In my opinion: On livability and the CRC, USDOT Sec LaHood can’t have it both ways

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has some explaining to do.

LaHood, who famously stood on a tabletop and thanked bike advocates for their hard work at the 2010 National Bike Summit and later posted on his blog that, “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized,” has now become an enthusiastic booster of the Columbia River Crossing project — a five-mile long, highway widening mega-project being proposed by the Oregon and Washington departments of transportation.

“We are big, big, huge supporters of the Columbia River Crossing.”
— Ray LaHood, USDOT Secretary, November 2011

“… people do want alternatives. They want out of their cars; they want out of congestion; they want to live in livable neighborhoods… This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.” — Ray LaHood, USDOT Secretary, March 2010

Often characterized as only a bridge project (the result of masterful PR work by project consultants who have spent millions on messaging), the CRC would also significantly widen five miles of I-5 as well as beefing up and adding five new highway interchanges along the way. The project’s main purpose is to make driving an automobile easier, safer and more convenient.