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February 10th, 2010 MARTY SMITH | Dr. Know
 

Dr. Know

     
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Clearly one of the prime reasons for the proposed new I-5 bridge is thousands commuting to Portland every day from Clark County. Given all our self-congratulating talk about livability in Portland, why do people choose to reside in Vancouver?

—Jerry, Portland

Yes, who wouldn’t want to be surrounded 24/7 by self-congratulating talk about livability? I can scarcely imagine anything more delightful.

Anyway, not to bust your balls, Jerry—especially since you were sharp enough to find a news peg for your question, which I appreciate—but bridge boosters say your premise is wrong.

“The bridge project is not significantly about [increasing] capacity,” insists Carley Francis, spokeswoman for Columbia River Crossing. Apparently the bridge isn’t needed to get people from Vancouver to Portland; it’s actually needed to get goods from Seattle to L.A.

In the meantime, what’s up with the ’Couv? I spoke with Ossie Bladine, editor of the Vancouver Voice, WW’s Clark County counterpart.

“Vancouver is sort of a safe haven from hipsters,” Bladine mused, and added that his city, unlike Portland, was fairly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. “There’s a diversity of opinion here.”

Unfortunately, Bladine would not specifically utter the phrases “toxic cloud of smugness,” “politically correct wankfest,” or “a Bhopal tragedy of suffocating ersatz sincerity” in reference to Portland.

A nice lady (who declined to be named) at Vancouver City Hall summed it up: “It comes down to livability.” Which is funny, ’cause that’s just what Portlanders say. Of course, when we say it, it doesn’t sound like small-town defensiveness. Does it?

 
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