The Other CRC Decision

While everyone is (justifiably) focused on the Locally Preferred Alternative decision for the Columbia River Crossing, a correspondent points out that another decision related to the project is being rushed through.

The required amendment to add the CRC to the Regional Transportation Plan is now in the pipeline. It was pushed through TPAC last Friday with very little notice, and will now go to JPACT on its way to the Metro Council with amendments expected along the way.

But… as a major modification to the Regional Transportation Plan, isn’t this supposed to have a public comment period? It does not appear that one has been scheduled.

0 responses to “The Other CRC Decision”

  1. I don’t envy the position of local officials who have to make this decision regarding the CRC. Yet I would ask: how can we afford to do this project AND everything else that should be done here? If Jet fuel gets higher, a high speed train paralleling the I-5 route looks more attractive. And I think our highways are unsafe enough already with car-truck collisions (average 5200 deaths per year nationwide) that I don’t want to see even more trucks encouraged to be on the roads. So I am for a whole new multimodal route along the rail track into Washington. At the same time I think our metropolitan region, in comparison with other US regions in similar circumstances (i.e.: major city, water barrier, neighboring state), is really underserved in a diversified, transportation infrastructure.

    So where do we get all the money to do this? And please remember that public works jobs will likely attract more residents in the long run–so the cycle of arguing about outgrown infrastructure may repeat endlessly. Do we really want that? That’s what scares me about this whole process.

  2. Here’s what I heard from my councilor:

    “The public comment period has been on-going. We held a public hearing on June 5th. As the next decision point comes before the Metro Council, such as the upcoming resolution to adopt (or not) a Locally Preferred Alternative and modify the RTP, we will hold a public hearing on that resolution. It is my understanding that July 17th is the next date point with CRC legislation before the council.”

  3. Here’s what I heard from my councilor:

    Those comments are correct with regard to the LPA. They are not pertinent to the RTP ammendment. The vote on July 17 is for the LPA, not the RTP ammendment.

  4. Actually, the resolution that TPAC voted on last Friday and was passed 11 to 1 to be sent to JPACT and Metro – has the LPA and the RTP ammendments included in the one resolution.

    If JPACT approves the resolution as recommended by TPAC, then Metro council will vote to officially adopt the resolution. Metro council is directed to take JPACT items as-is so the version that JPACT approves will be the official resolution.

    And it includes the LPA and the RTP ammendments bundled together.

  5. So if the argument is that the public hearing for the LPA WAS the comment opportunity for the RTP Ammendment, wouldn’t official notice of the RTP decision process been required? If so, was such notice given?

  6. JPACT will deal with this on July 10, starting at 7:30 am in the Metro Council Chamber. The agenda and packet should be available July 3 on the Metro web site. Public comment is taken at the start of each JPACT meeting, with time limits enforced if there are more than a couple commenters.

  7. “Metro council is directed to take JPACT items as-is so the version that JPACT approves will be the official resolution.”

    Metro Council can vote no on a JPACT decision and send it back to them for further consideration.

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