“No light rail, no bridge” – Again!

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown officially resurrects the CRC, uttering it must include “public transit, particularly light rail”

In a primetime debate (Oct 9th) with challenger Knute Buehler, Oregon Governor Kate Brown echoed the demands of disgraced Gov. John Kitzhaber and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. “Before we move forward on the Columbia River Crossing, I want to see Washington meeting two criteria.  That they are really serious about fixing the bridge and investing in that bridge.  Secondly, it includes public transit, particularly light rail.”

Here’s the Governor in her own words:

Lars Larson’s take!

I called the Lars Larson radio show on “1st Amendment Friday”!

I spoke about Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issuing a demand — “no light rail, no bridge”.

She was echoing John Kitzhaber and Jay Inslee on this, proving it was and is, a “light rail project in search of a bridge.”

Furthermore, Oregon wants to TOLL drivers on both I-5 and I-205 to help pay for this light rail extension.

Kate Brown’s statement is an affront to the citizens of SW Washington who do not want or need light rail.

Take a listen to Lars here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oregonlive reported the debate discussion this way.

I-5 Bridge: Both candidates said they support a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River. Buehler said he supports tolls to expand highway capacity but not to change driver behavior. Brown said she won’t move forward on the project until Washington, which scuttled the last coordinated attempt at an interstate bridge, commits to a funding mechanism for the project and accepts light rail as a component of the project.

Clark County Today reported it this way.

“Buehler said he supports tolls to expand highway capacity but not to change driver behavior,’’ OregonLive.com reported. “Brown said she won’t move forward on the project until Washington, which scuttled the last coordinated attempt at an interstate bridge, commits to a funding mechanism for the project and accepts light rail as a component of the project.’’

The comments, especially those by Brown, don’t come as a surprise. But, I’m glad the conversation has finally re-emerged enough that elected officials are participating and stating their positions on the subject publicly. That’s the only good news.

The bad news is there is a great divide between lawmakers in the two states, much wider than the Columbia River itself. As a result, efforts to replace the I-5 Bridge or to address the need for additional lane capacity or corridors are likely headed to the same inevitable conclusion of the failed Columbia River Crossing.

Each time we’ve been asked, a majority of Clark County citizens have said we don’t want light rail. Oregon’s governor just reminded us this week that she “won’t move forward on the project until Washington … accepts light rail as a component of the project.’’ There’s plenty of our elected officials who are prepared to ignore the fact that a majority of their constituents oppose light rail but thankfully enough of them will dutifully represent the will of the majority of us.”

So far, absolutely NO reporting on this by The Columbian.

Citizens understand that the real bottleneck on I-5 is NOT the Interstate Bridge, but the Rose Quarter. Sadly, Oregon refuses to add new, through lanes to I-5 at the Rose Quarter. Therefore any new Interstate Bridge will simply hurry people (momentarily) to the scene of the traffic jam. The main thing that has happened is traffic congestion and bottlenecks have gotten worse.

From ODOT – there are 35 bottlenecks in the region:

From the Federal Highway Administration, with my comments & ovals in RED.

Get rid of the only HOV lane in Oregon and evening northbound speeds improve overall!

KOIN TV offered a news report in Feb. 2015. They report the following:

“The HOV lane began in 1998. Data from 2001 shows the HOV lane plus the other two lanes moved 5887 people per hour. But over the years, the number of people getting through northbound I-5 has plummeted. In 2002 it moved 5482 people. 2007 it dropped to 4719.

In 2013, data shows 4527 people got through per hour, a drop of 24%.”

Oregon’s #2 bottleneck

The #2 bottleneck in the Portland metro area is on I-5 southbound, beginning at Rosa Parks Way through the Rose Quarter. Oregonlive reports it in 2017 this way.