Public officials, in spite of their objections to the design of this project, still believe that the freeway must be fixed by adding lanes and replacing bridges that are structurally sound and are good for another century. Tinkering with the freeway won’t solve the problem. It functioned fine before traffic turned it into a parking lot. Remove the traffic demand by providing attractive alternatives, and the problem goes away. Shift the demand to other crossing options such as local Hayden Island access, new freight mobility options, light rail, commuter rail, and more bike and pedestrian crossings. All these improvements are possible and far less expensive than this monstrous five-mile-long freeway project.
Taking a broader look at the Columbia River Crossing, it seems the project’s true goals can be summed up as follows:
1. Slightly increase profit margins for shipping companies (faster delivery) and by extension make large corporations operating locally slightly more competitive.
2. Increase capacity for Clark County solo-commuters to flood Portland each morning, and leave each afternoon, by extension making further McDevelopment in Southwest Washington practical and more profitable.
If we accept these facts, it’s obvious that the CRC is completely unnecessary from a public-good standpoint. We know that the existing bridges are quite safe, or certainly no more dangerous than the Marquam or Fremont bridges. And we know that tolling could solve the congestion problem in a heartbeat.
So why is the CRC still even up for discussion? Are large Oregon corporations such as Schnitzer and Clark County developers going to put up $4 billion to build their new bridge, or aren’t they? If not, why in the hell would Oregon taxpayers want to do it for them?
Toll the tax-dodgers, don’t subsidize their addiction to 4,500-square-foot houses on one-third-acre lots. There is a villain here, and sooner or later we’re going to have to face up to the fact that everyone pays for the white suburban lifestyle.
We pay taxes to build freeways. People in the third world die of starvation caused by driving-induced climate change. Shut down the suburbs.
In the May 2010 article “Coffee Confidential” (p. 79), Cheryl Wakerhauser was listed as a co-founder of Pix Pâtisserie—Wakerhauser is in fact the sole owner and founder of Pix. In the June 2010 article “Beyond S’mores” (p. 77), chef Cathy Whims’s paella recipe was missing a step—the piquillo peppers should be added with the green peppers. Chef Jason French’s recipe for fried pesto pasta also should have
included a ½ cup of lightly toasted pine nuts or hazelnuts. Portland Monthly regrets the errors.