Responding to the Oregonian’s Unabashed Support for Pricey Highway Mega-projectPosted by Steve in News on January 10th, 2012 – 3 Comments
Our region’s full-steam-ahead approach on the highway capacity project known as the Columbia River Crossing continues to astound those of us who believe the numbers don’t add up. The Oregonian’s Editorial Board has never been shy about its support for the CRC mega-project but their latest diatribe, “A misfire in design need not be a CRC setback” was off base.
Below is the unedited letter I submitted. The sentences in italic were edited out.
The Oregonian’s 2012 priorities include unemployment, education, hunger and homelessness, and the Columbia River Crossing mega-project. Some questions for you: How many homeless families could you shelter with $4 billion? How many meals could you feed to the hungry? How many teachers could we keep in the classroom? As our scarce resources dwindle, pushing for an unfundable, wasteful freeway expansion project creates no jobs except for consultants who already made over $130 million (5 times more than originally estimated). Shame on The Oregonian for demanding more of the same.
The Oregonian claimed, “Numbers do count” – and it remains true. In the short legislative session coming up, our leaders can protect our shrinking future budget by unshackling Oregon from money spent planning an unbuildable freeway project. Instead of spending billions to shave one minute off the I-5 commute, let’s focus on priorities that will truly improve conditions for all Oregonians.