I have had the unique privilege to speak about this topic at length with Lars Larson and other local radio personalities. I have also covered it in the pu...blic forums to which our campaign has been invited. I will provide you with the exact same answers that I have given in those venues.Thank you for your rapid and thoughtful response.
1) CRC - I believe that the CRC as designed has far too many questions than answers. And the answers that are available are not ones that I could support. If a business were to spend $150,000,000 researching and designing their next product, and came up with a severely flawed design, that company would be out of business. We cannot continue to invest in this project as we have been for the last several years. I am also severely concerned about the amount of private property that would need to be acquired for the proposed CRC project.
2) Bridge Replacement - I do not believe that replacement of the I-5 bridge is imminent to the safety of commuters across the river. I do believe that the bridge will eventually need to be replaced, but we are putting the cart way before the horse. In my opinion, the replacement of the bridge should only be considered after the I-5 corridor has been improved. Most of those improvements are needed on Oregon side of the river, but some improvements are needed on the Washington side which would include the transitions for SR-14. We could start construction on a 20 lane bridge tomorrow, but it would all be wasted on the current corridor. Experts have said that the current bridge has anywhere from 40-60 years of useful life left in it and I believe that we should maximize our investment in that current bridge, while budgeting for its eventual replacement (many many years down the road).
3) Light Rail - Fixed-rail transit is meant for cities where large amounts of people live within a few short miles of each other. That is not the situation that we have in SW Washington. In my opinion, the MAX system is not an effective way to transport people in Portland, and would be even less effective for SW Washington. As your State Representative, I would use whatever influence that I have to try and convince the Federal Government that light rail does not need to be a part of any new bridge on the I-5 corridor. When voting in Olympia, I could not support a project with light-rail.
4) Tolling - In 2005, the voters of Washington State implemented a considerable gas tax on themselves with the promise that these funds would be used for future road and infrastructure improvements. It should be no surprise to any of us that that money has already dried up, but that does not mean that the residents of Clark County, WA should be punished for the behavior of those in Olympia. The I-5 corridor is not an optional corridor, it is not built out of convenience, it is one of the county's major traffic arteries. It is a corridor that not only connects 3 states, but 3 countries, and tolls should not be a part of any plan. I could not support a toll that would cripple the household budgets of our local families, and derail our local economy.
I trust that this fully answers any questions that you may have regarding my positions on these issues.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Brandon Vick responds to the request concerning his CRC positions.
Here, unedited, is the response Brandon provided on his Facebook page to me.