The 12-lane freeway bridge urban sprawl proponents are pushing in Portland isn't in Eugene, but the $4-billion project threatens to suck all the transportation funding out of the entire state and local Congressman Peter DeFazio could play a key role in killing it.
Columbia River Crossing (CRC) opponents have produced a series of clear, quick videos on the freeway project. Here's an overview:
Here's an explanation of how the $4-billion expenditure will just create more sprawl, traffic, unlivable neighborhoods and global warming pollution:
Here's a look at greener, cheaper alternatives:
So how does DeFazio fit in to all this? DeFazio chairs a powerful House transportation subcommittee that may be key to funding the huge freeway bridge. A careful politician, DeFazio hasn't explicitly opposed a project that the state's powerful development and construction industries (and their unions) are backing. But DeFazio told Willamette Week this spring:
"I have said from Day One, they should think small. And they have been thinking really big and really expensive. And I am not sure how that project moves forward and how they will fund it. I have raised concerns throughout the processâ€”keep the price down. You can't solve all your problems with one project."
The folks in Portland have less pull with DeFazio than his constituents here who can tell their representative what they think online.