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ODOT congestion pricing open houses begin January 23rd

Posted by on January 17th, 2018 at 7:10 am

This just in from the Oregon Department of Transportation:

ODOT plans community conversations on congestion pricing for I-5 and I-205

The Oregon Department of Transportation invites public input on the use of congestion pricing to help improve travel times and reliability on Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 in the Portland metro area.

The public is invited to share their experiences with congestion and views on congestion pricing at three upcoming open houses in Clackamas, Multnomah and Clark counties as well as an online open house that will be available for nearly three weeks, Jan. 17 to Feb. 5.

Congestion pricing, also known as value pricing or variable rate tolling, refers to tolling options that are specifically designed to improve traffic flow. Congestion pricing systems charge higher prices for driving on a road when demand is greater, in the morning and evening rush hours, for example. Some drivers choose to travel on other routes, at different times of the day or on other modes of transportation. Communities across the US have found these tools effective in improving traffic conditions and enhancing travel time reliability.

Here is the schedule for the community conversations and the online open house.

— Tuesday, Jan. 23, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Clackamas Town Center Community Room (Level 1 near Buckle and across from Macy’s), 12000 S.E. 82nd Avenue, Happy Valley
— Saturday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lloyd Center (Level 1 between Ross and the ice rink), 2201 Lloyd Center, Portland
— Tuesday, Jan. 30, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Vancouver Community Library, 901 C Street, Vancouver.

The Online Open House will be active at odotvaluepricing.org. The public can see materials, view video recordings of the project Policy Advisory Committee meetings and leave comments for the project team.

The open houses will be informal, drop-in events with ODOT project team members stationed throughout the room to provide materials, discuss the options and answer questions.

During the open houses, the public will get a chance to:

— Share their concerns about congestion on I-5 and I-205 in the region and its effects on people and freight movement
— Learn about the types of congestion pricing concepts that are being considered
— Provide feedback on the potential benefits and also challenges associated with congestion pricing.

ODOT’s community conversations will help to inform the Policy Advisory Committee in its work to prepare a recommendation for the OTC. On Feb. 28, the PAC will hold the third of six planned meetings. The project team will present the feedback received through Feb. 5 via the website, associated questionnaire and in-person community conversations to help inform the PAC’s consideration of congestion pricing concepts for further analysis.

A second phase of public input will take place in March, which will focus on specific concepts being considered for development of congestion pricing on I-5 and I-205.

Background

The Oregon Legislature last year approved HB 2017, Keep Oregon Moving, which committed $5.3 billion to a wide range of transportation investments, and also directed the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) to pursue federal approval for value pricing along Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 from the state line in the north to where the two roads meet south of Tualatin.

The OTC established a Policy Advisory Committee to help inform their implementation of congestion pricing. The PAC includes representatives of local governments in Oregon and Washington, the business community, highway users, equity and environmental justice interests, and public transportation and environmental advocates. It is scheduled to prepare a recommendation for the OTC this summer. By Dec. 31, 2018, the OTC will submit its value pricing proposal to the Federal Highway Administration.

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