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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor

Letter: Trains are transit alternative

By Dave Rowe, Battle Ground
Published: November 18, 2021, 6:00am

The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program’s design might not be too different from the community-rejected Columbia River Crossing. It might require tolls. IBR Program acknowledges commute time will only be reduced a few minutes.

Light rail transit and buses are the only transit options studied by the IBR Program, even though rail passengers now cross the Columbia River from Vancouver to Portland in 15 minutes.

A solution to highway tolls while addressing climate change is to add electric passenger trains to the private rail corridors from Ridgefield and Camas. The rail corridor from Battle Ground to Vancouver is owned by Clark County and would take less taxpayer money to develop. Europe has found rail travel is very energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Electric passenger rail service needs to be studied by the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program as an alternative to the original CRC design. Rail development on the three rail corridors as a replacement to the I-5 Bridge would prevent Clark County from becoming highway dependent like Orange County, Calif.

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter