Portland has been a national leader in transportation, and now it is about to become a national failure at a time of crisis. Portland will go backward, when it has the funds, the knowledge, and the wherewithal to move forward.
For a city known for its environmentalism, urban planning, public transportation, public involvement, and progressive politicians, Portland is about to blasphemize the Sunrise Movement, the Albina Vision Plan, Portland Public Schools, and its national environmental reputation. ODOT, in cooperation with “Climate” Governor Kate Brown, Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Metro President Lynn Peterson are about to step aside and watch ODOT jam billions of dollars of freeway-widening projects down our proverbial throats with the claim that it’s good for the climate and has no effect on equity. ODOT has produced a deceitful Rose Quarter Environmental Assessment (EA) that claims this, and has a new Director willing to propagate this fully-debunked myth.
These projects will result — as all highway expansions do — in more VMT, more GHG emissions, more deaths, and less walking, biking, and transit use, while worsening social equity; exactly the opposite of what we need in this time of crisis.