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MarkDaMan
Jan 24, 2007, 4:24 PM
Vancouver mayor: Put light rail on new bridge
Transportation - Royce Pollard wants tolls to help pay for the new crossing and a vehicle tax for other needs
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
ALLAN BRETTMAN
The Oregonian

VANCOUVER -- Royce Pollard rarely misses an opportunity to declare he is mayor of "America's Vancouver."

But on Tuesday, he almost sounded like he was mayor of Oregon's Portland.

Pollard, delivering his annual State of the City address, embraced light rail, saying he wouldn't support an Interstate 5 bridge replacement plan that didn't include it. He said vehicle tolls would be essential to pay for the new bridge. And he said that a $20-per-vehicle license tax would be needed for new transportation projects elsewhere in the city.

And then he talked at length about global warming, compact fluorescent light bulbs, hybrid vehicles, environmental building standards, increasing the city's tree canopy, and an imaginary conversation with an Alaska glacier.

Pollard, 67, usually takes his hourlong annual speech to review the past year's highlights, with only an occasional controversial remark. Perhaps the most memorable "State" remark came in 2003, when the retired Army lieutenant colonel invited city critics "to seek a warmer climate and move."

But on Tuesday, he forcefully endorsed light rail, one of the most controversial topics in Clark County.

"I've said it before, but it bears repeating," Pollard said. "Vancouver and Clark County residents have the cheapest buy-in to one of the most successful light-rail systems in the world, the MAX system. There is over $5 billion invested in light rail across the river. We can tap into that system at a very minimal cost. And believe me, we'd be foolish not to."

Most, but not all, of the 400 people in the downtown Hilton Vancouver Washington applauded his light-rail remarks.

Referring to the county's resounding 1995 defeat of a sales tax to support light rail, Pollard said the county has changed into "a different and more progressive community than we were back then. . . . Let me say it again, light rail will come to Vancouver."

But it likely won't happen without support from other Southwest Washington public officials.

And after his speech, Vancouver City Councilwoman Jeanne Harris and two members of the Clark County Board of Commissioners, Betty Sue Morris and Steve Stuart, said Pollard's light-rail remarks were off base.

"He doesn't speak for the entire City Council," said Harris, who also is a board member of C-Tran, the county's public transit agency.

The board is weighing the merits of light rail and a bus rapid transit system across a proposed Interstate Bridge replacement.

Pollard's next controversial topic was supporting tolls to help pay for an Interstate Bridge.

That might be a dangerous stance. An estimated 60,000 people commute from Clark County to Oregon for their jobs and pay Oregon income tax, and many think they pay enough already. Oregon received nearly 55,000 income tax returns from Clark County in 2004, totaling about $121 million in income taxes. Only seven of Oregon's 36 counties paid more.

No matter.

"I stand before you today firm in my resolve that there will be tolls on the crossing," Pollard said.

The mayor's four-year term expires in Dec. 31, 2009. He did not give a definitive yes or no when asked if he would run for another term.

About that glacier:

Pollard, who in 2005 was among 358 mayors to sign the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement, attended a mayors summit on climate change in Alaska last year.

"I saw for myself the results of warmer temperatures on the glaciers," Pollard said. "I even communicated with a glacier. . . . I did put my hand on the glacier. And the glacier said to me, 'Mayor of America's Vancouver, I'm melting. I'm melting. I'm melting, help me. . . . It didn't really say that."

Allan Brettman: 360-896-5746 or 503-294-5900; allanbrettman@ news.oregonian.com

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1169612707115700.xml&coll=7

mcbaby
Jan 24, 2007, 9:13 PM
funny, i just posted this in the portland transit link

PDXPaul
Jan 25, 2007, 5:29 AM
and two members of the Clark County Board of Commissioners, Betty Sue Morris and Steve Stuart, said Pollard's light-rail remarks were off base

Even more reason to be beefing with the county commissioners. Let's disband the annexation board, let's block light rail. Oy Vey.

PuyoPiyo
Jan 29, 2007, 6:13 AM
Pollard makes push for I-5 cap

Sunday, January 28, 2007
BY DON HAMILTON


Mayor Royce Pollard is turning up the volume on his proposal to cover Interstate 5 through the downtown Vancouver corridor.

In a letter last week to the Columbia River Crossing, Pollard - he's Vancouver's representative on the task force - suggested capping the freeway from the bridge touchdown point in Vancouver north to Evergreen Boulevard, creating a tunnel of perhaps a few hundred yards.

Pollard said the cap would make room for a park or some other kind of public space, connect downtown more fully with the Fort Vancouver Historic Reserve and unite Vancouver's divided downtown.

"There's a scar there we have an opportunity to heal," Pollard said. "Why not do it?"

Columbia River Crossing is the task force empaneled by Oregon and Washington to look at building a new Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River. Next month, the group is set to launch a draft environmental impact statement, the most important bureaucratic step in the process so far. The report will look at building a new five- or six-lane bridge with room for light rail or bus rapid transit.

Pollard wants his proposal considered after the draft EIS is under way, as part of the process of looking at the finer bridge details, like alignment, lanes and interchanges.

The idea remains in the formative stage. Pollard said he realizes such a plan would be expensive but would be only a small part of the bridge project, which could total $6 billion, according to recent estimates from the Columbia River Crossing staff.

"Nothing's cheap anymore," he said. "But what is the value of correcting downtown?"

Capping a freeway isn't a new idea. In Seattle, the Washington State Convention & Trade Center crosses Interstate 5, as does Freeway Park, just a few blocks south of there.

Less successfully, a decade ago Portland Mayor Vera Katz proposed capping Interstate 405 along downtown Portland's west and south sides, a far more ambitious project than Pollard's modest plan. A large model of how it would look sat outside the Portland City Council chambers for years but was removed when Katz left office in 2005. Portland has not revisited the proposal.

Pollard hopes to have a cap proposal included as part of the bridge project but if rejected, the city could still make the proposal happen on its own.

The Vancouver City Council has not taken a position on his plan. Pollard said he expects to have the support of the business community.

As a member of the Crossing task force, Pollard will have his chance to present ideas to the 39-member panel in the months ahead, said Danielle Cogan, spokeswoman for the group.



Don Hamilton can be reached at 360-759-8010 and

don.hamilton@columbian.com

Article from http://www.thecolumbian.com

bvpcvm
Jan 29, 2007, 7:10 AM
I'd love to see this happen. But 405 needs to be capped as well, and there are long stretches of I-5 in 'NoPo' which oughta be capped also.

PuyoPiyo
Jan 29, 2007, 11:05 AM
Yupp it would be cool to have capped freeways in Vancouver. I agree the I-405 need to be capped too.

sirsimon
Jan 30, 2007, 1:49 AM
Sounds like a good plan for the 'couv.

mcbaby
Jan 30, 2007, 3:53 AM
I-5 really tore up vancouver when it was built. sounds like a great idea. maybe capping 405 will be reignited.

sirsimon
Jan 31, 2007, 12:36 AM
"maybe capping 405 will be reignited."

^ My thoughts exactly! :)

GreenCity
Jan 31, 2007, 11:27 AM
Does anyone know if there are pictures of the 405 model floating around out there? Or really any type of representation. I'm just wondering about the aesthetics of it all.

MarkDaMan
Jan 31, 2007, 4:31 PM
http://www.mindspring.com/~tbgray/prpics/31dtnpdx.gif

Capping of I-405 awaits citizens' considerable input
Portland Business Journal - June 26, 1998
by Brian K. Miller

As Mayor Vera Katz and the American Society of Landscape Architects prepare for the "Bridge the Divide, Cap I-405" open house at Pioneer Courthouse Square on July 2, a few more probabilities are known.

First, it's unlikely that the ASLA will recommend capping the entire stretch of the I-405 ditch between Northwest Hoyt Street and Southwest Fourth Avenue. The mayor and lead landscape architect Paul Morris of Portland-based McKeever/Morris Inc. instead expect there will be a number of smaller projects at different points along the route--nodes, the mayor calls them.

Second, Morris and the ASLA are looking at the ditch as having three distinct segments. The first segment is between Hoyt and Burnside, the second between Burnside and Highway 26, and the third between Highway 26 and Fourth Avenue.

Finally, Morris and the mayor are convinced that just about any idea for what to put on top of the capped portions is, if not probable, plausible. Anything from partial caps, like adding "wings" onto existing bridges for bicycle and pedestrian traffic, to full caps with high-tech campuses on top can be done--for a price, they said.

"Anything you want to envision has been done somewhere," said Morris, whose team has been researching success stories from other cities for the past six weeks.

One of the cities researched was Duluth, Minn. In 1992, the city completed construction of a freeway extension through its downtown waterfront, but did so with four tunnels that added 13 blocks to the city's downtown--most of which are utilized as open space.

Morris' research will be displayed at the open house Thursday at Pioneer Court House Square, where citizens will be asked to put in writing what they would like to see on top of the byway. The event will be set up for lunch (11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.) and right after work (4:30-6 p.m.).

The open house will be repeated at different locations July 9, 16 and 20, and will feature a 17-foot model of the project area as well as six educational exhibits. The exhibits will include what the areas looked like before I-405 was dug out, how the capping effort got started and capping projects from elsewhere around the globe.

The idea of capping the I-405--thought of by many, no doubt, but brought to life by Mayor Katz in her 1998 State of City address--is to reconnect the areas split from downtown when the freeway was installed.

Getting in my two cents worth, if reconnecting the area is the objective, then don't replace a hole with a wall of buildings. Keep it simple. Keep it public. Make it a park-like setting with sport courts and open space, gardens and amphitheaters. It's what we're known for; it's what we do best.
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/1998/06/29/newscolumn4.html?t=printable

Drmyeyes
Jan 31, 2007, 7:24 PM
Nice research work DaMan. I wish the illustration would have shown more of the area north of Jefferson, also, ground level views. It might really help to get this project rolling if such views were more readily available so the public could better visualize the range of potential in such a project. With so many square feet of land created this way, there'd be room for parks and buildings. If the engineering part could be managed cost effectively, this project would really be a huge aesthetic benefit to the city.

65MAX
Jan 31, 2007, 7:28 PM
There were illustrations of the blocks all the way up to Glisan. Plus many perspective renderings.

MarkDaMan? Anything?

MarkDaMan
Jan 31, 2007, 8:17 PM
^I'm still looking. It appears both the PDC and Portland Online have buried documents related to the full cap study. I can find lots of mentions, but no plan. Everytime you click on the Northwest District Plan, where the cap mentions come up most, it takes you to the NW parking plan. I did find an untitled PDF on the Freeway Loop study. There is a lot of interesting information here with a master plan shown to be emerging in mid 2009.

http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=104959


This link below, on the last page of the PDF, does have a rendering of what was to be the first project, a parking garage with sports fields on top, but again, it isn't the project summary.

http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=85725

sirsimon
Feb 1, 2007, 1:23 AM
^ Wow - that looks like a cool project!

pdxman
Feb 1, 2007, 1:25 AM
This project seems like a NO BRAINER to me...anyone else feel this way?

der Reisender
Feb 1, 2007, 1:58 AM
it does seem like a no-brainer, but i wonder how much it would cost to cap the blocks and put parks on top of them. i do think it'd be a great way to reconnect the cut off areas by creating a destination area and could allow PSU some expansion room

zilfondel
Feb 1, 2007, 6:13 AM
This project seems like a NO BRAINER to me...anyone else feel this way?

I can't believe how extensive the cap was going to be... the only images that I ever saw were part of the Burnside couplet plan, and that only included a small plaza on the block over 405 directly n or s of burnside.

However, if they tunnel I-5 under the river, apparently they will have to tunnel I-5 and 405 west til the 6th onramp, and south halfway down Macadam... so perhaps they are waiting on this one until they can make some bigger stuff happen?

I'm all for it, though. Getting rid of the blight of 405 and the 5 through the central city would immediately make land values skyrocket... I don't think anyone can underestimate the impact it would have. The only problem is that the railroad is pretty much impossible to move from the central eastside, since the grade change to get it back up to the surface in the NOPO railyards would be too great.

65MAX
Feb 1, 2007, 9:46 AM
Actually, it is possible to tunnel the rail line as well. The grade would not be steep at all. Cost is the only limiting factor.

PuyoPiyo
Feb 1, 2007, 2:22 PM
Portland and Vancouver both plan to cap the I-5, imagine driving from Vancouver to Portland, you will have a greatest tunnel trip!

Urbanpdx
Feb 1, 2007, 3:34 PM
I remember reading the economic analysis done for the Katz admin. and it was pretty interesting. Using updated numbers would be a good excersize. Mark seems to have great access to old reports, can you find that one Mr. Daman?

MarkDaMan
Feb 1, 2007, 4:50 PM
This is interesting...the stadium as part of the cap
http://www.portlandbaseballgroup.org/images/ballpark/siteplans/burnside_slide.jpg

Urbanpdx
Feb 1, 2007, 5:18 PM
That is a terrible idea!

MarkDaMan
Feb 1, 2007, 5:18 PM
Here's about the best information I could find. The page I've copied below has links that would have taken me to city documents, but each of the links attached to city documents are 'no longer available'. All of the newspaper articles are in the archive section, the Washington Post story might be worth the purchase, but I still don't think any of the initial renderings are available.

I-405 Cap:

Architects look at Katz’s idea of developing I-405 airspace Oregonian, 5.15.98

Idea of I-405 lid unleashes inspiration: A downtown exhibit draws the curious and enthusiastic, plus a smattering of doubters wondering about other priorities Oregonian, 7.3.98

No limits on imagination mayor generates some welcome excitement by seeking unlimited ideas for capping I-405 Oregonian, 7.8.98

Katz proposes to bridge Portland’s gap: Portlanders were asked to participate in changing the landscape of the I-405 Vanguard, 7.8.98

The new urban frontier Washington Post, 7.15.98

Most opt for park on I-405 freeway cap during public debut Daily Journal of Commerce, 7.27.98

Dream ahead to 2023—live, work, play atop 405 Oregonian, 10.5.98

Volunteers present City Council with I-405 ‘capping’ report Oregonian, 11.19.98

Katz appoints team to study how to cap I-405 Oregonian, 4.5.99

Portland caps: Series of concrete lids over a Portland freeway could create new land for development in a city fast running out of downtown space Urban Land, 7.1.99

"As for West End-Lower Goose Hollow, it has a huge potential. It is between downtown and Northwest Portland, with light rail running through it, a new park block nearby, easy freeway access, and soon a streetcar to run on 10th and 11th Avenues. In the 1970s, we cut a massive swath through 12 blocks of this neighborhood to build I-405. It was a thriving and prosperous neighborhood of schools, religious institutions, businesses and bookstores near the library. Normally, I would not advocate that we cover up our mistakes, but in this case I would make an exception. I propose that we cover sections of I-405 and bring back a great neighborhood. Above I-405, and in the neighborhoods surrounding it, we have the potential to build parks, design an urban high tech campus, provide parking, create pedestrian walks, build housing, office and retail space. There is no question, this will be a challenging project, but also very exciting for the future of the city. Again, both the Rose Quarter and West End/Lower Goose Hollow projects, along with the River District and North Macadam will relieve the pressure to build more housing in single family neighborhoods." Vera Katz, State of the City address, 1.22.98

"The ‘Bridge the Divide and Cap I-405’ effort is a way for us to reconnect neighborhoods and to reclaim the land for better use. It is a way to capture elements that are Portland. It is a catalyst for the development of adjacent blocks that have languished for the last 30 years because of the freeway. Today, thanks to the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and nearly one thousand citizens who participated in this visioning process, we now have some great ideas of how to reclaim some of the valuable neighborhoods lost during the construction of the I-405 ditch." Vera Katz, I-405 Vision Study Announcement, 10.15.98

"’Anything you want to envision has been done somewhere,’ said Paul Morris, whose team has been researching success stories from other cities." Business Journal, 6.26.98

"Mayor Vera Katz has brought new energy to an old idea last talked about in the 1986 Central City Plan. Back then, unlike many other visionary parts of the plan, the idea didn’t generate much serious interest." Oregonian, 7.8.98

"To have any hope that the central city will absorb the job and population growth earmarked in the Region 2040 forecast, we’re gonna need some land." Randy Gragg, Oregonian, 10.11.98

"Katz says capping the interstate also would help reduce growth pressures in other neighborhoods. The city is trying to add 70,704 homes by 2017 to help reduce sprawl in the region." Oregonian, 4.5.99

"Last year, nearly 1,000 people enthusiastically offered up ideas to capture more of Portland’s growth in the central city, reconnect neighborhoods and make better use of vacant air space by capping the I-405 freeway." Vera Katz, Oregonian, 5.12.99

In Portland's 1988 Central City Plan [I-405 CCP.doc], city planners first identified building on top of I-405 as a future vision for the city. Ten years later in the 1998 State of the City speech, challenged the citizens of Portland to revive that vision and think creatively about what could be built above I-405 to bridge the neighborhood divide created by the construction of I-405. Capping the freeway will provide Portland with an opportunity to protect more growth impacts on existing neighborhoods and help protect the Urban Growth Boundary by focusing more growth in the downtown area.

With the American Society of Landscape Architects and over 1000 neighborhood and expert volunteers, created a detailed vision strategy that calls for capping 26 blocks of I-405 to create space for 2,000 new jobs, 2,600 new housing units, 1,300 parking spaces, six acres of parks, retail and entertainment space. A strategy team composed of developers, city and state transportation staff, neighborhood representatives and interested citizens are currently developing an implementation strategy. Their report is due early 2000.


Mayor's Economic Development liaison:
Linly Rees
Office of the Mayor
1221 SW Fourth Ave., Suite 340
Portland, OR 97204-1995
direct line: (503) 823-4277
e-mail: lrees@ci.portland.or.us
http://www.ci.portland.or.us/mayorstate/I.htm

Urbanpdx
Feb 1, 2007, 5:22 PM
I remember reading something that estimated feasiblity and costs on a block by block basis...

I think it was a 1999 report.

PuyoPiyo
Feb 1, 2007, 6:08 PM
^To DaMan

With the American Society of Landscape Architects and over 1000 neighborhood and expert volunteers, created a detailed vision strategy that calls for capping 26 blocks of I-405 to create space for 2,000 new jobs, 2,600 new housing units, 1,300 parking spaces, six acres of parks, retail and entertainment space. A strategy team composed of developers, city and state transportation staff, neighborhood representatives and interested citizens are currently developing an implementation strategy. Their report is due early 2000.

That will be awesome for Portland.

And other one post about the capping on the dome, it sounds crazy idea to me.

MarkDaMan
Feb 1, 2007, 6:40 PM
^Even if the feasibility to build this, and the political will, isn't there, they have laid the groundwork for an incredible city addition when it does become cost effective, and even necessary when the downtown density is maxed. Vera might have been ahead of the city on this one, but her visioning will leave an incredible legacy long after she is no longer with us.

Urbanpdx
Feb 1, 2007, 6:55 PM
the report is called

Bridge the Divide and Cap I-405

and was completed October 1998. I cannot find a copy of it...yet

Urbanpdx
Feb 1, 2007, 6:57 PM
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS PRESENTS MAYOR VERA KATZ WITH VISION
STUDY TO "BRIDGE THE DIVIDE AND CAP I-405

PORTLAND- Today the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Community Assistance Team presented Mayor Vera Katz and the citizens of Portland with a vision study on reclaiming 26 downtown blocks in what is currently vacant air space over the I-405 freeway.

The "Bridge the Divide and Cap I-405 Vision Study" details concepts of how to recapture some of the 38 blocks bulldozed in 1965 for the construction of the I-405 freeway ditch. The result is projected to lead to: 1,000 housing units for 2,000 residents; 650,000 square feet of commercial space, generating 1800 permanent new jobs; 2,200 parking spaces; six acres of parks; two acres of indoor recreational uses and 50,000 square feet for civic/exhibition space.

As part of the ASLA's national centennial celebration "100 Years 100 Parks" project, the Oregon chapter of the ASLA and the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) took on the Mayor's State of the City challenge to envision possibilities of reclaiming parts of I-405. A Community Assistance Team (CAT), comprised of leading design, planning and engineering professionals from the Portland area, developed a "road map" of how a capping project would look from Glisan Street to 4th Avenue. Their assistance leveraged over $200,000 in pro bono services for the effort.

"I set out to spark peoples' imaginations and I am thrilled by the results. I want to thank the ASLA, the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and the thousand citizens who participated for their generous contribution to the City of Portland," said Katz. "If we are to keep Portland the livable city it is today, we must plan wisely for its future, by protecting and preserving our existing single family neighborhoods and focusing as much growth as possible in the central city. . . This process has taught us how to reconnect our neighborhoods, by enhancing our multi-modal transportation system by incorporating bicycle and pedestrian ways with light rail and freeway access, and for creating economic development opportunities in unique Portland tradition."

The "Bridge the Divide and Cap I-405 Vision Study" represents the combined efforts of the ASLA, the Mayor's Office and various neighborhoods, businesses, educational institutions, and city and state agencies, as well as over 1000 citizens. In what the Mayor called a "model of what a public involvement project should be" citizens participated in an Open House at Pioneer Square, three design workshops, and a consensus building workshop where all of the ideas were synthesized into one thematic concept map.

"Capping I-405 is an idea which follows the classic Portland spirit for creating a vision for the next millennium," said Portland developer John Carroll. "The preliminary plans provide glimpses of what the future holds, and I'd like to play a role because it has merit and is doable."

"This project sought to bridge the divide of I-405 by using a series of caps to reconnect eight key neighborhoods to the central city, while creating enhanced multi-modal transportation options and spurring economic development over currently vacant air space. At the same time, we are pleased to have developed a study that: 1) encourages private investment; 2) creates an inviting atmosphere; and 3) proposes structures that contribute to the urban and natural environment," said Paul Morris, President of McKeever/Morris, ASLA Oregon chapter trustee, and project manager for the "Bridge the Divide and Cap I-405" effort.

Of the eight areas, citizens identified two as priorities for redevelopment: Civic Stadium/West End and West Burnside, including the following projects:

Civic Stadium/West End: A "MAX Mixed-Use District" providing three new city blocks of retail/office/housing that reconnect the West End business and retail with the Civic Stadium area, while complementing the scale and design of the existing surrounding architecture and completing the light rail station located on top of the freeway. The "MAX Mixed Use District" was identified as one of the first priorities because it capitalizes on the intersection of the new Westside Light Rail line. Located between the Civic Stadium District and the West End District -- both of which have planning efforts underway -- the area offers excellent opportunities for intermediate investment and development.

West Burnside: A "Bright Light District" building on existing urban form to create a dynamic mixed-use entertainment and office center encompassing three new city blocks. It is composed of the public entertainment center with an expansive plaza that is surrounded by an Urban Conservatory, cafes, restaurants, shops, nightclubs, offices, housing, and parking.

Among the benefits of capping the freeway in the citizen-identified priority areas of MAX Mixed Use District and the Burnside Bright Light District, is the creation of new tax revenue. From an estimated 195,000 square feet of commercial space within the two priority areas, the projected tax revenue for the city is $625,429. The new funds could be used to help build infrastructure needed to support public/private developments.

Other project links emphasized for the Pearl District/Northwest Portland; Goose Hollow/PSU; and PSU/Duniway include:

Pearl District/NW: A sports recreation center, combining a mix of parking, retail, and athletic facilities into a sports complex that covers three new city blocks.

Goose Hollow/PSU: 1) "Main Street Commons," a three-block park set atop a 450-space parking structure with an outdoor gathering space, a plaza, and children's playground; 2) A civic and office center reinforcing the emerging activity in the West End and the Cultural Districts with civic/office and housing/retail development opportunities along Jefferson and Columbia Streets as major East-West connections to and from the downtown core; 3) "South Market Square" with neighborhood retail, shops, and services with affordable housing opportunities to the adjacent neighborhood and PSU.

PSU/Duniway: A PSU Expansion with an eye toward the future of high-technology and research, integrated with housing and local employment over two city blocks. Also, a "Broadway Round-About" helping to resolve a difficult driving experience centered around six key streets by redefining the flow of traffic through a traditional European scaled round-about, framed around the perimeter by two new blocks of housing.

Katz said she intends to appoint a steering committee of public and private stakeholders to oversee the predevelopment work, identify sources of funding, and coordinate building partnerships between the city, state and federal government for capping the freeway. The Mayor indicated she will announce further details and provide a progress report in her 1999 State of the City Address, January 22, 1999.

The American Society of Landscape Architects' "100 Parks, 100 Years" program commemorates ASLA's 100th anniversary in 1999 and celebrates 100 years of designing American landscapes. ASLA's 47 Chapters, located coast to coast and in Hawaii, will renovate or create 100 parks and greenspaces across the country. This charitable program will beautify America's neighborhoods, town and cities and create places for community life.

The American Society of Landscape Architects, founded in 1899, represents over 12,000 members nationwide. Landscape architecture is the comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation. Typical projects include site design and planning, town and urban planning, regional planning, preparation of environmental impact plans, garden design, historic preservation, and parks/recreation design and planning. Landscape architects hold undergraduate or graduate degrees. They are licensed to practice in 46 states and are required to pass a rigorous national three-day examination. For more information, visit our web site at www.asla.org.

mcbaby
Feb 6, 2007, 9:09 AM
wonder how this is going?

360Rich
Feb 17, 2007, 4:14 AM
Clark County official says money isn't available for new bridge across Columbia
Posted by Allan Brettman February 16, 2007 19:13PM
Categories: Clark County

VANCOUVER -- Steve Stuart, chairman of the Board of Clark County Commissioners, has a simple question about the possibility of a new bridge spanning the Columbia River.

Where's the money going to come from?

Not many years ago, a speculative price tag of $1 billion for a new bridge was bandied about. Then it grew to $2 billion. And lately, Stuart says, transportation officials have said $6 billion is about right.

And 50 percent is the largest share the region should expect the federal government to pay, Stuart said.

Instead of such a pricey project, he laid out an alternative today that emphasized improved mass transit, reconfigured interchanges and other large-scale tweaks that he said would be less costly.

Stuart made the suggestions while delivering the annual state of the county address.

The speech covered several fronts:

Increased funding and enhanced strategies to combat the spread of methamphetamine use.

A promise that the commissioners would adopt a 20-year growth plan this year. Stuart noted that the county's population is a little more than 400,000 and projected to grow to 600,000 in 20 years.

He said the county will follow through on building all of the parks that were expected by voters in the unincorporated urban area of the county who approved creation of a parks taxing district in 2005.

Stuart's stance on transportation fell short of Vancouver Mayor Royce E. Pollard's declaration in January -- in that city's "state" speech -- that any new bridge proposal without light rail would not be tolerated.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2007/02/clark_county_official_says_mon.html

CouvScott
May 22, 2007, 7:42 PM
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
BY DON HAMILTON, Columbian staff writer

Nearly three dozen Vancouver businesses are jumping into the mass transit debate on the side of light rail.

Vancouver Businesses for Smart Transportation, as the group calls itself, has signed up 35 businesses that favor light rail for the planned new bridge over the Columbia River. The group also supports Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard's plan to cover Interstate 5 through downtown.

"It will make us more connected to downtown Portland, and connect Portland with downtown ­Vancouver," said Joanie Sather, a Wallis Engineering employee and the group's president. "But the big thing is not adding more traffic."

The bistate Columbia River Crossing task force is evaluating both light rail and bus rapid transit as a mass transit component for a proposed new bridge. The draft environmental impact statement, to be ready by the end of the year, will look at one route along the east side of Interstate 5 and another along Main Street, both terminating at a park-and-ride lot north of 39th Street.

Light rail remains an expensive and controversial mass transit option. Cost of the bridge project - mass transit included - hasn't been set but could reach $6 billion. Supporters hope the federal government will pay a portion, bridge tolls may be imposed as may some type of local tax, but so far, no clear source of money has been found.

A few employees at Wallis Engineering, 317 Columbia St., started Vancouver Businesses for Smart Transportation last winter. They felt light-rail opponents received more coverage in the media and wanted to demonstrate that light rail had supporters downtown. The group counts among its backers Pollard, who has been vocal in his support for light rail and the advantages of connecting to Portland's existing system.

The campaign for members was a low-tech effort, no Web sites or blogs. They merely signed up members by visiting shops downtown and in Uptown Village. They plan to lobby the Columbia River Crossing task force and the Vancouver City Council.

Members of the organization were also enticed by the offer of a poster. The image, an oil painting of a streetcar, has the company's name followed by "? supports light rail to Vancouver."

No decision has been made on a line or route, but some members hoped to see light- rail trains go north from downtown Vancouver to Uptown Village. Such a line, a member said, would bring new customers.

"I've seen it transform neighborhoods in Portland," said Chris Jochum, owner of Urban Eccentric on Main Street, a vintage clothing store. "Interstate's a good example. That whole neighborhood is alive with people and pedestrians and shops. I don't see any negative to light rail."

Cost has always been a factor among opponents. But Sather, of Wallis Engineering, said members of the organization know the cost will be high.

"It's obvious," she said. "But it's not that costly considering what Portland already put in to it. I own property in downtown Vancouver and I think it would be hugely beneficial. I'd be willing to pay for it."

Members of Vancouver Businesses for Smart Transportation
A Touch of Healing, Alling Henning Associates, Allstate Kim Jiries Agency, Brian H. Wolfe, P.C., Coffee Lounge, Columbia Dance Company, Contessa, Currie & McLain CPAs, D Side Studio, E2 Land Use Services, GE Services Inc., Ice Cream Renaissance, Java House, J.D. Walsh & Associates, Journey to Wellness, Dr. Cynthia Bye, Kramer Gehlen & Associates, Le Bijou Boutique, Logic Product Development, Maria's Vintage, Marketplace Flowers, Mike's Bikes Uptown Cycles, Mint Tea, Mon Ami, One Step Ahead Enterprises, The Resource Company, Salmon Creek Brewery, Tangles, Tommy O's, Tribe 2, LLC, Unraveled Fine Yarns, The Urban Eccentric, Urban Words Group, Video Connections, Wallis Engineering, Wishing Well - Search Within

PDX City-State
May 22, 2007, 9:14 PM
Royce Pollard makes Tom Potter look like a park bench.

65MAX
May 22, 2007, 9:34 PM
^^^^
:lmao:

Can we trade mayors?

PDX City-State
May 22, 2007, 9:41 PM
God I wish we could. The last election was a joke. I miss Vera.

65MAX
May 22, 2007, 9:49 PM
I want to see Vera's protege, Sam, in the mayor's office. He's not afraid to think big, and he knows how to get things done at City Hall. Tom's a great guy, he's just not as politically astute, and definitely not visionary.

MarkDaMan
May 22, 2007, 10:31 PM
^Sam's a little fake and has a tendency to really piss the opposition off, no matter what the conflict. He has great ideas but I think Commissioner Charlie Hales is a better fit for Portland...run Charlie...RUN DAMNIT!

BrG
May 22, 2007, 10:53 PM
I'd vote for Hales.

I voted for Adams and have been moderately dissapointed.

65MAX
May 22, 2007, 11:01 PM
^^^^
Sam is definitely a panderer, no doubt about it. Not his best trait, but he gets things done.

Honestly, if Charlie would run, I'd vote for him over anybody, including Sam. Charlie is truly visionary and also well-respected. I havent seen any indication that he will run though. Hopefully I'm wrong.

PDX City-State
May 23, 2007, 12:27 AM
I'm not a big Sam Adams fan. His aprehension to weigh in on charter reform really killed it for me. What was he waiting for?

Personally, I would like to see someone emerge who isn't of the current political class...a creative entrepreneur who holds dear the ideals of our city, but isn't afraid to shake things up at City Hall. I'm not sure who this would be...a developer, Tim Boyles, who knows? Portland is becoming a big city, and we need a mayor with vision--not one who spends lots of time and money researching visions--like our current mayor.

CouvScott
Jul 18, 2007, 4:30 PM
Each of the two potential paths would affect a number of neighborhoods

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
ALLAN BRETTMAN The Oregonian Staff

VANCOUVER -- Jack Harroun has watched the unfolding Columbia River Crossing project closer than most.

As co-chairman of the Hough Neighborhood Association, Harroun is especially interested in one aspect of the project that could change forever his neighborhood and several of those nearby.

At this point, Harroun says, "The jury's out."

Project officials are examining two potential paths for a rapid transit line that would cross the Columbia River to downtown Vancouver and either run on the east side of Interstate 5 or follow a route to Main Street and part of Broadway. Both proposed lines would end at or near Kiggins Bowl on Main Street north of 39th Street.

While several aspects have not been decided, project officials made clear to the Vancouver City Council on Monday night that the two routes are key components of current planning.

The Interstate option would travel along McLoughlin Boulevard and would include a park-and-ride lot at Clark College as well as a park-and-ride lot near Kiggins Bowl.

The Main Street line would end at a station between 39th and 40th streets. Plans call for either a 1,500-space surface parking lot on a 10-acre site owned by the Washington Department of Transportation or a 2,500-space parking garage on the site.

Neighborhood associations, as well as residents, will play an important role in refining proposals until December, when a staff recommendation is expected to be made, said Kris Strickler, deputy project director.

The staff recommendation will address details such as what type of bridge should be built, what type of rapid transit should be included, and where the rapid transit route should travel.

A draft environmental impact statement is expected to be prepared by February. Crossing officials hope to have a final decision accepted by eight public agencies by next June.
The proposed transit lines would affect about 10 neighborhood associations, particularly those in the older west side of town.

Harroun said he is concerned how a Main Street rapid transit line through Uptown Village -- the area between McLoughlin and Fourth Plain Boulevard -- would affect businesses.

But Richard Murray, president of the Carter Park Neighborhood Association, said the disruption to businesses would be a worthwhile price to pay for rapid transit near the neighborhood.

"I'm all for it on Main Street," Murray said. "I don't want to see it on the Interstate's east side because I don't want to walk across the interstate to get to light rail."

Harroun and Murray both praised the project's public outreach.

But two other neighborhood associations near the possible transit line gave low marks to the outreach.

Anne McEnerny-Ogle, chairwoman of the Shumway Neighborhood Association, said she recently could not find any business owner near 39th and Main streets aware of a potential Main Street transit line and park-and-ride lot.

The Lincoln Neighborhood Association, meanwhile, sent a letter to several crossing project officials opposing the park-and-ride on the Department of Transportation property.

But if the park-and-ride is at that site, "it must have vehicle access only from Main Street and must dedicate at least one third of the property to a neighborhood park," the letter says.

CouvScott
Jul 18, 2007, 4:48 PM
dup

PuyoPiyo
Jul 19, 2007, 1:30 AM
I agree, it's better for the light rail to stop at Main St and 39 St instead of east side of I-5 (would be stupid pick lol), but oh come on, next June? Take too long...

tefen
Jul 19, 2007, 11:38 PM
Here's a link to a Google map I've been piecing together with information gathered from public sources.

http://tinyurl.com/3dhtum

360Rich
Jul 20, 2007, 3:37 PM
Welcome tefen, and nice work on the map!

CouvScott
Jul 20, 2007, 5:17 PM
Welcome tefen, and nice work on the map!

:iagree:

alexjon
Jul 28, 2007, 5:18 PM
We don't need the new columbia crossing, nor does vancouver need light rail.

pdxman
Jul 28, 2007, 5:51 PM
Something needs to be done about that corridor. In 20 years i5 from lake o to vancouver will be nothing but a parking lot for most of the day

bvpcvm
Jul 28, 2007, 7:16 PM
i think, even though i have some sympathy for the argument that portlanders shouldn't pay for vancouverites to have an easy commute to the city, that something needs to be done. in the afternoon, NB I-5 backs up from the interstate bridge all the way past downtown and up to around the terwilliger curves. give it 10 ten years and backups all the way to wilsonville will be common. that kind of nullifies the advantage of a reverse commute for those of us living downtown and working out in the soulless suburbs. inbound 26 gets backed up fairly often as well in the afternoons; i'll bet it's all part of the same mess.

oh of course if there was any political will to build max down barbur or I-5 south, that would be a better choice. why it's given so little emphasis i don't understand.

i was going to post a link on here, but it's already gone... Metro's JPACT (joint policy area (?) committee on transportation) is the one that makes all these strategic decisions. their agendas and minutes are posted here (http://www.metro-region.org/article.cfm?ArticleID=18533). recently, they had a 50-page compendium of their wishlist of projects (both road and transit) for their 2035 plan. unfortunately, the link now leads to a 404 (http://rim.metro-region.org/webdrawer/rec/158190/view/Planning%20Department%20-%20Administration%20-%20J%7Ee%20on%20Transportation%20-%20Meeting%20Agendas,%20Packets,%20Minutes%20and%20Exhibits%20-%20Packet%204.PDF). but if it starts working again, it makes for some interesting reading. for one thing, for the jack bogs of the world, only about the last 5 pages listed transit projects; the rest were for roads. the one road project i'd never heard of before is burial of 224 through milwaukie. i assume that means open cut, but it's only got a one-sentence description. re: transit, they list commuter rail projects to salem by 2014, as well as mcminnville and st helens a few years later. lrt projects include powell to 205, forest grove, barbur, a red line extension from quatama to amberglen, blue line from gresham to mhcc, various ways of extending the green/orange lines south to oregon city, and routes into vantucky. also, some brt lines. hopefully they'll re-post it soon.

oh yeah, tefen, thanks for the map, i was having trouble picturing where all these options are supposed to go. what is the "kellog bowl" anyway? a bowling alley? or an ampitheater?

PuyoPiyo
Jul 28, 2007, 9:15 PM
what is the "kellog bowl" anyway? a bowling alley? or an ampitheater?

Kellog bowl? You mean Kiggins Bowl? I believe that could be the football field, quite like a stadium, behind the Discovery Middle School, while the Kiggins Bowl is right behind Discovery Middle School on the map.

I do support light rail on Vancouver because too many people get on the city bus to Portland, while the light rail in Portland are near the Jantzen Beach. I don't know if redevelop the bridge would be necessary, but the light rail is the one we need.

Drew-Ski
Jul 29, 2007, 12:00 AM
Reality check..........Vancouver will not get Light Rail in the near term, or maybe never at all. Clark County had the oppertunity in the 90's, when the project was financially feasible, but crash and burned under the guidance of Vancouver's visionary Mayor Royce and his Redneck "Anti Portland Crusade" Clark County followers. Current estimate show that 6-8 BILLION is needed to construct a new bridge in TODAYS dollars. Who is going to pay for it???? A $4-6 dollar bridge toll? I believe the cost is beyond reach, especially 6-10 years down the road when this project could be seriously studied. The money needed to pay for the Oregon portion ($3-4 billion) of the bridge, could finance a lions share of: all Downtown Bridge repairs, bring light rail to Oregon City, Salem, Tigard, Forest Grove, new I-205 West Linn - OC Bridge, and Streetcar expansion to the East Side of the Willamette River instead. I am not against light rail going to Washington, but you folks up their are going to have to open up your own wallets and pay for it yourselves with no Oregon financing! Good luck.

360Rich
Jul 29, 2007, 1:56 AM
My reality check:

-The majority of the funds for light rail would come from the Feds rather than Oregon or Washington. (60% of the green line came from the Feds according to this article http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=2932603&postcount=1251)

- The influx of new people into Clark Co (especially Vancouver) and the changing perceptions of mass transit have made light rail a much more popular idea than it was 10 years ago.

-It behooves both Oregon and Washington to to expand light rail, and the us vs them fingerpointing does nothing to further the cause.

Drew-Ski
Jul 29, 2007, 2:53 AM
My reality check:

-The majority of the funds for light rail would come from the Feds rather than Oregon or Washington. (60% of the green line came from the Feds according to this article http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=2932603&postcount=1251)

- The influx of new people into Clark Co (especially Vancouver) and the changing perceptions of mass transit have made light rail a much more popular idea than it was 10 years ago.

-It behooves both Oregon and Washington to to expand light rail, and the us vs them fingerpointing does nothing to further the cause.


No finger pointing .....just discussion

mcbaby
Jul 29, 2007, 11:03 AM
We don't need the new columbia crossing, nor does vancouver need light rail.

I agree. we also don't need electricity, clean running water or air to breathe. in fact, who needs washington. let's build a wall instead and keep our two states apart. let's forget about our future and encourage pollution, sprawl and congestion! let's party! let's stick our heads in the ground and ignore all our problems. it'll be awesome!

herb
Jul 29, 2007, 9:57 PM
Reality check..........Vancouver will not get Light Rail in the near term, or maybe never at all. Clark County had the oppertunity in the 90's, when the project was financially feasible, but crash and burned under the guidance of Vancouver's visionary Mayor Royce and his Redneck "Anti Portland Crusade" Clark County followers. Current estimate show that 6-8 BILLION is needed to construct a new bridge in TODAYS dollars. Who is going to pay for it???? A $4-6 dollar bridge toll? I believe the cost is beyond reach, especially 6-10 years down the road when this project could be seriously studied. The money needed to pay for the Oregon portion ($3-4 billion) of the bridge, could finance a lions share of: all Downtown Bridge repairs, bring light rail to Oregon City, Salem, Tigard, Forest Grove, new I-205 West Linn - OC Bridge, and Streetcar expansion to the East Side of the Willamette River instead. I am not against light rail going to Washington, but you folks up their are going to have to open up your own wallets and pay for it yourselves with no Oregon financing! Good luck.

6-8 Billion? Why so much? I think the new Tacoma Narrows cost something like 850 million. Seems like you could go under the river for less than that.

alexjon
Jul 29, 2007, 11:38 PM
I agree. we also don't need electricity, clean running water or air to breathe. in fact, who needs washington. let's build a wall instead and keep our two states apart. let's forget about our future and encourage pollution, sprawl and congestion! let's party! let's stick our heads in the ground and ignore all our problems. it'll be awesome!

No, you're forcing a portland ideal on vancouverites. It doesn't work.

They obviously don't want it, so why force the issue?

PuyoPiyo
Jul 30, 2007, 11:18 AM
Reality check..........Vancouver will not get Light Rail in the near term, or maybe never at all. Clark County had the oppertunity in the 90's, when the project was financially feasible, but crash and burned under the guidance of Vancouver's visionary Mayor Royce and his Redneck "Anti Portland Crusade" Clark County followers. Current estimate show that 6-8 BILLION is needed to construct a new bridge in TODAYS dollars. Who is going to pay for it???? A $4-6 dollar bridge toll? I believe the cost is beyond reach, especially 6-10 years down the road when this project could be seriously studied. The money needed to pay for the Oregon portion ($3-4 billion) of the bridge, could finance a lions share of: all Downtown Bridge repairs, bring light rail to Oregon City, Salem, Tigard, Forest Grove, new I-205 West Linn - OC Bridge, and Streetcar expansion to the East Side of the Willamette River instead. I am not against light rail going to Washington, but you folks up their are going to have to open up your own wallets and pay for it yourselves with no Oregon financing! Good luck.


All you type a big paragraph while I have only one answer for you. Everyone pay for it. Look at the taxes that you are spending. And what's more, developing the light rail doesn't make Vancouver a "anti-Portland", we are just giving the Portland more people to make Portland's ecomonic going up.

MarkDaMan
Jul 30, 2007, 3:07 PM
Drew-Ski, keep in mind that $6 Billion is also for improvements from the Rose Quarter to past the SR500 interchange, plus light rail, plus pedestrian and bicycle access, plus land acquisition. The actual bridge with no frills is only about a billion, so you will see something in between those numbers. I'd also expect the feds and each state to chip in at least 3/4 of the total cost leaving tolls at about $3 a trip, which I think is appropriate, less if they toll the 205 bridge too.

pdxman
Jul 30, 2007, 7:10 PM
I hope the process speeds up for CRC pretty soon. It seems like they're dragging their feet on this...it should be one of the regions top priorities and the longer it takes to get the ball rolling the more expensive it will become and the likelihood of it not happening at all becomes greater

zilfondel
Jul 31, 2007, 8:24 AM
If we were smart, we'd get MAX, streamlines Cascades service between Portland & Seattle on a double-tracked bridge, bike lanes, and commuter rail to Vancouver, in addition to highway widening.

Then people wouldn't really be able to complain about the traffic, as they'd have real options.

360Rich
Aug 7, 2007, 9:28 PM
Vancouver wants C-Tran to manage transit
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
BY JEFFREY MIZE, Columbian staff writer

A high-capacity transit system expected to be part of a new Interstate 5 bridge would likely require C-Tran to ask voters to raise the sales tax.

How much money would be needed to operate and maintain the system is one of the many unknowns of the Columbia River Crossing project, along with the mode of transit - light rail or bus rapid transit - and what route the line would take through west Vancouver.

-snip-

Full article - http://www.columbian.com/news/localNews/08072007news179566.cfm

360Rich
Aug 21, 2007, 5:28 PM
Light rail gains support in Vancouver
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
BY JEFFREY MIZE, Columbian staff writer

Almost two out of every three Vancouver residents support extending light rail to their city, according to a phone survey of 600 city residents.

http://columbian.com/news/localNews/08212007news186493.cfm

PuyoPiyo
Aug 24, 2007, 8:24 AM
^^^Awesome :)

sequoias
Aug 24, 2007, 9:00 PM
So that means C-tran will be held responsible for light rail, but what about MAX ? Does that mean they will use C-tran light rail trains to downtown Portland?
Or it will be a transfer station somewhere at the border?

zilfondel
Aug 25, 2007, 4:22 AM
^ no, transfers from light rail -> light rail aren't practical; they would likely come to some sort of joint operating/funding agreement.

360Rich
Oct 10, 2007, 8:30 PM
Not sure where this belongs in the new SSP:Local Portland layout. Please feel free to move it if it is better suited elsewhere.

Downtown businesses and leaders pool temporary ideas for soon-to-be-empty transit center
BY MEGAN PATRICK VBJ Staff Reporter
September 28th, 2007

When the Seventh Street Transit Center vacates downtown Vancouver, there will be a harsh, unforgiving concrete patch left behind that has become the focus of much conversation around town.

C-Tran owns the 50- by 200-foot stretch of concrete just north of the center island on Seventh Street between Main and Washington streets, and planners are putting their heads together to design a beneficial use for the property to demonstrate what urban development can be.

The only catch – it has to be temporary.

The Columbia River Crossing task force has strongly indicated that if any future high-capacity transit is routed on Washington Street, a transit station would be needed at Seventh Street, said Lynn Halsey, director of operations for C-Tran.

http://www.vbjusa.com/photos/2007/09/28/92820070-07092720m.jpg
Mel Stout, Harper Houf Peterson Righellis Inc.
An early concept of what the demonstration plaza at the soon-to-be-vacated Vancouver Seventh Street Transit Center could look like. This design will be a springboard for further discussion about the design.

Because the Federal Transit Administration paid 80 percent of the cost of establishing the transit center and the FTA would be involved with the CRC project, if the property is needed, it is unlikely the FTA would approve a request that the property be considered surplus until a final decision is made, he said.

The task force could start making decisions about rapid transit in the next year, but it could be eight to 10 years before the property is actually needed – a long time for the critically placed space to sit empty while the rest of downtown is actively redeveloping, said Lee Rafferty, a Vancouver’s Downtown Assoc. board member and co-owner of Spanky’s consignment shop.

Although any temporary redevelopment will be a C-Tran project, the VDA has taken the reins in designing a “place holder” use for the property and has started to bring in partners, such as Washington State University’s extension agency, Clark PUD, the city parks and recreation and transportation departments and the Esther Short Neighborhood and Uptown Village associations.

When C-Tran announced the change in service last spring, Rafferty and other downtown business owners were excited at the prospect of bringing positive energy to the transit center.

http://www.vbjusa.com/photos/2007/09/28/928200716-07092721m.jpg
Megan Patrick_VBJ
C-Tran will soon vacate the Seventh Street Transit Center, and the Vancouver Downtown Association with partners is helping to design a temporary demonstration plaza in the concrete slab that will be left behind.

The area has become ground zero for crime activity, not necessarily by bus customers, but the people who try to hide in the shadow of bus activity, Rafferty said.

The negative goings-on have been a deterrent to attracting shoppers downtown, she said.

The vision: sustainability

So far, planners envision a small, inviting and pedestrian-oriented plaza with sustainable lighting, landscaping and reuse of existing materials.

This could mean the reuse of concrete slabs removed from existing structures as planters, curbing or seating, reuse of current signage, efficient use of water runoff and irrigation for water conservation or educational kiosks, said Identity Clark County Executive Director Ginger Metcalf, who has been involved in the project planning.

There is no official design yet, but Vancouver-based Harper Houf Peterson Righellis has loaned a landscape architect who has provided three plans of what the site could look like. The plans incorporate design elements used in the Main Street redevelopment plan.

So far, there have only been three parking spaces incorporated into the design on the south side – one where an electric car can plug in and recharge, one for a Flexcar and another for a carpool vehicle.

Parked vehicles act as a barrier to pedestrians, both visually and physically, Rafferty said.

“This is going to be exciting, new and cutting edge,” she said.

Clark PUD has expressed interest in demonstrating forward-thinking energy use with LED lighting and solar technology. A WSU extension agent who penned a pamphlet on urban trees has also offered perspective about what landscaping may be appropriate.

The plaza could be used as an outdoor classroom, where students can learn about sustainability, or as a showcase for student art projects or performances.

“There are unending possibilities,” Metcalf said. “It’s just a matter of how far our resources and imaginations will take us.”

The funding

The VDA will provide funding for the temporary redevelopment.

Starting two years ago, the group took advantage of a state tax credit incentive program and because of pledges by Bank of Clark County and The Columbian, it has $133,000 in the bank and is looking at gaining another $133,000, split by Albina Fuel and First Independent Bank at the end of the year.

The program is aimed specifically at revitalizing dead, decaying and pedestrian-oriented areas of downtowns, and the VDA has banked the proceeds so far for a worthy project that will bring a lift to the area.

Rafferty said the VDA believes this is the project.

“We could just put up a chain link fence and keep people out of that area, but what would that help?” Rafferty said.

Setting the pace

Making downtown approachable and vibrant impacts business, Metcalf said.

“This project was conceived by the VDA, an organization of businesses with a specific interest in making downtown an attractive place to shop and do business,” she said. “Vacant lots are not attractive, and we envision a place for patrons to shop, have dinner and enjoy the entertainment of downtown.”

Rafferty said the VDA is hoping further improvements downtown will inspire business and property owners to spiff up their places with a new awning or new coat of paint.

“Somebody has to set the pace,” she said. “We’re hoping property owners and shopkeepers can look at the area with new eyes and see there is greater potential.”

The VDA hopes to have a concept and partners identified by the end of October and by spring have installations at the site.

The transit center was scheduled to vacate Seventh Street with the opening of the new transit center in Hazel Dell on Sept. 30, but the unveiling of the new center is delayed due to design issues.

C-Tran is working with the city to return Seventh Street to two-way traffic. C-Tran will pay to have the bus shelters removed and to replace a street light, and the city will install a traffic signal and re-stripe the road.

http://www.vbjusa.com/stories/2007-09-28/demonstrating_the_future.html

PuyoPiyo
Oct 10, 2007, 11:50 PM
Hmmm that is something I will not be used with because I always stop at there in 7th street for the city bus. I think it would be nice to have a downtown without a transit center, let the city buses spread around the downtown.

CouvScott
Oct 11, 2007, 5:12 PM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
BY DON HAMILTON, Columbian staff writer

Here comes another mass transit study.

The Vancouver chapter of the American Institute of Architects has been exploring the feasibility of running streetcars through Vancouver not so much as a commuter connection but as a way to link Vancouver neighborhoods.

Organizers say it would complement, not compete with, any other mass transit system the city adopts.

"It could connect with light rail or anything else going on," said Don Luthardt, president of the organization's Vancouver chapter this year.

The project is the third Vancouver mass transit study now in the works. The others are:

- The Columbia River Crossing, which plans to run either light rail or express buses on the new Interstate 5 Bridge it's planning. A decision on the mode will come this winter. The route isn't certain but would run roughly two miles north from the river to the Lincoln neighborhood.

- The Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council is also studying high-capacity mass transit, not just for Vancouver but the whole county. The study is looking at what types of transit systems in which corridors would make sense considering the county's ­expected growth. The study is only a study, however, and the project has no ­authorization to construct anything.

Now the plan by the architects is maturing. It may not have the technical expertise of the Columbia River Crossing or the bureaucratic heft of the Regional Transportation Council, but the group has a vision of how a streetcar could bring the community closer together.

It started in the spring of 2006, when the American Institute of Architects granted its Vancouver chapter $15,000 to launch what it called the Vancouver USA Streetcar Feasibility Study. It was done in part to mark the 150th birthday of both the American Institute of Architects and the city of Vancouver. Other chapters around the country are carrying out other types of community improvement efforts this year, Luthardt said, to mark the organization's sesquicentennial.


A 'livability' issue

The Vancouver organization doesn't see its streetcar plan detracting from the other transportation studies under way.

"This is about how to help the community increase livability," Luthardt said.

On Saturday, about two dozen people attended a forum to consider ideas and the report of the meeting, released Wednesday, outlines the group's intentions.

Few details about the project have been set. No routes or construction costs have been spelled out and no fare structure has been chosen. Luthardt envisions a line serving the city, not beyond, with a focus on downtown, nearby neighborhoods, Clark College and the planned riverside development at the old Boise Cascade property.

Portland has had its streetcar system since 2001, not as a commuter line but as a people-mover. The line now extends from Northwest Portland through downtown and south along the Willamette River to the South Waterfront district. The line also has plans to expand east across the Willamette, through the inner eastside, and eventually south to Lake Oswego.

The Vancouver City Council toured the Portland Streetcar last month, and the architect group will brief the elected officials again. Luthardt hopes the group will turn its final report over to the city by the end of the year. But the organization won't abandon the effort.

"Our goal is not to have it sit on the shelf," he said. "Eventually it's going to have to go to the real experts."

Update

- Previously: Two mass transit studies are under way in Clark County.

- What's new: The third and most recent study is being prepared by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

- What's next: The architect group expects to turn over its final report to the city of Vancouver by the end of the year. There are no plans to develop the recommendations.

PuyoPiyo
Oct 18, 2007, 3:43 AM
This project, the Confluence Project Vancouver Land Bridge, is the one I always forgot to make the thread for, but anyway here it is. Those picture are captured by myself.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v500/Ufozacky2k/cpvlbdescription.gif

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v500/Ufozacky2k/cpvlbmap.gif

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v500/Ufozacky2k/cpvlbpicture.gif

Those sign are found near the Fort Vancouver gate.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v500/Ufozacky2k/cpvlbconstruction.gif

Yupp Yupp it's under construction now, can't wait to walk across that bridge!

CouvScott
Oct 24, 2007, 5:03 PM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tom Koenninger is editor emeritus of The Columbian

Let's dream a little - about the time streetcars ran on the streets of Vancouver, and across the Interstate Bridge to Portland.

Some remember, as kids, putting a penny on the streetcar track ahead of the trolley, and collecting the crunched, pancaked coin after the car passed over it. Many recall the shake, lurch and rattle of the old cars. It was nostalgic, if not romantic.

And "The Trolley Song" lyrics: "Clang, clang, clang went the trolley; ding, ding, ding went the bell; zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings. ?"

That time has gone, or has it? The trolley could return to Vancouver streets, but not cross the bridge. The bridge link may be completed by light rail to connect with Portland's MAX line near the Expo Center. Trolley tracks are built into existing streets, and a streetcar line could act as a collector system for light rail.

Trolleys still run in 25 states, with the St. Charles line in New Orleans ranked as the oldest continuously operated line in the world. San Francisco's vintage cable cars still clatter along.

Streetcars, or trolleys, which disappeared from the Portland scene in the 1950s, have returned to increasing ridership, said Rick Gustafson, executive director of the nonprofit Portland Streetcar, Inc., owned by the city. "It's sort of amazing how popular the streetcar is," Gustafson said. Ridership, now about 10,000 daily, is increasing 20 percent a year. "We've experienced a strong response" in businesses along the line, he added.

Portland has 10 streetcars. Trolley service extends eight miles through the Pearl District to Portland State University and to the South Waterfront.



Modern version is big improvement

Streetcars returned to Portland in 2001. Not the rattlers, but smooth-gliding electric rail cars, with comfortable seats and easy access. They were manufactured in the Czech Republic by the Skoda-Inekon Group, the same company that built the three trolleys now being tested in Seattle. The air-conditioned trolleys can hold up to 140 people, and will make 11 stops - every two to three blocks - over the 1.3-mile Seattle route.

The line will serve the Denny Triangle and South Lake Union areas, just south of the University of Washington campus. It will connect with light rail, regional buses and the monorail.

Streetcar service will begin Dec. 14, said Ethan Melone, project manager, Seattle Department of Transportation, for the South Lake Union Street line.

Seattle.gov , a Web site for the city, lists the cost at $50.5 million, half raised through a local improvement distinct, and the remainder from federal, state and local governments. Over the next 15 years, 15,000 to 23,000 new jobs and 8,000 to 10,000 new housing units are projected along the line.

How serious is Vancouver about streetcars? Vancouver City Council members rode the Portland line last month. Mayor Royce Pollard, who makes no secret of his affection for light rail, also likes streetcars. He envisions them serving neighborhoods, and making connections at light rail stations. Intense development, and new housing along the lines - "the economic vitality is greater than light rail" - was another plus, he noted. Streetcars could start at Boise Cascade on the waterfront, and run to Clark College and to a light-rail station near Kiggins Bowl. There could even be a line along Fourth Plain, the mayor speculated. The city asked Gramor Development to include streetcars or another form of transit in plans for developing the waterfront area.

That ties in with the dream of a former Vancouver fire chief, the late Jim Brown, who wanted to see streetcars on the city's waterfront.

Another group looking at a "small, local streetcar loop system within the downtown vicinity" that might have opportunities for expansion is the Vancouver chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Vancouver is paying consultant and former Portland Commissioner Charlie Hales up to $40,000 to assist in a streetcar study (The Oregonian, 10/11/07).

Meanwhile, the question of bus or light rail transit across the new Columbia River bridge - which might or might not affect a streetcar system - is yet to be decided. Seattle's Melone says new trolleys are "clean and quiet and don't rumble," a fit for light rail, too.

PuyoPiyo
Oct 24, 2007, 5:22 PM
I think if they link the street cars or light rail to Boise Cascade site, it will help the 10,000 residents envision project to be successful.

zilfondel
Oct 25, 2007, 2:35 AM
streetcars are most successful when they are a key component of the planning, design, and financing of a new or rebuilt city district. They don't "magically" happen development to occur, but since so much effort is spent on them, they end up guiding a lot of the design for a district, like the Pearl or SoWa.

Will be interesting to see what South Lake Union will end up being like.

CouvScott
Nov 12, 2007, 5:18 PM
Monday, November 12, 2007
BY DEAN BAKER, Columbian staff writer

Four of the artists whose work shapes the Vancouver Land Bridge will answer questions during a free sneak preview of the project on Friday.

The bridge will be open to foot traffic for the occasion, and the artists will describe their concepts.

The four artists are:

- Johnpaul Jones, founding principal of Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects of Seattle, lead architect and designer for the bridge and interpretive trail. He worked in collaboration with the artist Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

- René Senos, senior associate at Jones & Jones, a key contributor to native landscape architecture and design.

- Lillian Pitt, a Warm Springs-Wasco Yakama artist, whose work includes the bridge's Welcoming Gate and Seating Baskets.

- Peter Attila Andrusko, a master artisan in stone, glass, metal, wood and other materials, who created a stone circle for the site that weighs more than 400 pounds.

Ground was broken two years ago for the $12.25 million bridge. Construction has been slowed by heavy rains this fall. A dedication is scheduled for spring 2008. Completion is expected in August, at which time the site will be fully accessible to the public.

The bridge is one of seven art installations included in the Vancouver-based Confluence Project. Each features Lin's work. Waterways merge or traditional peoples have gathered at each of the sites.

Other sites are at the Port of Ridgefield; Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River; the Sandy River Delta at Troutdale, Ore.; Celilo Park near The Dalles, Ore.; Sacajawea State Park in Pasco; and Chief Timothy Park in Clarkston.

The Vancouver pedestrian and bicycle bridge is at the confluence of the Columbia River and Klickitat Trail, a trade corridor that for centuries connected Native American tribes from both sides of the Cascades.

For as many as 35 Native American and European cultures, this confluence is the most historically significant area in the Pacific Northwest. Fort Vancouver was built on the site of the tribal crossroads 20 years after Lewis and Clark passed this point.

The 40-foot-wide bridge spans state Highway 14, reconnecting Fort Vancouver National Historic Site to the Columbia River waterfront. The adjoining landscape is being restored with native plants similar to those that existed in the area at the time of Lewis and Clark.

The land bridge will provide passage for pedestrians, cyclists and nonmotorized vehicles from the Kanaka Village area in Fort Vancouver to the Columbia River. Visitors will have sweeping views of Fort Vancouver, the Cascade Mountains, the Columbia River and Mount Hood.

Construction of the project is a partnership of Confluence Project members, the National Park Service, the city of Vancouver and the Washington State Department of Transportation, and made possible through federal, state and private funding.

PuyoPiyo
Nov 16, 2007, 8:02 PM
C-Tran launches new facility, logo, changes

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v500/Ufozacky2k/newsPic233452_89867.jpg

Friday, November 16, 2007
BY DON HAMILTON, Columbian staff writer

C-Tran throws a party today to open its newest and biggest transit center, unveil a new logo and inaugurate a series of service changes.

The public is invited to the ribbon-cutting at the new 99th Street Transit Center at Stockford Village. C-Tran will pass out travel mugs and offer goodies provided by local merchants Applebee's, Safeway and Burgerville.

"This is an exciting time for C-Tran and our customers as we will soon implement the most significant service change in the agency's history," said Jeff Hamm, C-Tran's executive director and CEO. "Not only will these changes provide many of our riders with better service, but we hope to attract many new riders to the system as well."

The service changes include:

- Closure of the Seventh Street Transit Center in downtown Vancouver, with transfer points shifted to other downtown spots.

- The Safe Stop program, a new policy allowing passengers to get off between bus stops after 8 p.m.

- Extended service on many routes.

- New service to the Delta Park/Vanport light-rail station in Portland.

- Reintroduction of transfers for all-zone and express cash fares.

The kickoff party may be today but the new services will begin Sunday, with the entire C-Tran system operating free on Monday.

The name of the new transit center reflects the growing Stockford Village business center along 99th Avenue around Interstate 5.

Its location also reflects the transportation demands created by the increasing population north of Vancouver, especially Ridgefield and Battle Ground. The new transit center will offer three express routes to downtown Portland.

C-Tran's new logo and the bus route number will be larger on the new bus stop signs. The new logo - the letter "C" surrounded by a royal blue circle with arrows at each side - is set against a baby blue background on the signs, said Scott Patterson, C-Tran spokesman.

"We want the route number to stand out and we want the logo to stand out," he said. "The more color, the more you take away from the ability to see the information on the sign."

Seventh Street will reopen to auto traffic soon. C-Tran plans to keep its service center there for now but may relocate it if interest lags, although the agency wants to keep some kind of presence downtown.

The long-term future of the Seventh Street site remains uncertain, but its fate seems tied to plans for the new Interstate 5 Bridge. The 39-member Columbia River Crossing panel is planning a new bridge with mass transit. No matter what mode is chosen, be it light rail or express buses, Seventh Street would be a natural first Vancouver stop coming off a new bridge, Patterson said.



If you go

- What: A ribbon-cutting party for the opening of C-Tran's 99th Street Transit Center at Stockford Village. The C-Tran system will be free Monday to mark the new transit center and other service changes.

- When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.

- Where: The 99th Street Transit Center at Stockford Village, 9700 N.E. Seventh Ave.

- Information: Call C-Tran's customer service line at 360-695-0123 or go to www.c-tran.com .



Don Hamilton can be reached at 360-759-8010 or don.hamilton@columbian.com

PuyoPiyo
Nov 16, 2007, 8:04 PM
This is awesome news for me because I ride the city bus, not driving. Amazing!

Tim the Enchanter
Nov 17, 2007, 5:21 AM
Do you know if they will honor trimet fares again, I remember they used to do this, but as far as I know they stopped doing that.

PuyoPiyo
Nov 17, 2007, 9:46 PM
Do you know if they will honor trimet fares again, I remember they used to do this, but as far as I know they stopped doing that.

Well they sell some of month pass for All-Zone which include TriMet. If you go in the city bus and give $6, then they will give you the All Day All Zone pass which include the TriMet.

PuyoPiyo
Nov 17, 2007, 9:49 PM
Walkway Through History: Land bridge links admirers

Saturday, November 17, 2007
BY DEAN BAKER, Columbian staff writer

In a grand splash of umbrellas, 300 ebullient, rain-soaked walkers got their first look Friday at the Confluence Project's Vancouver masterpiece: a 1,500-foot-long walkway through history.



The bridge over state Highway 14, now scheduled for completion next summer, links the reconstructed Fort Vancouver with the Columbia River at the site of a wharf used by pioneers 170 years ago. It was opened Friday for 90 minutes for a sneak preview, then closed again so finishing work can continue.

"It's just wonderful," said Roger Wendlick, a history buff who has spent the past decade studying Lewis and Clark's adventures and Pacific Northwest history full time. "It's the best Confluence Project I've seen, and I've seen several."

The crowd agreed, stopping to shake hands, chat and register approval as they strolled over the bridge, trying to catch views of Mount Hood through the rain, and taking a fresh look from a new angle at the river, the replica fort, Pearson Field and Vancouver's resurgent downtown.

"This is just the beginning," said Superintendent Tracy Fortmann of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. "There's a lot more to come." On the waterfront, partners plan to re-create the salmon-packing warehouse, boat works and hospital located there in the 1830s. The site will be just east of the existing restaurants.

On Friday, however, the $12.25 million bridge was the whole show.

"This bridge is an icon in our community," Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard told the crowd. He said it blazes a trail for the future tourism and connection among civic groups.

"We yanked the land up and pulled it over the bridge like a blanket," said Seattle architect Johnpaul Jones, who designed the bridge in concert with his associate René Senos and artist Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The earth-covered pedestrian bridge is 40 feet wide and festooned with native plants such as Oregon white oak and red alder, Western red cedar, camas, evergreen huckleberry, serviceberry and Nootka rose.

"The new plantings are saying 'thank you' for this rain. In the spring, we'll come back when they are in bloom," said Jane Jacobsen, executive director of the Confluence Project. A dedication of the bridge is expected then.

The bridge, pale gold in color and winding in an arc, stands at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Klickitat Trail, a trade corridor that for centuries connected American Indian tribes from both sides of the Cascades. For as many as 35 Indian and European cultures, this was the most significant area in the Pacific Northwest. Fort Vancouver was built on the site 20 years after Lewis and Clark passed it. It was operated by the Hudson's Bay Company, a British firm that made fortunes in the fur trade.

The bridge is one of seven Columbia River art installations included in the Confluence Project, which commemorates the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark's exploration of the West. Each features Lin's work. Other sites are at the Port of Ridgefield; Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River; the Sandy River delta at Troutdale, Ore.; Celilo Park near The Dalles, Ore.; Sacajawea State Park in Pasco, and Chief Timothy Park near Clarkston.

Among the guests Friday were Lillian Pitt, a Warm Springs-Wasco Yakama artist who made a welcoming gate for the bridge, and Peter Attila Andrusko, a master artisan in stone, glass, metal and wood who created works for the site.

The river entrance is decorated with crossed paddles and an Indian woman's face. Indian basket-weave designs deck the bridge.

Benches, drawings, photographs and petroglyph-style sculptures are on the bridge along with reminders of the area's later history: the Hudson's Bay Company, a World War I spruce mill, and the Kaiser Shipyard.

Construction of the project is a partnership of Confluence Project members, the National Park Service, the city of Vancouver and the Washington State Department of Transportation. It was funded by donations and state and federal grants.

(PuyoPiyo's speaking: You can find pictures and videos clicking on this article's link)

http://www.columbian.com/news/localNews/2007/11/11172007_Walkway-Through-History-Land-bridge-links-admirers.cfm

Tim the Enchanter
Nov 17, 2007, 11:37 PM
I have an all zone bus pass (as im in PDX), and was curious if they were gunna let people ride on c-tran again with the use of a all zone pass or day ticket from trimet.

PuyoPiyo
Nov 18, 2007, 12:36 AM
I have an all zone bus pass (as im in PDX), and was curious if they were gunna let people ride on c-tran again with the use of a all zone pass or day ticket from trimet.

Hmm all I can find is this zone map, it appeared that All-Zone does include Vancouver, but I am not sure if can transfer from TriMet to C-Tran? :shrug:

http://trimet.org/fares/zones.htm

Tim the Enchanter
Nov 18, 2007, 2:38 AM
Back in the day you could use a trimet all zone pass on c-tran.

PuyoPiyo
Nov 22, 2007, 5:32 PM
Seventh Street opens to two-way auto traffic

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Contact: Bill Whitcomb, Deputy Transportation Manager, (360) 487-7700
After years of being designated for buses only, Vancouver's Seventh Street will open this evening to two-way, regular traffic between C and Washington streets.

The traffic revision follows the implementation of C-TRAN's new service plan, which included closure of the Seventh Street Transit Center, new transfer locations throughout downtown Vancouver and the opening of the 99th Street Transit Center at Stockford Village.

In addition to allowing auto traffic, the City of Vancouver's Seventh Street Project also includes a new traffic signal at Washington and Seventh, and metered parking along Seventh. Drivers are asked to be mindful of the change in traffic patterns and be especially alert to other motorists and pedestrians.

Construction Contact: Ryan Knox, Construction Project Engineer, City of Vancouver, (360) 487-7750

http://www.ci.vancouver.wa.us

CouvScott
Dec 4, 2007, 5:20 PM
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
BY JEFFREY MIZE, Columbian staff writer

The face of downtown Vancouver will change dramatically in the next 10 to 20 years with redevelopment of the Boise Cascade waterfront site, construction of a new Interstate 5 bridge and possible extension of light-rail transit into Washington.

Those changes could create the opportunity to bring back streetcars, which faded from downtown more than a half-century ago.

"These kinds of things really get planners and architects, as well as the general public, thinking about what our city might become," Ralph Willson, an owner of LSW Architects in Vancouver, told the city council Monday. "We know the automobile is not going to be the answer to fixing our transportation needs."

Willson is a member of the American Institute of Architects' Vancouver chapter, which studied how streetcars could fit into the city's future.

"We think this is prime time," Willson said. "We think it is key to our future."

Six years ago, Portland reintroduced streetcars, which cater to about 10,000 riders every weekday in the city's downtown, Pearl District and, most recently, to the South Waterfront area on the Willamette River south of downtown.

Unlike light rail, which operates in its own right of way and moves commuters at high speed, streetcars share the road with cars, trucks and buses and assist people with short intracity travel, sometimes no more than three or four blocks.

The chapter's research indicates that streetcars have the potential to increase density and spur redevelopment, something that Vancouver wants to do in a downtown that only recently has begun to emerge from a 25-year slumber.

Councilman Dan Tonkovich said streetcars create a sense of permanence and send a message to private developers.

"It signals an investment, you might say, that you're serious about the redevelopment efforts, that you're serious about the densities," Tonkovich said.

The Vancouver chapter conducted a two-day symposium at Clark College that included Charlie Hales, a former Portland city commissioner who left office in 2002 to take a job with the engineering firm HDR but remains a national expert on streetcars.

Willson said Hales urged participants to think about how they would use a streetcar system. Or, as Willson put it, "Don't think you are designing this for someone else."

Those participating in the symposium looked at a number of routes, including service to the Boise waterfront site, the Vancouver National Historic Reserve and Main Street, where the city hopes to encourage retail development.

The biggest question is financial. Councilman Tim Leavitt gave an estimate of $38 million for every mile, which means even a modest three-mile system could cost in excess of $100 million. The city is already short of money to pay for roads for the Boise project.

Matt Ransom, Vancouver transportation planning manager, said the federal government has a "small starts" program that can provide a 50 percent match to help pay for streetcar projects.

Portland has applied for federal small starts dollars to help take its streetcar system across the Willamette River into east Portland, Ransom said.

Councilwoman Jeanne Stewart questioned if Vancouver could build a streetcar system without passing significant costs onto taxpayers.

"The local share is still the local share," Stewart said. "It's still one half of a lot of money."

PuyoPiyo
Dec 4, 2007, 5:30 PM
The biggest question is financial. Councilman Tim Leavitt gave an estimate of $38 million for every mile, which means even a modest three-mile system could cost in excess of $100 million. The city is already short of money to pay for roads for the Boise project.

That's good they are picking the Boise project before the streetcars.

PuyoPiyo
Dec 10, 2007, 11:08 PM
Fourth Street and south blocks of Esther Street now open

Monday, December 10, 2007
Contact: Chris Malone, Transportation Services Engineer, 487-7700 Construction Contact: Ryan Knox, Construction Project Engineer, 487-7750

Downtown drivers take note: A realigned Fourth Street is now open to traffic between Columbia and Esther streets, and Esther Street is now connected between Fourth and Sixth streets.

The City of Vancouver project, just completed this week, further opens circulation around the Vancouver Convention Center and Hilton Hotel area. In addition to the street improvements, the project included sidewalks, ADA accessibility, storm water and water improvements, as well enhanced "streetscaping" in keeping with the Esther Short Park design.

Drivers are asked to be mindful of the change in traffic patterns and be alert to other motorists and pedestrians.

http://www.cityofvancouver.us/News.asp?submenuID=16578&Id=47490


I wonder if this is the target to make The Columbian's redevelopment area to success?

CouvScott
Jan 3, 2008, 9:11 PM
Friday, December 28, 2007
GREGG HERRINGTON Columbian staff

Maybe.

Probably.

Almost certainly.

Pick one of those three choices to fill in the blank in this sentence:

_________ you can forget the arguments about where a Max light-rail line from Portland would go if it comes to Vancouver because political momentum is building for a relatively modest, unintrusive and financially easy route that would terminate near Clark College.

Local elected officials, whose political careers depend largely on their ability to distinguish between dreams and the doable, are looking with increasing favor at the so-called "Minimum Operating Segment" - a plan that might leave the civil engineers, transportation-policy wonks and shoot-for-the-moon crowd saying, "Is that all there is?"



Kiggins Bowl plan fading fast

But it should (would?) leave residents of Vancouver's Arnada, Lincoln, Carter Park and Shumway neighborhoods angst-free. The same can probably be said of members of the First Presbyterian Church at 43rd and Main Streets. Under the plan, notions of a light-rail terminus and park and ride lot in the Lincoln area near the church and Kiggins Bowl are toast.

The MOS has the support of the Clark County Board of Commissioners, and on Jan. 8 could win the backing of the C-Tran Board of Directors. C-Tran Board Chairman Tim Leavitt of the Vancouver City Council says the board, at a recent retreat, made clear its preference for a route that (1) would not be anathema to business owners on upper Main Street and residents in the Lincoln-Kiggins Bowl area and (2) would use only federal funds for construction.

Steve Stuart, chairman of the Clark County Board of Commissioners and a C-Tran Board member, says the emerging plan is good, although not perfect from the standpoint of creating a light-rail system that would serve the most people as fast as possible. But he hastens to cite this version of Voltaire's quote: "The perfect is the enemy of the good."

To those dreamers who might hold out for a more extensive or "perfect" initial light-rail line, as well as those who might oppose any light rail service into Vancouver under any circumstances, Voltaire also said, "Common sense is not so common."

The Clark College route is enthusiastically touted by Stuart and more tangentially and cautiously by Leavitt, who stresses that any plan must get a public airing and an environmental OK. But they seem to agree that the idea could be acceptable to the public while offering relief to I-5 commuters.



Details of the deal

Here's how it would work:

Light-rail tracks would run from the north end of Tri-Met's Yellow Line at the Expo Center (three-fourths of a mile south of the Columbia) across the river on or adjacent to a new I-5 vehicle bridge. The line would run north, probably up Washington Street, to McLoughlin Boulevard. There, it would turn east, cross Main Street and continue another seven blocks and pass under I-5. (Washington Street is especially wide, having been the route of the old Highway 99 before I-5 was built in the early 1950s.)

Then, opposite the Marshall center, it would turn left into a terminus and park-and-ride lot west of Clark College.

Avoiding neighborhood disruption is just one reason, according to Stuart and Leavitt, that this plan has gained support on the C-Tran Board. The other is that it could be built without tapping local governments or taxpayers for cash. Enough money to do this much has been promised by the Federal Transit Administration. Vancouver residents might be asked to approve a small sales tax increase for operation and maintenance, however.

For those who wish something more far-reaching, the advantages of incrementalism ought not be overlooked. If this gets built and gains public acceptance, the community might then think about extending it north to Fourth Plain Boulevard or state Highway 500, east to Interstate 205 and then to PDX and Portland light-rail connections.

Stuart obviously wants light rail to happen here, but is cognizant of the realities. "If you bite off more than you can chew," he says, "you choke."

Gregg Herrington 's column of personal opinion appears on the Other Opinions page each Friday. Reach him at

PuyoPiyo
Jan 4, 2008, 7:46 PM
Transit center made downtown unsafe, Vancouver official says
The people who once frequented downtown Vancouver's bus mall were interfering with redevelopment nearby, a city official said Wednesday.
"Think about your wife, daughter, girlfriend, or your mother," said Gerald Baugh, the city's manager of business development. "Would any of them feel safe walking from Esther Short Park to the waterfront?"
Big projects are on the way, and more are being discussed along Seventh Street itself, he said.

"This is just a step," Baugh said of the transit center's closing.
The city's not trying to push poor people from downtown, he said, citing the new subsidized housing developments that the city arranged to open nearby.

But Baugh said a new crop of rich tenants will lure investment, unlike the seniors living in downtown's Smith Tower.

"No offense to them, but they did not bring in other business like that is there now," Baugh said. "When we brought in the high-end condos, we got a Starbucks."

As for people annoyed by having to walk between bus stops, Baugh said it'll help them get to know downtown.

Anyway, he said, it's probably good for them.

"While there might be some complaints about walking, exercise is one of the things that as Americans we are not getting a lot of, and it's something that we need to do," he said.

- Mic hael Andersen

http://www.columbian.com/_images/newsPhotos/newsPic257445_103340.jpg
http://www.columbian.com/_images/spacer.gif
The bus shelters, the buses, the people and two nearby businesses are gone from the downtown Vancouver transit center on Seventh Street. Some regulars say they're glad to see less loitering. Others call the place too silent. (JANET L. MATHEWS/The Columbian)


No Longer Bustling

Friday, January 04, 2008
BY MICHAEL ANDERSEN, Columbian Staff Writer

When Krystal Taylor was 13, her brother Robbie took her down to the sidewalk outside the Bus Stop Market at Seventh Street and Main and introduced her to Elaine.

Elaine was one year older than Taylor. Taylor had decided to start hanging out on the corner, and Robbie had selected Elaine to be her bodyguard.

Until Nov. 18, that was the way you played it safe at Seventh and Main.

The Bus Stop Market is still there. But 46 days ago, the buses left. At the request of the city of Vancouver, C-Tran's downtown transit center is gone.

November's service change marked the latest chapter in Vancouver's quest to scrub its city center of crime and homelessness and make it more comfortable for urbane shoppers and creative elites.

The scrubbing, at least, is working. Whether you're a cabbie looking for a fare, a cop looking for a crook or a teenager looking for a friend, you're already less likely to find it on this corner, residents and regulars say.

"All our friends always hung out here," said Taylor, 20, who said her diaper had once been changed on the counter of the Lucky Loan pawn shop across the street. "Now we don't."

Taylor and her boyfriend were stopping to buy some chicken strips and potato wedges. The Everest Business College students were on their way to Gresham, Ore., to sell their plasma. They said they hadn't seen their old friends in a month and a half.

Buses still roll through downtown, dispersed among the new stops that have been scattered nearby. But for the first time in 22 years, Seventh Street is almost silent.

Bus drivers don't linger at the site for smoke breaks anymore; "downtown Vancouver" is just another stop on their routes. Bus schedules have been altered to discourage riders from waiting for transfers downtown.

Standing beside his taxi as he waited for a dispatcher's call, Ken Larsen grimaced.

"Politics," said Larsen, 61, a driver for Radio Cab. "They want to develop down here, I think, and put in a lot of higher-end stuff."

When the transit center was downtown, he said, things were simple: Just drop everybody at Seventh and Main.

"It was better off like it was," he said. "Now you got to wander all over the place to try and find their bus."

Larsen said he'd seen old people on walkers clamber down from one bus, then walk for blocks to reach another.

'Street kids' not missed

Inside the Bus Stop Market, cler ks said they were glad to lose the crowd of "street kids" that had been slouching outside their door for the past decade.
But they were worried about business. Their hours had been cut back when sales took a dive, then upped again when the Day and Nite market, down the road, shut its doors in December, perhaps temporarily.

Shelly Thomas, a clerk at the market, said that for all the complaints they generated, the youngsters had made her feel safe.

"They'd be outside, so I'd know I was all right," she said. "We went from having 20 street kids on our corner to having nobody."

"Five-thirty in the morning, I go down and it's a ghost town," she said.
The kids used to call her "mom," Thomas said.

With her seeing-eye dog sitting beside her, Joanie Delzer of Vancouver said the crowd of youngsters had been obnoxious, but she liked the area better before all the people disappeared.

"There's nobody out down here anymore," said Delzer, 56. "I don't know where to go. Who am I going to ask?"

Madeline DaFoe, 72, was angry. She, too, was glad the crowd of "smoking and cussing" young people was gone. But she didn't understand why the transit center had to go, too.

"I don't know what they're doing downtown," DaFoe said. She and Delzer had just met on the bus and were making conversation while they waited for their transfers.

"Vancouver used to be a happy town," DaFoe went on. "We had benches on Main Street. ? Everybody knew everybody."

Smoking a cigarette outside the Gold Rush tavern, Shelley Diercks, 48, said she had never thought it was right for a crowd of children to spend their days on a street corner.

But closing the bus mall was the wrong way to deal with downtown's problems, she said.

"They're people," she said. "They're just people."

Diercks remembered talking to an 18-year-old woman who'd told her, in a half-hour conversation last summer, that she was being abused at home but was afraid to leave because the abuser would turn on her younger sister.
"I thought people should have come down here and given those people on the corner some kind of help," Diercks said. "Whatever help they needed. It was like they were lost."

Two blocks away, a gray-haired man who gave his name as Willie put things differently.

"I tell you - Vancouver, they don't know what they want to do," he said, standing alone under a black-and-white bus shelter that had been transplanted from the Seventh Street bus mall into the shadow of the four-year-old Vancouvercenter condominiums. "They're lost. They got nothing to do but throw away money."

Willie had something to do. He was on his way to get some pain pills, he said, either from his doctor or somebody else.

Was he ill?

Willie laugh ed. No, he said.

Then he got on the bus.

C-Tran route changes have boosted ridership

A major set of changes to local bus routes on Nov. 18 coincided with a spike in C-Tran ticket sales.

Ridership in the first month after the changes was up 12 percent over the same period in 2006, C-Tran spokesman Scott Patterson said last week.
That compares to a 4 to 5 percent rise in ridership over most of 2007, he said.

The changes, billed as the largest in C-Tran's history, include opening a transit center off 99th Street in Hazel Dell, closing downtown Vancouver's transit center and sending bu ses all the way to Portland's Delta Park MAX train.

The biggest traffic increases have come on two buses: Route 80 past the Firstenburg Community Center and on the bus to Portland, which now offers service along Fourth Plain Boulevard until after midnight.

C-Tran has also taken plenty of unhappy comments, Patterson said, especially at first. Some scheduling tweaks are under way.

"Any time you make a change, there's going to be some winners, and unfortunately there's going to be some people that don't see the benefits," he said.

­- Michael Andersen

Michael Andersen can be reached at 360-759-8052 or michael.andersen@columbian.com.

PuyoPiyo
Jan 4, 2008, 7:49 PM
^^^I have to agree wtih Michael Andersen. Last time I went downtown Vancouver without the bus mall, I feel more downtown and more safer than when I go to 7th street bus mall.

alexjon
Jan 4, 2008, 9:05 PM
I find the new Vancouver downtown to be (more) dead and lifeless.

They expect it to become some magically urban city core, but it's not.

I'd wager a guess that they're going to slowly take the life out of businesses down there and bring in the amenities of a fourth-tier city like a starbucks or borders.

And on that note-- I love how the article a little bit above applauds the appearance of a starbucks in downtown... if that's what makes a city successful, then I know quite a few small towns that have Vancouver beat down in that regard.

Well... it's not that hard, but still.

Chicago3rd
Jan 4, 2008, 9:26 PM
I find the new Vancouver downtown to be (more) dead and lifeless.

They expect it to become some magically urban city core, but it's not.

I'd wager a guess that they're going to slowly take the life out of businesses down there and bring in the amenities of a fourth-tier city like a starbucks or borders.

And on that note-- I love how the article a little bit above applauds the appearance of a starbucks in downtown... if that's what makes a city successful, then I know quite a few small towns that have Vancouver beat down in that regard.

Well... it's not that hard, but still.

Vancouver really needs to hirer some people from across the river. Downtown is the saddest thing in the metro area (because it has such potential). tsk tsk tsk.

PuyoPiyo
Jan 5, 2008, 4:23 AM
I find the new Vancouver downtown to be (more) dead and lifeless.

They expect it to become some magically urban city core, but it's not.

I'd wager a guess that they're going to slowly take the life out of businesses down there and bring in the amenities of a fourth-tier city like a starbucks or borders.

And on that note-- I love how the article a little bit above applauds the appearance of a starbucks in downtown... if that's what makes a city successful, then I know quite a few small towns that have Vancouver beat down in that regard.

Well... it's not that hard, but still.

And that's why the City of Vancouver governments are trying to funding so much effort on the downtown, such like Vancouvercenter, Riverwest, 10K Residents Waterfront Envision, The Columbian developments, etc. They WANT the downtown become the heartcore in Vancouver, not the sprawling area such like Mill Plain or Fourth Plain or Highway 99 or whatever is outside the truly downtown Vancouver. Also the downtown Vancouver is the first area where they was incorpated(sp?).

zilfondel
Jan 5, 2008, 6:27 AM
Ironically, real cities such as NYC and Frisco have attracted "elites" in part due to their grit... or at least the "creatives" sure get off on it.

Cities such as the 'Couv are about a decade late in following the fads of city revitalization, but they're trying to cherry pick and only cater to the wealthy. Pretty sad... they don't even want to accommodate normal commuters who have to take the bus to work??

PuyoPiyo
Jan 5, 2008, 7:12 AM
Ironically, real cities such as NYC and Frisco have attracted "elites" in part due to their grit... or at least the "creatives" sure get off on it.

Cities such as the 'Couv are about a decade late in following the fads of city revitalization, but they're trying to cherry pick and only cater to the wealthy. Pretty sad... they don't even want to accommodate normal commuters who have to take the bus to work??

I have to be honestly with you, the new city bus system that started last November was the FAR best service I've rode so far. Why?

Fourth Plain #4 bus goes from Vancouver Mall to Downtown Vancouver to Jantzen Beach which meets Tri-Met city bus and then to the light rail at Delta Park which open from 5 in the morning to 12 am which give people more time for work. Also there is #44 Fourth Plain Limited Express which goes similar route as #4, but are extended toward few miles east of Vancouver Mall and faster than #4 and only open from 5 in the morning to 7 pm on the weekday only.

Before November, you have to ride the #4 and then take ANOTHER bus just to get on the Jantzen Beach to grab Tri-Met's #6 bus or the light rail. There is no #44 before November.

http://www.c-tran.com/img/4map.png

Also there is some of city bus that switching two different routes when they reach the downtown, for example, Hwy 99 #37H bus and Mill Plain #37M bus, they are on the same number and same bus. You can just take #37H and stay there till it go to Mill Plain after the downtown without stopping and waiting for another bus.

Before November, you have to take #71 Hwy 99 bus and stop at downtown then waiting few minutes for the #37 Mill Plain bus.

http://www.c-tran.com/img/37(M)map.png
Note that light blue arrow? It's the switching routes.

http://www.c-tran.com/img/37(H)map.png

Also there is NO city buses in Vancouver that open till 10pm-12am before November.

And one more thing, I want to ask. Is it that HARD to walk just blocks by blocks around this cute little Vancouver's downtown for different bus? I thought downtown Portland don't have the transit center in downtown, do they?

When I rode on the city bus to downtown, I felt so different than before because almost everyone is at 7th street, barely see anybody around downtown other than just the 7th street, but now the downtown Vancouver seems like more people wandering around the entire downtown. Also I still remember I can't really smoke the cigarette at 7th street because someone would just come to me and ask for the cigarette (everytime I was smoking there), but now I can smoke anywhere I feel like with fewer people would beg me for cigarette. I don't just support this only because of my cigarette situation, but I was just showing the example about the difference about the 7th street as it used to be and what it is today.

(I copied the city bus maps from this official website: http://www.c-tran.com)

zilfondel
Jan 5, 2008, 8:06 AM
well... I think we're going to have to agree that, 'to each its own.'

I've never spent any time in the 'Couve, and I doubt you have spent much time in Portland, either: 5th and 6th avenue are both the transit mall for the entire length of downtown. Portland actually has several transit centers throughout the city.

PuyoPiyo
Jan 5, 2008, 8:53 AM
well... I think we're going to have to agree that, 'to each its own.'

I've never spent any time in the 'Couve, and I doubt you have spent much time in Portland, either: 5th and 6th avenue are both the transit mall for the entire length of downtown. Portland actually has several transit centers throughout the city.

True, I don't spend much time at Portland neither except for my friends who live there or anything that Vancouver don't have, but Portland have.

Ahh I see about the transit center in downtown Portland, it's just that I didn't stop there before when I ride the bus in Portland..

alexjon
Jan 5, 2008, 5:59 PM
And that's why the City of Vancouver governments are trying to funding so much effort on the downtown, such like Vancouvercenter, Riverwest, 10K Residents Waterfront Envision, The Columbian developments, etc. They WANT the downtown become the heartcore in Vancouver, not the sprawling area such like Mill Plain or Fourth Plain or Highway 99 or whatever is outside the truly downtown Vancouver. Also the downtown Vancouver is the first area where they was incorpated(sp?).

They're failing pretty miserably.

You're acting like getting rid of the seedy element will boost development and make rents go up, but it won't. Think of Belltown in Seattle, almost all of San Francisco, and think of how they maintained a character to their downtown. There are seedy people there all the time, and yet rents are through the roof.

Or think of Capitol Hill in Seattle, that's a good one. Lots of drug activity, there was a murder there a few nights ago, and yet, it's a vibrant neighborhood with a daytime population that dwarfs all of Vancouver.

I rarely err on the side of "do nothing", but this is one place where I do. Vancouver would have done themselves a favor by not doing anything to the transit mall. The suggestion that the current bus arrangement is fine because "you can just walk to another bus stop" is idiotic, since there are some people who simply can't "just walk".

Hell, even little ink spot towns like Ypsilanti Michigan have transit centers downtown.

PuyoPiyo
Jan 6, 2008, 3:30 AM
They're failing pretty miserably.

I think not.. I am starting to wondering what the downtown Vancouver would be like when the 90,000 square feets library was brought to downtown. Now that will bring more smarter educated people going to downtown Vancouver for the library.

You're acting like getting rid of the seedy element will boost development and make rents go up, but it won't. Think of Belltown in Seattle, almost all of San Francisco, and think of how they maintained a character to their downtown. There are seedy people there all the time, and yet rents are through the roof.

True, the housing market right now are terrible, but that have nothing to do with the downtown redevelopment.

Or think of Capitol Hill in Seattle, that's a good one. Lots of drug activity, there was a murder there a few nights ago, and yet, it's a vibrant neighborhood with a daytime population that dwarfs all of Vancouver.

Are you sure the new library with educated people wandering around plus those nice pricy condo towers where the kinda richy people will live and business people would go to that 7 stories office building, the Riverwest Project, that will bring to downtown Vancouver will also bring the criminals? I think not.

I rarely err on the side of "do nothing", but this is one place where I do. Vancouver would have done themselves a favor by not doing anything to the transit mall. The suggestion that the current bus arrangement is fine because "you can just walk to another bus stop" is idiotic, since there are some people who simply can't "just walk".

I'd rather to be speechless on this one because that's your opinion.

Hell, even little ink spot towns like Ypsilanti Michigan have transit centers downtown.

Oh really..

alexjon
Jan 6, 2008, 7:11 PM
I think not.. I am starting to wondering what the downtown Vancouver would be like when the 90,000 square feets library was brought to downtown. Now that will bring more smarter educated people going to downtown Vancouver for the library.



True, the housing market right now are terrible, but that have nothing to do with the downtown redevelopment.



Are you sure the new library with educated people wandering around plus those nice pricy condo towers where the kinda richy people will live and business people would go to that 7 stories office building, the Riverwest Project, that will bring to downtown Vancouver will also bring the criminals? I think not.



I'd rather to be speechless on this one because that's your opinion.



Oh really..

You keep implying that removing the seedy element and artificially creating a highly educated upper middle-class population will make Vancouver boom-- but that goes against the grain of urban history. Unless Vancouver lives in a symbiotic way off of Portland for the rest of its existence, taking out all the refinement of a well-rounded and character-filled city makes it just another sprawled suburb.

Capitol Hill has its crime (and relatively speaking, it's not much) because it hasn't lost its character, and that same character is what drives up rent and keeps people there for years. Crime happens from time to time, it's just endemic to a vibrant downtown or urban area.

As far as what Vancouver's doing, I am still not convinced that it will be any kind of urban center in the future, even with these "developments" people keep touting, especially since they effectively eradicate and rebuild, instead of refining and repairing what was there before.

And when city officials are saying "no offense, but old people are useless", you know there has to be something wrong with this approach.

Finally, as little towns with Transit Centers in downtown go, Vancouver had a pretty good one. But I don't expect Vancouver to make intelligent decisions in transit anymore, I really don't. First this, then the bio-diesel idiocy; it's really not going well for you guys.

urbanlife
Jan 6, 2008, 8:04 PM
actually old people and young people are the life blood to urban areas. Vancouver would have to play a strong role in restructuring SW Washington and creating a focused drive for development and limit suburban sprawl in their part of the metro and try and become more linked to the Portland metro, but the chances of that happening are slim.

I do see the downtown their growing and creating something that might have a Pearl District feel to it, but that isn't going to solve the problems for their downtown.

alexjon
Jan 7, 2008, 2:53 AM
Part of what makes the Pearl successful is that it is linked to several neighborhoods and has an amazingly successful transit system integrated into it.