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Author Topic: Never-built highways of the Northwest  (Read 14774 times)

Bruce

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2021, 03:52:09 AM »

Another, better quality map of Portland's 1960s ambitions.

Source: The Oregonian (September 25, 1966)


kkt

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2021, 04:27:49 PM »

Wow, that's a lot of freeways.  Every 2-4 miles!
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HighwayStar

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Re: Never-built highways of Washington
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2021, 04:34:07 PM »

This.  Given that the Interstates were envisioned as a national defense system, it seems short sighted to not have them reach the coast north of San Francisco (and arguably, they don't reach north of LA), if for no other reason than to provide a means of evacuation in the event of Tsunami or other costal disaster, or to allow the movement of defense forces if someone get a wild hair and wants to invade the Pacific coast.  And with the elimination of the costal railroads, there isn't even alternative means of moving goods to and from, or along the coast.

You can see why, though.  No major cities + no major defense installations.  The tsunami danger wasn't appreciated in the 50s when the interstates were laid out, and probably the best thing would be abundant roads perpendicular to the coast leading over the first range of hills.  I don't think we have to worry too much about an invasion - land forces aside, we do still have a navy and air force.

Frankly it does not matter, you still want ready access to the coast for defense purposes. And that may change with time anyway. A complete civil defense highway network would leave nothing to "its someone else's job."
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Bruce

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2021, 05:41:15 PM »

This.  Given that the Interstates were envisioned as a national defense system, it seems short sighted to not have them reach the coast north of San Francisco (and arguably, they don't reach north of LA), if for no other reason than to provide a means of evacuation in the event of Tsunami or other costal disaster, or to allow the movement of defense forces if someone get a wild hair and wants to invade the Pacific coast.  And with the elimination of the costal railroads, there isn't even alternative means of moving goods to and from, or along the coast.

You can see why, though.  No major cities + no major defense installations.  The tsunami danger wasn't appreciated in the 50s when the interstates were laid out, and probably the best thing would be abundant roads perpendicular to the coast leading over the first range of hills.  I don't think we have to worry too much about an invasion - land forces aside, we do still have a navy and air force.

Frankly it does not matter, you still want ready access to the coast for defense purposes. And that may change with time anyway. A complete civil defense highway network would leave nothing to "its someone else's job."

The best coastal defense is to not overpopulate it.

HighwayStar

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2021, 05:43:35 PM »

This.  Given that the Interstates were envisioned as a national defense system, it seems short sighted to not have them reach the coast north of San Francisco (and arguably, they don't reach north of LA), if for no other reason than to provide a means of evacuation in the event of Tsunami or other costal disaster, or to allow the movement of defense forces if someone get a wild hair and wants to invade the Pacific coast.  And with the elimination of the costal railroads, there isn't even alternative means of moving goods to and from, or along the coast.

You can see why, though.  No major cities + no major defense installations.  The tsunami danger wasn't appreciated in the 50s when the interstates were laid out, and probably the best thing would be abundant roads perpendicular to the coast leading over the first range of hills.  I don't think we have to worry too much about an invasion - land forces aside, we do still have a navy and air force.

Frankly it does not matter, you still want ready access to the coast for defense purposes. And that may change with time anyway. A complete civil defense highway network would leave nothing to "its someone else's job."

The best coastal defense is to not overpopulate it.

There is some validity in that, but it is really separate from being able to move units there if needed. Populated or not it is still of strategic importance.
Incidentally, that is one of the great advantages of suburbanization as well, a diffusion of the population making aerial attack less effective.
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Bruce

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2021, 06:10:32 PM »

We have a navy and they're fairly easy to deploy from the Puget Sound basin to the Cascadian coast.

Our over-suburbanization would make it harder to render aid in the event of a natural disaster or military attack anyway. A scenario where tens of thousands of suburban residents are stranded in their far-flung workplaces and have no means to return home is very possible.

HighwayStar

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #56 on: April 05, 2021, 06:26:49 PM »

We have a navy and they're fairly easy to deploy from the Puget Sound basin to the Cascadian coast.

Our over-suburbanization would make it harder to render aid in the event of a natural disaster or military attack anyway. A scenario where tens of thousands of suburban residents are stranded in their far-flung workplaces and have no means to return home is very possible.

It does not matter if Puget Sound is easy to deploy from for the Navy in peacetime. In wartime there are innumerable other factors that come into play, and the versatility of being able to transport to the coast, for whatever reason, is never going to be a bad thing. The sound could be mined, under attack from the air, etc. and having the flexibility to reach the actual coastline (including harbor cities like Aberdeen WA) is part of being well prepared. Coastal air defense as well is GREATLY enhanced by having good transportation close to the coast, thereby enhancing the strike range of land based aircraft by minimizing their flight over land.

The actual experience of bombing in the Second World War proved very much the opposite, it was FAR better to have the population and industry dispersed over a wide area making a hard to hit target in the first place rather than have everything built together. In most cases major aid had to come from outside the city anyway, and it did little or no good having everyone close together during the actual attack. The ability to "return to home" is a minor consideration in an air attack, far more important is how many casualties are inflicted, how much hosing is destroyed, how much industry is damaged, etc. Road transport is one of the easiest things to put back together in the aftermath of an attack, housing, heavy industry, and lives are not. This was certainly one reason that the government encouraged suburbanization in the Cold War.
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kkt

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #57 on: April 05, 2021, 09:16:51 PM »

An actual attack on the U.S. mainland today would be met with massive air retaliation on the homeland of whoever attacked.  You know that, right?  Improving interstate access to the redwood country is pretty irrelevant to defense.
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HighwayStar

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #58 on: April 05, 2021, 09:38:08 PM »

An actual attack on the U.S. mainland today would be met with massive air retaliation on the homeland of whoever attacked.  You know that, right?  Improving interstate access to the redwood country is pretty irrelevant to defense.

You greatly overestimate the primacy of the US armed forces, they are not all powerful. And for that matter, striking another nation's homeland will not spare your own. The lesson of WWII was that the bomber will always get through, projection of your power against another nation's soil is not a defense, it is purely an offense.
Interstate access to both coasts is fundamental to any real defensive strategy, and if you cannot see that you have not read enough military history. Air power has been promoted as supreme for a century, but it has failed to decide any major conflict.
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Bruce

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #59 on: April 06, 2021, 03:17:44 AM »

I think most people in the Pacific Northwest are more concerned about coastal tsunami risk than the possibility of an amphibious assault from a foreign enemy. And even then there's not enough, given a few bond measures to fortify local schools and hospitals against tsunami inundation have failed.

OCGuy81

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #60 on: April 12, 2021, 01:09:30 PM »

Wow, that's a lot of freeways.  Every 2-4 miles!


I would love to show that map to Portland's city council today. I think they'd have a coronary
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HighwayStar

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #61 on: April 12, 2021, 01:46:08 PM »

Wow, that's a lot of freeways.  Every 2-4 miles!


I would love to show that map to Portland's city council today. I think they'd have a coronary

Probably. The idea of people actually being able to drive where they want to go is enough to send them right over the edge.
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OCGuy81

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #62 on: April 12, 2021, 06:22:17 PM »

Wow, that's a lot of freeways.  Every 2-4 miles!


I would love to show that map to Portland's city council today. I think they'd have a coronary

Probably. The idea of people actually being able to drive where they want to go is enough to send them right over the edge.

A friend of mine who lives there (technically Camas, WA just across the river) says Portland is doing everything they can to make it as difficult as possible to drive a car there.
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jakeroot

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #63 on: April 12, 2021, 06:31:28 PM »

Many urban areas are modifying their street grids to favor "alternative" modes of transportation. Portland's strategy is not remarkable in this way.

That said, these projects may seem quite radical to someone visiting from a car-dependent suburb like Camas, where walking is primarily a workout rather than a transportation mode.
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Bruce

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2021, 06:46:37 PM »

Wow, that's a lot of freeways.  Every 2-4 miles!


I would love to show that map to Portland's city council today. I think they'd have a coronary

Probably. The idea of people actually being able to drive where they want to go is enough to send them right over the edge.

You can still drive where you want in Portland, just at a reasonable speed while sharing the ROW with the rest of the public on different modes. Shockingly, a city does not have to bow down to the almighty car.

Alps

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #65 on: April 12, 2021, 07:30:52 PM »

Wow, that's a lot of freeways.  Every 2-4 miles!


I would love to show that map to Portland's city council today. I think they'd have a coronary

Probably. The idea of people actually being able to drive where they want to go is enough to send them right over the edge.

You can still drive where you want in Portland, just it'll take you forever as every other mode gets in your way. Shockingly, a city does not have to be reasonable to the almighty car.
FTFY

jakeroot

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #66 on: April 12, 2021, 07:58:08 PM »

Quote from: Bruce but actually Alps
You can still drive where you want in Portland, just it'll take you forever as every other mode gets in your way.

Are high average vehicle speeds a good indicator of transportation accessibility in an urban area?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2021, 09:02:21 PM by jakeroot »
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HighwayStar

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #67 on: April 12, 2021, 09:09:59 PM »

Quote from: Bruce but actually Alps
You can still drive where you want in Portland, just it'll take you forever as every other mode gets in your way.

Are high average vehicle speeds a good indicator of transportation accessibility in an urban area?

Yes. Because travel in a vehicle is inherently superior to all other forms. Ride on a nasty bus next to the homeless drug user that has not bathed in a year 5 days a week and you will quickly decide a nice Town Car is the way to go.
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Alps

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #68 on: April 12, 2021, 09:24:55 PM »

Quote from: Bruce but actually Alps
You can still drive where you want in Portland, just it'll take you forever as every other mode gets in your way.

Are high average vehicle speeds a good indicator of transportation accessibility in an urban area?
Not at all. Low average delays are a much better indicator, for all modes.

Bruce

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #69 on: April 12, 2021, 10:24:16 PM »

Quote from: Bruce but actually Alps
You can still drive where you want in Portland, just it'll take you forever as every other mode gets in your way.

Are high average vehicle speeds a good indicator of transportation accessibility in an urban area?

Yes. Because travel in a vehicle is inherently superior to all other forms. Ride on a nasty bus next to the homeless drug user that has not bathed in a year 5 days a week and you will quickly decide a nice Town Car is the way to go.

Not everyone can drive. Not everyone can afford a car (including upkeep).

A proper transit system allows you to change cars or vehicles (with only a few minutes of waiting) if there's an unpleasant encounter. Most drivers won't let someone who is visibly not-all-there onto the bus anyway.

Maybe it's different in Philadelphia, but Portland does have a functional transit system (though it needs improvements).

SkyPesos

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #70 on: April 12, 2021, 11:00:38 PM »

Quote from: Bruce but actually Alps
You can still drive where you want in Portland, just it'll take you forever as every other mode gets in your way.

Are high average vehicle speeds a good indicator of transportation accessibility in an urban area?

Yes. Because travel in a vehicle is inherently superior to all other forms. Ride on a nasty bus next to the homeless drug user that has not bathed in a year 5 days a week and you will quickly decide a nice Town Car is the way to go.
That sounds so like what kernals12's would say.
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sparker

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #71 on: April 13, 2021, 05:33:11 AM »

Quote from: Bruce but actually Alps
You can still drive where you want in Portland, just it'll take you forever as every other mode gets in your way.

Are high average vehicle speeds a good indicator of transportation accessibility in an urban area?

Yes. Because travel in a vehicle is inherently superior to all other forms. Ride on a nasty bus next to the homeless drug user that has not bathed in a year 5 days a week and you will quickly decide a nice Town Car is the way to go.

Not everyone can drive. Not everyone can afford a car (including upkeep).

A proper transit system allows you to change cars or vehicles (with only a few minutes of waiting) if there's an unpleasant encounter. Most drivers won't let someone who is visibly not-all-there onto the bus anyway.

Maybe it's different in Philadelphia, but Portland does have a functional transit system (though it needs improvements).

Portland's transit system generally works well on a purely radial basis, with LR handling the trunks to the burbs reasonably well and the trolley system serving downtown, PSU, and the near east side.  It does leave something to be desired in regards to bus service; while downtown and the east side have at least adequate service (the presence of a usable grid pattern east of the Willamette certainly helps), it seems that to the west they've simply all but given up; outside of the main radial arterials and the Hillsboro LR line there's little attempt to serve the various neighborhoods up in the hills between downtown and the Beaverton flatlands.  When I lived up there in the early/mid '90's, I had occasion to travel from my home in SW to an auto dealership in Beaverton where my car was being repaired for a warranty issue; that necessitated heading into downtown and then catching another bus west -- no lateral connectors to speak of.  Now -- that was about 27 years ago; it's possible that things have improved -- but in my experience (and conversing with Metro planners as part of my academic activities back then) the transit focus was geared toward radial movements focusing on downtown; avoiding anything that may encourage activity in the suburban areas east (Gresham and vicinity) and west (the Beaverton/Hillsboro valley) was well up on their priority list circa 1994.   
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HighwayStar

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #72 on: April 13, 2021, 10:33:58 AM »

Quote from: Bruce but actually Alps
You can still drive where you want in Portland, just it'll take you forever as every other mode gets in your way.

Are high average vehicle speeds a good indicator of transportation accessibility in an urban area?

Yes. Because travel in a vehicle is inherently superior to all other forms. Ride on a nasty bus next to the homeless drug user that has not bathed in a year 5 days a week and you will quickly decide a nice Town Car is the way to go.

Not everyone can drive. Not everyone can afford a car (including upkeep).

A proper transit system allows you to change cars or vehicles (with only a few minutes of waiting) if there's an unpleasant encounter. Most drivers won't let someone who is visibly not-all-there onto the bus anyway.

Maybe it's different in Philadelphia, but Portland does have a functional transit system (though it needs improvements).

Of course not everyone can drive, but everyone should aspire to drive. I spent my time riding public transit when I had no other choice, it was a good motivation to do something else in life so I did not have to do that crap anymore. Philadelphia's transit system rivals that of Portland, as does DC, but no matter how many trains and buses you put there you will never fix the fundamental issues with public transit, which include some amount of foot travel in adverse conditions, dealing with other riders, and transporting goods and luggage, all of which are solved with a car.
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Bickendan

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #73 on: April 14, 2021, 12:00:23 AM »

Quote from: Bruce but actually Alps
You can still drive where you want in Portland, just it'll take you forever as every other mode gets in your way.

Are high average vehicle speeds a good indicator of transportation accessibility in an urban area?

Yes. Because travel in a vehicle is inherently superior to all other forms. Ride on a nasty bus next to the homeless drug user that has not bathed in a year 5 days a week and you will quickly decide a nice Town Car is the way to go.

Not everyone can drive. Not everyone can afford a car (including upkeep).

A proper transit system allows you to change cars or vehicles (with only a few minutes of waiting) if there's an unpleasant encounter. Most drivers won't let someone who is visibly not-all-there onto the bus anyway.
Eh... up until the pandemic, Trimet drivers didn't really have a choice but to let them on.
While I've never experienced it myself whenever I've needed to take Trimet, I've heard stories from drivers, and having attempted to and nearly gone all the way through the process to become a driver for Trimet (finishing university was a reason I pulled out just before training, arguably a mistake), they made it clear that it was more important to let someone on than keep them off the bus.
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jakeroot

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Re: Never-built highways of the Northwest
« Reply #74 on: April 14, 2021, 01:21:25 AM »

Of course not everyone can drive, but everyone should aspire to drive. I spent my time riding public transit when I had no other choice, it was a good motivation to do something else in life so I did not have to do that crap anymore. Philadelphia's transit system rivals that of Portland, as does DC, but no matter how many trains and buses you put there you will never fix the fundamental issues with public transit, which include some amount of foot travel in adverse conditions, dealing with other riders, and transporting goods and luggage, all of which are solved with a car.

But driving is an aspiration because of how expensive it is. It should be no wonder that cities like to invest in public transit, as it is an accessible mode of transportation for people of all backgrounds, abilities, and income. Not everyone can drive, but everyone can take the bus.
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