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Lawmakers, Progressive Coalition Unveil Framework to Create 'Thriving' Fair and Green Economy in Pandemic Recovery

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/10/lawmakers-progressive-coalition-unveil-framework-create-thriving-fair-and-green

Wow! Chuck Schumer. I would never have predicted that he would take a leadership position in favor of these policies. That said, I’ll believe it when I see it.

At a BLM gathering of maybe 400 in a park, our city’s regional planning council president Lynn Peterson was introduced and loudly Boo-d for 10 seconds. This council is planning a light rail line they know to be inexcusably anti-environment in its senseless destruction of 5 miles of verdant mature street tree and forest canopy; a dreadful fact that the agency she pretends to lead, Metro and others - Oregon DOT, Tri-Met, Portland City Council - are “criminally” concealing from the public with deceitfully ignorant smiles all around; smiling mostly about the money they’re paid for criminal incompetence.

Portland has 55 miles of light rail but near 500 miles of bus route. State Hwy 99W to be “widened” from 4-lanes to 8-lanes for this light rail debacle is one of Portland fastest and most scenic bus routes that will become a hazardous traffic speedway while timber baron mayor Ted Wheeler in private watches with glee as trees are felled and replaced with miles of hideous concrete buttress wall and asphalt. Most people there that day have no idea just how Portland Oregon is run by corporate business interests planning profits while pretending to care about the environment. Lynn Peterson is a liar with a record of covering for a corrupt planning process in Oregon and Washington States.

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Thanks Wellan, I am a fellow Oregonian. What is next and how can we all help?

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-Sigh-

Schumer is fer it? Reminds me of the passage of the Social Security Act. Only one Republican voted for it until it passed. The one vote was necessary due to parliamentary procedure to table a motion, one must have voted YEA.

Thank you for your reply, and for the information that is not widely reported upon by the MSM.

Well, ODOT is on a highway widening binge. I count ‘5’ highway widenings starting with the most publicized Rose Quarter I-5 project about 1/2 mile widening. Unmentioned in the press is widening I-205 and Hwy 217 Oregon City to Tualatin to Beaverton, about 13 miles plus ramps. The Barbur Blvd Hwy 99W is about 5 miles of senselessly destructive reconstruction. Lastly, the Columbia River Crossing I-5 Bridge is back but ODOT and other agencies are hardly transparent about what they planning; never mind the $200 million and 8 years of effort wasted, just trust them.

My latest take on the Rose Quarter I-5 widening project is in the southbound direction, the extra lane will increase accident ‘severity’ because faster traffic is more hazardous where “cross merging” must occur - left lane merges to right lane, and visa versa to access Hwy 84 and I-5. Potential accident rate and severity in the northbound direction is a toss-up, but traffic flow probably could be improved without the extra lane.

Also in the southbound direction, ODOT plans to extend the exit to downtown north. ODOT has plans to “realign” I-5 on record that show this ramp can be removed entirely and the downtown exit located a bit further inland. This would improve natural habitat the river bank Esplanade especially nice for small watercraft. The Flint Overpass could be removed, but the replacement crossing from Tillamook to Gantenbein to Dixon is simpler, less expensive and more direct for bicyclists than the proposed Hancock to Dixon crossing.

ODOT can be considered a rogue agency handing out lucrative contracts to construction outfits. Mayor Wheeler likewise should be criticized for serving developer interests putting up rental property for the landlord class, flush with Trump tax cut cash.

I’m near finished preparing a lawsuit to stop ODOT and the Tri-Met debacle, but it will take a law firm with clout and willingness to buck the system. Otherwise, don’t trust anyone who says the Metro bond measure on the November ballot is needed. Thanks for helping. And vote Sarah Iannarone for the next Portland Mayor. Her Green New Deal proposal is the most dynamic version I’ve read yet.

And thank you too.

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