Three decades ago – maybe four – in the waning days of music on AM radio, the era of morning drive-time disc-jockey teams supposedly being light-hearted and humorous, a pair of funny guys on one Portland station had a running gag, blaming incompetent Washington drivers for any traffic problems. Now in 2019, a study by something called WalletHub ranks Washington motorists number 48, the worst in the continental United States. Numbers 49 and 50 are Alaska and Hawaii respectively.
Vancouver – not the British Columbia Vancouver – sits just across the Columbia River from Portland – the Oregon Portland.
Vancouver residents enjoy lower property taxes than their neighbors in Portland. Washington, unlike Oregon, has no income tax. They do have sales tax; Oregon has none. Shopping malls are conveniently situated just across the bridges, on the Oregon side of I-5 and I-205, the latter anchored by a mammoth IKEA. The jobs are also in Portland, so many Vancouverites are forced to pay Oregon income tax.
With the tax-free shopping and employment on the south side of the Columbia, Vancouverites create a lot of traffic in the Portland area and so expect easy access across the bridges but expect Oregon to pay for it. What they don’t want is the MAX light rail bringing “Those People” into their community.
In return, Vancouver is sending to Portland… the measles! Washington Governor Jay Inslee – who may or may not be running for President in 2020 – has declared a state of emergency in Clark County, where Vancouver is located, because of dozens of cases of measles among unvaccinated children. Inslee calls it an “extreme public-health risk that may quickly spread to other counties.” Yes, like to Multnomah County: Portland!