Metro staff reported to JPACT this morning (a meeting of local elected officials who pass judgement on regional transportation policy) that the Columbia River Crossing would remain in the version of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) being updated as we speak.
The rationale is that the RTP designation is not for a specific project design (the one that just died) but for the requirements that motivated the project (e.g., we still need better and safer connectivity to Hayden, we still want reliable freight travel and transit across the river). This is not necessarily a bad thing. Elements of the “Common Sense Solution” could eventually qualify for funding under this RTP designation.
It’s a little bit more than theoretical for me in my role as Planning and Sustainability Commissioner. If the project were removed, it would also have to come out of Portland’s Transportation System Plan and larger Comprehensive Plan, which are now being updated, since they must be consistent with the RTP. Rejiggering those plans to remove the assumption of mobility improvements across the Columbia would be an interesting wrinkle….