Bias, Dishonesty and Fearmongering for Light Rail – Updated

by lewwaters

Light Rail HellThe ‘light rail at any cost crowd’ to include the Lazy C wasted no time in spinning last evenings collapse of a section of the I-5 Bridge over the Skagit River upstate to promote forcing Clark County into accepting Portland, Oregon’s financially beleaguered light rail.

Even before the reason was known, the structure being struck by an over-sized load on a semi-truck, the light rail at any cost crowd was blasting those who oppose dragging the light rail line into Clark County, presenting it as a ‘wake-up’ call with dire, ominous predictions of the bridge between Vancouver and Portland facing imminent collapse as well.

Rep. Jim Moeller (D. Portland/Vancouver) wasted no time crying how “unsafe” our bridges are, neglecting that he and his fellow Democrats have for years diverted transportation funds to studies to drag light rail into Clark County and the massive Alaska Way Viaduct project in Puget Sound, depriving the rest of the states bridges from funds needed for maintenance and repairs.

According to Moeller, “This bridge was unsafe. Built in 1955 with a sufficiency rating of 57 out of 100 with the average rating being 80. The northbound I-5 span has a sufficiency rating of 19! The Southbound rating is 49. I have asked our transportation staff to see what the cost would be for all of Washington’s 759 lower rated bridges to be brought up to a rating of a least 80. That can also be part of the transportation revenue package. People don’t have to die in this state for us to replace our bridges.”

Fortunately, nobody died and from what I have seen, the few injuries were minor, considering 3 vehicles fell with the span.

But, if Moeller is serious about the safety of our bridges, why does he go along with the “no light rail, no bridge” call from Oregon? If safety is the concern, what does dragging light rail over have to do with that?

And also, the use of the term “sufficiency rating” is very misleading sine by WSDOT definition it means “The sufficiency rating doesn’t necessarily indicate a bridge’s ability to carry traffic loads. It helps determine which bridges may need repair or replacement, not potential for collapse.”

The Lazy C, long in the tank for light rail at any cost followed suit this morning with a front page spread on the collapse, but no mention on the front page that the cause was due to the structure being weakened by the impact with the over-sized load.

CRC May 24, 2013 Columbian Front Page Half

Whether or not they made mention inside the paper I don’t know because I refuse to waste a dollar to buy a copy, knowing already how heavily biased they are. But the online version the article only makes a very brief mention of the impact about 10 paragraphs into the article, well after we read proponents dire predictions of imminent bridge collapse here unless we approve of dragging light rail into our community from out of state.

The Lazy C did run an online article this morning with the headline, North Wash. I-5 bridge collapse caused by oversize load that was changed to Company says it has permits to cross span that also was changed to Trucker saw bridge collapse in rear-view mirror changed as well to Feds look for temporary fix after I-5 collapse with heavy focus on why we must rush into a new bridge designed to carry light rail that just so happens to also have a known design flaw of inadequate height that to me, makes the new structure even more susceptible to collapse with an increased likelihood of being impacted by a barge or ship trying to clear the structure, since light rail is supposed to be hung underneath the main roadway of the new bridge.

Skagit Bridge 2

Curiously not mentioned in the Lazy C is what is seen in the Seattle Times article Span wasn’t built to take critical hit where it is said, “The Skagit River Bridge wasn’t particularly worrisome to state engineers. Structural inspections showed its condition to be average.”

I find it very odd for Jim Moeller to be prancing around this morning crying how unsafe the bridge was, but state engineers who legislators rely on to provide input on our infrastructure “weren’t particularly worried” about that bridge.

But then I have to remember that Moeller is agenda driven and wants nothing more than to bankrupt constituents to bail out Portland’s financially failing light rail on our backs.

The Lazy C was quick to contact proponents last evening, mentioning not receiving any call backs from opponents, as if they were in hiding due to the collapse.

Of course we know that is not so and they received response this morning that they put up online as Bridge collapse doesn’t sway CRC opponents.

And why should it sway anybody? The bridge superstructure was struck by a truck that damaged and weakened the supporting overhead structure, not because of deterioration or age.

But if you note, is there any mention that the bridge collapsing due to being struck, even with the fearmongering calls of “unsafe” from proponents, doesn’t sway the light rail at any cost crowd? If their cry is the safety of the bridge, why do they hold the project hostage to light rail and if they don’t get it, no bridge will be built?

This is nothing more that we have come to expect from leftists as they follow the admonition once given by uber-leftist Rahm Emanuel of “never let a crisis go to waste” as they spin, engage in hyperbole, fearmonger and spew forth dishonest claims to force others into accepting what they have repeatedly said we do not want, light rail.

With the weekend editorials ahead of us, do you for one minute believe we will see any condemnation of the light rail at any cost crowd for holding a new bridge hostage to light rail instead of insuring we have a safe bridge with proper clearance for river traffic?

Or do you believe like I do that the bias, dishonesty and fearmongering against those who want more bridges between the states, safe bridges with proper river traffic clearance is what will be the focus?

Tax dollars are precious and dwindling. We need to use them wisely and get what is really needed, not frivolously thrown about to bail out a city from another state that foolish enough to jump headlong into a light rail system they cannot support.

Jim Moeller is fond of shouting BUILD THAT BRIDGE. In reply I say DROP THAT LIGHT RAIL and let’s do what we need to do. Light rail is not a necessity, not even a want, except by a distinct minority.

But let’s stop the dishonesty, bias and fearmongering being used to coerce a frivolous want, light rail.

UPDATE: As expected, the Saturday edition of the Lazy C continues the fearmongering and push for a light rail project over a safe and affordable project.

CRC May 25, 2013, Columbian Front Page Half

8 Comments to “Bias, Dishonesty and Fearmongering for Light Rail – Updated”

  1. Not to mention that there’s really no comparison between the current Interstate bridge and the Skagit bridge other than both using trusses. Even a casual glance reveals a much higher standard of design and construction on the Interstate bridge, as well as less loading on the superstructure due to the narrower roadbed.

  2. I’m fine with a new bridge that does not disrupt existing and future river traffic by restricting height above the water. I’m fine with a new bridge that uses bus-based mass transit as the “transit component.” I am resolutely against a bridge that has trolley cars on it. Trolley cars are and expensive dead end. Clark county doesn’t need them and they won’t serve the county as it continues to grow and develop in the future.

    At this point, we’d be better off with a THIRD span across the Columbia so that there is some redundancy to the choices of river crossings. A new bridge, perhaps down river from the Interstate Bridge, could be used to divert truck traffic and be connected up to bypass much of the most congested parts of Portland.

    But the very last thing Clark County needs are trolley cars — and I’d rather see NO BRIDGE than get stuck with the expensive luxury of trolley cars that will prove to be massively expensive, inflexible, and won’t serve the needs of Clark County, ever.

  3. Lew,how many bridges could be repaired or replaced if the money for light rail was diverted to parts of the state that need it?Also as far as a temporary bridge for Skagit why not use our bridge engineers from the Army.They built thousands of temporary bridges in just Germany alone.

  4. Also Lew I forget to mention.There is a free lunch at Post 14 on monday from 12:30 to 2:30 for all veterans.

  5. Timerick, you’re trying to inject common sense into an agenda driven argument 😉

    I’ll see if I can make it to the post for lunch. I keep meaning to stop in for one of the dinners with my wife, but end up being distracted and forgetting.

  6. Clark County CTRAN voters, 83, 570 of them, 56.51% of voters agreed with you Lew in Nov. 2012 and REJECTED the proposition to extend failing Portland TRIMET light rail into Clark County over the proposed CRC bridge too low.

  7. A month ago, I sent an email to Senator Cleveland, asking some direct questions. What did I get in response after one month??? The same schpiel she presented at the last public meeting at the ESD building. No questions answered…and she couldn’t even show the respect of calling me by my real name which was given at the end of my request for a response. Instead, it was my pen name she responded to. I hope folks realize just how robotized and disconnected some of our elected officials are to the people.

  8. Jim Moeller actually has helped perpetrate this issue. Sitting on the house transportation committee he has not addressed the needs of the bridge which fell but instead worked on scamming for the bridge with light rail crossing the Columbia River on I-5. He is directly to blame for the lack of properly spent funds that is why he point and blame us to divert the attention from the truth of the blame.

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