I’ve been reluctant to talk about the Columbia River Crossing project — the plan to replace a local hunk of Interstate 5 with a much larger, wider hunk — because I hate to preach to the choir. I’ve naively assumed that all my Portland friends and neighbors are already lined up in opposition to any sprawl-enhancing freeway upgrade. After all, this is the city that blocked the Mount Hood Freeway and rerouted I-5 off of the waterfront. We hate this sort of thing, right?
But Portland has changed a lot in the last decade. We have more people, more cars, bigger suburbs and, I worry, less of a sense of local history, of how Portland became the great place it is. So perhaps I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am that the CRC isn’t on everybody’s radar yet. But I know I need to say something when perfectly intelligent friends of mine say to me, “Gee, Mykle, you sure are worked up about this CRC thing … tell me again what’s wrong with expanding the bridge?”