Bicycle leaning against a dock railing on the Willamette River, with the Steel Bridge in the background. Filtered to appear like a faded slide

A short rant: let’s downsize roads

Published 2011-12-09

The ongoing fracas about the ongoing budget stupidity of the Columbia River Crossing prompted me to write an awesome little rant. As a comment on BikePortland, natch. Which I thought was good enough to reiterate here for semi-posterity.

Maybe, radical thought, we need smaller bridges and narrower roads and less mode separation. Maybe transportation infrastructure is overbuilt and unnecessarily expensive already. Maybe instead of improving roads we should start downsizing them. Maybe roads running through cities should be “streets” not “highways,” and maybe streets should be built for people, not transportation devices. Not just because of the steady decrease in road miles driven in the US since 2007 (true!) or livability or carbon dioxide or whatnot but because it’s way past time to get cars off welfare.

Who’s talking like this? Besides me, obviously.