Columbia River Crossing forum



This is a forum to discuss the Columbia River Crossing.

Starting June 1, readers must comment on stories using a Facebook account. This forum has been created to allow registered users to continue online discussions under your existing profile.

The forums will still be moderated by Columbian staff and our community guidelines and terms of service still apply.

Only Columbian staff members can create new forum threads.

You may find the first forum here.



please don't push a reader requested subject down with the regular forum dates, effectively killing it.

mrd — February 17, 2012 at 5:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal

First off, thank you Matt.

I agree with mrd. It's like the back fence forum. I feel it would be used more for all things not political like the regular forum.

In fact I propose that you make the regular forum a political one and all others can say things that won't get lost among the four or five commentators that usually use that forum. It does no good to post the most read or most commented on articles. No one hardly ever comments on them unless they are political.

I'm not knocking the posters there. Far from it. They are, for the most part, a very intelligent group. Too sharp for the likes of little ol' me. I admit I am not very political.

As we move forward with the CRC and all the problems they have I feel that giving them a full listed forum all their own is in order also. Not to be lost under a list of forums. That way when the Big C does a story about them the people who don't use facebook will be able to comment without having to hunt the column down or try to comment on the regular forum.

JohnCasey — February 18, 2012 at 6:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Letter to the Mayor;

Why would you disenfranchise a portion of the county, that is serviced by C-Tran, for the sake of a positive vote for Light-Rail maintenance taxes?? If the C-Tran board, or the city council for that matter, thinks for one moment that this would be a lock on the tax passing you may find that it will be challenged.

To put Light-Rail in on the bridge and go to Clark College will cost more than what it is on paper. It's call hidden costs. To relocate the existing infrastructure is going to surprise everyone. As an engineer you of all people should know this.

As a professional you should be honest about it. I worked on the relocation of services program for the original bus mall in downtown Portland back in 74'. Anybody who was involved can tell you that that the costs associated with that rose by 1/3 overall. All the utilities involve took a big hit.

One thing about this bridge replacement. People will have to go around it. You can't avoid that little fact. I-205 is at capacity now during rush-hour.

If you just have to have some kind of rail system why don't we try this. Get a six month or a one year permit to run express trains during rush hour from Vancouver to Portland's Union Station. If it proves to be workable then try that instead of forcing Light-Rail down our throats. It moves the parking issue to where it belongs. Not in downtown Vancouver. They use this kind of system in other cities. The tracks already exist so there would be no new construction costs. It wouldn't cost as much to maintain. If it works then you can build a parking structure there instead of three in the downtown area.

C-Tran can then provide express from their park and rides to the station. If you want to be part of any social engineering project the thing is to make it affordable AND palatable.

Besides I don't think the people would like the idea that C-Tran would not own the tracks and not get anything in return. But we still have the responsibility to maintain them. The over-site would be lost and we all know that Tri-Met will never break even. I know it wasn't supposed to but Oregon has three counties to draw from. We don't. It's that simple.

JohnCasey — February 20, 2012 at 7:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Instead of 80 feet high when it touches Washington it now may be 120+ feet. Whee, more shade for downtown. Just think, they knew about this way back and still decided it wasn't a serious enough problem.

The Coast guard says that height may interfere with air traffic. When I look up at the planes going over the bridge now, it seems that there is a lot more than 4 or 500 feet of clearance.

And Mayor Timmy says we have OTHER WAYS to fund ongoing maintenance for future Loo-Rail. Higher fees for city services and more for car tabs. Raise the fees and you effectively kill growth. The thing is he knows it. He said his citizens panel said this is the way to go. What an elitist bunch of ...

JohnCasey — March 2, 2012 at 5:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Good morning, JohnCasey. Isn't it great that the US Coast Guard is working to protect the people from the scourge of the world including the scammers who are filling their pockets at taxpayer expense???

Guess I'm being a bit harsh...and possibly a bit premature in my thoughts.

Could this be the beginning of the end of the current utopian I-5 Bridge project??? If height interferes with air traffic and the current project is designed too low which is what us "commoners" have been saying since the final design was decided... there any compromise that could be available other than just replacing straight across with a bridge with NO light rail which meets earthquake standards and includes NEW equipment for raising and lowering the span during OFF-PEAK hours OR just leaving the danged thing alone and retrofit it for billions less???

goldenoldie — March 2, 2012 at 6:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal

And Mayor Timmy...I so wish he'd get on this forum and discuss it with the people of Clark County who stay away from Facebook. I'd like to hear a full explanation by him which would include why he thinks what he has to say is the final say when it comes to the voters.

I suppose he's going to try to offset the USCG's decision without their say, too.

goldenoldie — March 2, 2012 at 6:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Oooooohhhh!!! Brainstorming again!!!

I have a GREAT idea if the crossing officials want to meet the needs specified by the US Coast Guard.

How about they take out the lower level of the bridge design altogether, design it like I-205 and leave it at that! No light rail, no pedestrian/bike deck...just a center bike/pedestrian lane.

I like that idea! In fact...I've been saying this for HOW LONG NOW????

goldenoldie — March 2, 2012 at 7:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Morning Goldie. First off, I have to admit that I am not upon all the details of this disaster called the new crossing. But the latest news from Coast Guard about the needed bridge height just floored me. For me, it really demonstrates the waste, lack of foresight, and overall - dare I say it - cronyism that has gone into this project for all these years.
I know the 205 bridge gets flak for being simple and not so architecturally pleasing etc etc. But I like it. It is simple, straight, easy to drive and provides the best sight of our surroundings. I love driving over it when the "mountain is out" and I can see far and away.
Correct me if I am wrong. But does not all this light rail stuff boil down to "no light rail, no fed money"? But inclusion of light rail adds a ton of money to cost? So no light rail, lower cost? I am not saying it offsets completely the federal share, but still.
How can one plan for 10+ years and miss height requirements? Honestly, that really ruined my morning coffee. I feel I also need to get involved in this and voice my opinion to the powers that are. The thought of large tolls on a federal interstate highway just ticks me off. For light rail only locals would use - and the locals on this side of the creek do not even want it.

luvithere — March 2, 2012 at 7:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Golden, good morning to you!

I must say, I am so laughing right now. Thank you BIG time USCG!!!

I have a feeling that the mayor and others are having a "duh duh durrrrrrr" moment about now. ;)

ELISI — March 2, 2012 at 8:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Overton, the Coast Guard’s bridge administrator, said his predecessor, Austin Pratt, did tell him the CRC asked if it should study a 95-foot bridge.

“You can study any height you want. We can’t tell you what to study and what not to study,” Overton said.

This is an attitude I find unacceptable in bureaucrats. Great example of co-operation. Not!

I hope this guy is now happy having wasted perhaps millions. Obviously, a government official doing what many do best. So caught up in red tape, the process is more important than results.

mrd — March 2, 2012 at 8:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Mornin', luvithere. You made a statement "No light rail, no fed money" and that is what entities like Metro and Trimet wanted you to believe. We actually had 5 alternatives. (See Chapter 2):

The fact is...they chose the LPA, even after ignoring the voters who twice in Clark County have said no through requests of funding for maintenance and operations and future studies of LRT. Again, voters should have a choice to say whether or not they should HAVE light rail in the first place here or if we should have to pay extra sales tax OR tolls in Clark County to fund maintenance and operations of LRT through C-Tran's future request, something Mayor Tim Leavitt finds is unnecessary. The cold hard truth of it all is...

Governor Christine Gregoire, Mayor Tim Leavitt, Metro, TriMet, C-Tran, Clark County and all other entities involved in this process haven't listened to the voters thus far, so even if we had a wouldn't do us any good. Our elections process should be the deciding factor and it no longer is. They AREN'T listening any more.

Quite honestly, if the the US Coast Guard says they won't allow the construction in it's current state...then they should scrap the danged job altogether since millions have already been wasted. They should go ahead with tolling for the same price they did in the '60's and save up for the replacement. We can't spend what we don't have. For now, any federal tax dollars that should go into the bridge project, it should be towards earthquake retrofitting and maintenance and operations of the current bridge.

Common sense, wouldn't you say???

goldenoldie — March 2, 2012 at 10:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Good mornin' ELISI.

It sure sounds that way right now...but I'm sure the folks involved with the CRC will have a few tricks stashed away. They always do.


mrd, it wreaks of bureaucracy...the whole blasted project! And it isn't just the project which has the stench. Just following the news lately holds testament to that thought.

As far as I'm concerned...if it wasn't a special interest project, the officials would have asked for the Coast Guard's input to begin with. Funny how they went straight to the FTA before getting all their P's and Q's together, huh!

Crooked as a $3 bill!!!

goldenoldie — March 2, 2012 at 10:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal

It’s true no deal was set in stone: the Coast Guard cannot give formal permits and review until after the formal federal Record of Decision, which gives the nod to major highway projects. That happened in December 2011.

There's the epitome of bureaucracies. Only a bureaucrat could appreciate allowing a very long and costly planning process (a bureacratic thing of beauty in itself) to have a major setback after a kajillion other bureaucrats had spent years and millions working on "planning". As I said earlier, the importance of the process trumps the importance of results. Job security, I guess. By making the process so daunting and complex, it requires a bureaucrat to understand it. Us simple, common folks don't have the ability to comprend the importance and complexities of such things, so we have to leave those things to the bureaucrats, they're smart enough to understand it all. We can see how well they perform, right?

mrd — March 2, 2012 at 11:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Thanks Golden, as I said I am no expert on this. All I know is that I see this now for what it is. Special interest lining pockets....and we pay.
I like your common sense approach: toll a little and save it and then build something. THAT will never fly obviously. Somewhere along the way, a few chosen ones have decided that this is what we need, with light rail, and we WILL pay for it. I firmly believe a federal investigation of it all is in order. And how come the C does not cover what the Willamette weekly did? Seems the court down there has made a few firm statements re light rail. Lew seems to cover it.

luvithere — March 2, 2012 at 12:03 p.m. ( | suggest removal

One thing I want to make perfectly clear with everyone is this. I am a long time supporter of mass transit. It's an affordable alternative for those who cannot afford automobile ownership or for those who just don't want to be behind the wheel of a car such as myself. The one and only problem I have had with this bridge project OBVIOUSLY has to do with the light rail aspect of the construction.

I would be a supporter of light rail IF and only IF the end justified the means and it's obvious that it does not. The facts our local officials have failed to bring to the table as far as Clark County is concerned is that number 1, the length of light rail proposed will NOT alleviate gridlock within one mile of the corridor; number 2, it is a dead end project to Fort Vancouver Way, only at the remotest chance of a few extra visitors to the mom and pop shops in downtown; number 3, we will be increasing the eyesore of downtown with massive overhead wires, long term road construction and detours as light rail is implemented; number 4, it is a costly venture which has not shown to be at the best interests of our community as it will only aid a select few; number 5, the project does not improve accessibility to major venues throughout Clark County at at the Event Center/Fairgrounds/Amphitheater where all the money making possibilities would ring in Ka Ching for C-Tran and TriMet; and number 6...there's not enough industrialized employment to warrant a 10 billion-dollar project. The rate of unemployment in Clark County is higher than the officials are leading you to believe. They are not factoring in those who are nearing retirement, who are out of a job right now...the baby boomers. In their numbers, anybody who is at or near 63 are considered retired. They also don't factor in those who HAVE found jobs...most likely are sitting on Part Time jobs, not full time. No wages, higher rate of tax lot sale homes, more dependence by the government on those of us who have been able to hold to our homes and what jobs we have...hence the need to raise sales taxes, property taxes and implement tolls...hitting us with that One-Two punch.

Now if our officials could find a fix all without nailing all of us till we're taxed to death, they're going to find more lining up in a mass exodus to leave the region, most likely several who will walk away from their financial woes with foreclosure and bankruptcy. Then where will they get the money??? I know...Maybe they could tax the squirrel population. Heck, there's an abundance of those little critters...and those little critters have just about as much money as us two-legged critters do!!!

Anybody up to the task of squeezing water out of a rock??? That's what our officials are doing.

goldenoldie — March 2, 2012 at 5:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal

And Everyone...are you ready for what I believe is the number one reason why our City officials are so gung ho for this project??? Funny how it just happens to be less than ONE block away from the Hilton, huh. You know...that great money maker for the city??? And where is the City of Vancouver housed now??? Ah yes...neighbors elbow to elbow.

Hmm...and just who is this light rail for??? For the betterment of the people of Multnomah and Clark Counties????

Yeah, right.

goldenoldie — March 2, 2012 at 5:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal

mrd — March 2, 2012 at 8:23 a.m.,

I'm not sure what the Coastie statement you mention is all about - I'd like to see it put in context of the entire conversation. The Coast Guard has been telling the CRC for several months that the bridge won't be high enough to handle all traffic. However, they couldn't make this official until the proper documents were presented back in December.

roger — March 2, 2012 at 7:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Interesting that you'd bring up the Hilton - I've been wondering about something since this article hit this morning.

Remember how someone (Manthou, I believe) let us know about the lady who bought the old brewery downtown and converted it to offices? One of the reclamation projects going on to try to make the old downtown more economically viable again. (Or something like that.)

The owner popped up in the news recently - it seems half this property was going to be taken for one of the CRC parking garages because - get this - the original garage high rise design would block the view of Mount Hood for Hilton guests. So, instead, they decided a wider and lower structure would be better. As for this lady's investment - so sorry.

So, I wonder what this latest turn of events is going to do for that view of Mount Hood?

roger — March 2, 2012 at 7:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Good morning, to you too GO.

Lately I've been doing the I-5 slog to P-Town. Most of the slow downs that occur on this side of the river are directly related to the drivers themselves. The mental attitude is 'me first'. Don't even try to get in front of me. I had some idiot in a deep purple or plum colored BMW go by me doing at least 65 or 70 MPH. He was weaving in and out of traffic. About 100 yards later he had to slam on his brakes.

If they would just practice the basic rule of the road and give themselves the safety room needed then they would find that it would move a lot faster.

No amount of effort to get people to take mass transit will fix the problems encountered going south. A new I-5 bridge will not fix these problems on the Oregon side

The other problem on this side is the entrance to I-5 southbound at SR-14. As long as the DOT thinks this is OK we will never fix this. When you get the green light do your best to get up to speed. Do not wait till you are on the freeway. You become the problem.

The other problem is south of Rosa Parks to I-5. The city of Portland doesn't seem to understand that when you have just three lanes till almost to the Fremont bridge you will have idiots that come zooming down in the far left lane and wait till there almost to their exit till they move over. All the while you have people merging to the left to take the I-5 south exit.

Part 2 to follow.

JohnCasey — March 3, 2012 at 6:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Part 2

Coming back at rush hour is just as frustrating.

Note to the DOT of Oregon. Do yourselves a favor and add 2 or 3 seconds to the red light on the metered ramps. Extend the hours of metered time to 7:00PM. Move traffic to the bridge off of Hayden Island to go south and get on at either Marine Drive entrance or even further south.

Make it no lane changes from the just after the place where the entrance from Hayden Island to I-5 north. Part of the issue with the current bridge itself are the drivers. They wait till they are on the bridge and try to get over to take the SR-14 exit.

Extend the carpool lane to beyond the marine drive entrance. People jump the gun all the time. They are just about the rudest of the rude. If you extend the lane you may find that it will move much faster. Also make it carpool lane till 7:00PM. Most of the traffic is between 5:00 pm and 7:00PM.

When traffic exits the bridge it picks up speed and we have enough run-out on the entrances northbound that it isn't an issue. People can get up to speed and merge safely.

If we ever get a replacement bridge it wouldn't change a thing if they don't re-think the exits and entrances to the corridor. It won't matter how many lanes or how high it is as long as you have selfish drivers and no amount of loo-rail or any other mass transit options will change that.

Oh, and don't let stupid cops tie up the carpool lane with writing tickets. Make the offender pull over to the right and stop. I have now seen this twice.

Now these solutions will make people think that it would be a mess but once the public has a little time to get used to it I believe it will make a smoother commute.


JohnCasey — March 3, 2012 at 7:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal

JohnCasey, as usual...the common sense approach by some appears to be going down the tube when it comes to using their noggin lately. Have you noticed since the economic downturn began, how rudeness and selfishness has gone up??? That "Me First" mindset is truly getting old!

And John...if they'd take care of the ramps at Hwy 14 and close some of the on ramps in the squeeze chutes in Portland, I think the reduction of merge lanes would be beneficial. Now seriously, does every single East-West overpass in Portland *reeeeally* have to include an on ramp onto the freeway???

goldenoldie — March 3, 2012 at 4:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal

GO, it's not that all the overpasses have access to the freeway. It's the ones that do that are the problem. The problem stems from their shortsightedness. Back when the interconnections were planned out in Portland, when I-5 was first put in, it was assumed that there would always be room. They could just go in and condemn any property that was in the way and to hell with us.

When they tried to force a freeway down Fremont St. they ran into a storm. The government canvassed the people to see if they were willing to sell. We told them to stuff it. That's why the freeway off ramp from the Fremont bridge stops over by the hospital. There would be a parallel freeway to I-84 right now if they had gotten their way. Instead of going down Lombard or Columbia they just quit.

Then they decided to screw up the surface streets to make peoples drive to somewhere nigh impossible without having to go around. This was about the same era when Rose City Transit was bought out and run by Tri-Met. It made their buses run through easier. Just another bit of social engineering. LOL

But you right about people being more rude than ever. I'm not sure it's all the economy's fault though. I believe it stems more from the 'me' attitude some parents gave their children as they grew up. I notice that the younger parents let the children run their asylum more nowadays. No boundaries are set. God forbid that little Johnny or Suzy gets a timeout for acting up. Ooohh it might screw them up and they may turn out to be maladjusted!! Well now I don't think that us of the older generations turned out so bad. We had those boundaries and if we messed up we were held accountable. I just ran off a bunch of dope smokin' middle schoolers from some private property after taking some picture of them. When they got done vilifying me I asked them to come back and talk about it. I offered to talk to there parents to help sort out their problems. Not one took me up on the offer. But I digress.

If the powers to be in Vancouver don't get this right then we will all suffer. They have the same elitist attitude that says 'we know whats good for you, you don't'. The downtown core as well as the neighborhoods bordering it will end up just like Portland.

Now the CRC is under the microscope and I think there will be hell to pay. No amount of sniveling will do. They will have to come up with facts as to why they screwed the pooch on the height as well as their financial outlay to date. They will have to dot every i and cross every t, and it better pencil out this time.

I think they are getting enough attention to attract a federal investigation. I know I have been doing my part to bring it about by writing ever member of the senate and the house of representatives (spam if you will). It wasn't easy but I felt it need to be brought to their attention as some the funds are also coming from the feds. I didn't care what committee they were on.

JohnCasey — March 3, 2012 at 7:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal

JohnCasey, I just sent a rather lengthy email to Representative Herrera-Beutler, explaining the very same concern you have regarding shortsightedness when it comes to the highways and byways we are witnessing here in our area. Two excellent reminders are SR-500 and Padden Parkway. If they'd built SR-500 correctly in the first place, we wouldn't be facing the huge project at St. Johns, along with Thurston Way, Andresen and Gher which were replaced in recent years. With's the region near Ward Road as well as Andresen which has had major issues. And the transition zone to 78th Street...I'm living proof that the intersection at Padden and 78th Street is a poor design. My permanent injuries and loss of a loved one are my grim reminder.

Now, we're facing the biggest headache of our lifetimes with the mindset of replacing our historic bridges that span the Columbia River. The old cliche' "If we build it, they will come" when it comes to light rail, just doesn't hold it with me. They aren't going to improve traffic flow with light rail. That we all know is a special interest of current government officials. I've urged Rep. Herrera-Beutler to bring common sense back to the table and either retrofit and continue maintenance and operations of the existing bridges or scrap the idea of the light rail/pedestrian deck altogether and build a bridge similar to I-205, fully equipped with a center pedestrian/bike lane and a high capacity lane each direction which could in the future be equipped with light rail IF AND ONLY IF the need arises. Right now, the focus should be on local jobs to keep the Clark County citizens IN Clark County to improve OUR economy...not the economic status of Portland's transit company and a few entities who have vested interests in the project.

goldenoldie — March 4, 2012 at 7:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal

MY, MY, MY....Ms. Boyd is getting a little angry these days. Apparently Evans & Associates did all their little study work without any consideration of the "Little People" at Thompson MetalFab and their little teeny tiny oil equipment which must pass under the bridge in order to be delivered to North American Oil Fields in order to produce crude oil for folks in North America and beyond. You of the companies in our community who are striving to keep folks working (not like our local leaders who are doing everything in their power to wipe out the families with fewer jobs, continued tax increases AND potential for tolls as well)??? And have the audacity to blame the United States Coast Guard because the USCG has put the stop on the WHOLE process just because the folks at CRC were too blind to see what was all too obvious??? And then the CRC screams about the potential for more unnecessary expenditures on top of it all???

Tsk, tsk!!! Ms. should shouldn't blame the folks that *protect* the little people of the United States from persecution by those who don't have our best interests at heart. They're doing their job right. How about you??? Knock it off with the blame game, would ya??? Of anything, you should be thanking the USCG for preventing the biggest boondoggle from coming to fruition and preventing an economic catastrophe to one of the few companies who are keeping people at work (especially during this Greater Depression). And to all of you involved in the should have listened to the taxpayers...gotten on board and designed an economically-feasible bridge crossing to begin with rather than this catastrophic design of a boondoggle just to suit the needs of a few.

That stench...that skunk hovering about - the powers that know, the one associated with the special agenda of certain officials is becoming more rank by the nano second.

goldenoldie — March 6, 2012 at 4:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Well now here's the problem!

There are two of every thing involved to get the project done. Take out the political football and get down to business.

Hey it was worth a shot.

Let the Federal DOT do their job and get the hell out of the way. You guys are just muckin' it up!!

Now we have to have a committee to oversee your sorry .... What a shame. You could have listen to the public, but no you just had to use that old adage ... "we know better than you".

Blaming the USCG for your over-site is just mudslinging after the fact. That bus has left. LOL

This comment probably will take me out of the running for the citizen spot on the new committee. Oh well!!!

JohnCasey — March 7, 2012 at 5:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal

What the hell has happened to common sense? Now we have to have an over-site committee for C-Tran? WHY??? Don't you guys have enough sense on how to run it? And what the heck do people from Mass.,Arizona, and Texas have to do with our transportation needs in the Pacific Northwest??? Can't you find ANYONE local? Oh, I forgot, one from Seattle, a city that has more than 5 times the people.

And couldn't you use $500,000 else where? Oh, I don't know, like in running the buses.

Now it seems that it won't have have an impact in time for a vote for funds to maintain any kind of future LOO-RAIL. Now you are calling it future transportation funds. What does that exactly mean anyway? The impression we have is that it was a vote solely for any LOO-RAIL maintenance. After the last vote for C-Tran funds it came out that that it was only a 'gentleman's agreement' for the use of those funds!!! It still could be used for Loo-Rail.

It looks to me like they are already spending it for that anyway. If you think I'm mad you're right. And you should be also.

JohnCasey — March 7, 2012 at 5:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Kim Kendall made some valid points in the FB comment section on the Columbian article entitled **"New state panel would keep eye on CRC project."**

As Kim states, *"Rivers is not leading a charge to stop the CRC. She is leading a charge to pretend money will be spent competently."*

Sorry Rep. Ann Rivers, this should have begun when the project went to the table in the first place. A tad bit late wouldn't you say??? Now it paints the very picture Kim Kendall speaks and sad to say...folks such as myself who have followed the project from day one, tend to agree.

Kim Kendall also went on to say *"This is a political ploy. This project has already cost tax payers 180 million dollars. Until the public was notified of those monies wasted there was no talk of oversight. It is very doubtful anyone on that committee even understands the cost structure of this project let alone any technical aspects that should be questioned."*

My feelings exactly, although for those of us who have followed along, asking questions from the beginning...we already saw it and have been labeled NIMBYs and Hounds of Whinerville...people who just wanted to stall the project, causing wasted taxpayer dollars in delays because of our concerns and our rights to make public note of the issues...and *BOY OH BOY* have we been dissected and scrutinized by those their lack of an open mind on the project - you know, those who have the potential to profit from the project in itself. Sadly, when brought to the attention of our local elected leaders as well as the CRC and transportation officials, they claimed we didn't have a clue as to what was going on and why decisions were made without checking all the details. Now we're witnessing a classic example of the "Blame Game" so typical of today's political climate.

I can't quite agree with Kim Kendall regarding Rep. Herrera-Beutler when they said she's a *"pretender of being a public watchdog"* as I believe she does in fact have Clark County's best interests at heart. It's just a matter of taking action rather than just talking about it. She's still green around the gills in DC but is beginning to show her potential.

The harshest statement in the same article from Kim Kendall states in a discussion to Commissioner Moeller which I believe is a generalized statement to the powers that be *"You are empty rubber stamps of some faceless beaurocrats(sp) in Washington DC that says, we have decided unsound economics should rule the day. You are not a credit to local citizens."*

Hmm....maybe I'll keep my comment to myself on *this* one!

goldenoldie — March 7, 2012 at 6:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Good morning, JohnCasey. Looks like a certain article has raised our dander a bit, wouldn't you say??? And yes, it ticks me off tremendously as well as evidenced by my OBVIOUSLY opinionated comments! The downward spiral of government spending is corrupting the very system we have all become dependent on. Before we know it...we'll be living the exact same atmosphere that Greece is experiencing.

goldenoldie — March 7, 2012 at 6:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Good morning to you also GO. I just read most of the comments on the FB side. What a hornets nest the CRC and C-Tran has kicked over.

Like I said there should be a federal investigation. It also appears that the transportation bill is now deadlocked in congress. They can't get a majority. Can you say PORK!!! Funding from the feds may die before it gets out of the chute.

My oh my, what will CRC and C-Tran do next? Besides shoot themselves in the foot that is.

JohnCasey — March 7, 2012 at 6:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Well JohnCasey...if it were my preference, I'd say disband the CRC (and investigate the entire planning process) which has obviously based most of it's argument on special interests of TriMet and Metro...and let C-Tran get back to business in improving service at an affordable rate for the citizens of Clark County without the need to raise taxes BRT corridor, just sensible investments in pullouts, pedestrian crossing and better management of route scheduling and driver re-examination every 5 years. Regarding the I-5 Bridge...retrofit the danged thing and call it a day. Maybe installing tolls of $1 each way per vehicle for the next 10 special favors for either side of the river...just straight-across $1 tolls THEN think about replacing the bridges - no light rail, no fancy schmancy pedestrian deck...just a bridge (equipped with a center pedestrian lane) which will be functional and aesthetically matching to I-205 Bridge with ramps which actually work well when it comes to merging.

I'd say it's a rather sensible idea. Now...if our powers that be would utilize common sense for once!

goldenoldie — March 7, 2012 at 10:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Something you might be interested in.

A year ago, Mayor Sam (Adams) was in a pissing contest with the CRC because he wanted the cable stay option picked. He says CRC said the profile would be too high, and FAA review would take too long. Mayor Sam found his own expert who (more or less) said CRC didn't know what they were talking about. The cable stay bridge, per him, would have only required a very cursory review due to the current bridge's profile. Further, it seems the height restriction over the river is a Vancouver one; not FAA's.

I'm not too interested in Mayor Sam's hurt feelings, as expressed in his letter to Gov Kitz, but he sure seems to be supporting that CRC was running with their own agenda and that some of what they claim may not be entirely factual.

roger — March 7, 2012 at 1:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Here's some very rough estimates. I've been scouring the CRC website and can't find anything. If my guessing is correct, I think I can see why.

Very rough. To get grade, divide rise by length, and multiply by 100. From where it looks like the rail path separates from the main bridge (more or less at the shoreline) to where it levels out at 5th Street and Washington is roughly 1250 feet. At a 95 foot height, that will give an approx 7.5% grade. However, if you go up to 115 feet then about 8.8%, and to 125 feet a 10% grade.

Websites are scarce, but a general consensus seems to be that the 7.5% grade is approaching the edge of what's reasonable for light rail consideration. You can go to about 10%, but maintenance costs increase (not sure why) and cars may need special modification. Going up the rise is mostly where the problem seems to lie; past about 10% and they say cable assist would be needed.

However, I also ran across a site discussing ramps for wheelchairs. There are new ADA standards starting 15 March 2012. Anything the length of the ramps for this bridge cannot go over 8% grade to be compliant. I didn't see where the bike/walking path actually lands, but I'll bet this is a major factor in why 95 feet is such a big deal. A fix could be to install elevators for wheelchair/pedestrian use on our side, but I'm suspecting the long climb from the P'Town side gets to be a problem too if over 95 feet.

There HAS to be something that discusses this. I can find numerous documents about ruins, what the bicycle groups want, and everything else under the sun. Any document that discusses this kind of info is well hidden, or not there.

roger — March 7, 2012 at 8:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Roger, I'm not sure that the CRC is worried about the ADA. With all their other issues , I think your right. They dropped the ball.

Even with the 7.5% degree rise maximum when the bad weather hits, freezing rain,snow, etc. it will slow the cars down or just plain stop them. Hell the weather already stops them when the ice hits the wires on the flat sections of the track. THEN they call in the buses.LOL

I remember when Adams threw his hissy fit. It was like watching a kid with the ball threatening to take it and go home unless the rules were changed to suit him.

He's the one that also consulted a firm to see if it was feasible to toll surface streets in P-Town. They told him yes. The furor has died down but it still may brought up. I heard our mayor was looking into it also. By that I mean he talked to Adams but he may have dropped the idea after seeing the reaction over there.

By the way what are these 'ruins' Roger?

JohnCasey — March 8, 2012 at 5:05 a.m. ( | suggest removal


I don't know that they found any ruins - I'm just saying one can find documents addressing this "area of concern" on the CRC website, along with many other concerns held by the interest groups given imput to the planning process. But what I haven't been able to turn up is an analysis of the technical/physical needs of this light rail system. Only proposals on what goes where, vaguely supported estimates on future ridership, and completely unsupported claims that rail will boost our economy.

As for the ADA - I think they are concerned. They've got the little wheelchair logo posted to several of their on line documents. And they've got a photo in one of them showing pedestrians on the walkway - and there's someone in a wheelchair in this pic. So....

I'm still waiting for our WA officials to address OR wanting to take the Delta Park interchange out of the plan - for now, anyhow. There was an Oregonian article about a month ago with the lady running the project briefing this proposal. OR is broke and has other transportation priorities - this move would reduce their $450 mil share to around $300 mil. Implications are many, and none good for the WA commuter and billpayer. So far, the response is "overwhelming."

roger — March 8, 2012 at 5:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Roger, if they find any ruins it may slow down, but not stop, the project. They will be given just so much time to examine them and then the project will continue on. But remember this was once a flood plain and I don't Native Americans were dumb enough to live that close to it. So there probably won't be any ruins.

I see that the C addressed my questioning the out of towners being brought in to give their recommendations on whats good for us. Their arguments for these experts don't hold up. We are not some big metropolis that has a lot of money or resources to support light-rail. Most of these experts come from areas that have lots of that.

I believe we can see the future as well as anyone and my complaint still stand. C-Tran does not need to ask for outside consultants when they are supposed be ones themselves. If they want to have experts validate what they already think they know then we need to find out why it takes nine board members to run C-Tran.

I also believe that the public may have an issue with spending half a million dollars on this folly. Even it just used for per Diem and not actual wages or consultant fees.

JohnCasey — March 8, 2012 at 6:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Gotta love this GO. Over on the FB side people are stating solutions that we have been saying for the last seven years about the CRC and their decisions. Where were they when this all started. And just think WE get the privilege to state them in the basement just because of policy. We have shown common sense I think, more than the Facebook side through the years.

See folks, there are a lot of intelligent people living here in good ol' Vantucky. LOL.

JohnCasey — March 9, 2012 at 6:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal

JohnCasey, I believe they finally crawled away from their video game consoles and their caves and got some fresh oxygen in their brains. And John...there's a perfectly good explanation as to why we're in the forum and they're on Facebook - but we won't go there. Good to hear folks are finally waking up. I believe it's still not too late to end this ridiculous financial waste of time. Funny how it took the USCG to bring attention to the issues. Now I'm wondering...will John Laird call the USCG the Hounds of Whinerville, too???

goldenoldie — March 9, 2012 at 7:35 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Actually, I'm one of those on facebook. Our Basement made it quite clear that no one wanted to hear me carry on about the CRC - that I should go to the special room and talk to myself.

However, you're correct, John - I am repeating much of what's been said here for a long time. As are a couple of others (who I suspect also came from posting here). I really doubt that the "big picture" was getting across; the "anti-CRC" message kept going back to David Madore wanting a new east side bridge. But once Tiffany Couch released her study people started paying attention, doing their own research and voicing their opinions. Hence the increase in different people posting there. And with this latest fiasco over bridge height... people are starting to connect with the idea that the bridge is all about light rail, and that nothing will get fixed for the car driver.

But I'm also zeroing in on what I consider the real issue - that the grade necessary to get rail and the SR 14 exit down to where they fit into the "big picture" becomes extremely problematic once you top 95 feet. For example, at 95 feet the rail comes down at an about 7.5% grade to it's landing at 5th Street. (We know river traffic passes the bridge on the north side of the river, so the max height has to be maintained up to near our shoreline. I gave them about 50 feet offshore - there don't appear to be any diagrams showing wher they actually plan to start the descent. It's about 1250 feet from here to the 5th Street touchdown. This gives my 7.5% grade.) For a number of reasons, I don't think they want to exceed this grade by much.

The rail plans show a turn to the right at 7th Street and Washington. If they have to raise the height of the bridge, and at the same time maintain this grade, at a certain point they'll pass the 7th Street turn. This point appears to be reached before taking the bridge up to 125 feet, which some sources indicate is a better height to accommodate "current and future" maritime traffic.

Yes, I continue to dislike having to use facebook for this purpose. I use my account to talk with old friends and family who are spread around the country. I don't want this "world" mixing with that one (though I must admit, when we get to some of the off the norm basement discussions like music and gardening, the lines do get blurred). So, I got my son to show me how to increase the security levels, and I ignore "friendship requests" from my The Columbian world.

Oh - Goldie - just as Basement Dwellers (or some variation thereof) is something people here wear as a title, there are many on facebook who proudly declare themselves to be Hounds of Whinerville. I'm not sure if John Laird has figured out how to deal with that, but I've noted a decrease in using the term on his part.

roger — March 10, 2012 at 8:34 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Good morning roger. I seem to recall the article that stated that the bridge was going to be at 80' when it touched our shore. The city council was upset that it would cast a giant shadow over downtown before noon. If they go up 35 or 40 more feet, and they will, just think what the council will say.

I may have sounded a little peeved about those copy comments on FB. Believe me, I wasn't. I think it's good that more readers join in no matter which way they choose to get their comments out. I only use FB for my grandkids but I'm re-thinking my stance on it. if we want to be heard by the masses then it seems that The Columbian holds sway.

They won't even look at DISCUS instead of CAPTCHA as a filter for comments. It has so many advantages and not one peep from the staff. It can also let you like or dislike a readers comment and you can comment right to the post without having to get lost in the rest of them. (Check out the Bangor Daily News on line to see what I mean) This the first time I got CAPTCHA right the first time.

JohnCasey — March 11, 2012 at 6:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal


I reached the conclusion about a month (or so) ago that the facebook move was a good one. There's a lot more info to be gathered there - for example, Robert Dean says he already discussed the grade issue that I've focused on with a couple of transportation planners. (His link didn't work, so I'm waiting to see what he says.) And, as I noted, no one here seemed to want to go into the topic in any depth - slamming far Right Conservatives running for Pres being much more satisfying. (And not to sound righteous - I participated, and continue to do so.)

I'm certain that a few of the people that were discussing the CRC here pre-facebook made the jump much sooner - you could tell from some of the arguments. But I'm also noticing a recent increase in the numbers of new people speaking up - they're asking good questions, too. Even if I don't get into the conversation, I figure giving one of those little Thumbs Up Like thingies helps keep their focus on the topic.

And, I think this increased focus is a good thing that we weren't achieving here. It'll be interesting to see if The Columbian continues to move toward asking the hard questions. There has been a moderate change from being strong CRC proponents - now we're starting to get more digging and question asking from Andrea Damewood and a couple of the others. (I doubt we'll ever see Editor Lou come out with an Enough Is Enough stance due to the owners and their ties to ICC and CREDC, though.)

CAPTCHA continues to drive me batty. I just keep hitting their refresh button until I find something I can read/type. As for linking to comments - both sides have disadvantages. At least facebook sends out all the little spam notices saying someone replied to your comment. I've also noticed that it tells me when someone I've discussed something with before has posted a comment of their own on a different page. A major downside is that I have to go to my e-mail account and delete 30-40 facebook emails 2 or 3 times per day to keep that from being flooded. My days of checking my account 1 or 2 times per week are definitely over.

roger — March 11, 2012 at 10:09 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Hmm...interesting!!! Is this what we are going to face here in Vancouver and on the Oregon side of the bridge??? (Thanks for the link on the FB side, Josephine W.) Is this what our local officials wish upon their people??? And at the price of fuel and folks whose gas tanks are teetering on empty, there's an even bigger possibility of blockage from stalled vehicles. To me, that's just moving the traffic gridlock off the bridge and into the community. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!!!

goldenoldie — March 11, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Yes. On the I205 Bridge, anyhow - that's where the people who can't afford the tolls will go. And then they'll tie up I84 trying to get to I5, downtown and to OR26.

If the SR520 example holds true, those who can afford the tolls will stay on the I5. And enjoy smooth sailing - for a while.

But eventually (sooner rather than later, most likely) people will figure out that Killingsworth and Lombard are fairly quick cross over routes, and that Columbia and a couple of others will also get them to I5 faster than I84 will allow.

And then those who like I5 being tolled will scream bloody murder - because - as we know here - THE BRIDGE ISN'T THE PROBLEM!!!

roger — March 11, 2012 at 2:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Exactly, Roger. For those of us who have been crossing into Portland for years, we already know the easier cross over routes and Killingsworth and Lombard aren't necessarily the ones of our choice...depending on trip destination. Also Roger, what do you think about that 18th Street ramp designs for I-205? If I didn't know better, I'd think WSDOT is doing the same thing to I-205 that Portland did to I-5 with too many ramps. I could see a southbound on ramp but definitely NOT a northbound on ramp. In the article on the C regarding 18th Street, there is a link to an email at WSDOT for public input if you can't attend the meeting. I suggest if you have an opinion about the design fundamentals...that you send an email. I know I am.

goldenoldie — March 11, 2012 at 4:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal


Are you sure about the Northbound on-ramp? The picture in the Columbian isn't very informative - check the .pdf file at the WSDOT page on the project.

What I looked at shows a Southbound on-ramp, starting at some vague location on 18th Street west of the freeway, and entering the main highway from a side access road that also continues down to the exit at Mill Plain.

It also shows a Northbound off-ramp, which looks to start at the same general location as the new 112th Ave off-ramp does, and continues down beside the main freeway to 18th Street.

I've got mixed feelings. The highway itself could handle the extra ramps - there's a long stretch - at least a couple of miles - between Mill Plain and Fourth Plain exits. And the access roads, if I'm reading correctly, also make sense - people can stay off the main freeway and still go north/south quite a bit faster than on the surface routes.

What I don't like is that we continue to build roads through older established neighborhoods in the name of growth and progress. 18th Street already has projects planned to take it out to 192nd (or whatever) Ave; it appears to be on the way to becoming the next major cross street. I'd hate to be someone who bought a home there expecting to be on a nice, quiet street. And there's almost nothing on 18th west of the I205. But I'm sure that'll change too. I'm not sure how far the 112th Ave upgrades will extend, but it looks like they also plan on that being more of a major road than it is now.

I'd complain further, but.... And besides, if BPA does in fact put the new towers down the same path as the current ones, then - in my opinion - none of this really matters. The current line towers are fairly well concealed by older trees when you get a block or so away in most areas. These new monsters will be visible for blocks around and will dominate the skyline. Quality of life and property values will (probably) both get even worse.

Damn - I've only been here a little over 10 years - I can imagine what real oldtimers feel about all this "progress"!

roger — March 12, 2012 at 1:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Good morning all!!! Well how about that. They want to compare I-520 IN Seattle to I-5 bridge IN Vancouver-Portland area. Who's money wasting idea was this? Oh, that's right, the CRC is keeping an eye on it.

I just looked at the map to compare the two. We are more parallel with our freeway layout that they are with theirs. I-522 goes more north and I-90 goes south before it turns east. What will happen is this. P-Town will howl as their surface streets become flooded with Washington cars skirting the tolls.

Don't need no stinkin' committee to 'keep an eye on it'. Besides they have bigger fish to fry. Like keeping their butts out of the frying pan so to speak.

JohnCasey — March 13, 2012 at 5:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Well howwwwdy my fellow concerned CRC forum dwellers!!! JohnCasey, do you ever get the feeling the folks with the CRC are like little children trying to find an excuse for that glass of spilled milk??? They know it's an overpriced, underachieving design project with one special interest on their mind...and they'll try to find whatever excuse they can in order to convince those who oppose at least one segment of the entire project...namely - light rail.

They need to forget about the spilled milk (current project design) and pour a whole new glass...(no light rail included). An HOV lane from downtown Vancouver to Delta Park would more than suffice.

And I'd be more than happy to provide the milk (in the manner of my share of taxpayer funding...even $1 toll each way) for that new glass of milk.

goldenoldie — March 18, 2012 at 8:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Good morning to you GO.

After this morning's article about the gerrymandering of the the tax vote discussion that will go on with the C-Tran board I believe that, because the board has a block for rendering any vote useless, it will be made smaller than the entire county.

I e-mailed La Hood about this. It probably won't matter but it was worth a shot. I want him to think about the people who live here. I told him that we do NOT have the amount of people OR businesses to support a light rail system extension to our state. I told him about our mayor and how he slanted the truth to get elected and how he took a step backwards about the CRC project and tolls. I brought up the gerrymandering for a positive vote for C-Tran. I informed him that the people had voted this down in two previous ballots. I also told him that other ideas had been brought up but that CRC had blinders on and were not even entertaining anything else as far as needs go. I told him to Google map the area and see that the need for a third bridge far out-weighs the replacement of the I-5 bridge. Lastly I told him that the CRC has wasted over 1.5 million dollars and that the money is still hemorrhaging with out any results other than a bridge design that is too short.

He'll probably tell me to go to hell, but that's OK. I'll just tell him I'm already there.

GAWD, I need more coffee!!!

JohnCasey — March 18, 2012 at 8:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Nice one, JohnCasey. In my opinion, this should be an entire countywide vote. Whoever pays transportation and road maintenance taxes in this county, they should be allowed to vote no matter what. No subdistrict...nothing. This affects future expansion of C-Tran to those regions which have minimal to no service and EVERYONE should have the right to vote. Take away that right to vote and what do we have???

goldenoldie — March 18, 2012 at 1:31 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Interesting LTE this morning. Joyce Boles has said what we have been saying for seven years now. Use AMTRAK for rail service. She rightly points out that the CRC has NOT been looking into it. I can not remember any article showing that they have any interest in doing it this way.

They are SO narrow minded and dead set on saddling us with LOO-RAIL that they are going to set us up for debt for the rest of our lives.

Joyce, they are not about saving money. They are about shoving this part of the project down our throats. It's that attitude that 'we know better than you do about what's good for you'.

JohnCasey — March 20, 2012 at 7:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Ref: Using the existing rail. I don't claim a great deal of knowledge on this, but I'm under the impression the track belongs to BNSF. That AmTrak has a limited use of the rail in exchange for gov't funding to help with upkeep. So, BNSF would have to agree to additional use by BNSF.

This track is primarily for cargo trains, which can be extremely long and hold traffic up. (Like on Mill Plain before the upgrade.) We're currently rebuilding the spur into Port of Vancouver to alleviate some of this. How much property in Portland would need to be acquired to do a similar rebuild in their Port area? For a number of reasons, which James Hurley addresses much better than I can in his LTE response, I just don't see how we could add any more runs by AmTrak - even if this was feasible from their standpoint.

So, what times do the current AmTrak runs pass through? I haven't checked their timetables, but strongly suspect these would support very few working commuters.

Oh - and I've used AmTrak twice to go north, and have picked someone else up a couple of times. The train was NEVER on time - and the two delays on the pickup were because they had to open the bridge to let a ship pass.

Which does bring up a side discussion. Once the new I5 bridge is built, will there be any more "rush hour" restrictions on river traffic? I haven't seen anything discussing how this is going to impact rail crossings.

This CAPTCHA is getting worse - 6 refreshes and a miss - try again.

roger — March 21, 2012 at 6:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal



Amtrak is a government-owned corporation with 100% of their stock owned by the Federal Government. The private companies work out agreements with Amtrak to work around their schedule.

goldenoldie — March 21, 2012 at 8:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal

As of right now the Columbia River is considered a navigation route. While the lift bridge is in place the rail road is subject to the same time schedule that the bridge lifts are subject to.

Now that may change with a new bridge but it seems that if there is only several commuter trains between Vancouver and Portland in the morning and evening rush hours then it probably wouldn't matter. Once the hit Portland they can go one of two ways. They can go on the east side and cross the Steel Bridge or go on the west side. Either way they can go to the union station and catch buses from there to downtown.

All train companies are subject to the federal railroad laws. Even Amtrak. They cannot just have it their way if the need is there. Local and state governments can request and receive variances to schedule inter city rail service for commuters.

JohnCasey — March 21, 2012 at 1:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal

A question here. I was told at work today that there was a story going around a few years back about a certain old Vancouver City government official buying up property on the cheap along the proposed light rail line up the I5 corridor. I've tried googling a couple of variations but nothing. Is this something anyone else has heard? What got my interest is that I'm suspicious of why the current Mayor, some of the City Council, and groups like ICC are so insistent this project has to happen. They keep using economic development as their reason, but there isn't anything much they can offer to support this claim.

Another thing I've been told a couple of times is that East Vancouver people are behind the project - that the long build time will kill the old downtown once and for all - thus allowing future economic development focus to shift to the eastern side. In a way it makes sense. But that would hurt enough of the ICC folks like Scott Campbell - and would probably also be the death of our wonderful Convention Center that has such a bright future. So I don't see how this would go down without being addressed (repeatedly) by The Columbian.

roger — March 21, 2012 at 8:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal

We all know that a lawsuit will happen. It's just a matter of time. It couldn't happen soon enough. That way a gerrymandered vote by the C-Tran board won't be needed.

A long, long, long time ago way back when the CRC was formed it was waiting for the slough bridge to be fixed so there were three lanes. They didn't understand, or they had their blinders on as usual, that there were more problems on the Oregon side than you could shake a stick at.

As time went on the powers that be saw what they thought would be a great opportunity to try to get the Loo-Rail over here. They have had way too much time on their hands and it shows. They want to gerrymander a vote. They want push the project through without any over-site or as little as possible.

They will be brought up short with a lawsuit that will show just how they wanted it no matter what WE thought.

I am not against a replacement bridge. I am for a third bridge first. I am dead set against Light-Rail of any sort over here. It's just a rat hole that Tri-Met throws money down. OUR money could be better spent financing more buses and routes.

Most people do agree with this general assessment. I think we could get better results if we threw out the current CRC panel and put some people in who are realists. People who see that the needs get in order, not wants first.

Finally, got my coffee, with a nudge. Don't worry folks, its just nudged with cocoa. Nothing stronger.;<)

JohnCasey — March 24, 2012 at 5:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Matt, would you keep the comments on this forum when you move it up. It doesn't get as many as the other forum but it is just as important to keep the thought about the overall feeling on how the CRC is handled from a basement/dungeon point of view.

I'll bring some of my world famous nudged coffee. Or at least give ya my recipe.

JohnCasey — March 24, 2012 at 6:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal

John, Matt has been under the weather the past couple of days. Maybe an email to him will be in order.

I like what you're saying about the crossing and couldn't agree more. I'm sick and tired of the propagandist hype that the current bridge is in bad shape. Yes, it's standing on wooden pilings, but those pilings have been re-enforced with concrete and steel according to what I've read through WSDOT in the past. The current bridge...all it needs is maintenance and operations AND retrofitting. The BIG problem with the current crossing is most definitely the exits and on ramps on each side of the bridges. In it's day, Hayden Island was a bustling entertainment zone with ferris wheels, roller coasters, an ice skating and roller skating rink and a few stores. At that time, a system like light rail might have been convenient but crime was a lot less visible and issues of overcrowding wasn't even mentioned. It was a definite entertainment hub on the island. Today...about the only entertainment are pubs and sandwich shops, shopping and casino-type slots which are like free dinero for the State of Oregon...playing on the vices of gambling addiction. The ramps are inferior...and the slough bridge??? Poor, poor ratings.

It is my belief that the only reason why there's such a push for the replacement has nothing to do with the commuters or the residents and shops at Hayden Island. It's for the west end of the island where Mayor Adams is pushing to convert into a port district. Eventually, the City of Portland will nudge out the families and retirees who live in the Manufactured Home communities behind Jantzen Beach...

...for progress.

Included in that progress should be the third bridge...a bypass bridge (paralleling the railroad bridge) to Hayden Island's port side and West Marine Drive. With all due respect to Mister David Madore, I believe a 192nd Avenue Bridge is the worst idea for Clark County. Already, the development along 192nd Avenue is already converting to another "Hazel Dell" with a mixed baggage of shops, restaurants, industrial and high-density housing...compounded by development around gravel pits and asphalt plants. Again, I perceive this as poor county planning.

goldenoldie — March 24, 2012 at 7:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal

already, already??? Guess my statement was a bit redundant. Time for coffee!

goldenoldie — March 24, 2012 at 7:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Don't know if anyone has seen this article before, but it is a very convincing argument that exposes the fallacy of the "Portland Model" for light rail (which is the root of this CRC debate).

Points include:

Ridership on rail has increased, but driving has increased even more. As a comment to the article notes, the whole model is flawed in that as population density rises to a level that could make rail feasible, housing costs also rise to a point where the people who find public transportation most beneficial can no longer afford to live there. They move outward, are not adequately supported by a public transportation infrastructure, and consequently continue to depend on their cars. (Sounds like the majority of Clark County to me.)

The environmentalists support rail as it helps to reduce greenhouse emissions. The cost to accomplish this through light rail is astronomically higher than all other methods considered put together.

Also interesting is that the article notes that Portland's greenhouse emissions have risen due to their refusal to widen the roads and relieve the congestion.

A final point I'll pick out is the increased time to the working week using public transportation adds. At the time of their study (pre-2009) this was 3hr 15min for Portland. We had this discussion (briefly) here at The Columbian last Spring or Summer, and this was much higher for Clark County residents - some of us were citing over an hour a day longer. Extending the Yellow line to Vancouver would do little to reduce this for most; we'd still have to get to the terminal at Clark, take the train to wherever, and then probably have to catch a bus to work. And perhaps walk a bit too. A much cheaper solution would be to increase the service hours and locations served (both sides of the river) by our express bus routes.

roger — March 24, 2012 at 8:18 a.m. ( | suggest removal

So Roger...from what you have presented, do you think the statement that light rail is working for Portland is just a fallacy in order to support certain interests? I've thought that all along. And these environmentalists they mention in a general they even take into consideration what it takes to construct the light rail system...right down to the nuts and bolts and the seats they're placing their behinds on??? Guess they think only the end result is the important part of the discussion when it comes to "environmentally friendly." Never mind what junk has been thrown into our ecosystem just to construct the danged things!!! It's like the "hybrid" theory when it comes to automobiles. Those batteries have to go somewhere...and all the plastic in these vehicles (both cars and trains)???

Sometimes, I believe the publicity in calling those who are claiming to be living green and labeled "environmentalists" is nothing more than a bunch of special interest people out to make a name for themselves...trying to put on a facade that light rail is reducing greenhouse emissions...and is a feeding society a bunch of baloney.

goldenoldie — March 24, 2012 at 8:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Yes, Goldie, I've thought this all along.

Go to this link and read Portland Metro's Future Vision plan from 1995.

Scroll to the bottom of page 2 and you'll see they're plans include Clark and Cowlitz counties in this state, and south to below Salem. Check some of the links, to include Metro's charter. I don't know about you, but I see them as being more concerned about quality of life from a Nature perspective than from anything related to economic growth and development.

In my opinion, this document has driven almost everything we see, to include the CRC and Vancouver's own 2030 Plan.

roger — March 24, 2012 at 2:23 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Good Document, Roger. Thanks for bringing it to my attention and the attention of all else who read the CRC forum.

This document TOTALLY answers all my suspicions I've had since day one!!! I figured it was a monopoly. It's a matter of time before they "OWN" C-Tran and Clark County. Guess Oregon is trying to regain it's old territory it once possessed.

As far as their "vision," they've failed their people on numerous accounts, especially "Matters Addressed, #'s 1 and 2." If Metro was all pent up in restoration and preservation of land, they wouldn't have allowed Adams to turn the west side of Hayden Island into a port as he's already doing. And much of the wildlife habitats are filled with concrete and empty buildings. As far as how and where to accommodate the population growth for the region while maintaining a desired quality of life for it's residents...a BIG failure in many neighborhoods. Overcrowding, increased crime and poverty is hardly a desired quality.

Who wants Metro on OUR side of the river??? Certainly not this lady!

goldenoldie — March 24, 2012 at 4:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Uh - Goldie - "all else who read the CRC forum" is John Casey. We're pretty alone in here.

roger — March 24, 2012 at 9:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Quite the contrary, Roger. I didn't say "all else who *post* on the CRC form," I said "read." I guarantee you, those who have a vested interest in the CRC are reading it. That would include a wide spectrum of folks.

goldenoldie — March 25, 2012 at 7:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal

GO, sorry to hear about Matt. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

As a side note, my coffee is to be a night cap. It involves Kahlua, Yukon Jack and a bit of coffee. Mix to your taste. LOL

Roger, she's right. I have seen a few references to the cellar on the FB side of things. I believe some are reading our comments and coming to their own conclusions. Pretty much the same as ours.

My son, who never reads the Columbian, reached the same conclusions as we have been saying about some of the issues that face the CRC. New bridge, use the Amtrak lines and re-route some of the exits and entrances to the I-5 corridor. He live out in BG. He feels that if our mayor gerrymanders the vote to exclude major parts of the county he will be challenged in court.

He knows that Loo-Rail is a bad idea over here. He's well aware of the hole that Tri-Met is throwing money down. He talks with his friends and they pretty much say the same thing about this mess that the CRC has gotten themselves in. If his comments are any indication of what the younger generation is thinking then all may not be lost.

We may be the only three who comment over here in the basement/dungeon/cellar, for the most part, but as I see it someone is reading it. Our job is to make sure we keep them aware of the problems and offer them the facts.

I believe we have gotten some attention on the state and federal level. It may take some time but it's not to late have an investigation on the CRC antics.

Don't forget the vote for funding last fall. It was to be used for the running of C-Tran. But remember it was a 'gentleman's agreement'!!! It still can be diverted to help fund any Loo-Rail maintenance. They have agreed to use $500,000.00 for an expert panel of outsiders. How is that going to solve our problems with the system I don't know. They could have empaneled a citizen over-site committee for a lot less. We know what is happening here. But my guess is they don't want the rabble rousers to have a say. It would embarrass them. It would probably shame them and most of all it prove that we are right. We don't want, and can't support, a Loo-Rail system extension over here.

I'm done for the day.

JohnCasey — March 25, 2012 at 8:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal

On a side note....

JohnC, I laugh every time I see your post including Loo-Rail. For anybody who doesn't know...

The Loo is a term for the toilet.

Now...if we could flush the senseless project down the Loo and get crackin' on what we truly need...


goldenoldie — March 25, 2012 at 12:04 p.m. ( | suggest removal

John C,

I think maybe you're reading my stuff if it pertains to the CRC - I reference the Basement forums as a place to come if you actually want to learn something. I think NormSeubert is the only other person I've seen mention us over there, and his focus is more on the political races.

And all this talk of Loo Rail is scaring me - are you guys alter egos of Lew Waters and Bob Larimer? (Just joking.) But Bob L. is still around - my FB occasionally shows he's "thumbed up" me when I jump on my favorite liberal over there - some guy that likes to insist we elect people and then we're supposed to sit back and not challenge them - unless it's JHB, of course.

roger — March 25, 2012 at 12:57 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Hi, John. Thanks for the kind words!

But I'm not able to keep the comments when I move the CRC thread up next time. When I move the thread up, all I'm really doing -- and all I'm able to do -- is create a new forum. When I do that, there is no way to bring the comments along with it. I wish there was a better option, but my hands are tied.

The best I can do is link to the old forum when I put the new one up. Like I said, I'd love to do more, but we just don't have the tech capabilities right now. I wish I had better news for you.


Matt Wastradowski — March 26, 2012 at 2:29 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Exactly what I've been trying to tell the people for the past five years and Roger Nielson has stated it so very well on the FB side:

*This article says the BRT line will replace 4 and 44.
BRT is supposed to run quickly with minimal stops, correct? How will the people who currently depend on whichever of those current lines is the local run get service?
I believe the 4 currently goes to Delta Park, while the BRT route is supposed to stop somewhere in the Clark or downtown area. With the 4 being eliminated, this pretty much shows the planners consider LRT in Vancouver a foregone conclusion and bus to Delta Park redundant. How many of the express routes will meet a similar fate, in order to force use of the LRT?
All of this is just part of a much larger plan - the future look of the Vancouver area. To make these transportation systems in the least cost effective, the routes they travel will pretty much have to become high density population centers - a nice little euphemism for high rises and other apartment complexes.
It's really time for a detailed community discussion of where all this is going - that pretty little presentation on the Vancouver City website isn't extremely informative. For example, eventually extending the BRT east of I205 will have an impact on the homeowners currently near 4th Plain. Those of us along this road who think we have nice little communities of families and retired people may want to reconsider. (Of course, that will have a negative effect on the tax base, and we can't have that, can we?)*

Cluster Developments encased around the I-5 Corridor...the vision...the NAFTA Corridor of the Future. It becomes more apparent that we are being treated as chumps by the powers that be. As Lynda Wilson pointed out in her comment -

*"I attended the very first public comment session at Covington Middle school last August. Over six months later, I see that all of the suggestions that were made by the participants were not considered, but the plans appear to be the exact same as those that were brought forward that day. Seems to me the way this seems to be going is it is all entirely pre-planned with no intention of using the input by those affected."*


goldenoldie — March 27, 2012 at 7:22 a.m. ( | suggest removal

...and finally....

And BobbiJo Jade Delaney's comment -

*"This seems to be a very ambitious project for a company that was practically on life support just last November."*

Well of course!!! The transit companies always are...because of the very statement by David Madore -

"This is another example of wasted gas taxes squandered on prohibitively expensive boondoggles that trump cars and trucks and worsen congestion."

...but that's'll be 80% paid by the Federal Government. And we ALL know who's paying for that, right???

Common sense is going down the tube, folks. As I've said for several months...even suggested ONE-ON-ONE to Mr. Chuck Green at the first meeting (the same one Lynda Wilson speaks), the immediate need is for more pullouts for the buses in the high-density corridor (just as Chris Young had pointed out). Not a wink of it suggested in the proposals.

Shame on you, C-Tran! Your money pot will run out if you continue to waste spending like TriMet.

goldenoldie — March 27, 2012 at 7:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Previously-highlighted comments were in the following article

goldenoldie — March 27, 2012 at 7:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

GO, I think the main problem here is that we are not being annoying enough. When out in public I make a concerted effort to engage people in a conversation about the CRC and the BRT. I ask them if they are willing to do a little research on the matters. If they say they don't care then I try to point out that it will effect them. Maybe not now or even tomorrow but within 3 to 5 years they will be left wondering why didn't they do more research and become more vocal about it.

And don't forget the $500,000.00 dog eared for the 'experts' expenses. Just where in heck is THAT money coming from???

There are so many social engineering issues that If you go there way we will be stacked up like cord-wood and scratching our heads wondering what the hell happened.

JohnCasey — March 27, 2012 at 10:11 a.m. ( | suggest removal

JohnCasey, I'm sure I've annoyed plenty of people and am still at it. I've opened the eyes of so many people...strangers, friends, family members, neighbors...folks in the stores, at the parks, at name it. I won't stop informing people of the FACTS on the project till the first foundation on the crossing is poured...which hopefully would be later than sooner. When I tell them the type of tolling we're facing, some of the people are flabbergasted. They think the tolls will be like the old fashioned toll booths like on the Bridge of the Gods. You should see the look on their faces when I tell them how much the proposed toll will be. You'd think a ghost just passed in front of them.

John, the biggest problem we face in this whole debacle is the distortion of facts from the get go. Number one, the concept design photo the CRC shows is absolutely distorted. Secondly, in the design photo...where's the buildings in downtown Vancouver? Where's the airport, the fort, the waterfront, Red Lion??? Thirdly...where the light rail is supposed to's already quite crowded with Clark PUD, the college, the high school, Marshall Center, an apartment complex, the VA hospital, DSHS, new construction across the street from Clark...and a community park.

And they're trying to put in a parking garage and light rail end point transit mall in this area at the same time??? What in the aitch-ee double-toothpicks are they thinking anyhow??? What are they going to do??? Put it on top of the military displays next to the old rest stop??? And the traffic...the gridlock issues are already ridiculous during college classes...and the satellite college on the east side, along with the proposed new one on the north side won't even partially alleviate the parking issues. We're talking about record attendance at the school.

The old philosophy "If we build it, they will come" doesn't cut it here. Instead, the CRC and Metro/Trimet should be saying "If we build it...they'll have no choice but to use it whether they want it or not" seems more appropriate. Forcing it down the throats of the people with a hyper-inflated fuel cost, keeping private vehicles at home peeves me to no end, John...and that's just what they're attempting. They CLAIM it's designed to reduce the needs of fossil fuels here in the US...they, being the US Dept. of Transportation. If anybody has done their homework, they know all too well about cluster development along major interstate highways and what their "Master Plan" entails.

Also to guess just why they're widening the highway and making all the improvements from 134th Street north??? It's not just for the proposed casino in LaCenter.

goldenoldie — March 27, 2012 at 10:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal

DANG, I wish I could move as far away from the I-5/I-205 corridor as possible!!!

goldenoldie — March 27, 2012 at 10:07 p.m. ( | suggest removal

Matt, could you move this forum up before the next shoe drops so to speak.

When does the Columbian plan another article about the CRC or the BRT?? I would like to see it moved up by then. As it slips down the row it gets less comments.

You should hire me. I know a way to keep the comments with the forum.

GET RID OF CAPTCHA !!! What did The Columbian do, find them on line? LOL LOL LOL

CAPTCHA 23, ME 1. The houses in Los Vegas has better odds.

JohnCasey — March 31, 2012 at 6:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal

The one thing I've never understood is why lite rail is to terminate at Clark College. It almost seems this location was selected because, well, they had to select somewhere. The growth in Clark County has been eastward for decades. The downtown area isn't dead, but it's no hotbed for growth. I go to the Farmer's Market a few times a year, but that's the extent of my forays to downtown Vancouver. With gas at $4/gal, location matters. For me, there's nothing downtown I can't do much closer, and I seem to have a lot of company.

It seems that if lite rail is inevitable, and if CRC and the city have their way it is, it should go across I-205 to the new C-Tran park & ride to be located at 18th St & I-205. With Wash DOT planning to provide off-ramps at this location, it makes sense. Also, it's a hop, skip, and jump to the lite rail line in Portland that services the airport. Pedestrians and bikers might piss and moan, but oh well, throw 'em a bone by putting stops at each end and give them a ride across the bridge for free, in the name of the greater good.

Lite rail across the I-5 bridge will accomplish nothing a half dozen express buses couldn't, at a fraction of the cost. Save us a couple billion dollars and fix the bottlenecks on I-5 in Portland. If the I-5 bridge is deficient, and I don't think it is, perform seismic and strucural upgrades, again, at a fraction of the cost. As was pointed out in the LTTE section, the amount of parking spaces proposed at Clark College will reduce the number of vehicles by less that 3% daily, and that assumes 100% usage, which I believe is doubtful. The only way lite rail will be utilized to any degree of capacity is if the tolls are so high it forces people to use lite rail because it's significantly cheaper than tolls, and I doubt if either will be cheap for very long, if at all.

With CRC's demonstrated ineptness, their work should be taken over by a competent group immediately. Probably save a few bucks there, especially if the work is done under a lump sum contract instead of some open-ended, blank check arrangement. That way we'd be paying for results, not BS, mistakes, and $375/hr consultants. Throw them a bonus for coming up with a plan cheaper than CRC's, like a % of the savings. Remember the performance bonus paid for the work requiring the closure of the I-5 bridge? Those guys spanked it.

mrd — March 31, 2012 at 8:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal

mrd, I believe the end point at Fort Vancouver Way will be the starting point of the future. If you take a look at the link Roger posted March 24, 2012 at 2:23 p.m., it shows Metro's vision which includes light rail all the way up to Longview. I don't think they have any intention of it ending at Clark. With the new improvements from Mill Plain north through LaCenter and the eventual tribal casino to be constructed as well, it'll be a great money maker for Metro as well as C-Tran and CUBS in Longview. I also believe Fourth Plain Road out to 162nd Avenue will be strictly a light rail corridor when all is said and done as will Mill Plain Blvd out to 192nd Avenue. I also believe they will eventually include light rail along I-205 but according to Mark Gross with ODOT, the I-205 Bridge does not conform with the current needs of light rail...and we all know what that means!!! Bleeding the taxpayers and commuters out of house and home.

BTW, check out Longview's transit service and tell me if you think it sounds a lot like C-Tran in it's earlier years:

goldenoldie — March 31, 2012 at 11:39 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Ahhh yes...we can't forget about Salem's transit group. Funny how they all sound the same nowadays:

The best way to keep abreast of the situation with regards to light to keep abreast of changes coming to regional transportation groups such as C-Tran, TriMet, Cherriots and CUBS. It's also a good idea to keep abreast of their spending habits, the need for cutback of services due to lower profits and how many times they request funding from the taxpayers and the federal government.

It would be a shame to lose any one of these transit groups due to poor financial assets and losses as there are many who rely on mass transit to get them around...but a folly such as light rail which without federal tax dollars, property taxes, higher fares and now possibly tolls...when is enough - - - enough??? They need to keep it simple right now. I understand the need for clean energy and to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, but to force everyone into the buses and light rail...there's got to be a simpler answer that won't bankrupt the people.

goldenoldie — March 31, 2012 at 11:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Some people think it's OK to pay out the nose for some services that the government provides. See the response to letters to the editor. They will toot their horn that it's good for all of us to pay for Loo-Rail because it takes some cars off the road. It's OK if they build parking garages downtown because it will be used to move people to take Loo-Rail. Most of all they are saying it will all be better in the future.

If that was true then answer me this. Why is Tri-Met and MAX continuing to ask for more taxes? Why are they asking for fare increases? Why are they cutting costs by restricting services? By some some peoples thinking this is OK because they believe that the future will bear them out.

Now lets look at the cost of running C-Tran. They want more money or they are going to have to cut or limit service. They just got a big tax package and what did they do? They are going to pay for some experts from out of town. To the tune of $500,000.00 per Diem. This is a thinly disguised way of saying 'we're not using it for wages'. LOL

Why?? Because they aren't smart enough? That's the conclusion that some of us have reached. There are 9 board members and they can't seem to get it. And their actions against previous board members for speaking their minds was reprehensible. Our county has enough trouble supporting C-Tran. We do not have the three counties to rely on to help support it. We do not have enough people in our own county to support any future Loo-Rail. It doesn't matter who owns it or who runs it. We have to pay for ongoing maintenance if it gets built.

I have seen no evidence that anyone on the board or the CRC for that matter even looked at any other proposals. Real ideas like re-routing SR-14 or the Mill Plain entrances to the I-5 south. No one has come up with anything more viable that build a bridge wide enough. The same goes for the Oregon side of the river. Questions are still coming in about using the rail-road.

As I see it the ONLY reason politicians are pushing for Loo-Rail is that it may help build the future Vancouver. Lets look hard at that. You put three parking garages in downtown. If that's for the workers over in Oregon what will happen when they get off work? They will get in their CARS and head for home. The only businesses that can survive will be ones supported by our own worker bees in downtown.

Please take off your rose colored glasses and take a good look around you. As the service fees rise in this county you will see less and less growth. This will hasten a collapse of the services as we receive right now. We are seeing cutbacks across the board.

I have suffered fools long enough. I will be calling BS on people who's narrow mindedness is bent on social engineering for the so called 'betterment of the people'. We are not going to go quietly into the sunset. Those people are sheeple and need to be forced to start thinking critically.

WOW, I'm done for now. More will follow.

JohnCasey — April 1, 2012 at 8:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal

JohnC...I'm right there with you, fighting this ridiculously poor example of wasted federal/state/local funded project and all the entities who support it. They just don't get it. It isn't that we don't want improved transportation corridors or that we don't want a better-managed transit system. It's the fact that what they are proposing is so distanced from what needs to be done and nobody has the money to pay for it.

E-v-e-r-y...s-i-n-g-l-e...a-s-p-e-c-t of our lives have been inundated by tax increases, fee increases, higher prices, higher cost of living ever since this danged depression began. You name it, the price has gone up. Any examples of the price of anything going down lately???

And we all know who's the cause of the increases!!! I seriously believe the powers that be are trying to bankrupt our nation in order to balance with the rest of the failing world economy. NWO come to mind???

goldenoldie — April 1, 2012 at 4:44 p.m. ( | suggest removal

So a Loo-Rail line on Fourth Plain doesn't pencil out!! Surprise, surprise, surprise!!! What makes those people think that a line to Clark College will??

The citizens committee recommended the right thing. No dedicated lanes for bus only. But my bet is that the C-Tran board will ignore it, as usual.

There is a terminus at the mall. It is located on the north side currently. Does the board mean to expand it or does it mean that they would put it on the south side of the mall? $35 to $50 million seems a little high for some lane markers and curbs. I would seriously question the fed funds being available for 80% of the project. Besides will the mall let C-Tran expand into their parking lot for this??

Does the C-Tran board honestly think that we will vote yes for ANOTHER increase in taxes for this? And what are the other 'increased revenue' options they allude to??

Throw the Mayor's one track mind into the mix and what do we have??

REMEMBER, we only have so many citizens in the county. We fund C-Tran. We are broke and if the city has it's way, a vote will be taken only in areas that will let the Mayor have his way.

JohnCasey — April 3, 2012 at 6:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal

**While Stewart and Councilor Bill Turlay spent considerable time during Monday’s workshop expressing their dislike for rail, Mayor Tim Leavitt closed the work session by asking for more information on the option.*

*“I want to better understand why we are continuing down the path of (bus rapid transit) rather than further considering (light rail),” he said. “I want to know when we think Fourth Plain would be viable for (light rail).”**

A quote in Columbian's article entitled "**Bus rapid transit plan spurs lively city council debate**"

Isn't this the same guy who was telling the voters what they wanted to hear...just to get his votes??? And the powers that be wonder why we have absolutely no trust in them!!!

goldenoldie — April 3, 2012 at 7:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I came over here, hoping for some CRC debate. Thanks, goldie and JohnCasey for keeping this important forum alive.

I mentioned in the general forum a couple of days ago that Rob McKenna was interviewed by David Madore and Tiffany Couch on Madore's Couv dot com. Mr. McKenna indicated, much to their disappointment, that the WA Dept of Transportation is one of his clients and that he would need to represent them first BEFORE the citizens of this state, unless, of course, they were doing something illegal. In that scenario, he would advise them to follow the law (or something to that effect).

I am watching Mr. McKenna the same way I watched Tim Leavitt. Ultimately, I did not vote for Leavitt because I saw through the pandering and manipulation.

I am impressed with much of what Mr. McKenna says, his deameanor, his intelligence. I want to know what kind of a governor he might make and am keeping an open mind.

I just truly think he is not totally up on the CRC in our neck of the woods and may need some more time to educate himself.

manthou — April 3, 2012 at 8:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal

I might add that I truly believe that David Madore is puposefully distancing himself from the rabid CRC debate because he has been advised to do so.

I think that, for someone who has shown up at so many public meetings, railing against the CRC and tolling (he does this articulately and respectfully, I might add: no small task that) to back off from addressing it directly is just political maneuvering, not unlike what Tim Leavitt did. Voters beware. Educate yourself and ask tough questions. No answers are very informative. You can learn much more from what is avoided.

Mr. Madore will need the votes of many business people in Clark County who support this project, so he is cloaking his stance a bit, or attempting to do so.

I think, eventually, some smart newspaper reporter will ask him why he did not mention the CRC or tolling directly on his lengthy campaign statement.

Also of interest to me: his first goal was getting Tom Mielke re-elected. Without that ally, his vote would go nowhere on a double Demo, one Repub commission.

What a wild election this will be!

manthou — April 3, 2012 at 9:29 a.m. ( | suggest removal

What amazes me guys is the mayor is saying he doesn't understand the situation as it stand right now. If it doesn't pencil out right now, does he really think it might in the future???

Well let me explain it from my point of view. We will not have 3 counties to help provide financial support in the future. We will not have enough financial support in Clark County because the city will raise the cost of services and therefore no new people. Got it yet Mayor??

Here's another reason for you if you don't understand yet. The tracks ARE NOT MOVABLE. Once you put them in place you effectively put all your eggs in one basket. You are locked in. Not all people around here are sheeple. Not yet anyways.

If you had any sense at all what the majority of people want (a vote for the Loo-Rail part of the CRC) then you will not gerrymander any proposed vote and make it a COUNTY WIDE vote. After all, remember, some of the C-Tran riders do live outside of the city AND the urban growth boundaries.

Just because you are the current Mayor does not give you the right to disenfranchise a section of the county just to satisfy you and your cronies. If this sounds harsh it is meant to be. As the time line draws nearer for the CRC project to begin in earnest it is not going to happen without the vote on Loo-Rail. Not if the people have ANY say in it.

I believe that is truly what you are afraid of.

JohnCasey — April 3, 2012 at 9:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal

There are different "forces" at play.

Oregon is simple. It will cost tens of billions just to widen I5 through the city and south to at least the Salem area, and who knows how much more to acquire the property needed to do this. They committed long ago to bus, rail, bicycling, and anything else that will allow them to not have to deal with this.

Additionally, their "philosophical" leadership came largely from the old '60s antiwar/anticonservatism movement - hence their insistence on being in the forefront of such issues as the environment and gay rights. The environmental part has led to a vision that getting people to use mass public transportation is an imperative.

Downtown Portland, on both sides of the Willamette, is comprised mainly of overpriced decaying property. People have already moved east about as far as they can go, and are closing in on western boundaries. The Willamette Valley south is where their next major expansion is scheduled. Metro, which is the guiding entity behind their development planning, has made trying to get these areas better served by these alternate modes of transportation their primary concern.

We, the commuters north of the river, are largely an inconvenience. If we would just go away, it would open tens of thousands of jobs and take a large part of the congestion off the roads. They can't have that, so forcing the issue of light rail as part of the CRC became their focus there. Note that the original I5 bridge plan was submitted several years ago without rail - Oregon came up with No Rail, No Bridge, and changed the focus.

roger — April 4, 2012 at 5:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Vancouver's interests appear to be many, and not all in sync with each other.

The bridge itself appears to be largely not liking having to wait for lifts. There's probably also a group thought that if we fix our I5 infrastructure, to include taking on responsibility for the bridge, then Oregon will somehow be forced to follow suit. There's more to go, but we have been widening and upgrading both the I5 and I205 north to their juncture for several years.

Downtown Vancouver development projects are less clear. There's a somewhat grandiose long term Waterfront project that's supposed to build a mini-city with several story office buildings, shops, and a lot of amenities. Making this area "walking friendly" is part of the plan. Light rail is seen as supportive of this concept, and was readily added. As near as I can tell from reading their documents, the planners of that area envision a place where urban upscale adults will congregate - to live, work and socialize. My personal opinion is that this is what's driving Mayor Leavitt and his friends/supporters.

This vision will ultimately lead to the removal of most of the remaining older businesses - they won't be able to compete with the higher costs of doing business there. So, the argument some put forth about the impact of 10 years of construction will have on the businesses in the area fall on deaf ears.

What doesn't make sense is how this will fit with the continued growth of the Port immediately to the west. The Port of Vancouver is perceived by many as the economic long term future of the County - read their website and other sources and you'll come across numerous references to what they hope to attract in the future due to current projects such as the rail spur. The question is, just how much further west can the Port grow? And if it can go further, then won't the need for an I5 extension from the north to that area become necessary? What would this do to the livability in the residential areas that have sprung up there?

And, related but separate, if the Port grows as an industrial base to the west, and the freeway increases vehicular capacity to the east, then what does this do for the "clean air Northwest" vision held for this downtown enclave? And will PDX grow, increasing traffic flying over this area? The concerts at Esther Shore have already suffered from this - how will the increase in noise and pollution affect the outcome of this growth concept?

roger — April 4, 2012 at 5:41 a.m. ( | suggest removal

There's a lot more to add to this, but I have to go to work now.

East side business interests - what role do they play? There's someone on facebook who says to look that direction - the implication I get is that the years of restricted access from building the project will cause the east side to become the dominant business center.

Land developers and real estate companies - always a force here. Outward expansion is done to the detriment of the inner neighborhoods. BPA I5 Corridor project is going to impact housing values for entire neighborhoods, especially if they come down the west route. Mill Plain and 4th Plain West neighborhoods - what about the people who bought old houses to refurbish? How will this area look in 20 years with light rail and truck traffic to the Port?

What about the people (like me) who thought they were moving to a nice little suburban area to live, raise families, and retire in? How will the City of Vancouver affect this dream?

Identity Clark County, CREDC, and whoever else. Do they own the government? We know they own the major press - Scott Campbell and others are members, and he has a vested interest in selling property for a Port access route. What else is going on, that we don't know of, that will put money in these peoples' pockets?

And probably much more. I doubt we have all the answers, but there's enough of a religious type fervor attached to the "build at all cost" mentality being displayed by many (in addition to Mayor Leavitt - he's just their hired front man) that there almost has to be big money involved.

roger — April 4, 2012 at 6:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal

You know Roger...for years, I've been saying our county planners and transit officials and the powers that be have no consistency and have poorly planned our community. I still stand by that thought. We've seen the cluster developments popping up everywhere...and they were done with very little to no traffic/transit mobility issues addressed in a manner consistent with increased population. Instead, we received increased bus routes with the problem of effective connecting routes, reduction of service and increased fares. The jobs weren't done right the first time when it comes to the roadways. We should only be looking for improvements in the way of resurfacing and replacing lights. Instead, homes are demolished, families forced to reduce their lot sizes or are pushed out of their homes of their roots and heavy traffic issues at major intersections. Thirty years ago, whoda thunked we'd see the nightmares of Mill Plain Blvd on the east side that we witness every day.

We're facing the same issues today with CRC.

After a lengthy discussion on Lew Waters' wordpress blog, I have concluded that the I-5 Bridge designers had a poor vision of the future from the beginning. When it was just one bridge, it was for horse-drawn carts...then modern automation began. They put trolleys on it and Tin Lizzy's became the rage. Ramps were butted right up against the bridge...poor design fundamentals for traffic flow. The trolley tracks were dismantled due to lack of funding and lack of vision. (I don't think anybody knew what was coming to our area to be honest. It would have taken a magician or a soothsayer to figure that one out.) The needs of the bridge grew to a second structure....all paid by tolls. Same thing...ramps butted next to the bridge...poor traffic flow from Hayden Island which has grown into a shopping community rather than a place of recreation. Then the population explosion came. The vision of the future by our leaders had no idea what was to come. Instead, they limited the accessibility...and it's all happening again with light rail to Clark College. Too limited and insufficient to warrant federal funding to maintain and operate.

goldenoldie — April 9, 2012 at 7:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal


Now if they'd considered building the LRT structure to La Center where the casino will go in, then we're looking at the high possibility of full rail cars on a daily basis which would pay for light rail in itself, but how much of that will come from Oregon? Would part of the light rail revenue also go into paying for the replacement of the bridge? Sadly, the vision ends at Clark College on Fort Vancouver Way. The vision again is quite limited. C-Tran wants to begin bus rapid transit improvements along Fourth Plain Road but if there's nothing implemented for the casino by the time it opens, we're looking at the worst nightmare ever for I-5 in downtown Vancouver...clear to Woodland, especially when Oregonians or folks up north want to go home after spending their gambling money.

Bear in mind Roger...I loathe light rail because of what it did to the neighborhood of my youth...but that doesn't mean it doesn't have it's benefits. Just imagine what I-84 would be like without LRT along it's side. Sadly though...with it ending at Clark rather than going directly up the corridor, I don't see the financial benefits for our community. All the more reason I believe Amtrak should get on board and begin commuter rail for the smaller communities with big venues such as Ridgefield and in the near future, La Center.

goldenoldie — April 9, 2012 at 7:47 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Mr. Burkman, you certainly know how to mix apples and oranges. My, my, my!!! When you bring up a comparison make sure it works.

C-Tran is for Clark county!! Not just Vancouver. Got it. The whole county should be afforded the vote. NOT just the area of town that will get the Loo-Rail vote. Your using shoppers from Skamania county as an example is lame at best and dumb thinking at worse.

Shopping somewhere else and using public transportation are completely different. Skamania county doesn't get C-Tran services but if they did I would be the first to say let them vote on it also.

I bet you that after July 1st the poo will hit the fan. In fact I bet you that fees will go up for services AND there will be a gerrymandered vote for Loo-Rail maintenance.


I just love the re-joiner that Mayor Leavitt leveled against Ms. Stuart. I think he forgot that the board fired her. She didn't go along with the good ol' boys and paid the price. I believe if she had been allowed to stay on the C-Tran board she would have made it very uncomfortable for the others.

She even may have brought about a change using common sense. If the C-Tran board had a backbone they would stop this folly and not hire outside 'experts' for some guidance.

The more I think about it Mayor Leavitt is looking a lot like the P-Town Mayor. If you don't play my way I'll take my ball home. He's looking pretty petty and small. Mayor it is a stall tactic. We know it, you know it. quit the charades and tell the truth.

Finally you, as a city council, have known about the funding crisis on the horizon for a long time. You sat on your hands and did absolutely nothing other than ask for and receive a tax package last fall. Put the whole thing to a vote. The feds don't care what kind of rapid transit. It could be buses.

JohnCasey — April 10, 2012 at 5:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal

A rather conniving turn of events by Metro to put more cost of light rail onto the backs of the citizens of Clark County, wouldn't you say???


goldenoldie — April 13, 2012 at 6:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal

Here Here GO!!

Some people have said we are spending too much money on litigation. I say if we don't spend the money now to fight it we will spend a whole lot more on supporting Loo-Rail. That's in tomorrows dollars.

If we raise the bridge height to accommodate the river traffic it still will be lower than the existing bridge. The problem would be that some wouldn't be able to see the views from that hotel. The parking structures planned would still be an eyesore. The traffic would still be horrendous around Clark College. And the shadow of the bridge will be bigger and last longer.

The people who still believe that this is good for the people don't seem to understand the main issue here.


Most of us know where. Ever since the city and the county have gotten into business with private investors it has been saddled with problems. If we didn't have some kind of watchdog group (The Columbian, The Oregonian and WW) we would find that the city and the county councils would have really run-a-muck. As it is they still find ways to shoot themselves in the foot. Us too.

We would still have to pay for a piece of the structure that would put money only into Tri-Met and the builders and not get anything in return but an outdated rail system. Don't forget the hidden costs. If you have to ask what they are you are still looking at this with rose colored glasses.

Please do not get me wrong. I believe we need a replacement bridge. But the powers to be don't want to put up a third bridge first. That is poor planning in most peoples eyes. And to compound that they want to shove a money pit down our throats ala LOO-RAIL!!! This wrong on so many levels.

JohnCasey — April 14, 2012 at 4:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal

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