Support BikePortland

Bike bash will raise funds for Rex Burkholder’s Metro campaign

Posted by on March 16th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Helvetia Study Tour Ride-15

Mr. Burkholder.
(Photo © J. Maus)

This Thursday night a fundraising party organized “by and for cyclists” will look to boost Rex Burkholder’s campaign for Metro president.

From the event description:

“Put together by and for cyclists, it’s a great way to help one of Oregon’s cycling pioneers, Rex Burkholder. Enjoy excellent wine and delicious food, try your luck in a grand raffle, and hear Rex talk about his vision for the future of our region — especially where and how bikes fit in!”

So far, the raffle includes a private wine tasting and dinner for eight at event host Grochau Cellars (owner John Grochau is a Burkholder supporter), two season passes for the Cross Crusade, the Short Track MTB series, and other local races.

Notable bike scenesters behind the $25-a-plate event include: Community Cycling Center board member Augusto Carneiro; bike lawyer and veteran bike activist Mark Ginsberg; Bicycle Transportation Alliance board member and co-owner of Team Estrogen, Susan Otcenas; architect and Cross Crusade founder Rick Potestio; bike builder Ira Ryan; race promoter Kris Schamp; Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee member
Kathryn Sofich, and others.

Burkholder, even with his impressive bike credentials, has come under heavy fire for his support of the controversial Columbia River Crossing project in his capacity as a Metro councilor.

Here’s the event flyer:

The event is at Grochau Cellars (2621 NW 30th) this Thursday (3/18) at 6pm. Full details at Rex4Metro.com.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

56 Comments
  • Avatar
    Michael Wolfe March 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I don’t know why anyone who is actually serious about cycling for transportation and remotely paying attention would vote for, let alone provide monetary support for Burkholder, given his unabashed support for the CRC. The project as it’s currently constituted is simply not compatible with any vision of the Portland area in which cycling grows beyond footnote status in the transportation hierarchy.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Paul Tay March 16, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Ya think he might be seeing a vision of CRC most of you guys impersonating Dr. NO might be missing? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. NOT a chance! Not in a million years.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Brian March 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I hope Bike Portland is planning on educating voters/ its readership beyond posting fundraising events. Especially in regards to issues that matter to cyclists such as the CRC and the Region Transportation Plan.
    What are the candidates stances?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Matt March 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I received emails from his campaign and I never contacted them or asked to be on their mailing list. I’m guessing he has “harvested” email addresses from Metro’s vast email lists to use for his campaign. When I sign up for Metro/Tri-met project updates at light rail open houses, I don’t expect to get campaign emails as a result. This kind of activity is very uncool.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Dat Nguyen March 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    This is why I dont support Rex…

    Supporting the megaproject has its political rewards. In one example, construction unions who will benefit from the bridge’s construction have endorsed Metro president candidate Rex Burkholder, who supports the current design, and have donated thousands of dollars to his campaign.

    Burkholder’s opponent Bob Stacey, who vociferously opposes the bridge, trails Burkholder’s campaign donations by nearly $8,000 and has zero union endorsements.

    http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/riding-the-gravy-train/Content?oid=2348087

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the phone call. I’m looking forward to meeting with Bob for an interview on Thursday.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Lisa G. March 16, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    What size did you say you wanted your bridge? (And, by the way, who is Joe Glicker? Hint: follow the CH2M Hill money trail, but don’t choke when you see their track record in places like Spokane..not to mention what’s going on at the Portland Water Bureau).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Brian E March 16, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Matt #4,

    I second the motion on the e-mails. But, how else is he going to contact people who care. I’m getting e-vites from a number of sources, some I know and some that I don’t. I guess i’m OK with that. At least I feel special.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Donna March 16, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Right on, Dat.

    Rex made a choice when he decided to attempt to shove this CRC down the regions throats. He’ll attract new voters with that decision and keep some, as well. He’ll also lose some. (Like me.)

    It’ll be interesting to see if his choice results in him not being re-elected.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    bikieboy March 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I will forever appreciate all that Rex has done for cycling in Portland. Plus he’s a great guy. But, sadly, I’ve got to say that I generally agree with what Dat said – tho I don’t think Rex had been doing cold political vote calculus on the CRC, I think he’s actually imbibed the proverbial kool-aid.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Matt March 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Brian E #4- It just seems like stealing to me if he or anyone else that works for metro or tri-met can use email lists owned by those agencies for personal use/gain. It gives him an unfair campaign advantage over those who do not have access to to the email lists.

    I’m sure he’s done some great work on behalf of bike issues in the past, but with the CRC issue and his poor (illegal?) use of email lists he doesn’t own, he’s not getting my vote.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Peter W March 16, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Jonathan, I agree with what Brian at comment #3 said. While it’s great to see political coverage on BikePortland, I hope that stories like this will provide more background and context related to the politician’s support for bike related issues (e.g. in this case, Rex’s support for the mega-CRC should be noted).

    thanks

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 16, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      Peter W,

      I know you’re a regular reader (Brian isn’t)… so I’m surprised you’d say that. Folks… this post is what it is.. it’s about a bunch of bike people putting on a fundraiser for Rex Burkholder, the guy that helped found the BTA and whose name has been on this site countless times in the past. That’s all it is. Not every story I post will include every bit of context and background on everyone mentioned.

      I guess people have very short attention spans these days. Does anyone remember the lengthy interview I did with Rex a while back that detailed his position on the CRC? Or, how about the in-depth stories I’ve done on the Regional Transportation Plan? Or, how about the many many many articles on the CRC (many of which included Rex)?

      guess I’m getting a bit sensitive because I work my a$@ off to try and be in front of a million things at once and then people nitpick on one story. Come on folks. i’ll get you more coverage on this race in due time.

      Your feedback is noted Peter. Thanks.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 16, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      all that being said (see my comment above), I just went back and added a line about his stance on the CRC.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Joe R. March 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    ditto.. this guy supported CRC.. I’m not a fan.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Scott Mizee March 16, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Thanks for adding the line about the CRC and the referenced article, Jonathan. I’ll re-read that with added interest now that the election is nearing.

    We all recognize you work very hard at what you do, and its easy to be a critic, but apparently, a lot of people had similar reactions to this article. …looking forward to more in depth election coverage in the future! Keep up the good work!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    joe metal cowboy kurmaskie March 16, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    CRC – big rally I spearheaded, videos I made, emails I sent Rex asking him to come out against the bridge at 12 lanes… Don’t have anything against the man personally, just his continued support for 20th century thinking on this front. I am voting for Bob Stacey…. end of story.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Kris Schamp March 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Like Jonathan stated, this is a party that a bunch of us, bike-minded folks are throwing for Rex, as a fun way to give back and show our support for a man who – over the last 20 years – has done quite a bit for Portland-area cyclists and for our region’s livability.

    Rex is a longtime cyclist and bike commuter and in some weird way that makes us think that if he gets elected to be Metro President, there is a good chance that cyclists will somehow benefit and that cycling (both for transportation and for recreation) will figure more prominently in Metro’s vision and roadmaps for our region.

    As for Rex’ position on the Columbia River Crossing, I was pretty encouraged to read the article that Rex posted a couple months ago on his blog:

    http://rex4metro.com/putting-the-crc-into-perspective/

    From what I can tell, Rex (like most other elected local officials) has been hearing loud and clear the various concerns that have been raised by people in the bike community and beyond. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the message has come across as strongly with our respective governors and with ODOT/WDOT, as highlighted in Jonathan’s previous posting.

    Anyway, like everyone else, I am looking forward to Jonathan’s in-depth coverage of this important political race… but first: party time!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Bjorn March 16, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Whoo Hoo bike bash for the CRC, everyone donate 1 dollar per lane! I went to the bus project debate on the CRC and Rex was supposed to be the moderator, but he was so enthusiastic a CRC cheerleader that at one point someone had to scold him.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Scott Mizee March 16, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Interesting article Kris. Thanks for sharing. Don’t get me wrong. I respect Rex and all that he has done for our region.

    I’m also glad to see Rex acknowledges some of the changes in the CRC equation over the last few years, but, I’m still not convinced of his conclusion.

    I’m all for adding light rail and creating a “world class” bike and ped facility between the Couv and Stumptown… but I’m not yet convinced that tearing out the existing I-5 bridges is the best solution.

    Granted… I don’t believe everything I read here, either, but it seems to make more sense and be more reasonable than what I read in Rex’s blog post. Just because the existing bridge is built on “built on sixty foot Douglas Fir timbers buried in sand,” it doesn’t mean it can’t be seismically retrofitted without building an entirely new structure!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    ray thomas March 17, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I read some pretty critical comments tonight and I suggest that it’s incorrect to think unions support Rex only because of CRC. And since when does union support indicate much more than that they are making smart moves to back the person best able to include working people in their world view and priorities? Rex has a long history of fighting for the bicycle movement and a vision of a progressive metro region. That he also has overwhelming union support shows the unions picked the best likely winner in this race. And check out Rex’s own words about CRC at http://rex4metro.com/putting-the-crc-into-perspective/. Decades ago Rex is the guy who challenged the Steel Bridge signs that tried to make us walk our bikes across-he has the interests of the bicycle community closer to his heart than any politician I know. I support him, hope others will, and have donated to his campaign because I think we are lucky that he is willing to continue to lead our region.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    3-speeder March 17, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Rex’s poster asks us to come learn about his vision and learn “where and how bikes fit in.”

    We currently have a car-centric transportation system, arguably with concurrent planning for pedestrians (since sidewalks are commonly built as part of new street construction). But bicycles merely get “fit in” this mix. Safety concerns abound for those riding bicycles on many such streets because the design is inappropriate for bicycles.

    Rather than have bicycles merely “fit in”, we need transportation planning to include all common modes of transportation.

    Perhaps I’m being oversensitive to Rex’s use of the term “fit in” vs. feeling like bicycles (and transit and peds) are equally considered in transportation planning. (See Jonathan’s article from a couple of days ago discussing US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood’s memo about this concept.

    From what I read about the early design of the CRC, that is an example of a design where bicycles are “fit in” (i.e., a lower deck with many unresolved concerns about what folks on bicycles want and need from a bikeway across the river) rather than a design that considers all multimodal needs in an integrated way.

    Perhaps it was merely an unfortunate choice of words from Rex, but it was indeed his choice of words. It would not have been my choice of words – maybe that’s because I have a different view from him on how our transportation design processes need to change.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Ethan March 17, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I’m not for any of the CRC proposals I’ve seen, BUT if Rex is the bad guys, we’re in serious trouble.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Lenny Anderson March 17, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Nothing has disappointed me more in local politics than Mr. Burkholder’s failure to lead on the CRC issue from the start. At some point he drank the Kool-Aid on this one. I miss Ed Washington.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    a.O March 17, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Vote for Bob Stacey or you’re voting for the CRC!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Kris Schamp March 17, 2010 at 10:18 am

    3-speeder (#22): just for the record, the “where and how bicycles fit in” language was mine, not Rex. The context I used it in was not just transportation, but the larger vision for our region, including things like livability, jobs, social issues, the environment, and yes, transportation. As a cyclist and bike advocate, I too have a rather bike-centric view of the world, but I think we need to recognize that bikes are still just one piece of the larger puzzle and that we need to figure out how bikes – both for transportation and for recreation – fit in.

    At the same time, I fully agree with your point that when it comes to transportation planning, bikes very often still seem to be an afterthought. However, if Metro’s recent initiatives around active transportation and regional trails are any indication, we might see the paradigm shift in the not-so-distant future. My hope is that having a passionate cyclist like Rex at the helm will help us get there sooner rather than later.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Just Saying March 17, 2010 at 10:49 am

    “I’m not for any of the CRC proposals I’ve seen, BUT if Rex is the bad guys, we’re in serious trouble.”

    I think that is right, we are in trouble. Because the problem is not the CRC. The problem is that people mistook Rex’s support of bikes for support of a broader vision of Portland. The CRC is just one manifestation of the reality that isn’t true.

    Like Lenny Anderson above, I miss Ed Washington. And I am sorry I knocked on doors, made phone calls and dropped literature to help Rex replace him. He has been a huge disappointment.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger March 17, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I have to say that it is a bit depressing to read some of the posts on this list today (if not old broken record comments).

    …I am not saying vote for Rex because he (and others) did great things to build the modern foundation of bicycling in Portland…but look at the track records of the other Metro candidates – what have they actually done directly for bicycling (vs. current promises). Then decide and vote.

    Yes – the CRC is a large regional transportation project – warts and all and Rex has caught flak from both sides on it. This is the MPO role METRO is supported to play in this diverse region.

    I myself have worked on the design issues 3-Speeder complains about – in the 26+ Ped Bike Advisory Committee meetings…I never saw 3-Speeder (etc.) there (I wish I had and we could talk about the full design issues and tradeoffs – vs. blog from the hip.)

    For now I am stuck riding across a crappy bridge, sprayed by trucks and birds and shot at by cannons. A 20 minute bridge lift is the least of my troubles when I cross it. Again I doubt most of the anti CRC – pro bike bloggers have ever biked across this bridge regularly or even once. Imagine if this were a bridge to the West Hills…I assume there would be a lot more support or at least more balanced discussion.

    In my dreams of a Mount Hood II – I too wish we all could just have an FTA funded (or City of Portland/ Trimet funded) bike ped and LRT bridge that landed in Vancouver…but sadly Sam and others are not offering this nor are the Feds.

    For what it matters this might be the only way of actually getting $$ tolls, HOV lanes, and light rail into the belly of the [your] beast – my Vancouver.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    AaronF March 17, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Seems like a lot of people here think that the CRC is such an important issue they’ll make let their vote depend on it alone.

    I think Burkholder probably thinks that some form of CRC is inevitible, and while some of you would like him to stake the rest of his political career on killing something he thinks in going to happen anyway, I respect his decision.

    Metro is involved in a lot of big things besides the CRC, and hearing “Wait a minute guys” from the Mayors here and the standing Metro President doesn’t seem to be having much of an impact in Salem and Olympia anyway.

    Jonathan, I think your coverage is stellar, and the nit picking comes from people who might want “their side” of the story )about what a villian Burkholder is) repeated any time his name comes up… because we all know that the most important thing the Metro pres does is weigh in on the CRC!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Just Saying March 17, 2010 at 11:43 am

    “I doubt most of the anti CRC – pro bike bloggers have ever biked across this bridge regularly or even once. ”

    I think this could be Rex talking. Yes, the CRC includes better bike facilities than the current bridge. And that is enough for him.

    I think it is impossible to underestimate the impact of the CRC. In practical terms it is an unlimited expansion of the region’s UGB to the north. With the jobs in Portland and unending auto-dependent development in Clark County, Portland will be forced to adapt to the increased traffic.

    The bridge will be congested with traffic the day it opens and will get worse as development proceeds. There are already murmurings about an additional bridge either as a “western bypass” through Forest Park or to the east between Camas and Troutdale. With Portland’s job centers along I5 clogged with traffic, the pressure to build those alternatives will grow right along with the Clark County suburbs.

    That is too high a cost for marginal improvement in the bike facilities along I5 across the Columbia.

    I hope some people will show up at this fundraiser to make sure its clear that while the organizers may be friends of Rex’s, they don’t represent the cycling community. At least not all of it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    beth h March 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I think a lot of the frustration around the CRC is related to how various politicos have acted (or not acted) on it in the last year and a half. But I think anout parge part of the frustration may have to do with the fact that many who ride bikes for transportation are finally beginning to recognize two things:

    1. We live in a car-centric landscape and that won’t change anytime soon;

    2. Our region’s population is growing and THAT won’t change anytime soon, either.

    Those of us who continue to ride bikes as primary transportation will have to accept these realities — and the risks inherent in our choices — while we continue to travel by bicycle.

    There WILL be some kind of change to — or replacement of — the bridge that connects Portland and Vancouver. Whether anyone likes it or not, the new design WILL give precedence to motor vehicles because that’s just how it is.

    I think the worst thing that Rex Burkholder can be found guilty of is a heavy dose of realism. Most politicians have to contend with that sooner or later.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Just Saying March 17, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    “There WILL be some kind of change to — or replacement of — the bridge that connects Portland and Vancouver. Whether anyone likes it or not, the new design WILL give precedence to motor vehicles because that’s just how it is.”

    The current bridge gives precedence to motor vehicles. But more than doubling its capacity is a disaster, not only for cyclists, but for anyone who wants to live in Portland. Those auto-dependent suburbs eventually devour the city with traffic and parking lots, making it unlivable.

    “I think the worst thing that Rex Burkholder can be found guilty of is a heavy dose of realism.”

    Political “realism” depends on what voters do. If you lose, you weren’t realistic.

    Rex is using his reputation as a bike advocate to be the mouthpiece for this project and win support for his candidacy for Metro from the road builders and auto-dependent developers. Yes, that is a form of realism. But is shouldn’t be rewarded.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Michael Wolfe March 17, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    AaronF attempts irony: “because we all know that the most important thing the Metro pres does is weigh in on the CRC!”

    You say this sarcastically, but in my view, this is actually true. Here’s what Metro does:
    * They manage recycling and garbage for the region
    * They manage regional parks and open spaces, including the Oregon Zoo
    * They serve as the regional MPO, coordinating planning and transportation funding allocation

    The most important of these to me is the third role, and I would be surprised to hear it was otherwise for anyone else here. The CRC as it’s currently constituted (a 3.8 billion dollar project) stands to consume the focus of transportation and land use in the region for 20 years, easily. Its budget is over 50% more than we’ve spent to build the entire light rail system, and that’s been almost 30 years in the making. That represents a MASSIVE opportunity cost, and its impact on the transportation budget alone will put a straightjacket on transportation priorities for a generation.

    That would be the case if we just threw the money into a hole in the ground, but the CRC as proposed is worse than just wasting the money. Just Saying has done a good job of explaining the ways in which the CRC is a singularity that will warp land use and transportation in the region in addition to the budget. I think he goes a little far in saying that Portland will be unliveable — there’s plenty to love about Portland, and I think it’s more resilient than he gives it credit for. But the CRC will definitely be a blow against the things that make it great, and a catalyst for wider streets, more congestion, and more parking lots.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Steve B March 17, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    If you care about mitigating traffic and congestion, you should not support the new bridge, it will only exacerbate the problem. The only viable solutions for increasing capacity are (1) tolls (2) mass transit (3) real support for other active transport modes.

    If Rex was being realistic in his support of the currently proposed CRC, he would demonstrate his leadership by calling for a better, viable solution– not what’s on the table now.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    AaronF March 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    My point isn’t that the CRC project isn’t Metro’s baby.

    It’s an interstate project, with tons of other important voices, pretty much all of which either are ok with the CRC as it is or would just like to see it scaled down to some degree. Combating it outright will be pointless and ineffective.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    AaronF March 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    …that first “isn’t” might be an “is”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    peejay March 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    What gets me is how bicycling “activists” get accused of being singleminded in our concerns for bike issues at the expense of the bigger picture. Well, clearly the CRC would provide better bike facilities than the present, yet the clear majority of bike “activists” — including myself — are strongly opposed to this project. Why? Because we DO think of the bigger picture, and see that bike lanes are not what makes a city livable and sustainable; it’s the bigger issues of growth and density and hundreds of other things. We get it. Rex does not. Or at least not about this project.

    By the way, thank you, Jonathan, for providing this forum for us to discuss Burkholder’s viability as a candidate. You trusted your readership to provide the context to your story, and you were right to.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Just Saying March 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    “I think he goes a little far in saying that Portland will be unliveable ”

    Well yes, I exaggerate. After all people live in Detroit and Houston, so they are livable.

    “My point (is) that the CRC project isn’t Metro’s baby”

    I think that is true. But Rex consciously decided to make himself its most public advocate. That was a choice he made, not something that was forced on him. As a result, Rex’s defeat in this election would be a clear rejection of the project as currently designed.

    If it were not for the CRC, Bob Stacey and most of his supporters would probably be supporting Rex. There have been other issues where Rex has not lived up to his rhetoric, but nothing as dramatic as the CRC.

    The CRC will define the region for the next 40 years in the same way Waterfront Park, Pioneer Square, light rail and the rejection of the Mount Hood Freeway defined the region starting in the 1970’s. It will shift the emphasis back to mobility from livability. And there are a whole host of other changes that will follow from that.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    peejay March 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    And, in answer to an above comment, yes, I have been across both the I-5 bridge and the I-205 bridges, several times. I’m just unwilling to trade a future livable Portland for an easier way to Vancouver. I also believe a new — or largely refitted — bridge is inevitable, but not the one envisioned by the CRC planners. My own political calculus is that if the bridge is delayed long enough, eventually the facts on the ground will have changed enough to make a 10- or 12-lane bridge ludicrous to consider.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Joe Rowe March 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    6PM April 8th Fundraiser for….Bob Stacey for Metro President! Save the date and mark your calendar, and bring $20 to donate.

    Location TBD, Central PDX!
    6PM April 8th.

    If you can’t make it, you can have a friend drop off your check. Most of us cyclists drive, and we still hate the Rex Burkholder Memorial CRC bridge. It’s time to show our numbers, and our cash, because cash and volunteering can stop the CRC, and stop Rex.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    JR March 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Just because this issue seems to be central to evaluation of Rex, I will add that instead of CRC project, an LRT bridge for transit, ped, bikes, and autos (local access arterial – non highway) is certainly possible funding wise. We’re expecting $750 million for the LRT component from Feds and could easily muster the remaining dollars for local match using toll revenue on the highway bridges, and other local funds that otherwise would’ve gone into the CRC. Rex and others have developed tunnel vision, which is common when people take on these giant projects as their own.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Doug Allen March 17, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I appreciate that many will support Rex based on his past advocacy for bicycles. But there is no reason to assume that Bob Stacey is any less supportive of bicycles.

    We all do what we can do, and for the 40 years or so that I have known Bob Stacey, he has been working for progressive causes and to preserve the environment.

    Someone had to push to make our land-use laws work, and someone had to promote the bicycle agenda. Sort of a division of labor. Bob rides a bicycle, walks, and uses transit, and has supported those modes as City Planning Director, transportation advisor to Barbara Roberts, staff member to Earl Blumenauer, and at 1000 Friends of Oregon.

    I happen to belive that Bob has the experience, talent and skills to be more effective than Rex in promoting the interests of bicyclists. It isn’t all about the CRC, and Bob would still be a credible candidate even if Rex hadn’t bungled the job of representing Metro on the CRC.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    GB March 17, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Bob Stacy and 1,000 Friends of Oregon was invited to have a representative sit on the planning commitee for the CRC. Bob declined five times! I guess he had more importnat issues to work on. At least Rex was willing to participate in the project and fight for light rail and bike/ped facilities.

    Also, Bob Stacey supports spending on retrofitting the bridge and feels there needs to be 6 lanes of traffic in each direction. He also supports building a facility that offers light rail and bike/ped facilities. (Attned a forum to hear him say this himself).

    Rex also supports 6 lanes each direction and light rail bike/ped facilities.

    If you have a leaky roof, do you keep replacing small parts bit by bit, or, do you re-do the entire roof?

    In the end it usually ends up costing about the same. However, with the new bridge you get more jobs, no delays from the bridge going up and fed money.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    007 March 17, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Burkholder for Metro president? I DON’T THINK SO.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Just Saying March 17, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    “Bob Stacy and 1,000 Friends of Oregon was invited to have a representative sit on the planning commitee for the CRC. Bob declined five times!”

    I am not sure what that has to do with Bob Stacey’s personal opinion. 1000 Friends is a statewide organization and he needed to allocate its resources to statewide concerns.

    The Coalition for a Livable Future (CLF), in which 1000 Friends is a central participant, did have representatives participate. Rex was one of it’s founders, but CLF is now one of the leading opponents of the CRC proposal despite having participated in the process.

    There was never a serious “fight” over light rail, pedestrian or bike facilities. Certainly there is opposition to light rail, but there was never any doubt the bridge would include it.

    BTW, I agree with Doug that Bob Stacey would make a great Metro President even if it weren’t for the CRC. He has a much broader background and more management experience than Rex.

    Had Bob Stacey been providing leadership at Metro during the CRC process, the outcome would have been a lot different. You can see that the current President, David Bragdon, is none too happy with the results after letting Rex take the lead.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Joe Rowe March 17, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    FWD from Bob Stacey, Jan 25th , 2010

    Last week brought a major change to the debate around the “Columbia River Crossing.” The four local government leaders who have been trying to reach agreement with Oregon and Washington highway department officials over the design and function of the proposed replacement of the Interstate 5 bridges are demanding a rethinking of the project.

    In a letter to governors Ted Kulongoski and Chris Gregoire, the mayors of Vancouver and Portland, along with the chair of the Clark County Commission and Metro President David Bragdon, essentially declared that the proposal to build a ten-to-12 lane super-bridge is broken, and asked that they be put in charge of fixing it.

    Their letter declares that the Columbia River Crossing as currently proposed places “unacceptable impacts on our communities.” The letter echoes the issues I’ve been raising about the oversized and overpriced project throughout my campaign for Metro President:

    • It costs too much: the local leaders fear the bridge will have relatively low benefits for the enormous $3.5 billion to $4 billion cost, and they want to see lower-cost alternatives for addressing the bottleneck on the existing bridge.

    • It will do more harm than good: the elected leaders want independent analysis of the proposed project, because of widespread concern that it will lead to more low-density development in northern Clark County, growth in automobile commuting, and more greenhouse gas emissions and harmful air pollution.

    • It won’t do the job of moving freight and reducing congestion: the local officials want to know how trucks will move any faster if increased traffic over the wider bridge makes other bottlenecks “downstream” on I-5 even worse (the project environmental impact statement predicts that after the bridge is built, the 35 percent increase in traffic on I-5 will lead to longer congestion delays than occur today and more cut-through traffic in North and Northeast Portland).

    I’ve suggested improvements
    http://www.bobstacey.com/node/23

    that will make this project more effective while saving billions of dollars, and that can be built in the same time frame. I’m happy to see local government officials on both sides of the Columbia moving in my direction.
    Thank you in advance for your support and involvement,

    Bob Stacey

    Footnote: Last Tuesday evening, at the first joint appearance of the candidates for Metro Council President, Rex Burkholder continued his defense of the 10-to-12-lane multi-billion dollar CRC project that he helped design. But by Friday, he announced that he now supports the four local leaders’ request that the project be fundamentally re-examined. Maybe my arguments really are getting through!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger March 17, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    JR – you bring up an ideal local option…perhaps this will work…but I really have not seen the CRC opposition come up with fundable option yet.

    I hope the recent push to localize the design of this multimodal crossing will get us a better and more financially sustainable project, but I worry it will create more pressure to strip away the light rail or tolls.

    Many of you are well aware of the political pressures pushing on the Oregon leadership of this equation…but may not be as aware of the equally stiff political pressure pushing the SW Washington politicos up here. Though this pressure is pulling them in the opposite direction. And I am not sure the ‘recent’ electorial shifts in Clark County commission and Vancouver council representation will allow them to embrace the project components dear to vocal Portlanders now that the original agreement is dead.

    This thing if it is to be built – it is going to a messy sausage of deals unless one side bribes the other with large cost shifting – new tolls, income tax refunds, lane numbers (commute time shifting) or other.

    Perhaps we are about to revisit history…back in 1915 neither state (nor the railroad) wanted to build and pay for an auto road across the Columbia (aka the Interstate Bridge)…so both cities had to sell bonds paid for by road tolls. (The then new state DoTs took over the bridge in the 1920’s.)

    So perhaps our joint communities will have to buy out the DoTs/ FHWA through local bonding to get the project “we” want?!

    Except for the ‘common enemy’ [aka DoT centric CRC project] I am not sure there is much middle ground left to keep the joint project together long enough for consensus and compromise.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Just Saying March 18, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Todd –

    The huge cost of the bridge is not entirely an accident. One of the driving forces behind this being a regional priority is national political clout. Washington has it in the form of Senator Patty Murray. Oregon doesn’t with Hatfield and Packwood gone. For the DOT’s (and its consultants) one of the purposes of this study was to produce a large project that Patty Murray could/would deliver federal dollars for. The larger the project, the better, in terms of the agencies budgets. That is the reason there were virtually no budget constraints imposed.

    Throughout the process there have been any number of less costly alternatives proposed. The DOT’s have carefully managed the project to prevent them from getting serious consideration.

    Those alternatives included a couple of different proposals for local bridges that would reduce traffic on I5 without providing further incentives for more people who live in Portland to move to rural Clark County and drive to work.

    One of the things that lead to this train-wreck of a process is that Rex and others in Portland were enamored of the idea that they were going to get to experiment with congestion-pricing. An experiment that had almost zero political cost to them, but had huge political problems in Washington.

    It was never realistic that Washington was going to accept tolls sufficient to constrain their rural residential development. The political fallout in Washington that happened was absolutely predictable and a direct result of Rex’s “leadership”.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger March 18, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Just Saying…your points hit both sides of the river’s DOTs and Congressional leaders…they all were looking for the ‘black bacon’ (highway jobs) to be brought home at some level.

    And your comments also should be directed at the two cities directly involved…from what I heard discussed among staff during the options analysis…there was no desire within the cities for the local arterial bridge options due to the simple issue that it would cost them more money over time for O&M…thus keeping that capacity and access tied to the DOT facilities (highway) then the state departments would pay for it. Remember most cities do not get a direct cut of the state fuel tax – this money goes to the state and counties.

    This is just the reality of the US transportation funding model since the post WW2 period…the Feds reward the construction of new stuff on new lands vs. repairing old stuff serving existing users/ neighborhoods. Transportation Planning 201.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger March 18, 2010 at 9:43 am

    And about the toll issue…I am not so sure the Feds would be weaker on the toll issue than the local and county electeds in SW Washington.

    At least under Bush 43…there was a lot of support for highway tolls (a lot more than under Clinton)…Texas and CA are filled with them…it helps fund facilities and later privatize ‘public assets’. I am not sure where the Obama legacy will be on tolls and congestion pricing.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Just Saying March 18, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Todd –

    Just to be clear, I don’t think the Feds are opposed to tolls. When I said Washington, I meant Washington State.

    As far as I know, Portland has no responsibility for any of its bridges. The county and state own all of them. So what you heard may be true. Certainly if the city WANTED those local bridge options on the table, it would have been difficult to keep them off. But I heard comments directly from DOT staff that local bridges had no place in the discussion because it wouldn’t be their project. “If the cities want a local bridge, they can build one. But that isn’t part of this process. We don’t build local bridges.”

    As for pork, yeh there are a lot of people that want more money from the feds. In this case, however, failing to have financial constraints during planning lead to a project that is too rich for the region or the feds. Given a choice, they usually chose the most expensive solution.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Aaron March 19, 2010 at 12:01 am

    I would like to also repeat that Michael Wolfe and Donna’s comments are on the money. Rex used to be worthy of our support. He’s a nice guy and probably thinks he’s doing the right thing. But first and foremost he’s a politician. He’s abandoned the bike community for other groups with more $$. I don’t know which groups they are (maybe unions maybe not). He could be caving into the Governors. I have crossed the I-5 bridge several times (no offense to Todd but just a response). And I absolutely despise the crossing. But it would be very simple (if politically unpopular) to build a bike/transit bridge that reduces demand for SOVs. Now THAT is something I would support.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Joe Rowe March 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

    FYI. The Location for the Fun bike and politics house party for Bob Stacey will be determined soon. We’re trying to keep it central, and fun, and with free beer and lots of safe bike parking. The date is also changing.

    Was:April 8th
    New dates: April 12th Mon, or April 14th Wed.

    ps: I’ve got no paid or unpaid connections to any politician. I’m certain both Bob and Rex have flaws, and would show more flaws as the Metro President. What I’m looking at is who best matches all the metrics of someone who bikes, drives, and believes that fewer lanes means less pollution. Rex things that more lanes will mean less pollution.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Ted Buehler March 19, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Chris Smith on the http://www.portlandtransport.org blog has statements by both Burkholder and Stacey on bicycling and walking.

    http://portlandtransport.com/archives/2010/02/metro_president_4.html

    Ted Buehler

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger March 20, 2010 at 1:56 am

    Just Saying…

    …Thanks for the clarification on which Washington you mention…though you may have to clarify again…’Washington State’ is very toll friendly (as compared to Oregon…just look at all the new DOT projects built or planned in Washington that include tolls. Oregon? (Bridge of the Gods only?)

    On the other hand…SW Washington’s (Clark County and Eastside Vancouver) vocal voices are often against tolls crimping their driving style or out of false libertarian fears of government spending (though this same group almost always wants transportation projects to be social cost born by all – users and non users – thus not user fee paid for).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger March 20, 2010 at 1:57 am

    But lets get back to the topic at hand…Metro Prez.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar