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Checking in on the race for Metro president

Posted by on April 9th, 2010 at 9:45 am

Metro President hopeful Bob Stacey-1

Bob Stacey

Rex Burkholder
(Photos © J. Maus)

There’s just over a month before voters decide on a new president of Metro, our region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization. There are three solid candidates for the position: Tom Hughes, Bob Stacey, and Rex Burkholder.

Among people in the community that care about bicycling, the choice between the two Portland frontrunners — Stacey and Burkholder — is a tough one.

Burkholder is one of the founders of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and one of this city’s most respected and active bike advocates — not to mention he’s put thousands of miles riding on Portland’s streets. However, his support for the Columbia River Crossing project has diminished his profile with some people that are passionate about biking and the environment who feel that a major change of direction in the mega-project is necessary.

Stacey on the other hand has been an unwavering and vociferous critic of the CRC project. This difference of opinion about the CRC has made it a key issue in this race.

Sexy Schwinns and Trektosterone Rides-8

Joe Rowe

North Portland resident Joe Rowe, a frequent face at grassroots bike events around town, is supporting Bob Stacey specifically because of his opposition to the CRC. Rowe has organized a fundraising event for Stacey that will be held at Roots Brewing this Monday from 5:30 to 7:30.

In response to a recent post about a Burkholder fundraising event, Michael Wolfe — an urban planning graduate student at Portland State University and long-distance biking enthusiast — wrote in a comment on BikePortland: “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.”

Another commenter wrote that, while he’ll “forever appreciate all that Rex has done for cycling in Portland,” but he won’t vote for Burkholder because, “I think he’s actually imbibed the proverbial kool-aid [on the CRC project].”

On the other hand, Burkholder has retained support of some major names in Portland bike advocacy. A look at campaign contributions shows significant donations to Burkholder’s campaign from such local biking stalwarts as Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves, CEO of Alta Planning Mia Birk, bike lawyer Ray Thomas, and others.

Along with Birk, the director of the Institute for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation at PSU Lynn Weigand, the board chair of the BTA Mary Roberts and others will host a fundraiser for Burkholder at Alta Planning headquarters in Southeast Portland next week.

As the race enters the home stretch, Burkholder is making a strong push to burnish his biking credentials. His campaign has planned a “Ride With Rex” event for Sunday April 18th and today they debuted web video of Burkholder riding his bike through town as he reflects on life and bike issues (watch it below).

Will Burkholder be able to shore up his base of bike-riding voters? Even those who are not satisfied with his position on the CRC? Will Stacey woo enough of the bike vote to give Burkholder a run for his money?

The three candidates will face off today at noon during a debate at the City Club of Portland. I’ll post a link to the video and/or audio once it’s available.

Stay tuned for more coverage on this race (I sat down with Bob Stacey recently and hope to share parts of our conversation next week). In the meantime, I’d like to hear what BikePortland readers feel about this race: Who will get your vote?

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

54 Comments
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    Paul Cone April 9, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Congressman Earl Blumenauer is also a major name in Portland (and national) bike advocacy, and he has endorsed Bob Stacey.

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    rickegee April 9, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Bob Stacey was Earl Blumenauer’s chief of staff so I wouldn’t expect an unbiased endorsement there.

    Both Burkholder and Stacey are great choices to have. It is a win-win situation for bikes.

    I look forward to the upcoming debate. Thank you, Jonathan, for your continued attention to this important race.

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    Paul Cone April 9, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Of course not. But the term “unbiased endorsement” is an oxymoron, isn’t it?

    I also sensed a bit of bias in this article from Jonathan. This is more than just a no or yes on Rex race.

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    jim April 9, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Jonathon- With you being a resident of north portland I’m sure you are aware of just how many people are using the neighborhood streets as an alternate for I-5. I-5 is all backed up during rush hour so people cut through your neighborhood using interstate ave., n Williams, MLK….
    It would be much better for cyclists if all of those cars were to remain on I-5 all the way from Vancouver to Downtown or beyond.
    As much brainwashing as we all get about CRC, it is sometimes hard to remember the positive improements we are going to have in our neighborhood. Less cut-through traffic, less cars sitting idling for 20 minutes on the freeway making more pollution than if they were to pass through at a speed where their engines are performing at their peek efficiency and be gone in about 4 minutes…
    Sounds like Burkholder has the better vision and the willingness to stand up for what is right rather than to just listen to special interests unfounded claims.

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    benschon April 9, 2010 at 11:15 am

    That video is the first time I have ever seen Rex wear a helmet. Not judging; just sayin’.

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    Paul Cone April 9, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Roger Geller is known not to wear a helmet. I’m known to not wear a helmet, either. Are those something to judge our candidates by?

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    Andrei April 9, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Certainly not the sole or even major criteria by which to judge candidates. But it does show a thoughtless disregard for your own life and limb; and shows a perpetuation of a macho myth that as long as you are a “good rider” (however that is defined), you’ll be fine. Helmets, just like seatbelts, save lives.

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    Peter W April 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Portland is at a point where we have more of a land use problem than a bike infrastructure problem, so someone with a strong background in land use could actually be a better “bike candidate” than someone who has a background in cycling advocacy.

    Case in point: the recent urban/rural reserves process. No amount of bicycle infrastructure changes will get people riding if we keep sprawling into the countryside and people live 10 miles from school, work, or the grocery store.

    Jonathan, if you happen to talk to these candidates and ask questions, I’d love to hear what their opinions on future urban growth are.

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    nuovorecord April 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    @Jim #4 – I hear what you’re saying. But one of the big problems is that the CRC will encourage more car trips than what we currently have at present. Those cars are going to make it more difficult for cyclists and pedestrians, both in NoPo as well as other parts of the region.

    For me, the difference between the Bob and Rex on the CRC issue is that Bob realizes the current project is out of sync with what Portlanders want and that we can do better. Rex seems to think that the current project is as good as we can do.

    I think the world of both Bob and Rex, and still haven’t made up my mind, as I don’t like voting for candidates based on one issue. But this one is pretty large and I’d say that if I had to choose today, it’d be Bob.

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    Fabo April 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Jim, you’re correct that in the short run, the CRC is likely to reduce local street congestion caused by cut-through traffic.

    However, in the long run (and sooner than you think), the congestion of local streets will return to their current conditions, and the increased demand will make the situation worse.

    The traffic planners can mitigate this with tolls, but the specific details of their implementation are unclear. Unless they do variable-pricing to respond to congestion, it’s still going to be a mess.

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    GreenEugene April 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I find it fascinating that Rex mentions that BTA sued the City of Portland to get them to put in bike lanes near the Rose Quarter and yet Eugene just rebuilt a major road (Crest Drive) and refused to put in bike lanes despite the very dedicated work of Paul Moore to bring the need for bike lanes to the City of Eugene’s attention.
    It would seem that the lesson hasn’t been learned everywhere.
    Perhaps BTA would be interested in suing the City of Eugene? Maybe? Please?

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    Andrew April 9, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Absolutely Bob Stacey. He has a superior environmental vision and is right to oppose the CRC on those grounds.

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    Paul Cone April 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    So I guess we ARE judging the candidates based on whether they wear a helmet or not then (which is a personal choice, last time I checked). Can we dig up something on their sex lives, too? Separate some macho myths from reality?

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    Andrei April 9, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Paul, exercise your free will. No one is trying to dispute that. You’re free to not wear a helmet, and I am free to think that decision shows poor judgment(and I am free to think that any candidate who exercises that same choice also shows poor judgment, and showing that you have poor judgment should matter in politics).

    Know that you are much more likely to get injured or killed as a direct result of that choice. If you don’t care about that; and if people who know and love you don’t care about that, so be it.

    This past year I had a serious bike accident (i’ve ridden for 30 years); and that helmet saved my life. That is all.

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    Steve B. April 9, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    They both appear to be strong candidates that share a lot of the same guiding principles. I don’t think Rex’s BTA experience carries much weight compared to his positions as Metro Councilor. Rex could be much more outspoken, more of a guerrilla bureaucrat than he has been. Right now, Stacy has my vote.

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    jim April 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Fabo-
    Another thing may happen with CRC also- people may relocate themselves across the river that never wanted to deal with the traffic jams we currently have and actually reduce cars here. I like vancouver, I wouldn’t mind not paying income tax, I just don’t want to deal with the bridge.

    HomeForumsPhotosJobsStolen BikesClose CallsEvents

    « Two big announcements from United Bicycle InstituteChecking in on the race for Metro president
    Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 9th, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Bob Stacey
    Rex Burkholder
    (Photos © J. Maus)

    There’s just over a month before voters decide on a new president of Metro, our region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization. There are three solid candidates for the position: Tom Hughes, Bob Stacey, and Rex Burkholder.

    Among people in the community that care about bicycling, the choice between the two Portland frontrunners — Stacey and Burkholder — is a tough one.

    Burkholder is one of the founders of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and one of this city’s most respected and active bike advocates — not to mention he’s put thousands of miles riding on Portland’s streets. However, his support for the Columbia River Crossing project has diminished his profile with some people that are passionate about biking and the environment who feel that a major change of direction in the mega-project is necessary.

    Stacey on the other hand has been an unwavering and vociferous critic of the CRC project. This difference of opinion about the CRC has made it a key issue in this race.

    Joe RoweNorth Portland resident Joe Rowe, a frequent face at grassroots bike events around town, is supporting Bob Stacey specifically because of his opposition to the CRC. Rowe has organized a fundraising event for Stacey that will be held at Roots Brewing this Monday from 5:30 to 7:30.

    In response to a recent post about a Burkholder fundraising event, Michael Wolfe — an urban planning graduate student at Portland State University and long-distance biking enthusiast — wrote in a comment on BikePortland: “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.”

    Another commenter wrote that, while he’ll “forever appreciate all that Rex has done for cycling in Portland,” but he won’t vote for Burkholder because, “I think he’s actually imbibed the proverbial kool-aid [on the CRC project].”

    On the other hand, Burkholder has retained support of some major names in Portland bike advocacy. A look at campaign contributions shows significant donations to Burkholder’s campaign from such local biking stalwarts as Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves, CEO of Alta Planning Mia Birk, bike lawyer Ray Thomas, and others.

    Along with Birk, the director of the Institute for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation at PSU Lynn Weigand, the board chair of the BTA Mary Roberts and others will host a fundraiser for Burkholder at Alta Planning headquarters in Southeast Portland next week.

    As the race enters the home stretch, Burkholder is making a strong push to burnish his biking credentials. His campaign has planned a “Ride With Rex” event for Sunday April 18th and today they debuted web video of Burkholder riding his bike through town as he reflects on life and bike issues (watch it below).

    Will Burkholder be able to shore up his base of bike-riding voters? Even those who are not satisfied with his position on the CRC? Will Stacey woo enough of the bike vote to give Burkholder a run for his money?

    The three candidates will face off today at noon during a debate at the City Club of Portland. I’ll post a link to the video and/or audio once it’s available.

    Stay tuned for more coverage on this race (I sat down with Bob Stacey recently and hope to share parts of our conversation next week). In the meantime, I’d like to hear what BikePortland readers feel about this race: Who will get your vote?

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    Posted on April 9th, 2010 at 9:45 am. Filed under Front Page, News, Politics. Feel free to respond.

    Possibly related posts

    •Press Release: Liberty to run for Metro re-election
    •Metro trail committee headed to Amsterdam, Copenhagen
    •Metro councilors set for their own ‘commute challenge’
    •Metro passes Columbia Crossing resolution
    •Portland’s first ever triathlon will be eco-friendly

    13 Responses to “Checking in on the race for Metro president”
    Paul Cone
    April 9th, 2010 10:12
    1Congressman Earl Blumenauer is also a major name in Portland (and national) bike advocacy, and he has endorsed Bob Stacey.

    rickegee
    April 9th, 2010 10:39
    2Bob Stacey was Earl Blumenauer’s chief of staff so I wouldn’t expect an unbiased endorsement there.

    Both Burkholder and Stacey are great choices to have. It is a win-win situation for bikes.

    I look forward to the upcoming debate. Thank you, Jonathan, for your continued attention to this important race.

    Paul Cone
    April 9th, 2010 10:53
    3Of course not. But the term “unbiased endorsement” is an oxymoron, isn’t it?

    I also sensed a bit of bias in this article from Jonathan. This is more than just a no or yes on Rex race.

    jim
    April 9th, 2010 11:02
    4Jonathon- With you being a resident of north portland I’m sure you are aware of just how many people are using the neighborhood streets as an alternate for I-5. I-5 is all backed up during rush hour so people cut through your neighborhood using interstate ave., n Williams, MLK….
    It would be much better for cyclists if all of those cars were to remain on I-5 all the way from Vancouver to Downtown or beyond.
    As much brainwashing as we all get about CRC, it is sometimes hard to remember the positive improements we are going to have in our neighborhood. Less cut-through traffic, less cars sitting idling for 20 minutes on the freeway making more pollution than if they were to pass through at a speed where their engines are performing at their peek efficiency and be gone in about 4 minutes…
    Sounds like Burkholder has the better vision and the willingness to stand up for what is right rather than to just listen to special interests unfounded claims.

    benschon
    April 9th, 2010 11:15
    5That video is the first time I have ever seen Rex wear a helmet. Not judging; just sayin’.

    Paul Cone
    April 9th, 2010 11:19
    6Roger Geller is known not to wear a helmet. I’m known to not wear a helmet, either. Are those something to judge our candidates by?

    Andrei
    April 9th, 2010 11:36
    7Certainly not the sole or even major criteria by which to judge candidates. But it does show a thoughtless disregard for your own life and limb; and shows a perpetuation of a macho myth that as long as you are a “good rider” (however that is defined), you’ll be fine. Helmets, just like seatbelts, save lives.

    Peter W
    April 9th, 2010 12:00
    8Portland is at a point where we have more of a land use problem than a bike infrastructure problem, so someone with a strong background in land use could actually be a better “bike candidate” than someone who has a background in cycling advocacy.

    Case in point: the recent urban/rural reserves process. No amount of bicycle infrastructure changes will get people riding if we keep sprawling into the countryside and people live 10 miles from school, work, or the grocery store.

    Jonathan, if you happen to talk to these candidates and ask questions, I’d love to hear what their opinions on future urban growth are.

    nuovorecord-
    If we don’t deal with this problem it will get worse as our population increases. Seattle is a good example of not keeping up with the demands of the people. People that drive- are going to keep on doing just that regardless of whatever special interest groups want

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    jim April 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I didn’t type all of that last message- I don’t know how all of that got there.
    Sorry J if I screwed it up somehow???

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    Chris O'Neill April 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I am a bike commuter who will vote for Rex because he understands the difference between being an advocate and an elected official, and is willing to make hard choices and pragmatic compromises. It’s much easier to be an outsider critic like Bob Stacey, but so much harder when your job as Metro councilor includes making really difficult decisions like following our land use laws to insure a 20 year supply of buildable land within the urban growth boundary. Rex has consistently shown that he is willing to put in the time required to attend countless meetings and work with different constituencies to come up with reasonable solutions, even if there is a political cost to do so.

    While we are all concerned that a new CRC will eventually encourage more car trips, opponents overlook many crucial reasons to replace the current bridge, perhaps due to their naive and unrealistic belief that not replacing the current bridge will somehow lead to thousands of car commuters switching to bikes. First, the current congestion causes tons of air pollution to North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods as cars sit in rush hour traffic. The current bridge is a huge impediment to bike commuters, as anyone who has ridden over it will acknowledge, and a new bridge would make it so much more bike-friendly. A new CRC will also include light rail, which won’t happen without a new bridge. CRC opponents don’t offer solutions to these current environmental problems, but would be wise to concentrate their efforts on land use policies in Clark County as a way to address their growth concerns.

    We need leaders like Rex who are willing to make the really difficult decisions that are best for our entire community, and not just fellow bike advocates. It would have been easy for Rex to criticize the CRC with his environmental and bike advocacy background, but we are better served when our elected officials realize they need to make these tough decisions, and not just advocate for the special interests which helped get them elected.

    One final thought: those of us bikers who want the public to support Portland’s ambitious and expensive bike infrastructure plan would be wise to not be seen to be insensitive to the need to address the current congestion and pollution caused by the existing bridge.

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    peejay April 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Put me down as a “special interest” who will not support a CRC supporter.

    One final thought for Chris O’Neill: after all our money is spent on the CRC, there won’t be any left for our “ambitious and expensive infrastructure.” And any plan that replaces the current congestion and pollution with MORE congestion and pollution is a plan I will not support.

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    John Milliken April 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Hi all,
    Full disclosure: I’m a bud, sometime biking buddy of Rex (keep that helment on yer noggin’ REX – tweed ain’t ANSI rated) and an advocate of what he has accomplished during his tenure at METRO …. so …. my vote is going to him.
    On the CRC Bridge. There are details on that issue that I disagree with Rex BUT at somepoint that bridge will require an upgrade/replacement. Rex is correct to push the vision – not simply for today but for the future of the region.
    I5 is, like it or not, the major NS conduit for traffic from Canada to Mexico. The bridge should get an extra lane of traffic in both directsion AS WELL as light rail, separate pedestrian and bicycle lanes. I used to commute by bike from my home in NE Portland to Vancouver – no picnic but hey I’m an old spandex warrior.
    So if you support Bob, Tom or Rex – please please think long term (20 to 50 years ahead).
    Thx fer readin’ – keep yer head up, eyes open and be safe out there.

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    Andrew April 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Re: Chris

    Light rail CAN happen without expanding highway lanes. Demand CAN be reduced and congestion lessened without expanding highway lanes. THOSE are actual “tough decisions” that could, and should be made.

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    GLV April 9, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Light rail CAN happen without expanding highway lanes.

    If you can garner the necessary support of Clark County leaders for your proposal, please tell us how.

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    Mia Birk April 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Here’s why I support Rex for Metro President:
    • Metro is a unique govt. agency that represents 26 cities and three counties. Coalition building and being able to navigate tricky politics between very divergent officials and issues region-wide is essential. Rex has proven this as a Councilor at Metro, managing to gain regional support for greatly increased funding for trails and bikeways, nature in neighborhoods, greenspace acquisition, tightly drawn urban expansion, increased density throughout the region, and investments in new transit lines, among other initiatives. Folks, this is tough, tricky, complex stuff. Outside the inner part of Portland, support for these types of initiatives is much tougher to garner. As President, he will hit the ground running, given his strong alliances all across the region.
    • Rex has ridden a bicycle for his daily transportation for more than 30 years. He leads by example. In my experience, those that ride are much better leaders when it comes to bicycle issues than those that don’t. Over my career, I’ve had numerous politicians ask for my support or help to get through an election, but pay lip service to bicycling in their daily lives and post-campaign careers. Folks, when it comes to electing one of our own, Rex is the real deal. Rex loves bicycling and is 100% dedicated to seeing more bikeway infrastructure throughout the region.
    • He led the BTA to sue the City back in 1993; this changed the course of history, pushing the entire state toward the provision of bike lanes and sidewalks.
    • In addition to being a founder of an alternative middle school and the BTA, he is a co-founder of the Portland State University Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation, for which he was instrumental in gaining support and funding. He and his wife Lydia personally fund an annual scholarship for a student dedicated to bicycle transportation, and have personally been generous donors to the BTA, CCC, and other environmental groups for many years.

    Like many of you, I am opposed to a 12-lane CRC and was disappointed by Rex’s stance. However, I have to acknowledge that Rex was there for three years representing us, so the project thankfully includes light rail, bicycle and pedestrian improvements and will use tolls to manage traffic demand. The current design still needs work to meet our goals for sustainability, and Rex agrees. And he is still at the table pushing for us. In Rex’s career, his involvement with the CRC is his only blemish. That’s not enough to lose my vote.

    If you look at Rex’s record, you will see a true leader, one who has put bicycle transportation, along with walking, transit, neighborhood livability, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, equity preservation of land, transportation reform, and regional unity at the top of his agenda for two decades. He is the best choice for Metro President.
    Mia Birk

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    matt picio April 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    jim (#4) – CRC isn’t going to take that traffic off Jonathan’s streets, it will make it worse, both through higher traffic volumes and through congestion in the Delta Park and Piedmont areas when the 12 lanes narrow back into 6. CRC has nothing positive about it in its current form – it would be better if they just built a transit/bike/ped bridge and retrofitted the existing bridges for earthquake protection – and a heckuva lot cheaper.

    Peter W (#8) – Unfortunately sprawl is what we’ll get more of until Metro stops promoting growth and starts to actively discourage it. When growth is accommodated, only 2 outcomes can possibly ensue – gentrification and higher prices, or suburban sprawl.

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    beth h April 9, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Here’s the deal as I see it:

    1. Our region will grow in population, whether anyone likes it or not. Short of putting up a fence along the appropriate boundaries, arming the masses and declaring that Cascadia has seceded from the union, there’s nothing that will prevent this.

    2. To help accommodate this unstoppable growth, an expanded crossing over the Columbia will probably have to happen. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, and it doesn’t mean I have to approve of how it’s been handled to date. IMHO, it’s been handled badly by many players.

    3. I think that there’s a lot more at stake than the CRC crossing in this election, and to base one’s vote on this single issue seems pretty limited — and potentially limiting.

    With all of that said, voting for any of these guys feels almost as futile as not voting at all. Once again I find myself feeling really disconnected from the electoral process, and not just because of the CRC fiasco, but because of the recurring truth that any candidate who’s politically viable is simply not radical enough for my politics, and my heart.

    So what’s a gal to do? I don’t know and frankly the jury’s still out. And I suspect that I’m not alone in this thinking.

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    jim April 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    matt-
    it took me 40 minutes today to drive from paul bunyun to janzen beach. those were all cars cutting through the neighborhood trying to stay off of I-5 as long as possible. Those cars are making n portland very congested. lets take them off the streets and put them on the freeway so we can have our neiborhood back

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    jim April 9, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    lets make I-5 work the way a freeway is supposed to work

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    pkoonce April 9, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I am supporting Rex because of his support of important issues that are related to us people riding bicycles. As an engineer, I have always appreciated his leadership on transportation projects as a Metro Councilor. Especially, his encouragement of goals to reduce speeds with traffic signals (which the City is planning to do on a few corridors), make safer pedestrian environments, and other transportation efforts that build community.

    Outside of the transportation realm, I have been impressed how he has been engaged on issues that have sought to build support for riding bicycles. One of the reasons I ride is because it is good for the environment. I’d like other people to start with that as a foundation to make good transportation choices.

    Rex helps build the environmental ethic in our community in many ways. One of the most significant is his work to secure regional funding for Outdoor School so that more children in the region could spend a week with their peers learning about the environment as a part of their 6th grade experience. This program extends our community’s sustainibility ethics and I believe is one of the contributing factors to building support for activities we hold dear.

    If we’re to get to 25% mode split by 2030, we have to start with education and talking about bikes and teaching kids about riding safe is just the start. Integration of environmental education throughout the entire region is a step in the right direction and one of the reasons I am riding with Rex.

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    Joe Rowe April 9, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I’d like to invite everyone to meet Bob at Roots brewing, Monday 5:30PM, 4/12/2010.

    Ballots are due May 18th, please vote regardless of whom you select.

    And I’d like to thank Mia Birk for finally answering. She’s much better at marketing and design than me. to quote her “(Rex) is still at the table pushing for us.”

    Rex is pushing for you Mia. I don’t care about what he rides, whom he’s sued, to whom he bequeaths his wealth, or his long list of connections/alliances.

    Did Rex help by pushing for 10 lanes in the 2010 design? He’s good at pushing marketing because he just 9 feet got cut recently, still allowing for 12 lanes down the road. New lipstick on the same pork bridge.

    $5 billion for more lanes in one limited spot never means less pollution, no matter what rail or sustainable green washing you use to sell it. Yes, the problem is complex, the proposed new CRC is simply stupid for the future of transit.

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    Joe Rowe April 9, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I’d like to invite everyone to meet Bob Stacey at Roots brewing, Monday 5:30PM, 4/12/2010. 1250 SE 7th, Portland OR.

    Ballots are due May 18th, please vote regardless of whom you select.

    To quote Mia: “(Rex) is still at the table pushing for us.”

    Rex is pushing for you Mia. I don’t care about what he rides, whom he’s sued, to whom he bequeaths his wealth, or his long list of connections/alliances.

    Did Rex help by pushing for 10 lanes in the 2010 design? He’s good at pushing marketing because he just 9 feet got cut recently, still allowing for 12 lanes down the road. New lipstick on the same pork bridge.

    $5 billion for more lanes in one limited spot never means less pollution, no matter what rail or sustainable green washing you use to sell it. Yes, the problem is complex, the proposed new CRC is simply stupid for the future of transit.

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    Charlie Burr April 10, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Mia is absolutely right about what’s required of the job. The ability to build coalitions and regional support for critical issues is an absolute requirement for the next Metro president — and why I’m supporting Rex. Take open spaces: Rex led the charge for the largest open space bond measure in Metro’s history back in 2006. The measure (26-80) passed in large part because of the hard work done by Rex and others building support and a broad based coalition before it ever got to the ballot. More than $200 million is now dedicated to protecting and acquiring natural areas, parks and trails. All over the region there’s land protected that would still be vulnerable to development were it not for the open space coalition.

    I’ve personally worked with Rex against an anti-land use takings measure — Measure 7 back in 2000 — and know we’ll be well-served with Rex leading Metro.

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    Evan Manvel April 10, 2010 at 8:51 am

    One of the drumbeats of Rex supporters is pushing is ´´he understands the difference between being an advocate and an elected official, and is willing to make hard choices and pragmatic compromises.´´

    Bob Stacey has a long record of being able to get coalitions to the table and make difficult compromises, while still holding to core principles. He´s worked at all levels of government ‘ state, federal, regional, and local, as well as in the private sector and in nonprofits.

    Ballot Measure 49, for example, saved our state´s land use system. Bob had a large hand in creating it, a compromise bill.

    And improvements to the highways-heavy House Bill 2001 (2009), that were passed in 2010. Bob´s work created a bill to strengthen the connection between land use planning, transportation, and climate pollution that wasn´t in the transportation bill in 2009, when 1000 Friends and Bob opposed it.

    House Bill 2001, which Rex advocated for and the environmental community opposed, pushed through hundreds of millions of dollars in sprawl-supporting highway projects, while cutting the additional funds that were promised to bikes and pedestrians by a coalition that drafted the legislation (Oregon´s 1% for bikes and peds was to become a 1.5% earmark).

    As far as the CRC goes, what we´re spending is federal political capital, as well as transportation funds, and we´re spending it on a plan from the 1950s. That capital is not available for other things once we spend it.

    Given the backlash from the $20 million in sewer funds linked to street reconstruction-bike boulevards, it´s critical that bike advocates are careful in thinking through how we´re going to fund our dreams, and if we waste $4,000 million on the CRC we won´t have much left.

    In short, I´ve joined OLCV and the Sierra Club in strongly supporting Bob Stacey. I appreciate those things that Rex has done, and his love of biking, but I think Bob will better reflect my values.

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    jim April 10, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Where do Bob and Rex stand on spending sewer money on bikes?

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    jim April 10, 2010 at 10:43 am

    My sewer bill went up $50 last quarter

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    nuovorecord April 10, 2010 at 11:30 am

    @Jim – Sewers are the city’s responsibility, not Metro’s. So, not an issue in this campaign.

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    Michael Andersen April 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I interviewed Stacey a couple weeks ago and came away impressed by both his policy knowledge and his case that there are better ways to quake-proof the bridge than to replace it.

    The times I’ve seen Burkholder speak I’ve also been impressed. It’s 100% fair to disagree with him about the bridge, of course, but I’m confused that some seem so ready to write off all his green/pro-bike credentials. I’d like to hear that argument in more detail.

    And I believe in tradeoffs. The bridge, sprawl and auto-oriented development are very, very important — but I think jobs and safety are good for Portland, too. Here’s the environmentalist’s case for a replacement bridge: the economic and safety benefits of a new, better bridge, with input from environmentalists, outweigh the costs of induced sprawl and more roads.

    So I’m leaning to Stacey, hoping for a runoff and looking forward to this debate.

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    lIsa April 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Jim @33: Take shorter showers.

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    Michael M. April 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Funny how the CRC didn’t even come up during the debate. To read this article and the ensuing comments, you’d think the election is 80% CRC, 20% every other issue Metro deals with.

    All three candidates are well qualified and skilled enough to lead Metro. My take-away from the debate was that what’s on the City Club’s mind is what’s on most everybody else’s mind — jobs, and the perennial lack thereof in Metro’s region. I don’t think anyone particular candidate’s position on the CRC is going to amount to much by comparison, for the vast majority outside the bike bubble.

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    No CRC April 10, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    The CRC is the largest project ever built in the region.

    And Rex admits to inflating his record.

    From the WWeek:

    [Rex] acknowledges the statement he made is false. “I did not co-found Cloudburst Recycling,” he says. He says the statement is a “scrivener’s error” that resulted in a last-minute rush to condense his work experience for the Voters’ Pamphlet. Burkholder says he did not proof-read the final version that went to elections officials.

    Rex got a 55% on the OLCV scorecard in 2005, which didn’t include any CRC votes. He’s a fair-weather advocate who can’t be trusted to protect biking, our streams, or our farmland.

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    Joe Rowe April 11, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    No doubt, the young Rex of the past has done many good small things for bikes, but the point is the BIG bad things Rex is doing right now.

    Rex version 2 has powerful friends whom many trust as “leaders” and business owners in the bike community. Rex and company are promoting, often silently, the new CRC monster the grass roots is fighting. Nuts. We can fix the complex transit problems in the area without the simplified brute force 10 lanes in one spot CRC.

    I agree that right now most voters don’t care about the $5,000 million CRC nor $840 million in HB2001. Americans and our press don’t see damage until it is done.

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/year2009hr2001

    Finally, a free puppy is never “free”. Even if tolls pay for the whole CRC, it will forever drain our future funds and fill our local community with cars and pollution. We will pay to add 1-3 lanes to every nearby freeway, I-5, HWY 30, 99, 14, 500.

    Vote 4 yourself. I support Bob Stacey for what he’s done, and doing for our future.

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    a.O April 12, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Vote for Bob Stacey or you are voting for a mega-highway that spends all of our money to promote global warming and suburban sprawl in Clark County and that brings the gridlock from the PIR to the Rose Quarter.

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    Lenny Anderson April 12, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Rex’s failure to draw a line in the sand against the massive CRC project over the course of his three years as Metro’s rep undoes all the good work he has done over the years. I helped him get elected twice to Metro, and my disappointment cannot be more profound.
    We need to “Retire” Rex and elect Bob.

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    Mia Birk April 12, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Hi folks – what I’m trying to say is that this race is about far more than the CRC. Metro doesn’t own or operate the bridge, provide funding, own any of the adjacent land, or have much of a role at all other than being one of many stakeholders. Looking to the whole of what Metro does, I see an excellent match between Rex’s experience, skills, connections, vision, and daily sustainable transportation habits and the job at hand.

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    jim April 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    What is Bobs plan to fix the bridge congestion? To move the trucks up and down I-5? Less trucks? More triple trailers?

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    007 April 12, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Go to http://www.bobstacey.com for his ideas about the I5 bridge.

    #4 said: It would be much better for cyclists if all of those cars were to remain on I-5 all the way from Vancouver to Downtown or beyond.

    No, what would be better is if Vancouver commuters carpooled, took the bus, and voted for light rail AND if tolls were put on the bridge now to pay for improvements. (Those are my opinions not Mr. Stacey’s.)

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    Paul Cone April 12, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Mia, yes, Metro is about more than the CRC, but I think it is a bit misleading to say that Metro “doesn’t provide funding” or “have much of a role”. Metro is heavily involved in regional (i.e. Portland metro area) planning and direction of transportation dollars within our region. Do you think Washington and Oregon state governments, who seem to be carrying the most weight in the CRC, represent the Portland area, the area that is going to be most impacted in daily life with any new crossing, really understand the environmental impacts that this proposed bridge will bring? Our current Metro President David Bragdon seems to get that. Rex doesn’t seem to, and though transportation is just one part of Metro, it is a huge part. Planning for transportation is probably the most impactful thing Metro does.

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    Metro Priorities April 13, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Metro’s CORE function is to coordinate land use and transportation decisions in the region. They decide where the regional transportation dollars are spent, as they sign off on the RTP, the MTIP, and federal flex funds.

    So, yes, it’s a federal and state facility, but without Metro’s approval it won’t happen, as our federal stakeholders won’t provide funding for it if the local folks don’t want it. Instead, our congress members might provide funding for bike and transit projects in the region.

    Confused? http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=139

    To imply that the largest public works project in the region’s HISTORY – one that will cost seven times for its single four-five miles than implementing all of Portland’s 20-year bike plan – should be downplayed is irresponsible. We’ve already spent $100 million just on planning in, which is FIVE YEARS worth of bike projects.

    Moreover, Rex continues to vote against the environment on other things that Metro does – on protecting our streams, on protecting farmland from sprawl, and soforth. He’s got a long record, beyond the CRC. Learn it.

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    jim April 13, 2010 at 11:04 am

    007- Thanks for the link to Bobs site. While he did talk a lot about how he is apposed to the crc project, he didn’t offer any solutions to the problem. I am getting real tired of politicians that are real smooth talkers but don’t do anything.
    vancouver allready voted and said they don’t want lightrail. Do you think it should be forced on them? We all now that govt. will go ahead and do their projects regardless of what the people want. Mt hood freeway never got made though, I’m to young to know what happened with that for sure. Perhaps someday they will cut that part of the city in half for that project.
    Carpools- If my wife decides to go to the mall, or the beach- I’m not going to look for a carpool. We are going to jump in the car and go.
    The bus is an excellent system, much better than light rail. It dosn’t cost billions of dollars, when one bus is down all of the rest still go- it dosn’t shut down the whole system, it is greener to run, it isn’t limited to just where the tracks go….
    There are still going to be a lot of cars no matter what transportation options are available though. We need a solution to the congestion and I havn’t heard what Bob has planed to fix it

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    Joe Rowe April 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks to everyone who came out last night to meet Bob. Get free home delivery of a Bob lawn/window sign! Yea!

    Just contact me(joe) by phone or email. 503) 282-769 three

    email: jrowe -aat- igc.org

    Jim, I hear you are tired of smooth talkers, you’re tired of people who don’t offer solutions but complain.

    I think you missed Bob’s website:
    https://www.bobstacey.com/blog/solutions-crc

    a) Spend $400 million to keep the current 6 lane CRC & make safer.
    b) Create tolls that are more expensive in rush hour to reduce backups
    c) Use tolls to fund very frequent rush hour bus service, until max is extended to the Vancouver WA.
    d) Build a small bridge for local cars, bus, bike and peds

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    Joe Rowe April 13, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Rex, and now Mia keep distorting Bob Stacy supporters. There’s a thinking gap in their game.

    For the record
    a) Bob’s supporters know the CRC is just one of many issues in Metro. This blog page is CRC centric because it is about bikes, who care about the CRC.

    b) Bob’s supporters know the CRC is a complex problem that needs a complex solution, and Bob’s got proposals for the future CRC.

    c) None of Bob’s supporters are saying do “nothing” to fix the CRC and other transit problems.

    d) None of Bob’s supporters want to have people double up at home or school because we oppose the CRC Rex solution.

    Rex, Mia, and G. W. Bush are all good at straw-man tactics: avoid a question, create a fake opponent, then knock down the straw-man.

    Quote Rex’s blog
    “The (CRC) proposal … does this. And, compared to doing nothing…”

    “Does that mean we stop all construction, asking people to double up in their houses and tolerate 60 kids per classroom?”

    http://rex4metro.com/a-bridge-and-a-gap/

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    jim April 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Joe- Thanks for the missing link. I still don’t see how any of this is going to work in the future when our population is increased substantionally. Vancouver double? Tolls are really just short term fixes. If we stop now look at how many millions of dollars that we had just wasted. I think a 3rd bridge option would have beenthe most usefull.

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    Joe Rowe April 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Jim, You are welcome. Good questions that need attention and answers, but do they need costly, hasty solutions?

    I think your concern with the CRC is the same when your laptop gets slow. It seems like a waste to maintain.

    Many like me see it different. Often we find the new replacement was wasteful, or forced, and we simply failed to trace the cause of slowness to the root.

    You are correct, tolls are short term fixes, but they are also long term fixes in the USA and many places with adequate results. My grandpa worked as a toll collector for 20 years.

    Myself and many folks feel PDX is growing, but not so fast we need 10/12 lanes in one 5 mile spot for $5,000 million.

    Rex and sales pitches keep changing: one minute the sky is falling, the next we are burning cash because we paused to think and lost grant money. Now the pitch is short term jobs and national significance.

    I think Rex version 2009 put years of valid, hard work into the new CRC proposal and does not want to admit he could be wrong or start again on a new set of solutions. He’s taking questions on this personally and calling on his loyal and powerful network to support him no matter what the long term consequences to the green world young Rex helped build.

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    jim April 13, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Me I have no problem with the size of the bridge.
    I do have a problem with the price tag though

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    matt picio April 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

    jim (#44) – You can’t “fix” congestion. Congestion is a function of population density. Adding lanes is a temporary fix good for about 6 months – then VMT and # of trips will increase until the level of congestion is back where it started.

    The solution is to discourage growth. Unfortunately this will never happen within the current system as our financial system is dependent on growth and because discouraging growth is politically untenable.

    Paul Cone (#46) – Exactly. The state governments represent state interests, and have drank the Kool-Aid. They believe that a 12-lane bridge will move more freight, and both state governments have a vested interest in creating more commerce and more truck traffic. Since most of that traffic is through traffic, Portland does not have the same vested interest.

    jim (#48) – Vancouver never said they didn’t want light rail. They said they didn’t want to PAY for light rail – that is an important distinction. I think they’d be thrilled to have it if they didn’t have to pay for it.

    It’s great that the Mount Hood Freeway got shot down – that event was the cornerstone of land use and transportation planning in Portland, and a major reason why we are not Detroit, Cleveland, Seattle or Los Angeles. (that’s a good thing, BTW) Portland routinely makes all the “most desireable” lists, so clearly something about that was done right.

    And again, there is no “solution” to congestion. Congestion is not a problem, it is a predicament. It’s a natural outgrowth of population, density, and a strong urban “center pull”, as well as generational and situational social forces. You can’t fix it, you can only accommodate it.

    jim (#51) – it won’t, which is exactly why if we want to keep the quality of what we have, we need to start discouraging rather than encouraging growth.

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