CRC: The Whole Story

Cascadia Times now has their 9-part examination of the Columbia River Crossing online.

One response to “CRC: The Whole Story”

  1. Rather lengthy to read in its entirety but it looks like they are positing transportation alternatives vs. “freeway arms race.” That’s pretty simplistic.

    1. A roadway placed very strategically to reduce VMT on a popularly used route can benefit all modes. If a lot of commuters are opting for autos because a particular route is long and complicated, finding a new shortcut can shift the equation, at least in a region like ours where the mild climate induces personal alternatives. More people will opt for public transit if their trip is short, swift and uncomplicated.

    2. Local passenger transport comprises a relatively small slice of local GHC (14 percent in our area according to METRO) so efforts that only reduce this by an additional 1-3 percent should only be done if the cost is very low. Otherwise we have other economic priorities. Even if you could eliminate all GHG from local passenger transport (and could somehow absorb the additional GHG arising from the economic activity to eliominate the 14 percent) you still would have 86 percent to deal with, which is coming from other sources. Add in additional GHG from induced population growth.

    3. If Portland seeks to lead the nation in solutions to these environmental issues it gets even more complex. Are you asking for a very expensive agenda, that takes money out of other sectors of the economy? Some areas of our country exist on a slim margin of profit, and might not be able to absorb an added burden.

    4. A better way to make national impact might be to revisit the national standards on vehicle emissions. We are not the only country striving to reduce pollution. And other countries have had more experience in coping with high fuel prices and coming up with solutions. There are foreign automakers proposing normal size vehicles in the 60 to 80 mpg range. Likely, though, our EPA regulations preclude those being used here. Is that a reasonable policy? Sure, a high mpg vehicle would still use a roadway—-but returning money to the consumers pocket from spending less on fuel would be a lot more palatable than imposing new taxes to fund solutions that are merely a long shot in leading to anything more than a modest local improvement.

    I think that with the way our Economy is trending that ALL modes of transportation are going to be very fiscally challenged. Time to start using some yankee ingenuity and getting the results accomplished with less money.

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