Locus Focus on 02/15/10

Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/15/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The dilemma of building a green bridge across the Columbia River


Oregon has set ambitious goals for reducing our carbon emissions by 2020. But if all the currently proposed highway projects are built, any reductions that are achieved in other areas will be canceled out by increased auto use. How do plans to replace the I5 bridge between Washington and Oregon fit into this dilemma? While the proposed replacement bridge is being touted as a "green" bridge, most scenarios show that the currently proposed 12-lane bridge will only increase car trips across the Columbia River and help defeat the region's goal to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. Should the new bridge have fewer lanes? Should there be tolls? Will light rail and bike lanes help reduce driving? Or should we not build a new bridge at all?

This week on Locus Focus we'll hear several perspectives on what to do about the Columbia River Crossing. Guests include Metro Councilor Robert Liberty, Portland Mayor Sam Adams, and Vancouver's new mayor Tim Leavitt.

*quote from Portland State University's Ethan Seltzer, in "Heavy Weather."


A new bridge?

Thanks, Barbara, for a valuable forum. But before we invest in the first shovel, I'd like to meet of few of these

million job-commuting new residents. And is downtown Portland adding jobs, to provide a motive to ride

light-rail? And bikes and pedestrians to subtract from auto traffic? Please!

Freight Rail

Why are we not talking about moving more freight to rail to reduce freight congestion on I-5?  Rail transportation of freight is way more efficient than trucks.  The taxpayers have been subsidizing the trucking industry for generations and there wouldn't be near so much freight moving by truck if we hadn't been building their infrastructure for them as well as plenty of other subsidies.

Peak Oil

Why are we not considering what the growing costs of petroleum and energy in general is going to do traffic on the the I-5 corridor including the Columbia River bridge?  Why does all the planning for the bridge assume that traffic will continue to grow when energy costs and scarcity are certainly going to vastly reduce commuting by personal auto?


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