I applaud Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s, R-Camas, principled stance demanding the current Columbia River Crossing funding plan be put to a vote. The measure deserves attention and thorough discussion. Such a discussion we have not had since well before the misconception of light rail as the high-capacity transit mode of choice in 2006.
The 1995 defeat in the transit benefit district of the sales tax funding plan for the “preferred alternative” was a statement about a similar plan. The message that the residents of Southwest Washington were opposed to wasteful spending on a financially bloated and practically ill-advised method of moving people, (as demonstrated in a 1998 study of east-west Max line’s impact on transit ridership and economic activity) was not what was heard in Washington and Oregon state and local government offices. They heard the defeat of the measure at the polls was another example of the residents of Southwest Washington voting every tax levy and bond measure down in knee-jerk fashion.
Let our “representatives” observe, the “jerk” reaction in the residents’ knees has constitutional as well as practical reason for reacting when sharply struck.