Portland Mayor Sam Adams announced Monday that the reconstruction of Moody Avenue in the South Waterfront neighborhood was finally complete after 19 months of work. This $51 million project rebuilt 3,200 linear feet of the street by raising it 14 feet and widening the right-of-way to 75 feet, enough space to accommodate a six-lane freeway.

However, despite the huge expansion, motorists are actually worse off than they were before. Only two lanes are reserved for motor vehicles, and they now have to share space with the slow streetcar, which blocks traffic four times an hour in each direction. Virtually all of the new right-of-way is allocated to bicyclists and pedestrians, who only account for 13% of total passenger throughput on the street.

Motor vehicles do the heaving lifting, moving 63% of all passenger trips on Moody. Not only is this a large number, but it’s growing: Auto traffic is up 55% from just two years ago. As the district continues to develop, this road will be unable to handle future traffic loads.

The Moody Avenue project was a waste of $52 million, and it now has the South Waterfront district locked into a street pattern that is doomed to fail. Taxpayers should demand better from their elected leaders.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

 

One Response to “Portland’s Moody Avenue Project: Subtraction by Addition”

  1. Bob Clark November 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    The city of Portland is becoming increasingly a tranportation nightmare, and it’s because of the progressives whose untested pipedreams are increasingly clogging city streets. Another example of this is the taking out of the on and off ramp looping lane at the east end of the Hawthorne bridge, which now freight and auto drivers coming off and on from Grand Ave now must make sharp 90 degree turns. And what do we owe this new productivity hurting road restructure? It would be a Street car Art project, costing 2 percent (not the normal 1%) of the Street car construction costs.

    You can’t really believe the City is actually advancing anything green as the reason folks may be riding bikes into downtown Portland at a higher level is parking has become so much less available and much more expensive, bicycling is a government forced economic penalty on the economic welfare of the City.

    On an individual basis, the only way is to move from the city of Portland as it increasingly becomes dependent on higher rates of taxation, city borrowings, and federal and state transfers. Most of the economic synergies that come from living close to others are being wasted by the City of Portland because of very poor governance.

Leave a Reply

 

Other Publications by John

What Can Be Learned from Portland’s Smart Growth Experience?

John Charles | February 10, 2016
The annual “New Partners for Smart Growth” conference opens in Portland on Thursday, February 11. “Smart Growth” refers to an amorphous planning theory favoring (or ...  read more

Not One Dollar More

John Charles | February 3, 2016
The State of Oregon will sell 84,000 acres of the Elliott State Forest by March 2017, in order to make money for public schools. However, ...  read more

Electric Utilities Should Call the Bluff of Green Radicals

John Charles | January 13, 2016
Two committees of the Oregon Legislature will hear presentations this week on a legislative proposal to eliminate the use of coal in Oregon’s electricity grid ...  read more

More On These Topics

What Can Be Learned from Portland's Smart Growth Experience?

John Charles | February 10, 2016
The annual “New Partners for Smart Growth” conference opens in Portland on Thursday, February 11. “Smart Growth” refers to an amorphous planning theory favoring (or ...  read more

Not One Dollar More

John Charles | February 3, 2016
The State of Oregon will sell 84,000 acres of the Elliott State Forest by March 2017, in order to make money for public schools. However, ...  read more

Uber and Portland: “The Future and Its Enemies” Clash in the Rose City

Steve Buckstein | December 9, 2015
The Portland City Council has voted 3-2 to let ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft operate permanently in the city. The normally “progressive” council members’ split ...  read more