Action Alert - 5 minutes that Can Change the Region (WA & OR)
- 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
This is the direct survey address:
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
Should we invest in the corridor
Yes. We should invest in transit, TDM and improving local street grids.
Will just doing the improvements identified in our region's long term
transportation plans (the Baseline 2020 option) satisfy our transportation
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.
Do we need additional Transit Service in the I-5 Corridor?
Yes. Including improved local service on both sides of the river.
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.
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
There should be no new capacity on I5.
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.
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.
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
Should the new river crossing be a:
Supplemental Bridge (next to the existing one)?
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
Should we address the traffic issues at the I-5 Interchanges in Downtown
No. The curr
ent plan is unacceptable. It involves taking over 30 homes and disrupting
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.
Should we address the traffic issues between Delta Park and Lombard in
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
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.
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
Assuming the Final Plan will include some or all of the following, please
allocate 100 points between the 10 listed strategies:
Transportation Demand Management (programs to encourage non-single occupancy
These are bad alternatives that will make th
3-Lanes (this actually expands I5 in several places)
Specific Areas (with the exception of the Columbia Interchange improvements
these specific area improvements damage neighborhoods)