ODOT Committee to Discuss Tolling on I-5 and 205

The Oregon Department of Transportation is moving forward with drafting a regional plan for tolling on Interstate 5 and I-205, which is aimed at both reducing congestion and generating revenue to fund new “bottleneck relief” projects.

The next step will be a virtual reception on Wednesday, May 27, hosted by the new Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee, which will advise ODOT on ensuring equity and mobility in designing the regional toll program.

The committee will advise the Oregon Transportation Commission and ODOT on strategies for toll projects planned on I-5 and I-205, and will also offer guidance in solving problems with the regional transportation network, while benefitting historically underserved communities.

The reception comes a month before the committee’s first official meeting set for Monday, June 29. Both meetings will be open to the public, and both will be online only because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For information on how to join the online reception, scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, visit ODOT’s tolling website. There, you can also find project FAQs, fact sheets and schedules and sign up for email updates.

Each day, more than 100,000 drivers travel I-205 between Stafford Road and Highway 213, experiencing — and causing — five and a half hours of congestion. For its part, I-5 carries the highest number of vehicles and freight in the region.

Between 2015 and 2017, the number of congested hours on I-5 and I-205 rose by 13 percent. And the situation is only getting worse.

ODOT’s 2018 Traffic Performance Report estimates that by 2040, there will be a 35 percent increase in population and 1.8 million more vehicular trips per weekday traveling in or through the region.

The tolling proposal originated in in House Bill 2017, a $5.3 billion transportation package that was also known as the Keep Oregon Moving Bill.

The bill also directed ODOT to implement congestion pricing, also known as variable-rate tolls, on I-5 and I-205 in the Portland metro region to provide additional traffic management tools to further manage congestion.

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