John Burke’s Feb. 15 letter -- “One compromise: Don’t build rail” -- is replete with factual inaccuracies about the Columbia River Crossing. As Vancouver mayor, I must address these false contentions in Burke’s letter.
He writes that light rail and a foot/bike path “add approximately $1 billion to the CRC’s currently estimated $3.6 billion expense -- increasing project costs by more than the one-third that locals are expected to pay for the project through tolls” and that if there were no light rail in the project, “Hence no need for either a referendum approving its funding or tolls to finance its construction.”
Components and funding of the CRC have been made abundantly clear in many public conversations over five years, public conversations that Mr. Burke has been privy to.
Simply put, tolling is not paying for light rail. And even in a hypothetical world of a CRC without light rail, a local financing piece -- tolls -- would still be required.
Burke’s factually incorrect letter is an injustice to better informing our public.
As Sen. Daniel Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” By publishing Burke’s letter, you have unfortunately given credibility to his own facts.