Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ninas for smarter transportation systems

What is this girl's opinion of the CRC? She wants:
Simple things we might not be able too take for granted much longer.

No, this blog is not above using children to encourage a point. Thanks to BundleOfGlee for unwittingly providing this rad picture taken at May Day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

spreading the wealth and planning for the future

This guest post was sent into our northeast office
First of all, gas prices are going to increase drastically to shall we say, de-congest the roads that have worked fine for all these years. By the time this project is completed, it will likely be completely unnecessary. Shouldn't that at least go into consideration, maybe delay this project until driving conditions have leveled out again?
---but more important that that I wish to say, I don't know if you've ever been down and out, but I tell you this from the bottom of my heart:
So many people are struggling for even a part time job, on the verge of, or already have lost their homes. Real children are hungry and malnourished, their parents are going to do desperate things. And all the while heartless tyrants are buying and manipulating the understanding of health in lieu of adequate formal education, with no opposition to their over funded campaigns to think it's okay to live off of the right prepackaged foods. Four billion dollars is a ridiculous amount of money, I ask you in kind of you realize the sheer gravity of change this could make for us little people? Sometimes getting ten dollars means one may eat something nice, one thousand means bills are covered and there's nourishing foods. A million can make a big difference to a whole school, a whole community can feel more connected and prosperous. There's four thousand of those wrapped up in this one eyesore. Every community in the whole region could live better! Please help the people around you at least remember that Gas is going to become suuuper expensive again, maybe it's better if we reconsider this all later, or something. Four billion dollars, please take a moment to consider how many people's world could be a completely different place.

~Anthony Brasher~

Thank you Anthony! Remember kids, it's not hard to share your opinions... of course the right amount of editing can help you get your point across so don't skimp on the syntax!

photo credit to Svadilfari and Pingu196

Monday, May 4, 2009

What would you do with Four Billion?

Brewhaha! Let's Make a Deal, Portland

Date: Thursday, May 7th

6:30pm - Networking and drinks

7:00pm - Program begins

Venue: Roots Organic Brewery,
1520 SE 7th Ave Portland

Join us for a night of dialogue, democracy and drinks to debate our region's transportation future.

At 4 billion dollars the Columbia River Crossing's fantastic price tag sends a signal that anything is possible in Portland.

1000 Friends is organizing this evening game show style event, hosted by 1000 Friends Executive Director Bob Stacey, in association with The Bus Project, Transportation for America's town halls, and The Portland Mercury. We'll hear some about transportation funding and projects, have some fun, and spend an imaginary $4 billion in "Transpo-bucks". Speakers include CLF's very own Policy Director, Mara Gross, Chris Smith of, Jonathan Maus of, and Representative Nick Kahl.

Then, directly right after the Brewhaha program (around 8:00pm), CLF will be leading a Columbia River Crossing letter-writing session for those interested. We will be writing letters to our state legislators about Oregon's transportation priorities, including the need for a Climate Smart CRC that directly addresses our climate change goals, fiscal responsibility, and the livability of the communities around the 1-5 bridge corridor. The session is tentatively entitled, "Bigger is Not Better" or "Yo Leg, 12 Lanes is Wack."

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Who Benefits?

This uninvited guest commentary comes via myklelabs. The entire post is excellent but I will limit myself to reposting only a section:


Okay, so the CRC is a terrible idea. Why don’t we just ix-nay it and get on with the good life? Unfortunately, there are a lot of powerful people trying to sell our region this bridge, and they’re making progress. Who are these CRC supporters, and why do they support it?

• Well, obviously property developers like it, especially those sitting on undeveloped land in northern Clark County and/or unsold exurban condo ghost towns on the northern edge of Vancouver civilization. They need to sell the lie that these plots are somehow near a city, and that living there won’t be isolating and dull. What they don’t need is a real, lasting solution to congestion — with a quick fix, they can make their money and split.

• Some downtown Vancouver landlords, too, are hoping that the bouquet of overpasses and off-ramps planned for hooking up this monster to their street system will somehow reinvigorate their deserted downtown. Alas, we know from experience that overpasses do not attract families or businesses.

• Likewise, the big-box mall operators of Jantzen Beach dream of more cars on the bridge, because they equate it with more customers in their malls, regardless of what else might be collapsing in the global economy.

• Recall that Wal-Mart wants to build a store on Hayden Island. This bridge will let them do that, so we can count on their support. The viability of edge-of-nowhere chain superstores is directly related to the level of traffic on I-5.

• Finally, for some reason our elected officials are falling all over themselves to support this. Sam Adams is the obvious big disappointment, but there are others. Politicians and planners like these sorts of big projects; it makes their city bigger, thereby making them more important and giving them more accomplishments to point to at election time. And, if I was to be more charitable, I’d say that our city council is charged with the job of helping the local economy to flourish, and this project will almost certainly involve big piles of circulating money … which will, I’m sure, promote “growth.”

read the rest of the article

The question of who benefits from all this has been particularly troubling. And no single answer has satisfied, mostly because it is clear that so many of the people who are supposed to benefit from this project will actually be pissed when it is done (the CRC projects estimates that Vancouver suburb commuters, for example, will have longer commute times... so why are they for it?).

Perhaps the best analogy is that this project is trying to please everyone all at once, so that everyone is supposed to have gotten what they want. Of course we will have sacrificed everything we didn't realize was important to get it.

This is not just a left/right Republican/Democrat issue. Don't be fooled into believing an over simplified view, and please don't be a sideline lamo afraid to talk about it. Engage in heated debate about the pros and cons with your neighbors today!