC should not at all contribute to "sprawl" in Clark County? How can a "fence" at the Columbia insure no growth in Clark Co? Who has decided that Clark Co. should have no growth?

We can't and that is what planning is all about-anticipating some growth to the north. And even if one can stop growth to the north by six lanes, tolls, don't you think that if all the growth occurs south of the river, that the commerce traffic (42% of traffic) that needs to serve the jobs, and the population would require Columbia crossing improvements.

>

I think so, too, but I wonder if rules are different for bridges. Besides, before the original MAX, Federal highway dollars hadn't ever been diverted to a mass transit project. It took an Act of Congress to do it, but it was done. I think that current rules aren't a barrier to tolling...

The proposed bridge IS a twelve-lane bridge. Those lanes do NOT count MAX or pedestrian/bicycle lanes. They DO count non-through lanes.

The $4 billion cost is not for the bridge. Only $1.2 billion is for the bridge. About a billion is for a MAX bridge. The rest is for rebuilt interchanges all the way from Columbia Blvd. to Mill Plain Road. The documentation does not provide ANY justification for these new interchanges. They may relieve congestion, or they may not -- we don't know.

I think I-5 needs a 10-lane bridge for about $1 billion -- the six existing lanes, two lanes for future expansion, two lanes for merging traffic at either end of the bridge.

We don't need MAX. We probably don't need to rebuild the interchanges. We should fund the 10-lane bridge out of tolls. If new interchanges really will relieve congestion, charge tolls for them and pay for them out of tolls. Don't build anything that can't be paid for out of user fees.

My analysis of the bridge alternatives includes more details on this proposal.

Lee, No-one decided Clark County should have no growth. I certainly didn't say that. But I think we can have growth without suburban sprawl. I think we can move people without every single one of them needing to drive a separate car across the Columbia River.

If people want to live in Clark county & commute to Portland, fine, but I don't think the region or the nation needs to subsidize each of them to the tune of thousands (or tens or hundreds of thousands) of dollars in a per capita share of replacement bridge cost to keep freight transport from grinding to a halt. Road capacity is a public resource, not a Right. I'm fine with managing it as the limited resource that it is.

Correction: I should say a billion is for the MAX bridge AND extending MAX into Vancouver.

Thinking of toll bridges, the one that immediately comes to mind for me is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland. It's not signed as an interstate, either--it's a "multiplex" of US Highway 50 and US Highway 301.

I believe that tolled express lanes are allowed, but there must be at least a certain amount of "free" lanes.

I'm curious as to what ODOT has to say about this, too. I'm not sure they're all that keen on losing federal funding because of what Creepy and Metro want. Metro is really just an imperialist-expansionist regime controlled by Portland planners.

As I recall, the existing bridge had toll booths that were removed once a certain amount of revenue had been collected, presumably tied to the cost of the bridge.
This sounds like a good idea to me.

Just saying: (Rant)

Folks we are getting Goldschmidted once again by the crooks that rule the roost. They will do what ever they want no matter what we say. Remember when we voted against the light rail and they did it anyway?

The enviro/eco terrorists have blackmailed and forced their will on every facet of our lives. This is a huge part of the argument and controversy on the CRC. They are determined to push us into dark damp caves. Just look at any and every large scale improvement that would help us move ahead. Let us say forest management. Oh let the bugs and wild fires take it don't use it for revenue. Don't even consider that it can be managed and is sustainable.
Hydro power: It is clean, reliable, and efficient but (the already doomed for extinction salmon we can't save at any price) are more important, especially for our image.How much money have we spent/wasted on salmon? I say let them die out and let us get back to using the CLEAN AND EFFICIENT DAMS.

LNG distribution, Oh jobs and cheap gas are of no interest to us and besides it will kill all wildlife within 20 miles if it is built.

Even when it comes to wind, tidal power the eco nuts try to kibosh that. It is insane to let these nuts rule our lives. We need to cut them out of the pictue when it comes to courts and decisions.If there is a clear and provable impact on us or the environment put up some safeguards but don't make decisions using eco nuts or what ifs.

On the Interstate bridge issue I say leave the old bridge in place for the 4 or 5 bike riders that will use it. Leave it in place for the trolley/max lines. Toll those that use it. Keep the hell out of our pockets you crooks. Build another Glen Jackson type bridge next to this one and don't you dare toll it. Don't stop commerce and free movement on our interstate system,just improve it.

PdxMark: Apparently lanes don't count as crossing the river if they don't extend at least from Salem to Kelso. Anything less is just a merging lane. :-)

But seriously.

Lanes themselves are only one factor in capacity management. The goal should be to get people efficiently across the river, not to maximize "through lanes". Maybe that means three through and three merging are enough, maybe it doesn't. Sounds good to me, but what do I know?

Unless there's a civil engineer specializing in traffic management speaking in this thread, all this sound and fury signifies bupkis. Anyone claim expertise here?

What a fun political debate. After one whole morning we might be reaching a consensus, though maybe not universal agreement, that a 12 lane bridge has 12 lanes...

JK: It [building road systems to solve congestion] works just like expanding more water, sewer, telephone and electricity services: increase supply to meet the demand.

Only in the short term - you're wrong about the analogy long term. With road systems, people will modify their behavior to take advantage of increased capacity, the most detrimental decision being to adopt a suburban commute-based lifestyle. This optimizes their situation at the expense of everyone else. That by and large can't happen with water, sewer, telephone and electricity services, because the distribution network for these is totally under the control of the utility. I can't, for example, reroute the electrical distribution to my home to fix an outage in the network - PGE can only do this, and they will decide when and how this happens, hopefully in a way that doesn't disrupt the network elsewhere.


You want to talk about crooks? Talk about the the military industrial complex.

They waste money in Portland sure, but its nothing compared to the money wasted by our Federal Government.

And people that are AGAINST building rail to Vancouver are just plain silly.

It's like the global warming debate.
For every one scientist who says its a lie, there are 10 who says its real.

People want rail in Vancouver, don't listen to that one out of ten who says they don't want it.

Rich, if I'm not mistaken, when the bridge was tolled, it was a part of US Highway 99. Interstate 5 didn't exist, and there are no restrictions on tolling US Highways--see my Chesapeake Bay Bridge example.

john rettig: JK: It [building road systems to solve congestion] works just like expanding more water, sewer, telephone and electricity services: increase supply to meet the demand. Only in the short term - you're wrong about the analogy long term. With road systems, people will modify their behavior to take advantage of increased capacity,
JK: NO! People will do what they always have wanted to do. Fixing congestion is just removing a road block to their free choice. You do believe in choice don’t you?

john rettig: the most detrimental decision being to adopt a suburban commute-based lifestyle.
JK: Are you saying it is detrimental to live in a less crowded, less polluted, less congested area with better schools and less crime? You must be a city planner - see PortlandFacts.com.

john rettig: This optimizes their situation at the expense of everyone else. That by and large can't happen with water, sewer, telephone and electricity services, because the distribution network for these is totally under the control of the utility.
JK: What does control have to do with it? Except when the government gets control, all of a sudden serving people is no longer the highest priority - serving political ideology is.

john rettig: I can't, for example, reroute the electrical distribution to my home to fix an outage in the network - PGE can only do this, and they will decide when and how this happens, hopefully in a way that doesn't disrupt the network elsewhere.
JK: Ever hear of a generator? Or off grid?

Thanks
JK

With road systems, people will modify their behavior to take advantage of increased capacity,
JK: NO! People will do what they always have wanted to do. Fixing congestion is just removing a road block to their free choice.

history's strongly with john on this one.

"freedom of choice" is not some mythological, fundamental human right. you and I give up freedom of choice all the time--for example, there's only one basic way to access the Web. you're using it. you don't get to choose to do it using a tree branch, or a mole rat--you have to use a computer. you don't get to drive anywhere you want on the road--your choices are very restricted.

and so on. again I propose--let's pave over the Columbia and make the riverbank all onramps. trust me. it'll relieve congestion, and don't worry--people will not drive more just because there are more places to drive. unh-uh. no way. they'll drive less. more roads=less cars. more lanes=fewer drivers.

I mean, look--Portland's still got the same number of cars on the road as it did in 1924, right?

right?

Alex, you are correct, it was 99 when tolled up to early 50's before I-5 completed in this segment. It's interesting that the new Boston cable bridge across lower back bay/Charles River serving an interstate is not tolled. Born Oregonian

Seems to me all this local posturing by Portland, Vancouver and Metro is moot. It's the Feds that will decide what the bridge will be. They are not going to allow a bridge on the main interstate highway from Canada to Mexico to be built for less capacity than the current one.

Remember when Metro sent up their goofy transportation plan and the feds sent it back asking them what was the plan for automobiles?

ecohuman "freedom of choice" is not some mythological, fundamental human right. you and I give up freedom of choice all the time--for example, there's only one basic way to access the Web. you're using it. you don't get to choose to do it using a tree branch, or a mole rat--you have to use a computer. you don't get to drive anywhere you want on the road--your choices are very restricted.
JK: You are not making sense. Your real argument is that we should drive less because your religion says so. Well, feel free to limit your freedom, but don’t try to impose your religion on others like George Bush.

Why don’t you acknowledge that small cars are more efficient, less costly and more convenient than transit.

ecohuman and so on. again I propose--let's pave over the Columbia and make the riverbank all onramps. trust me. it'll relieve congestion,
JK: What a stupid suggestion.

ecohuman and don't worry--people will not drive more just because there are more places to drive. unh-uh. no way. they'll drive less. more roads=less cars. more lanes=fewer drivers.
JK: What is your problem with people being free? What is your problem with people having mobility? What is your problem with people living where they want? Is your problem with people having the higher standard of living provided by having a car?

ecohuman I mean, look--Portland's still got the same number of cars on the road as it did in 1924, right?
JK: What is you problem with people having a better standarrd of living and being able to abandon slow, inefficient mass transit?

Thanks

Dave L - Not a single option on the table has less capacity than the current bridge. There are currently 6 lanes and the four plans under consideration have 6, 8, 10 and 12 lanes, so long as you don't require that a bridge lane count only if it runs from Kelso to Salem. It doesn't make sense to dismiss local consideration of the size of the bridge as advocating decreased capacity when that's not the case.

JK: What a stupid suggestion.

yet that's what we're doing, Jim, just at a very slow rate--paving everything over.

JK: You are not making sense. Your real argument is that we should drive less because your religion says so.

never heard of a religion formed around automobile use. you must be referring to Hummer drivers. me, i'm more of an agnostic.

Well, feel free to limit your freedom, but don’t try to impose your religion on others like George Bush.

does that mean I can drive on the wrong side of the road in a cement truck? because I hate it when those crazy traffic cops try to limit my freedoms.

JK: What is you problem with people having a better standarrd of living and being able to abandon slow, inefficient mass transit?

nice try at equating "more highways" with "better standarrd (sic) if living", Jim. that's your belief, not mine. fundamentally, you're unhappy because you fail to recognize the difference.

ecohuman nice try at equating "more highways" with "better standarrd (sic) if living", Jim. that's your belief, not mine. fundamentally, you're unhappy because you fail to recognize the difference.
JK: Mobility is an important component of a high standard of living.

Too bad you don't understand that.

PS: we will never pave over a lot more than we have now because the developed world's population is leveling out and set to decrease.

Too bad you don't understand that either.


Thanks
JK

JK: People will do what they always have wanted to do. Fixing congestion is just removing a road block to their free choice. You do believe in choice don’t you?

All right, Jim, if I want to drive through your front yard to shorten my commute, are you going going to respect my free choice?

JK: Are you saying it is detrimental to live in a less crowded, less polluted, less congested area with better schools and less crime?

Yes, as far as society goes. For the individual, maybe not, but they would have to make that call.

JK: You must be a city planner - see PortlandFacts.com.

No, I'm not.

JR: This optimizes their situation at the expense of everyone else. That by and large can't happen with water, sewer, telephone and electricity services, because the distribution network for these is totally under the control of the utility.
JK: What does control have to do with it? Except when the government gets control, all of a sudden serving people is no longer the highest priority - serving political ideology is.

I'm assuming you're talking only about the road system here, and I'd agree that government control of roads isn't always done in a way that's best for either the individual or society. But it's better than private control.

JR: I can't, for example, reroute the electrical distribution to my home to fix an outage in the network - PGE can only do this, and they will decide when and how this happens, hopefully in a way that doesn't disrupt the network elsewhere.
JK: Ever hear of a generator? Or off grid?

My point was that if the power grid was under individual control, each person would likely attempt to optimize their situation in a power outage by re-routing power directly to their home, at the expense of everyone else, rather than PGE's approach, which is to consider the stability of the entire network over the inconvenience of the individual. There's a direct analogy of the former to the way our road system works today. That people can and do generate their own power is besides the point - that analogy would correspond to someone who works out of their home and doesn't commute to work.

I remember paying a toll on the I-5 bridge when I was a kid in the 60's.

I'm so sick of this.
The fact is the planners and elected officials in the Portland Metro region are deliberately congesting our road and freeway system.

Sorry but they are doing so because they are stupid.

No matter how much failure we witness with their so called alternative they remain stupid.

That's the problem with being stupid.

So through and after all of the rhetoric, posturing and scheming by Sam Adams, Metro et al they will not be doing anything to either help move traffic or add capacity for the future.
They are the congestion makers. Not congestion relievers.

Instead they will follow the same model and agenda that brought us light rail, streetcars, Cascade Station, Beaverton Round, SoWa, the dead zone around the Rose Quarter, forever subsidized development along rail transit and massive use of Urban Renewal skimming of property taxes from basic services to pay towards the soaring debt from their planning.

And they're not even green.
http://news.tradingcharts.com/futures/8/0/120748408.html

JK: Mobility is an important component of a high standard of living.

Too bad you don't understand that.

only you say it's too bad, Jim, not me. you see, the difference between you and me is--I don't mind if you have a different opinion. i express my opinion on the subject--you have a knack for expressing your opinion about *other commenters*.

PS: we will never pave over a lot more than we have now because the developed world's population is leveling out and set to decrease.

Too bad you don't understand that either.

last year, the US "paved over" about 180 square miles of land. this year, estimates are twice that number.

but maybe you're not clear on what "paved over" means? Jim, honestly, I think you've got a strong opinion, but you're what seems to be a "Google-phile". you're not genuinely willing to acknowledge what's going on in the world around you--you're only willing to hardline it all the way, sticking people in neat boxes ("ecoterrorist", "your religion", etc.).

so, why respond to you? because it's like shooting fish in a barrel.

your turn.

surely part of the plan for this overpriced, oversized bridge would be to redesignate 205 and the Jackson Bridge as I-5 so that the Interstate could be made subject to a toll. That approach solves the problem (if it exists) of the Interstate system prohibiting new tolls (something I question as I think there are any number of bridge tolls on Interstate highways in the Bay Area, for example). It also would eliminate the need for a bigger Interstate bridge as much traffic would be diverted to the toll-free Jackson Bridge.

the I-5 bridge was build as a way to "relieve congestion".

then, when that got full, the 205 bridge was designed as a way to "relieve congestion" on the I-5 interstate exchange.

guess what happened?

now, folks are calling for more lanes on a new I-5 bridge, to "relieve congestion".

surely, there's no pattern here. because obviously, if you build an interstate freeway, more people won't use it.

right?

It's simple, really. More people live in the area--thus, more people using the bridges. Honestly, I think building a third bridge over the Columbia (perhaps as part of a western I-205 beltway) would make more sense.

I also have a little bit of a correction to make on my earlier assertion about Interstates not being tollable. They are, but only under a pilot program and the facilities are not eligible for federal maintenance funding while tolled.

...part of a western I-205 beltway

Yet another false solution in the quest to "relieve congestion".

Congestion can be relieved. You just need to build enough infrastructure in the right places, or limit population growth.

The Portland area needs another freeway on the west side, plain and simple. Right now, there's no easy way from people in Washington County to get to Vancouver. Building a new freeway would reduce vehicle miles on the I-5 Interstate Bridge--it's a certainty. It'd also help the economy in northern Columbia County as well.

And quite frankly, with the pricetag for the CRC, you could probably get a good start on it. The CRC is just a massive waste of money.

I also think it's possible that tolling the CRC will potentially damage Oregon's economy even further, too, particularly if the Glenn Jackson were tolled as well--fewer people from the 'Couv coming over to take advantage of our lack of a sales tax.

Congestion can be relieved. You just need to build enough infrastructure....

Wrong. And I don't know how else to express what ecohuman and I have been saying here for the past two days that would make this point more clear. We're probably just going to have to differ on this.

"Congestion relief" creates it's own congestion in response.

Building for congestion during rush hours means that the roads have been hideously overbuilt for the other 18 hours of every weekday and all weekend hours.

They should never have removed the toll on the existing I-5 bridge. Had they not, we would have some funds already available for upkeep (delaying the immediacy which is being foisted upon us) and the beginning of the financing on a new replacement bridge.

'Cause, y'know...Everything put together sooner or later falls apart.

Oh...The old tollbridge tolled pedestrians and bicyclists, too. And trucks at a toll determined by weight.

""Congestion relief" creates it's own congestion in response."

Oh poppy cock. That's a contrived Metro excuse for deliberately clogging our roads and freeways.

Relief happens all the time.
Locally,,
The Glenn Jackson bridge and I-205,
the freeway ramps and intersections at Bridgeport village,
roundabouts and other improvements at various formerly congested intersections,
etc.

San Antonio area, same size as the Portland region, has rid it's region of congestion.
Much like we could with a Westside bypass and other throughfare work to move traffic efficiently and free up crowded surface streets.

And I'd add the US 26 widening on the westside, too. That's had an amazingly positive impact on traffic.

Nope...Not Metro.

A full generation of transportation researchers has again, and again, and again, pointed out that increasing the lanes of traffic lasts only a short while. Soon, drivers on other, more crowded streets, find temporary relief on the widened thoroughfares, but eventually, it will be just as crowded, if not more so, than it was before the widening.

And it has happened here. The Glen Jackson, which reputedly provided 'relief' is now so crowded they are talking about widening the Interstate or a new bridge.

Try reading some of the transportation research, rather than imagining how it would be if you were the only one driving out there. Fantasies don't help.

Alex: ...the US 26 widening on the westside [has] had an amazingly positive impact on traffic

Ben: [Congestion] relief happens [from] the Glenn Jackson bridge and I-205.

Ben: ...a Westside bypass and other throughfare work [would] move traffic efficiently and free up crowded surface streets.

Alex: the US 26 widening on the westside [has] had an amazingly positive impact on traffic.

All of these are (or would be) short term solutions, and all of them cause long term problems - not only for the reasons Godfry cited, but because people are willing to reside further away from their job when there's an easier commute at hand. The roadway that has excess capacity short term becomes a magnet for commuters long term, assuring that any congestion relief measure is destined for failure at that which it set out to solve. We now have people from Banks, North Plains, St. Helens, Scappose, Sandy, Welches, Woodland, Ridgefield, Cascade Locks, etc. all commuting into Portland only because highway capacity was improved on the usual corridors that served these communities from Portland.

And UGB's don't stop this from happening, because UGB's don't stop commuters from moving between communities.

This is a never-ending cycle as long as long as highways planners and the public believe the myth that you can build your way out of congestion.

John,

Short term or not at least they ARE solutions that work.
The only reason they may be temporary is the discontinuation of additional accomodationg for growth.

We could no more expect I-205 to be a permanent solution than we could have expected I-5 to be so without adding I-205 etc.

Unlike the ludicrous string of failures by our planners which are not solutions at all.

The UGB is a dysfunctional tool that long ago became a weapon to stop development by locking up UGB expansions in bureaucrat limbo for years.
The TODs, rail trasnit and centers policies are all problems that cannot be substitutes for the absence of added.

Just as they could not have been a substitute for I-205.
But you are are playing the lousy music from Metro.

Your whole approach is a lesson in absurdity.

The commuting isn't only because the roadways exist. It has alot to do with locating jobs in the centralized pattern
out planners plan.
And the roads also need to accomodate commerce. Something the planner class foolishly tries to separate with phony ideas about providing more capacity for commerce while making sure commuters are not helped.
You're touting induced demand that has been refuted long ago.

This is why we see perpetual failure. Clinging to BS makes it so.

We now have people from areas to into Portland becase that's where the job concentration is.

That could be adjucted with more job creation and development in the periphery.

But unfortunately ALL such growth is cast as unplanned, unregulated sprawl.

The UGB's stop everuthing with the assumption any level of planned expansion is bad. Even the best planned developments are prohibited.
That's dumb.

The never ending cylce is more about the foolishness that central planning and rail transit myth that congestion and traffic can be ignored as long you echo that we can't build our way out of congestion.

We can't build light rail our way out of congestion.

So the result is worsening congestion.

Just as it would be had we not built the I-205 etc. or any of the other minor improvements you disregard by calling them short term.

That whole short term game is nonsense.

As I have stated many places have built their way to lesson or out of congestion.
It is entirely doable.

The gross generality that it can't be done is simply not true.

San Antonio, once facing crippling congestion has just recently completed a vast decongesting "building" that has succeeded.
They now have a far prefferable system than does the Portland region which our planners have messed up.
The bike obsession and other fanatsies guide insane policy making.

Short term or not at least they ARE solutions that work. The only reason they may be temporary is the discontinuation of additional accomodationg for growth.

If you are indeed acknowledging that these are temporary, we have a start. And what I'm saying is that we ought to scrutinize public resources spent on so-called congestion relief, and consider alternatives.

You're touting induced demand that has been refuted long ago.

Prove it. And with a scientifically credible source, please.

Even the best planned developments are prohibited. That's dumb.

There certainly seems to be a lot of development in spite of this. Or at least there was before the financial markets weighed in on the issue a couple of years back.

The commuting isn't only because the roadways exist. It has alot to do with locating jobs in the centralized pattern out [our?] planners plan.

It also has to do with the fact that in most households, both spouses work, and often the two jobs are pretty dispersed. And the reason they disperse is - surprise - ease of commute.

As I have stated many places have built their way to lesson or out of congestion. It is entirely doable. The gross generality that it can't be done is simply not true.

Name one that isn't recent (you've acknowledged that San Antonio is recent).

San Diego.

I can think of other local road improvement projects from years ago that have had a pretty substantial impact.

Widening NW/SW 185th Avenue on the west side, for instance. The section between Highway 8 and Highway 26 was done sometime in the late-1980s, if I recall.

It's only really badly congested around the holidays right there at Evergreen--and that's because commercial development went in.

San Diego

Really? In 2002 the US DOT (scroll down to table 3.2) rated the I-805 at I-15 interchange in San Diego the 23rd worst in the nation considering annual hours of delay for travellers, a list that Portland didn't even make. For reference, the I-5 at I-90 interchange in Seattle was 18th.

Next.

NW/SW 185th Avenue on the west side

This entire thread has been about principle arterials (i.e. freeways and highways), which NW/SW 185th isn't.

That aside, it would appear that if your destination isn't local on 185th, all it will do is get you to US 26 or TV Highway more efficiently, and at that point your in heavy congestion if it's commuting hours.


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