Friday, July 29, 2011

Even the State Treasurer Thinks River Crossing Modeling is Wrong

Maybe you think it's one thing for a bunch of kooky bicycle advocates to suggest the traffic and tolling projections on the Salem Rivercrossing are overoptimistic by a margin to large to ignore.

But when the State Treasurer says the same thing about the Columbia River Crossing, you really do have to wonder.

Two separate assessments independently
recommend that the CRC lower its baseline traffic and toll revenue forecasts
The Salem Rivercrossing project team uses the same modeling structure as the Columbia Rivercrossing team. Oregonians are driving less, whether across the Willamette or across the Columbia, but projections aren't taking this into account.

Do we really need a giant highway cutting neighborhoods in half? Surely this is not the right bridge for the 21st century. Better utilizing existing capacity along with a right-sized approach to local connections across the river can meet area needs.

1 comment:

Walker said...

Great post. An important new book for policy makers, their staffers, and concerned citizens is Richard Heinberg's latest, "The End of Growth."

Makes a very persuasive case that we are now past the era where we could service debt, which requires continuous economic "growth.". Thus, the bridge fantasies are doubly wrong -- not only are the traffic projections absurd, but the feedback from overwhelmed taxpayers pulling back means that we'd still be unable to afford these boondoggles, even if people did want to drive more.

The end of the auto age is nigh -- the only question is how much damage the dinosaur causes in it's last thrashings. Building these absurd and unneeded bridges as " stimulus" would be like throwing a struggling swimmer a lead life preserver.