Letter: Keep promise about light rail vote
Friday, March 30, 2012
Dean Osterman’s March 15 letter, “Stop the grandstanding,” complained that Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler invited constituents’ input, but the request came late in bridge planning. As a transportation committee member, our congresswoman rightfully seeks input. Serious concerns about the Columbia River Crossing light-rail bridge project design and finances should be considered now. Herrera Beutler urges C-Tran to hold a vote of Clark County residents as soon as possible.
A light-rail vote is included in C-Tran’s “locally preferred alternative” that selected replacing the I-5 Bridge. The high-capacity transit component is supposed to be the “most efficient, cost-effective and context-sensitive,” and it could be buses. The light-rail vote was originally scheduled for November 2011, then was deferred until 2012. In July, a new law will allow C-Tran to gerrymander the voting district to a limited sub-district, which could cut out voters in Camas, Washougal, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, La Center, and other county residents.
Vancouver Mayor and C-Tran board member Tim Leavitt signed the C-Tran vote provision but now is not sold on holding a vote. Residents who want to keep their promised light-rail vote should contact their city, county commissioners, and representatives in Congress.