Sunday, July 26, 2009

Columbia River Crossing Debate

A lot of debate has centered on the CRC. I appreciate that it has raised the consciousness of both sides.

The Oregonian had a front page article on this and it was scathing.

A new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River has so far cost taxpayers $65 million, without a spade of dirt turned. By this time next year, the tab will hit $100 million -- burning though cash at a rate of more than $1 million a month.

The result: mainly an environmental impact statement and thousands of pages of reports.

And although large initial outlays for design and engineering work are standard, the project remains stuck on square one decisions amid disagreement over the scale and look of the Columbia River Crossing project.

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5th & Lincoln Pedestrian Crossing

We are studying the Portland to Milwaukie Light Rail Line and there are several unique challenges associated with the new alignment. This intersection at 5th & Lincoln is one of the more complicated from all users perspective because the LRT and bus lanes make it a wider crossing for bikes and pedestrians. There's also the right turn only lane. There's something to be said about simplicity in transportation engineering.
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Downtown Raleigh

Okay, so maybe I was a little tough on ole Raleigh. There are good signs in a downtown when you have a little local flavor and it is a Sunday. The Morning Times looked like a cool place to hang out and had a nice vibe to it. I also walked over to the State Capital Building down Fayetteville Street and the place was being rehabilitated, so this didn't look like a great place to spend a lot of time.
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Ended up walking off of Faytteville Street and there were some nice signs of life as people were enjoying a little coffee and breakfast on the sidewalk on a beautiful morning. One thing to say about Raleigh is that the downtown is nice and clean. Almost too clean...

Downtown Raleigh

We're glad you're here.... because nobody else is on a Sunday afternoon.
I guess that's my impression from walking around Raleigh, NC thus far.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Western District ITE Meeting - Denver, CO

One of the exciting things about my job is having the chance to visit cities associated with the professional societies I am involved in and that includes the Western District of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. This year's meeting is in Denver, so it was a familiar place to me as I have done a bit of work and visited the Mile High City a half dozen times in the past three years.
Denver's downtown is very walkable, the streets are wide (it is in the west) but they have managed the system well to create a comfortable environment for pedestrians, particularly on the 16th Street Mall. The Colfax corridor is at the edge of the walkable category as it is a major arterial that provides mobility throughout the City and beyond.
The State Capital building is a beautiful structure (what's wrong with Oregon's?) in the most traditional sense and I love the grounds leading up to the dome. I visited the Colfax Corridor on this trip to enjoy the sun and snap a few photos for future use and to get a better sense of the area surrounding the capital. On my last trip, it was a little colder than the 85 degrees that we had today.
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Monday, July 6, 2009

Secretary of Transportation Visits Portland

I wasn't in Portland to enjoy the festivities, but it sounds like the visit from the Secretary of Transportation was a success. I liked the comment that transit is in the DNA of the City.
There was a good commentary on the topic on Oregon Live

The details of how it all is being built would be great to get involved in.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hot, Flat, and Crowded

I am reading Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why we Need a Green Revolution and How it Can Renew America. The book promises an outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy. The recent chapter that I read speaks to Petropolitics which makes the link between the price of fuel and the freedom associated with the country involved. His argument speaks to those who are concerned about the state of America in the global future.

Emergence of Additional Bike Boxes - Roswell, Ga. Inspired by Portland's Bike Boxes

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition says the North Fulton city's bright green bike box is the first one in Georgia. The newly painted bike box is on the asphalt of Riverside and Dogwood roads - one of the most heavily cycled intersections. Roswell borrowed an idea from Portland, Ore., to make the area safer for bicyclists. Read more.