Dave Stauffer, a Democratic candidate for governor of Oregon, has a plan to solve both traffic and morale problems for commuters crossing the Columbia every day.
And that plan is: water slides.
In a very serious-sounding, if confusingly lit, Facebook video shot in front of the Interstate Bridge, Stauffer lays out his solution to one of Portland's most obnoxious traffic problems.
The Scoutmaster-turned-gubernatorial candidate says he will build two slides—one from Vancouver to Portland and one from Portland to Vancouver—in the style of an amusement park ride. Think, Log Jam. Commuters would park in what he says would be a "30-story parking garage" and then get in one of the skiffs that would slide them right across the river into downtown Portland.
"The water slide will go above the freeways, above the Interstate Bridge," says Stauffer in his video.
"It will always be traveling, which means that there will be no stopping for streetlights or when the bridge lifts for boat traffic."
Really, the benefits of the water slide transit system are unending. For example, Stauffer points out: "There'll be no mass transportation drivers, so we won't have to employ those people."
Also: "It's a very light structure…it doesn't have to support heavy trucks or heavy cars."
In Stauffer's plan, the skiffs will accelerate to 80 to 120 mph, but don't worry. "It'll all be perfectly safe," he assures viewers, "because it will be on a one-way water slide."
One Facebook commenter shared this image, which Stauffer reshared, saying: "You've captured the fact that my water slide is not just a stodgy mass transportation plan, but it's also a fun amusement park ride."
Stauffer added that "once it's built, I wouldn't be surprised if people planned vacation trips to Portland/Vancouver just to ride the water slide. People will come from all over the world just to have the thrill of getting in a skiff and sliding off the 30th floor and accelerating to a very fast speed."
Is Stauffer serious about his plan? It's possible. When asked by a Facebook commenter how he felt about a zip line solution, he (or his campaign) responded: "LOL. I love the way people are responding with imagination, but no, a zip line off the top of a 30th floor would probably be a little dangerous."
Remember, a vote for Stauffer is a vote for water slides. It is not, however, a vote for zip lines.