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Metro passes Columbia Crossing resolution

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 23rd, 2007 at 12:12 pm

Opponents of the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) Task Force's plan to build a gargantuan, $2-6 billion new highway bridge claimed an important victory last night.

Metro Councilors heard a steady stream of public testimony in support of two resolutions to study other alternatives that were put forth by Metro Councilors Rex Burkholder and Robert Liberty.

I left the hearing before the vote was made, but I read on PortlandTransport.com that Burkholder's resolution was passed.

Metro President David Bragdon said:

"It was a great discussion. I don't think I have heard such a compelling stream of testimony for a long time. It indicates a lot of debate to come..."

Bragdon also added that Burkholder's resolution was amended to include a discussion of land-use measures to reduce the increase in commuter (single occupancy vehicle) traffic.

This vote gives Burkholder, who also sits on the 39-member CRC Task Force, the ability to make sure other alternatives move forward into the next phase of the process.

Oregonian reporter James Mayer reports that:

"Council President David Bragdon said limiting the options to building one mega-project or doing nothing would be a huge mistake."

On Tuesday (2/27) the CRC Task Force will vote on which alternatives to move forward with. Here are more details on that meeting.

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UPDATE: Portland Tribune story on last night's hearing.

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  • Lenny Anderson February 23, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Metro (Rex) has only one vote on the 39 member CRC group, though he will have allies. A similar limited scope option lost on a 10-10 vote in 2002 in the final days of the Governors' I-5 Task Force. see my post "Arterial Bridge haunts the CRC" on PortlandTransport.com

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  • Joe Planner February 23, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    The CRC folks seems to have really screwed up on this... to leave the decision down to build a $6 billion bridge or do nothing is ridiculous.. Thanks for bringing this topic to the bike community Jonathan!

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  • lyle February 23, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    so what percentage of the multi-billion dollar price-tag are oregonians going to be footing so people living in washington get back and forth faster while they're exercising their luxury of avoiding property taxes while they still enjoy our lack of sales tax as they work here, shop here and drive back to their tax shelters across the river?

    ridiculous.

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  • JeremyS February 24, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Awesome news. This is a historic issue that will affect the entire Portland community for generations. We need to make the due diligence and do the right thing, which will take a lot of analysis and even more discussion. Thank you Jonathan for helping to bring this issue into the wider community discussion!

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  • Dan V February 25, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    As someone enjoying the "luxury" of working in Oregon and being unable to afford housing there, I'd like to clarify some issues. While I don't pay sales tax for shopping in Oregon, those dollars DO stay in Oregon (I shop at locally-owned stores when possible). Also, as I work in Oregon, I pay Oregon income tax (for which I receive NO benefit; none of those dollars goes to my child's school, the city I live in, nor the civil services I receive)in addition to the sales tax when I don't feel like spending five dollars to drive south. I guess the small amount of road I ride my bicycle (yes, bicycle commuters live north of the Columbia as well) along would count, but it's packed with trucks that support it more heavily. A new bridge with better options for all (including better bike access AND a light-rail connection) would benefit you as well, since more of us can get down to YOUR stores to spend OUR money. Now, about the Delta Park non-stop traffic jam...

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  • Paul Cone February 26, 2007 at 9:36 am

    I went to the town hall meeting for Reps. Chip Shields and Tina Kotek this past Saturday. They represent the districts in N and NE Portland on either side of I-5 (basically from St. Johns to Cully). Chip is on the Transportation and Economic Development subcommittee of the Ways and Means committee so I brought up the CRC and asked about what kind of input/oversight of ODOT he could do at the state level. He explained that the State of Washington is spending twice as much as Oregon in planning this potential fiasco (something like $30 million vs. $15) and Washington wants the bigger bridge more than Oregon, so in essence ODOT's voice is not as large in the process. Also ODOT put money in for a Friends of Trees planting in N Portland as part of the Delta Park interchange project. My take is that ODOT could be another place to put the pressure on. He also mentioned that the ODOT budget is coming before the committee in the next two to three weeks and so he will ask questions about the CRC. So no telling for sure what can happen there but if you'd like to weigh in, Rep. Shields can be reached at http://www.leg.state.or.us/shieldsc/.

    Paul

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  • Lenny Anderson February 26, 2007 at 11:22 am

    ODOT is as wedded to this mega project as WSDOT. The impacts on N. Portland...20-60K more motor vehicles...will only be bad. Good idea to engage local reps in the Legislature.
    re Oregon State income taxes...they pay for schools, universities, human services and justice/prisons, so I am sure that anyone who spends a 1/3 to 1/2 of their time over here should be happy that to fund these vital services.
    North Portland still has plenty of affordable housing if you make the effort.

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  • Macaroni February 26, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    Dan V said:

    "Also, as I work in Oregon, I pay Oregon income tax (for which I receive NO benefit"

    You get an Oregonian's job, Dan. Your job could've gone to someone who actually appreciates Portland enough to LIVE HERE.

    Who can afford a house here? Those of us that are buying, are house poor. I don't even have a car, Dan. Could you give me a ride to work?

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