When C-Tran's Proposition 1 was defeated, most observers expected Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, and some of her like-thinking colleagues to use an ill-conceived financing proposal as a litmus test on light rail.
We were not disappointed. It would be nice if our congresswoman showed a bit more leadership in this situation rather than hiding behind a particular vote outcome.
Great leaders take the time to dig in and isolate the issues. Great leaders communicate their position and then encourage constructive dialogue to continue.
So why is light rail better than buses? Light rail is an important part of the transportation system in Portland.
I want to emphasize the word "system." Portland's transportation system leverages all types of transportation modes: light rail, buses, street cars, automobiles, trucks, buses, and feet.
Light rail forms the main arteries of that system. Light rail moves large amounts of people along well-defined corridors, which are isolated as much as possible from traffic congestion.
Whether we like it or not, we are better off leveraging the transportation investments that Portland has made rather than inventing our own.
This approach will minimize our costs while maximizing our benefits. Isn't this the Republican vision of cost-effective government?