There's still too much emphasis placed on the problems with financing for the SRC, and not enough attention placed on the ways it's simply a bad idea.
Maybe Councilor Andersen's substitute motion and its January Work Session will flush out more of the ways it's a bad idea and ways that the SRC process has misrepresented or selectively represented things in order to suggest it's a better idea than it really is. Maybe if Council takes charge rather than leaving it to staff, there will be more opportunity for cross-examination and a more serious investigation than the rushed and fake process in late 2016 afforded.
One person transcribed the motion, and it does appear to create room to investigate some areas the SRC process has minimized, elided, or erased:
I move that the Council hold a work session specifically to discuss all potential issues with the Environmental Impact Statement for the 3rd Bridge, including but not limited to it’s affect on neighborhoods, Edgewater Drive, Wallace Marine Park, the Rosemont exit, projected congested areas and travel times under build and no-build options and financing options.That's a lot of material, though, for one Work Session and then an up-or-down vote on the LUBA remand.
Council could instead cut to the chase and straight-up recommend concluding the EIS process with a "no build" Record of Decision. (A friendly amendment might also be to appoint a new Council representative to SKATS, one who will more faithfully represent Council direction and City interests.)
On the question of finances, there is some uncertainty. As Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Peter DeFazio of Eugene is poised to be the new Chair of the Committee.
He's generally lauded as a friend and ally for better transportation policy.
|Congressman and Wrench Peter DeFazio|
Cycle Oregon in 2010
|But opposes decongestion pricing and a Green New Deal|
Some recent comments of his on decongestion pricing are concerning.
From the Register-Guard:
"DeFazio also mentioned in the letter [to the OTC about the I-105 project] his opposition to proposed tolling on congested sections of Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 in the Portland area. The letter served as a follow-up to a Nov. 1 conversation DeFazio had with Baney and another member of the state commission."
Here's part of the letter:
|"tolling is immensely unpopular"|
When you put all these pieces together, it's plausible that the SRC could be included in a new Federal infrastructure bill.
If our current problem with funding were to go away, we should be sure to oppose the SRC because it's a bad idea, not because it would be expensive.
As a footnote, it's interesting to see now the Crabbers are suing Big Oil.
|A new suit over climate disruption|
|But cars and freedom and romance!|
- At Salem Reporter, "Third bridge's fate delayed again."
- At Hinessight, "Third Bridge closer to death"
And here's the SJ's treatment. A small tile on the front page with a half-page continuation inside. But it's paired up with a piece on climate disruption here in the Pacific Northwest (and, by the way, farther in, there's a full page, full color ad on red tide research).