Oh my gawd. As Planning Commissioner Chris Smith pointed out over at Portland Transport, over the weekend The Oregonian published an editorial critical of the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project, "a refreshing break from the 'we must do this no matter what' drumbeat of the editorial page of our local daily."
The piece by Associate Editor Mike Francis hits on exactly what's wrong with the current bridge design. To explain how monstrous the Hayden Island section of the project is, Francis doesn't need anything more than this screenshot of the bridge plan snagged from the CRC website.
The Columbia River Crossing hasn't been defined as the tool that will make the neighborhoods of Portland or Vancouver better places to live and work, nor put the region's major river on display, nor unlock the potential of Hayden Island, nor act as a gateway to the states on either side. It has, rather, been treated almost entirely as an engineering project — an engineering project that has been limited and defined by the word "No."Francis touches on Congressman Earl Blumenauer nixing the CRC from his federal funding ask and the overwhelming criticism of the bridge plan from big time designers and urban planners at the PDXplore symposium last month. It's a solid, straightforward round up of the current critical discussions around the CRC. How refreshing to see that kind of thinking in the O. Now where's that flying pig I was promised?