CRC Task Force Has Trouble Crossing Decision Point

It was a busy meeting for the Columbia River Task Force last night. Their task was to vote on the crossing and transit components to move forward to the next round of analysis. They didn’t get very far. Concerns were raised about the level of outreach in the public comment process (indeed, Portland Transport’s comments, submitted by the deadline on the comment cards handed out at the open houses, didn’t make it into the packet mailed to task force members – in fact, no comments submitted after the open houses were available to the task force before this decision making meeting) and other objections to task force process were raised.

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BTA Policy Director (and Portland Transport contributor) Scott Bricker addresses the Columbia River Crossing task force

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The task force reviews crossing options

It was a busy meeting for the Columbia River Task Force last night. Their task was to vote on the crossing and transit components to move forward to the next round of analysis. They didn’t get very far. Concerns were raised about the level of outreach in the public comment process (indeed, Portland Transport’s comments, submitted by the deadline on the comment cards handed out at the open houses, didn’t make it into the packet mailed to task force members – in fact, no comments submitted after the open houses were available to the task force before this decision making meeting) and other objections to task force process were raised.

The task force did make a couple of decisions. They narrowed the arterial bridge options to RC-23, the single option recommended by staff. The logic was that this option was sufficiently broad to allow a number of arterial configurations to be studied, but some task force members expressed concern that having a single arterial option would limit the number of non-freeway configurations that would be studied in later phases of the project.

They also eliminated all the ‘3rd corridor’ options, on the basis that they didn’t serve the project ‘Purpose and Need’. But before this vote, several Clark County representatives expressed the need to move forward new corridor options, and apparently the SW Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC) is in the process of advancing a proposal separate from the CRC process.

The meeting was already 30 minutes over schedule when they adjourned, leaving the rest of the decisions to the next meeting.

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