Last week, the five members of the city council signed onto a letter outlining their thoughts on the massive Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project—a letter meant to guide tomorrow night's CRC task force when it takes a vote to recommend a "locally preferred option" for the project.
The problem is, the council isn't holding a public hearing about the issue until July 9, when they'll take a position on whatever the task force recommends. (The council's having a work session this Thursday, but there's no public testimony at those.)
Shoshanah Oppenheim, a policy advisor on transportation issues in Commissioner Sam Adams' office, explains that the letter—you can download it here—was the best way to present recommendations and "things that are of concern," says Oppenheim, from the city's Planning Commission (which has already held public hearings) and the city's Offices of Transportation and Sustainable Development.
An early letter from the council gave those bodies' critiques of the project "the credence that we felt it deserved," says Oppenheim. "We couldn't figure out how else to send the testimony heard by the Planning Commission... it's an opportunity for us to weigh in as a city" before the task force votes.
So what does the city council have to say, before hearing from its constituents? This is a good summary of the letter's four pages of recommendations: