There were winners and losers in the recently announced scrapping of the Columbia River Crossing project. You can fit the opponents of the project on one side, advocates on the other. However, in addition to the winner-loser columns, there were also some very clear beneficiaries of this whole process. And they benefited to the tune of $170 million (that would be what the consultants and planners netted in the 10-year project).
$170 million could have:
– built the original 2003 Foster Streetscape Plan 20+ times. That would be excessive, so let’s just say it could have allowed for one really awesome Streetscape Plan and lotsa, lotsa millions leftover.
– bought 776 median-priced homes in FoPo…more than plenty to take care of all the foreclosed and distressed properties.
– bought and partially renovated/retrofitted the Phoenix Pharmacy building 170 times.
– paid for 680 traffic signals. One or two could have prevented one of the many traffic fatalities on Foster.
– paid for more than a quarter of the city’s 2030 bike plan, which aims to add more than 600 miles of new bikeways
– presumably funded the construction of sidewalks on 100 city blocks
– paid for 2.26 million of Friends of Trees’ most expensive tree
– rebuilt a state of the art Marysville School 7 times…or the now cheaper version 34 times. Regardless, our kids wouldn’t have had to commute to NE Portland as long as they did.
Ah, what could have been…