Can You Put Your CRC Idea on One Page?

Metro Councilor Robert Liberty would like you to. He’s tired of waiting for the current project to collapse under its own weight and wants to start generating alternatives now.

From his current newsletter:

Columbia River Crossing: Time to leave the monster project behind and find some smarter, cheaper, greener solutions

The designation of an expensive expert panel by the Oregon and Washington Departments of Transportation is the latest, and most embarrassing, exercise in rubber-stamping for the $3 to $4 billion project.

The temptation is to rage against the two state agencies for this latest waste of public funds on opinion management.

But rage is not a constructive emotion. It is time to move on, to leave the monster project (which is primarily a freeway widening project with a bridge included in the mix) and the DOTs behind and begin talking about solutions that are smarter, cheaper and greener.

Many such proposals have been offered by thoughtful citizens in Oregon and Washington, including interesting mixes of upgrades or repurposing the existing bridges, supplemental lanes for local or freeway traffic, pricing to pre-pay for improvements and reduce congestion immediately, improvements to the downstream rail bridge to enhance barge movement and perhaps allow for commuter rail connections, and many, many others.

The DOTs weren’t interested in hearing those ideas.

I am.

I would appreciate it if you would share your proposals with me. List the needs or goals your proposal addresses, give an estimate of the cost and how it might be financed and provide a photo or map or diagram illustrating your idea. If there are illustrations of your idea already being used in other places, provide that information.

And put it all on one page. Yes, one page. We need to show that you don’t need $90 million, a huge staff and hundreds of pages of paper to come up with solutions that are smarter, cheaper and greener.

I will sort through those proposals and begin to share them with other citizens and elected officials on both sides of the Columbia River.

Councilor Liberty’s e-mail address is robert.liberty@oregonmetro.gov. Feel free to copy us on your ideas as well, here at webmaster@portlandtransport.com.

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