home

Oregon Senate passes CRC bill 18-11

Posted by on March 4th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Sen. Chip Shields, who represents
north and northeast Portland, was one
of 18 yes votes.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregon Senate passed HB 2800 (the CRC bill) today by a vote of 18-11. The vote comes just a week after the House passed it 45-11. The bill will now be signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber.

The bill was carried by Senators Lee Beyer and Bruce Starr, both of whom spoke at length about the project’s benefits and urgency.

Beyer said “the time has come” before rattling of a list of conditions in the bill that must be fulfilled before Oregon can sell $450 million in bonds. One of the questions he offered an answer to was whether or not the $27 million per year bond repayments will impact other transportation projects. That has been a key concern from opponents of the project and has not been clearly answered by ODOT and CRC staff. Beyer said on the Senate floor today that the answer is “To be frank, no and yes.” He said since the project wouldn’t begin construction until 2014, no other priorities would be impacted until then. “On the other hand,” he continued, “the [Oregon] Transportation Commission and the his legislature is always in a position of having to prioritize projects since there’s never enough money. In transportation funding, there’s a sense of everyone taking its turn. And at this point, because of its impact on the entire state economy, the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project is on the top of the list.”

The Senator who spoke most eloquently in opposition to this bill was Portland Democrat Sen. Jackie Dingfelder. She was the only Democrat to vote against the bill. Sen. Dingfelder mentioned many serious concerns she’s heard from constituents that she does not feel are addressed in the bill.

“I am concerned about the impact of diverted I-5 traffic on my district and neighborhoods. The communication from my constituents on this issue and their overwhelming concern about the project is hard for me to ignore because the concerns remain unaddressed.”
— Sen. Dingfelder explaining her no vote

“I am concerned about the impact of diverted I-5 traffic on my district and neighborhoods. The communication from my constituents on this issue and their overwhelming concern about the project is hard for me to ignore because the concerns remain unaddressed.”

Sen. Dingfelder added that she’s “skeptical of modeling results” that show minimal impacts on surrounding streets and said, “I believe this traffic diversion will have a significant impact on my district unless we address the I-205 diversion issue.”

Dingfelder said the bill should have included a mitigation fund to deal with impacts the project will result in for surrounding neighborhoods. She also said she’s worried about long-term funding to pay back Oregon’s investment in the CRC. “Oregon is already facing serious transportation funding challenges,” she said, “and we have no assurances about the impact this project will have on ODOT’s ability to address safety and infrastructure problems on other state-owned highways.”

“SE 82nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard, already badly need improvements that ODOT claims they can’t afford.”

CRC hearing in Salem-7
Sen. Starr.

Senator Starr, in his closing remarks, called the bill a compromise between the “unique political culture in Portland” and the different culture that exists in Clark County and Vancouver. “In order to bring those cultures together, you compromise by combining light rail with a lot of lanes and a lot of capacity.”

Another yes vote that surprised many observers came from Sen. Chip Shields a Democrat who represents north and northeast Portland. Other Portland Senators that voted yes included Sens. Ginny Burdick and Rod Monroe.

Now all eyes turn to the state of Washington. They must make a financial commitment and guarantee light rail’s inclusion in it before anything moves forward.

Below are the complete vote results:

YES
L. Beyer D Springfield 6
G. Burdick D Portland 18
P. Courtney D Salem 11
R. Devlin D Tualatin 19
C. Edwards D Eugene 7
B. Hansell R Pendleton 29
M. Hass D Beaverton 14
B. Johnson D Scappoose 16
T. Knopp R Bend 27
L. Monnes Anderson D Gresham 25
R. Monroe D Portland 24
F. Prozanski D Eugene 4
A. Roblan D North Bend 5
D. Rosenbaum D Portland 21
C. Shields D Portland 22
B. Starr R Hillsboro 15
E. Steiner Hayward D Beaverton 17
J. Winters R Salem 10

NO

H. Baertschiger R Central Point 2
B. Boquist R Dallas 12
B. Close R Albany 8
J. Dingfelder D Portland 23
T. Ferrioli R John Day 30
L. George R Sherwood 13
F. Girod R Stayton 9
J. Kruse R Roseburg 1
A. Olsen R Canby 20
C. Thomsen R Welches 26
D. Whitsett R Klamath Falls 28

NOT VOTING 1

A. Bates D Ashland 3

Email This Post Email This Post


Gravatars make better comments... Get yours here.
Please notify the publisher about offensive comments.
Comments
  • Michael, Portland Afoot March 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    That’d be a “yes” vote from Shields, I think!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • matt picio March 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    “because of its impact on the entire state economy, the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project is on the top of the list.”

    There *is* no impact – bridge counts are *down*. There MAY be an economic impact in the future, *if* bridge counts rise, *if* there is unmet demand in truck traffic, and *if* that traffic goes somewhere else due to congestion. Also, most of the truck traffic they are concerned about does not start nor stop in Oregon – so again, in that case no economic impact.

    Recommended Thumb up 14

  • Hart Noecker March 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Jackie Dingfelder deserves praise as being the sole voice of sanity within our state’s senate Democrats. The rest of them are going to have fun trying to get re-elected anywhere near Portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 53

    • Allan Folz March 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Ha, I wish that were true. Voters have short memories, vote for “their team” no matter what, and the politicians know it. How many incumbents lost their seat over the TARP bailout for Wall Street, 1 month before a Presidential election no less?

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Hart Noecker March 4, 2013 at 6:02 pm

        Fortunately we have groups like Bike Walk Vote who don’t forget.

        Recommended Thumb up 9

        • bike-max-bike March 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm

          Don’t worry folks, the misdeeds of these elected won’t be forgotten. The OLCV Election Scorecard will surely measure these worms accordingly…Oh, wait…

          Recommended Thumb up 4

        • bike-max-bike March 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm

          Don’t worry folks, the misdeeds of these electeds won’t be forgotten. The OLCV Election Scorecard will surely measure these worms accordingly…Oh, wait…

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Marid March 4, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      Republicans are going to have shake out the cushions and see if any loose old timers fall out. The current crop has little chance in Portland. I think you underestimate the support Democrats have in PDX.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Lance P March 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    I’m ashamed for Oregon right now.

    Recommended Thumb up 44

    • JE March 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Well put. So well put I just emailed your comment to my legislators, Sen Sheilds and Rep Kotek.

      Recommended Thumb up 9

  • Jason Lang March 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    So, let me get this straight:
    Oregon just passed a bill for the first part of funding on the bridge. Washington has not, and the federal funds are now in question due to the Sequestration… Why am I thinking that we are going to get stuck with the bill for this boondoggle?

    Recommended Thumb up 14

    • just joe March 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      This whole rush to pass this Bill makes me wonder where the payoff truly is.. and to whom. I already know who’s gonna get stuck with the bill for this Bill.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Joe March 4, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    what happened to GREEN Oregon today? I will keep fighting the good fight
    on the bike here, even if I get bully’ed around by huge 4 wheel gas hogs. and ppl with views that don’t make sense!

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • spare_wheel March 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      If you want a green oregon, then perhaps you should consider voting green instead of blue.

      Just sayin’

      Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Peter W March 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    I would love to hear how Senator Shields explains his vote, in light of the concerns about asthma rates being 3x higher in N/NE than other parts of the city, 32% increase in greenhouse gas according to the CRC’s projections, etc.

    I know that he heard those concerns, because I shared them with him in person.

    Recommended Thumb up 29

    • Hart Noecker March 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks for all your hard work, Peter. Bike Walk Vote, the Coalition for a Livable Future, and the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods also deserve credit for having the courage to wage a real fight in public against the CRC.

      Recommended Thumb up 20

  • Gasper Johnson March 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I politely left a flaming bag of bile on the voicemail doorstep of Sen Shield’s office.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

  • deborah March 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I REALLY do not understand why Portlanders would vote for this…

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • just joe March 5, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      I can’t recall any opportunity to put this to a general vote,rather the votes are at the hands of elected representatives. Kotek and Shields are my Rep and Senator, respectively, and both have usually been on the side for progress and reason. However, both have been totally derailed by CRC. Knowing the impacts to adjoining neighborhoods as well as costs passed on to taxpayers for a dubious project, I expect these will be the votes that define their terms.I am already hearing talk about primary challengers.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Zaphod March 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Are we not better than this?
    A thinking person’s logical conclusion is that this is unworkable yet it’s moving towards the finish line. I will be sure to use whatever means I have to get these people out of office. Call me a one issue voter but this massive project is the quickest way to really do a lot of damage to such a great city.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Barney March 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      “Call me a one issue voter but….”

      It is exactly the one issue voter mentality that enables this sort of thing to happen! Whatever the issue was that made you vote for your representative in the first place is probably forgotten. Now your pi$$ed at them for passing this bill and you want to throw them out. Next time it will be the same thing. Character and principle is what matters in choosing your representative, not the “issue du jour!”

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • BIKELEPTIC March 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    it looks like the sensible ones were the republicans today – who all pretty much voted NO, while all the democrats voted YES….. I’m a little confused here. I forgot what team I was on today.

    Recommended Thumb up 18

    • Norman March 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Right now I’m wishing the Dems didn’t take the House last election.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

    • JNE March 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      What do the polls show across the state population? Anybody know?

      Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Allan Folz March 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I knew Shields was going to vote yes when he never answered the email I sent him last week.

    Recommended Thumb up 11

  • Allan Folz March 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Also not surprised by Burdick. She always talks about working for regular people, but when push comes to shove she is as arrogant and hypocritical as any politician. She knows where Dem’s big campaign money comes from and makes sure those contributors see a return on their investment.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Jon March 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    In my opinion we cyclists need to burn a lot less energy on being anti-car/road and work more on improving local bicycle access. There are very few bicycle commuters traveling back and forth from Vancouver to Portland. The people that live in Vancouver and work in downtown or farther away would move closer to their job if they wanted to commute by bicycle. For the most part they live away from the central core because they dislike the light rail/bicycle/pedestrian transportation culture and the population density that makes it possible. Portland’s bicycle community needs to focus on connecting neighborhoods and improving bicycle access for the short trips that anyone can do on a bicycle. As anyone who has to go from downtown to anywhere SW or north-south in SE knows, there is much work to be done. When the bicycle community gets bent out of shape about projects like the I-5 Bridge which is aimed at improving truck and car over a bridge that is ancient we waste our small amount of political capital on things that are not related to cycling. I’m glad this vote is over. Nobody but the most naïve person should be surprised about the result of the vote based on how much matching $$$ the Federal Government will be sending to the region to employ all kinds of union (Democratic) voters.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Pliny March 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      The CRC is a not a bike issue, except insofar as it is currently (even now in the planning phases) burning cash that would be better spent on road and bridge work elsewhere.

      I’m all for union construction jobs fixing and repairing roads and bridges *throughout* the state where the traffic already exists. Not wasting all the transportation dollars we have on a bridge-to-nowhere-anyone-is-having-a-problem-getting-to.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Barney March 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Jon-

      I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. The question is now, how does the biking community come back to the table to try and shape this to be the best it can be for our interests? Personally, I don’t see how it can be done. When you take the “totally opposed” position on a project like this I think it may then be impossible to become a working partner in its developement. Without any kind of constructive participation foundation there may be no way for cycling interests to be represented. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the “totally opposed” camp is responsible for this becoming the worst possible version for cyclists. Well, at least they will have something new to complain about!

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • CPAC March 4, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        Nicely put.

        We can all agree that it’s a giant waste of money, bad for the long term, but now that it’s passed, it’s important to focus on making the best of things.

        From a bicycling advocate’s point of view, I would think the priorities would be making sure there was good biking access across the bridge, making sure light rail get included and that there are good bike share facilities at facilities in Portland.

        Perhaps the BTA, etc. weren’t so foolish to stand on the sidelines of this one.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • are March 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm

          no, i would much rather the BTA had pissed away tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of pointless effort in opposing this inevitability and then have nothing left with which to argue for decent accommodation for bike/ped/transit.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Hart Noecker March 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

            As the grassroots opposition proved, you don’t need money. The BTA’s excuses and the fact that several of their board members work for companies listed on the CRC supporters page are telling facts. Conflicts of interest like this are why bureaucratic nonprofits are a waste of money.

            Recommended Thumb up 15

        • 9watts March 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

          “From a bicycling advocate’s point of view, I would think the priorities would be making sure there was good biking access across the bridge, making sure light rail get included and that there are good bike share facilities at facilities in Portland.”

          There is going to be no CRC freeway expansion, and the best chance I suspect we have for seeing bike or pedestrian or light rail improvements is if we don’t build it at all.
          Did you not read here that the powers that be already cut back most of the crumbs for active transportation – to save money? Don’t be fooled.

          Putting solar panels on a Walmart doesn’t make Walmart any less likely to hollow out your main streets and put people who work in locally owned businesses out of work. This CRC boondoggle is a sham from start to finish.

          Recommended Thumb up 9

    • Spencer Boomhower March 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      “we cyclists need to burn a lot less energy on being anti-car/road

      Bicycle rider and CRC opponent here. I like cars. They’re amazing in many ways. I just see some serious down sides to being too dependent upon them.

      Roads are great too. I can’t imagine someone being anti-road, though I guess there’s a fringe group for everything. Still, I will admit some bias: I’m only in favor of good roads, and ones that are financially sound. I see every road as a purchase decision, and we need to make good purchase decisions. Or rather, our elected leaders need to make good purchase decisions on our behalf.

      The CRC is a bad purchase decision. It’s not in line with the region’s values — unless most Portlanders think it is freeways that made our city great, and more and bigger freeways would make it better — and it’s outrageously expensive.

      How expensive? How to judge? I mean to me, $3.6 billion for what is basically five miles of freeway (with some light rail attached) certainly seems like a lot, but value only really becomes clear through meaningful comparisons.

      The best comparison to the CRC’s cost I could come up with was: Portland’s streets. According to the Oregonian, all five thousand miles of Portland’s streets are valued at around $5B. The CRC’s $3.6B is, amazingly, in that ballkpark.

      But wait, there’s more: Consider that something like 90% of big megaprojects go over budget by just over 30%; that would expand the CRC’s base cost of $3.6B to $4.8B. That then becomes fairly comparable with the value of all of Portland’s streets.

      Five miles. Five thousand miles. Fairly comparable price tag.

      To put it another way, Portland’s streets are valued at about a million per mile, but the CRC is likely to cost around a thousand million dollars per mile. Yes, the CRC is much wider than most Portland streets. But not a thousand times wider!

      It just doesn’t seem like a good buy.

      And the CRC just furthers the program of putting interstate highways through the hearts of cities, which seems to me more and more like a bad idea.

      Interstates are great for fast travel between vast destinations – I’ve traveled up and down and across the country, and was glad to not have to do it on local roads – but plug interstate highway design parameters (high-speed movement that never stops) into a city’s dense cluster of destinations, and the interstate is bound to break, to clog up at the slightest hiccup.

      And the interstate breaks the city; interstate highways are big long rips in the interconnected weaves of urban neighborhoods.

      Even Eisenhower – the guy for whom the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System was named – himself expressed shock upon learning the system he had promoted was being routed through the hearts of cities. Maybe he saw the problems coming.

      The CRC, and the larger pattern of which it’s a part — the plowing of interstate highways through cities — are just bad ideas. Not earth-shatteringly bad, just regular bad. Seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time bad.

      While also being gigantic, and astoundingly expensive.

      I appreciate the lemonade-from-lemons sentiment being expressed here, but those lemons dried up sometime last century. And our elected leaders are trying to pay the nice man at the fruit stand a thousand of our valuable tax dollars for them.

      Still, I’d probably switch to mitigation mode if the CRC were to start to seem inevitable, but I don’t think it’s quite there yet.

      Recommended Thumb up 21

    • Marid March 5, 2013 at 2:16 am

      Well said, Jon.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • just joe March 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      After CRC sucks every available dollar from every source imaginable, you may feel otherwise. Money for safety..sorry. Money for trails? Nyet.
      Money for CRC enhancements? Why do only half a job? Go for it.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Steve B March 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Please write a quick thank you to sen.jackiedingfelder@state.or.us !

    She absolutely rocks for stepping up to vote no on this.

    Recommended Thumb up 12

    • maxd March 4, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      and drop a note to Chip, too, and ask him what he was thinking when he supported this?
      sen.chipshields@state.or.us
      I cannot fathom his willingness to bring 12 lanes into the heart of the neighborhoods he represents where they will funnel down into 6 lanes, causing diversion, pollution, increased asthma, decreased quality of living, etc. Besides all of the great reasons to vote against this project (corruption, poor design, too low, promotes sprawl, environmental disaster, bad urban planning, can’t afford it, light rail won’t work, ruins Hayden Island, etc) Chip Shields’ district has the very most to lose. WTF?

      Recommended Thumb up 12

      • sd March 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

        Agreed, what a tool!

        Recommended Thumb up 10

      • Concordia Cyclist March 4, 2013 at 9:43 pm

        Thanks for the link – left him my own Dear John letter.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Rol March 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Ah yes, the “urgency” of the project. Urgency – the one thing all lying-ass sales pitches for crappy things have in common.
    “Act now!”
    “Supplies are limited!”
    “…for a limited time!”
    “Sale ends tonight at midnight!”

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • Kevin Wagoner March 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    This is a good call out by Sen. Dingfelder, “said the bill should have included a mitigation fund to deal with impacts the project will result in for surrounding neighborhoods.”

    It would be great to see a fund set aside to address transportation safety mitigations due to the impacts of new traffic patterns. Better yet lets make sure out current system is safe for everyone then start to build onto it. We have some many streets without safe places to walk that to me it really makes sense to address that first.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Concordia Cyclist March 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I will now actively work against Chip Shield’s reelection. I had no reason before this to oppose him (in fact, I voted for him), but he clearly has caved in to big money instead of supporting the neighborhoods that elected him and made it very clear they did not support this. Apparently, his constituents no longer matter to him.

    Recommended Thumb up 14

  • was carless March 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    So, apparently the state isn’t broke if they can drum up $27 million/year for a make-believe bridge that wasn’t even planned well enough to allow boats underneath it.

    Funding bike lanes should be easy by comparison!

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • wsbob March 5, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Retired two-term governor Vic Atiyeh…remember, or heard about that guy, any of you? ….most recently interviewed by the O’s columnist Duin, had this to say about the CRC:

    ” “We’re not in good shape and we’re going to build another bridge? It’s insane,” Atiyeh argues. “And it’s a fantasy that they think they’re going to take care of the traffic.” ” duin/Oregonian http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/steve_duin/index.ssf/2013/03/steve_duin_a_third_vic_atiyeh.html

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • paul g. March 5, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I’ve been observing this mainly from the sidelines, and am professionally skeptical of extremes. With that fair warning, I think those opposed to the bridge need to read Spencer’s post above and then read, and re-read, and re-re-read Ron Buel’s posts on the previous thread.

    If CRC opponents really want to defeat this bridge, they need to build an alliance with Clark County, suburban Washington County, and the rest of Oregon (who after all does dominate the legislature–we don’t ALL live in Portland), not demonize them. You need to point out how this bridge is a budget buster, won’t solve traffic problems, and that you have a better alternative in hand.

    You need to acknowledge that you DID have a seat at the table for the past few years–Mayor Adams and other Metro stakeholders were part of all the planning meetings yet didn’t raise much of an objection until very late in the game. (I suspect Adams was bought off by the Max line and held his nose on the rest.)

    You need to recognize that many of the folks you allied with to win the elections in 2008, 2010, and 2012 are not on your side on this issue. And if you say you are going to throw them overboard, they’ll have no problem working with a more conservative Democrat or Republican. They are motivated by JOBS JOBS JOBS, and if and until you can translate your pro-bike, pro-environment sentiments into economic growth (this CAN be done) then you are not going to be a very reliable ally for them.

    And above all, a bit of modesty would go a long way. Anger can translate into action during an election, but don’t go very far during the nitty gritty of a legislative session. To take one example, Jules Bailey is at no risk. He can easily defeat an underfunded primary opponent from the left and has such a safe seat that there is no threat from the right.

    The rest of the state of Oregon doesn’t appreciate Portland arrogance on many issue, even though the city is the economic engine of the state.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • Marid March 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

      Re: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: I wouldn’t be surprised if recent expansion plans underway by Nike and Intel included an understanding that the bridge would move forward. Other companies may also have voiced strong support behind the scenes.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Allan March 5, 2013 at 10:32 am

        My impression is that Intel is somewhat opposed to the additional congestion on I-84 and the freeway loop around portland. The reason is that travel between the fabs in Hillsboro and PDX is how they get shipments to Asia so unpredictability on this route is not good for them in general. Not sure on Nike

        Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Peter W March 5, 2013 at 10:34 am

        Certainly there are plenty of companies that have signed on as supporters, but I’m not seeing Intel or Nike on that list:

        http://www.crossingcoalition.com/CRC_Sprtrs.aspx

        Interesting that OHSU and the University’s Chief of Staff is on that list though.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • 9watts March 5, 2013 at 10:11 am

      “They are motivated by JOBS JOBS JOBS, and if and until you can translate your pro-bike, pro-environment sentiments into economic growth (this CAN be done)”

      I agree that the promise of more JOBS, however fleeting, or fanciful, or wrongheaded, holds sway. But I don’t agree that growth is still possible or desirable in the present moment or into the future. Many people smarter than me are pointing this out. Here’s just one:
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/haydnshaughnessy/2013/02/01/is-it-the-end-of-growth/

      Note the source: Forbes, not James Howard Kunstler.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • are March 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      the construction “jobs” are of course temporary, though if we have to bring people in from elsewhere we could get some spillover economies. the longer term purpose of expanding the bridge is through shipment of goods from over there to over there, and the local passenger automobile traffic keeps getting in the way. if there were a way to create the shipping lane without bringing all the local traffic along, we would not be repeatedly facing this problem.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • GlowBoy March 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Disappointing but not surprising. As Spencer Boomhower pointed out, this is a VERY low bang-for-the-buck freeway expansion project when we have so many other pressing needs. There’s no way it will come in on budget, especially with a number of the bridge’s basic design parameters still in contention. If the initial funding for this project doesn’t suck dollars away from EVERY infrastructure project we actually need, the overruns will.

    By the way, GREAT thanks to Ted Wheeler for continuing to sound alarm bells about the CRC’s financing scheme.

    The shell game of justifications by this project’s proponents would be hilarious if the stakes weren’t so high. First they say we need CRC because I-5 bottlenecks are impeding interstate commerce. Point out that through trucks can take I-205, and they say we need CRC because the bridges are about to fall down. Point out that they are actually sound and should be for several decades to come, and they say we need CRC because of all the bridge lifts. Point out that the imperative to avoid a lift span has created an irreconcilable design problem, and that the ultimate design might still include a lift span, and they say we need CRC because congestion is costing the region too much. Point out that the bottlenecks will just get shifted elsewhere, that the cost of the project exceeds the collective cost of congestion, that most of the congestion comes from local traffic on I-5 and that there are more cost-effective ways of mitigating that; and they say we need CRC so we can improve transit and bike/pedestrian access to Vancouver. Point out (as 9watts has) that political and fiscal pressure may well cause LRT and improved bike/pedestrian facilities to be removed from the final bridge design, and they say we need CRC because of JOBS. Point out that the jobs are temporary and we could generate the same number of jobs on other infrastructure projects that provide greater community benefit, and they say we need CRC because I-5 congestion is impeding interstate commerce. Around and around we go…

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • Paul in the 'couve March 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Well, another silver lining, if ODOT bankrupts itself on this debacle they will never have the money to do the freeway expansion they want in the Rose Quarter and the City won’t go along with it – especially if the voters are upset.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Alain March 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Comments about being “anit car/road” are unnecessary and counter-product. You want to be devils advocate, fine, but why resort to such rhetoric, esp if you want the people you’re talking to listen.

    One can be anti-CRC without being anti-car/road. One can even resent the inequities created by funneling more and more money to projects that do more for SOVs than the freight the CRC project advisors claim to want to move, and yet still not be anti-car/road.

    People who have been watching this and other highway projects in the corridor are upset because it’s fiscally irresponsible, and likely won’t stop with the CRC.

    There are plans for expansion at the Rose Quarter, which will call for expansion at the at the choke point between Hayden Island and the Rose Quarter. And there has been (for decades) plans to bury I-5 where it now sits on the east bank of the Willamette across from downtown. The CRC is one of a chain of expansion projects for the corridor.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • 007 March 9, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Democrats with integrity, such as my senator, Jackie Dingfelder, need to oppose these spineless incumbents next election. My other senator, Michael Dembrow, you’re OUT OF HERE dude.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

- Daily bike news since 2005 -
BikePortland.org is a production of
PedalTown Media Inc.
321 SW 4th Ave, Ste. 401
Portland, OR 97204

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Clemens Orth.
Subscribe to RSS feed


Original images and content owned by Pedaltown Media, Inc. - Not to be used without permission.