John Ley fights for common sense in comments to June 17, 2022 Bi-State Bridge Committee of Oregon and Washington legislators

June 23, 2022by John Ley0

We are one month away from all 16 legislators being asked to approve this project and to spend a huge amount of time and money. Yet we do not know critical details.

As was mentioned, we don’t know the cost of the project. You won’t get a cost update until this November, AFTER legislators are supposed to approve moving forward.

What are the cost details for each of the components in the project you are proposing? You have not told legislators nor citizens the details of the Marine Dr. interchange costs. We just heard light rail costs could be over 50% higher than the CRC, at $1.3 billion for a 3 mile extension. 

Legislators should be discussing “who will pay?” Or are you expecting Washington citizens to foot the bill for Marine Dr. interchanges and separate bridges to Hayden Island?

No private business would sign a multi million contract without knowing the details and who will be paying.

You have also failed to show us if it is even possible to have 26,000 to 33,000 people riding transit on the I-5 corridor. Those are your numbers. Your proposed solution, extending the Yellow Line light rail, can only carry about 1,000 passengers per hour. That’s only 3,000 people during the rush hour commute. How will the other tens of thousands of people ride transit? If all 1,000 people each hour are coming from Clark County, there will not be any seats on the Yellow Line MAX trains for Senator Lew Fredericks constituents. That doesn’t appear to be equitable for them.

Greg Johnson said “congestion must be resolved.” Yet your 3 through lane proposal will cause traffic congestion to DOUBLE, where 50% of vehicles will be stuck in traffic traveling zero to 20 miles per hour during commute times. Travel times will DOUBLE from Salmon Creek in Vancouver to the Fremont Bridge. That does not provide value for freight haulers or average citizens. We can and must do much better, especially for $5 billion taxpayer dollars.

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