March 23rd, 2009 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, CLEAN UP, Multnomah County

Bike Advocates on Columbia River Crossing: An I-5 Bridge to Nowhere

Tags: bicycling

The Portland-based Bicycle Transportation Alliance just announced its formal opposition to building a new 12-lane bridge on I-5 across the Columbia River.

In a news release (PDF), the BTA says the preferred option for the Columbia River Crossing "will generate more traffic in Portland and in Clark County, will speed up climate change by releasing more greenhouse gases, and will spew pollutants into the air around (North) Portland and Vancouver neighborhoods."

Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who normally can count on broad support from bike enthusiasts, ran afoul of his base last month when he and the City Council approved plans for a 12-lane bridge (He's also annoyed some cyclists on bike spending this year). Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard also backed the 12-lane plan, which calls for a regional council to set tolls aimed at controlling demand.

The BTA wasn't impressed.

"Improving transportation between Vancouver and Portland doesn't require expanding the freeway," the news release says. "Expanding the freeway and constructing six new massive interchanges will do tremendous damage to the bike friendliness of communities around the project."

The BTA promises to organize its 5,000 members and other organizations in opposition to the plan, including a rally set for noon April 5 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park near the Hawthorne Bridge.
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