The Columbia River Crossing was estimated to increase air pollution in North Portland. It would have increased traffic congestion, not reduced it. It would have limited navigation of watercraft on the Columbia River. It would have forced commuters to be tolled about $10 a day to use the bridge.
And it would have robbed desperately needed transit dollars from projects across the state at a time when we have infrastructure literally falling apart.
There may have been an agreement between Oregon and Washington to include light rail, but it was a fatal blunder to not seek citizen approval. In fact, the powers that be seemed to know citizens would never accept it and decided to bully it on us anyway.
As much as anything else to be credited for the death of the CRC, a growing outrage at the grassroots level of ordinary citizens cannot be ignored.
Opposition to light rail to Vancouver always reminds me of Col. Kurtz’s famous last words from Apocalypse Now.
The horror—light rail might bring people from Portland to shop in Vancouver. Oh, wait, nobody from Portland shops in Vancouver because of the sales tax. The horror—riffraff from Portland coming over to disturb the ambiance of Vancouver’s numerous strip malls and bail-bonds hawkers. Or to someday smoke legal drugs.
Maybe the real horror is that someone who lives in Vancouver and works in Portland might step off a light-rail car in Vancouver, catch C-Tran home and realize it’s a lot better than spending an hour stuck in traffic.
EVERYONE’S AN ART CRITIC
I haven’t seen Nepenthes, so I won’t comment other than to say from pictures alone I’d take it over Inversion +/- [“Visual Arts Review,” WW, July 3, 2013]. I couldn’t disagree more with the author about the monstrosity that is the Inversion project. It’s not even recognizable as art.
Anyone visiting town or who hasn’t been along that stretch recently is more likely to think it’s some partially completed or abandoned midstream construction project. It is ugly.
Nepenthes, while definitely not Chihuly-grade, provides some light amusement, and a smile to most passersby.
Inversion: +/- has started more than one conversation about how bad Portland’s public art mostly just flat sucks.
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