Remove I-5 From Portland's Waterfront
May 05, 2014
Portland is a beautiful city. From the enormous Forest Park, to it’s views of Mt. Hood and the Cascades, it is a city that is connected to it’s surroundings and to nature. In such a city, it is hard to fathom that it perhaps it’s greatest asset, it’s river, is inaccessible from it’s eastern shore. It is time for this to change.
Why Remove I-5?
Economic DevelopmentWith the removal of I-5, vast tracts of prime, currently inaccessible real estate could be developed into new businesses and residential areas. In addition, development throughout Portland’s eastside would increase as a result.
Reduced Traffic Congestion
With large numbers of cars exiting and entering, freeway interchanges are notorious for causing backups. The removal of two freeway interchanges (I-5 and I-405, and I-5 and I-84), would likely help traffic to move more smoothly.
Creating A Beautiful City
Freeways aren’t necessarily the most beautiful of man-made creations, and Portland has decided to place one on it’s waterfront, where we could create a beautiful, natural waterfront. A place for recreation and connection to nature.
A Connected City
Stronger connections between downtown and the eastside, and because of the removal of the I-5/I-405 interchange, a stronger connection between downtown and the South Waterfront.
Keep Portland At The Forefront
Portland is known for doing big things. The removal of the westbank freeway, creating a regional government, being at the forefront of public transportation, and responsible development. Other cities have caught up though, and we have been resting on our previous successes. It is time to once again think big, and be at the forefront of creating people-centered cities.
How It’s Done
The land under the freeway is sold. Of course those who purchase the property won’t be able to build on it until the freeway is removed. The amounts collected from prime, waterfront real estate with views of the city, along with additional, increased tax revenues collected on new developments within the district could help to pay a significant portion of the construction costs.
Interstate 405 is upgraded. Additional lanes are added to handle increased traffic, but also as a bargain to those who oppose the removal of Interstate 5. Additional improvements to Interstate 405 include capping significant portions, creating a string of parks above the freeway. Because of the improvements to the area, new, high density developments that result from the beautification could be taxed at higher rates, adding to the funds needed for additional improvements.
Interstate 405 is re-designated as Interstate 5, and the original Interstate 5 is removed, clearing up the entire east bank of the Willamette River to parks, new businesses, and residential areas. A small portion of the west bank, where the Marquam bridge resides is also opened to new development.
Because the currently existing I-84 and I-5 interchange would be removed, improvements to the Rose Quarter and Lloyd district could also be pursued, including capping areas of the new I-84 (I-5 on the east bank, south of the Fremont Bridge would be re-designated as I-84), and creating stronger connections between the Lloyd District, The Rose Quarter, Burnside, and the Willamette River.
The Built Environment