A Short Editorial

If the I-5 bridge is not the main source of congestion, then what is the driving force behind this project? Light Rail? Pursuit of revenue in the form of tolls? An agenda to discourage people from driving by using tolls as a means of reducing congestion? Are these the proper priorities and roles of the Department of Transportation? If tolls are the solution to congestion control by impeding traffic and drivers decide that they’d rather avoid the tolls by taking the 205 bridge, isn’t tolling the 205 the logical solution to reducing the new congestion that will occur there?

Isn’t free flowing transportation and interstate commerce the life blood of our economy? Isn’t the proper role of the Department of Transportation to build and maintain roads and bridges that facilitate unrestricted free flowing transportation? Why do Washington stores ask their customers if they are Washington residents? What is the reason behind not charging Oregon residents sales tax in Washington. Don’t we want to encourage Oregon residents to visit Washington? Don’t Oregon stores want to encourage Washington residents to shop there? What will tolls do to that neighborly welcome?

We should be diligent to protect our heritage of freedom to travel. Freedom has historically been exchanged for state control in order to achieve some “greater good”. The state can make its citizens servants and sources of profit under the guise of reducing greenhouse gases to save the planet. Yes, we want to be good environmental stewards by saving gas. But we do that voluntarily by driving more efficient vehicles, not by constricting the jugular veins to reduce the flow of our life blood.

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