Car haters gonna hate

I see that the people who are determined never to allow another freeway lane to be built in Portland are bringing in "experts" from Harvard to pontificate on the subject. 

They say that new lanes don't eliminate congestion. That might be true, but new lanes let more people use the freeway, which must be faster than surface streets or they would't use it. And their proposition might not be true. Traffic problems differ from city to city, and from place to place within cities. Freeway expansion may have a different effect in a growing suburb than it has in an old and tired area like the Rose Quarter.

The fact remains that the major north-south interstate freeway on the American West Coast narrows down to two lanes going through the nation's 25th most populous city. That's ridiculous.

Yes, we need to widen I-5 through the Rose Quarter. But likewise, we need to do something about the Marquam Bridge, which also squeezes I-5 down to two lanes. We're talking billions.

And sadly, as long as the car haters are in power in Portland, it might be better to do nothing than to do what they would suggest. When you need cops, they give you park rangers. When you need roads, they tell you to stick a feather you-know-where and fly. 


  1. Development weasels are still development weasels when pushing billions for roads:

    The key part of salesmanship, whether you’re selling condominium time-shares or breakfast cereal, is to emphasize the really attractive things that aren’t part of what the customer is paying for, whether it’s models cavorting on a glistening white-sand beach or the fresh bananas and blueberries atop a pile of bland corn-flakes. The grifters at the Oregon Department of Transportation have settled on just this strategy for peddling their now $1.25 billion Rose Quarter freeway-widening project. In their latest marketing material, it’s not about cars or lanes at all, it’s about covers and community centers and housing built by Black artisans. Never mind that these “features”—like the models and the blueberries—aren’t actually part of the ODOT project at all.

    Woke-Washing: Fictional Buildings

    As we’ve documented at City Observatory, the Oregon Department of Transportation is implicated in the destruction of Portland’s historically Black Albina neighborhood. It slashed through the area with three major highway projects in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, leading to a two-thirds decline in neighborhood population. Today, it’s trying to sell its massive 10-lane-wide freeway-widening project—which would increase traffic and pollution—as a way to remediate the damage to the neighborhood.

    Earlier this month, ODOT sent a glossy, four-page newsletter to thousands of Portland households. Its key feature is illustrations portraying new, but entirely fictitious, buildings lining the streets of Albina. Previously, they’ve shown proposed buildings to be constructed on or adjacent to the freeway as part of the project’s environmental assessment. Earlier this year, they paid consultants to illustrate hundreds of entirely conjectural apartments on or next to the widened freeway. Now their new brochure sets a new bar for illusion, showing a fictitious streetscape of North Vancouver Avenue, with three imaginary buildings. In the lower right hand side of the frame, a young Black man stands in front of a building labeled a “Career Development Center,” carrying a plaque stating: “This building constructed by Black artisans in 2022.” It’s a nice thought, but such a building is not part of what ODOT will build or pay for. Nor, in fact, are any of these buildings. . . . (Much more at link)

    1. The road needs to be widened, for everyone's sake. To say it wouldn't help traffic congestion through there is ludicrous.

      I completely agree that capping it for the weasels and calling it Black reparations is despicable. It's one of the most galling things I've seen from government in my entire life. I posted about it here:


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