375 signatures! 26 organizations! And one $450 million freeway officially in the crosshairs.

The No More Freeway Expansion Coalition submitted a letter to Portland City Council and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability on August 30, 2017 outlining our concerns for the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion and the project’s inclusion in the Transportation System Plan update in the Central City Plan.

Our coalition greatly appreciated the time afforded by Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman and the staff of Mayor Ted Wheeler to discuss our concerns with the inefficacy, price tag, public health implications and expected carbon emissions associated with the proposal to add an additional line of freeway to Interstate 5 from the Fremont Bridge through to Interstate 84.  We wish to thank Commissioner Saltzman, in particular, for his comments given to BikePortland.org last Friday, in which his office shared that they intend to issue a statement prioritizing ‘congestion/value pricing along the I-5 corridor before the project breaks ground.’ We welcome this acknowledgement that congestion pricing is a cost-effective, proven and (if done appropriately) equitable approach to solving the traffic congestion that Portlanders currently face; however, we continue to encourage Commissioner Saltzman and the rest of the City Council to evaluate whether this $450 million freeway expansion is appropriate for inclusion in the Transportation System Plan update, in the name of honoring our city’s commitments to action on climate, traffic safety and equity.

Since the public launch of our campaign, response has been enthusiastic. We provide you today with the names of 375 community members and organizations including Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Portland Democratic Socialists of America, and the East Portland Air Coalition who have signed on since the letter was sent to City Hall. You can see our full list here.

Our petition includes 62 residents of Inner North/Northeast Portland who live near the freeway, 52 self-identified small business owners, 18 self-identified residents of East Portland; 95% of our signatures stated they lived in zip codes with Portland addresses (and 98% in the state of Oregon.)

The “No More Freeway Expansion” Coalition solicited signatures from Portland community members concerned with the plans to spend half a billion dollars on a freeway expansion that won’t solve congestion over the past week. Below are the names, zip codes, and additional comments of the citizens and organizations who have signed on to our letter in advance of today’s City Council Hearing.

We look forward to continuing to engage with Portland City Council on constructive, healthy, cost-effective alternatives to this $450 million freeway expansion, and are eager to work collaboratively to determine a course to support equitable, climate-friendly, and common sense transportation investments for this corridor and for our region’s future.

To see the full comments and additional testimony provided by community members, please see our document HERE, submitted to City Council and the Bureau of Planning on Sustainability on September 7th.

We look forward to seeing you this afternoon at our #steptemberpdx walk 1:00pm at Salmon Street Springs Fountain (1000 SW Naito Parkway) and at the City Council Hearing at 2:00pm.

Leave a Reply