Portland Mayor Agrees with Ley – Shut Down the Rose Quarter Project!
Oregon wants to spend $795 million on the I-5 Rose Quarter project, which will add ZERO new through lanes to I-5. It is the major bottleneck for traffic congestion in the region.
The outrageous price tag is being used as one of many excuses Oregon elected officials use to demand tolls on all area freeways, including I-5 and I-205 “at the border” with Washington. Oregon never tires of picking the pockets of SW Washington citizens.
The project has been labeled “community redevelopment”, using scarce transportation dollars for non-transportation needs. The plan was to create real estate, building two concrete lids over I-5. This would allow real estate developers to build high rise buildings, and the city to put small parks and pedestrian areas on the new real estate.
(ODOT graphic. The red area is open air -- FYI.)
On July 1st, the Albina Vision Trust (here) came out opposing the project. Apparently, it didn’t “align” with their group’s values. Within hours, the Portland Mayor and one city council member came out against the proposal. Later in the day, the Oregon Governor rejected the plan. “I-5 Rose Quarter widening will not happen without support of Portland’s Black community” read the Oregonian headline.
Fully HALF of the original $450 million was going to the “community redevelopment”, building the two concrete lids plus an overprice bike/pedestrian bridge over I-5. Apparently now that is not enough.
The project has nearly doubled in price, typical of government, ballooning to $795 million before ground has been broken. All of this is used by the liberal Governor and Portland area leaders to demand more money.
Hence the outrageous scheme to pick the pockets of SW Washington citizens, via TOLLS.
(Tolls on I-66 in Virginia for a one way trip.)
We learned in the failed Columbia River Crossing debacle that the plan required over $8 in tolls, or $2,000 per year for commuters. These roads and bridges are already paid for, and yet Oregon wants “more” from the pockets of SW WA citizens who work in Oregon.
We need to fight the outrageous tolling scheme. We need to stop the resurrection of the Columbia River Crossing. It truly was “a light rail project in search of a bridge’. We do not need to replace the Interstate Bridge.
The people want traffic congestion relief. Truckers need significantly improved freight mobility. ODOT was forced to admit this project will do nothing to improve traffic congestion. That’s because they add zero new through lanes to I-5. New vehicle capacity and new transportation corridors are the only things that will reduce traffic congestion.
It’s time to elect someone who will stand up to Oregon’s tolling schemes. It’s time to elect someone who will fight against a light rail project in search of a bridge. It’s time to elect John Ley. Remember, Ley is the key for responsible transportation spending.