Bridging the Gaps, This Saturday June 4

by lewwaters

The community is invited participate in an informative event at Life Point Campus on Saturday, June 4 from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

“Bridging the Gap provides an opportunity to hear experts present important info on the proposed CRC project, light rail and practical alternatives. Plans for a third and fourth bridge will also be presented that can be built for a fraction of the CRC cost toll free.”

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13 Comments to “Bridging the Gaps, This Saturday June 4”

  1. Is this even remotely worth the time?

    There is no acceptable I-5 Bridge replacement. There is no acceptable design. There is no acceptable toll. Light rail is equally unacceptable.

    Those supporting the current plan to shaft us will never put it aside in the interests of what the people either want… or need.

    Our congresswoman will never have the testicular fortitude to do anything about any of this; she has never demanded a vote or threatened to stop funding, both of which she could easily do.

    Adams, Leavitt and DeFazio have completely sold out. In fact, with the exception of Mielke, no partisan elected, and most non-partisans at the local government level have just gone along, like we’re the sheep being led to their slaughter.

    Efforts need to be made to organize the 65,000 commuters and their families and relatives. They are the key, and voting out the incumbents who are just going along or actively working to screw us is the only message they’ll understand.

    So, I’m working on why we should bother, since this gesture is as understated and non-functional as all of the other gestures these well-meaning, but politically inept people engage in.

  2. I gave a speech at the “Stockford Village Business Association” General meeting last month. I said that all major infrastructure projects throughout history are opposed as not needed. That’s the real argument – Is a new bridge needed for Vancouver’s future? Everything else is lame blather.

    I think a new bridge IS needed. The question then becomes – is it needed now, or a decade from now, or two decades from now? I think the answer is NOW. Then the issue is one of compromise, meaning politics.

    Tolls, 3rd bridges, Light Rail – all those things are just politics keeping us from answering the real questions.

    If Kelly says, “No bridge is needed” – does that assume Vancouver is not going to grow? Or does it mean people from Vancouver will quit driving to Portland? Or does it mean that traffic capacity can be increased without a new bridge?

  3. No.

    Here’s what it assumes.

    The reasons for replacing the bridge now do not address the truth of the matter.

    It’s not a matter of safety. As we have discussed, Don Wagner (Region 6 WADOT director) declared the bridge safe.

    It’s not to address congestion; studies show it will make no difference; we have 3 thru lanes now, and will have 3 thru lanes if this thing is built, so neither congestion nor freight mobility will be addressed.

    The reason is ENTIRELY to bring light rail over here. How many times have we been bombarded with the tripe of “without light rail, it won’t get built” nonsense? We already know that’s a lie, but our leaders… Leavitt and Stuart specifically and directly, will not hesitate to lie to the people to get elected so when they tell us we have to have this, what are we supposed to think? We do NOT need light rail. The powers that be WANT light rail. And that’s the difference.

    And that is yet another reason why I oppose this mess: it’s not about what our leaders WANT. It’s about what the people NEED.

    We do not need, want or can afford it. But what WE want makes zero difference to those in charge.

    If we were, as we inevitably will have to at some point anyway, to build the needed 3rd bridge instead of replacing the I-5 Bridge that continues to do the job, continues to be safe, continues to function, can be retro-fitted for the nonsensical canard of earthquake safety; then all the pressure currently in the I-5 corridor through Vancouver and Portland would evaporate.

    A third bridge would alleviate all the problems used to justify this thing. It would be dramatically cheaper, and offer those commuting a reasonable choice; pay the toll and get there faster: don’t pay the toll and get there slower. What it likely would not offer is the horrific waste of money for loot rail, which is why it was never seriously considered as an option.

    The so-called “studies” were a joke, with pre-ordained outcomes that the consultants KNEW had better meet the expectations of those writing the checks. And what do we have to show for it? $160 million vaporized… so far. Al Capone would be proud.

    The growth of Vancouver WILL REQUIRE additional bridges. And if we were to first build a 3rd and then 4th bridge, like we so obviously need now, and build it before we replace the I-5 Bridge, then maybe I could support replacing it, if they could show it was unsafe and unrepairable… but that would have to be quite a stretch.

    What I will not do is to support enslaving 65,000 commuters and their families and the small businesses which depend on their disposable income that no one ever seems to talk about, merely to play to the downtown mafia’s loot rail fetish.

    I have no lack of vision. And I believe vision I have, which is based on fairness, practicality, economics and ability, is superior to that vision of those owned by the special interests who stand to make bank off of US.

    Because like those screaming the loudest for this, I won’t have to pay the toll one way or the other. And how easy it is for them to demand something they, themselves, won’t have to pay.

    Those in power demanding this to the exclusion of that most basic right, specifically, a vote; a vote we had to have 15 or so years ago for a far cheaper program but now, all of a sudden, what we want is irrelevant; are wholly owned subsidiaries of those interests; unions, construction companies, consultants… none of whom give a damn about us, all of whom just want the money, and all of whom would lie like a rug to get it.

    To increase capacity now we need a third bridge now. And then, we’ll require a 4th. Only then, and only if the current paid-for-in-full I-5 Bridge is no longer functional, repairable or “retrofitable” should it be replaced.

    Putting tolls which will get progressively bigger and cost those who can least afford it more and more forever is not visionary. It is corruption and extortion. Lying about holding a vote this November and deliberately delaying said vote so proponents can gerrymander the lines in the hope that they get the outcome they want while excluding 10’s of thousands of us from voting… but exclude none of us from paying their tax… is not what I wore the uniform of the US Army for over 1 day out of every 4 I’ve been alive.

    I support ANOTHER bridge. I even support TOLLING on another bridge. But not THIS bridge. And not now. And none of those in power who may come to this care, or will change anything, Herrera least of all.

  4. Hmmmmm. A Bridge Too False Turns out most of the case for the $3.6 billion Columbia River Crossing Isn’t true.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on the Columbian to investigate like this.

  5. I’ll try and keep this discussion totally logical, without political affiliation or ideology or personality – except perhaps as an engineer would analyze the situation…

    Kelly (and Lew, and everyone else I suppose) agrees with the premise that additional “bridgage” is needed. Now, since we agree on that, everything else is politics.

    Here’s my read of the situation:
    Portland doesn’t give a hoot what Vancouver wants. They’d just as soon we send our Oregon State tax money over by ferry and keep out of their precious Progressive utopia. They will accept no bridge but an I-5 replacement, and even then they demand Light Rail. (Tolls are another issue – distasteful but a reality due to profligate Government spending.) So, if Vancouver wants/needs a bridge, we’re Portland’s whore – hate it or not.

  6. With the destruction in today’s WW of the basis for replacing the bridge, we’re left with your issue.

    As a conservative, then, and since the outcome for congestion and freight mobility will be the same whether the bridge is built or not, then how is it that we are supposed to spend billions…. only to achieve the same outcome we have now?

    If replacing the bridge will make no difference… then why replace it at all?

  7. Because at the end of the day, replacing the current 3 lanes with a different 3 lanes does nothing to achieve the goal: additional bridgage.

    All it effectively does is get light rail in here, making this the most expensive light rail project in the history of man kind… and one of the most expensive projects in the history of the NW US.

  8. I agree with that analysis.

    If I were a Vancouver politician, who wanted to see Vancouver grow rather than line my own pockets or political larder, I would make sure Portland knew we were in a war and what the war was about.

    I would spin Light Rail the best way I could, make sure freight traffic was hammered, and force those Portland SOBs to handle their end of the infrastructure problem. These are IMPORTANT things for Vancouver!

  9. It is truly an amazing day. I actually agree with the point Kelly is making and his supporting reasoning. What have I become? 🙂

    Even with additional lanes, the congestion will continue in Portland further south. I can be running at speed south across the bridge, but when I hit Rosa Parks, we are all backed up. Furthermore, if they eliminate the silly HOV lane going north, much of that congestion would be eliminated.

    If a bridge must be built, it must be an inexpensive third span. We don’t need to replace the I5 bridge at this juncture.

  10. I hope you’re sitting down, Greg. You and I agree on this too.

    I have been amazed for years that Portland has some 9 bridges across the Willamette, but fought the 205 bridge as they did and still continue doing so with a 3rd bridge.

    Without a 3rd Bridge being built first, I-5 is going to be a good double the nightmare it is now during the years it will take to replace the I-5 bridge and as you and Kelly note, the bottle neck will remain in Portland.

    I-5 through Portland, all of the way through Portland is the problem.

  11. Yes the forum is worthwhile. The best decisions are informed decisions, and this is an opportunity to get updates on concerns about the proposed CRC project as well as better options, such as another crossing to accomodate traffic including commerce over the river.
    One panelist is Joe Cortright, the chair of the Oregon Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. Cortright is president and principal economist for Impresa, a consulting firm specializing in regional economic analysis, innovation and industry clusters.

    The Cortright Report is a professional analysis of the economics of the current proposed Columbia River Crossing Bridge Project that documents the fact (from the CRC documents) that the proposed CRC project’s real costs are more than double the widely-accepted figure of $3.6 billion.
    Cascade Policy Institute will contribute another panelist that has covered Tri-Met for years. We can avoid costly errors that have been made in Portland if we take the time to evaluate the true costs vs. benefit using actual data, not overly optimistic projections.

  12. So now this is how it is, do you think this is ever going to change the minds of the two state governors. They are the ones who are running the CRC show. And they’re the ones where the final buck stops.

    We can go through the same dog and pony show at the columbia river crossing project sponsorship council meetings, the Vancouver Working Group meetings, the Portland Working Group and on and on… While the local politicians keep blowdarting the local opponents (on either side of the columbia river) to death to numb their reactions and nullify their threat that so they won’t ever be able to build local reaction or work on both sides of the river AGAINST this bridge.

    As you might see, there is three through lanes, two outer slow lanes for getting on and off at key points along the route and the light rail.

    One thing I have not heard Kelly, Lew or anyone ask Jeff Hamm if they plan on discontinuing their wonderful nice bus rides to Portland (express bus system) box fares that subsidize the rest of the hours and operation of the regular C-tran bus system if the Light Rail comes to Vancouver.

    Why would a county bus system compete with a light rail system for passengers? Now there is a key answer Lew, Kelly, Martin and others SHOULD be asking the politicians of C-tran and Jeff Hamm. Are they going to continue that service into the future if Light Rail all ready covers 80 or better of the Interstate 5 system from Downtown Portland to the Delta Park – VanPort TC near PIR and going on to Vancouver into the future!

    There is your key fighting argument, why run buses that subsidize the whole other Clark County C-tran system ridership when light rail was supposed to fix this ridership problem into Portland?

    Another question you can ask is: Which IS faster? Light Rail to Pioneer Square OR!!!!! A nice bus ride from Downtown Vancouver to Downtown Portland??? I have ridden both the Yellow Line and Express buses throughout the county and I honestly can tell you, I would RATHER ride a express bus, it is lower crime, less vagrants on it and the bus drivers driver around problems except the Interstate bridge.

  13. By the time a “new I-5 bridge” is paid for, it will cost us over $10 billion dollars.

    That’s not “chump change”.

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