Kulongoski Calls for Congestion Pricing as Advocacy Group Launches CRC Alternatives Web Site

Speaking to the Oregon Environmental Council, Governor Kulongoski spoke strongly in support of congestion pricing (in the form of variable tolling at bottleneck points in the system). See Oregonian coverage and commentary by Jeff Mapes.

Interestingly he has slightly altered his rhetoric about the Columbia River Crossing. He spoke of “offsetting” the greenhouse gas emissions of the new bridge.

At the same time, a new web site has appeared: SmarterBridge.org, offering a phased approach of alternatives to the $4.2B proposal.

The organizers of this site are not explicity listed:

As individuals, we have all put our names on letters to the editor, opinion articles, and public testimony, but as a group we have chosen to emphasize not who we are, but what we have to say. We have chosen to let the facts speak for themselves on this site. We hope to see you at the hearings, where we can introduce ourselves in person!

(Yes, I have a pretty good idea who they are – and you’ve read some of their comments here.) One clue is that they have posted local economist Joe Cortright’s testimony to the Portland Planning Commission (PDF, 327K) regarding the bridge.

Joe’s presentation is the best, most concise, argument I’ve seen for the need for a different approach (and includes a preview of the web site).

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