A roundup of street use charging plans from Metro, ODOT, and PBOT

I-5 wanting south from N Skidmore.
(Picture: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Following the lead of different cities across the globe, the three main transportation companies within the Portland area wish to discover new methods to cost to be used of the roadway.

The Oregon Division of Transportation (ODOT) is working to implement tolling on Portland-area freeways, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) lately adopted a set of suggestions from their Pricing Choices for Equitable Mobility (POEM) plan that decision for quite a lot of methods to encourage much less driving. And Metro, Portland’s regional planning authority, has been engaged on methods to include congestion administration into the 2023 replace of the Regional Transportation Plan.

Given that every one three companies are concurrently speaking about congestion pricing and tolling, we wished that can assist you get a deal with on every of their approaches and share an replace on the place issues stand.


(Supply: Metro)

Metro’s Regional Congestion Pricing Examine launched again in July, defined how all three companies are working collectively: “Metro, ODOT, and the Metropolis of Portland are all engaged on initiatives that think about methods to cost transportation to deal with challenges associated to fairness, local weather change, congestion, and security. Every company makes choices for various elements of our area’s transportation system. Every has separate initiatives underway to assist deal with points particular to these geographies. The three companies are coordinating their efforts to leverage one another’s work, be taught from each other and share findings.”

Metro’s report checked out 4 alternative ways to scale back congestion: A VMT cost, which fees folks driving per mile within the metropolitan planning space; a cordon technique which might cost folks driving in a sure space; elevated parking fines and roadway fees particular to highways. These strategies confirmed quite a lot of outcomes, however all have been discovered to be useful in lowering congestion to a point. This report additionally dug into the fairness implications that these charges may have. Metro’s report can be a roadmap for policymakers growing the 2023 RTP with the expectation that this up to date plan will embrace its suggestions.

Simply this week Metro Council confirmed it has some leverage, making congestion pricing on the Interstate Bridge Substitute (IBR) undertaking a situation of offering $36 million to proceed funding this undertaking. Metro Council finally voted 5-1 to assist the undertaking, however the company additionally adopted a Values, Outcomes and Actions assertion with an modification from a coalition of advocacy teams that requires ODOT to research how automobile miles traveled (VMT) will be lowered through the use of congestion pricing (and different instruments).


The I-205 tolling examine space.

ODOT is pursuing two congestion pricing initiatives: the Regional Mobility Pricing Mission (RMPP) and the I-205 Toll Mission.

The RMPP and the I-205 toll undertaking each embrace congestion pricing on I-205. Nevertheless, the I-205 undertaking will cowl the seven-mile stretch of the freeway between Stafford Highway and OR 213, whereas the RMPP will toll the remainder of I-205 — from south of the Glenn Jackson Bridge that connects Oregon and Washington throughout the Columbia River to the place it meets I-5 — and I-5 from Interstate Bridge on the Columbia River to the Boone Bridge in Wilsonville.

ODOT says an environmental evaluation for the I-205 toll undertaking can be accomplished and open for public evaluation and remark this spring, and the earliest tolling may start is 2024. Environmental evaluation for the RMPP then again, received’t start till subsequent 12 months, and tolling may start by 2025 or 2026.

In its rationalization for these tolling packages, ODOT says “tolling is a crucial instrument to repair our transportation system” by serving to handle visitors congestion.

Income from ODOT’s tolling packages would assist pay for controversial freeway expansions on I-5 and I-205. Tolling packages (additionally referred to as congestion pricing) in cities like London have used income from drivers to fund new public transit initiatives. This is able to be the case in New York, too. If ODOT places all its toll income straight again into freeway initiatives, they’ll proceed to face stiff rebuke from activists.


(Supply: PBOT)

Again in October, we reported on the adoption of PBOT’s Pricing Choices for Equitable Mobility (POEM) plan. That plan features a set of suggestions on find out how to use pricing of automotive use to extend PBOT income. It additionally gave PBOT a nine-month window to delve deeper into the suggestions and return with an motion plan to implement them (which needs to be round July 2022).

The POEM report checked out each near-term and comparatively easy steps to take a versatile commuter profit program from employers or a parking surcharge, in addition to extra sophisticated insurance policies like cordon zones downtown that drivers must pay to enter.

PBOT may even play a giant position in no matter ODOT desires to do with space freeway tolling. “ODOT is continuing with the environmental evaluation technique of tolling on interstate highways,” the report says. “And the Metropolis stays engaged as a key stakeholder.”

We’ll be carefully following how ODOT, Metro and PBOT will work collectively to implement insurance policies advisable in these plans to scale back visitors congestion in an equitable means. When mixed, the methods may have a big effect on how folks within the Portland metro space get round.