Friday, February 27, 2009

Twelve Lanes, More of the Same

Portland Mayor Sam Adams, the same mayor I vociferously defended against a phony lies-about-sex scandal a few weeks back (once, twice, thrice, and again), pictured here to the right of the unicorn (image source) and Amanda Fritz -- who is apparently the last member of the city council with any integrity -- has now given me an opportunity to show I am not a complete tool. I include myself in this:

Disappointed environmentalists are talking about that missing research, as well as other big unanswered questions about the Columbia River Crossing, after City Council approved the biggest option for the $4.2 billion commuter bridge last night.
The approved new Columbia River Crossing is a 12-lane bridge that will be, in part, funded by tolls. Lovely. More lanes for cars, combined with whining about tolls from every man-on-the-street for the next few lifetimes. Fantastic!

Adding lanes just pushes the problem around but does nothing to change the way people travel in the local area, as it retains the emphasis on passenger cars. I would like to see public transportation made even easier and even more practical for more purposes. I would like to see expanded opportunities and amenities for biking and, yes -- I say the following even knowing the ghosts of Portland's interred unicorns are seeing me type it, I say it even in the United States of America circa 2009 -- walking. Yes! I said it! People can actually get from place to place using their feet and legs! I've seen it, and not only in wild cold-sweat dreams.

More lanes for more cars is not what I voted for, and I hope this is not a sign that Sam Adams, who ran on a "sustainability" and "green" platform, is caving in to anti-green and greenwashing forces in response to the fake scandal. If that's what it is -- and it's ultimately speculation for anyone besides Sam Adams -- he does need to look in the mirror and think carefully about leaving office.

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