Monday, March 10, 2014


About 8 months ago we called this thing dead. Somehow certain governors didn't get the memo. But this week we are told the Oregon legislature has given up on funding it. Which is great news because it was pretty absurd that we would build a massive freeway expansion without the help or coordination of Washington State, nevermind that the project would spend billions of dollars expanding the interstate around Vancouver.

Ugh. Bad ideas can last a while.

This is our 44th posting to this blog. we hope it will be our last.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Bing Blog the Which is Where?

Ding! Dong! The Witch is dead!

The CRC, a massive highway expansion project to place 5 lanes of travel from SW Washington into a 2-lane bottle neck, may have finally breathed its last breath.

Or on its deathbed?  Fatally wounded? Maybe a zombie? Okay fine, it could just be playing possum. It is rather confusing. Take, for example the fact the CRC office has admitted defeat and initially decided that it would spend the next 6 months packing up the office.

Curious. Ya know how sometimes ya hear people ask, "who does your hair?" we have a similar question about who is cutting their checks.

Either way the little guys celebrated a victory. We have been in the business of trying to encompass this titanic behemoth of 1950s design for so long (this blog itself has been pumping out the hits since Spring of 2009) we are not completely sure what we will do now.

We would like to believe that our reporting and testimony means something to the people who would call themselves our "representatives". But what really killed it was that Olympia doesn't like Vancouver (Washington) very much (in fairness it is mutual).

The fact is as long as there are people benefiting from bad design we will continue to get more sprawl and more of all the crap that comes with it. We should stay vigilant as these insane projects are popping up all the time. Meanwhile everywhere our infrastructure is failing.

At least there are good opportunities for lols. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Office of Executive Abuse

[trigger warning, this post makes sexual assault analogies]

 News that Washington Goveneor's veto of the Senate's Columbia River Crossing plan rocked the few dozen people paying attention to every detail so you might have missed this somewhat important news.
Legislators had allocated $81 million to the CRC for 2013-15, far short of the $450 million identified as Washington’s share. Aware of concerns that including light-rail track below the project’s bridge deck could hamper navigation on the Columbia River, Benton, vice chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, wanted that money to pay for a redesign of the project to make sure it would meet Coast Guard requirements.
When that effort was blocked by the committee’s Democratic co-chair and others, Benton spearheaded a move to set nearly all of the new allocation aside until the Coast Guard’s permit decision, expected later this year. If the Coast Guard endorses the design the remaining money will be released for further work; if not it must be used to redesign the project – which almost certainly will eliminate the light-rail extension from Portland.

This is pretty great news for people who think the CRC as designed is an abomination of design, set to wreck havoc on Cascadian budgets, transportation and environmental systems.*

Still this is no time to relax. You can bet the mysteriously inept, yet powerful forces behind the CRC will continue to push for more money to waste trying to figure out how to fit a round peg into a square hole. Over the past few months both the Oregon and Washington Governors have regularly pressured the legislature into taking premature action. Saying we must act now to take advantage of the paltry amount of federal money** that might be made available should everything else work out. Governors Inslee and Kitzhaber repeating "It is now or never" like some sort of creepy sexual predator, pushing their innocent partner into having sex before the magic spell is broken. If the trusting partner agrees they will be promptly used and disregarded, their phone calls and pleas for open communication ignored, while the predator, indifferent to anything but their own desires, will move on to the next conquest.

They decided now wasn't the time. How long do you think it will take for a Cascadian politician to use this line again? (We have created a poll on the side bar, vote now!)

This sort of behavior should not be rewarded. We must raise our voices and work to organize against these abusive, manipulative Governors. Together we can stop the transit rape.

*in other words, the vast majority of people
** try this game with a friend: ask for $4000, tell them if they act now you will give them $750. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Savior from the North

Bizarro World keeps turning. As if watching the Oregon Legislature approve to fast track funds for the CRC a couple weeks ago was not insane enough, having Olympia step in to say, "OMG CRC WTF" was nearly as stunning.

With the appearance of federal transportation director Ray LaHood in Olympia standing beside the Washington Governor pleading that "it is now or never" many were convinced that Washington would soon find itself in a similar position as Oregon pushing the Columbia River Crossing forward and that all of the Northwest could all rest easy snuggled up in a blanket of debt, forever.

But thank be to logic for the Senators and Representatives in the state of Washington have balked on "keeping up with the Joneses". According to this other CRC hating blog, the Columbia River Crossing might be dead in the water (or unsound in the Sound, perhaps?)

Sure, the added pressure of having a neighbor pay 450 million dollars for a big hunk of infrastructure might give the backers of the CRC some clout, but then perhaps those members didn't count on the Washington legislature to say, "Vancouver? That's in Canada!" 

The state of Washington has some major road projects in the works and most of their big highway improvement dollars are not leaving the vicinity of the Sound. Asking for legislatures to commit all their dollars for what most in Olympia view as a "Portland project" especially when the Representatives from Vancouver are decrying the project as a boondoggle.

We hadn't expected conservative neighbors to the north to be our saviors, but if they can kill this project we may be sending them a candygram.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vancouver Rally to Stop the CRC

With the Oregon legislature expediting wasteful spending the fate of Cascadia turns to Washington where they hate tolls almost as much as they hate lightrail. They have even organized a rally coming up soon!
We shall not go quietly. Gather the forces and connect with others!

Date: Friday, March 29th.
Time: 2:30pm to 4:00pm; 4:00 to 6:00pm – Post-Rally Social Gathering

Location: Grand Ballroom at the Vancouver Red Lion at the Quay, 100 Columbia Street, Vancouver, WA 98660

Want more info? Here the organizing group's website:

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bizarro Bridge stumbles on

 Bizarro World has come to Cascadia:

In short, a region that is world redound for smart transportation will try to build itself out of a traffic jam.

How are we to measure the onslaught of colossal failure that is sure to come? Will we time the commute for a Vancouver resident? The cancer-carrying capacity of a child's lungs living near the I-5 bottleneck? The number of trees consumed by the shoddy environmental impact studies? The gigawatts of electricity used by bloggers decrying it as a waste? The number and variety of metrics for how much this is going to suck is mind-blowing!

But rather than looking ahead to the misery, let us focus the present. Our opponents would love for us to roll over and allow them to rape our future. I advocate we use our voice and tell them to stop. Now.

By Monday, March 4th you must call your Senator

Here is our simple 4 step plan:
1 - consider why it is that you hate this project. There is an impressive list of reasons below
2 - look up your legislator in the Oregon Senate
3 - Call your Senators office
4 - Make someone you care about repeat steps 1-3

This will take ~180 seconds of your life. That is probably less time than you spent reading this. 


You may hear a great number of reasons this bridge must be built. Lets examine them:

* Bridge Safety
Pro CRC folks will say the current bridge is old and should be replaced. They won't mention that the people whose job it is to keep an eye on this stuff, The Army Corps of Engineers, says the current I-5 Bridge has a higher safety rating than Portland’s Marquam Bridge, and 29 other bridges in the Oregon highway system. Also notable is that there are many more accidents occurring on the Marquam Bridge. If we want to improve safety, this would be a good place to start.

* Bridge Lifts
"A red light on an interstate?!?" Well it does sound like a bad idea, but ask how many times it happens during rush hour. For the 300+ lifts every year only a handful are during peak traffic. We wont lie, it sucks being stuck in traffic, but even according to the CRC's own website - "Bridge lifts cause vehicles to stop on I-5 for up to 20 minutes at a time to allow river traffic on the Columbia River to pass." Can you believe that? 20 Minutes! And yet we have among the shortest commutes of any west coast city. I guess the only reasonable thing to do is make sure we try and shave one minute off the commute to Vancouver, WA.

* Future Traffic
They say we have to plan for the future of traffic and we should expect traffic to get worse, but traffic is not getting worse. There have been fewer and fewer bridge crossings over the past five years. This trend means A) there would be less money from the tolls we would be collecting and B) we dont need to replace a working bridge.

* Freight Economy
Most everything gets put on a truck at some point in its life so it is pretty important. Strangely, the CRC proponents would have you believe that truck drivers are not smart enough to avoid traffic. Truckers should be offended! If the pro-CRC people were actually worried about freight they would be working on making the railroad bridge a few miles downriver. For 1/20th of the cost of the CRC we could fix the railroad crossing. Speaking of moving big boxes of stuff, our own Coast Guard says the current CRC design is too low, preventing some ships from sailing upriver. Sure enough maritime business upstream is fighting mad that our tax dollars are going towards this "solution" to the problem of moving stuff around. But dont worry we are make more jobs by moving the company to another location downstream.

* Wasting Funds
We are told that we should support it because we have spent millions on the plan. That if we dont spend billions than all those millions will be lost. Can you imagine a doctor talking about gang green in a similar fashion? "It has spread to your leg and is growing. We could amputate, but maybe we should wait." Only in this case the doctor caused the infection and will get money money if the patient dies.

* Jobs
For sure, we can spend a lot of money and employ a lot of people. But considering the epic scale of this freeway expansion project one would hope these jobs that we are creating will be around for a while. When the Pro-CRC camp talks about the 20,000 jobs they are creating they mean they are expecting 2,000 job increase over ten years. 2,000 x 10 years = 20,000. More accurate analysis showed that there will be an increase of about 1,150 temporary jobs.  We are all for making jobs but there are plenty of ways to make something better for cheaper. But this is Bizarro Cascadia. The workplace may soon be very, very different.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Please sign our petition to stop the CRC project and ask lawmakers to consider many alternatives. ( Like the CSA - Common Sense Alternative )
Click here URL:

Here's a myth spread by Oregon Democrats:
There's no need to take action to stop the 12 lane freeway costing $5 billion. It will never get funding. Reality: The Governor and House majority leader have included $400 million in their budget for 2013

It is up to every voter to call or join our petition to spend our money better.  The Legislature has a majority of support and the check will be in the mail.

List of phone numbers:

quote: "The Democrat’s proposed 2013-15 budget includes $450 million for the CRC. That’s roughly the share Oregon is expected to come up with as part of the project’s $3.5 billion price tag. CRC planners are banking on Washington lawmakers to commit about the same amount, though project leaders have suggested that may not have to come all at once.
Kitzhaber’s budget outline doesn’t guarantee funding for the CRC — far from it. That will ultimately be up to the Oregon Legislature, which convenes in January"