Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on August 19th, 2009 at 1:26 pm
Last week we pointed out an article by The Oregonian’s editorial board about funding for the bike and pedestrian facility on the new I-5 bridge.
The response was written by BTA Board Chair Mary Roberts and Vice-Chair Stephen Gomez on behalf of the Board and the Staff Advocacy Committee. Here’s the BTA’s response:
“The Oregonian’s point about looking closely at the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project is well-taken and examining the goal of the project is the most obvious place to start.
Rather than merely aiming to move more “trains, cars, and trucks” across the river, the goals ought to be to improve the quality of communities and health of the economy in the close surrounding areas, the region, and farther. However, building this bridge and seven interchanges would win the battle of peak-hour auto congestion but lose the larger, more significant war for an improved economy, better health, clean air, livability, and prudent investment.
This CRC project is, and remains, a $4 billion mistake. As conceived, it is, quite simply, money not well spent in creating higher quality communities. To be fair, it is a complex project with real needs to be met – such as improved traffic safety, transit access and freight mobility. But, the seven-mile project corridor lacks consistent bike-able paths and roadways, making this is a bike bridge to nowhere for cyclists.
I urge the project team to heed the community’s desires and envision a transportation corridor for the 21st century. This is the northwest, a bastion of creative thinking and environmental innovation. Surely we can do better.”
This response has not yet been published (either as a letter to the editor or a guest editorial) by The Oregonian.