Politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows.

On the heels of yesterday's first hearing on House Bill 2800, the proposal to provide Oregon's $450 million down-payment to the proposed $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing project, several groups who normally would not agree to be in the same zip code are coming together to oppose the project.

The new group calls itself "Stop the CRC: A Bipartisan Coalition for a Responsible Solution."

From the left, the umbrella group Coalition for a Livable Future, whose members include more than 100 environmental, labor and social services organizations and the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, are joining a conservative groups, including the Oregon Taxpayer Association, Americans for Prosperity-Oregon and the Cascade Policy Institute.

Portland economist Joe Cortright, whose criticism of many of the assumptions and projections that project sponsors made about traffic and tolling revenue has proven prescient, will provide technical advice to the coalition.

Groups on the left don't like the CRC, they say, because it is a 1950s-style freeway project that will harm the environment without solving congestion problems. Groups on the right object to the CRC's massive cost and shaky financial assumptions.

Here's a statement from the new group:

 Members

 of

 this

 coalition,

 called

 â€œStop

 the

 CRC:

 A

 Bipartisan

 Coalition

 For

 a

 Responsible

  Solution,”

 share

 a

 broad

 set

 of

 concerns

 about

 the

 current

 plan

 for

 the

 Columbia

 River

Crossing

  including,

 but

 not

 limited

 to:

 

  • The

 Oregon

 legislature

 is

 essentially

 being

 asked

 to

 authorize

 a

 blank

 check

 for

 the

  funding.

  • The

 construction

 and

 financing

 of

 the

 CRC

 will

 impact

 the

 ability

 to

 maintain

 existing

  roads

 and

 bridges throughout Oregon.

  • The

 proposal

 is

 based

 on

 outdated

 and

 incorrect

 information.

  • The

 CRC

 will

 worsen

 traffic

 gridlock

 in other parts of Portland and in residential

neighborhoods.

 



  "It

 is

 the

 aim

 of

 all

 members

 of

 this

 coalition

 to

 persuade

 Oregon's

 2013

 Legislature

 not

 to

  appropriate

 further

 funding

 for

 this

 project,"

 said

 coalition

 spokespersons

 Mara

 Gross

 and

  Lindsay

 Berschauer.

 

 "Instead,

 we

 encourage

 legislators

 to

 take

 a

 step

 back

 and

 engage

  Oregonians

 broadly

 in

 an

 effort

 to

 develop

 a

 more

 responsible

 solution

 that

 Oregon

 can

 afford."