Here’s a glimpse at what’s happening around the Streetsblog Network today:
Bike-Share Users Save Big: DC’s Capital Bikeshare has released the results of its annual member survey, and the findings reinforce, once again, the value of the system. Commuter Page Blog reports that members combined to reduce their driving by 5 million miles per year. In addition, the average member saved $891 per year in transportation costs. Not bad for a $75-per-year membership.
Portland’s CRC Highway Megaproject Blunders Ahead (Behind Schedule): Network blog Portland Transport caught an interesting bit of news today in the ongoing saga of Portland’s CRC Bridge Project, or, as we like to call it, “a highway boondoggle in disguise.” Chris Smith reports that CRC project officials have released a new construction timeframe, calling for a groundbreaking at the end of 2014. He says that’s a whole year later than had been reported before — though the oversight committee didn’t make a big issue of the change.
From the start, this $3.4 billion project has been plagued by funding uncertainty and embarrassing setbacks, the most recent of which was particularly glaring. In March, the Oregonian reported that the proposed bridge is 120 feet too low to accommodate many ships that need to enter the port, and as a result the Coast Guard is withholding a needed permit. That’s after more than $100 million has already been spent on planning. Correcting that mistake could cost an additional $150 million, according to the Oregonian. Maybe project opponents were right when they told us last year that they doubted this project would ever get off the ground.
Urbanism Arrives in North Dakota: Congress may be having trouble dragging itself into the 21st Century when it comes to transportation policy, but the revival of downtowns in places like North Dakota is the kind of thing that makes the movement toward sustainable cities seem inevitable. Network blog Grand Fork Streets reports today that East Grand Forks’ downtown will be getting a 39-unit, four-story apartment building. The project will also include 6,500 square feet of commercial space. In the local paper last week, the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce was cheering the “density” the project would bring to downtown. “It’s an urbanite’s dream, and it’s happening here,” said blogger Matt BK. Go, North Dakota!