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Author Topic: Could Portland ever have a western bypass?  (Read 8403 times)

skluth

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Re: Could Portland ever have a western bypass?
« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2019, 06:30:08 PM »

So now farms are a reason not to build freeways!? LOL. You are actually right about all of this and that is what is sad. In the past this would be obstacles to overcome. Today it is a reason why it can't happen. *sigh*

We're talking about Oregon politics. The land conservation lobby is extremely powerful here and the preservation of the urban growth boundary continues to enjoy broad public support. And Oregon law doesn't generally allow for freeways on farmland.

Emphasis in above quote is mine

In other words, Oregon really doesn't want new freeways pretty much anywhere west of the Cascades or near the Columbia River.
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Hurricane Rex

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Re: Could Portland ever have a western bypass?
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2019, 07:37:00 PM »

So now farms are a reason not to build freeways!? LOL. You are actually right about all of this and that is what is sad. In the past this would be obstacles to overcome. Today it is a reason why it can't happen. *sigh*

We're talking about Oregon politics. The land conservation lobby is extremely powerful here and the preservation of the urban growth boundary continues to enjoy broad public support. And Oregon law doesn't generally allow for freeways on farmland.

Emphasis in above quote is mine

In other words, Oregon really doesn't want new freeways pretty much anywhere west of the Cascades or near the Columbia River.

No freeways period in the state. ODOT is dragging their feet on upgrading 6 miles of US 97 due to start construction THIS YEAR and no info since 2017.

The only exceptions to this is the N/D bypass, and the Sunrise expressway (thank you Bickenden)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 12:49:32 AM by Hurricane Rex »
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Bickendan

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Re: Could Portland ever have a western bypass?
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2019, 12:33:50 AM »

Not quite true: Phase one of the Sunrise Freeway was finished a few years ago.
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OCGuy81

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Re: Could Portland ever have a western bypass?
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2020, 07:26:12 PM »

I forgot, there's upgrading OR 217! 😂😂😂😂😂

I'll be decades gone before that ever sees.another lane.

I guess maybe I should've originally posted this in Fictional, being Oregon (especially the Portland area)😂
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kkt

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Re: Could Portland ever have a western bypass?
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2020, 08:24:21 PM »

Also, the public also wants freeway expansion in Portland, so don't discount the politics yet.

When did the public want freeway expansion in Portland?  I thought most of the public in Portland wanted more freeways shortly after the sun turns into a red giant.
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sparker

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Re: Could Portland ever have a western bypass?
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2020, 03:14:34 AM »

Also, the public also wants freeway expansion in Portland, so don't discount the politics yet.

When did the public want freeway expansion in Portland?  I thought most of the public in Portland wanted more freeways shortly after the sun turns into a red giant.


When I lived up there (mid-'90's), there was a push to expand I-5 to 6 lanes north of Lombard; even back then that got kicked down the road.  I don't see any widenings, including the currently contested Rose Garden project, not drawing derision from factions within both ODOT and PDX Metro that view the driving public with disdain.  Even though the overall public support for this position is largely a "working plurality" at best, that attitude is pervasive in regional official circles.  Part & parcel of such an attitude is that the policy should reflect a "starve the beast" process -- with the impression that if they don't build it, fewer and fewer will come! 

It'll be interesting to see, down the road, if and when electric vehicles are the default transportation mode for both individually-owned and transit applications, a sizeable portion of the anti-car argument is rendered moot, and what remains comes down to collective vs. individual social conceptualization.  And it's ironic that in these COVID-dominated days, riding around in your own metal & glass can may be afforded reconsideration as a valid way to address the near/mid-term pandemic problem.   
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: Could Portland ever have a western bypass?
« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2020, 02:47:41 PM »

It's been interesting to see the I-5 dynamics at play.

CRC couldn't get built, in part, because there was an intellectually valid argument of "Well what's the point of a wider freeway if you're just moving the bottleneck down to Rose Quarter."

Rose Quarter, now: "What's the point of a wider freeway when there's just a bottleneck at Lombard"

It's so convoluted. And we all know where this is going: Status quo. The writing is on the wall. There will be no lid over I-5. There will be no new lanes. And the environmentalists will declare victory at the expense of a valid effort to address the racist history of I-5 construction to begin with.
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kkt

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Re: Could Portland ever have a western bypass?
« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2020, 11:54:44 PM »

Yes, Sparker, that was my impression.  A minority favoring expansion, outnumbered by the people who didn't.

Electric vehicles would remove one large argument against cars.  But land use problems remain.  I enjoy driving and how much territory I can visit by car, but when I'm in a city or town I much prefer the local areas that are served only by foot and maybe Metro.  Wide streets and the parking lots/structures take up so much land in the downtowns.

The point of the CRC to me was a bridge that wouldn't fall down when the Big One or even the Medium One hits.  Too bad the states let the Perfect Bridge win over the Good Enough Bridge.

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sparker

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Re: Could Portland ever have a western bypass?
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2020, 03:59:52 AM »

Yes, Sparker, that was my impression.  A minority favoring expansion, outnumbered by the people who didn't.

Electric vehicles would remove one large argument against cars.  But land use problems remain.  I enjoy driving and how much territory I can visit by car, but when I'm in a city or town I much prefer the local areas that are served only by foot and maybe Metro.  Wide streets and the parking lots/structures take up so much land in the downtowns.

The point of the CRC to me was a bridge that wouldn't fall down when the Big One or even the Medium One hits.  Too bad the states let the Perfect Bridge win over the Good Enough Bridge.



Apparently my comment about the anti-automotive movement in greater PDX being a "working plurality" didn't actually gel with some.  What I meant with that evaluation was that the movement has managed to dominate both the public discussion of regional transportation issues as well as the corresponding discussion within the public agencies (City of Portland, Portland Metro, and ODOT and its legislative/gubernatorial oversight) charged with formulating policy.  There are a couple of million drivers in the state -- but probably about 5000 people statewide actively involved in such policy decisions, both in and out of an official capacity.  Since the state population centers around the Willamette Valley and PDX metro, the discussion has always seemed to start and stop there.  Legislators, county supervisors, and department management gain their offices through not only elections but appointments -- and, as our national situation has plainly showed, elections do have consequences -- some beyond the scope of their individual electoral platforms.  The majority of Oregon legislators decidedly did not run on a platform openly stating that if elected they would take measures to remove drivers from their automobiles and place them either on bicycle seats, in buses or light/commuter rail, or just on their own (hopefully) two feet.  In most districts that wouldn't help in their electoral prospects.  But it seems that once in office that atmosphere is pervasive within the various institutions; to even consider a contrary position brands one as, in current terms, "un-woke" or, in more general parlance, politically incorrect.  That situation is largely due to self-selection of personnel within agencies; unless one wants to subsist on close to minimum wage working for a PIRG or other activist group, one gets a reasonably appropriate degree and goes to work as a planner or other functionary in a public agency.   And these folks are the ones who put the nuts and bolts of policy together, including tailoring or "tweaking" situations to dovetail with their preferred agenda.   And this is not some "deep state" fantasy scenario; more than a few of my grad school colleagues openly professed this career path as a means to gain some measure of policy influence.  This is often accomplished via the old "garbage can" method -- essentially a solution looking for a problem which to be applied. 

I do agree about land use issues forming additional arguments for density-conscious development.  And Portland Metro has for all intents & purposes done a pretty damn good job of controlling sprawl where it's possible for them to do so (but watch for eye-rolling when Clark County [WA] is brought up! -- it's the exception that proves their effective enforcement of their own rules).  But they've extended their parvenu, with the complicity of the City of Portland and ODOT, to micromanaging the existing freeway situations to death!  What they don't seem to realize is that while I-84 ends at I-5, through traffic on US 30 heads north there to turn SW onto the Fremont Bridge and I-405 en route to St. Helens; accommodating that traffic is a "bare minimum" rationale for adding one lane per direction to that less-than-a-mile stretch.  But no -- concept trumps (no pun intended) reality here.  It's as if the driving public is afflicted with a functional analogue to alcoholism or other substance abuse -- and anyone who attempts to accommodate on-the-ground transportation reality is "enabling" the aggregate bad behavior of that population.   

When one is in a more densely-populated/developed city, of course it's preferable to have the amenities one wants available by foot or by readily accessible transit; Portland is one of those cities where that is possible.  But not all those amenities are service-oriented (restaurants, bars, clubs -- even, arguably, Powell's); some activities require schlepping purchases substantially larger than one's pocket home (not touching the "3rd rail" of "consumerism" detraction here!).  But unless one wants to pay fifty bucks for a cab or forty for an Uber (which may not even accommodate some larger items) having a vehicle at hand -- even in the midst of density -- can be a useful thing.  And not all such purchases are pre-planned; some happen on the spur of the moment (one of my businesses is a specialty audio retail store, and such decisions happen several times a week with my customer base -- at least until the shit hit the fan re COVID!).  The upshot is -- life is situational -- and limiting one's resources can often paint one into a proverbial corner.  Now -- maybe one doesn't need to have a vehicle present on every excursion into the city -- but having one available and the means to access points there with reasonable efficiency when necessary is, realistically, part of everyday life.  The key is adaptibility -- if one wants to emulate an archetypal New Yorker and eschew a car, accepting the resultant limitations, then more power to you!   But do so with your eyes open!           
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