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Action Alert - 5 minutes that Can Change the Region (WA & OR)

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  • Craig Bollen
    Subject: Action Alert - 5 minutes that Can Change the Region Filling out a simple web survey this week could have a significant impact on the future of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 6, 2001
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      Subject: Action Alert - 5 minutes that Can Change the Region


      Filling out a simple web survey this week could have a significant impact on
      the future of the region. Here is an important opportunity to support
      alternatives to the automobile and promote livable communities by filling
      out a simple survey on the web. The address/link for the survey is below.

      The I5 Task Force appointed by the governors of Washington and Oregon is
      nearing decisions on widening I5. Its important that they hear from those of
      use who think we should invest in communities and transit - not freeways.
      There is a good chance that a recommendation to extend light rail to
      Vancouver will come out of this group, but they need to hear there is
      support for that option.

      Unfortunately, there is also a good chance that they will recommend widening
      I5, including building a new bridge across the river. That will increase
      traffic on Portland streets and encourage further sprawl in Clark County.

      There is a better alternative. Many of the people crossing the river are
      just trying to get from local
      Vancouver neighborhoods to Jantzen Beach and jobs at the Port and along
      Columbia Boulevard. A local arterial bridge would serve those trips without
      forcing people to get on the freeway. It could also serve light rail,
      bicyclists and pedestrians. And it could allow port to port access for
      freight, avoiding I5 entirely.

      The task force needs to hear that you want light rail and a multi-modal
      local arterial, not another freeway bridge.

      The task force has created a survey that can be accessed from their web
      site:
      http://www.i-5partnership.com/survey/index.html,

      This is the direct survey address:

      http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=4021487919
      http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=4021487919

      And here are some talking points on each question. I tried to put the quick
      answer at the start but many of the questions are ambiguous so you may want
      to add a comment if you have time. The survey takes less than 5 minutes
      with quick answers - the length with comments depends on your typing skills
      and verb
      osity.

      Question 1
      --------------------
      Should we invest in the corridor

      Yes. We should invest in transit, TDM and improving local street grids.


      Question 2
      ----------------
      Will just doing the improvements identified in our region's long term
      transportation plans (the Baseline 2020 option) satisfy our transportation
      needs?

      No - It is unlikely that we can afford even half the improvements in those
      plans. The question really should be: would the current regional plans best
      meet our needs, the answer to that is probably not.

      Included in the plans are widening I-5 in the Rose Quarter and at Lombard.
      These will make traffic congestion worse downtown and in the Lloyd District.
      It will encourage continued sprawling auto-oriented development in Clark
      County. Better land use planning in Clark County and additional transit
      would better meet transportation needs. But first they need to stop
      continuing new development that can't be served by transit.


      Question 3
      ----------------

      Do we need additional Transit Service in the I-5 Corridor?

      Yes. Including improved local service on both sides of the river.


      Questrion 3a
      ------------------
      What type of transit service?

      Light Rail, Express Bus and Commuter Rail in conjunction with the planned
      new high speed rail corridor from Seattle to Eugene. Local transit on both
      sides of the river.


      Question 4
      ----------------
      How wide should the freeway be?

      Comment: None of the above, leave it the way it is.

      They offer options of three or four lanes, but both are bad choices. They
      have already decided the Rose Quarter will not be widened as part of this
      study and I5 should remain two lanes at Lombard. The additional lane south
      of Lombard provides access for people from the industrial corridor along
      Columbia, from Lombard and from Portland. Without this, that third lane will
      be filled with Clark County commuters while local traffic is backed up onto
      Portland and Lombard waiting for ramp meters. And the traffic tha
      t now sometimes backs up on I5 through the industrial areas north of Lombard
      will back up on I-5 from the Rose Quarter polluting Portland residential
      neighborhoods.

      There should be no new capacity on I5.


      Question 5
      ----------------
      Should a new West Arterial Road between Portland and Vancouver be considered
      in combination with the other options

      No. Other arterial options should be considered. This "arterial" operates
      more like a limited access freeway that would dump traffic and congestion
      into the heart of downtown Vancouver.


      Question 6
      ----------------
      Do we need to improve I-5 transportation capacity across the Columbia River?


      Yes. Light Rail and Commuter Rail both require new bridges. A pedestrian and
      bike friendly local arterial bridge would provide an alternative for the
      local trips which make up a large portion of the river crossings. A local
      port to port arterial should also be examined.


      Question 6.1
      ------------------
      Should that capacity be used for (in
      cluding bike and pedestrian facilities):

      Transit and Vehicles

      One new crossing should provide local capacity for all modes. Capacity for
      bikes and pedestrians is not enough - this capacity should be designed to
      encourage their use.

      Including rail freight, commuter rail and high-speed rail should also be
      considered.


      Question 6.2
      ------------------
      Should the new river crossing be a:
      Supplemental Bridge (next to the existing one)?
      Replacement Bridge?
      Supplemental Tunnel?

      None of these are acceptable - a new bridge should serve as a local
      arterial. A bridge adjacent to the existing one will only increase commuter
      traffic, interfering with freight and encouraging use of I5 leading to
      congestion elsewhere. Moreover it does not connect to a street grid on
      either end making new investments to absorb the traffic necessary in the
      future.


      Question 7a:
      ----------------
      Should we address the traffic issues at the I-5 Interchanges in Downtown
      Vancouver?

      No. The curr
      ent plan is unacceptable. It involves taking over 30 homes and disrupting
      local neighborhoods.


      Question 7b:
      ----------------
      Should we address the traffic issues at the Columbia Blvd. ramps in Oregon?


      Yes. Adding a northbound access to I-5 from Columbia Boulevard would improve
      freight access from the most important industrial area in the corridor. It
      would also get freight traffic out of the Kenton neighborhood's town center
      which will have a light rail stop once Interstate MAX is complete.


      Question 7c:
      ------------------
      Should we address the traffic issues between Delta Park and Lombard in
      Oregon?

      No. We should make it clear that it will remain two lanes in the future and
      planning should be done with that in mind. The extra lane south of Lombard
      needs to be preserved for access from Columbia, Lombard and Portland. And
      since there is going to be congestion in any case, it is better to keep it
      in the industrial areas north of Lombard rather than in the middle of
      neighborhoods.



      Question 7d
      ------------------
      Should we address the traffic issues in the Rose Quarter area in Oregon?

      No. This should be taken up as part of the study of removing the Eastbank
      Freeway and capping I-405.


      Question 7e
      ------------------
      Should we close the existing ramps to Hayden Island that are too close to
      the bridge and provide new access through the Marine Drive interchange?

      No. While eliminating the ramps at Hayden Island may be a good idea, it
      needs to be considered in the context of a local arterial connection to
      Clark County.


      Question 8
      ----------------
      Assuming the Final Plan will include some or all of the following, please
      allocate 100 points between the 10 listed strategies:

      40+ points
      --------------
      Light Rail

      10+ points
      ---------------
      Commuter Rail
      Express Bus
      Land use
      Transportation Demand Management (programs to encourage non-single occupancy
      vehicle commutes)

      0 Points
      ------------
      These are bad alternatives that will make th
      ings worse:

      3-Lanes (this actually expands I5 in several places)
      4-Lanes
      River Crossing
      Specific Areas (with the exception of the Columbia Interchange improvements
      these specific area improvements damage neighborhoods)
      Western Arterial
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