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CRC Update: Public comments needed, hearing tomorrow, CLF steps up

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 12th, 2008 at 4:01 pm

The CLF wants you to think about
a Climate Smart CRC.

There's a lot going on with the Columbia River Crossing project.

The much-anticipated Draft Environmental Impact Statement has been released and we are now in a 60-day public comment period (that ends July 1st).

Comments on the DEIS will help regional decision makers choose which alternatives move into the next phases of the project. Two informational open houses where you can comment (either in person or in writing) have been scheduled for May 28th and 29th.
You can also submit comments online.

Tomorrow (5/13), the Portland Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the CRC project. Public testimony is encouraged.

    Portland Planning Commission - Public Hearing on the CRC
    2:00pm (Meeting is from 12:30-5pm, CRC is 3rd on the agenda and is time certain at 2:00)
    1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

Non-profit advocacy group Coalition for a Livable Future (CLF) has drafted a resolution calling for a "Climate Smart Columbia River Crossing". They've set up a page on their website were concerned citizens can add their name to a petition that calls on local leaders to guarantee that any new crossing "be part of our climate change solution."

Here's the last paragraph in their resolution (download full text as PDF)

To avoid catastrophic consequences, conform with the greenhouse gas reduction goals we have adopted at state levels, and prepare for the sustainable future we are trying to create, we only support a Columbia River Crossing Project that will reduce the growth of driving in the future so that we stabilize vehicle miles traveled at or below levels close to those in the region today.

Sign on to the CLF's resolution, here.

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-- Stay tuned for more CRC coverage, including the BTA's involvement with, and position on the project.
-- For more information on the project visit SmarterBridge.org, browse my CRC Newswire, or read my previous coverage.

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Comments
  • Jeff Bernards May 12, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    I would like to organize a sign protest at the bridge I5 N. on some Friday. Signs reading:
    If you lived here you\'d be home by now!
    There are 1000 homes for sale in Portland, come check em out.
    You want a bridge? then you go ahead and build it & pay for it!
    There\'s no congestion on MAX!
    Our bike lanes offer safe alternatives to buying gas.
    You didn\'t want MAX? You were warned about this.
    Your jobs in Portland? Maybe you should live here too.
    I could go on & on, if anyone is interested in a little protest with media hopefully.
    Email or call Me.
    Jeff 503-774-5659
    Ytamer@aol.com

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  • John Reinhold May 12, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    I urge each and everyone here to please submit a comment to the CRC.

    Please be polite, and back up your opinion with the best and most sound reasoning you can come up with.

    Please do not be inflammatory, that won\'t help anything.

    But we need to stop this thing, dead...

    I would also recommend letter writing. And if you can, attend meetings in personal.

    Also, at most Metro planning meetings they start out with \"citizen communication on non agenda items\". Attend one and make your comments there as well.

    Let the elected officials know how you feel. This one is important folks.

    This is a LOT of money and takes us down the worst possible path.

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  • sad May 12, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    A related story for those of you who are writing letters and would like to cite something...

    http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_051208_news_trimet_gas_fares.f4d54a77.html

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  • John Reinhold May 12, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Comments on this post are trickling in slow. Jonathan, maybe you should include \"fixies\", \"gentrification\", \"sauvie island bridge\", or \"bike lanes\" in the title to bump up the readership...

    :)

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  • Todd B May 12, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Jeff...one additional thing that brought a lot of Portlanders up here to live (and keep their jobs in Portland) was the public schools crisis in Portland a few years back.

    You are correct...a mitigation with this project would be a jobs housing swap site for folks on both sides of the river...perhaps a way to miminize or write off the transaction and moving costs by the Feds.

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  • Couvuzi May 12, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    #5
    Yeah the Vancouver School District is #1 in gang recruitment.

    The grass isn\'t always greener on the other side of the bridge.

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  • nice May 13, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Please do not allow more cars into Portland. It does not make sense let Vancouver be Portland\'s blowoff valve. If they all returned to Portland, we would have more taxpayer revenue, and they would not be so dependent on their cars. The bridge will just increase VMT, adding to the unsustainable problem of commuting long distances in a personal vehicle. Just build a Max&bus / walk&bike bridge for cheaper, and prepare for the future.
    Regardless of the gas issue, a mass exodus of auto traffic is not healthy for the people. Even if cars run on water, they should still be part of a balanced transportation system, not the only mode. If you want to drive, you should have to pay the full external costs including: air pollution costs (carbon tax anyone?), congestion costs, land-use costs, etc.
    Most importantly, cars create unsustainable land-use. They sprawling out the the cheapest land, building track-homes and big box stores....which leads to the never-ending, never-changing suburban sprawl that encompasses much of our country.

    Straight-up, the cost of driving is artificially low.

    We need to increase the costs of driving, so only say 1/3 of the population will actually use it as a commuting choice. For everyone else we will have a healthy mass transit system to provide our densely populated city with easy mobility. Of course you can walk & bike too!

    A wider, car-dominant bridge would take away what is unique about the Portland area. Our city is moving toward a \'fair and balanced\' transportation system, that many prosperous and livable cities provide worldwide, and not the no-planning profiteering that has led to unsightly sprawl nationwide.

    By the way, I own a car.
    I bike to work most of the time.
    I use my car for other uses (laziness, trips, some store runs, more laziness) but I would never consider it my \"commuter\".

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  • nice May 13, 2008 at 9:14 am

    He all. Just a couple of typo corrections (all in CAPS).

    \"It does not make sense TO let Vancouver be Portland\'s blowoff valve.\"

    \"They INSTIGATE DEVELOPMENT SPRAWLING to the cheapest land, building track-homes and big box stores....\"

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  • Ian Clemons May 13, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Thanks for the link to sign the petition.

    A megafreeway expantion is the exact wrong move given the current state of our economy and the realities of worldwide resource depletion.

    We could have done this in the \'80s, but not now. It\'s pure irresponsibility.

    -Ian

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  • Diogo May 13, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    This is the comment I left online:

    Giving the deadly consequences of Global Warming, any project involving transportation affects every single person in this planet, as well as those who weren\'t born yet: the future generations.

    Having said that, I believe that the CRC project must be implemented in such a way that it does not create better conditions for driving with private cars - better driving infrastructure means an increase of Global Warming deadly threats.

    I believe its good that traffic congestion is bad, but I\'m not indifferent to the problems faced by those who must commute through the area. Therefore, I support a Public Transportation project that does not reduce traffic congestion - perhaps a rapid transit alternative that will take over some of the existing lanes. This would benefit those who choose to shift to a more sustainable mode of transportation (public transportation) but not those that insist in driving their own cars. Any project or public policy that rewards private driving is absolutely irresponsible, not to say unethical and utterly immoral.

    If the alternative I suggest is not feasible - I support doing nothing.

    I must add that my opinion would not be any different if I lived or worked in the project area, seeing that, in a warming world, the entire planet could be considered within this project area.

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  • jeff s May 13, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    jeff b (#1) - good slogans! you might also add: \"wake up and smell the (your air pollutant of choice here).\"

    and i know you could indeed go on and on...;)

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  • Dave Sohigian May 16, 2008 at 9:13 am

    I highly recommend that people use the CLF link (https://secure.tumblehome.com/clfuture/columbia_bridge.html) to submit a letter to Metro/Portland/Vancouver officials. I would also suggest that you change the default subject and text with something more specific and from your personal view. The officials have already probably gotten quite a few of the form letters and are probably ignoring the new ones to come through. But if you write something specific it will get noticed. I did, and got a surprising response from a council member in Vancouver. See my blog for details: http://blog.sohigian.com/2008/05/16/bridges-and-democracy/

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