Once again we are being treated to more propaganda designed to assuage our angst over having tolls and Portland’s light rail shoved down our throats, whether or not we want it. The Friday, July 30 Columbian has yet another editorial promoting Portland’s light rail and tolls on a new I-5 Bridge, In our view: Bridge Progress telling us, “New Metro study reduces concerns about sprawl in Clark County.”
Personally, I’ve lost count of these “studies” that all seem to agree we need to just roll over and embrace losing more of our money to a boondoggle from Portland and to be happy to pay more to cross the Columbia River, just to get to work for many.
But, this editorial is designed to lessen our concern over “sprawl.” We are told,
“Portland’s Metro agency announced Wednesday that a new analysis shows a new bridge with tolls and light rail will have negligible effect in fueling sprawl in Clark County.”
From what I recall hearing at the City Council Town Hall, sprawl is not the worry, but vacating the area is, as jobs and residents discover the expense of having to pay to cross the Columbia River as often as they will have to.
Oddly enough, Metro Council President David Bragdon is quoted saying in regards to this “new study,”
“[it] underscores the importance of tolls and light rail to this project” and will “help Vancouver reach its goal of a compact, walkable downtown area while also improving access for households that live in North Portland and work in Vancouver.”
Where does it help all of the Clark County residents that hold jobs in Portland? Isn’t the “rush hour” heading to Portland in the mornings and reversed in the evenings? I don’t recall the handful of Portland residents that work here having much difficulty crossing the bridge to get to work lately.
Craig Riley, candidate for the 49th Legislative District, position 2 against Jim Moeller, recently expressed his concern of this scenario at a Vancouver City Council meeting about a valued employee of his that lives in Oregon City and commutes. He pays the employees gas fare to help with expenses for the lengthy drive now. Will he have to add more expense to his business to cover tolls too?
But, by and large, it is Clark County residents that will pay through the nose to travel to Oregon to work. Are employers there willing to grant pay raises to cover the added expense of their thousands of employees? I hardly think so.
For those that lived here in the 1970’s, when the 205 Bridge was being as heavily debated, and opposed by Portland and Oregon, recall it was built eventually and no one has had to pay tolls on it, ever. Hints have been dropped that tolls might be added to it now to ensure traffic is not diverted to it to avoid paying tolls on a new I-5 Bridge and to help pay for it all.
How did they pay for the I-205 Bridge and not stick tolls to it?
If you will recall, less than a year after being selected as our new governor, Christine Gregoire imposed a 9.5 cent increase in tax per gallon of gas we are still paying, 5 years later. On September 14, 2005, the Columbian ran an article, “Gregoire says gas tax crucial to transportation, business,” about governor Gregoire coming to Clark County to justify the tax increase.
Standing on the intersection of Chkalov Drive and Mill Plain Boulevard explaining that our gas taxes were going to the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle, Gregoire said,
“Today it’s Seattle and the viaduct; tomorrow it’s Clark County and the bridges to Portland. Someday I’m going to ask the citizens in King County to invest in Clark County.”
Well, it look like someday has arrived and what do we hear? Pay Tolls and the increased gas tax, along with every other tax and fee raised this last legislative session.
Why isn’t the Columbian’s editorial board and our elected officials fighting for Governor Gregoire to keep her word?
Visit and support NoTolls.com and let’s work together for an affordable solution that will really benefit Clark County.