Groups collect signatures to petition against Interstate 5 expansion

Two groups joined forces Jan. 16, 2018 to protest the planned Interstate 5 expansion. KATU photo

PORTLAND, Ore. – Two groups are joining forces Tuesday morning to protest the planned Interstate 5 expansion.

"No More Freeways" and "Bike Loud PDX" met around 7:30 a.m. and handed out coffee and doughnuts to commuters, stopping them to educate them about the expansion and hopefully get them to sign a petition against it.

The $450 million I-5 expansion project would include a demolition of the Flint Avenue Bridge, often used by hundreds of bike commuters each day.

Aaron Brown is a spokesman for “No More Freeways” and says a replacement bridge would be steeper and not necessarily dedicated to bikes. Brown, along with other leaders of No More Freeways and Bike Loud PDX, believe half the amount of the expansion project could be spent to build biking and walking facilities for every school in the Metro region. They say that money would be better spent by alleviating pollution and congestion.

“We’d like to see the city explore alternatives," Brown said.

Other alternatives to the freeway expansion could be a fee-based solution, like tolls.

Bike commuters like Lindsay McClure stopped to sign a petition against the expansion.

“I think it’s really important for the bikers to be able have their opinion heard and the conversations about changes in transportation," McClure said.

No More Freeways plans on presenting the petition to City Council when they finalize amendments to the Central City 2035 Plan this Thursday, Jan. 18.

Before then, they’re encouraging not just bike commuters, but everyone to learn more about the expansion project.

READ MORE | ODOT answers public's questions about I-5 improvements in Rose Quarter

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