Congestion Pricing: Share your thoughts with ODOT on July 12!

Next Thursday marks a special opportunity to speak out in support of putting a price on driving and pushing for better transportation choices, such as public transit. As the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) moves forward with congestion pricing, it’s up to us to ensure they get the details right. Sign up today to tell ODOT to get serious about traffic by investing in walking, biking, and public transit!

What: Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) Public Comment Session
When: Thursday, July 12 (4:00 to 7:00 p.m.)
Where: University Place Hotel and Conference Center, Columbia Falls Ballroom (310 SW Lincoln St, Portland, OR)

Click here for more details.

Unless we take action, the outcome of this discussion will neither reduce driving nor improve our transportation choices. Your involvement is critical to influencing this process to make our region the best place to walk, bike, and ride public transit.

Here is our assessment of what is happening, what should be happening, and how you can help.

The OTC will take up an important policy question: Will Oregon use congestion pricing to finance highway expansion or will they use congestion pricing to reduce demand and manage traffic? As it stands, it appears that ODOT intends to raise revenue for highway widening mega-projects on I-5 and I-205. That is a dangerous policy precedent and threatens undermine the benefits of congestion pricing.

Sign up now to speak out at the OTC and tell them:

  1. Price roads based on demand – Any new variable price on driving should be set through a transparent and inclusive policy with the goal of reducing congestion.
  2. Fund transportation choices like transit, biking, and walking – in order to get the environmental and equity benefits of pricing, frequent transit service must be a reliable alternative to driving on a priced roadway, which means it must be incorporated into ODOT’s plans from the beginning.
  3. Pricing roads program should affirmatively and measurably reduce current transportation inequities – It is not enough to mitigate burdens to low income communities and communities of color. A strong pricing program can help reduce travel times, improve air quality, and result in safer and more efficient ways to get around.

For some additional clarity on this debate, watch a minute or two of the last ODOT Value Pricing Policy Advisory Committee meeting (starting at 1:51:00), available here.

Join the hundreds of supporters who have joined our call by speaking out at the next Oregon Transportation Commission meeting on congestion pricing. Tell our state transportation officials to build an effective pricing program that reduces driving and improves transit in our region. Click here to view a more detailed letter from The Street Trust and several partners on this issue.

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