Vancouver resident Liz Fagen shares her thoughts on the city of Vancouver’s A Stronger Vancouver proposal.
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
Regarding the A Stronger Vancouver Proposal, until honest conversation about the affects Portland — with it’s sanctuary city, homeless, housing and ridiculously expensive transportation plan/policies are having on Vancouver livability and affordable housing — no real change will happen that ultimately benefits the residents of Vancouver/Clark County.
With both the Oregon and Washington governors continually, in one way or another, overturning the will of the people with transportation spending and adding fees and taxes to anything they can, there seems to be no end in sight to taxing Vancouver/Clark County literally into the poorhouse. Any changes implemented In this proposal will simply add more tax burden to Clark County residents while lining the pockets of the current players involved in for profit community development.
Portland’s commitment to mass transportation with little or no new roads/highway development whilst closing existing streets and thoroughfares limiting access of cars has made it more difficult commute and travel by car in the city. Portland’s answer to urban development is to erode existing and historical neighborhoods allowing the destruction of existing homes/buildings for the development of multiple housing units. This is creating dense, expensive housing resulting in middle and lower income individuals and families who work in Portland to move to Clark County in order to afford to live. This is deteriorating the quality of life in Clark County in many areas most notably housing and commuting.
Vancouver/Clark County traffic Is looking more and more like Portland. The latest example of this is the addition of the gigantic electronic sign posting the ridiculous 30 mph “advisory” speed on the Oregon side of the Northbound I-205 bridge. Apparently posted speed signs no longer dictate the speed of our federal interstates. These signs cause massive slowing/stopping of traffic actually creating the grid lock.
This latest ‘’advisory” sign bridge placement no doubt employed to support the argument for the I-5 bridge expansion, which includes the expansion of the Max train into Clark County. Governors Brown and Inslee as of last week are moving forward with the I-5 bridge expansion despite Washington voters clearly saying “No” in previous elections. The Max train expanding to Clark County will do what it has done to the Portland Metro area— disperse crime from the inner city and homelessness to surrounding suburban cities. This mass transportation being promoted under the guise of better commutes, which obviously hasn’t improved Portland’s transportation issues, not to mention touting the reduction of carbon emissions.
If the A Stronger Vancouver proposal were to be adopted in its current form, Vancouver and Clark County residents best interests aren’t being served by their elected officials of the city of Vancouver and the Clark County commissioners.’ Rather, our quality of life and community is being dictated by the ridiculous policies of the mayor of Portland, their City Council and the Multnomah County Commissioners.
More parks and playground equipment needed in Vancouver? I think not. We need to get real as to the impact Portland and it’s failing policies is having on all of Clark County communities. We need sound plans that address these impacts and not be codependent to our dysfunctional neighbors across the river. We need proposals that maintain the values, safety and overall livability of our community. Vancouver/Clark County residents have no desire to be a metro city like Portland, San Francisco or Seattle — if we did we would live there.