Nearly every news story on the Sellwood bridge has included the claim that “70% of the Sellwood bridge traffic begins or ends in Clackamas County”. This was seemingly all that was needed to justify the new fee and revenue stream enacted by County Commissioners. Of course it didn’t hurt their money grab efforts that half the time the “70%” had been misrepresented as all coming from Clackamas County. While largely irrelevant considering the many other objections to the bridge funding scheme there’s a big problem with this traffic claim. It’s not true. The traffic study actually says this, “What Metro projections [done by then Metro employee Lynn Peterson] actually show is that by 2030, 79 percent of trips across the bridge will start or end in Multnomah County”. The was reported in a small Oregonian story back on March 15, 2010 “City Club transportation report corrects Sellwood Bridge info” .
It’s amazing that in the story it also notes how the false Clackamas County traffic share was wrongly reported and editorialized. It states, “It was a startling statistic, played up prominently in The Oregonian story and editorial about the report. Unfortunately, it was wrong. ” Yet the wrong statistic has been repeated over and over again ever since in every newspaper. It has been repeated by Clackamas County Chair Lynn Peterson who authored the real statistics while working as Metro’s Travel Forecaster.