I am amazed that a predominantly liberal group of Portland politicians and community leaders would show more common sense, fiscal restraint and concern for our community than our own Southwest Washington elected officials. The group is called the Smarter Bridge Committee (“Anti-CRC group calls for funding halt,” Jan. 13), and it has come out strongly against the Columbia River Crossing Project, as now envisioned. Justifiably, they want to know why we are still spending scarce tax dollars planning a $3.7 billion bridge, when there are better, cheaper, more cost-effective bridge alternatives available, and when state and federal funding and user revenues (i.e. bridge tolls) are so much in doubt. This is the same question David Madore and his No Tolls group have been asking for some time.
The best quote in the Columbian story was by Oregon Rep. Lew Frederick (D-Portland), who said of the CRC officials, “I don’t mind them spending money to listen to people. They just didn’t listen.” Let’s hope that changes, and changes soon.