I wonder if Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, mentioned the biggest obstacle to the Columbia River Crossing in her letter to the U.S. Transportation Secretary — the Republican legislators who refused to support the project. Instead of looking for solutions to the problems outlined in her letter such as the funding of “operation and maintenance” of light rail and the provision of matching funds from both states, she and several Washington state legislators have chosen to use those problems as justification to kill the project. If she and those legislators had spent the energy they put into defeating the project in trying to find acceptable solutions to these problems, construction of a new bridge might have been started by now.
It just doesn’t make sense for a major city in the greater Portland metropolitan area to not be connected to downtown Portland by light rail. People living in Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Gresham have a convenient and efficient way to travel to Portland. We are dependent on buses to connect to light rail that are often held up by traffic jams on the current I-5 Bridge.
I believe in voting for legislators who look for solutions to the problems that arise when developing projects to improve our community, not for those who look for ways to derail such projects.
Philip S. Parker