Rose Quarter plan is boondoggle

Letter: Rose Quarter plan is boondoggle

My response to a Columbian editorial, here. They say the Rose Quarter plan is no boondoggle.

By John Ley, Camas

Published: July 1, 2019 (here).

If you actually look at the details of Oregon’s proposed $500 million spending on the Rose Quarter project, it truly is a “boondoggle.”

Fully half the spending will go to creating real estate — building two concrete lids over Interstate 5. They will do nothing to significantly improve traffic congestion or safety. An additional $30 million to $50 million will be wasted building a bike/pedestrian bridge over I-5 the bicycle community does not want.

Question: How much will the expenditure of a half-billion transportation dollars improve traffic flow? ODOT reports: “the auxiliary lanes will not provide long-term capacity relief to congestion problems.”

How many of the FOUR bottlenecks ODOT reports for I-5 in the region will be eliminated? As The Columbian quoted: “the three miles from Rosa Parks Way to the Rose Quarter mimics a parking lot much of the day, when you calculate for the morning and evening commute, for a grand total of 9 hours, 15 minutes.”

Transportation architect Kevin Peterson scrutinized the traffic projection data of the failed and flawed Columbia River Crossing. Peterson reported the new lanes across the Columbia River are “valuable only if three to four lanes are added into downtown Portland. This is a 12- to 14-lane freeway passing thru the Rose Quarter by 2060.”

The Rose Quarter project is a waste of scarce transportation dollars.

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REFERENCES

An ODOT graphic showing the Rose Quarter plan, including the two concrete lids over I-5.

Transportation architect Kevin Peterson’s analysis of the CRC traffic data, showing the lanes needed on I-5 through 2060.

Metro President Lynn Peterson (former WSDOT Secretary), says the Rose Quarter project is necessary to “revitalize” the northeast Portland community here.

Former Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman says the Rose Quarter project is necessary “redevelopment project” here.