I’m responding to John Laird’s April 7 column, “We should all live as long as the Third Bridge Cockroach,” wherein he referred to anyone objecting to the Columbia River Crossing bridge and light-rail plan as a cockroach that has crawled out from under the crowd of, shall we call them, bloodsuckers? The CRC plan could draw a lifetime of “wealth” from the highway fund.
If Laird can call me a cockroach, then I can call him a bloodsucker. For I am among the many who have opposed light rail since 1995. According to the November 2012 vote on C-Tran Proposition 1, the bloodsuckers still were in the minority, casting only 43 percent of the votes for a sales tax increase to pay for maintenance and operation of light rail.
The highway fund is depleted. Selling bonds and using the gas tax as collateral is no longer feasible. Federal and state gas-tax revenues have been spent before collection, being used for “bond service” on previous bonds sold for super-fast trains and airports, thereby leaving no revenue for highway purposes.
Now the predictions are that, because of better gas mileage and less recreational driving, the gas tax revenue is declining. Teenagers can no longer afford to “cruise the gut.” Trips to the beach are no longer spur-of-the moment; they cost more than the family can afford.
Larry R. Martin