My Letter to the Columbia River Crossing “Independent” Review Panel

Thank you for taking the time to review the proposed Columbia River Crossing.

Since no one sitting on this independent review panel lives in Oregon, I wanted to share some thoughts about why this project is not consistent with our region’s values of smart growth, good planning, and sustainable forms of construction and transportation.

1) We already know that building capacity does not solve congestion. In fact, it invites more SOV use, which leads to more congestion. The only way to handle the current congestion is to promote and support alternative ways to get across the river. Such solution would include but not limited to bus rapid transit, light rail, good bike and pedestrian pathways, and a tiered tolling system that would reward commuters for traveling during non-peak hours.

2) Tearing down a good bridge to build a brand new one is an affront to our local culture. We do not throw things out in Portland, we reuse them whenever possible. If we want to build a new bridge, it should be to the benefit of local access, mass transit and active transportation, not for an interstate highway. If there are seismic issues with the current bridge, we should repair them. Nothing I’ve read indicates that a replacement is necessary.

3) There will be a negative impact on our region’s environmental and sustainability goals if the proposed 10-12 lane bridge is constructed. Affirmations from the CRC organization that reduced idling will somehow outweigh the overall carbon footprint of thousands of new SOV crossings a day is absolutely false. That sort of arithmetic error demonstrates the CRC organization’s poor grasp of the serious environmental costs this bridge would have on our region and our world.

4) The proposed bridge would not properly accommodate those who are walking and biking. Portland recently passed the Bike Master Plan for 2030, which commits the city to building a world-class bicycle network. The pathways of the proposed new CRC would be an improvement over the current network, but do not go far enough to allow the proper safety and enjoyment of those users who wish to experience the Columbia River Crossing by foot. We can do better.

5) We cannot afford this bridge, when there are other, higher-priority local projects that require necessary funding. Let’s fix the current bridge and move on to more important local projects.

There is absolutely no consensus on this bridge, and the the process for public input is severely lacking, if not appalling. There is no way this bridge can be built within the current framework for public input.

In Oregon, if we’re going to build something, we want to make sure it’s the right thing to do. The new bridge is not what we want, it’s as simple as that.

Steve Bozzone

4 Agreements

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.

don Miguel Ruiz, via Adam Wood.

Firefox Compatible Pennsylvania (PA) Inmate Locator

I grew tired of having to fire up Internet Explorer each time I wanted to check on someone currently at Graterford.  The  PA DOC site shrugs off the thought of compatibility with non-IE browsers.  Not surprising from an institution as unjust, overcrowded, and corrupt as Graterford prison.

Anyway, here’s a link I found that worked in Firefox: PA DOC Inmate Locator.  If you know anyone at Grateford, I’d enjoy hearing from you.

I’m Riding My Bicycle From Portland to San Francisco!

Going crazy for my new touring bike, haven't packed those panniers yet!

Going crazy for my new touring bike, haven't packed those panniers yet!

We’re actually starting in Astoria, Oregon, which is a hair north of Portland but on the coast. Here’s a map:

View Larger Map

Here’s a rough itinerary with daily mileage, I think it’s changed a bit but you get the idea:

Day 1: Astoria to Manzanita (37.8)
Day 2: Manzanita to Netarts (40.1) via cheese and the capes
Day 3: Netarts to Lincoln City (48)
Day 4: Lincoln City to Yachats (49.9)
Day 5: Yachats to Reedsport (48.8)
Day 6: Reedsport to Bandon (54.8)
Day 7: Bandon to Gold Beach (57.5)
Day 8: Gold Beach to Cresent City (55.8)
Day 9: Cresent City to Orick (39)
Day 10: Orick to Eureka (46)
Day 11: Eureka to Redcrest (41.8)
Day 12: Redcrest to Leggett (55.8)
Day 13: Leggett to Fort Bragg (43.4)
Day 14: Fort Bragg to Point Arena (44.4)
Day 15: Point Arena to Jenner (51.6)
Day 17: Jenner to Point Reyes Station (42.5)
Day 18: Point Reyes Station to Golden Gate Bridge (35)

I think it may take up to 21 days with rest days and technical problems. I’ll try to send updates via my cell phone. I’m very stoked and very nervous. We’ll see how it goes!