[Local events] [Fwd: Keep up the momentum against the Big Bridge]

David Abel passages at rdrop.com
Tue Jul 8 13:36:06 PDT 2008

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Keep up the momentum against the Big Bridge
Date: 	Tue, 08 Jul 2008 12:38:36 -0500
From: 	Jeremiah Baumann, Environment Oregon Advocate 
<JeremiahB at environmentoregon.org>
To: 	passages at rdrop.com

I emailed you last week about the 12-lane, $4.2 billion freeway project 
that's being rushed through City Council.

The good news is that almost 500 people have now emailed city council. 
I'm hearing that city council staff are surprised at how many emails and 
calls they're suddenly getting, and Commissioner Dan Saltzman has 
already said he's considering voting against the Big Bridge project.

City Council will hold a hearing and vote tomorrow -- we need to keep 
the emails going in! I'm hoping we can break 700 emails by then.

Take a second now and tell the Portland City Council: Put the brakes on 
the Big Bridge.


And I hope you'll also forward this email to your friends and family to 
help us keep the emails going in to city council.

To me, it seems bizarre that our city, known for leadership in 
environmentalism and sustainable transportation, would rush headlong 
into approving an enormous bridge expansion on I-5 between Portland and 
Vancouver. This project is eerily like freeway projects from the 60s and 
70s, including the Mt. Hood Freeway that Portlanders rejected.

The biggest difference? Now it's 2008. With global warming and 
skyrocketing gas prices, it should be even easier for Portland to 
realize that more freeways and more care traffic aren't what our city needs.

The project is "improving" the Columbia River Crossing between Portland 
and Vancouver on I-5. The project is being backed by Portland Business 
Alliance and trucking and freight companies (big surprise). Backers of 
the project say they're doing the right thing, by proposing light rail 
and bike plans, as well as tolling to pay for it. But the reality is 
that none of those additions to the bridge can make up for the increased 
sprawl and traffic that transportation experts agree we'll see if we do 
what they're asking and double the size of the freeway.

Worst of all, Environment Oregon's own analysis concludes that doubling 
the size of I-5 might actually make it impossible to meet the goal of 
reducing global warming pollution in our area 80% by 2050.

And it'll cost $4.2 billion -- the biggest project in our region's 
history. Imagine all the transportation improvements we could make, from 
more light rail and streetcars to better bus service or, say, sidewalks 
in the east Portland neighborhoods that don't have them, with $4 billion!

The I-5 bridge should be improved. But before we jump into the biggest 
road project in Portland history, we need to think the idea through. 
Just one example of where the proponents haven't thought it through? 
Their 12-lane freeway proposal assumes they have to build for a 40% 
increase in vehicle traffic. But with current gas prices, people are 
driving less, not more!

City council is deciding next week. Join us in telling them not to 
approve the new bridge and to ask for a better and more sustainable 



Jeremiah Baumann
Environment Oregon Advocate
JeremiahB at environmentoregon.org

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this 
e-mail with your family and friends.


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