Riding the Rails

By Evan Kramer

Thanks to opposition from Democrats in Oregon as well as Republicans and Republican NIMBYís in Washington State opposed to the Columbia River Crossing, the project is now defunct. The ďcrime trainĒ as it was derisively called wonít run from downtown Portland to Vancouver. Weíll just wait now until the bridge suffers a major failure. I wrote State Senator Jeff Kruse about this issue but received no response. So many of the people we elect donít have time for constituency. Iím an advocate of all forms of transportation and enjoy driving around in my burgundy Mercury Marquis, riding my bicycle, riding the light rail lines in Portland and, of course, taking a walk though it was better with Honeybear. I once took a trip on Amtrak from LA to Philadelphia and then New York City and then rode the subways and elevated trains all over. It doesnít get any better.

Hello Senator Kruse,

We wrote sometime last year during the legislative session though I canít find the e-mails I sent or received. My issue then and now are transportation matters. I was very disappointed that you and others in our legislature, and the Washington legislature as well, didnít support the Columbia River Project new bridge.

By doing nothing it only puts the burden on people down the road 5, 10 or more years from now. The bridge will eventually have to be replaced and with a rapid transit MAX line included. Thatís my opinion.

Isnít the Oregon legislature a little embarrassed or angry that our state spent some $150 million planning a project that collapsed without any benefit. Can we the taxpayers have a refund?

I had hoped you would write about this issue and also the horrible cost overruns in the Highway 20 project east of Newport. Plus why does ODOT keep restoring and upgrading older bridges like the one in North Bend and the Gold Beach bridge instead of rebuilding them to modern standards with two lanes of traffic in each direction. We spent over $60 million dollars on the McCullough Bridge and we still end up with a narrow two lane bridge with no bike lanes. Thereís something wrong with this picture. Please address transportation issues in one your newsletters in the future. Weíve heard enough about the Second Amendment and gun control, etc. People have other things on their mind. I appreciate your newsletters even if I donít agree with all your positions.

Thank you and hope you are having a good year with your wonderful farm.

Evan Kramer