Sponsors Examine CRC Performance Criteria

The Columbia River Crossing Project Sponsors Council is meeting next on the 22nd. From the project:

VANCOUVER – The Columbia River Crossing Project Sponsors Council will discuss performance goals and objectives focused on long-term management of the transportation corridor at its Jan. 22 meeting in Vancouver. CRC is believed to be the only large-scale, multi-modal project in the country developing performance measures.
The Project Sponsors Council will review the work of the Performance Measures Advisory Group, which was formed to help ensure the highway and transit project meets expectations for managing the I-5 corridor once the CRC project has been constructed. National experts and agency staff developed goals and objectives and began work on associated performance measures.

The agenda also includes a report on the traffic effects and funding contribution associated with 10 tolling scenarios evaluated by the Tolling Study Committee, a conceptual funding plan for the CRC project, and a progress report on Hayden Island design.

Meeting materials are available at: http://www.columbiarivercrossing.org/ProjectPartners/PSCMeetingMaterials.aspx. The meeting will be held 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Southwest Region office of the Washington State Department of Transportation, 11018 NE 51st Circle, in Vancouver. It is open to the public.

12 responses to “Sponsors Examine CRC Performance Criteria”

  1. Wow, it’s like they’re starting over again!

    I have a great idea for a “performance measure:” a project that those on both sides of the river would vote for.

  2. As I’ve posted before, I think that a four lane southbound bridge (three from I-5 and one from SR 14/downtown Vancouver ending at Marine Drive) would be sufficient. The existing bridges would both become northbound spans, with the 1952 southbound bridge restriped to two lanes and a breakdown lane with the old bridge having a protected entry “jump” lane between Hayden Island and SR 14 (with transit OK to go straight to the downtown off ramp).

    However, given the fact that the two states have completely different goals in the process and that Republicans will win back Congress this fall and screw Washington and Oregon however they can, we’re probably going to end up with “No Build”.

    So the question is, “Can we make ‘No Build’ work?”

    I think we can with congestion pricing. The two Columbia River bridges, US 26 from the west and I-5, Macadam, and Barbur from the south should all have peak hour camera tolling in their “throat” sections. That would be just north of the Sellwood Bridge for Macadam, just north of the Terwilleger Curves for I-5 and Barbur, and between the Zoo and the Jefferson off-ramp for the 26 west.

    The Willamette bridges from the Ross Island to the Fremont would also be tolled, with an exception for cars which already paid for a Columbia Crossing during the same peak period.

    Most of the money should be used for peak hour transit and vanpool improvements and the rest for road maintenance, which is horrible in Multnomah County.

    It the toll were essentially the same as the cost of riding transit round trip, it would give transit a huge cost advantage, and the reduction in traffic would improve its performance.

    Those for whom the extra $5.00 per day is less important than driving would also benefit. It’s sort of like HOT lanes.

  3. I think the Repubs will pick up seats, but at this point I don’t think they will win Congress. It’s unfortunate, though, that the Rs seem to have to screw up a lot worse to get voted out…

  4. I disagree with tolling a “no build” scenario. It might seem like a great idea to toll everyone crossing the Columbia, however, again, I see problems:
    1. If only the Interstate Bridges are tolled, then traffic will move to the Glen Jackson Bridge.
    2. If both the Interstate and Glen Jackson are tolled, then through traffic to Kelso/Longview and points north (and through traffic from those points south) will avoid the toll by using the Lewis & Clark Bridge, turning US 30 into the freeway its not.
    3. It might seem like a great idea to toll those who make middle and upper-class incomes that continue to work in Oregon (who knew good and well that they lose their right to vote on Oregon income taxes the minute they give up their Oregon residency), however because so many people avoid the Washington State Sales taxes they are also liable to pay by shopping in Oregon, many of the low-paying retail sales jobs are also here, meaning low-income people in Clark County and beyond find they have to accept a job in Oregon… for Oregon’s minimum wage, which is less than Washington’s… AND have those wages be subject to Oregon Income Taxes they can’t vote on.

    I think what we need is strong bi-state support to turn both sides of the Columbia River into metropolitan areas within a larger metropolitan area, where everyone can find suitable employment in their own state. We need to encourage those who employ people in low-wage jobs that, for example, if someone turns in an application at the fast food establishment closest to them that they should be hired for a job at that location… not someone that picks up & turns in an application in Wilsonville and interview there get a call a few days later: “You’re being offered a job at the Orchards, Washington, location, which is why we were advertising employment at the Wilsonville location.” If they wish to seek employment on the other side, that’s fine, however they should know they’ll be traversing roads designed to handle the capacity of through interstate traffic, not local commuter traffic.

    In my opinion, that will handle a lot of the problem.

    To solve the rest of the issue, I believe we need to see stronger local transit agencies… TriMet receives more funding to restore eliminated service and expand service between employers and residential areas, restore service frequencies, provide all these at days and times people need to travel between these places with usable travel times, and reinstate owl service. And we definitely need a stronger C-TRAN that provides service between residential areas, quality employment, and essential services, at days and times that people need to go there and with usable travel times.

    This, coupled with a law that prohibits employers from discriminating applicants for non-driving positions based on having a driving record or not, prohibiting employers from purposely locating jobs away from public transit routes, and requiring that an employer may not require someone to drive their own vehicle to work as a condition of employment, and we would probably have all the incentive we need to reduce traffic along the corridor.

  5. If both the Interstate and Glen Jackson are tolled, then through traffic to Kelso/Longview and points north (and through traffic from those points south) will avoid the toll by using the Lewis & Clark Bridge, turning US 30 into the freeway its not.

    I don’t see many people doing that as long as the tolls are reasonable. Taking US 30 would almost double travel time between I-84 and Longview. And by “double” I mean adding nearly 40 minutes to the trip, even assuming minimal congestion on both corridors. Only the most dedicated shunpikes will got 40 minutes out of their way to avoid, say, a $3.00 toll.

    Tolling both bridges would work precisely because there is no reasonable alternative to using them. The reasonable “alternative” would be to shift your trip off of peak travel times, if possible, in order to avoid the toll.

  6. Toll the existing bridges one way southbound at $5 with an HOV lane and the problem…peak hour congestion…will go away. More vanpools, carpools, more transit riders(all toll free) will happen overnight. No need to build anything.

  7. One-way tolls are more efficient than two-way tolls if you are guaranteed at catching motorists in both directions, but that idea might shift morning commuters to the Glenn Jackson, but then not evening commuters.

  8. I like the one-way toll idea, as long as both bridges are covered. It may even work with peak hour tolling: if we get people to arrange for off-peak work hours or to carpool or take transit to avoid morning peak tolls, they’ll be traveling home in the same carpools or buses, and the end of their shifts would avoid the peak as well, even without a specific financial incentive to do so.

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