Vote No on Proposition 1
With this evidence below, it's hard to ignore that light rail is bad for Vancouver Washington.
Key Findings from Washington Policy Center
• The November vote is a referendum on light rail.
• If the measure is approved, the sales tax rate in Vancouver will have increased by more than 10% since 2005.
• Ironically, the new tax would subsidize a train to make it easier for people to shop in Portland, harming Washington businesses and undermining current public revenue streams.
• Significant unresolved issues could leave voters responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars more than they are actually voting on.
• Voters do not know whether the tax increase would pay for just their share or Oregonís portion as well.
• Portland TriMet officials have a history of uncontrolled spending, lavish union payouts and a current labor dispute that could spill over to Washington taxpayers, creating major risk and uncertainty.
• The 0.1% sales tax increase raises more money than C-TRAN actually needs for Vancouverís downtown BRT system, resulting in no real savings for taxpayers.
• C-TRANís operating expenses are rising disproportionately faster than ridership; officials should contain these costs and bring operating expenses in line with passenger demand before asking voters for more money.
The public has not been allowed to vote on this project.
• This November, the Proposition 1 sales tax proposal will go to a public vote for the C-Tran share of maintenance and operations cost of the Columbia River Crossing Project light rail extension from Expo Center in Oregon to Clark Park & Ride and the Fourth Plain Bus Rapid Transit project. This is the ONLY chance we get to vote about light rail.
The current plan will kill our revitalized downtown Vancouver just as itís blooming.
• It has taken 20 years to revitalize our historical downtown core.
• 7+ year construction zone will kill many or most of small businesses downtown.
• Light rail will turn most of Washington Street and Broadway into a transit mall.
Portlandís TriMet is broke. Why bring their light rail to Vancouver?
• TriMetís unfunded liability was $832 million as of 2009 and has now grown to 1.3 billion of debt.
• Why should Vancouver pay $2.57 million annually to maintain a light rail extension into Vancouver for Portland's TriMet light rail trains?
• Due to TriMet's financial trouble, security cutbacks have resulted in rising light rail crime rates.
• Light rail may not be fully paid for by federal funding and most likely C-Tran and local taxpayers will be responsible for the hundreds of millions of dollars short-fall.
• Buses are faster, more flexible and one incident does not shut the system down.
• Did TriMet's light rail resolve traffic issues for Hillsboro, Beaverton, Tualatin, Gresham and Clackamas?
Light rail in downtown would eliminate too much valuable street parking.
• The CRC has three park-and-ride garages slated to be built in downtown Vancouver for light-rail commuters witch are expected to cost $158 million to $176 million.
• Vancouver's parking garages and lots lost about $1.97 million in 2011.
We can not afford the ďlocal contribution.Ē
Look up these cautionary tales about what happens when an infrastructure project goes bad:
• Facing Legal Challenge, Honolulu Halts $5B Light-Rail Project
• Jefferson County, Alabama bankruptcy from $3 billion of sewer bonds
• Stockton, California bankruptcy from bond debt through ill-advised infrastructure projects
• Mammoth Lakes, California bankruptcy resulted from losing a lawsuit over development
• The Big Dig in Boston was the most expensive highway project in the U.S. and was plagued by escalating costs, scheduling overruns, design flaws, criminal arrests and even four deaths. The project was scheduled to be completed in 1998 at an estimated cost of $2.8 billion. The project was not completed until December 2007, at a cost of over $14.6 billion. The Boston Globe estimated that the project will ultimately cost $22 billion, including interest, and that it will not be paid off until 2038. Traffic returned as a result of induced demand by the increased road capacity just a couple years after completion.
More people work from home than use transit and the trend is growing.
• The unmistakable message of the 2009 American Community Survey from the US Census Bureau shows a 31% increase from 2000 to 2008 in employees that now work at home. Working at home has been the fastest growing component of commuting for nearly three decades and has been accomplished with virtually no public investment.
Please check out these sites:
• Common Sense Alternative
With this evidence, it's hard to ignore that the CRC's light rail plan is bad for Vancouver Washington. During these times of budget shortfalls, debt, growing environmental concerns and a rapidly increasing trend of people working from home, it is painfully clear that freeway expansion, tolls, and light rail is antiquated thinking. Treat the cause, not the symptom. The problem is not the bridge, it is why we cross the bridge. Our efforts would be better spent on promoting businesses that provide long term job opportunities to attract cross-state commuters to stay closer to home and encourage our residents to spend locally which would strengthen our city and spur more local jobs.
Write your elected officials and vote responsibly in support of your local community.
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