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Regional Boards => Northwest => Topic started by: Hurricane Rex on September 09, 2018, 11:15:34 PM

Title: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on September 09, 2018, 11:15:34 PM
So, since this in two states, I can't post it in their respective boards, and I don't think this fits the subject of the "Ding Dong, the CRC is dead" thread.

This I found today: https://www.oregonlive.com/expo/news/erry-2018/09/1a8ca310b43996/washington-tries-to-woo-oregon.html
I wouldn't have posted it unless Oregon seemed interested. Thoughts?

Personally I see this as another chance to ressurect light rail into Vancouver which is why Oregon would be on it. If it can go through without some of the junk put in that jacked up the cost, I'd be happy. Just build a 10 lane bridge and adjust I-5's Portland's capacity to accommodate it.


I may have been a little too agressive in the comments. You have been warned.

Edit: adding second source:
https://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/405366-303274-business-leaders-push-for-i-5-bridge-replacement
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on September 10, 2018, 01:27:45 AM
I'm doubtful that Portland's freeway capacity could ever be expanded, so let's just go with a 6 GP+2 HOV bridge (all tolled) and a parallel light rail crossing. Bonus if the funding pot from Washington is limited to Clark County, since there's a lot of very pressing issues elsewhere that need state money.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bickendan on September 10, 2018, 01:36:53 AM
I remember people on the Oregon side balking at the CRC because it was presented as a '12 lane wide bridge', forgetting that that's what the Jackson Bridge is -- four of those lanes are the shoulders. (Jackson is 13, if you count the median bike lanes).

With that said, if the planners actually meant 12 lanes plus shoulders, yeah, that's a bit much, especially since I-5 can't support that on either side of the Columbia; at most, 10 would work, being as they'd be auxiliary lanes.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on September 10, 2018, 02:39:53 AM
With the current plans for I-5, 10 lanes is the absolute max, 8 is reccomended (from me) with room to expand to 10 later on (extra wide shoulders).

What isn't mentioned is the mayor forgetting (I understand the current mayor is new but still) that Vancouver blocked the East County Crossing despite being approved by voters and now they complain about congestion on I-5/I-205/SR 14. That crossing would've helped out the latter 2 (mainly SR 14, indirectly some of I-205).

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: The Ghostbuster on September 10, 2018, 05:19:18 PM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on September 10, 2018, 06:46:21 PM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.

Yes, then we can have a new bottleneck in a new location while thousands of bus commuters are stuck trying to get to the nearest MAX station. A very short extension to the already robust MAX network is a no-brainer.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: nexus73 on September 10, 2018, 10:06:49 PM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.

Yes, then we can have a new bottleneck in a new location while thousands of bus commuters are stuck trying to get to the nearest MAX station. A very short extension to the already robust MAX network is a no-brainer.

Exactamundo Bruce!  The snarl will be moved back from the Interstate Bridge to I-5/I-84 and I-5/I-405.  Until the progressives against progress are willing to pony up for a complete redo of the PDX freeway system to make it more akin to what I saw on the Wasatch Front where traffic flowed at 70 MPH on a busy day, the Rose City will suffer from congestion until the end of the world. 

Rick
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on September 10, 2018, 10:12:59 PM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.

Yes, then we can have a new bottleneck in a new location while thousands of bus commuters are stuck trying to get to the nearest MAX station. A very short extension to the already robust MAX network is a no-brainer.

Exactamundo Bruce!  The snarl will be moved back from the Interstate Bridge to I-5/I-84 and I-5/I-405.  Until the progressives against progress are willing to pony up for a complete redo of the PDX freeway system to make it more akin to what I saw on the Wasatch Front where traffic flowed at 70 MPH on a busy day, the Rose City will suffer from congestion until the end of the world. 

Rick

The Salt Lake City metro has half the population and is much more spread out. It's definitely been proven that you can't build more lanes in general to relieve congestion...you have to build alternatives. Light rail is one, as is better land use within Portland proper.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on September 11, 2018, 12:43:16 AM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.

Yes, then we can have a new bottleneck in a new location while thousands of bus commuters are stuck trying to get to the nearest MAX station. A very short extension to the already robust MAX network is a no-brainer.

Exactamundo Bruce!  The snarl will be moved back from the Interstate Bridge to I-5/I-84 and I-5/I-405.  Until the progressives against progress are willing to pony up for a complete redo of the PDX freeway system to make it more akin to what I saw on the Wasatch Front where traffic flowed at 70 MPH on a busy day, the Rose City will suffer from congestion until the end of the world. 

Rick

The Salt Lake City metro has half the population and is much more spread out. It's definitely been proven that you can't build more lanes in general to relieve congestion...you have to build alternatives. Light rail is one, as is better land use within Portland proper.
If the build enough lanes basic math will prove it will improve traffic flow. But yes, a transit connection is a must. Would be nice to see a step further and see ROW for HSR or hyperloop.

Admittedly, I’m not familiar with this area but have spent the better part of the past hour looking at this issue and the bridges history, it definitely needs to be replaced. 12 lanes would ideal, 10 lanes minimum, but someone has to compromise and even 8 would be better than nothing if it means lives could potentially be saved with a new structure that could withstand earthquake.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on September 11, 2018, 01:28:37 AM
If the build enough lanes basic math will prove it will improve traffic flow. But yes, a transit connection is a must. Would be nice to see a step further and see ROW for HSR or hyperloop.

Admittedly, I’m not familiar with this area but have spent the better part of the past hour looking at this issue and the bridges history, it definitely needs to be replaced. 12 lanes would ideal, 10 lanes minimum, but someone has to compromise and even 8 would be better than nothing if it means lives could potentially be saved with a new structure that could withstand earthquake.

It's more than just simple math (https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/09/citylab-university-induced-demand/569455/). HSR would be a nice inclusion, as there are active studies on the Portland-Seattle-Vancouver BC corridor, but it would likely require a different crossing entirely (perhaps an upgrade to the existing BNSF bridge). Hyperloop is a non-starter.

8 lanes would be plenty (especially if the extra lanes are HOV 3+ until the light rail component is completed). Financing will be a problem, since the Washington legislature doesn't have a new transportation package they could sneak this in...so the bridge will be all alone and subject to intense politicking.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: MantyMadTown on September 11, 2018, 01:46:49 AM
If the build enough lanes basic math will prove it will improve traffic flow. But yes, a transit connection is a must. Would be nice to see a step further and see ROW for HSR or hyperloop.

Admittedly, I’m not familiar with this area but have spent the better part of the past hour looking at this issue and the bridges history, it definitely needs to be replaced. 12 lanes would ideal, 10 lanes minimum, but someone has to compromise and even 8 would be better than nothing if it means lives could potentially be saved with a new structure that could withstand earthquake.

It's more than just simple math (https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/09/citylab-university-induced-demand/569455/). HSR would be a nice inclusion, as there are active studies on the Portland-Seattle-Vancouver BC corridor, but it would likely require a different crossing entirely (perhaps an upgrade to the existing BNSF bridge). Hyperloop is a non-starter.

8 lanes would be plenty (especially if the extra lanes are HOV 3+ until the light rail component is completed). Financing will be a problem, since the Washington legislature doesn't have a new transportation package they could sneak this in...so the bridge will be all alone and subject to intense politicking.

I would absolutely agree with you there. Light rail would be a nice addition to the bridge, but I'm skeptical about getting the ROW for HRS on the same bridge.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on September 11, 2018, 01:59:20 AM
If the build enough lanes basic math will prove it will improve traffic flow. But yes, a transit connection is a must. Would be nice to see a step further and see ROW for HSR or hyperloop.

Admittedly, I’m not familiar with this area but have spent the better part of the past hour looking at this issue and the bridges history, it definitely needs to be replaced. 12 lanes would ideal, 10 lanes minimum, but someone has to compromise and even 8 would be better than nothing if it means lives could potentially be saved with a new structure that could withstand earthquake.

It's more than just simple math (https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/09/citylab-university-induced-demand/569455/). HSR would be a nice inclusion, as there are active studies on the Portland-Seattle-Vancouver BC corridor, but it would likely require a different crossing entirely (perhaps an upgrade to the existing BNSF bridge). Hyperloop is a non-starter.

8 lanes would be plenty (especially if the extra lanes are HOV 3+ until the light rail component is completed). Financing will be a problem, since the Washington legislature doesn't have a new transportation package they could sneak this in...so the bridge will be all alone and subject to intense politicking.
The wording in the article sounded as if Washington was becoming more committed to including light rail in the project.

As for HSR from Portland to Vancouver, I hope those plans and the group behind it are strong enough to get some kind of attempt in this bridge. If not, a new bridge could be built, but having more ready infrastructure is better.

I do get that hyperloop isn’t happening anytime soon. Which to me is a shame because I wish we’d take chances on technology that could prove to be the future. Of course there’s the risk it could flop, but who knows. Either way, we both agree it isn’t happening.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on September 11, 2018, 02:20:39 AM
I'm not too fond of unproven, decades-old vaporware that is getting championed now by a certain worker-exploiting, libel-triggering car company CEO.

The Washington legislature would probably go for light rail, but the hold-up is the more conservative Clark County government. They'll be sure to howl and scream about "crime trains" (despite this racial dogwhistle having no factual basis) and high costs that they won't even have to bear, but eventually they'll give.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: nexus73 on September 11, 2018, 10:23:01 AM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.

Yes, then we can have a new bottleneck in a new location while thousands of bus commuters are stuck trying to get to the nearest MAX station. A very short extension to the already robust MAX network is a no-brainer.

Exactamundo Bruce!  The snarl will be moved back from the Interstate Bridge to I-5/I-84 and I-5/I-405.  Until the progressives against progress are willing to pony up for a complete redo of the PDX freeway system to make it more akin to what I saw on the Wasatch Front where traffic flowed at 70 MPH on a busy day, the Rose City will suffer from congestion until the end of the world. 

Rick

The Salt Lake City metro has half the population and is much more spread out. It's definitely been proven that you can't build more lanes in general to relieve congestion...you have to build alternatives. Light rail is one, as is better land use within Portland proper.

The Wasatch Front represents the seventh most urbanized area in America.  It is akin to Seattle in being a thin N/S oriented area, flanked by mountains to the east with lakes and desert to the west.  I-15 gets one heck of a load placed upon it!  Unlike SoCal, an extensive spread out network of freeways will not be doable. 

A major light rail transit system is being built and figured to run from south Utah County to Ogden as I recall.  There's you complementing public transit to go with the already present bus system.  Utahns like to build things, more so than Oregonians sad to say.

Anyways, many more lanes and freeways are needed to bring PDX up to snuff.  'nuff said!

Rick
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Rothman on September 11, 2018, 10:41:18 AM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.

Yes, then we can have a new bottleneck in a new location while thousands of bus commuters are stuck trying to get to the nearest MAX station. A very short extension to the already robust MAX network is a no-brainer.

Exactamundo Bruce!  The snarl will be moved back from the Interstate Bridge to I-5/I-84 and I-5/I-405.  Until the progressives against progress are willing to pony up for a complete redo of the PDX freeway system to make it more akin to what I saw on the Wasatch Front where traffic flowed at 70 MPH on a busy day, the Rose City will suffer from congestion until the end of the world. 

Rick

The Salt Lake City metro has half the population and is much more spread out. It's definitely been proven that you can't build more lanes in general to relieve congestion...you have to build alternatives. Light rail is one, as is better land use within Portland proper.
The idea that alternatives can relieve highway congestion is definitely not proven.  Alternatives can complement highways, but they do not replace them in economically healthy areas.

All my electives in graduate school were in regional planning.  The mantra that transit can relieve congestion was more dogma than based upon good science.

Therefore, the idea that we should build alternatives to relieve congestion INSTEAD of increasing highway capacity is not well-founded.

That said, I am in favor of building BOTH as a two-pronged solution to congestion.

(Sorry for the capitals, but I am on Tapatalk and formatting is limited).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: bookem on September 11, 2018, 01:18:19 PM
A span in the neighborhood of 8-10 lanes works for me. It's a shame the bridge wasn't replaced decades ago - I could never see the point of having a draw span on an Interstate corridor. Plus, there's that whole pesky earthquake issue.

And, yes, the new span should accommodate some sort of HCT, considering Portland and Vancouver are the top two most populous cities in the lower Columbia region. I do see Vancouver proper becoming more amenable to light rail, especially in light of the high-density waterfront development going in on their side of the Columbia.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on September 11, 2018, 02:18:03 PM
A few bits of context that are important to remember –

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on September 11, 2018, 05:08:35 PM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.

Yes, then we can have a new bottleneck in a new location while thousands of bus commuters are stuck trying to get to the nearest MAX station. A very short extension to the already robust MAX network is a no-brainer.

Exactamundo Bruce!  The snarl will be moved back from the Interstate Bridge to I-5/I-84 and I-5/I-405.  Until the progressives against progress are willing to pony up for a complete redo of the PDX freeway system to make it more akin to what I saw on the Wasatch Front where traffic flowed at 70 MPH on a busy day, the Rose City will suffer from congestion until the end of the world. 

Rick

The Salt Lake City metro has half the population and is much more spread out. It's definitely been proven that you can't build more lanes in general to relieve congestion...you have to build alternatives. Light rail is one, as is better land use within Portland proper.
The idea that alternatives can relieve highway congestion is definitely not proven.  Alternatives can complement highways, but they do not replace them in economically healthy areas.

All my electives in graduate school were in regional planning.  The mantra that transit can relieve congestion was more dogma than based upon good science.

Therefore, the idea that we should build alternatives to relieve congestion INSTEAD of increasing highway capacity is not well-founded.

That said, I am in favor of building BOTH as a two-pronged solution to congestion.

(Sorry for the capitals, but I am on Tapatalk and formatting is limited).

Sure, but the impacts of freeway expansion are disproportionately worse than transit expansion. Air pollution, land takings, noise pollution, mental health impacts, childhood asthma, neighborhood disconnectivity...all linked with freeway expansion.

I should have clarified that transit expansion is about siphoning off existing and future demand from freeways, not relieving them. It would be impossible to accommodate all of the drivers on I-5 with light rail expansion (let alone the needed park-and-ride facilities). What it can do, however, is influence land use to encourage car-free or car-light lifestyles for new arrivals or intra-urban emigrants, especially when it comes to denser housing (which also helps with the West Coast's severe housing supply crisis). We've committed to this in Seattle and while the number of employers and people in Seattle have increased, traffic volumes have not increased at the same rate...in fact, drive-alone and carpooling rates have decreased while transit ridership is way up.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Rothman on September 11, 2018, 08:48:28 PM
Given my experience in the planning arena, I remain skeptical of the size of the claimed benefits compared to the cost.  I am sure that Seattle is seeing transit use go up, but I question if that has had a significant effect on congestion on Seattle's still notoriously congested highways.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on September 11, 2018, 09:17:59 PM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.

Yes, then we can have a new bottleneck in a new location while thousands of bus commuters are stuck trying to get to the nearest MAX station. A very short extension to the already robust MAX network is a no-brainer.

Exactamundo Bruce!  The snarl will be moved back from the Interstate Bridge to I-5/I-84 and I-5/I-405.  Until the progressives against progress are willing to pony up for a complete redo of the PDX freeway system to make it more akin to what I saw on the Wasatch Front where traffic flowed at 70 MPH on a busy day, the Rose City will suffer from congestion until the end of the world. 

Rick

The Salt Lake City metro has half the population and is much more spread out. It's definitely been proven that you can't build more lanes in general to relieve congestion...you have to build alternatives. Light rail is one, as is better land use within Portland proper.
The idea that alternatives can relieve highway congestion is definitely not proven.  Alternatives can complement highways, but they do not replace them in economically healthy areas.

All my electives in graduate school were in regional planning.  The mantra that transit can relieve congestion was more dogma than based upon good science.

Therefore, the idea that we should build alternatives to relieve congestion INSTEAD of increasing highway capacity is not well-founded.

That said, I am in favor of building BOTH as a two-pronged solution to congestion.

(Sorry for the capitals, but I am on Tapatalk and formatting is limited).

Sure, but the impacts of freeway expansion are disproportionately worse than transit expansion. Air pollution, land takings, noise pollution, mental health impacts, childhood asthma, neighborhood disconnectivity...all linked with freeway expansion.

I should have clarified that transit expansion is about siphoning off existing and future demand from freeways, not relieving them. It would be impossible to accommodate all of the drivers on I-5 with light rail expansion (let alone the needed park-and-ride facilities). What it can do, however, is influence land use to encourage car-free or car-light lifestyles for new arrivals or intra-urban emigrants, especially when it comes to denser housing (which also helps with the West Coast's severe housing supply crisis). We've committed to this in Seattle and while the number of employers and people in Seattle have increased, traffic volumes have not increased at the same rate...in fact, drive-alone and carpooling rates have decreased while transit ridership is way up.

Unfortunatly, Portland transit ridership is down if you look at % of population, and the increased air pollution is BS, as the congestion is causing idle cars, which increases the air pollution due to cars not running at their max efficiency vs time (about 55-60 mph), and the childhood asthma and health impacts. Land use and disconnected neighborhoods I can agree on, but only marginally, as there is still ROW available on about 70% of Portland freeways to expand. If you want to see an example of that, my fictional tier 1 transportation package has expansion, but is careful on land use, except on the Westside bypass/I-605. It is posted on my fictional Oregon plans thread.

Do I think light rail should be expanded? Within reason, as I disagreed with building the Tilikum crossing for transit/pedestrian use only, but likes all the previous lines. Do they have flaws, too many, especially Max in downtown Portland, and 55 mph limit when the cars are designed for 65. The bridgeport line I have trouble getting on board with as planned, due to the Barbur road diet, low projected ridership (15% according to a KGW viewer poll would use it often, another 15% possibly), and due to the top 2, the Tigard buisness displacements. Would I like a line there? Yes, but it shouldn't be prioritized over badly needed expansion.

On Seattle: I like the balance they are having right now and they are planning thier light rail lines well (with the exception of removing the I-90 express lanes).

Edit: The effectiveness of light rail goes down as density gets thinner as well, making a line past Bridgeport near useless ubless its a high speed line. This is also why I'm opposed to light rail in the outer suburbs. A Washington Square line though would be nice, maybe connect Bridgeport to Beaveron Town Center with a diversion to Washington Square? Now I don't know how that would be done.

Also another problem is Portland's downtown hub light rail system which doesn't provide the best efficiency IMO. Many potential riders confessed they don't ride it due to people not needing to go downtown. Bus is similar but better laid out.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on September 11, 2018, 10:55:50 PM
Idling cars would produce less air pollution compared to a freeway expansion, which would encourage more people to drive (under the law of induced demand, which is well documented) and thus put more cars on the road. http://cityobservatory.org/urban-myth-busting_idling_carbon/

Yes, Portland's rail system is a bit of an under-built mess, but it makes sense to funnel Clark County's commuter traffic onto a trunk line. The bridge is already a chokepoint and simple moving that funnel to a light rail station is fairly simple and would be a huge boon for transit ridership.

Off-topic, but why do you oppose the replacement of I-90's express lanes with light rail tracks? It was part of the original 1976 plan and the project resulted in a net gain of bi-directional HOV lanes (which were needed, as Bellevue is now a large enough job center for Seattle residents). The only people I see who are still complaining are the rich snobs on Mercer Island who lost their SOV privileges for the lane.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Rothman on September 12, 2018, 12:10:29 AM
If induced demand is so proven, then every highway would be congested.  That is simply not the case and the idea of building capacity just automatically leading to congestion is one of those overly simplistic mantras of planning practitioners that belies the multiple variables that do cause congestion.
 
Regarding transit and land use and how somehow dense development is desirable, planners also seem to forget that families with children in America prefer yard to living over a store and that single people would rather not share a wall with a family with small kids. :D
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on September 12, 2018, 01:59:15 AM
I didn't know the I-90 express lanes were supposed to be replaced in the original plans. Since that is the case, I'm no longer opposed to it.

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on September 12, 2018, 04:14:07 AM
From what I’ve read transit ridership is down in nearly every city in the US. Not sure about other cities outside of the US.

Induced demand is just such a shitty excuse to not expand infrastructure. Not to mention it’s studies in which supposedly proved it exists(which is debatable or at least to a certain extent), leave out so many variables which should be included.

Then there’s the basic fact that has already been pointed out here, there are so many freeways that aren’t clogged with traffic which defy the ‘proven’ induced demand theory.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: MantyMadTown on September 12, 2018, 04:39:01 PM
Regarding transit and land use and how somehow dense development is desirable, planners also seem to forget that families with children in America prefer yard to living over a store and that single people would rather not share a wall with a family with small kids. :D

What are we supposed to do? Increase urban sprawl? That's just going to make more people dependent on cars and make traffic congestion worse.

Personally I would use infill to solve this problem and if people want more single-family homes we can fill land in already-existing suburbs instead of building outwards. That way we can increase density while also providing for families who want backyards. And accommodate transit in those areas, of course! :D
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on September 12, 2018, 05:51:35 PM
Regarding transit and land use and how somehow dense development is desirable, planners also seem to forget that families with children in America prefer yard to living over a store and that single people would rather not share a wall with a family with small kids. :D

What are we supposed to do? Increase urban sprawl? That's just going to make more people dependent on cars and make traffic congestion worse.

Personally I would use infill to solve this problem and if people want more single-family homes we can fill land in already-existing suburbs instead of building outwards. That way we can increase density while also providing for families who want backyards. And accommodate transit in those areas, of course! :D
Infill already is happening. Yes, we keep expanding it outwards to provide cheaper living and suburban lifestyles for those who want it. Massive freeways are going to be a vital part of the infrastructure and mass transit will play a role to a degree, but it won’t be like what you’d expect in major urban centers primarily because it won’t see the ridership. Major freeways will be needed in urban centers to move people from the suburbs to the cities.

Other solutions such as decentralized job centers, telecommuting, and rethinking job hours so everyone is coming and going at the same time are also solutions to be looked at.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: US 89 on September 12, 2018, 07:56:01 PM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.

Yes, then we can have a new bottleneck in a new location while thousands of bus commuters are stuck trying to get to the nearest MAX station. A very short extension to the already robust MAX network is a no-brainer.

Exactamundo Bruce!  The snarl will be moved back from the Interstate Bridge to I-5/I-84 and I-5/I-405.  Until the progressives against progress are willing to pony up for a complete redo of the PDX freeway system to make it more akin to what I saw on the Wasatch Front where traffic flowed at 70 MPH on a busy day, the Rose City will suffer from congestion until the end of the world. 

Rick

The Salt Lake City metro has half the population and is much more spread out. It's definitely been proven that you can't build more lanes in general to relieve congestion...you have to build alternatives. Light rail is one, as is better land use within Portland proper.

The Wasatch Front represents the seventh most urbanized area in America.  It is akin to Seattle in being a thin N/S oriented area, flanked by mountains to the east with lakes and desert to the west.  I-15 gets one heck of a load placed upon it!  Unlike SoCal, an extensive spread out network of freeways will not be doable. 

A major light rail transit system is being built and figured to run from south Utah County to Ogden as I recall.  There's you complementing public transit to go with the already present bus system.  Utahns like to build things, more so than Oregonians sad to say.

Anyways, many more lanes and freeways are needed to bring PDX up to snuff.  'nuff said!

The Salt Lake City metropolitan area is only 1.1 million people. But the census bureau counts the Ogden and Provo metropolitan areas separately, and all three really make up one continuous urban corridor with a population of around 2.4 million -- comparable to Portland.

There is a light rail system, but that's currently only within Salt Lake County. There are plans to extend it south to at least Lehi along the old UP right-of-way, but there is no plan to extend it north. That was shot down by south Davis County residents; other alternatives like BRT are now being considered.

Speaking of which, there's a BRT line along 3500 South in West Valley, and they're currently building another one along University Parkway and University Avenue in Provo. They are also studying a BRT line which would be placed on 5600 West in the future.

What you may be thinking of is the FrontRunner commuter rail line. That currently extends from Pleasant View (north of Ogden) all the way down to Provo, with plans to extend it south to Payson.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on September 12, 2018, 08:17:59 PM
Neighborhood parks are generally seen as a good solution to the "yard" problem. Kids love actual playgrounds where they can be social and run around...most yards (especially in modern/compact suburban developments) are hardly large enough for a small barbecue. My own yard, way out in exurban Seattle, is smaller than a standard bus pullout...but it takes time and energy to maintain under the threat of HOA fines.

Induced demand only applies to a certain concentration of people and jobs, and is often dependent on geographic constraints (which, coincidentally, most cities are built around). By all means, we could solve congestion by building a 20-lane highway through Portland and relocating those people further out, but it wouldn't make city livability better and certainly wouldn't help the pollution problem.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on September 12, 2018, 11:13:08 PM


Neighborhood parks are generally seen as a good solution to the "yard" problem. Kids love actual playgrounds where they can be social and run around...most yards (especially in modern/compact suburban developments) are hardly large enough for a small barbecue. My own yard, way out in exurban Seattle, is smaller than a standard bus pullout...but it takes time and energy to maintain under the threat of HOA fines.

Induced demand only applies to a certain concentration of people and jobs, and is often dependent on geographic constraints (which, coincidentally, most cities are built around). By all means, we could solve congestion by building a 20-lane highway through Portland and relocating those people further out, but it wouldn't make city livability better and certainly wouldn't help the pollution problem.

A 20 lane highway through Portland is something even I think is ridiculous. The widest I have any interstate in my reccomended plan (tier 2) is 14 lanes (7 each way). This reduces to 10 lanes in the posted tier 1. I don't think most people with a sane mind would put a 20 lane freeway through Portland, even if it is double/tripled decked. This is a draft and it could change. I actually agree that parks are needed over yards, as it provides a larger playing space for kids. I also hate to upkeep my 7500 sq ft. yard (but I don't have to anymore after I move to college), but small yards are something I'm fine with.

Plus my yard is my running routes :bigass:

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: nexus73 on September 13, 2018, 11:12:15 AM
I hope the CRC is rebuilt with additional lanes, as well as full shoulders. As for the light rail element, they can take it and dump it at the bottom of the Columbia River. It would be more useful down there.

Yes, then we can have a new bottleneck in a new location while thousands of bus commuters are stuck trying to get to the nearest MAX station. A very short extension to the already robust MAX network is a no-brainer.

Exactamundo Bruce!  The snarl will be moved back from the Interstate Bridge to I-5/I-84 and I-5/I-405.  Until the progressives against progress are willing to pony up for a complete redo of the PDX freeway system to make it more akin to what I saw on the Wasatch Front where traffic flowed at 70 MPH on a busy day, the Rose City will suffer from congestion until the end of the world. 

Rick

The Salt Lake City metro has half the population and is much more spread out. It's definitely been proven that you can't build more lanes in general to relieve congestion...you have to build alternatives. Light rail is one, as is better land use within Portland proper.

The Wasatch Front represents the seventh most urbanized area in America.  It is akin to Seattle in being a thin N/S oriented area, flanked by mountains to the east with lakes and desert to the west.  I-15 gets one heck of a load placed upon it!  Unlike SoCal, an extensive spread out network of freeways will not be doable. 

A major light rail transit system is being built and figured to run from south Utah County to Ogden as I recall.  There's you complementing public transit to go with the already present bus system.  Utahns like to build things, more so than Oregonians sad to say.

Anyways, many more lanes and freeways are needed to bring PDX up to snuff.  'nuff said!

The Salt Lake City metropolitan area is only 1.1 million people. But the census bureau counts the Ogden and Provo metropolitan areas separately, and all three really make up one continuous urban corridor with a population of around 2.4 million -- comparable to Portland.

There is a light rail system, but that's currently only within Salt Lake County. There are plans to extend it south to at least Lehi along the old UP right-of-way, but there is no plan to extend it north. That was shot down by south Davis County residents; other alternatives like BRT are now being considered.

Speaking of which, there's a BRT line along 3500 South in West Valley, and they're currently building another one along University Parkway and University Avenue in Provo. They are also studying a BRT line which would be placed on 5600 West in the future.

What you may be thinking of is the FrontRunner commuter rail line. That currently extends from Pleasant View (north of Ogden) all the way down to Provo, with plans to extend it south to Payson.

Thank you for the information on Wasatch Front public transit US 89.  I just get dribs and drabs of information about that subject.  Now I know there are two rail transit systems with one chopped off by Davis County, which strikes me as a bad move on their part.  Every large corridor needs all the alternatives it can get!  Who wants to wind up in the kind of traffic quagmire Seattle is in these days?

Rick
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on September 13, 2018, 07:00:41 PM
Alternatives are good. Supporting the status quo of driving during peak periods is not.

Seattle has demonstrated an American model for coping with population/job growth without increasing traffic at the same rate.

Over the last seven years, vehicles miles traveled has increased far slower than population, employment, and transit boardings (https://www.psrc.org/sites/default/files/trend-vehiclemilestraveled-201809.pdf). A big reason why is that buses are given their own lanes, a simpler fare system, and are generally treated as a serious commuting mode for people from all walks of life, not just the poor.

(https://i.imgur.com/syZpUCa.png)

(Note that this data covers the entire King-Pierce-Snohomish-Kitsap region, so there's a lot of extra vehicle trips thrown in)
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Brandon on September 13, 2018, 10:47:45 PM
Alternatives are good. Supporting the status quo of driving during peak periods is not.

As long as people live in different areas and workplaces are scattered, the status quo will remain.  The former won't change.  The latter might.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on October 13, 2018, 10:48:07 AM
Oregon's Governor has pulled a Khitzhaber: at the final debate she said "no light rail, no project." Take that how you will.

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on October 13, 2018, 12:00:16 PM
Oregon's Governor has pulled a Khitzhaber: at the final debate she said "no light rail, no project." Take that how you will.

LG-TP260



Wow -- someone just hit the wayback machine to 1994!  That was the gist of the LR controversy back then -- whether Vancouver and the north/WA side of the river in general was to be effectively (if not jurisdictionally) integrated with PDX Metro.  It came up for a vote in Clark County that year and was shot down decisively (68-32 IIRC) -- and that was with a dedicated LR bridge next to the BNSF RR bridge, not integrated with the CRC.  It seems counterproductive for an OR governor (or anyone else in an official capacity) to insist that WA extend LR into its jurisdiction -- on its own dime past the bridge -- as a condition for fixing a crossing that has been obsolete for decades.  It's just PDX Metro, channeled through the Gov, flexing their contention that no new facility specifically designed for automotive use be built -- period; even though Vancouver and environs don't particularly want a LR extension, PDX is insisting on it.  And even if LR is deployed over the new bridge, the chances are that it'll end at a station right alongside I-5 just north of that bridge and no farther -- no mall access, no Battle Ground extension, etc. -- unless Metro ponies up funds to do so.  Clark County, as demonstrated 24 years ago, has no intention of inexorably tying themselves to an entity across the river that they see as largely contrary to their interests -- particularly since frustrated PDX housing developers have largely hied themselves over the river to site their development in WA, where they have more of a "green light" to do so.  The state line down the Columbia has always frustrated Metro -- but to folks north of the river, it's viewed as a bulwark against intrusion.  An Oregon governor unilaterally threatening that condition won't get much traction northward!  Unless walked back, that statement will likely set any CRC progress (if there is much to speak of!) back by years!   
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on October 13, 2018, 07:35:28 PM
It's completely reasonable to require the new bridge to at least have light rail designed for future retrofitting. Vancouver is going to keep growing and without light rail, those new residents will strain the new bridge and feeder roads, requiring the state to shell out more money for widenings and pointless upgrades.

The Vancouver government wants light rail, and I bet a good chunk of the citizens within the city do too. It's the surrounding county yokels who believe falsehoods about "crime trains" (which come up because a certain demographic uses the trains...and existing buses) that keep shutting things down.

Extending light rail further than Vancouver only makes sense for the Old 99 corridor, to a point. Battle Ground is too far and too small, the mall already has BRT, and there's not much point in building across to Fisher's Landing.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on October 14, 2018, 02:28:05 AM
It's completely reasonable to require the new bridge to at least have light rail designed for future retrofitting. Vancouver is going to keep growing and without light rail, those new residents will strain the new bridge and feeder roads, requiring the state to shell out more money for widenings and pointless upgrades.

The Vancouver government wants light rail, and I bet a good chunk of the citizens within the city do too. It's the surrounding county yokels who believe falsehoods about "crime trains" (which come up because a certain demographic uses the trains...and existing buses) that keep shutting things down.

Extending light rail further than Vancouver only makes sense for the Old 99 corridor, to a point. Battle Ground is too far and too small, the mall already has BRT, and there's not much point in building across to Fisher's Landing.

I was involved in documenting the aftermath of the 1994 election, and the fears of Clark County residents -- and yes, that includes those living in Battle Ground, Woodland, and other outlying areas -- of being functionally coerced into an alliance dominated by PDX Metro, has not dissipated with time.  WA residents require reassurance that if LR is extended into Clark beyond a token riverside station that they'll have input as to location of the route and stations and not have such dictated from across the river;  they also need to be assured that acceptance of LR doesn't automatically reflect acceptance of the general PDX Metro agenda.   On another note, the chances are that WSU Vancouver will be one of the termini to be considered, which makes sense from a ridership standpoint.   

Back in '94 the city of Vancouver was the only portion of Clark County to come close to a majority "yes" vote on LR; and since the university was opened a bit later, it's likely that if it came to a vote it would likely pass within the city itself.  And the most vehement opponents will almost certainly dredge up the "criminal element riding on trains" screed as they did two dozen years ago -- but with that era's "war on drugs" (directed mainly toward minorities as it was) having functionally wound down, the effectiveness of that argument would likely be less potent these days.  My take on it is that if it came to a vote today, it'd be a tossup.   But if the reassurances cited above were to be proffered, there's a good chance that the developers who financially underwrote the '94 anti-rail campaign might elect to sit this one out -- a LR line out to at least WSUV might actually be a selling point for new housing in the vicinity -- for better or worse!
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Duke87 on October 16, 2018, 07:19:20 PM
So I have a question: is there any reason, other than a political desire to chain the two together to ensure one does not happen without the other, why a MAX extension into Vancouver should use the same bridge as a widened I-5?

It seems to me, from a network reliability perspective, that it would be preferable for them to be on different structures, to avoid cases where an incident on one forces the partial or full closure of the other.

Do the MAX extension first if there are concerns that widening I-5 without it will result in it never happening.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on October 16, 2018, 08:43:29 PM
It keeps costs down by having a single contracting team work on the project, one environmental review process (though that's not always the case), and reduces the strain on local businesses/commuters during construction. Simultaneous construction would be very difficult and taxing...there's a shortage of specialized contractors that is raising prices in Seattle and I imagine it would be similar in Portland.

Even if MAX was built first, the I-5 bridges would still need replacement due to their seismic vulnerability and general deterioration over time. If the MAX bridge is built too close, a collapsed I-5 bridge could pose a huge threat and likely shut down service in the critical post-earthquake days until a full inspection is made.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on October 17, 2018, 11:58:07 AM
^^^^^^^^
The original LR bridge that was the subject of the 1994 Clark County measure was about 3/4 mile downstream from the present I-5 structures; it was actually quite close to the BNSF rail drawbridge.  Since it was voted down, no final bridge design was ever presented; speculative preliminary plans showed a high-rise prestressed concrete structure arching well above the navigable channel.  IIRC, it was single-track for the sake of economy.   
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on October 17, 2018, 10:23:17 PM
A single-track bridge would eliminate any possibility of expanding past downtown Vancouver. It would have so many awful effects on service that would negate the cost savings.

Off-topic, but whatever new Willamette crossing of MAX that gets built next (hopefully part of a downtown tunnel) needs to be triple-tracked for redundancy and future capacity.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on October 18, 2018, 02:16:02 AM
A single-track bridge would eliminate any possibility of expanding past downtown Vancouver. It would have so many awful effects on service that would negate the cost savings.

Off-topic, but whatever new Willamette crossing of MAX that gets built next (hopefully part of a downtown tunnel) needs to be triple-tracked for redundancy and future capacity.

The 1994 Clark County ballot measure that was voted down wasn't just to grant PDX Metro permission to build a line across the Columbia River, but to raise the sales tax countywide to pay for the bridge, trackage, and the Vancouver stations.  A "minimalist" facility was projected in order to keep the projected developmental costs -- and the level of revenues that needed to be raised to actually get the work done -- as small as possible.  The plans were for double track on either side of the bridge itself, but single track across the bridge, to be optimized by scheduling as well as "platooning" commute-hours trains so that several could cross southbound in the morning hours before any return trip was scheduled -- and the inverse during the northbound evening commute.  Hardly optimal, but that format was deemed necessary to increase the chances of the measure's passage.   
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on October 18, 2018, 12:26:16 PM
It's important to remember for CRC that federal matching funds are a key part of transit considerations. Think of it this way, just throwing numbers out theoretically:

Expenses with MAX:

MAX line - $750 million
Bridge itself - $750 million
WA interchanges - $750 million
OR interchanges - $1 billion
Total cost: $3.25 billion

Funding with MAX:

Tolls - $1.25 billion, partly counted as local share
Federal match - $750 million
Local remainder - $1.25 billion
Total local discretionary spending - $1.25 billion

Expenses without MAX:

Bridge itself - $750 million
WA interchanges - $750 million
OR interchanges - $1 billion
Total cost: $2.5 billion

Funding without MAX:

Tolls - $1.25 billion
Local remainder - $1.25 billion

Because of the layered projects, you basically get light rail for free. Now, if people want to have a philosophical debate about not wanting light rail in Vancouver, that's fine, but the project doesn't get any cheaper by dropping MAX.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on October 18, 2018, 12:40:16 PM


It's important to remember for CRC that federal matching funds are a key part of transit considerations. Think of it this way, just throwing numbers out theoretically:

Expenses with MAX:

MAX line - $750 million
Bridge itself - $750 million
WA interchanges - $750 million
OR interchanges - $1 billion
Total cost: $3.25 billion

Funding with MAX:

Tolls - $1.25 billion, partly counted as local share
Federal match - $750 million
Local remainder - $1.25 billion
Total local discretionary spending - $1.25 billion

Expenses without MAX:

Bridge itself - $750 million
WA interchanges - $750 million
OR interchanges - $1 billion
Total cost: $2.5 billion

Funding without MAX:

Tolls - $1.25 billion
Local remainder - $1.25 billion

Because of the layered projects, you basically get light rail for free. Now, if people want to have a philosophical debate about not wanting light rail in Vancouver, that's fine, but the project doesn't get any cheaper by dropping MAX.

Not to nag (although I'm sorry if it comes across that way), the orange line cost $1.49 billion, and the SW corridor is expected to be over $2.5 billion, granted a lot of the Orange line was the tillicum crossing, but the $750 million seems a little low to me. Also the feds last time only committed to replacing the bridge itself. I think Max would be closer to $1billion, because it doesn't have the ROW before Vancouver.

Honestly, this is easily the most expensive freeway project in Oregon/Washington.

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on October 18, 2018, 12:54:46 PM
Not to nag (although I'm sorry if it comes across that way), the orange line cost $1.49 billion, and the SW corridor is expected to be over $2.5 billion, granted a lot of the Orange line was the tillicum crossing, but the $750 million seems a little low to me. Also the feds last time only committed to replacing the bridge itself. I think Max would be closer to $1billion, because it doesn't have the ROW before Vancouver.

Honestly, this is easily the most expensive freeway project in Oregon/Washington.

LG-TP260

When all was said and done, the Orange Line "only" cost about a billion to build, including the bridge (about $150 million), new trains ($90 million), bike/ped improvements ($60 million) and ROW ($250 million). Most of the ROW for MAX on CRC was included with the CRC itself – i.e., you have to buy the I-5-adjacent properties on Hayden Island anyway, so those costs get rolled into the project regardless.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on October 18, 2018, 11:20:29 PM
The distinction of most expensive freeway project in the Northwest goes to the SR 520 Floating Bridge Replacement and Expansion Program, which will cost $4.51 billion (https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/Budget.htm) when the "Rest of the West" section is completed in the 2020s.

Heck, that $2.5 billion figure is about equal to old estimates for re-paving/surfacing I-5 through the Seattle area by 2040. That does not even include seismic retrofits for the bridges and overpasses, along with whatever expansion will get rammed in haphazardly.

For good measure, a few more of Washington's megaproject costs:

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement (not including city's park project or associated mitigation) - $3.3 billion; the tunnel alone was $2.1 billion

Puget Sound Gateway (extensions of SR 509 and SR 167 freeways) - $1.88 billion

North Spokane Corridor (US 395) - $1.492 billion

Rebuilding I-90 across Snoqualmie Pass - $1.085 billion
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: MantyMadTown on October 19, 2018, 12:16:51 AM
The distinction of most expensive freeway project in the Northwest goes to the SR 520 Floating Bridge Replacement and Expansion Program, which will cost $4.51 billion (https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR520Bridge/Budget.htm) when the "Rest of the West" section is completed in the 2020s.

Heck, that $2.5 billion figure is about equal to old estimates for re-paving/surfacing I-5 through the Seattle area by 2040. That does not even include seismic retrofits for the bridges and overpasses, along with whatever expansion will get rammed in haphazardly.

For good measure, a few more of Washington's megaproject costs:

Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement (not including city's park project or associated mitigation) - $3.3 billion; the tunnel alone was $2.1 billion

Puget Sound Gateway (extensions of SR 509 and SR 167 freeways) - $1.88 billion

North Spokane Corridor (US 395) - $1.492 billion

Rebuilding I-90 across Snoqualmie Pass - $1.085 billion

So it won't be unbelievably expensive compared to Washington's other projects then, right?
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on October 19, 2018, 11:16:32 PM
Roads are expensive.

Bridges are expensive.

Try as we might, we can’t make concrete, steel, safe workplaces and skilled labor cheaper.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on October 19, 2018, 11:36:21 PM


Roads are expensive.

Bridges are expensive.

Try as we might, we can’t make concrete, steel, safe workplaces and skilled labor cheaper.

Privatize it, make it an estimated 15-40% cheaper due to not having it be union costs and state gov environmental stiff fees.

Yet I have a feeling this won't work in many cases.

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on October 22, 2018, 02:42:08 PM


Roads are expensive.

Bridges are expensive.

Try as we might, we can’t make concrete, steel, safe workplaces and skilled labor cheaper.

Privatize it, make it an estimated 15-40% cheaper due to not having it be union costs and state gov environmental stiff fees.

Yet I have a feeling this won't work in many cases.

LG-TP260

Privatization has its benefits if carefully managed, but you have to be open-eyed about the costs. Specific to union costs, there certainly are some prevailing wage issues in Oregon but we still should pay more than just “the cheapest labor” for a bridge that we need to stand for 100+ years.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on October 24, 2018, 02:38:04 AM


Roads are expensive.

Bridges are expensive.

Try as we might, we can’t make concrete, steel, safe workplaces and skilled labor cheaper.

Privatize it, make it an estimated 15-40% cheaper due to not having it be union costs and state gov environmental stiff fees.

Yet I have a feeling this won't work in many cases.

LG-TP260

Privatization has its benefits if carefully managed, but you have to be open-eyed about the costs. Specific to union costs, there certainly are some prevailing wage issues in Oregon but we still should pay more than just “the cheapest labor” for a bridge that we need to stand for 100+ years.

Why do you think I have "yet I have a feeling this won't work in many cases," here?
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on November 20, 2018, 10:20:19 PM
A nonprofit group is calling for ferry service between Vancouver and Portland.

https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2018/11/ferry-between-portland-and-vancouver-backers-call-for-public-funding-courage.html

17 miles (38 minutes) by boat, versus 9 miles (?? minutes) on I-5.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on November 20, 2018, 10:38:10 PM
Last time I drove from downtown Portland to the WA state line, I think it took about 45 minutes or more. Sounds like a decent plan to me.

A ferry link between the Expo MAX station and the proposed Vancouver terminal might be a consideration as well, especially for those interested in going somewhere other than downtown.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on November 21, 2018, 12:23:58 AM
500 cars? For say best case senerio, that's 2000 cars total out of about 140,000. I wouldn't mind seeing a ferry, but it shouldn't be a subsitute for a CRC. Not to mention how they will put a terminal in Waterfront park, and suddenly, there is the NIMBY factor exists. Would I like to see it, yes, but it needs to be a better plan.

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on November 21, 2018, 02:18:11 PM
Just going to throw out there that it's 10 miles from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver via BNSF. If you could actually get a train to run 60 mph – which doesn't seem like that much of an ask! – for that length, that's a 10 minute trip.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on November 21, 2018, 03:31:49 PM
Just going to throw out there that it's 10 miles from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver via BNSF. If you could actually get a train to run 60 mph – which doesn't seem like that much of an ask! – for that length, that's a 10 minute trip.

Not really -- reduced (yard limit) speeds within and just north of Union Station; a sharp curve leading to the Willamette River bridge, and reduced speed across both drawbridges (Willamette & Columbia); the Vancouver depot is immediately north of the bridge and wedged into the wye that takes trains north to Kelso and Seattle or east up the north bank of the Columbia River.  The only "open" straight stretch of track is between the bridges through a trench in the St. John section of Portland; but there's a major junction where the UP line merges a couple of miles south of the Columbia River bridge.  I've been on that line taking Amtrak several times, and it takes about 20-25 minutes to go between stations (assuming the drawbridges are down!). 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on November 21, 2018, 08:50:53 PM
Just going to throw out there that it's 10 miles from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver via BNSF. If you could actually get a train to run 60 mph – which doesn't seem like that much of an ask! – for that length, that's a 10 minute trip.

BNSF is not going to approve commuter rail runs, especially over one of its chokepoints. Not unless you throw a ludicrous amount of money for those slots (which is what Seattle has to do in order to buy more commuter rail trips).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on November 21, 2018, 11:03:26 PM
Just going to throw out there that it's 10 miles from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver via BNSF. If you could actually get a train to run 60 mph – which doesn't seem like that much of an ask! – for that length, that's a 10 minute trip.

BNSF is not going to approve commuter rail runs, especially over one of its chokepoints. Not unless you throw a ludicrous amount of money for those slots (which is what Seattle has to do in order to buy more commuter rail trips).

Sure, this is blue-sky thinking… but anyone who's dealt with railroads knows that it's all a matter of negotiations. Inevitably there's something BNSF wants and would be willing to trade it.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on November 21, 2018, 11:38:41 PM
Just going to throw out there that it's 10 miles from downtown Portland to downtown Vancouver via BNSF. If you could actually get a train to run 60 mph – which doesn't seem like that much of an ask! – for that length, that's a 10 minute trip.

BNSF is not going to approve commuter rail runs, especially over one of its chokepoints. Not unless you throw a ludicrous amount of money for those slots (which is what Seattle has to do in order to buy more commuter rail trips).

OK, another actually:  Except for the section between Union Station and Vancouver, all of the PDX-area trackage belongs to either UP or regional Portland & Western (except for the municipally owned Steel Bridge & approaches trackage, which is owned by the Port of Portland).  Most BNSF freight traffic from the east turns north at Vancouver (around the non-passenger side of the wye), where there is a major terminating yard, particularly the most common stuff -- Asia-bound grain shipments, which head up to either the Port of Kalama or all the way up to Tacoma, or container traffic, mostly bound for Tacoma and Seattle (BNSF uses the Columbia River route, although longer, to avoid the Cascade Tunnel chokepoint; most Seattle-bound or originating containers use that tunnel under Stevens Pass, while Tacoma container trains (which comprise about two-thirds of the total container cargo) are split about evenly between the northern Cascade and the southern Columbia routings.  The Columbia route also has the advantage of fewer and much more benign grades.  On the Portland side of the river, the port facilities are primarily served by UP, whose tracks lie on the Oregon side.  The primary freight traffic using the Columbia River bridge is comprised of UP "run-throughs" to their relatively small Seattle facility (UP has trackage rights on BNSF as far north as Centralia, where they access their ex-Milwaukee tracks into Seattle); these are only one or two in each direction daily.  BNSF traffic usually comes from their ex SP&S line downriver toward Astoria (it used to go all the way into that town, but now terminates at a lumber facility about 10 miles east along US 30); usually one train a day of forest products; also, there are transfer runs to the UP "Brooklyn" yard SE of downtown PDX for freight heading south toward California.  UP doesn't use BNSF's St. John trench; they have their own mile-long tunnel under North Portland to access their main yard on the east bank of the Willamette north of the Steel Bridge.  So the BNSF line over the rivers from Portland to Vancouver is hardly a major freight chokepoint -- but, as Bruce states, they have become quite accustomed to "cashing in" on allowing commute traffic to use their rails.

Because of Seattle's topology there are relatively few useful rail lines in and around that area that lend themselves readily to commute purposes (Lake Washington is a formidable obstacle to any efficiencies regarding a E-W regional commute), and except for the Puget-hugging BNSF line, limited practical ways for a rail line to head north (the old NP line through the U of W campus and heading through Kenmore was pulled up in the early '80's; local NIMBY sentiments were largely responsible for that loss).  Essentially, BNSF, at about 80% of the total trackage game, has Seattle at a disadvantage -- their predecessors (NP & GN) got there well before the population boom and secured the major points of egress.   OTOH, Portland is relatively wide-open; originally served by 3 major railroads (UP, SP and NP/GN subsidiary SP&S), they effectively split all the available egress points.  From what I've heard (and locals can and should chime in about this) there's a rudimentary rail (not LR) commute system connecting Portland, Lake Oswego, Tigard, and Beaverton, using tracks that snake through various valleys to circumvent the West Hills.  These tracks are mostly owned by P&W, a regional freight hauler much more open to the commute concept (hell, they let Doyle McCormack, the locomotive restorer responsible for the SP Daylight and other historic steam, run excursions over their tracks on a regular basis).  But UP hasn't acceded to any commute entreaties to date besides what's currently provided under the Amtrak aegis -- they, more than BNSF, are the party that has kept commute rail from being deployed south and east of town.  And unlike the Caltrain service in the Bay Area and much of Metrolink in greater L.A., where the operating agency owns much of the trackage as well, neither UP nor BNSF has any intention of selling any of its tracks to any public agency.  But historically BNSF has been more open to commute rail operations over its tracks (if compensation can be arranged) than has UP (although the latter grudgingly does allow Metrolink to run its Riverside line over their freight corridor).  UP is notoriously hard-nosed about its dealings with the outside world; the chances of Portland-area "heavy rail" commute service expanding beyond its present state are slim indeed.     
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on November 21, 2018, 11:42:36 PM
There is a commuter rail service (WES) that connects Beaverton to Tigard and is meant to feed the MAX lines. It has awful ridership numbers and was pretty much a waste. I imagine once the new MAX line to the Southwest area is built, it might be abandoned entirely.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on November 22, 2018, 01:46:58 PM
There is a commuter rail service (WES) that connects Beaverton to Tigard and is meant to feed the MAX lines. It has awful ridership numbers and was pretty much a waste. I imagine once the new MAX line to the Southwest area is built, it might be abandoned entirely.

I guess I'd take umbrage with the idea that WES was a waste. It cost $166 million, which is pretty inexpensive for a mass transit project. WES' problems are its long headways (30 minutes if you miss your train) and short hours (5-9 am, 3-7 pm).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on November 22, 2018, 02:44:07 PM
There is a commuter rail service (WES) that connects Beaverton to Tigard and is meant to feed the MAX lines. It has awful ridership numbers and was pretty much a waste. I imagine once the new MAX line to the Southwest area is built, it might be abandoned entirely.
There were plans to expand it to Salem at one time, but it was abandoned to low ridership. If the SW corridor is built, I don't think they'll get rid of it yet, as their defence would likely be a connector from Tigard to Beaverton.

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: nexus73 on November 22, 2018, 06:37:42 PM
There is a commuter rail service (WES) that connects Beaverton to Tigard and is meant to feed the MAX lines. It has awful ridership numbers and was pretty much a waste. I imagine once the new MAX line to the Southwest area is built, it might be abandoned entirely.

I guess I'd take umbrage with the idea that WES was a waste. It cost $166 million, which is pretty inexpensive for a mass transit project. WES' problems are its long headways (30 minutes if you miss your train) and short hours (5-9 am, 3-7 pm).

Restricting time means restricting ridership.  Anyone who has ever driven in SW suburban PDX knows what a congested mess it is. 

Rick
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bickendan on November 22, 2018, 07:27:35 PM
IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on November 22, 2018, 10:46:58 PM
IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.

Yes, which is why it's still being considered as a possible future transit project (assuming Portland actually builds any more transit projects), possibly including changing to light rail.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Tarkus on November 24, 2018, 06:27:45 AM
IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.

Yes, which is why it's still being considered as a possible future transit project (assuming Portland actually builds any more transit projects), possibly including changing to light rail.

Frankly, I don't know why they didn't consider a WES-to-MAX conversion as the way to get light rail down to Bridgeport Village--it'd be a heck of a lot cheaper, and probably have faster service times to boot.  Of course, TriMet and the powers that be are still obsessed with their ridiculous "wheel-and-spoke" philosophy toward laying out the MAX, and running everything through that downtown chokepoint.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on November 24, 2018, 03:02:55 PM
IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.

Yes, which is why it's still being considered as a possible future transit project (assuming Portland actually builds any more transit projects), possibly including changing to light rail.

Frankly, I don't know why they didn't consider a WES-to-MAX conversion as the way to get light rail down to Bridgeport Village--it'd be a heck of a lot cheaper, and probably have faster service times to boot.  Of course, TriMet and the powers that be are still obsessed with their ridiculous "wheel-and-spoke" philosophy toward laying out the MAX, and running everything through that downtown chokepoint.
What baffles me more is them not considering a downtown tunnel(s) for the max to make it more high speed. Also, those trains are designed for 65 yet the maximum they can go on the system is 55.

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on November 24, 2018, 06:39:27 PM
IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.

Yes, which is why it's still being considered as a possible future transit project (assuming Portland actually builds any more transit projects), possibly including changing to light rail.

Frankly, I don't know why they didn't consider a WES-to-MAX conversion as the way to get light rail down to Bridgeport Village--it'd be a heck of a lot cheaper, and probably have faster service times to boot.  Of course, TriMet and the powers that be are still obsessed with their ridiculous "wheel-and-spoke" philosophy toward laying out the MAX, and running everything through that downtown chokepoint.

It makes too much sense. This is the one place where a branch wouldn't affect overall frequency and could be a decent one-seat ride from terminal to downtown.

What baffles me more is them not considering a downtown tunnel(s) for the max to make it more high speed. Also, those trains are designed for 65 yet the maximum they can go on the system is 55.

Portland is not going to like the sound of a $3 billion tunnel that will disrupt downtown streets for a few years. No matter how it's built, a downtown tunnel is going to be a hard sell.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bickendan on November 25, 2018, 03:08:24 AM
IIRC the restricted times are a result of the shared right of way with the local railroad.

Yes, which is why it's still being considered as a possible future transit project (assuming Portland actually builds any more transit projects), possibly including changing to light rail.

Frankly, I don't know why they didn't consider a WES-to-MAX conversion as the way to get light rail down to Bridgeport Village--it'd be a heck of a lot cheaper, and probably have faster service times to boot.  Of course, TriMet and the powers that be are still obsessed with their ridiculous "wheel-and-spoke" philosophy toward laying out the MAX, and running everything through that downtown chokepoint.

It makes too much sense. This is the one place where a branch wouldn't affect overall frequency and could be a decent one-seat ride from terminal to downtown.

What baffles me more is them not considering a downtown tunnel(s) for the max to make it more high speed. Also, those trains are designed for 65 yet the maximum they can go on the system is 55.

Portland is not going to like the sound of a $3 billion tunnel that will disrupt downtown streets for a few years. No matter how it's built, a downtown tunnel is going to be a hard sell.
How long did the Seattle Transit tunnel take to get built and how disruptive was it?
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on November 25, 2018, 04:42:29 PM
About three years (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downtown_Seattle_Transit_Tunnel) with stations being excavated from the surface (for cut-and-cover) and the sections in between bored with a pair of TBMs. The Westlake/Pine section was all cut-and-cover, and was hugely disruptive (but the retail area recovered, and there were temporary backfills during the Holiday shopping season). 3rd Avenue didn't quite recover, and remains a pretty dead zone outside of office hours. The addition of Benaroya Hall did help a little, though.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on November 25, 2018, 09:09:16 PM
^^^^^^^^^
Considering the shit that MAX had to go through in the mid-90's when constructing the West Hills tunnel, they'd likely be a bit gun-shy regarding any more large-scale excavation -- considering that it would have to rise to the surface somewhere near the Steel Bridge unless ambitions were to tunnel under the Willamette -- which, IIRC, has never been seriously proposed.  Since TriMet has openly promoted the transit system as enhancing the economic ambitions of downtown, the concept of bypassing downtown businesses and attractions via a tunnel might not be considered to be conducive to this notion. 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bickendan on November 26, 2018, 01:38:52 AM
There was a proposal and recommendation to tunnel I-5 under the river when Vera Katz ordered a study to remove the Eastbank Freeway to 'restore' access to the east shore (never was public access; it was industrial buildup prior to I-5's construction). The study concluded that the I-5/405 loop was too integral to Portland's economy, but that it was inadequate, and that the choices boiled down to leaving it as is, turning it into a giant traffic circle, or burying I-5 under the river and the Eastside Industrial District, ripping up the Eastbank (but leaving the Marquam Bridge for local uses).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on November 26, 2018, 01:48:04 AM
Never been to Portland, but is the city not getting to the point where HRT should be looked at or at least studied?
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on November 26, 2018, 02:14:33 AM
Never been to Portland, but is the city not getting to the point where HRT should be looked at or at least studied?

Portland is way, way too small of a metro area to try and tackle a heavy rail subway system. Why bother, with the higher costs and the appearance of less flexibility.

Any new subway is going to be a souped-up light rail like what Seattle is building out. Mostly grade-separated, but using stock LRT cars and with a few grade crossings where deemed necessary. It's cost-efficient, doesn't really impact capacity for cities that aren't large enough to fill so many subway cars, and can be used creatively to make stations easier to access.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on November 26, 2018, 05:43:23 AM
There was a proposal and recommendation to tunnel I-5 under the river when Vera Katz ordered a study to remove the Eastbank Freeway to 'restore' access to the east shore (never was public access; it was industrial buildup prior to I-5's construction). The study concluded that the I-5/405 loop was too integral to Portland's economy, but that it was inadequate, and that the choices boiled down to leaving it as is, turning it into a giant traffic circle, or burying I-5 under the river and the Eastside Industrial District, ripping up the Eastbank (but leaving the Marquam Bridge for local uses).

With sections of 2+2 freeway on both halves of the "loop", inadequate doesn't even begin to describe the scenario here.  Barely enough for local traffic; when through I-5 traffic is added to the mix -- even split between east and west alternates -- it produces congestion even in off-peak hours.  At both a.m. and p.m. commute times, it's gridlock central (injecting I-84 and US 26 traffic sure doesn't help).  At least the former signage on I-5 north down at the I-205 split at Wilsonville tried to persuade through traffic to shift to the east bypass; it seems the current signage doesn't do so, for reasons only known to ODOT (maybe TriMet started getting complaints about traffic noise/exhaust fumes/etc. from West Linn residents and decided to downplay I-205 as the through route of choice!). :rolleyes: 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bickendan on November 26, 2018, 06:28:46 AM
There was a proposal and recommendation to tunnel I-5 under the river when Vera Katz ordered a study to remove the Eastbank Freeway to 'restore' access to the east shore (never was public access; it was industrial buildup prior to I-5's construction). The study concluded that the I-5/405 loop was too integral to Portland's economy, but that it was inadequate, and that the choices boiled down to leaving it as is, turning it into a giant traffic circle, or burying I-5 under the river and the Eastside Industrial District, ripping up the Eastbank (but leaving the Marquam Bridge for local uses).

With sections of 2+2 freeway on both halves of the "loop", inadequate doesn't even begin to describe the scenario here.  Barely enough for local traffic; when through I-5 traffic is added to the mix -- even split between east and west alternates -- it produces congestion even in off-peak hours.  At both a.m. and p.m. commute times, it's gridlock central (injecting I-84 and US 26 traffic sure doesn't help).  At least the former signage on I-5 north down at the I-205 split at Wilsonville tried to persuade through traffic to shift to the east bypass; it seems the current signage doesn't do so, for reasons only known to ODOT (maybe TriMet started getting complaints about traffic noise/exhaust fumes/etc. from West Linn residents and decided to downplay I-205 as the through route of choice!). :rolleyes: 
I-205's 2+2 segments on the north and south ends don't help, nor does the continual congestion from Johnson Creek to Airport Way.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on November 26, 2018, 11:31:24 AM
There was a proposal and recommendation to tunnel I-5 under the river when Vera Katz ordered a study to remove the Eastbank Freeway to 'restore' access to the east shore (never was public access; it was industrial buildup prior to I-5's construction). The study concluded that the I-5/405 loop was too integral to Portland's economy, but that it was inadequate, and that the choices boiled down to leaving it as is, turning it into a giant traffic circle, or burying I-5 under the river and the Eastside Industrial District, ripping up the Eastbank (but leaving the Marquam Bridge for local uses).

With sections of 2+2 freeway on both halves of the "loop", inadequate doesn't even begin to describe the scenario here.  Barely enough for local traffic; when through I-5 traffic is added to the mix -- even split between east and west alternates -- it produces congestion even in off-peak hours.  At both a.m. and p.m. commute times, it's gridlock central (injecting I-84 and US 26 traffic sure doesn't help).  At least the former signage on I-5 north down at the I-205 split at Wilsonville tried to persuade through traffic to shift to the east bypass; it seems the current signage doesn't do so, for reasons only known to ODOT (maybe TriMet started getting complaints about traffic noise/exhaust fumes/etc. from West Linn residents and decided to downplay I-205 as the through route of choice!). :rolleyes: 
I-205's 2+2 segments on the north and south ends don't help, nor does the continual congestion from Johnson Creek to Airport Way.
I-5 has a 2+2 segment in Vancouver as well, however the traffic on both I-5/205 is generally fine up there, the southern 2+2 on I-205 isn't. At least ODOT is at least studying widening it to 3 lanes each way on I-205.

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on April 05, 2019, 11:39:40 AM
News: Talks for the CRC are still going, but Kate Brown has proposed a name change to IBR (interstate Bridge Replacement) https://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/2019/04/whither-crc-kate-brown-suggests-new-name-for-interstate-bridge-effort.html?outputType=amp

Opinion: I am still opposed to it as it goes. This phase has released no logistics so I'm just going to assume its the same as the CRC plan from 2013. If it is, I'm opposed as are many others.  The change of name is a way to cover up the light rail portion again.

Plus I despise Kate Brown and all lawmakers/education board members who was there in 2005 because they were about to declare me (and people like me) autistic.

LG-TP260

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bickendan on April 05, 2019, 10:30:11 PM
My objection isn't the light rail component. It's how they ignored the Coast Guard and failed to factor the river traffic clearance in the design.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on April 06, 2019, 11:54:21 AM
My objection isn't the light rail component. It's how they ignored the Coast Guard and failed to factor the river traffic clearance in the design.
Bigger objection. How government agencies don't work with each other the FAA had a line, and the Coast Guard has a line.

The main objection I have against light rail here is that Clark County doesn't want it. Heck, even Vancouver wasn't full supportive. I am talking about citizens, not the government.

Regardless, the bridge probably won't look upper tier due to height clearances.

SM-J737T

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on April 06, 2019, 12:18:43 PM
My objection isn't the light rail component. It's how they ignored the Coast Guard and failed to factor the river traffic clearance in the design.
Bigger objection. How government agencies don't work with each other the FAA had a line, and the Coast Guard has a line.

The main objection I have against light rail here is that Clark County doesn't want it. Heck, even Vancouver wasn't full supportive. I am talking about citizens, not the government.

Regardless, the bridge probably won't look upper tier due to height clearances.

SM-J737T



Back in 1994 there was a particularly nasty election regarding this very subject (LR into Vancouver) in which the authorizing measure was defeated (68%-32%, IIRC) after a campaign that (a) asserted that by doing so, Clark County would be joined at the hip to PDX Metro and would lose its political independence (which technically couldn't happen without the consent of WA state) and (b) Portland gangs would pour over the river and terrorize Vancouver residents.  Essentially a "fear of the other" type of campaign -- but it worked.  It would be interesting to see poll numbers today regarding the issue -- and see if the then-overwhelming negative opinion has shifted measurably. 

A question: has USDOT, Commerce, or the Army Corps of Engineers weighed in regarding any low bridge clearances?  Seeing as how eastern WA locations are publicizing their roles as "inland ports", any restrictions due to downstream obstacles may be problematic.   And would a solution like the Woodrow Wilson Potomac bridge on I-95 be feasible here -- a somewhat higher movable span but one that would require opening only a fraction of the previous facility?   
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: nexus73 on April 06, 2019, 04:01:01 PM
There was a height limitation on the proposed new bridge due to a small airport nearby.  If I was making the call, the airport would have been closed or had its operations modified to allow for ships to navigate the Columbia River thanks to a higher bridge.

As for the MAX line running into Vancouver, the Washingtonians called it "the crime train".  As if criminals do not drive cars...LOL!  IMO, light rail added on means the new bridge would have even more capacity for handling the commute.  Eventually the light rail would go towards Camas (east) and the new casino (north).  Urban areas do like to grow after all!  Might as well plan for the future.

Rick
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Verlanka on April 07, 2019, 08:22:10 AM
As for the MAX line running into Vancouver, the Washingtonians called it "the crime train".  As if criminals do not drive cars...LOL!

Back in 2010, when Tampa was planning a transit referendum, there were fears that criminals could use the train to commit crimes. :pan:
Somehow, I don't think that's true at all.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on April 07, 2019, 07:18:52 PM
Crime train is just a dogwhistle for something else. It's an invalid argument that tries to deprive people of an actual debate, to pander to the lowest form of racism around.

I think Vancouver is ready for light rail service. The city is trying to densify its nodes (look at the new waterfront, for example) and The Vine BRT seems to be relatively successful for a market of its size (and is getting a second line soon). Even a short Yellow Line spur that terminates in Downtown Vancouver would be highly successful as a funnel for I-5 bus service (except for peak-of-peak super-express runs).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on April 07, 2019, 07:53:18 PM
Crime train is just a dogwhistle for something else. It's an invalid argument that tries to deprive people of an actual debate, to pander to the lowest form of racism around.

Completely correct; the argument back in '94 was promoted largely by parties supplying campaign funding to the anti-light rail cause.  At that time PDX Metro was only a few years old, but had already amassed a number of adversaries -- with quite a few in the housing development area -- whose plans in the Portland exurbs were dashed by Metro anti-sprawl regulations.  Many of them simply moved north across the river, out of the way of Metro's jurisdiction (which, of course, ended at the state line).  What the negative campaign was about was asserting full independence and/or separation of WA territory from that controlled by Metro; as Bruce avers, the "crime train" shit was simply a rallying point to the more fearful part of the Clark County voting public.  They framed the election as a referendum on Clark County (and the whole of SW WA by extension) not having any political/administrative connection to Portland or Metro -- which were then classified as entities intending to usurp personal and financial freedoms.  And even though the city of Vancouver came out in favor of the LR extension, Clark County government decidedly did not. 

One of the mistakes that was made on the part of the pro-LR activists back then was the impression that the then-new presence of WSU Vancouver would tilt the Clark County voter scales toward a more progressive stance; that hasn't panned out, as most students save those with local ties tended to retain their hometown voter registration -- at least 25 years ago.  Possibly things are a bit different now -- but it would seem that any WSU-based gain would be offset by the sizeable amount of new housing deployed north of the Columbia since Metro was established -- the area's sort of a "pressure valve" for those who develop "traditional" medium-to-large lot housing -- a place to undertake such development relatively free of the limitations imposed by Metro.  Those new residents might provide a countering force to any progressive elements within Vancouver or the university.  It would be informative to actually commission a Clark County poll to see how a measure allowing and funding a similar LR extension to that proposed in the '90's would fare.   Since the election results 25 years ago were overwhelmingly negative, anything positive or even close to even would be an improvement -- and might indicate whether such a proposal would be immediately viable or whether more time needs to pass before success could be anticipated. 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on April 07, 2019, 08:34:55 PM
It would also help if the election is during a presidential year, as higher turnout tends to trend more progressive. Our light rail ballots in Seattle have failed during off-year elections (1995, 2007), but passed the following year when it aligned with a presidential election (1996, 2008, 2016).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on June 08, 2019, 03:17:55 AM
So there seems to be a proposal for a 3rd bridge, with a kickoff campaign coming up. I ignored it for a while but due to the kickoff campaign, I need to address it.

This proposal would add a 3rd bridge in a Fritzowl style way. It would construct I-305 as they call it either as a viaduct or a tunnel through N Portland, then cross over the Columbia near the RR crossing. There would also be a connector to US 30 via surface road. It connects back up to I-5 at Mill Plain blvd, with a near 90 degree turn near it.

Disclaimer: This is coming from someone who has supported freeway expansion in Portland, and a 3rd bridge.

I have many problems with this proposal:

1. Cost. I'm estimating about $300 million a mile not including the bridge as a low estimate. That would equate to at least $3 billion.
2. Design. Its not a bypass although its marketed as such, its just an I-5 alternate. Also why the 90 degree curve at the Northern end? Seems like too much hassle in an area where it can't support it. And why Mill Plain? Thats too close to downtown for comfort. And why does it go INTO Smith Lake?
3. Ignorance of Interstate bridge failure: It is getting more expensive to maintain, and would fall in a Cascadia earthquake if it happens. Unlike the common sense plan, which at least addresses it, there is no addressing of this problem.
4. Credibility: I'm for citizens making proposals, but the "rendering" looks like the Yaquina bay bridge almost to the exact specs, and the water looks like the Yaquina bay, but mirrored at the arch, and its impossible to post this as I-305 as it would start and end at I-5 for the main project. That tanks this group's credibility rating. Also, they claim that no neighborhood disruption will take place. Fat chance, your building a tunnel under a neighbor.
5. Failure to address problem for a bypass: All traffic that wants to get to Seattle would normally have to funnel into downtown Portland one way or another, then cross the Columbia. This is a reason why I support a westside bypass. Plus it leaves the Rose Quarter bottleneck, and the Tigard and Wilsonville bottlenecks as a "haha, skrew you frieght."

The only thing I feel like they got right: I-5 is full. Its capacity is about 144,000 (48,000 VPM, and thats more than generous) for rush hour traffic, non-rush free-flow with no bridge lifts, and its about at 140,000. Free flow you can shave 30% off of that capacity.

Analyze it for your self. I'd like all of your feedback if you have anything else to add or want to strengthen or refute anything I put in here. I might be sending them a constructive criticism email about this. https://thirdbridgenow.org/benefits-impacts/
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on June 08, 2019, 03:58:49 AM
^^^^^^^^^^
The "blurb" provided gives short shrift to the section that apparently tunnels under the St. John bluff; at present there already is a tunnel there connecting the UP freight yard along the east bank of the Willamette with both the present Columbia River rail bridge and the E-W UP freight line paralleling Columbia Blvd. (the one that goes right up the Gorge).  It'll be interesting to see how a multi-lane road facility (a) avoids the RR tunnel, which is about a mile long and straight as an arrow N-S, and (b) deals with tunnel ventilation, seeing as how a residential neighborhood -- and the University of Portland -- sit atop the bluff, limiting vertical shafts.  The tunnel would have to be quite an engineering feat -- likely twin tunnels, with one supplying ventilation for the main bore. 

Also -- while I do like the physical design of the main river span, a double-deck causeway across west-central Vancouver might be a hard sell; the alignment may have to be altered to more closely follow the RR tracks northward before cutting over to I-5 somewhere near the I-205 merge.  The plans as pictured look preliminary at best; a lot of details will need to be modified or otherwise negotiated before such a plan could and would be approved by all parties.  And it can't and won't be able to be done "on the cheap" by any means!

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bickendan on June 08, 2019, 07:52:53 AM
Sparker beat me to the RR tunnel point, and the location they put their 'I-305' is smack down the existing tunnel, which is not an abandoned line.
They project an ADT of 195,000, and that it will take traffic off "I-5, I-205, I-405, I-84 freeway [sic], HWY-26, HWY-30, SR14, SR-500, and adjacent arterioles [sic], relieving congestion." Ok, how the hell would it relieve the East Portland, Stadium, and Banfield Freeways, and how does it relate at all to the Sunset, Lewis and Clark, and the 500 Freeways, aside as they being start point and end points for trips?
The tunnel routing feeds directly into the Fremont Stack via Greeley, which would exacerbate the Rose Quarter chokepoint, or onto Interstate Ave, which couldn't handle any influx of traffic because of the Yellow Line, and there's no physical way to connect any such facility onto the Fremont Bridge itself, as it would cause bigger weaving issues on the bridge than it already has with the western US 30 Wye.

Addressing the Linnton crossing. A Willamette crossing there isn't bad; it's actually where I'd put it to avoid any facilities on Sauvie Island (because that's a whole level of NIMBY not worth risking). But, if they're projecting 195k ADT (again, what?), US 30 cannot handle that -- even if I-505 had been fully built out to Clatskanie (incidentally, had that one happened, I-505 WOULD have been a true I-5 alternate/relief route, because of WA 433 and 432 between Rainier and Longview, though the Lewis and Clark Bridge might have needed a twin span)! A facility between Columbia Blvd and Smith Lake *could* be useful if trying to avoid ROW along the few neighborhoods along Columbia, but I'd rather upgrade Columbia and Lombard (out to I-205) and make Bypass 30 worthy of its banner again. Since that's not the focus here, the proposed segment along ORH 120 (Portland Rd) and the RR and crossing the mid-section of Haydn Island and skirting the western edge of downtown Vancouver and wrapping in to I-5 along 501 is, frankly, nuts. I realize the Portland Rd segment is to allow a connection to the tunnel segment, but I've already mentioned that I think that's a bad idea.

Instead, the route should be north along Lombard, and from the point where Lombard turns into Marine Dr at the entrance to Kelly Point Park, northeast across the Columbia River and meet up with I-5 at SR 500. And I'd bury the freeway under 39th St.
And frankly, this routing's best served if it punches through the Tualatin Moutains out toward the fabled Westside Bypass or a nothern extension of OR 217. And we can count on one hand the percentage of that happening.

Costs: Better off building the replacement Interstate spans and tearing down the old ones.
Traffic relief: They're kidding, right? This doesn't relieve I-205, I-84, WA 14, WA 500, I-405, US 26 or US 30.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on June 08, 2019, 12:17:46 PM
^^^^^^^^^^
I can't see UP giving up their tunnel (which is single-track and would have to be bored out in any instance to accommodate a multilane freeway); it's their main freight egress from the classification yard to their lines heading north & east (the line along the Banfield, formerly used to route now-nonexistent passenger traffic to Union Station, has a heavy eastbound gradient and, as such, doesn't see much use except for running "baretable" (empty container frames) cars WB).  Besides, as Dan avers, merging onto I-5 at or near the north I-405 interchange is, well, a faulty idea, considering the issues with widening I-5 south of there.  Overall, while the location of the Columbia crossing isn't the worst I've seen, routing traffic over to it -- from both directions -- is something that seems to have been pulled from wishful thinking -- and a dearth of common sense.  At this point it's unlikely this proposal will get any farther than prior efforts in this regard.   
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Thunderbyrd316 on June 08, 2019, 10:34:24 PM
   I heard a lady call in to Lars about this yesterday and almost posted about it last night. Quite simply, in freeway averse Portland I see ZERO chance of anything like this EVER getting built, no matter HOW bad I-5 gets. And this is entirely aside from the multitude of things wrong with this proposal.

   I think I posted this before but what I would do (also VERY unlikely in freeway averse Portland) is 8 new elevated express lanes over I-5 from I-405 to Columbia Blvd. Then new 8 lane alignment east of existing freeway through East Delta Park and across new 8 lane bridge east of existing bridge, rejoining I-5 near SR 500. existing freeway north of Columbia would provide local access to existing exits to down town Vancouver but through traffic would default to SR 14 and NOT reconnect with I-5 to the north. Expensive and not very likely but more realistic than this train wreck. (And yes, I know that this will not fix the Rose Quarter bottle neck but should improve evening commute northbound.) 

   Any thoughts about this?
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on June 09, 2019, 01:11:24 AM
There were previous proposals for a third bridge, but they would have been built further east of I-205 at Camas or some other crossing. This one looks really, really stupid just for trying to propose a new viaduct through a populated area, which should be a red flag in any city let alone one in the Northwest.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on June 09, 2019, 04:12:53 AM
There were previous proposals for a third bridge, but they would have been built further east of I-205 at Camas or some other crossing. This one looks really, really stupid just for trying to propose a new viaduct through a populated area, which should be a red flag in any city let alone one in the Northwest.
The thing about the East County bridge is that it was approved by Clark County voters, then shut down by the city council of Vancover. The current proposed location is by Camas for that one, and its stuck in the bureaucracy right now and for the last 3 years. That bridge was well planned though.

SM-J737T

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on June 10, 2019, 01:11:22 PM
OK, Third Bridge Now has been around for *ever* and doesn't get any traction because it's not real.

I mean, red flag #1: Their rendering is a poorly-photoshopped double-arch, double-decker copy of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. It's laughable.

Red flag #2: It crosses wetlands. Plenty of other posters can talk about how easy it is to construct a new interstate highway across wetlands.

As for the East County bridge – the biggest issue with that is that there is no compatible "landing" infrastructure on the south side of the Columbia, nor would there be. The East County cities won't be interested in seeing transportation money (especially on a "toll-free" bridge!) go to make it easier to commute to Washington, not when they have their own projects they want. Putting Camas / Washougal commuters onto Airport Way won't address any existing bottlenecks, and may make the current bottleneck on I-84 at 205 even worse. Then there's the general current millieu in Oregon – that Rose Quarter project is on life support and it's just to add a humble exit-only lane between 405 and 84.

For my money, the only way you get a third bridge over the Columbia in the Portland metro area is to have it go generally NW-to-SE somewhere near Troutdale and Camas, with enough of a "back-track" that commuter traffic going to Portland wouldn't find it useful, but freight coming out of the Gorge on 84 would be able to use it to connect to SR 14, and commuters going from Camas to Gresham would save some time.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on June 10, 2019, 02:42:13 PM
At present there just isn't a location or design for a 3rd bridge and its requisite approaches that would be able to gather support from all the parties who would have to sign off on it -- or even those who would be most directly affected by it.  The sole common ground is that Sauvie Island is "sacred ground" that must be avoided.  It seems that the bridge itself (the plans for reconstructing the I-5 bridges within the existing ROW notwithstanding) is the least of the problems; how to configure or even locate the approaches, particularly to proposals west of I-5, is the major issue of discord.  Obviously, anything tunneling under St. John, as the latest proposal does, is dead in the water not only because of costs and/or displacement of current facilities (ask UP about that!) but because it doesn't take into consideration the current issues with traffic flow within the I-5/east bank - I-405/west bank "loop", including issues that have to date stood in the way of even minimal expansion of the freeways.  So far no one's come up with a solution acceptable to the City of Portland and Metro, who would rather not even consider new freeway mileage, or Vancouver and/or Clark County, who would absolutely love a new crossing as long as it didn't change much on their side of the river.   The "out of sight/out of mind" Camas-area concepts are too much of a physical outlier to be of any practical value; downriver would seem the most rational location to place a crossing -- but that would involve 15-20 miles of upgrading US 30, including some urban (e.g., Yeon) mileage -- which might give Metro pause.  And since no one outside of the real world's version of our Fictional section has seriously brought up a westside bypass -- even a 217 extension -- for years (likely because it would get shot down in short order!), not snaking a freeway along US 30 wouldn't be an option.  It's no wonder folks frustrated at the lack of progress formulate unworkable plans such as this most recent proposal -- they've been reduced to simply grasping at straws!  I lived up there for several years in the '90's -- and dealing with transportation issues in that region is an exercise in self-flagellation or even outright masochism! 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: The Ghostbuster on June 10, 2019, 04:19:09 PM
If they need to revive the CRC, revive it! But if there is any part of the proposal that includes light rail, dump the proposal in the Columbia or the Williamette River. NO LIGHT RAIL!
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on June 10, 2019, 04:33:26 PM
If they need to revive the CRC, revive it! But if there is any part of the proposal that includes light rail, dump the proposal in the Columbia or the Williamette River. NO LIGHT RAIL!

And for what reason is light rail so utterly detestable as to taint the entire project?

If anything, a third bridge should be a light rail and bus bridge like Tillikum Crossing, which also doubles as an EMS bypass. It would be cheaper to build and would be in line with the region's long-term transportation goals (namely to reduce carbon emissions before we all burn to a crisp at the end of human civilization).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on June 10, 2019, 04:59:16 PM
If they need to revive the CRC, revive it! But if there is any part of the proposal that includes light rail, dump the proposal in the Columbia or the Williamette River. NO LIGHT RAIL!

And for what reason is light rail so utterly detestable as to taint the entire project?

If anything, a third bridge should be a light rail and bus bridge like Tillikum Crossing, which also doubles as an EMS bypass. It would be cheaper to build and would be in line with the region's long-term transportation goals (namely to reduce carbon emissions before we all burn to a crisp at the end of human civilization).

Although quite likely to gain favor with Metro, a strictly transit (rail/bus) bridge on its own wouldn't have much popular support on the north side of the river.  Seeing as how the present north end of LR is at Janszen Beach (and close to the I-5 crossing), it may as well be incorporated into the design of that project, if such ever gets off the ground.  Looks like there's enough ROW width to accommodate 6 GP lanes, 2 transit lanes, and an LR track (2 might be stretching it!).   Since it'll probably come full circle back to I-5 in the long haul, squeezing as much as possible into the project seems like the way to go -- if any plans actually gel, it just might well be the one chance to finally address the cross-river situation.   
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on June 10, 2019, 06:52:28 PM
A single-track bridge would be phenomenally dumb. Vancouver will need quite a few trains per hour to handle rush hour loads (especially since MAX uses two-car trainsets) and it has to be double tracked. Does the bridge need to be 10 lanes across? If the approaches to the north and south can't handle that much traffic, then it shouldn't be built to that width.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on June 10, 2019, 10:06:32 PM
A single-track bridge would be phenomenally dumb. Vancouver will need quite a few trains per hour to handle rush hour loads (especially since MAX uses two-car trainsets) and it has to be double tracked. Does the bridge need to be 10 lanes across? If the approaches to the north and south can't handle that much traffic, then it shouldn't be built to that width.

I agree. Single-track sections only work if the time-tables allow it, and they're usually too restrictive for a well-used LRT network.

Tacoma has a long single-track section of light rail between Union Station and the Tacoma Dome, but it works because it can do that route (and back) within 12 minutes. If the city wants to increase that frequency (perhaps when the Central Link trains arrive in Tacoma), some serious construction work would be required (probably to build a bypass in the middle of the route).

I would be cool with this setup (160' width...no idea what the actual width would be). There would be barriers where applicable, of course (such are not an option within the Streetmix website):

(https://i.imgur.com/otaATEQ.png)
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on June 10, 2019, 11:58:04 PM
A single-track bridge would be phenomenally dumb. Vancouver will need quite a few trains per hour to handle rush hour loads (especially since MAX uses two-car trainsets) and it has to be double tracked. Does the bridge need to be 10 lanes across? If the approaches to the north and south can't handle that much traffic, then it shouldn't be built to that width.

I agree. Single-track sections only work if the time-tables allow it, and they're usually too restrictive for a well-used LRT network.

Tacoma has a long single-track section of light rail between Union Station and the Tacoma Dome, but it works because it can do that route (and back) within 12 minutes. If the city wants to increase that frequency (perhaps when the Central Link trains arrive in Tacoma), some serious construction work would be required (probably to build a bypass in the middle of the route).

I would be cool with this setup (160' width...no idea what the actual width would be). There would be barriers where applicable, of course (such are not an option within the Streetmix website):

(https://i.imgur.com/otaATEQ.png)

The problem I have with that is that there is no increase in freeway capacity. Light rail and busses may take 10% off as an estimate but that 10% will come back in 12 years even with a recession. And 3 lanes is full as it is if there was no bridge lifts (overcapacity with the lifts). I know space is a concern but no capacity increase, even just an auxiliary lane between 99E and WA 14 is not good planning.

This isn't to say I don't support a bus only lane or light rail on the bridge. I don't consider transit a capacity increase though because of the 10-12% relief vs 33% with one extra lane.

I will not answer any questions about my proposed solution (which isn't the former CRC for the record) but I will/have put them on my fictional page (depending on tier) for users who are curious.

Edit: Portland transit ridership is declining as well despite increase in service and the Orange Line. https://trimet.org/about/performance.htm

I'm not 100% sure but I think Corvallis is the only system in Oregon that is sustaining and possibly growing its passengers count, and we will go through a 25% service expansion next year at the cost of 3 underperforming routes (that's called smart planning). Correct me if I'm wrong.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on June 11, 2019, 01:06:48 AM
The original 1994 LR extension, which was to be located adjacent to the BNSF rail crossing, was single-track; the operating idea was that most of the volume would be temporally directional for commute purposes (SB in the AM, NB in the PM); double track would merge at the bridge anchorages so that only the section over the water would be single-track (cost containment was the driving factor 25 years ago).  During the day, the service would be scheduled so as to not result in significant delays because of the single track. 

Increasing freeway general-lane capacity is a "third rail" (no pun intended) with Metro and PDX planners; they've fought the idea of widening I-5 between the Fremont Bridge and the Columbia River for close to 30 years; planning even a single unencumbered additional lane per direction on a new crossing would likely result in such plans being disapproved.  The driving concept (again, no pun here) behind the new crossing is the substandard physical structure of the extant twin truss/lift spans rather than the overall capacity.   Yeah, it's a political judgment call -- but that's the policy direction Metro has taken since its inception.   That being said, what is illustrated in the above posts would likely be one of the concepts that would pass muster without much trouble with Metro, the City of Portland, and both ODOT and WDOT.  Now to locate and secure the funding................. 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on June 11, 2019, 11:50:55 AM
There's just no point to increasing the number of through-lanes on I-5 at the CRC.

Exit-only lanes to and from SR 14 and SR 500? Sure. But I don't see what a full widening gets you without widening the rest of the freeway, which isn't happening.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on June 11, 2019, 05:16:06 PM
Freeway capacity increases only lead to more traffic

This phenomenon is known, well-documented, and is inescapable. Given the state of our climate (which is worsening due in large part to transportation emissions), it would be reckless and idiotic to try and cram more freeway lanes into Portland. If transit is faster than driving, then people will switch to it and avoid driving...this formula works in other North American cities (in particular, Vancouver and Seattle), so there's no reason that Portland can't follow suit.

C-TRAN, the bus agency in Vancouver, WA, has seen ridership growth thanks to their new BRT corridor and is adding a second soon. Both are intended to feed into a Yellow Line extension to downtown, and would likely be joined by dozens of commuter expresses from other areas of the county. The Yellow Line extension would carry far more commuting traffic than the extra freeway lanes, at a far smaller environmental cost.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Rothman on June 11, 2019, 05:38:59 PM
Your first sentence is incorrect.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on June 11, 2019, 05:50:05 PM
Your first sentence is incorrect.

Increasing the capacity of anything will increase its use, especially if that "thing" is easier than another "thing".
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Rothman on June 11, 2019, 06:16:33 PM


Your first sentence is incorrect.

Increasing the capacity of anything will increase its use, especially if that "thing" is easier than another "thing".

Absolutely not.  Take a drive down CT 11 sometime.  The traffic counts are pathetic.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on June 11, 2019, 06:22:33 PM


Your first sentence is incorrect.

Increasing the capacity of anything will increase its use, especially if that "thing" is easier than another "thing".

Absolutely not.  Take a drive down CT 11 sometime.  The traffic counts are pathetic.

So a rural highway with no real connections between cities is supposed to prove what exactly?

We're talking about a major urban corridor that cannot physically expand without destroying its surroundings even further than it already has. A more comparable anecdote would be I-405 in West Los Angeles...surprise, the traffic got worse after the expansion (https://la.curbed.com/2019/5/6/18531505/405-widening-traffic-los-angeles-carpool-lane).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on June 11, 2019, 06:37:00 PM
We're talking about a major urban corridor that cannot physically expand without destroying its surroundings even further than it already has. A more comparable anecdote would be I-405 in West Los Angeles...surprise, the traffic got worse after the expansion (https://la.curbed.com/2019/5/6/18531505/405-widening-traffic-los-angeles-carpool-lane).

Katy Freeway, too (http://cityobservatory.org/reducing-congestion-katy-didnt/). Are these roads moving more cars? Of course, but was the only purpose of widening to push more cars through at the same snail's pace as before? Because, realistically, that's the only thing that actually changed.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on June 11, 2019, 06:53:35 PM


Your first sentence is incorrect.

Increasing the capacity of anything will increase its use, especially if that "thing" is easier than another "thing".

Tell that to the orange line of trimet or the new travel lane between OR 217 and I-205. The problem with a lot of these minor expansions is that it's just one extra lane in a super busy area or it's so poorly planned

SM-J737T

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Rothman on June 11, 2019, 07:07:52 PM


Your first sentence is incorrect.

Increasing the capacity of anything will increase its use, especially if that "thing" is easier than another "thing".

Absolutely not.  Take a drive down CT 11 sometime.  The traffic counts are pathetic.

So a rural highway with no real connections between cities is supposed to prove what exactly?

We're talking about a major urban corridor that cannot physically expand without destroying its surroundings even further than it already has. A more comparable anecdote would be I-405 in West Los Angeles...surprise, the traffic got worse after the expansion (https://la.curbed.com/2019/5/6/18531505/405-widening-traffic-los-angeles-carpool-lane).
I am proving that more lanes do not mean more congestion.  You made blatantly unfounded blanket statements.

(And, CT 11 connects Hartford with New London)
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Alps on June 11, 2019, 07:59:43 PM
Your first sentence is incorrect.
Concur. A holistic look at the entire network is required. Increasing capacity in a link that is favorable to use (such as a freeway) decreases demand on other links (such as surface streets).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on June 11, 2019, 08:02:20 PM
I am proving that more lanes do not mean more congestion.  You made blatantly unfounded blanket statements.

(And, CT 11 connects Hartford with New London)

Induced demand is only possible in areas with reasonably-rapid growth. CT Route 11 is an area with no population growth. Your point is moot because there's no people to add to the congestion. Both Hartford and New London have shrunk since 2010.

The 405 and the Katy Fwy are two examples of over-burdened, newly-widened roads in areas with quickly-growing populations. The newly-widened roads were able to absorb this new growth, but the abysmal travel times have not changed (at least in TX...I'm sure it's the same situation in Los Angeles). Both Portland and Seattle are growing extremely fast, and need to find ways to move these new people around. For the most part, leaders in the area would like to avoid adding more cars to the roads. Hence, bus lanes, light rail, etc.



A holistic look at the entire network is required. Increasing capacity in a link that is favorable to use (such as a freeway) decreases demand on other links (such as surface streets).

But for how long? There is not a finite number of cars on the road. Suburbs encourage car usage...as long as suburbs keep growing, why would there be a steady number of cars?

EDIT: simply telling people to use light rail is not really possible. You have to encourage it. This is done by making it more convenient, right? We do this with roads, why not with transit?
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Rothman on June 11, 2019, 08:54:25 PM
My point is not moot, because it was only one of many examples that shows that more lanes do not necessarily mean more traffic.

I appreciate your more nuanced position, but when Bruce barks his blanket statement, it's jusr ridiculous on its face.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: webny99 on June 11, 2019, 10:36:48 PM
Isn't this a "which came first, the chicken or the egg" argument?

It's obvious that traffic volumes will increase after freeway widenings in places like Houston and the PNW that are fast-growing. But to say that the widenings cause the increased traffic is backwards and illogical. The demand came first. They wouldn't have done the widening if the demand wasn't there. The fact that lanes were added, and then traffic increased, does not mean that the former caused the latter.

Try adding lanes to a freeway in Michigan or Upstate NY and see what happens. Population isn't growing, and people aren't going to switch to driving from other transportation methods. So adding lanes isn't going to lead to more traffic.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on June 12, 2019, 01:30:06 AM
When it comes to I-5 between central Portland and the Columbia River, pretty much every argument pro and con expansion has been trotted out at one time or another.  I remember a Metro meeting I attended back in late summer 1994 (a couple of months prior to the Vancouver LR-funding election) when an ODOT-originated proposal to emulate the CA "idiom" of adding one additional lane per direction to the freeway from I-405 north to Lombard (ODOT declined to put $$$ into widening the long bridge over Portland Ave. and the UP tracks farther north) -- but with those lanes being HOV-only during peak traffic hours.  The proposal was eventually "back-burnered" (and dropped within a year or so) -- but one of the opposing arguments proffered by opponents was that WA residents were already getting a "free ride" by coming into OR to purchase high-ticket items (appliances, audio, TV's, even cars) because of the lack of an OR sales tax -- and that any expansion of I-5 (or 205, for that matter) beyond what was then on the ground would "only encourage that sort of activity" without benefits (besides some retailers remaining in business and issuing paychecks!) to Oregon in general and Portland in particular.   But that was a mild exchange compared with some -- discussed earlier in the thread -- comments from north of the river concerning the social aspects of LR into Vancouver!   Let's just say that cross-river issues invariably provoke heated arguments from just about any party with an axe to grind or a point to make! :fight:
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: The Ghostbuster on June 12, 2019, 04:31:34 PM
Use congestion pricing, and the "induced travel" theory goes out the window.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on June 12, 2019, 07:21:40 PM
The induced demand theory is a fallacy. It “stats” that back it up are cherry picked from major metros that are already suffering from horrid congestion. It leaves out so many variables it’s unreal. If I go more into city planning and transportation planning I hope to champion a study one day that really challenges the views of current city planners who think bike lanes, road diets, and streetcars can solve everything because induced demand man.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on June 13, 2019, 12:47:48 PM
The induced demand theory is a fallacy. It “stats” that back it up are cherry picked from major metros that are already suffering from horrid congestion.

But that's exactly the point – the induced demand argument is only really relevant in metropolitan areas. Of course if you build a freeway to nowhere, it's not going to be a perpetual traffic jam (unless the freeway induces development around it, in which case, yes, the demand was induced).

But in a major metropolitan area, there are always going to be people who choose to make a trip in a car because it's quicker now than it was before.

Road widening projects seem to get caught in this philosophical trap of "Will the road just fill up with more cars thus making the widening a waste of money?" When it's much, much more nuanced than that:


To be clear, there are idealogues on both sides who aren't looking at the data. But to say flat-out that induced demand isn't part of a conversation is just silly.

If you built a 10 lane freeway from Portland to Vancouver, it would fill up. Maybe not immediately, but eventually. It would discourage people from using transit, which, until we're all driving EVs, has a pollution impact. These are just facts. The problem is everyone's so damned idealogical about widening or transit or whatever, that nothing gets done.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Rothman on June 13, 2019, 01:01:02 PM
His point about ignoring other variables is still pertinent, though.  My experience with research in the planning field is that it is rife with studies concluding causality based upon mere correlation.

I do agree that highways do fill up in economically sound and growing urban areas, but I do scoff at New Urbanists that go around naively barking "More lanes, more traffic!"

That all said, I am beginning to think that this roads versus transit war ("us versus them") is due to all around scarcity of investment.  I wonder if there's some magical mix of improvements -- through a true intermodal approach, that would get both sides working together rather than at odds with each other.

That would keep both sides honest and provide true modal choice rather than travelers just being forced into one or the other due to wherever the money goes.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on June 13, 2019, 01:11:06 PM

That all said, I am beginning to think that this roads versus transit war ("us versus them") is due to all around scarcity of investment.  I wonder if there's some magical mix of improvements -- through a true intermodal approach, that would get both sides working together rather than at odds with each other.

That would keep both sides honest and provide true modal choice rather than travelers just being forced into one or the other due to wherever the money goes.

I think you're right, but then the conversation gets caught, to a degree, in "See, there are 150,000 cars a day on the road and only 20,000 people a day using the adjacent light rail line and so obviously light rail is a boondoggle" by those who are not interested in intellectual honesty in the debate.

Yes, we should have *all the things*. We are a wealthy enough nation to have all the things. That we choose not to is a shame.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on June 13, 2019, 02:55:27 PM
Suburbanite, I get what you’re saying but my claim about metros is that even among metros only certain ones are cherry picked. With the exception of geographical restrains like for better or worse affects Portland, cities like many in the Midwest remain largely unaffected by traffic and with lane miles per capita being very high in cities like St. Louis or KC adding lanes to those metros goes a long way in solving traffic. Only in major cities like LA or Atlanta are freeway lane addition projects cherry picked to support the induced demand theory. Many of those freeways needed more lanes than what was added. Furthermore, those projects almost always push a bottleneck further down like the case with the 405 Sepulveda pass project.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: TEG24601 on June 13, 2019, 07:19:24 PM
Freeway capacity increases only lead to more traffic


This is only half of the story.  It encourages people to move from city streets to free-er flowing, more efficient routing, reducing overall pollution.  It removes the barriers to mass transit, that being other cars.  Once the transit can move reliably at similar speeds to driving, it will become more attractive to more people.


Without totalitarian measures, you cannot legislate people out of their cars an onto busses or trains.  Working to increase highway capacity, while also increasing mass transit capacity will make things better in the long run for everybody.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Thunderbyrd316 on June 16, 2019, 03:30:58 PM
   "Freeway Capacity increases only lead to more traffic" The very concept behind the "induced demand" myth is FATALLY FLAWED. There are a FINITE number of vehicles / persons who wish to travel between any two specific locations at any specific time. (Yes, if you add lanes to an already congested freeway, more people will use it that might have use a different route or even method of travel HOWEVER, 1. That number is FINITE and 2. It is QUITE POSSIBLE to construct a sufficient number of lanes for almost ANY traffic volume.) The problem is government "experts" who almost always grossly underestimate the size of freeways necessary to move everyone when and where they actually want to go.

   If Oregon 217 had originally been constructed with 4 through lanes in each direction rather than 2, it would have been adequate probably into the 1990's, especially if a "Westside Bypass" had also been constructed further out for longer distance through traffic. Constructing anything smaller than 6 lanes per direction on 217 today would still be wholly inadequate for any reasonable projected future growth. Most Portland area freeways need to be 6 lanes per direction to handle CURRENT volumes.

   Any construction project to improve Portland's freeway system, even if approved today would require MANY years to build out. Any freeway project planned today needs to FAR exceed not just current capacity requirements but what projected requirements are at the time it might be completed so that it can function for at least 20 - 30 years beyond that far off completion date.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on June 16, 2019, 06:38:55 PM
   "Freeway Capacity increases only lead to more traffic" The very concept behind the "induced demand" myth is FATALLY FLAWED. There are a FINITE number of vehicles / persons who wish to travel between any two specific locations at any specific time. (Yes, if you add lanes to an already congested freeway, more people will use it that might have use a different route or even method of travel HOWEVER, 1. That number is FINITE and 2. It is QUITE POSSIBLE to construct a sufficient number of lanes for almost ANY traffic volume.) The problem is government "experts" who almost always grossly underestimate the size of freeways necessary to move everyone when and where they actually want to go.

If you look at a specific point in time, it's not finite vs infinite. It's just a specific number. Finite vs infinite are terms used to describe trips over a period of time. Of course, even then, there's no way you could have a finite number of cars unless the population is perfectly stagnate. How do you stop people from moving to a location without then driving around that location?

Why does everyone in your theoretical world drive everywhere? Are we, like, not allowed to invest in any other transport? Why do freeways have to support all growth?
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on June 17, 2019, 07:26:56 AM
Freeways don’t have to support all growth and I haven’t seen anyone make that assertion.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Thunderbyrd316 on June 17, 2019, 10:33:38 AM
   "Freeway Capacity increases only lead to more traffic" The very concept behind the "induced demand" myth is FATALLY FLAWED. There are a FINITE number of vehicles / persons who wish to travel between any two specific locations at any specific time. (Yes, if you add lanes to an already congested freeway, more people will use it that might have use a different route or even method of travel HOWEVER, 1. That number is FINITE and 2. It is QUITE POSSIBLE to construct a sufficient number of lanes for almost ANY traffic volume.) The problem is government "experts" who almost always grossly underestimate the size of freeways necessary to move everyone when and where they actually want to go.

If you look at a specific point in time, it's not finite vs infinite. It's just a specific number. Finite vs infinite are terms used to describe trips over a period of time. Of course, even then, there's no way you could have a finite number of cars unless the population is perfectly stagnate. How do you stop people from moving to a location without then driving around that location?

Why does everyone in your theoretical world drive everywhere? Are we, like, not allowed to invest in any other transport? Why do freeways have to support all growth?

It is NOT the job of government to stop people from moving anywhere they want to move to nor to stop them from driving where and when they want and in however large and powerful a vehicle they want. This very notion is the antithesis of the concepts of Liberty and Freedom this Constitutional Republic was founded upon!

Private cars are how reasonable and responsible people prefer to travel for a reason. Government funded welfare transit only goes where and when government allows. And it is horrifically inefficient. Even in the WORST conditions it only takes a little over an hour (free flow less than 30 minutes) for me to get home from work but the FASTEST transit trip takes well north of 90 minutes NOT including all the time I would spend waiting around (frequently in the rain) plus transfers and NOT having the ability to stop anywhere along the way, nor the ability to carry what ever I may wish to take with me. (Also add Criminal vagrants, thugs and freaks and their noise that they pass off as "music" blasting from their little cans that most people are too afraid to tell them to turn it off, incorrectly set or malfunctioning heat / a.c., etc. ad nauseam.) Meanwhile, although I am crawling along the 205 at 15 m.p.h. at least I am sitting in air conditioned comfort on real leather seats and able to listen to the finest Country and Western music of the 1970's or enjoying a pleasant and intelligent discussion on one of my favorite conservative talk radio programs and not having my nostrils offended by the sent of puke and piss and the bums from which they emanate.

Just for giggles, lets look at this table:
(Note that Range Per Day is for a "regular person" not some super athlete or long haul driver.)

Pedestrian: Average Speed 3 m.p.h. Max. Range Per Day: 20 - 25 miles

Bicycle: Average Speed: 15 m.p.h. Max Range Per Day: 100 - 150 miles

Transit: Average Speed: 15 - 25 m.p.h. Max Range Per Day: (Limited by System Restrictions i.e. there is no direct transit between say down town Portland and Longview, Wa.) Also, need to get from origin point to nearest bus stop and from final bus stop to final destination. MANY locations are either only accessible at limited times or NOT AT ALL. i.e. try going down to Swan Island at 4 am or South Sound Speedway in Tenino, Wa. EVER without a car.

Commercial Motor Coach: Average Speed: 50 - 65 m.p.h. Only Serves Limited Times and Locations Also, need to get from origin point to nearest access point and from final access point to final destination. MANY locations are either only accessible at limited times or NOT AT ALL.

Personal Car; Average Speed: 35 - 70 m.p.h. Max Range Per Day: 400 - 600 Miles (Able to go directly where you want to go, WHEN you wish to depart and arrive.

Freeways MUST support ALL growth to ENSURE that ALL people have the LIBERTY to travel WHERE they want WHEN they want to go there.

I have no objection to spending tax dollars on FREE welfare transit for the poor and infirm IF the money is spent on MOTOR COACHES NOT RAIL! For the cost of a single mile of track you can purchase well over 100 brand new transit buses. (The number is actually higher than that, I am rounding down for simplification.) For the cost of a second mile of track you can operate those buses for a VERY long time for FREE. When there is an incident (criminal, mechanical, etc.) on a rail system the whole thing shuts down. If there is an incident on a bus, the other buses can just go around it without disrupting the whole system. Bus routes can also be revised, added or eliminated with a minimum of effort vs. rail. Once a rail line ****s off a neighborhood it is ****ed forever. (See Rockwood and Gateway as prime examples of thriving neighborhoods DESTROYED by light rail!) Also, don't forget that those trains and tracks also require expensive maintenance well above the initial investment cost AND some of that maintenance requires shutting off service for periods of time.


Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on June 17, 2019, 12:09:07 PM
It is NOT the job of government to stop people from moving anywhere they want to move to nor to stop them from driving where and when they want and in however large and powerful a vehicle they want. This very notion is the antithesis of the concepts of Liberty and Freedom this Constitutional Republic was founded upon!

Yes, I'm sure this is exactly what the Founders had in mind when the Constitution was written.

If you want a country with all sorts of Liberty and Freedom and no pesky government regulation to get in your way, move to Mexico. Plenty of Liberty down there.

Here in the United States though, the elected government, thankfully, exercises the right to:

- Limit unsafe use of motor vehicles
- Limit the amount of pollution motor vehicles can create
- Limit the amount of space dedicated for motor vehicles
- Create conditions under which people can choose to get around without a motor vehicle

Do I always agree with their decisions? Nope. But I'm also willing to take a deep breath and say "If the majority agreed with me, the elected officials making these choices would be out of a job."

Back to the point on Liberty – nobody's ever stopping you from going where you want, when you want. The question is, if you want to go there in a car, how much will you pay for the privilege of traveling there. You're always free to walk instead.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Rothman on June 17, 2019, 12:13:29 PM


Quote from: Sub-Urbanite
The question is, if you want to go there in a car, how much will you pay for the privilege of traveling there. You're always free to walk instead.

And, thankfully, we can vote out politicians that support policies that raise the cost beyond our tolerances.

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Alps on June 17, 2019, 11:40:31 PM
I'm still laughing at how adding more vehicles to our overcrowded, underrepaired highways is a good thing instead of having multiple alternatives.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on June 18, 2019, 09:02:36 AM
I'm still laughing at how adding more vehicles to our overcrowded, underrepaired highways is a good thing instead of having multiple alternatives.
Don't have overcrowded under-repaired highways by investing in them and keep up with the capacity per demand. Problem solved.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Alps on June 19, 2019, 05:06:32 PM
I'm still laughing at how adding more vehicles to our overcrowded, underrepaired highways is a good thing instead of having multiple alternatives.
Don't have overcrowded under-repaired highways by investing in them and keep up with the capacity per demand. Problem solved.
All solutions cost money. Redundancy is a good thing. Alternative modes can come in handy if one mode fails (bridge goes out). Of course, I say this from perhaps the most transit-dense metro in the nation.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Duke87 on June 20, 2019, 01:04:27 AM
I am beginning to think that this roads versus transit war ("us versus them") is due to all around scarcity of investment.  I wonder if there's some magical mix of improvements -- through a true intermodal approach, that would get both sides working together rather than at odds with each other.

That would keep both sides honest and provide true modal choice rather than travelers just being forced into one or the other due to wherever the money goes.

Perhaps, but I do think there is a fundamental truth here that no amount of funding will overcome:

Driving under ideal circumstances will always be faster than taking transit under ideal circumstances. Transit, therefore, can only thrive in environments where driving circumstances are less than ideal.

Because of this, transit advocacy will always inevitably beget some level of anti-car sentiment. It is not feasible to make driving circumstances ideal in a dense urban environment due to lack of space, but any improvement that brings driving circumstances closer to ideal hurts transit patronage.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: ErmineNotyours on November 19, 2019, 09:26:38 PM
Washington, Oregon consider tolls, transit, safety for new Columbia Bridge (https://mynorthwest.com/1606013/washington-oregon-columbia-bridge-plans/)
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on November 20, 2019, 01:51:52 AM
Yeah I agree that light rail should be one of the components of this bridge but so should more GP  lanes.

Quote
The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that the two states requested a 10-year extension on their timeline to show progress on the bridge project or face repaying nearly $140 million in planning costs tied to the Columbia River Crossing Project.That request would've given the states until Sept. 30, 2029, to either start buying up rights-of-way or begin construction on the I-5 project.

While seeking a decade delay, the states simultaneously suggested a series of aggressive milestones, including reinitiating an environmental review of a proposed project in spring 2020 and starting construction in the summer of 2025.

The Federal Highway Administration declined the 10-year extension request but endorsed the aggressive timeline. The states now must show considerable progress, including buying up necessary rights-of-way, by the end of September 2024. If the states don't accomplish that goal, they could owe a collective $140 million to the federal government for planning costs related to the past bridge effort.

"We think five years is enough time for us to move forward on the project," said Thomas Fuller, an Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman.

- https://www.constructionequipmentguide.com/officials-in-oregon-washington-to-begin-building-i-5-bridge-by-2025/46641
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on November 20, 2019, 04:04:48 AM
Yeah I agree that light rail should be one of the components of this bridge but so should more GP  lanes.

I think it would be easier to convince Washington State officials that an extra lane for general-purpose traffic in each direction was worth the extra cost, but Oregon may not be as receptive. I don't know what Oregon's long-term plan is for Interstate 5 south of the Columbia River, but I doubt it includes widening the freeway. At least for anything other than 24/7 HOV lanes.

If it were myself making the calls, I would include three lanes in each direction for general-purpose traffic, one lane each direction for HOV, and two MAX rails (bi-directional), assuming Clark County is open to that. An auxiliary lane between the two junctions, on either side of the river, might be a consideration. But I'm not a huge fan of auxiliary lanes, because they force traffic to stop to merge, if traffic is heavy.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on November 20, 2019, 07:21:59 AM
I also think a bus lane should be considered but not without LRT.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on November 20, 2019, 01:14:45 PM
I also think a bus lane should be considered but not without LRT.

What about a shared bus/LRT lane? Buses do travel at the same speed as the MAX trains (assuming a 55mph speed limit), so it's not like one would be getting held up. Although the MAX trains wouldn't be able to proceed on their own ROW without a roadway surface immediately after the crossing, since the buses would need somewhere to go.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on November 20, 2019, 01:21:25 PM
That is an interesting thought. Does such a setup exist over a bridge?
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on November 20, 2019, 01:52:54 PM
That is an interesting thought. Does such a setup exist over a bridge?

I don't know how many routes use it, but the Tilikum Crossing, just to the south in Portland (crossing the Willamette) accepts MAX trains, buses, as well as pedestrians and cyclists. The buses and trains occupy the same right-of-way.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bickendan on November 20, 2019, 04:50:15 PM
That is an interesting thought. Does such a setup exist over a bridge?

I don't know how many routes use it, but the Tilikum Crossing, just to the south in Portland (crossing the Willamette) accepts MAX trains, buses, as well as pedestrians and cyclists. The buses and trains occupy the same right-of-way.
But neither Tilikum nor Steel Bridges are high speed crossings. Probably the best comparison and study would be the Seattle Transit Tunnel during the shared bus and LRT phase.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on November 20, 2019, 08:41:20 PM
That is an interesting thought. Does such a setup exist over a bridge?

I don't know how many routes use it, but the Tilikum Crossing, just to the south in Portland (crossing the Willamette) accepts MAX trains, buses, as well as pedestrians and cyclists. The buses and trains occupy the same right-of-way.
But neither Tilikum nor Steel Bridges are high speed crossings. Probably the best comparison and study would be the Seattle Transit Tunnel during the shared bus and LRT phase.

No doubt. Though it's not like the Tilikum Crossing couldn't be a high-speed crossing. They just made a conscious decision to make it, and the approaches, low-speed. The MAX is very capable of freeway speeds (as is the Link rail in Seattle).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on November 20, 2019, 10:26:18 PM
^^^ they should make it go faster. NYC sped up its subway cars.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on November 21, 2019, 01:33:52 AM
^^^ they should make it go faster. NYC sped up its subway cars.

The maximum limit is 25 on the current bridge. Seems that 30 might be fine. But the crossing is only about 1/3 of a mile long, so it's not a big deal.

On the other hand, the CRC would be about a mile long or more, so higher speeds would be far more reasonable, especially if the ROW would be shared with buses. The real issue is where buses would transition away from the MAX right-of-way, between the CRC and the Expo Center MAX station, assuming that's where the MAX tie-in would occur. It would be a great place, given that the MAX system is totally grade-separated from the Expo station, to N Argyle, about 1.5 miles south. This, as opposed to transitioning from the CRC directly into a low-speed environment, which may de-incentive higher MAX speeds on the CRC (flooring it on the bridge, only to scale it way back right afterwards, seems fairly wasteful).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on November 21, 2019, 02:24:57 AM
A bus lane would have limited utility on the bridge if it already has MAX. The idea would be to truncate all the western cross-river service from C-TRAN to whatever hub they can get at a Vancouver MAX station. Though with the capacity constraints that MAX has to work with, I'm not sure if a full truncation would even be possible.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: stevashe on February 23, 2020, 08:58:33 PM
More evidence of a revival for this project, looks like both ODOT and WSDOT are looking for someone to lead the project working jointly with both DOTs:

https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/news/2020/02/21/highly-effective-leader-sought-direct-bi-state-interstate-bridge-replacement-program
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sp_redelectric on February 26, 2020, 12:37:30 AM
Light rail is costly and unnecessary to Clark County.

Commuter Rail from Washougal and from Kelso into Portland would make far more sense, at a much lower cost, and could be implemented faster.  BNSF is generally receptive to commuter rail if paid enough for it, and certainly building a new Columbia River drawbridge could be a part of that.  We're already in the process of planning a $3 BILLION boondoggle light rail line from Portland to the very northern border of Tualatin that will do nothing for congestion (but it will build a lot of parking lots) - commuter rail would cost a tiny fraction of it running north.  A six car commuter train with bi-level coaches can haul 900 seated passengers with just one locomotive and a crew of two people. 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on February 26, 2020, 03:18:07 AM
I don't think commuter rail is necessarily comparable with light rail: the former serves largely suburban areas, whereas the latter is (if done correctly) more helpful in urban areas.

If Clark County wants to develop more dense cores, to move towards development that is less car-focused, particularly in downtown Vancouver (new housing, shops, etc), light rail would be able to accomplish that far better than commuter rail for many reasons:

* light rail generally runs on reserved ROW (no competing usage)
* light rail can run in tighter spaces
* light rail doesn't need lengthy platforms (more compatible with urban areas/street running)
* shorter trains allows for faster acceleration, permitting more stops (diesel trains stopping and starting every 0.5-1 mile wouldn't be practical)
* fixed rail provides incentives for development (more so than with commuter rail and other things like buses or even BRT)
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on February 26, 2020, 07:27:08 PM
Light rail is costly and unnecessary to Clark County.

Commuter Rail from Washougal and from Kelso into Portland would make far more sense, at a much lower cost, and could be implemented faster.  BNSF is generally receptive to commuter rail if paid enough for it, and certainly building a new Columbia River drawbridge could be a part of that.  We're already in the process of planning a $3 BILLION boondoggle light rail line from Portland to the very northern border of Tualatin that will do nothing for congestion (but it will build a lot of parking lots) - commuter rail would cost a tiny fraction of it running north.  A six car commuter train with bi-level coaches can haul 900 seated passengers with just one locomotive and a crew of two people. 
I don't think commuter rail is necessarily comparable with light rail: the former serves largely suburban areas, whereas the latter is (if done correctly) more helpful in urban areas.

If Clark County wants to develop more dense cores, to move towards development that is less car-focused, particularly in downtown Vancouver (new housing, shops, etc), light rail would be able to accomplish that far better than commuter rail for many reasons:

* light rail generally runs on reserved ROW (no competing usage)
* light rail can run in tighter spaces
* light rail doesn't need lengthy platforms (more compatible with urban areas/street running)
* shorter trains allows for faster acceleration, permitting more stops (diesel trains stopping and starting every 0.5-1 mile wouldn't be practical)
* fixed rail provides incentives for development (more so than with commuter rail and other things like buses or even BRT)

With regards to Clark County, the location of the BNSF lines -- well away from the city center -- doesn't bode well for heavy/commuter rail prospects.   Both the old SP&S line along the north bank of the Columbia and the NP line north to Kelso (and eventually Seattle) converge right at the north end of the Columbia rail bridge -- there's a wye, with the Amtrak station tucked in between the line divergence from the bridge.  The north side of the wye is one of BNSF's major freight yards -- and grain trains bound for the Port of Kalama downriver are ever-present along that portion of the wye.  And north along the Kelso line there is a slough separating the tracks from central Vancouver (and WSU/V, for that matter).  Amtrak patrons must cross the busy tracks to get to the station (saving grace -- great place for rail photography!).  And the line paralleling the Columbia is flanked by the WA 14 freeway -- hardly conducive to usage by potential Clark County riders -- hardly any access to the rail line until well out by Camas.   In short -- really no place to locate stations except for the existing Amtrak depot, which can barely handle the traffic that it serves.   Commuter rail would be functionally ineffective within the more populated areas of Clark County; its raison d'etre would be service to such outlying areas as Woodland and Kelso, where the tracks lie closer to the city centers.  OTOH, LR, while never cheap to deploy, does have the advantage of doubling as a commute line (provided the alignment is reasonably efficient at serving locations accessible to most potential riders) as well as a local server.   But in this instance, while all the benefits cited in the above post are generally valid, Clark County doesn't have the best track record regarding support for transit links across the river (I was around for the '94 electoral debacle!).  Getting the citizenry on that side of the river behind the concept has never been simple -- but would require cooperation beween the states' agencies regarding the details of route and service parameters -- not to mention cobbling up a way to get it across the river without significantly reducing the overall capacity of the crossing(s).  The latter point may well become a point of contention between PDX Metro and Clark County due to the diverging priorities of each entity.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: nexus73 on February 26, 2020, 11:49:56 PM
Light rail with a downtown Vancouver station and one north of that with a Park-n-Ride will do the job for commuters IMO.  Let time pass to see how Vancouver and Clark County decide on expanding light rail.  PDX/Vancouver is a single metro area, which means it all needs to be part of the system.  Major bridge crossings can be choke points or flow points depending on how many methods are put in place on the bridge for people to cross it.  The more the merrier! 

Rick
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on February 27, 2020, 04:47:47 AM
Light rail with a downtown Vancouver station and one north of that with a Park-n-Ride will do the job for commuters IMO.  Let time pass to see how Vancouver and Clark County decide on expanding light rail.  PDX/Vancouver is a single metro area, which means it all needs to be part of the system.  Major bridge crossings can be choke points or flow points depending on how many methods are put in place on the bridge for people to cross it.  The more the merrier! 

Rick

While Portland and the remainder of its metro government and Vancouver are, statistically, within one larger metro area, the fact is that Portland Metro remains a singular and unique entity with relatively vast powers over development -- but on the south side of the Columbia River only!  No WA entity, including Clark County, has elected to formally join the metro government (which would require the consent of the WA legislature in any case, something that would hardly be an automatic assent), including adopting its strictures regarding development.  That would mean abandoning Clark County's status as the one location within shouting distance of Portland that continues to maintain a friendly -- or at least non-hostile -- attitude toward housing development, including larger single-family properties.  And given the political history of the area, including a simmering level of animosity toward Portland and its sociopolitical leanings (all while taking advantage of OR's lack of sales taxes!), it's probable that even though there might be avenues of cooperation across the river from time to time, WA jurisdictions will continue to maintain a separate identity, including the continuation of certain activities, such as suburban growth, frowned upon south of the state line.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on February 27, 2020, 03:15:21 PM
Most of the country, including the "hostile" areas of Portland, are very friendly and accommodating towards existing single-family homes. Too much so, which is why we have a regional housing crisis. Hopefully Oregon's density bill results in some significant development, and maybe a similar bill can be passed in Washington (with support from Seattle).

As for light rail and commuter rail: getting BNSF on board is not at all easy. Even before the explosion in bakken oil shipments that is causing capacity issues all around the Northwest, they squeezed Sound Transit as much as they could for the lease that the Sounder North Line operates on. Since this hypothetical commuter rail would go through a similar chokepoint (the Columbia River bridge), there's no way they will give up slots for anything less than it would cost to add light rail onto the highway bridge replacement (which is bound to happen anyway, so it doesn't hurt to add 5% to the budget to ensure we have light rail at the onset).
 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on February 27, 2020, 03:54:30 PM
Clark County is the Vancouver/Portland metro area's "Little Los Angeles": largely suburban tract housing, freeways and arterial routes to connect the housing, mildly spread-out job centers, and halfway-decent transit (Clark County's Vine BRT has been quite successful).

But that's just the way things are right now: people change; housing changes; job centers change; everything slowly, of course. An extension of the MAX could connect to an expanded Clark County BRT system, and the county could start to see more dense infill. It could certainly prove to be a catalyst for downtown Vancouver, which is simply not that great compared to downtown Portland.

As someone studying transportation right now, I have some questions:

* should the new bridge be tolled, assuming it has more than three GP lanes each direction?
* should Clark County's Vine BRT run over the new bridge instead of an extension of the MAX?
* is there anywhere in Clark County, minus downtown Vancouver, that could be upzoned to support a MAX line?
* is Clark County's only chance for future development housing? Given Oregon's sales tax.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on February 27, 2020, 06:43:24 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^
Question to WA/OR posters who might know the answer:  has there been any official (or semi-) chatter about using some of the capacity on the I-205/Jackson Columbia crossing for LR -- seeing as how the PDX extension comes close to the southern end of the bridge?  Obviously, it wouldn't be the most efficient way to get from central Portland over to the denser areas of Vancouver -- and WSU for that matter -- but if there's an impasse regarding new I-5 bridge configuration and LR accommodation, alternatives may need to be explored. 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Bruce on February 27, 2020, 07:13:00 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^
Question to WA/OR posters who might know the answer:  has there been any official (or semi-) chatter about using some of the capacity on the I-205/Jackson Columbia crossing for LR -- seeing as how the PDX extension comes close to the southern end of the bridge?  Obviously, it wouldn't be the most efficient way to get from central Portland over to the denser areas of Vancouver -- and WSU for that matter -- but if there's an impasse regarding new I-5 bridge configuration and LR accommodation, alternatives may need to be explored. 

Adding yet another line into the triple-interline along the Banfield Expressway would not be wise from a network design perspective, especially since frequency for the Red Line to the airport is already limited. Another light rail crossing of the Columbia would be unnecessary and could cause the proper crossing to be canned entirely as redundant.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: nexus73 on February 27, 2020, 09:48:54 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^
Question to WA/OR posters who might know the answer:  has there been any official (or semi-) chatter about using some of the capacity on the I-205/Jackson Columbia crossing for LR -- seeing as how the PDX extension comes close to the southern end of the bridge?  Obviously, it wouldn't be the most efficient way to get from central Portland over to the denser areas of Vancouver -- and WSU for that matter -- but if there's an impasse regarding new I-5 bridge configuration and LR accommodation, alternatives may need to be explored. 

Adding yet another line into the triple-interline along the Banfield Expressway would not be wise from a network design perspective, especially since frequency for the Red Line to the airport is already limited. Another light rail crossing of the Columbia would be unnecessary and could cause the proper crossing to be canned entirely as redundant.

Having a circular loop with two bridge crossings makes for a better light rail transit network IMO.

Rick
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on February 27, 2020, 10:55:43 PM
Could always extend the MAX Red line to parallel the 205, and use dedicated trains from Parkrose/Sumner that either go to PDX or into Clark County. SkyTrain does this for the Canada Line.

Alternatively, create a new line that follows the Red and Green lines past Gateway/NE 99th, hopefully eliminating that single-track section with the tight curve. There's just no way there isn't room for extra passengers westbound from that point (to ferry extra passengers heading into Portland from Clark County, who would have to transfer).
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: bookem on February 27, 2020, 11:55:29 PM
Clark County is the Vancouver/Portland metro area's "Little Los Angeles": largely suburban tract housing, freeways and arterial routes to connect the housing, mildly spread-out job centers, and halfway-decent transit (Clark County's Vine BRT has been quite successful).

But that's just the way things are right now: people change; housing changes; job centers change; everything slowly, of course. An extension of the MAX could connect to an expanded Clark County BRT system, and the county could start to see more dense infill. It could certainly prove to be a catalyst for downtown Vancouver, which is simply not that great compared to downtown Portland.

While I can't speak to Clark County as a whole, I do believe Vancouver proper would be more amenable to light rail than it has been in the past, particularly with the waterfront development currently taking off.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: bookem on February 28, 2020, 12:08:10 AM
Could always extend the MAX Red line to parallel the 205, and use dedicated trains from Parkrose/Sumner that either go to PDX or into Clark County. SkyTrain does this for the Canada Line.

Alternatively, create a new line that follows the Red and Green lines past Gateway/NE 99th, hopefully eliminating that single-track section with the tight curve. There's just no way there isn't room for extra passengers westbound from that point (to ferry extra passengers heading into Portland from Clark County, who would have to transfer).

TriMet is planning to offer a solution of sorts (https://trimet.org/betterred/index.htm) by relegating the tight curve segment on the Red Line to outbound trains only and building a new second track for inbound trains.

Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on February 28, 2020, 01:00:03 AM
^^^^^^^^^^^
Question to WA/OR posters who might know the answer:  has there been any official (or semi-) chatter about using some of the capacity on the I-205/Jackson Columbia crossing for LR -- seeing as how the PDX extension comes close to the southern end of the bridge?  Obviously, it wouldn't be the most efficient way to get from central Portland over to the denser areas of Vancouver -- and WSU for that matter -- but if there's an impasse regarding new I-5 bridge configuration and LR accommodation, alternatives may need to be explored. 

Adding yet another line into the triple-interline along the Banfield Expressway would not be wise from a network design perspective, especially since frequency for the Red Line to the airport is already limited. Another light rail crossing of the Columbia would be unnecessary and could cause the proper crossing to be canned entirely as redundant.

Obviously the context of my question was misinterpreted; my suggestion was not to suggest that a crossing at I-205 would be preferable or even equal to one at or close to the I-5 bridge, but an alternative potential location if LR is omitted from I-5 plans.   I'm not one to consider throwing away sub-optimal but possibly doable concepts if the ideal cannot be achieved -- i.e. don't dismiss the imperfect if you can't have the perfect! 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on March 11, 2020, 03:44:53 PM
Could always extend the MAX Red line to parallel the 205, and use dedicated trains from Parkrose/Sumner that either go to PDX or into Clark County. SkyTrain does this for the Canada Line.

Alternatively, create a new line that follows the Red and Green lines past Gateway/NE 99th, hopefully eliminating that single-track section with the tight curve. There's just no way there isn't room for extra passengers westbound from that point (to ferry extra passengers heading into Portland from Clark County, who would have to transfer).

TriMet is planning to offer a solution of sorts (https://trimet.org/betterred/index.htm) by relegating the tight curve segment on the Red Line to outbound trains only and building a new second track for inbound trains.

Sorry for the massive reply delay.

Portland's MAX train can sure take some insanely tight corners. The new turn that cuts off the loop still seems wicked sharp. But I'm glad they're working on it. Definitely important for more than just hypothetical reasons.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on March 12, 2020, 06:02:57 PM
Could always extend the MAX Red line to parallel the 205, and use dedicated trains from Parkrose/Sumner that either go to PDX or into Clark County. SkyTrain does this for the Canada Line.

Alternatively, create a new line that follows the Red and Green lines past Gateway/NE 99th, hopefully eliminating that single-track section with the tight curve. There's just no way there isn't room for extra passengers westbound from that point (to ferry extra passengers heading into Portland from Clark County, who would have to transfer).

TriMet is planning to offer a solution of sorts (https://trimet.org/betterred/index.htm) by relegating the tight curve segment on the Red Line to outbound trains only and building a new second track for inbound trains.

Sorry for the massive reply delay.

Portland's MAX train can sure take some insanely tight corners. The new turn that cuts off the loop still seems wicked sharp. But I'm glad they're working on it. Definitely important for more than just hypothetical reasons.

Yeah -- dual/directional trackage is the way to go with LR.  Down here in San Jose, the saving grace of the oft-maligned VTA system is that except for a short branch down in Almaden Valley (not currently in use anyway!) and the lightly-used Winchester (Campbell) line the main trunk system is fully double-tracked.  Except when they hit a car or pedestrian, the redundancy of twin tracks (with periodic crossovers) has kept the system moving even when a trainset breaks down or is otherwise forced to stop in place.   It's good that MAX is planning to eliminate the single-track "gauntlet" over at Gateway; since the line down 205 opened and overall train frequency increased, that segment of the line has posed recurring problems. 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on March 12, 2020, 08:52:41 PM
Could always extend the MAX Red line to parallel the 205, and use dedicated trains from Parkrose/Sumner that either go to PDX or into Clark County. SkyTrain does this for the Canada Line.

Alternatively, create a new line that follows the Red and Green lines past Gateway/NE 99th, hopefully eliminating that single-track section with the tight curve. There's just no way there isn't room for extra passengers westbound from that point (to ferry extra passengers heading into Portland from Clark County, who would have to transfer).

TriMet is planning to offer a solution of sorts (https://trimet.org/betterred/index.htm) by relegating the tight curve segment on the Red Line to outbound trains only and building a new second track for inbound trains.

Sorry for the massive reply delay.

Portland's MAX train can sure take some insanely tight corners. The new turn that cuts off the loop still seems wicked sharp. But I'm glad they're working on it. Definitely important for more than just hypothetical reasons.

Yeah -- dual/directional trackage is the way to go with LR.  Down here in San Jose, the saving grace of the oft-maligned VTA system is that except for a short branch down in Almaden Valley (not currently in use anyway!) and the lightly-used Winchester (Campbell) line the main trunk system is fully double-tracked.  Except when they hit a car or pedestrian, the redundancy of twin tracks (with periodic crossovers) has kept the system moving even when a trainset breaks down or is otherwise forced to stop in place.   It's good that MAX is planning to eliminate the single-track "gauntlet" over at Gateway; since the line down 205 opened and overall train frequency increased, that segment of the line has posed recurring problems.

Indeed, it's very important. Single-track sections obviously save money, particularly when there is limited ROW to work with, but it's not ideal long-term.

Here in Tacoma, the TacomaLink Streetcar has a long section of single-track at its southern end, which limits the headways to max about 10 minutes, which is what they'll be hitting when a northerly extension opens up in a couple years. Long-term, I don't like the prospects of the single-track section, particularly if an extension to the south is to ever happen. The southern end of the line is near the Tacoma Dome, which is a transit core (Amtrak, Sounder, local and regional buses, future Central Link light rail terminus); if that core gets any busier, that single-track section is quickly going to handicap the network.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Kniwt on December 01, 2020, 02:05:25 PM
According to a new report from The Urbanist, the CRC project is back under consideration, now the "Interstate Bridge Replacement":
https://www.theurbanist.org/2020/11/30/columbia-river-crossing-freeway-project-is-back/

Quote
Last week, members of the legislatures of both states held a committee meeting to get an update on the project, where they were told that absent a significant increase in federal funding for the project, each state’s unfunded share of the project could end up being an additional $750 million to $1 billion. They were shown early cost estimates ranging from $3.17 billion to $4.81 billion for the entire project. Those numbers should be taken with a boulder of salt at this point, though.

The project manager, Greg Johnson, who has a long resume in nationwide bridge projects, told the committee that the new project isn’t CRC 2.0, using the new name: Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) program. Yet those cost estimates are based on the old project, because there aren’t any concepts to estimate costs for on the IBR project. It was Washington State Representative Jake Fey, chair of the house transportation committee, who was so eager to get that price tag for each state’s share to include in a possible state transportation package in this upcoming legislative session. More accurate cost estimates aren’t expected for another year.

Clearly the need to distinguish this project as a clean slate stems from the reasons for the CRC’s demise. Yet the agencies will clearly be looking for any elements they can salvage from the previous planning process, and have said as much. When asked by a legislator if they might be able to speed up the process to take advantage of a federal infrastructure package expected in 2021, Johnson was clear that the entire environmental review process was being completed again, with no corners cut. “If we do cut corners, the people who are adverse to this will be there to knock us back to square one,” he said.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) apparently already has nearly $100 million ready for one of the interchange expansions in the CRC, at Mill Plain Boulevard in Vancouver, allocated from a 2015 transportation funding measure. This certainly makes it look like WSDOT assumes many of the elements of the CRC are set to return with the IBR project. WSDOT has funding for an element of the project that it’s currently telling the public doesn’t exist yet.

(https://i2.wp.com/www.theurbanist.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Screen-Shot-2020-11-27-at-8.19.56-PM.png)
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 01, 2020, 09:52:11 PM
Will this new proposal go through? Or will it crash and burn like the previous proposals? I am not a betting man, but I would not be surprised if this proposal also goes down in flames. The two sides should come to an agreement about replacing the bridge, and not continue bickering until the bridge collapses into the Columbia River.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on December 01, 2020, 11:59:58 PM
Will this new proposal go through? Or will it crash and burn like the previous proposals? I am not a betting man, but I would not be surprised if this proposal also goes down in flames. The two sides should come to an agreement about replacing the bridge, and not continue bickering until the bridge collapses into the Columbia River.

I'm betting 70-30 in favor of this project, or an immediate successor, working out. Those bridges need to be replaced ASAP.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on December 02, 2020, 12:18:23 AM
If the bridge picture shown in the above pose is in any way an accurate depiction of the plans, it looks like the highest/most clearance point lies near mid-river, a bit south of where the current navigable channel goes through the drawbridge section of the current bridge(s).  That would likely entail some sort of dredging; but it's probably something that was done to accommodate the airfield along the north side of the Columbia east of I-5 -- keeping the bridge structure relatively low near the flight path. 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: nexus73 on December 02, 2020, 03:18:38 PM
That little airport should be shut down.  It serves a very small amount of people.  The bridge serves millions.  Then add some beauty elements to make this bridge a real centerpiece.  It looks so plain in the illustration. For the final touch, add the light rail. 

Rick
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on December 02, 2020, 06:08:36 PM
That little airport should be shut down.  It serves a very small amount of people.  The bridge serves millions.  Then add some beauty elements to make this bridge a real centerpiece.  It looks so plain in the illustration. For the final touch, add the light rail.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to close Pearson Field. It has around 200 landings per day, and around 150-200 based aircraft. It's not PDX-level important (though an irrelevant comparison as PDX is not typically used by general aviation), but compared to other Clark County GA airports, its pretty nice. Asphalt landing strip, plenty of covered parking, near the city (who owns it and I'm sure makes a lot of money off it), etc.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on December 02, 2020, 06:18:50 PM
If the bridge picture shown in the above pose is in any way an accurate depiction of the plans, it looks like the highest/most clearance point lies near mid-river, a bit south of where the current navigable channel goes through the drawbridge section of the current bridge(s).  That would likely entail some sort of dredging; but it's probably something that was done to accommodate the airfield along the north side of the Columbia east of I-5 -- keeping the bridge structure relatively low near the flight path.

As far as clearances, the current Interstate Bridges are vertical lift bridges that are about 230 feet tall (according to Wiki). They are not directly in line with runway 26 at Pearson Field, but this should give some idea as to the allowable vertical space we're dealing with.

To me, the biggest obstacle to reconstruction would be where to put the MAX light rail, and how to reconfigure the I-5/WA-14/Washington St interchange in a way that allows traffic to access a taller bridge but without conflicting with the BNSF Railway line. The image above seems to indicate that I-5 will be raised at least 100 feet, which is simply staggering for such an urban area. Talk about a wall-like freeway.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on December 02, 2020, 07:00:06 PM
Could they not tunnel the MAX rail?
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on December 02, 2020, 10:45:30 PM
Could they not tunnel the MAX rail?

Not if you ever want it built. It would cost substantially more to tunnel that route than to add MAX to the new bridge.

Opposition to MAX will always remain but I think it has simmered a bit, especially as Clark County continues to build out their BRT systems.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Plutonic Panda on December 03, 2020, 12:31:47 AM
I don’t understand why Vancouver is so opposed a Max extension. IIRC, Vancouver isn’t part of Metros jurisdiction and if built that would change. Is that true?
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: sparker on December 03, 2020, 02:26:47 AM
I don’t understand why Vancouver is so opposed a Max extension. IIRC, Vancouver isn’t part of Metros jurisdiction and if built that would change. Is that true?

When I lived in Portland in the mid-90's, when Metro was in its infancy, there was definitely a backlash against an additional layer of government added to the traditional mix, and Vancouver was a "hot spot" of this.  In the '94 election a measure was on the ballot to fund a MAX extension (which at that time was projected to have its own river crossing immediately upstream from the BNSF rail bridge) to downtown Vancouver and then up to WSUV, which had just opened.  The political ads opposing the project were particularly nasty, claiming that LR would bring PDX street gang activity across the river to prey on innocent WA residents -- but the most effective ones simply asked Clark County voters to assert their independence from Portland and the Metro urban district.  The argument was of the "camel through the tent flap" type -- that if LR was allowed in, Metro would press for WA state legislation allowing it to effectively "annex" Clark County and apply its strictures there.  Whatever the negative argument was, it proved highly effective -- the funding measure failed 68%-32%!  Since then, Clark County has functioned as a "safety valve" regarding Metro slow-growth measures, since larger-lot ranch-style homes that are effectively prohibited in Metro territory in OR are common over the river out of Metro's reach.  So developers that would be butting heads with Metro on a regular basis if they tried to ply their craft in OR simply relocate across the river and plant their "product" over in Camas, Battle Ground or Woodland where the going is decidedly easier.  But at the same time that keeps Metro's legal team out of the courts fighting the developers at every turn, since their jurisdiction stops in the middle of the Columbia.  While that aspect of Metro's control wouldn't change with MAX entering WA, it would likely entail some restructuring of the Clark County transit system to funnel traffic toward MAX and their new river crossing.  It's likely the current argument echoes in large part that heard 26 years ago -- that Metro, who functionally control the MAX developmental agenda, will now be in a position to affect policy on the north side of the river, threatening the level of independence and separation now enjoyed.  To a noticeable degree, it mimics the national urban/rural political divide quite closely right down to the electoral rancor.  Although some attitudes may have somewhat subsided, an effective resolution may remain elusive. 
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on December 04, 2020, 02:50:30 PM
I don’t understand why Vancouver is so opposed a Max extension. IIRC, Vancouver isn’t part of Metros jurisdiction and if built that would change. Is that true?

That is not only untrue, it's impossible. Metro exists because of A) Provisions in Oregon Revised Statutes and B) A charter approved by the voters of the Portland area. So even if Metro one day said "VANCOUVER IS OURS!!!!" that would literally be impossible to administer. The MPOs even function differently – Southwest Washington has its own MPO.

Any operation of MAX north of the river would be a joint effort between TriMet and CTRAN, and CTRAN would be responsible for figuring out what to do with any potential MAX extensions beyond the bridge.

The politics aren't as stark as when Sparker was here 25 years ago. Vancouver has an urban growth boundary; Portland is more flexible about growth. The real question with the bridge is how much influence special interests have: Portland fringe groups who don't want more than 3 lanes in any direction, and Vancouver exurban leaders who don't want light rail (or a new bridge, really) because they want new bridges for cars only. If the middle prevails this time, new bridge gets built. If the extremes prevail, that old relic will stay in place.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: jakeroot on December 04, 2020, 03:06:45 PM
Any operation of MAX north of the river would be a joint effort between TriMet and CTRAN, and CTRAN would be responsible for figuring out what to do with any potential MAX extensions beyond the bridge.

This is news to me. Everything I've seen indicates that a MAX extension was feared by Clark County officials because of how the leaders of MAX might begin to influence planning decisions north of the river. I've never seen anything that said something about joint efforts beyond basic things like getting it built.
Title: Re: CRC Revival?
Post by: Sub-Urbanite on December 04, 2020, 04:53:30 PM
Any operation of MAX north of the river would be a joint effort between TriMet and CTRAN, and CTRAN would be responsible for figuring out what to do with any potential MAX extensions beyond the bridge.

This is news to me. Everything I've seen indicates that a MAX extension was feared by Clark County officials because of how the leaders of MAX might begin to influence planning decisions north of the river. I've never seen anything that said something about joint efforts beyond basic things like getting it built.


It's all in here somewhere

https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/accountability/ssb5806/docs/8_Operations_And_Maintenance/CTRAN_TRIMETIGA_9_26_13.pdf