Obama Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood opened up a hearing last week on the authorization of new highway spending with a shout-out to our very own Columbia River Crossing project. "He said, 'It will be paid for by tolls,'" recalls Portland Metro President David Bragdon, who was back in DC to talk to the Senate about smart transportation planning.
The Washington Independent noted Bragdon's remarks on a highway bill which so far does little to encourage public transit use and address climate change.
David Bragdon, president of the Portland Metro Council, cautioned that building new transit infrastructure would be futile without land-use management plans to accompany it. Efforts to prevent sprawl, for example, and to concentrate populations around both public transportation and commercial facilities go a long way to keep people out of cars, he said.
“We can’t simply reform the supply of transportation, we have to reduce demand,” Bragdon testified, “and the way our communities are laid out is a major determinant of demand.”
Tolls were the hot topic at the CRC booth set up for Sunday Parkways last weekend... just feet away from the booth for the anti-12 lane CRC group. Naturally, some unsubtle protest arose.
While CRC staffers explained to park-goers that tolls will reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions on the $4.2 billion bridge project, opposition group Smarterbridge.org took the opportunity to hand out its new flier: