I am writing in regard to the Columbia River Crossing project, more specifically the thought of light rail in Vancouver. The $3 billion to $4 billion cost for this project is hard to look past, but we also have to look at the external costs and costs resulting from the CRC project.
A big concern is the already high crime rate in Vancouver. The light rail will only increase crime in the Vancouver area; in turn, increasing policing patrols in the area (as proven in the Oregon communities of Gresham and Clackamas once light rail was introduced).
The small businesses in Vancouver will not gain benefit, but will lose profits. Their property tax will increase, and if that was not enough, many of their prior customers will have easier access to no-tax Oregon shops using the light rail. Not to mention the tolls they are proposing, which will affect the already struggling populace of Vancouver.
There are far too many costs not taken into account, with the cost of the light rail itself, that we should have already started thinking about. What it comes down to is cost versus benefit, and benefits are not nearly as high as they need to be.