bridge to Hayden Island.
— Watch it below —
Citizen activist Spencer Boomhower (the man behind the widely acclaimed Idaho Stop Law animation, among others) has released a new video that highlights a different approach to improving mobility between Oregon and Washington.
Boomhower’s latest compares and contrasts the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project — which is favored by state DOTs, governors, and Mayors on both sides of the river — with what is known as the Common Sense Alternative (CSA).
The CSA is an approach developed by George Crandall and Jim Howell. Crandall is a noted architect and Howell is a veteran advocate of mass transit and active transportation. Both men have close connections to the Mount Hood Freeway, a DOT-backed mega-freeway project that was famously thwarted by grassroots activism in the early 1970s.
“It is not too late [to consider alternatives]. I think the governors picking a bridge type is a bluff to try to show that this project is a done deal.”
— Jim Howell, citizen activist
Howell was the co-founder of the non-proft organization that helped kill the project and Crandall was one of the project’s managers. Last fall, Crandall told The Oregonian that, “The CRC is the Mt. Hood Freeway all over again. Instead of saying, ‘No,’ people aren’t saying a thing.”
Howell and Crandall say their CSA would accomplish the same goals as the CRC, but for half the price: $1.8 billion to the CRC’s $3.6 billion. The key difference is that the CSA focuses on crossing the river, while the CRC spends most of its money on freeway expansion over a 4.5 mile swath of the I-5 corridor (the actual bridge is only a tiny part of the CRC project).
In the video, Boomhower explains the five phases of the CSA and makes a compelling case that it would indeed be a “cheaper, faster, and better way” of crossing the Columbia River. Watch it below:
Boomhower, whose home and Southeast Portland neighborhood wouldn’t exist today if the Mt. Hood Freeway had gone through, has been inspired to act due to his concerns about the CRC project. Back in 2009, he wrote a guest editorial on BikePortland and he has also produced another widely viewed CRC animation that takes a look at the “boatload of questions” surrounding the project.
With a pro-CRC bill being discussed in the Oregon legislature, Boomhower has been sending this video to several state representatives.
“With the Governors making news about their choice of a bridge design (for the .5 mile bridge segment of this 4.4 mile project),” he wrote via email, “it just made a lot of sense to get this very sensible opposing viewpoint out there.”
I asked Howell if it’s too late to consider alternatives. “It is not too late,” he said, “I think the governors picking a bridge type is a bluff to try to show that this project is a done deal.”