Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Martin Hash, Candidate for the House in the 17th (D) has a few choice words on the I-5 Bridge.

Yes, I'd give him serious consideration.  Yes, I know he's a democrat.  No, I don't care: after all, look at what the GOP has done for us.

"Portland is impossible to compromise with."

"NO solution is better than accepting a bad deal."


1 comment:

Pete Masterson said...

This man has my vote. He truly understands the issue surrounding the "CRC".

I moved to SW Washington from the San Francisco Bay Area. Unfortunately, the Bay Area was thoroughly infected with anti-automobile officials, bureaucrats, and politicians. BART was built. Necessary voter approval for a new bay crossing was voted down (after considerable misinformation from the anti-car crowd along with pleas to "give BART a chance"). The not-so-secret plan was to make auto travel so unpleasant that it would force people onto Mass Transit. (Didn't much work, as often commuters still "had" to drive as mass transit wasn't practical.) A replacement for the earthquake compromised western portion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge took a decade longer to replace than originally estimated, costing triple the original estimates, because politicians wanted a "landmark" bridge, rather than the somewhat pedestrian-looking initial Caltrans proposal.

While BART is one of the "most successful" new rail transit systems built in the past 50 years, it still costs taxpayers a fortune to operate and has a minimal impact on traffic. Of course the usual suspects fight almost every highway improvement proposed (adding a lane to I-80 between Vallejo and the Interchange just before the SF-O Bridge required 15 years of legislative and court battles. Naturally, the critics were "right" that "as soon as the lane is added, it will be congested" -- of course it was -- it TOOK 15 stupid years to build it -- long after it was desperately needed.

One of the common claims (of the anti-car crowd) is that "freeways create traffic." The idea is that opening new freeways to areas previously unserved will generate growth along those routes. This is TRUE if there is an economic incentive for development. But Interstate 70, starting in the middle of Utah, and continuing east across Colorado and Kansas (and other states) is a case in point. From the town of Green River, UT to Salina, UT, a distance of 110 miles, Interstate 70 has NO motorist services (and no real cities to serve along the route). The traffic counts have been very slow to grow, once the few commercial entities that found the route attractive worked it into their systems. The reason is that there is nothing there. (Except incredible scenery.) The point is, the thesis that "freeways create traffic" is demonstrably incorrect. Economic activity creates traffic. Highways either help economic activity grow ... or bury it in congestion. I note that the considerable congestion of the SF Bay Area (even worse that Portland's) has had a negative impact on both the quality of life (there) and on the cost of living (which is much higher).

I salute Martin Hash for his position, and I hope that he'll be able to stick to it once he is elected.