The projects are expensive highway widening, but they would mostly use funding restricted to and intended for that end.
Still, we should remember that a few years back, Transportation Planners in Portland observed:
The estimated replacement cost of Portland’s entire 300+ mile bikeway network—acknowledged as the best in North America—is approximately $60 million ($2008), which is roughly the cost of one mile of four-lane urban freeway.Here in Salem, we're talking about the same order of magnitude: A mile or so of I-5 widening for $48 million. You could fund a lot of sidewalks, bike lanes, and bike boulevards for $48 million.
So there's two frames here:
- Realistic, on the merits: There's probably not a lot to criticize when you consider the proposals narrowly on the merits and details of the projects and funding programs behind them as they exist.
- On the vision, strategy and high-level values: The projects do not contribute, and indeed may detract from, the directions we need to take for the future.
Two projects are proposed to be amended into the SKATS 2015-2035 Regional Transportation Systems Plan (RTSP) and the SKATS FY 2015-2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). As a result of the most recent federal surface transportation legislation, FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, new funding became available to ODOT.
|Location for proposed I-5 widening|