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Traffic in general in this region is pretty aweful and it seems there isn't much we can do about it without seriously considering huge modifications and major amounts of money. I5 is a disaster, 26 is bad, the Banfield is horrible until you get past I205. There just isn't the space to widen these roads and while the mass transit is getting better, it doesn't help get out of the city when travel by car is nessesary. Something needs to be done and its going to take a lot of time and money.


I'd seriously consider building small toll roads to bypass these smaller Oregon towns & cities on major highways - while many people are against toll roads, how else are you going to pay for them? As traffic worsens, more people will be willing to pay a few dollars to bypass these heavily congested areas, yet enough people would still travel through them (either by being cheap or by wanting to go to the town) to help support businesses in these places, such as McMinnville or elsewhere.


Actually these smaller roads are a godsend to the Coast. They work like a gate only allowing enough cars in without overwelming the coast. The coast can only handle so many cars, either we find another way to get people to it or leave the roads alone and let them protect the area from overloading on car crap. We need a more mature tourist infrastructure. Look around the world for other great nature wonders and how they handle the popularity.


Cab - I couldn't agree more, though as someone who grew up on the coast, I have to say I was much happy driving over highway 42 from Coquille to Roseburg with the widened highway and all the semi's than when my mom drove us as kids and it was a two lane winding road following along a twisting creek.

I do think the mistake Oregon makes in widening roads is to make a solid swath. Other regions with natural beauty have created parkways in which opposing lanes are not always up against each other but even as much as several hundred feet apart in places, thus giving traffic relief without the acres of blacktop.


Groups like the Columbia River Crossing and the State of Oregon are serious about looking at tolls. Only local way to get the federal funds matched. User fees man!


Can you say Sprawlegon?

Widening roads to the coast for the weekend convenience of a few would have far reaching effects beyond the initial cost. Cab has it right that the current state of access protects the coast from being inundated. Seaside is bad enough at spring break or hood to coast time. Can you imagine if access improved we'd have daily commuters living at the coast and working in PDX.

Look at 26 over the Cascades. 4 lanes there doesn't stop the backups on weekends even in good weather. Everyone returning to PDX on sunday afternoon from golfing in Sunriver begins the route debate on Saturday. How to avoid the traffic via Hood river or 22 through Salem.

Parkways over the coast range? There is barely room for two lanes on these hillsides. We spend enough fixing mudslides that continue to close 101 and highway 6 to Tillamook.

Sorry Brian you're just plain wrong on this one. Widening roads only adds traffic capacity until it gets packed again. Please stick to more important topics.


This blog should be retitled "Things that occur to Brian that immediately impact his world (like, say, getting stuck in traffic on the way to the coast) that he thinks of solutions for that would cost billions of dollars and wreak havoc on thousands of people, yet he has no way of paying for them or offering political redress to those affected by his dreaming"


Gregg, you've made some fair criticisms of my road widening post, and I realize there were some big holes to my thinking.

The following post by "Tor", on the other hand, has gotten a little personal and hostile and this blog, including the comments section, should be above that.

Obviously this blog starts with ideas I put out there. I make no claims of omniscience. And in fact, as may be the case with the road-widening post, sometimes it's possible I'm just plain wrong.

The point here is to get conversation going and exchange ideas with as much civility and intellectual rigor as possible. The point is NOT for myself or any of you to take easy pot shots.

Thanks very much to the overwhelming majority of you who have posted to this site with that kind of positive spirit in mind.


I don't think that a person who posts using a fake address has any right to accuse someone else of irresponsibility.


I agree. Tor, be adult enough to own up to your comments.

As for widening roads. 40 bazillion miles of asphalt have taught us time and time again: you CANNOT build your way out of congestion. Look around. We've tried. It didn't work. It's ugly. We have more traffic than ever. Say no to more asphalt.


The answer is more alternative ways to get there. They should have a rail line that can get us back and forth. We need alternatives and shouldn't be dependent soley on the automobile. It'd be nice if the line to Astoria would keep on going after the Lewis & Clark celebration.

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