Federal Government should pay lion’s share

Pass “No Tolls” Resolution

My comments to the Clark County Council Oct. 8, 2018. You can watch the CVTV recording here.

 I want to encourage you to PASS the resolution you are considering later this week, indicating the County Council OPPOSES any tolls on a new Interstate 5 bridge. Bravo.

But first, I would like to thank Clark County Today for reporting this, so citizens could speak about this before you take action. But for their news report, we wouldn’t know about it.

Oregon is moving forward with their “congestion pricing” scheme, which will pick the pockets of all SW Washington residents, in one way or another. They know that the federal government has NOT approved tolling on any federal interstate that did not build “something” new. Therefore, the latest part of their scheme, is to push for their light rail project in search of a bridge. The bridge will be the “new” thing, to allow for TOLLS. But their goal is to get light rail into Clark County.

Portland’s light rail serves just under 1 percent of daily trips, according to John Charles of the Cascade Policy Institute.

The CRC proved that simply replacing the Interstate Bridge offered only a ONE-minute improvement in the morning, southbound commute. That’s because the real bottleneck on I-5 begins at Rosa Parks Way and continues through the 2-lane Rose Quarter. Oregon refuses to add new through lanes to I-5 at the Rose Quarter.

A recent PEMCO survey indicates over 94 percent of people prefer to use their cars. Yet Portland refuses to serve the overwhelming majority of citizens.

Last week, I shared with you some facts from our own RTC. In the TIP package of transportation projects they approved, 6 of the 7 projects were getting OVER 50% federal funding. The low project got 26.5% federal funding. The other 6 projects got from 62 percent to 98 percent federal funding.

Interstate 5 IS a federal interstate. It’s a vital transportation corridor. The federal government paid 90 percent of the cost of building the I-205 Glen Jackson Bridge. They paid NOTHING for the original Interstate Bridge. As citizens have said for decades: “they owe us a bridge”.

Our Congresswoman and 2 Senators must fight for us and get the federal government to pay the lion’s share of any new Interstate Bridge, just like they did in those RTC approved projects.

Selling our souls for a few, small scraps of federal money to pay for Portland’s light rail extension offers NOTHING for the overwhelming majority of Clark County citizens who work in Oregon.

Please, say “no” to any TOLLS on a replacement I-5 bridge. Clark County residents paid $206 million in Oregon income taxes in 2016. We’re already paying more than our “fair share”, getting little in return. The federal government must pay their fair share for a new Interstate Bridge.

************

REFERENCES

PEMCO survey report here– 94 percent of drivers want to stay in their cars.

Oregon’s #2 bottleneck begins at Rosa Parks Way and continues through the Rose Quarter.

From the Oregonian here:

Feds pay 90% of Glenn Jackson Bridge.

From Wikipedia here.

The finished project cost was $169.6 million: $155.7 million from Federal funds, $4 million from Washington state funds and $9.9 million from Oregon state funds

Oregon Income Taxes paid.

John Charles of the Cascade Policy Institute:

The CRC Plan for Light Rail: A Step Backwards for Transit Customers

Cascade in the Capitol: Light Rail to Vancouver vs. CTRAN Express Buses – Testimony on HB 2800