Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ready to do something?

You may have heard about some coming to senses by our local politicians. We are naturally thrilled to have all the help we can get, but lets not rest on our laurels. This thing is still costing taxpayers more than a million every month and it will keep costing us lots of money until it is over.


In anticipation of climate talks in Copenhagen this December, a world-wide "350 Campaign" ( is hitting the planet THIS SATURDAY - October 24th. With over 15 events in Portland & 1,000s around the world, Help us connect the dots to the biggest LOCAL opportunity to make an impact on GLOBAL climate change: Stopping the CRC Highway Megabridge!

we want real transportation policies that address global warming!
WE NEED YOU: our amazing no-CRC volunteers. Please see which of the volunteer teams below you can join, and help us make a big change on Saturday! Email for more info.

prep team:
Thurs 12pm - 4pm
Fri 1pm - 9pm
We need help making more bike flags and rally signs, and making more buttons. If you can help during any of the times listed above, email to get location details, and come help us make more stuff!!

march team:
12:15pm Meet on PSU Campus in the park blocks just north of the farmer's market. Look for No CRC banner. Help pass out signs to folks with No CRC messages, We pose for a photo-op, then march to the rally. Chalk along the route, pass out flyers. Wear green! Bring a sign if you're feelin' it in public!

bike team:
Meet at Col. Summers Park (20th & SE Belmont). Rain or Shine! Help zip-tie bike flags to folks' bikes. Pass out flyers at the rally. Represent in the streets! We ride to the rally via the Hawthorne Bridge!

More Lanes =
More Cars =
More CO2

Mobility for People not Cars!

CRC: Highway to Climate Hell!

CRC: Highway to Climate Chaos

Thanks to for organizing!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Talking Bicyle Heads Ride

Tonight David Byrne is speaking at the Baghdad Theater on SE 37th and Hawthorne in Portland, Oregon. Its gonna be a uber bike dork extravaganza with Mia Burke, Timo Fosberg, and Jonathan Maus all speaking about their uber dorky bike experiences.

Byrne is pimping his new book Bicycle Diaries. And making the older kids go crazy.

What does this have to do with the Columbia River Crossing? As it turns out Byrne is an outspoken supporter of not spending 4 billion dollars to increase car capacity into the suburbs.

Naturally a bike ride is happening in conjunction.

Talking (Bicycle) Heads Ride!
Wednesday 9/30
Backstage Bar
3702 SE Hawthorne

Join the discussion about the CRC and belt out some tunes

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Get your Face(book) out there and do something.

Another citizen has joined the rising clamor of outspoken denouncement of the current Columbia River Crossing.

But more than just writing about it online (and hoping other people read, agree and share it with others) Daniel James Ronan has gone the next step and created a Facebook group!

Sure, new media is always despised. So if you hate using technology to share your opinions and learn new things you are not required to click on this link that will let you join the group.

Strange how challenging it can be to properly filter out the vast amount of crap that is available to read about anything and nothing. Seems like as soon as the mouse trap improves the mice get smarter too.

Photo Credit to Sarah Mirk of the Portland Mercury

Saturday, September 5, 2009

So many meetings so little time

It has got to be hard building a massive bridge. You gotta get lots of little detail work done, papers filed, taxes levied... it's work!

That is part of why Oregon Governor Kulongoski made 30 million available for the CRC. It is gonna take a lot of money to convince all these people that their kids should be saddled with a massive debt.

But it takes more then money. Like George Burns said, timing is everything. So why have one community meeting when you can have two, at the same time!

* CRC community meeting @ Former Hayden Island Yacht Club
12050 N Jantzen Drive
Portland, OR 97217
Thu, September 10, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

* CRC community meeting @ Vancouver Housing Authority
2500 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
Thu, September 10, 7pm – 9pm

Not enough meeting in your Thursday diet? This could help us loose our shirt and our lunch.

* Congestion Pricing Meeting @ Metro Regional Center
council chamber
600 NE Grand Ave., Portland
Thu, September 10, 12pm – 1pm

The idea that some force is conspiring to keep CRC opposition as diffuse as possible would be considered strange, outlandish even. What does our government have to fear from its people?

So more volunteers are needed to help ask the right questions.

Todays burning question is: Why are so many people willing to burden the future for their own comfort?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Couve Traffic Warning





Thursday, September 3, 2009

Car-Free Couve

Vancouver Car Free day is this Friday!
September 4th from 5pm - 10pm,
On swanky Main St between 6th and 11th.

There is no telling what will happen in that space. It was only a couple months ago that a naked cyclist was arrested after being hit by a cop car.

Most Portland Bikers:
A) loose their frigging minds over Sunday Parkways and
B) do not happen upon car free streets in Vancouver often.

Therefore I invite you all to join me, revphil (the top score holding writing person on this whole blog) on a bike ride from Farragut Park (7700 N Vancouver Ave) to Car-Free Vancouver
We will meet at 4pm and ride shortly after 5pm.

My Amazing google skills demonstrate the northern Delta Park to I-5 bike path.

View Larger Map
There will probably not be a truck blocking the way tomorrow.

That this has not been more publicized (or even publicized at all?) is of significant concern. Internet searches for Vancouver Car Free Day 2009
(w/ a variety of non-BC qualifiers, and relevant dates and places) came up with no results for anything from Southwest Washington.

Is Car-Free Couve totally underground?

Is Greg Raisman the next Jonathan Maus? maybe not but we are thankful for his photo just the same.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

volunteer to help

Sometimes folks feel daunted by the massive force that is pushing the CRC agenda. While it is true that the people working to oppose the CRC do not have a newly approved 30 million dollar budget, it is also true that the opposition have people. But they always need more and your opportunity to join in the fight is coming up soon!


email volunteer[-AT-]stopthecrc[-DOT-]org to get on board with any or all of these events:

Vancouver Peace & Justice Fair
Saturday, Sept. 12th

9am – 4pm
Esther Short Park
8th and Columbia St.
Vancouver, Washington

We are looking for folks to table as we connect and network with Vancouver’s progressive community. Two cities, one love! Help represent & create a unified Vancouver, Portland resistance to the CRC!

Muddy Boot
Saturday, Sept. 12th
12pm – 6:30pm

Sunday, Sept. 13th
12pm – 6pm

St. Philip Neri Church
2408 SE 16th Avenue (near 18th & Division)
Portland, Oregon

lots more volunteer specific info available over at:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Surveying the Messes

A friend saw the link to the CRC's Tolling Survey and was motivated to share his feelings:

1. Bridge Expansion is Assumed to be a Settled Decision

The existence of a toll is taken for granted by the entire survey. The reality that expanding the bridge, as well as applying a bridge toll, are matters that are still in question is never made plain. Nowhere does the survey ask whether the person being surveyed supports or does not support a bridge toll.

2. Variable-Rate Tolling May Not Serve the Traveler

Variable-rate tolling may be used to create the illusion of lowering costs for the traveler, while actually increasing profits for toll collectors. The base toll rate may be set at a level that guarantees a profit during off-peak hours, and an excess of profit during peak hours. It can become a means to collect more money at the times when people find it most necessary to cross the bridge.

Variable-rate tolling also discriminates against people who cannot vary their travel schedules (which is most people who work set hours).

3. Possible Implications of Electronic Tolling

Electronic tolling. Does that mean electronic enforcement and fining through the use of photographic traffic enforcement technology?

More cameras monitoring citizen activity?

4. Inaccurate/Potentially Misleading Information

Question 12 states:

“Tolling both the I-5 and I-205 bridges over the Columbia River, instead of tolling just the I-5 Columbia River bridge, could result in lower toll rates, more traffic improvements, and less traffic congestion on both the I-5 and I-205 highways. Knowing this, how supportive of tolling both the I-5 and I-205 bridges are you?”

If the tolling is split between the two bridges so that the cost of an individual toll is lowered, how will this result in more traffic improvements? The only way there could be more traffic improvements is if the original toll fee being split were inflated. For example, if a toll on the I-5 bridge were originally $4, and that amount was shared by the I-205 bridge, then each bridge would then have a toll of $2. The net result would be the identical $4. However, if the idea is only to create the illusion of a reduced toll fee, while making the net income from both bridges $5 or $6, then of course there would be more profits generated for more traffic “improvements.”

As for the claim that tolls on both bridges will create less traffic congestion, I see no logical correlation between the two factors.

Friday, August 21, 2009

How bad do you want it?

The Columbia River Crossing has many different players and affects many groups and as such is getting lots of interesting cross talk.

Sometimes they talk about freight and the poor, pathetic semi-truck drivers who for whatever reason are not bright enough to use the I-205 crossing (when in fact professional drivers have access to technology that helps them avoid traffic by not driving in cities during rush hour, amazing!).

Other times they talk about safety. Usually about the condition of the current bridge itself and specifically the timber pylons. "Did you know we are trusting our lives to wood?!?" But they don't bring up that nearly every other bridge in Portland has a lower safety rating according to their own investigations.

Then sometimes they talk about the river boat captains who run the risk of hitting the I-5 bridge because the opening does not line us up the railroad bridge just to the west. Alas, they never mention how the railroad bridge actually does need to be replaced, and could be done so for 1/400th of the cost of the current CRC proposal.

But today good reader we are all about the Tolling!

The pro CRC people have created a survey that is pretty interesting. I hope that everyone take 5 min to fill it out.

They dance around the issue of tolling like a pro bowl quarterback dancing around defensive linemen. What a study in framing the discussion! The survey is awe inspiring in its ability to pacify the otherwise rabid opposition. I think, however that we can greatly simplify the matter for the majority of people:

Would you be in favor of a replacement I-5 bridge if it had a $4.00 toll?

This is the blunt question the CRC does not want to ask (especially the "build it now!" - type dittoheads in Vancouver). Even though the CRC folk haven't been forthcoming with all the information they have gotten the hint from Obamma that the federal government wouldn't pay for it outright, and since they are only a few billion dollars short... hey with a $8 toll (adjusted to $10.50 by 2017) we could pay for this bridge by 2050.

So would you be in favor of replacing the I-5 Bridge if it means paying a $4.00 toll to cross it?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Southeast Sunday Parkway

There are a number of people on either side of this CRC debate. Both will be out in force trying to win you over.

This weekend come out and ask your questions.

Sunday Parkways is a great time to meet people in the streets. No fear of being hit by a car cause the streets are car free!

Bring kids, bring ideas, bring questions... BRING IT!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

third bridge option

The CRC moves on despite calls and emails and letters to the editor. We believe that since the 20-30 person task force was able to think of their options as

  1. 10-lane bridge
  2. 12-lane bridge
  3. no build. leave it as it stands.
As the 1st two options are pathetically close to each other we feel it is our duty to bring some new ideas to the table.

Another alternative to the "one bridge to fix them all" thinking. This one advocates for leaving the existing bridge and adding more capacity to the west.

We hope to hear more from these cats about the prospect of digging a tunnel from swan island to the Columbia.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

spanging 4 billions

Yes we are stil in the heat of Joe Cortright days.

"With an estimated price tag of $4 billion, this proposed five-mile, 12-lane freeway would be the most expensive public works project in the region's history. The cost works out to more than $8,000 for each four-person household in the region or roughly the equivalent of 80 OHSU trams." - Joe Cortright
In this Oregonian article Cortright proposes a simple question. "who is gonna pay for all this?"

The sound of everyone not raising their hands is pretty apparent.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Economy of the Future Part 3

Joe has some pretty good numbers. In this final episode of his testimony he explains the fallacy of the Safety concerns the CRC people are selling us.

Moreover He shows hos important it is that we improve the railroad bridge for moving freight.

Here is Joe Cortright's 6 Prudent Steps for solving the problems the CRC is trying to solve.

  1. Toll the existing bridge
  2. Improve transit
  3. Fix the railroad bridge
  4. Seismic upgrade for I-5 bridge
  5. Modify Hayden Island ramps
  6. Light rail to Clark County

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Economy of the Future Part 2

What about funding?

Yes he said the CRC is "80 times more expensive than the Ariel Tram"

Not to sound like a jerk, but how dense is PDX? How about the Couve? What about the planners who expect that planners who think that we can build our way out of congestion?

Stand by for the conclusion of Joe Cortright's testimony to City Hall, "The Economy of the Future Part 3" " available here tomorrow.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Economy of the Future Part 1

Joe Cortright provides some spirited info about the future of building more driving capacity.

Get your econ on.

Thanks for sharing, Joe!

Wait for "The Economy of the Future Part 2", coming tomorrow!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stop The CRC dot ORG

A fresh face in the transportation battle.

Finally some traction in this battle. The only way to beat such large, powerful faceless organization as those promoting the CRC is to work together. But how can people organize?

A great way is to use your massively smart brain to do some searching of the internerds. Then you would learn that there are a variety of groups that don't want a massive "one bridge to rule them all" solution.


Joining the ranks is a new group created by various cyclists, peace activists, and Rising Tide (a direction action environmental group).
We are calling for a back-to-the-drawing board approach
to regional transportation policy that de-prioritizes highway expansions and
puts as its first goal reducing air pollution (& its cost to surrounding
communities), decreasing our use of foreign oil, and improving our region's
bike and public transportation infrastructure. - (available soon!)

Talk to them at Sunday Parkways
  • Sunday 19 July
  • Sunday Parkways Northeast!!!
  • Fernhill Park: NE 37th + Ainsworth

Come on out, meet your neighbor! (or meet people who might be your neighbor if you both come from the same hood and meet each other.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1st anti-crc entry

The 1st of the entries for the crc is in!

thoughts? responses? meh?!?

Monday, July 13, 2009

CRC Flyer Competition

People sometimes feel a sense of bewilderment when it comes to engaging with such a massive opponet as the supporters of a 12-lane CRC.
"The people working to make this bridge are connected with power and influence. What can I do?"
Fear not citizen! For you are more powerful than you might have once perceived (unless you are overcome with delusions of grandeur, in which case just keep on reading and don't let me add to your existing feelings of power).

The simple act of giving a shit will overcome much. And if you care enough to have a conversation with someone then you can be influential. Pretend you dont have an opinion about the CRC... why not try asking those around you, "Hey do you know about the CRC? Can you tell me about it?"


But for those who DO care and DO have an opinion and DO want to share it we have this challenge.

Make a flier!

Portland (and the whole of the NW really) is supposed to be overrun with creative types that have more time and education than drive to use them. So here is the call to action: create a flier (an image with text or something, you dont really need me to tell you what a flier is right?) you would be willing to hand out to a friend or neighbor or stranger. Then post a link to it in the comments.

Lets democratize the process by encouraging more voices!

Fliers made in the next 48 hours (the afternoon of Wednesday, July 15th) will be printed and available this Sunday 7/19 at a great opportunity to meet some people, the Northeast Portland Sunday Parkway

You can come and walk, jog, skate, bike, or any other form of non motorized travel for hours! With no fear of being hit by a large hunk of metal moving at 30 mph right behind you! Fun! (or at least not terrifying!)

I will spend most of my time playing and enjoying some fine Bike Polo on the east side of Alberta Park. Come by, watch a game, have a conversation, enjoy the festivities.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

informative video series #3

In this final video in the series we learn some of the problems the CRC attempts to solve and some alternative solutions.

This video is a great way to get to learn about this project. Please share this media with your friends and neighbors. Lets not waste any more money!

Columbia River Crossing : Alternatives from Nick Falbo on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

informative video series #2

In the last video we learned about the nature of I-5 and the various choke points and what Oregon and Washington governments are planning do to (i.e. spend BILLIONS of dollars)

In this second video we learn about the principle of induced demand. Don't worry, it is not that complicated.

Columbia River Crossing : Induced Demand from Nick Falbo on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

informative video series

3 videos will be posted soon, this one talks about the nature of Interstate 5 as it moves though Portland Metro.

Columbia River Crossing : Introduction from Nick Falbo on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ninas for smarter transportation systems

What is this girl's opinion of the CRC? She wants:
Simple things we might not be able too take for granted much longer.

No, this blog is not above using children to encourage a point. Thanks to BundleOfGlee for unwittingly providing this rad picture taken at May Day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

spreading the wealth and planning for the future

This guest post was sent into our northeast office
First of all, gas prices are going to increase drastically to shall we say, de-congest the roads that have worked fine for all these years. By the time this project is completed, it will likely be completely unnecessary. Shouldn't that at least go into consideration, maybe delay this project until driving conditions have leveled out again?
---but more important that that I wish to say, I don't know if you've ever been down and out, but I tell you this from the bottom of my heart:
So many people are struggling for even a part time job, on the verge of, or already have lost their homes. Real children are hungry and malnourished, their parents are going to do desperate things. And all the while heartless tyrants are buying and manipulating the understanding of health in lieu of adequate formal education, with no opposition to their over funded campaigns to think it's okay to live off of the right prepackaged foods. Four billion dollars is a ridiculous amount of money, I ask you in kind of you realize the sheer gravity of change this could make for us little people? Sometimes getting ten dollars means one may eat something nice, one thousand means bills are covered and there's nourishing foods. A million can make a big difference to a whole school, a whole community can feel more connected and prosperous. There's four thousand of those wrapped up in this one eyesore. Every community in the whole region could live better! Please help the people around you at least remember that Gas is going to become suuuper expensive again, maybe it's better if we reconsider this all later, or something. Four billion dollars, please take a moment to consider how many people's world could be a completely different place.

~Anthony Brasher~

Thank you Anthony! Remember kids, it's not hard to share your opinions... of course the right amount of editing can help you get your point across so don't skimp on the syntax!

photo credit to Svadilfari and Pingu196

Monday, May 4, 2009

What would you do with Four Billion?

Brewhaha! Let's Make a Deal, Portland

Date: Thursday, May 7th

6:30pm - Networking and drinks

7:00pm - Program begins

Venue: Roots Organic Brewery,
1520 SE 7th Ave Portland

Join us for a night of dialogue, democracy and drinks to debate our region's transportation future.

At 4 billion dollars the Columbia River Crossing's fantastic price tag sends a signal that anything is possible in Portland.

1000 Friends is organizing this evening game show style event, hosted by 1000 Friends Executive Director Bob Stacey, in association with The Bus Project, Transportation for America's town halls, and The Portland Mercury. We'll hear some about transportation funding and projects, have some fun, and spend an imaginary $4 billion in "Transpo-bucks". Speakers include CLF's very own Policy Director, Mara Gross, Chris Smith of, Jonathan Maus of, and Representative Nick Kahl.

Then, directly right after the Brewhaha program (around 8:00pm), CLF will be leading a Columbia River Crossing letter-writing session for those interested. We will be writing letters to our state legislators about Oregon's transportation priorities, including the need for a Climate Smart CRC that directly addresses our climate change goals, fiscal responsibility, and the livability of the communities around the 1-5 bridge corridor. The session is tentatively entitled, "Bigger is Not Better" or "Yo Leg, 12 Lanes is Wack."

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Who Benefits?

This uninvited guest commentary comes via myklelabs. The entire post is excellent but I will limit myself to reposting only a section:


Okay, so the CRC is a terrible idea. Why don’t we just ix-nay it and get on with the good life? Unfortunately, there are a lot of powerful people trying to sell our region this bridge, and they’re making progress. Who are these CRC supporters, and why do they support it?

• Well, obviously property developers like it, especially those sitting on undeveloped land in northern Clark County and/or unsold exurban condo ghost towns on the northern edge of Vancouver civilization. They need to sell the lie that these plots are somehow near a city, and that living there won’t be isolating and dull. What they don’t need is a real, lasting solution to congestion — with a quick fix, they can make their money and split.

• Some downtown Vancouver landlords, too, are hoping that the bouquet of overpasses and off-ramps planned for hooking up this monster to their street system will somehow reinvigorate their deserted downtown. Alas, we know from experience that overpasses do not attract families or businesses.

• Likewise, the big-box mall operators of Jantzen Beach dream of more cars on the bridge, because they equate it with more customers in their malls, regardless of what else might be collapsing in the global economy.

• Recall that Wal-Mart wants to build a store on Hayden Island. This bridge will let them do that, so we can count on their support. The viability of edge-of-nowhere chain superstores is directly related to the level of traffic on I-5.

• Finally, for some reason our elected officials are falling all over themselves to support this. Sam Adams is the obvious big disappointment, but there are others. Politicians and planners like these sorts of big projects; it makes their city bigger, thereby making them more important and giving them more accomplishments to point to at election time. And, if I was to be more charitable, I’d say that our city council is charged with the job of helping the local economy to flourish, and this project will almost certainly involve big piles of circulating money … which will, I’m sure, promote “growth.”

read the rest of the article

The question of who benefits from all this has been particularly troubling. And no single answer has satisfied, mostly because it is clear that so many of the people who are supposed to benefit from this project will actually be pissed when it is done (the CRC projects estimates that Vancouver suburb commuters, for example, will have longer commute times... so why are they for it?).

Perhaps the best analogy is that this project is trying to please everyone all at once, so that everyone is supposed to have gotten what they want. Of course we will have sacrificed everything we didn't realize was important to get it.

This is not just a left/right Republican/Democrat issue. Don't be fooled into believing an over simplified view, and please don't be a sideline lamo afraid to talk about it. Engage in heated debate about the pros and cons with your neighbors today!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Letter to teh Congresspeeps

I sent this to Sen. Margaret Carter and Rep. Chip Shields. It was easy! Just follow this link to find your congresspeople. It is generally considered a good idea to be respectful even if you are flaming mad.

Greetings _____

Im sure you are already familiar with the Columbia River Crossing. I would like to tell you that I think it is the most wasteful transportation rubbish heap i have ever seen.

Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio, chair of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, was quoted in the newspaper twice this week criticizing the Columbia River Crossing's size and cost.

Steve Duin wrote in the Oregonian about the grossly over-sized design, calls it an "impending disaster." In the article, he cites Congressman DeFazio as saying that the project needs to be scaled back in terms of both design and cost.

The Willamette Week also quoted DeFazio as stating that the project should think smaller, stating that he doesn't know "how that project moves forward and how they will fund it."

This oversized and overpriced project that will drain $4.2 billion from our resources while making a mockery of your reputation for environmental sustainability.

It is an embarrassment that we are still considering paying millions just to "study" this absurd monstrosity.

Lets focus on creating a climate smart alternative that is both fiscally responsible and works towards Oregon climate change goals...

thanks for your time,


Last time I checked our Legislature was trying to decide if it was a good idea to spend 30 million each of the next 2 years to study the current design. That is to say, they wont even be considering any other designs. This whole project is so bassawckward it frequently causes mild hemorrhages in my brain. Ouch.

Maybe there is some good news out there?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Understanding the Complexity

A major source of discord between people debating the Columbia River Crossing issue is that they are frequently both right.

There are a number of issues with the current I-5 bridge crossing that given unlimited resources should be fixed (along with 100s of other projects).

Issues concerning the number of lanes, Hayden Island, S-turning tugboats, air quality, Vancouver sprawl, Light Rail expansion, pedestrian access, and massive salmon mosaics have peppered our local media for a couple years. All these voices may cause many concerned citizens to throw up their hands in frustration. If the "he said/she said" politicking is causing you come consternation fear not, you are not alone!

Similar to trying to please all the people all the time, a "one bridge solution" to all our traffic problems will make those problems worse. Instead lets be smart with our money.

Everyone in the region owes it to themselves to find out as much about the CRC as possible. The size and scope will have numerous effects so you deserve to know what you are paying for.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Join the blog Authors to write new articles!

Email me if you would like to add new articles to which anyone can comment.  For example, if you would like to post actions or alternatives regarding opposition to the bridge.

Just use your email program and compose a message to me:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Report the results of your call to politicians

This is the place to quickly report the results of telephone calls ( email & letters ) to politicians regarding opposition to the 12 lane mega bridge. Click here to print or view the report card and contact info for these people. You don't have to state your real name or logon to add your notes/comments. Please tell us the name of the person you called and how they answered your concerns. Click here to add your call notes .