Opinion: ‘Relieving traffic congestion and improving mobility for the greatest number of users should be a top priority for this corridor’

Mark Harmsworth of the Washington Policy Center chimes in on information provided by Clark County Today on the I-5 Bridge Replacement Program

Mark Harmsworth
Mark Harmsworth

Mark Harmsworth
Washington Policy Center

This week C-TRAN, the government agency responsible for transit service between Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR announced cuts to service between the two cities due to declining demand.

Clark County Today reports that the agency is citing decreased demand for transit ridership (even taking into account the pandemic) which should be considered by the bridge replacement committee work that is defining what the transportation future for the region and bridge replacement looks like.

Mark Harmsworth of the Washington Policy Center chimes in on information provided by Clark County Today on the I-5 Bridge Replacement Program.
File photo.

C-TRAN is now focusing on cost-effective micro transit, or point-to-point transit, to meet the needs of the community, and is moving away from traditional mass transit (large buses and trains).

The current controversial replacement I-5 bridge plans have included the unpopular light rail options. United States Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D – Oregon) has stated there will be no support for a bridge without light rail and he will actively oppose any other options. Blumenauer, who is a supporter of light rail, was quoted as saying, “If I have anything to say about it, [the Columbia River bridge] will never be built unless it does.”

The ridership numbers C-TRAN has reported do not support Rep. Blumenauer’s position that light rail is essential for mobility in the region.

Rather than focusing on light rail, the planning should be focused on Bus Rapid Transit as the transit option for the bridge.

The goal of the committee should be decreasing congestion and accommodating, rather than decreasing, trips.

Relieving traffic congestion and improving mobility for the greatest number of users should be a top priority for this corridor.

The replacement-bridge committee is continuing to meet, discuss and receive feedback from the public. You can follow the progress of the committee here.

Mark Harmsworth is the director of the Small Business Center at the Washington Policy Center.

This opinion piece was produced and first published by the Washington Policy Center. It is published here with the permission of and full attribution to the Washington Policy Center.

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Debra Mazelin
Debra Mazelin
7 days ago

Right now I can catch an express bus (164) into Portland for work and it take about 30 mins. On average there are about 10 people every morning. If Ctran reduces buses, I can take the 65 bus and transfer to either a bus or trains. That doubles commute time. Please keep in mind that a number of people NEED these buses and would rather not stand for 30 minutes or more for a bus If we miss one..

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