The City Council in Portland, Oregon seems go get it: more traffic capacity creates pollution and suburban sprawl. The Oregonian newspaper wrote up the debate over tolling a new Interstate 5 bridge in the city.
Here’s an excerpts from the article:
Both the Metro and Portland councils are concerned that a bridge with too many lanes would boost driving and related pollution, promote suburban sprawl in northern Clark County and eventually refill the highway with the congestion that now thwarts the freight corridor.
The new bridge would double the existing 6-lane bridge to a total of 12, but in old-fashioned Portland-style, include a light rail line on the new span. The traffic analysis done for the Portland bridge reveals an interesting insight into the idea that traffic modeling data is absolute truth handed down by Moses on stone tablets:
Metro Council President David Bragdon, whose agency produced much of the modeling research for the project, said they were projections, not facts. Highway modeling is based as much on political science and psychology as anything else, he said.
“I don’t accept these as facts, I accept them as the best projections,” Bragdon said.
Interesting comparison considering Louisville is preparing to build it’s own 12-laner across the Ohio River. Too bad these discussions on what is or is not appropriate can’t be taken seriously here, though. (via Planetizen)