Sellwood Deal Struck in Transportation Bill

Apparently I wasn’t the only one to notice the insanity of both failing to fund the Sellwood Bridge AND removing the ability of the County to introduce a fee for doing so. The Oregonian reports that language has been inserted in the road-centric transportation bill to allow Clackamas and/or Multnomah Counties to have a registration fee for purposes of funding the Sellwood.


6 responses to “Sellwood Deal Struck in Transportation Bill”

  1. Regardless of one’s opinion of how this project should be funded, it’s about freakin’ time they fast-tracked this. It’s a vital transit link, especially if Tri-Met wants to get serious about implementing bus lines connecting Washington and Clackamas Co.

  2. This is typical tax discrimination from the legislature.

    An average of about 30,000 cars and trucks use the current Sellwood Bridge on a daily basis. Yet, only about 50 percent of the deck surface on the chosen replacement design is allocated for motor vehicles. Even with the wildest projections, the numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians added together using a new bridge by the year 2030 only add up to about one-fourth the number of motor vehicles that use the current bridge today. The deck surface for motor vehicles is being rationed while the deck space for bicycles and pedestrians is unnecessarily super-sized. Therefore, bicyclists and the residents of the Sellwood Neighborhood, who rallied for and will use the sidewalks on the bridge, need to be directly taxed kicking in a proportional amount of the funding that would be in total an equal match to the motorist paid funds allocated. .

    An equitable, balanced and just transportation funding package requires a multi-legged tax stool whereby the users of all vehicle modes of transport are directly taxed to pay for the specialized infrastructure being used, and not passing out to freeloader passes to the pedal pusher bicyclists. Sharing the bridge deck, just like sharing the road, requires sharing the financial responsibility.

  3. …equitable, balanced and just…

    Earlier today, I attended the earlier-mentioned presentation by Michael Ward of ODOT’s Public Transit Division.

    One of the things he said was there was about 40 people in the room, and all of us have different definitions of “fair and equitable.”

    I’ll add that then there’s the underlying factors of how “fair and equitable” is computed.
    Is it calculated by people “voting with their cars” because their “ballot” consisted only of “car, car, car?”
    Or, is it by asking them how they would like to get to and from everywhere?
    Is it from the mantra of “everyone in America drives a car,” or that auto-centric engineering and development is discrimination against other modes of transit and those who cannot drive motor vehicles?

    These are just some of the questions to consider.

  4. Jason – it is a simple matter of an individual paying for the transportation option and infrastructure that individual chooses to use, and not expecting somebody else, too often motorists, to pay that bill.

    Without some sort of a bicycle tax and with transit fares that cover only 20 something percent of operating costs, that is not happening.

  5. Thank God I’m once again a Washington County resident.

    dan w wrote: if Tri-Met wants to get serious about implementing bus lines connecting Washington and Clackamas Co

    The Sellwood Bridge is completely unneeded for such a project; TriMet could implement an express route between Tigard TC (with a stop at Tualatin P&R) and Oregon City TC using I-205 and the Abernethy Bridge; potentially continuing to Clackamas Town Center TC.

    Access between Washington County and the Sellwood Bridge is slow and indirect.

  6. An express bus on I-205 probably wouldn’t be all that reliable during rush hour, given the percentage of the time that I-205 (or I-5 between 205 and 217) is congested. Of course, a bus running across the Sellwood bridge wouldn’t either.

    A route in a designated ROW along the 205 corridor would provide better service (light rail or BRT; though the former is probably more politically doable in this town than the latter). Of course, that would be expensive (a new crossing of the Willamette in Oregon City/West Linn would be needed–it might be best to replace the Abernathy Bridge, which could use an additional lane in each direction as well).

    I grew up in OC. I work in Beaverton and now live there. The main reason I moved was the commute sucks–and that was ten years ago.

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