And crucially, ODOT and the railroad companies try to keep as many details secret as possible. So who knows what really is being shipped.
|Oil train derailment and fire near Mosier - KVAL|
A train towing cars full of oil derailed Friday in Oregon's scenic Columbia River Gorge, sparking a fire that sent a plume of black smoke high into the sky.I suppose it's alarmist to say "It could happen here." But it could. The UP railroad passes right by two schools, in fact. (And there are other hazardous things on those railcars, too, it should be said.)
The accident happened around noon near the town of Mosier, about 70 miles east of Portland. It involved eight cars filled with oil, and one was burning, said Ken Armstrong, state Forestry Department spokesman. [Sure looks like more than one on fire.]
|Train tracks between North High and Parrish Middle Schools|
The cars derailed within about 20 feet from the city's sewage plant, said Arlene Burns, mayor of the city of 440 people, east of Hood River. Residents have been asked not to use bathrooms and other drains into the city's sewage lines.Bike More Challenge Afterparty
"We've been saying for a long time that it's not fair for trains with toxic loads to come into our towns near our Gorge," Burns said. "We don't have the capacity to fight these fires"....
"We need the ability to fight an oil fire which water does not fight nor does sewage," Burns said.
afterparty at the HUB! That is great to see.
But if you bike much around town, though, you'll recognize many familiar bikey faces, and so the uncomfortable question remains: As an "Encouragement" activity intended to attract, boost, and support new bike riders, the Challenge still effective?
It will be interesting to learn more about how it fared in Portland this year. There it enjoys much greater institutional support, and with the change in season and change in theme to embrace more trips than just the work commute, did it attract meaningful numbers of new riders? Or does it mainly serve, as it seems to do here, people who are already riding frequently. (See mid-month notes here.)
It has seemed from here that without changes in land use and improved engineering in street facilities, we're still mainly fiddling on the edges, and that Encouragement actions won't scale up with meaningful numbers until we get greater changes in land use and engineering (and construction).
|MassDOT Separated Bike Lane Guide|
Until people feel actually comfortable on our roads and streets, we will have a hard ceiling on the number of riders it is actually possible to encourage.
Third Bridge effort in 1970
found a headline from 1970 on the Third Bridge.
Maybe they'll write more about it, but just from the headline it seems like two totally divergent readings are possible:
- For decades we have needed a new bridge urgently!
- If we've lived this long without that bridge, maybe we don't need one so badly after all.
(For more on the antecedents in I-305 planning, see here.)