CRC Tolling Plan not “Stupid”, Merely “Myopic”

Kudos to Sarah Mirk from the Mercury for reading the transcripts of the Columbia River Crossing Independent Review Panel.

Nice to see some actual independence from the review panel!

We can’t let the DOTs stay in charge of this effort…

6 responses to “CRC Tolling Plan not “Stupid”, Merely “Myopic””

  1. This description is another clear example of the problem with the whole process. They aren’t saying there WON’T be tolls on the I205 bridge, only that that decision won’t be made as part of the CRC process. Essentially the DOT’s keep kicking difficult problems down the road even where they are integral to decisions about how the I5 crossing will be modified.

    They now have a plan that will clog the Rose Quarter, clog Clackamas County’s freight connections over the I205 bridge, reduce access to I5 and regional jobs for people who live in North and Northeast Portland , congest Portland’s business and employment centers and encourage even more auto-dependent development in rural Clark County, adding to the region’s greenhouse gases. But all of those impacts are outside the “bridge influence area” and according to the DOT’s will need to be “considered as part of a larger regional dialogue”, but only AFTER the DOT’s bridge is built.

    Instead of building the bridge and THEN deciding what to do about tolls on the I205, maybe there needs to be that “larger regional dialogue” to settle those other issues first. What is increasingly apparent is that the region isn’t ready to make a decision about the I5 bridge. When you still have to kick the decision on tolling I205 down the road, you aren’t in a position to decide whether to toll I5.

  2. Dave –

    Quad Cities is the intersection of 3 distinct interstates, 80, 88 and 74. And, while the Mississippi does separate the states, it operates much more like the Willamette River than the Columbia. But you are right, even a much smaller region with less than 400,000 people and three freeway bridge crossings of the river, also has a local bridge.

  3. You can hear the man’s internal compass begging to escape as he speaks….

    [Being an honest intellectual] From a broader public policy perspective, it sure seems, from an outside perspective stupid –
    [Oh nuts, I was instructed not to be critical of the project, just constructive] oh nope, uh, uh, I did not say that.
    [They’re going to kill me for being honest] If there’s a reporter in the room, I did not say that. It’s, uh, perhaps…uh… myopic, most people would know what that means, myopic not to look at the total crossings of the river.

    The guy clearly wants to do the right thing, but has been told not to.

    This comment offers just as much insight into what instructions the DOTS gave these outside experts as it does the project’s – let’s say myopic – approach.

  4. ODOT took away the local bridge for I-5 in 1958 when it should have built a real freeway bridge.
    Now we just want it back.

  5. Just Saying: I agree with you about it being a different style of community. The only area I can find that compares to Portland with only two freeway bridges (and no local bridges) is Memphis and West Memphis. West Memphis only has a population of 28,181 in 2005, so it’s not really a great comparison.

    Well, that and they’re looking at some new bridges up there. It seems a new bridge would be a better choice than replacing what we have, and it seems that option was thrown out early in the studies.

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