Five Predictions For Friday's Big CRC Meeting


Bragdon's right: WA and OR DOTs proceeded here to design a bridge without the necessary harness of budgets (and perhaps reality).

That a grossly over-built public project should proceed because it would bring jobs to the community is corruption - a misdirection of public monies.
The CRC is a Christmas Tree. It started as a way for I5 trucks not to get caught in traffic. It has become a potential architectural monument by a big name architect, a way to cure Vancouver downtown's isolation due to poor planning (see the award winning park to cover I5 in Vancouver), a way to build ever grander Washington interchanges with roads bringing commuters to the East, spiffy interchanges to dump Washington commuters onto Portland secondary roads in North Portland, lanes to bring Washington shoppers to Janzen Beach for tax free shopping and a rallying point for "don't tax me don't toll me, government can do no good, except when they are doing it for me" Vancouver commuters after good paying jobs in Portland. If the bridge is destroyed in the big one, NoPo will get a break and the big trucks will use 205. Meanwhile, the Washington Legislature, probably Oregon too would rather spend funds under a different Christmas tree.
"Who cares if we don't have the money, let's build it anyway!" is exactly how this country got into the mess it's in in the first place. I can't believe people are still unabashedly thinking like that.
I want to see how they really think that cutting 20% out of a project won't force them to redo the EIS. If they don't, it will just end the project up in court, where a judge will throw the thing out. The entire case will take 20 minutes, _I_ could argue it. For instance, many of the originally planned interchange improvements were how they got the "safety" purpose and need satisfied. Without the interchange improvements, the bridge is no safer than it is today, (and the bridge isn't the problem today, it is the interchanges.) They cut those, the alternatives stack up differently, they fail to meet the purpose and need, and they'll need to start over at the beginning, with a new purpose and need or at the very least, with a new set of alternatives. Which is exactly what the environmental organizations want them to do anyways.

Also: I remember the ODOT chair saying at the city council meeting that they wouldn't build this bridge without Portland's support. They don't have it. End of story. He needs to be thrown out of office for lying, either then, or now for saying that the bridge will proceed. Where is the recall for that guy?
We need the jobs. We can't afford not to expedite this project.

Nothing says big carbon footprint like bumper to bumper traffic (Portland in the 19th worse in the nation).