It’s Public Comment Time!

Photo shows one of our "No More Freeways" stickers on a bike rack outside of Portland City Hall

It’s finally here! Last Friday, the Oregon Department of Transportation officially released their Environmental Assessment for the $500 million, 1.8 mile freeway widening project through North Portland’s Rose Quarter. This document is filled with ODOT’s quantitative assertions that building this half a billion dollar freeway expansion will somehow result in reduced carbon emissions, improved air quality in the neighborhood, and a reduction in traffic congestion. This seems…highly improbable, given the decades of research that exist linking freeways to poor air quality, carbon emissions and induced demand for more driving. 

We’ll be spending the next month going through the Environmental Assessment to factcheck these dubious claims (to the extent that we can: the EA released last Friday is lacking numerous appendices and data sets we’ll need to do our own math). We wish we had more than 45 days to review this document, but ODOT denied our request for a two month extension we issued last November. Our letter was co-signed by 35 nonprofit organizations, small business owners, elected officials, environmentalists and neighborhood advocates, who agreed that ODOT needed to give us more time to review this complex, technocratic document.

We’re setting up a page on our website to make it easy for community members to log their concerns about this project. We hope you’ll spend some time in the next month joining us in submitting testimony against this project, and that you’ll help spread the word to your peers, colleagues and friends. We’re going to need every ounce of your help.

Click HERE to check out our public comment page.

*SAVE THE DATES*

ODONT

In addition to submitting comment on the record, we need people to turn out for ODOT’s public hearing and the open house. We’re also hosting a volunteer meet up *tomorrow* at the AORTA office in Union Station, if you’d like to get more involved in the next month. Save these dates – we’ll have more information on the open house / public comment soon. Hope to see you there!

VOLUNTEER MEET UP
Wednesday, February 20
6:00pm – 7:30pm
AORTA Office, Room 253 in Union Station
800 NW 6th Ave, Portland
(facebook event with more information here)

ODOT OPEN HOUSE
Thursday, March 7
Leftbank Annex – Clubroom
101 N Weidler St, Portland

PUBLIC COMMENT 
March 12, 2019
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland
(more information about the No More Freeways presence at this Public Comment hearing on our Facebook page)

BikePortland Publishes Op-Ed by 350PDX, OPAL, Neighbors for Clean Air

Image Shows I-5 below Harriet Tubman Middle School

Last month’s reporting by The Oregoniansuggests that even with passage of pending carbon legislation, Oregon simply won’t hit carbon reduction targets without fundamentally reducing emissions from private automobiles. It is frustrating to watch self-proclaimed environmentalists in City Hall and Salem champion freeway expansion when 40% of Oregon’s carbon emissions come from transportation. The hurricanes, fires and floods are only growing stronger. Expansion of this freeway represents a complicit willingness to ignore Oregon’s responsibility to future generations and the planet.”

Thanks to BikePortland for publishing our most recent op-ed, and thanks to OPAL – Environmental Justice Oregon, 350PDX and Neighbors for Clean Air for adding their names to our cause.

HOW YOU CAN HELP.

Image Shows one of our new buttons, with the text "We've got eleven years to solve climate change; freeway expansion is climate denialism"
TELL TEN FRIENDS: Who are the ten friends of yours who care deeply about climate change that may not know about this project? The colleague who is always talking your ear off about air quality, your neighbor who is always muttering that they wish transit was free?  Please, forward them our email, encourage them to sign up for our updates. This sort of grassroots outreach is how we’ve raised over $12,000 to wage this legal fight, got more than 3500 followers across our platforms, and submitted thousands of comments to the public record as this project winds through municipal government.  Please: talk about the need to stop freeway expansion with your PTAs, your neighbors, your colleagues. Send them our way!DONATE: We’ve got some big public hijinx planned, and the size and scale of them is just a matter of how much we can get donated. Every dollar counts! Donate more than $10 and we’ll eventually send you some of our new stickers and a few political buttons. Donations are tax-deductible.

SHOW UP: Come to our volunteer meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, 2/20) and save the date for the public hearing on March 12.

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