Yesterday the Portland City Council voted to approve a new Interstate Bridge with 12 lanes, on the condition that local governments create a regional commission to see that the bridge doesn't cause urban sprawl. The Oregonian describes this vote as "a win for embattled Mayor Sam Adams."
I don't know whether the regional commission is a win for Mayor Adams -- it's not something that was in the mix before -- but it's hard for me to see that the City voting to endorse 12 lanes is a win for the mayor. Just over six weeks ago, the Oregonian described him as a proponent of 8 lanes who could, in the Mayor's words, "maybe stretch" to approve 10 lanes. He came close, the Oregonian said, to ruling out ever endorsing 12 lanes. Just over six months ago, Mayor Adams (then a commissioner) joined the rest of the Council in voting for a 6-lane bridge. I see yesterday's vote as a victory for road users and businesses, but it's not a victory for the Mayor or the City Council.