POLL: Do you support more than three through lanes for vehicle traffic for personal and freight vehicles in both directions on a proposed I-5 bridge to provide for future population growth? Posted by ClarkCountyToday.comDate: Thursday, April 7, 2022in: Opinion, Transportation share 0 0 File photo Do you support more than three through lanes for vehicle traffic for personal and freight vehicles in both directions on a proposed I-5 bridge to provide for future population growth?YesNo332 votesVoteResults
Realistically, a replacement I5 bridge can’t have more than 3 through lanes; there are only 3 lanes on either side of the bridge in each direction. No more lanes will be added to I5. the only way to get additional capacity is to add another bridge.
Light rail won’t even handle 1% of the total traffic across the bridge; assuming you can get any commuters to even ride it (for most, arriving at your place of work will require either a bus ride, or hoofing it). Buses are much flexible and cost effective, but ridership continues to drop so adding additional capacity for cars and trucks would be the best alternative, and that means a 3rd bridge…
Heading north, there are multiple entrances feeding traffic just before the bridge. This “last minute” merging causes considerable congestion just before the bridge. Since the current bridge has a superstructure over the roadway, driver’s psychology causes them to slow down (proven in a multitude of traffic studies over the years). The combination is a massive backup during the approach to the bridge. Northbound, when exiting the bridge, my experience is that traffic speeds up (lanes are a bit wider, and there’s no “enclosure” above the lanes). One can assume that the approaches to a wider bridge (and the roadway beyond the bridge) could be made wider with a ‘peal off’ exit for WA14 and possibly an additional lane up to the WA500 exit would easily improve northbound traffic and eliminate the heavy backup on I-5 in Oregon in the couple miles before reaching the bridge.
Admittedly, southbound is going to be a problem because Portland and the state of Oregon are unwilling to deal with the severe congestion caused by their width limits through the Rose Quarter and other congestion-causing situations that they refuse to address. Even so, the entrance to the southbound bridge would benefit from a similar adding of lanes, particularly from where WA-14 enters, since that “last minute” entrance (coupled with the superstructure/narrow lane aspect of the bridge) generates a backup due to psychological effects. Some “peel off” exits, southbound, in the mile or two south of the bridge would also allow a more mobile flow of traffic across the bridge itself.
Yes, improvements at one spot will “simply move” congestion to some other spot — but that simply identifies those locations where more attention (e.g. reconfiguring, adding lanes) are appropriate.
The problem is that Portland (and the state of Oregon) think that traffic can be “reduced” by ignoring the problems. Instead they’ve wasted hundreds of millions (or billions) building street cars and subsidizing other methods trying to recreate the medieval “walking cities” of Europe in (the year)1500. Unfortunately, like so many dreams of the leftists, that is an unrealistic plan.
“On the Oregon side, there is plenty of land available in the Delta Park area to add lanes and vehicle capacity. The southern end of the IBR’s “bridge influence area” in Oregon is the Columbia Blvd. interchange.
Yet, in spite of Johnson’s claim, the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for 2040 calls for the addition of one new lane in each direction to I-5 between SR-14 and Mill Plain Blvd. One lane in the northbound direction and one in the southbound direction. The plan calls for these to be “auxiliary lanes,” but there appears to be room for about 10 or more lanes in the area where the bridge lands in Washington.
In fact a width of 200 feet could allow for 16, 12-foot lanes to be squeezed in at the narrowest point in the I-5 corridor north of the border. Yes, there would need to be ramps and lanes for SR-14 to merge onto I-5.
Practically speaking, 10-12 foot shoulders are needed for safety. That would therefore allow for 12 lanes, six in each direction on I-5. There would need to be sound walls to keep the noise away especially on the west, downtown side of the freeway.”
Full report, How much land will the interstate bridge replacement remove from I-5 for transit?Roads are the lifeblood of our region necessary for; Delivery of goods and services, access to goods and vital services, medical, education, retail, access to parks and campsites and more. Other areas plan for additional lanes, AND additional crossings to allow for growth.
see Two states fight congestion by adding new bridge to interstate
An already crowded path! NOI PLAN for any more bridges ever at this point! Who do we fire?
It really doesn’t matter how many lanes they add. The problem traffic is not on the bridge itself but in Portland. If you add more lanes, all you are doing is using a bigger funnel with the same size hole for the stuff to come out. The existing bridge does need to be replaced, but that won’t solve the problem with traffic — the only real solution is an additional bridge and a western route to bypass Portland entirely.
A more direct route to Beaverton or Hillsboro that avoids Portland would be great. I would gladly pay a toll on that!
If the bridge was still 3 lanes but had better access lanes and a functional shoulder area, it would still be a big improvement. Then, when you factor in ‘no bridge lifts’ even better.