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Our View: Westside Bypass proposal should get shelved

But rookie lawmaker Rep. Richard Vial gets applause for a brave and innovative idea.

The first thing to say about the Westside Bypass proposal, pitched by state Rep. Richard Vial, is that it's innovative, forward-thinking and ambitious. Only a few weeks into his rookie year in the Legislature, and already Vial is looking like a strong new voice of leadership for the Republican party, for his district — which includes a wide swath of Washington County — and for Oregon.

The second thing to say about the Westside Bypass proposal is that it's a flawed concept that should never get a hearing.

Vial's House Bill 3231 would allow cities and counties to create a special district to do the planning, and to figure out the funding, for a new freeway that would loop around the west side of the Portland metro area, taking traffic off Interstate 5 south of Portland and reconnecting with a highway — perhaps Highway 26, north of Hillsboro and Forest Grove — somewhere in Washington County.

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