Oregon is blessed in the area of transportation. We have an excellent river, the Columbia, a coast line, we are a good stopping point for International flights, and we are a land transportation hub.
With the Columbia River we have a means to cheaply transport goods long distances. Our highway system makes us the logical choice for Washington goods headed to the South and the South East, and Californian goods headed North.
So why are we squandering this opportunity?
A Semi-Truck has a maximum of 11 hours in a working day. Distance is how we commonly get paid. Not only that but our turn-around time determines how much freight can reach a region, affecting their prices. Our 55 mph (for truckers) speed increases waste in the system.Just using I-5 corridor for an example it takes 5.5 hours straight-line... Add an extra half hour for our southern passes. Increase this to 60 and you literally save 30 minutes. Surprisingly 65mph would save 54 minutes. A 60mph speed limit would make runs between Medford and Portland (round trip) a one drive period affair. A 65mph speed could make Portland to Ontario (Oregon) a one drive period affair. Using my driving pattern we could see an increase in how many hours I could drive increase by as much as twenty a week! Averaged it would be a 15% increase in travel time a week. This is more freight, less lost time, and more driver pay.
Did you know my opponent supports a 4.5 Billion dollar bridge replacing the I-5 bridge to Washington? Did you know that a noted architect came up with a 500 million dollar alternative? His proposal is so cheap it won't require the tolls the more expensive bridge requires. Yes I said TOLLS. There is no greater way to hurt the poor and small businesses than making the only two bridges (They need the I-205 bridge to have tolls also under their plan) in the Portland region into toll bridges. SHAME on those wanting this monstrosity!
Unlike my opponent I drive the roads of America, Rural and Urban both, and I know what works and what does not work. I see it first hand. With me above the Department of Transportation deciding their funding and auditing them, you can be assured of positive changes in the department.
Some of our roads are worn out, gutted, and patched up. Some are still in great shape when they get torn up to be replaced. We have bridges in dire need of repair, and outdated traffic laws in a variety of area's. We can clean up some unnecessary curves, improve the overall road quality, start implementing a good bridge repair schedule, and move our State forward into the 21st Century.
Let me tell you what does not work. In California I stopped for a meal, across the road was a CalTrans worker using a bodozer to move gravel. He moved it from one pile to another pile, then back to the original pile. That's all he did for the hour I took off enjoying myself. Tell me how that benefits society, tell me he is not wasting resources.
THAT IS WHAT I AM GOING TO FIGHT/PREVENT! Vote for Michael Harrington to stop these issues cold!