Plan to Widen I-5 in Portland Loses Critical Local Support

The I-5 Rose Quarter project has proven controversial throughout the study and planning process, and now it's losing key local political support.

July 5, 2020, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Willamette River

Josemaria Toscano / Shutterstock

"A state project to expand Interstate 5 through the Rose Quarter lost major support Tuesday after a community nonprofit leading an effort to revitalize the nearby Albina neighborhood and city, county and regional elected officials announced they no longer support the plan," reports Everton Baily. 

The Albina Vision Trust was the organization that withdrew its support for the plan. "The nonprofit’s mission is to help restore and revitalize the Albina neighborhood that in the last century was home to 80% of Portland’s Black population before most of those residents were displaced through eminent domain, gentrification and racism," explains Bailey. 

The Albina Vision Trust has been voicing concerns about the project since January, and organization said in its statement that the plan hadn't evolved since that time. 

Since the Albina Vision Trust withdrew its support, "Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler have both pulled their support as well. This means ODOT is left trying to complete a controversial mega-project that doesn’t have support from the very city it would be built in," according to a separate article by Jonathan Maus.

After those local leaders withdrew their support, Oregon Governor Kate Brown chimed in too

"Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday that the planned widening of Interstate 5 through the historic Albina neighborhood that was once home to nearly 80% of Oregon’s Black population will not happen without the support of Portland’s Black community," reports Betsy Hammond, in yet another article tracking the shifting political landscape for the project.

Brown stopped short, however, of withdrawing support from the Rose Quarter project, "which the Oregon Legislature authorized and agreed to fund under a mammoth 2017 transportation package."

Previous Planetizen coverage of the I-5 Rose Quarter project.

Thursday, July 30, 2020 in The Oregonian

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

LAX Cars

Car Noise Is Killing Us

It’s not just traffic collisions that kill—a new study from researcher at Rutgers finds that the loud noises emanating from cars has direct impact on heart health in Americans.

May 6, 2022 - Streetsblog USA

State Capital of Utah

Affordable Housing Proposal Faces Backlash in Salt Lake City

A public hearing last week revealed widespread opposition to a plan to loosen density and height limits and reduce parking requirements to encourage more developers to build affordable housing.

29 minutes ago - The Salt Lake Tribune

Two people on a bike trail with downtown Houston in the background

Houston Bike Summit Makes In-Person Return

The event will focus on improving bike safety and continuing maintenance on the city's growing network of bike lanes and trails.

1 hour ago - Houston Public Media

Austin Bus

Austin’s Transit CEO Moving to D.C.

After overseeing a major system redesign and plans for its largest-ever expansion, the head of Capital Metro will take over Washington, D.C.’s transit agency.

2 hours ago - KUT

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.