Consider Alternatives to the Columbia River Crossing
This petition had 26 supporters
The Columbia River Crossing (CRC) is being portrayed as the only solution to a host of problems, but that is not true. This project costs way too much, creates the wrong gateway into Portland and Oregon, and sets the wrong tone for the next 30-50 years of planning and constructions.
Already the CRC has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to create plan that is unattractive, and does not satisfy the Coast Guard, or the residents of Hayden Island. Committing to one large project to solve commuter traffic needs, freight needs, light rail needs and local traffic needs sets up a situation without any flexibility or recourse to project overruns due to material cost increases, labor cost increases, unforeseen construction difficulties, etc. The final cost continues to be revised upwards, and there is a great chance that it will exceed projected costs in the end.
The CRC creates a image of unsustainability at the gateway to Oregon and Portland. The project literally and figuratively privileges automobile and highway traffic over river traffic, light rail, train, bikes and pedestrians; non-highway modes are merely accommodated. In a time a shrinking car ownership and sustainable design, the tearing down of the I-5 Bridge to commit the region to increased highway traffic is the wrong move. The fact that the current bridge is the only place along I-5 with a stoplight should be a source of pride! This is also the only place on the west coast where I-5 crosses the 2nd largest river in North America! Also, this is certainly not the only place where traffic occasionally comes to a stop along I-5. Please visit Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, even Everett, WA to see frequent traffic stoppages. Congestion is not a problem that can be solved with more construction, this has been proven repeatedly.
Oregon has a history of forward-thinking planning that has made this a highly desirable place to live and this project is firmly not in that tradition. With talk of burying I-5 on the East side, the construction of pedestrian and light rail bridges to cross the highway costing millions, and widespread acknowledgement among planners and citizens that I-5 is a massive barrier, this is not the time to increase the size of the freeway, it has no place to go! The metaphor of connecting a firehose to a garden hose has been used to describe the connection of the proposed CRC to the rest of I-5.
I believe that freight access needs to be improved. Likewise river traffic must be accommodated. There are many benefits to connecting Oregon and Washington with Light Rail. Future High Speed Light Rail and freight Train traffic should be planned for. Bicycles and pedestrians should be given comfortable and safe means for crossing the Columbia. For one alternative to the CRC, George Crandall and Jim Howell have created the Common Sense Approach ( CSA) to achieve all the goals of the CRC with greater redundancy and at a lower cost. 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. This is not the only solution, but it is a good one and should be considered. To see it: http://vimeo.com/22915646
This decision is too important to get wrong, and the CRC is wrong. It has had a series of failures, but the leadership is too committed to it change course. We are asking them to reconsider now, to cut their losses and examine the alternatives.
Today: David is counting on you
David Goodyke needs your help with “Oregon Governor Kitzhaber and Washington Governor Gregoire: Consider Alternatives to the Columbia River Crossing”. Join David and 25 supporters today.