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Columbia River Crossing Bridge knocked by taxpayer group

November 19, 2012

Columbia River Crossing Bridge knocked by taxpayer group
By Oregon Tax News

 The watchdog taxpayer group, Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS), has included the Columbia River Crossing Bridge in its list of what it terms “common sense cuts to avoid the fiscal cliff.” The cuts total $2.0 trillion, which is more than enough to avoid sequestration, the across-the-board budget cuts mandated by law that will automatically go into effect January 2, 2013, if the budget is not otherwise cut. Sequestration will hit defense and non-defense budgets equally.

“Sequestration is bad. It would cut the good along with the bad, the effective and the wasteful. It is irresponsible,” states the TCS October 2012 report.

Instead, the report suggests dozens of projects that should be cut, including the Columbia River Crossing Bridge, which would save $1.25 billion. The report argues that the proposed highway-transit bridge over the Columbia River would only reduce morning commute times by 60 seconds. It also argues that the state transportation department’s justification for the project is based on faulty traffic projections. “Congress should deny state requests for one-third of the project’s billion dollar price tag and require more cost-effective alternatives,” concludes the report.

It also recommends cutting the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project (saving $1.2-$4.6 billion) and the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (saving $1.4 billion).

The entire TCS report can be found here:

  
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Janiece Staton November 21, 2012

Who cares what that one right wing group has to say about the Columbia River Bridge project? That bridge has been desperately needed, for decades. The entire Portland metro area is a log-jam, for more than 8 hours each day, due to the overabundance of traffic coming to/from Vancouver to the tri-county area.

Those irresponsible, long-distance, Vancouver commuters need to be paying for the wear-and-tear they are creating on Oregon freeways. By using toll bridge taxes, Oregonians can reap additional financial benefits, while penalizing (and, thereby, hopefully reducing) the enormous amount of air pollution generated by the predictable freeway backups, that have become the Portland norm.

Other than gas station owners, there’s not a single other business, nor resident of the tri-county area, who benefits by the near-constant jams in road traffic. If the west side had been developed responsibly, in an orderly grid pattern, (like the east side), there would be some alternative roadways to use as by-passes. As things stand now, until the freeways are expanded, another avenue through the West Hills is created, or tri-county residents are able to use flight transportation, (in place of cars), building the Columbia River Bridge and turning it (along with the other two) into a tollway into the Portland area, is our only hope of reducing chronically burdensome traffic congestion.

Without adequate roadways, it’s not possible for buses, bikes, cars, or pedestrians to reliably or quickly move from one location to another. The wasted time, energy, and money are depleting our area of valuable resources that are not being accurately captured in any organization’s bottom line! It’s absurd to postpone building that long overdue and badly need bridge any longer.

If the members of that political group wish to sit in idle traffic for wasted hours of their days, they can feel free to do that. The rest of us have places to go and things to do. It’s irresponsible to doom the rest of us to endless decades of that fate!

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