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September 2020 


Stay informed and stay safe about wildfires  

Visit the Oregon wildfire information page for the latest news. Visit TripCheck.com for 24/7 road information.


I-205 Public comment period EXTENDED

Your voice is needed. Visit our online open house to learn more and share your feedback.  

Update: The I-205 Toll Project public comment period end date has been extended from Sept. 16 to Sept. 23, and may be extended further as Oregon state health and safety officials respond to ongoing wildfires. 

So far, we've heard from thousands of people across the greater Portland area including southwest Washington. Community members are participating in the comment period by visiting our online open house in Spanish and English. Watch a recording of our webinars on Aug. 12, Aug. 18, and Aug. 20 to hear what others are asking about the toll project.

We want to hear from you, please share your thoughts by visiting our online open house, taking our survey, emailing the project team, or leaving a voicemail.

Web button with text "Have your say!" linking to I-205 Toll Project online open houseParticipants respond to real-time poll questions during the Aug. 12 webinar.Participants respond to real-time poll questions during the Aug. 12 webinar.  

The I-205 Toll Project would toll all lanes of I-205 at—or near—the Abernethy Bridge. Tolls could help pay for improvements along I-205 and the seismic work needed on the Abernethy Bridge. With a toll, some people may choose to drive at times when the toll is lower; or, they may choose to carpool, take transit, or use other options instead. The result? More reliable travel. Even a small shift in the number of drivers on the road can reduce travel times.

Community feedback includes questions and comments about tolls, concerns about effects to non-tolled roads, the need for more transportation options, the cost of the toll, and how we plan to use revenue generated by tolls.

Have you shared your thoughts yet? Join us online to share your feedback!

A decision on which alternative to implement will be made in 2022 based on the analysis conducted, existing policy and guidance, and community and stakeholder engagement.

Please share this message with your family, friends, and community groups!   

Would your organization like a virtual briefing? Email us at oregontolling@odot.state.or.us


What happens to my comments during the comment period?

Submit your comments today.

Recording community members' feedback at a Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis open house in 2018.

Recording community members' feedback at a Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis open house in 2018. 

You may be saying to yourself, “ODOT is looking for me to share my feedback, but what actually happens to it? Does anyone read it?”

The answer is yes! Absolutely. The ODOT toll team includes a group of people with dedicated time to read, review and analyze each comment submitted during the comment period. We look at comments in the online survey, emails in the project inbox, and voicemails in our project hotline. 

After the comment period closes, the toll team will write a comprehensive summary of all input shared by community members, agencies, and jurisdictions and organizations. We'll complete an in-depth report showing how many comments the community submitted, what the community said, and how that input will be used in the next phase of the project.

Your feedback, along with technical analysis, will help ODOT determine which toll alternatives to study during the I-205 Toll Project environmental review process and how to make the system work for Oregonians. 

We want to hear from you! Tell us how tolls would work best for you. Share your thoughts on the project purpose, goals and objectives, and where tolls could start and stop. Visit our online open house in Spanish or English to learn more and share your feedback!


Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee
Aug. 26 meeting update.

The Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee met on Aug. 26, 2020. The Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee met on Aug. 26, 2020. 

To address the needs of the public, regional partners and elected officials, we've continued ongoing coordination with the Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee.

During the Aug. 26 meeting, committee members learned how toll revenue could be used for transportation benefits, the history of constructing I-205, and the areas that could be impacted by drivers avoiding a toll. 

The committee asked questions about who is using the I-205 corridor today and what those trips are like. The Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee dug into the data asking where trips start and end, and the race, ethnicity and income of those users. The committee asked about available transit service. 

Finally, the committee advanced the committee charter and discussed the importance of including perspectives from people experiencing disabilities. You can watch a video of the meeting online.

The next Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee meeting will be virtual and is planned for Tuesday, Sept. 29. More information about the committee and how to provide public comment are available on the project website.


What does preliminary analysis of possible tolling concepts show? 

An early look at diversion.

Community member participating in a Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis open house in 2018.  
Community member participating in a Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis open house in 2018.

In July 2020, we published a draft Comparison of Screening Alternatives document, which is a preliminary, high-level review of five tolling concepts we're considering for the alternatives analysis. Based on input taken during the public comment period, a final group of alternatives may or may not include these five that were screened. You can review the Executive Summary of the document and the full analysis online.

One of the screening comparison measures for each of the alternatives was “diversion effects," which was measured as changes in travel volume on various regional and community roadways near the I-205 alternatives.

Across alternatives, we found that:

  • We would see fewer single occupant vehicle trips on I-205 than today and more high occupancy vehicle trips.
  • Around the region, the data showed a small increase of transit trips and more trips made walking or by bicycle.
  • We also found that traffic volume on some roads would increase due to people avoiding a toll on I-205. This happened more during off-peak hours.

We have been – and will continue – collaborating with technical staff from around the region through the project's Regional Modeling Group to better understand diversion. Effects of diversion to a different route or travel mode are one of several measures we will consider when evaluating alternatives to study in greater detail during the environmental review.

August 2020 

(Events in this article have already occurred. Videos of the webinars mentioned below can be found here.)

Have your say: We need your input on toll options to improve I-205 travel!

Join a webinar on Aug. 12, Aug. 18 and Aug. 20.

The I-205 Toll Project would toll all lanes of I-205 at—or near—the Abernethy Bridge. Tolls could help pay for improvements along I-205 and the seismic work needed on the Abernethy Bridge. With a toll, some people may choose to drive at times when the toll is lower; or, they may choose to carpool, take transit, or use other options instead. The result? More reliable travel. Even a small shift in the number of drivers on the road can reduce travel times.

Our I-205 Toll Project public comment period runs 45 days, from Aug. 3 through Sept. 16, 2020. We will host online activities where you can ask questions, offer feedback, and learn about the project. Your feedback, along with the technical analysis, will help us determine which toll alternatives to study during the I-205 Toll Project environmental review process. Learn more about where tolls could start and stop and how the different options could pay for roadway improvements along the corridor and manage congestion.



An online engagement website featurers videos, links to technical documents and a survey to invite your comments.  

You're invited to participate in any of the following ways:

What do we mean by alternatives?

Alternatives are different toll options that vary by geography or type of toll — or both. We are evaluating five "alternatives" — or options along I‑205 where tolls could start and stop — how they could manage congestion and pay for roadway improvements along the corridor.

Studying alternatives is an important part of the environmental review process. We'll examine different toll options, as well as consider what would happen if we don't toll and don't construct the I‑205 Improvements Stafford Road to OR 213 Project.

At the end of the process, we'll identify the option that best meets the purpose and need and goals of this project. But first we need to narrow down which ones are worth looking at in more detail. 


In 2022, the Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with ODOT, will decide which alternative to implement based on the analysis conducted, existing policy and guidance, and community and stakeholder engagement.

Please share this message with your family, friends, and community groups!   

Would your organization like a virtual briefing? Send us an email at oregontolling@odot.state.or.us

 

Modern tolling: No toll booths

2020_0807_ProjectOverview_Screenshot.pngModern toll systems require no stopping and no toll booths. Learn more by clicking on the image above. Video also available in Spanish.


What "environmental review" means for the I-205 Toll Project

National Environmental Policy Act guides the process


 The I-205 Toll Project environmental review process begins this summer.

We take the first step in a two-year process to study potential environmental impacts of the I-205 Toll Project this summer. The environmental review process will also help us identify ways to meet the project’s purpose and goals and objectives.

The National Environmental Policy Act requires that government agencies consider the impacts of a project to the natural, community, economic and cultural environment before final decisions are made. Public engagement is a critical part of the review process.

The act was signed into law in 1970 and guides federaly funded projects throughout the United States. There are three types of analyses:

  1. Determination of “categorical exclusion," which means there are likely no significant negative effects from a project.
  2. Environmental assessment, which reviews whether a project will have significant negative impacts.
  3. Environmental impact statement, which is conducted when a project is expected to have significant negative impacts
The Federal Highway Administration requires an environmental assessment when the significance of potential environmental impacts is uncertain, or a categorical exclusion is inappropriate. Based on this guidance, we are preparing an environmental assessment for the I-205 Toll Project. 

The I-205 Toll Project environmental assessment process has several steps:
  1. ​Host a public comment period. This is your opportunity to provide feedback on the project's purpose and need, goals and objectives, issues and alternatives.
  2. Prepare the environmental assessment. We will complete technical studies of toll alternatives that detail the potential impacts of tolling.
  3. Select the preferred alternative based on our analysis and public input. We will select the option for tolls on I-205 that best meets the project's purpose, and goals and objectives. The preferred alternative will also be selected for minimizing impacts to the natural and community environment.
  4. Publish the environmental assessment and invite public comment. This will be your opportunity to review the results of our technical analysis and share your feedback on the project and the preferred alternative.
  5. Refine the preferred alternative. Based on your feedback and additional technical analysis, we will consider adjustments the preferred alternative. We will determine what measures are needed to reduce or eliminate negative effects of the project.
  6. Publish a final document. The Federal Highway Administration will publish a final environmental decision document after reviewing community feedback and technical analysis. This document explains the future project, which will include strategies to address any significant negative impacts identified.

We expect to wrap up the environmental review process at the end of 2022.

You can learn more about the National Environmental Policy Act via the Federal Highway Administration.


Equity and transportation committee updates

Committees continue to advise I-205 and I-5 toll projects


Pictured above: the Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee met July 28 to continue to advise the I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects.

Tolling is a new concept to most Oregonians. To address the needs of the public, regional partners and elected officials, we are committed to gathering feedback. Two advisory bodies are helping the project team consider public needs—the Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee and Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation.

The Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee held its second meeting Tuesday, July 28, where members reviewed the committee charter and a draft of the toll projects' equity framework. We'll be sharing more information about the equity framework in coming weeks. You can watch a video of the meeting online. The next Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee meeting will be virtual and is planned for Wednesday, Aug. 26. More information about the committee and how to comment is available on the project website.

The Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation met Monday, August 3, to review recommended alternatives for the I-205 Toll Project environmental review process. The next Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation meeting will be virtual and is planned for Oct. 5, 2020. More information about the commission and how to comment is available on the advisory body's website.


What we've been hearing

How will toll revenue be used?

During the 2017-18 Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis and continuing until today, the toll team heard many times that people who experience congestion or pay tolls also should experience the benefits of a more reliable trip.

To address this recommendation, the toll team is requesting the Oregon Transportation Commission make a policy decision on Aug. 13, 2020. ODOT Toll Program Director Lucinda Broussard will ask that toll revenues collected in a corridor be used in that same corridor to provide transportation benefits to the surrounding community and traveling public.

July 2020

Agencies receive travel data to compare I-205 toll options

Partner agencies get in the know on toll options

Congestion on I-205 in Clackamas County. Congestion on I-205 in Clackamas County.

Collaborating with regional partners and members of the public is important to us. Our team is trying something new to support our commitment to meaningful partnerships.

 Over the past several months, we’ve worked with Metro’s modeling team to develop and update a regional “travel demand” model to better understand the potential effects of tolls on I-205 congestion. The travel demand model generates traffic scenarios and compares the traffic levels between them. It also identifies how much people are likely to use alternatives, such as riding transit, carpooling, or riding bicycles, rather than drive alone.

Informed by the model's results, we analyzed five potential toll alternatives and shared the effects with our partner agencies. This analysis will be used to identify which alternatives we can advance for more detailed study.

ODOT and Metro led a workshop July 2 with the Regional Modeling Group to review initial results of the screening analysis and respond to their questions. (The group is composed of technical staff members from cities, counties, public transportation service providers and other public agencies across the region and Southwest Washington.) Transportation agencies usually share raw travel demand model data after a draft environmental document is published. However, to show our commitment to building partnerships and to encourage early feedback on the I-205 Toll Project, we are sharing the summary report as well as supporting model data with our partners at local agencies now. Since our partners are focused on understanding the effects of tolls to local streets in their communities, this early data-sharing helps them evaluate the potential effects of initial alternatives. 

Sharing modeling data is the first step in a more extensive traffic review. We’ll continue working with our partners to improve our modeling tools by incorporating data from communities that can improve our location-specific analysis. As the project moves forward, we will publish more detailed traffic analysis in our environmental documents.

In the end, our goal is to provide the information you need to fully understand the work we’re doing, with opportunity to provide feedback that guides our work. We believe working closely with our agency partners and providing this data is a good start to ongoing collaboration to create a toll system that works. 


Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee holds listening session

Committee focused on recent protests and connections to historic transportation planning

The I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects' Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee held a virtual listening session Monday, June 29. Committee members came together to share their thoughts and experiences about racism and systemic connections to historic, current and future transportation planning and funding.

At the conclusion ODOT’s Toll Program Director Lucinda Broussard reflected on what she heard, including a key theme that the intent and impacts of tolls must be centered in human outcomes. She told the committee to hold ODOT accountable.

“Tolling is not about cars. It’s about people,” Broussard said.

Throughout the meeting, facilitator Christine Moses posed reflection and discussion questions that included:

  • Given where we are in the world, at this moment, how do anti-racism and Black Lives Matter demonstrations relate to the work of this committee?
  • What are the historic injustices that ODOT has committed against communities of color?
  • How does current transportation policy contribute to inequitable outcomes?
  • Can tolls be equitable; or, what would equitable tolls look like?

Committee members participate in a virtual listening session on June 29 to share their thoughts and experiences about racism and Committee members participate in a virtual listening session on June 29 to share their thoughts and experiences about racism and systemic connections to historic, current and future transportation planning and funding.

Many members said the protests spotlighted how Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities have long been affected by systemic racism, including in the transportation sector. Addressing those systemic barriers to an equitable transportation system requires open and honest discussion of how the system has failed BIPOC communities, paired with a commitment to create real, lasting change.

Committee members shared examples of how ODOT committed injustices against communities of color. Historically, transportation agencies across the country built new highways directly through communities of color in major cities, and Portland was no different.

Members shared that hundreds of homes mostly owned by African American families in the historic Albina neighborhood were destroyed for construction of Memorial Coliseum and I-5 in Northeast Portland. This highway construction and displacement excluded and harmed people of color in the planning process, and committee members said ODOT has never explicitly acknowledged these injustices. People who live near highways experience worse health outcomes, a burden that is often borne by low-income communities and communities of color.

We heard several ideas from committee members on how to form an equitable transportation system:

  • Focus more on the entire transportation system and affordable travel options rather than just roads and cars.
  • Work directly with communities most affected by the outcomes of transportation planning early on to help design the project.
  • Be more transparent in sharing how community input has affected and influenced project plans and designs, and work to broaden the scope of who should participate, including residents of Southwest Washington.
  • Be intentional and reflective in considering how adding tolls without improved transit options or payment mitigation may devastate low-income families.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to a healthy environment by pairing tolls with improved transit options to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.

The next Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee meeting on July 28 will also be virtual. During that session, the committee plans to discuss a charter and a workplan that will guide their work in the coming months.

More information about the Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee is available on theproject website.  

 

Advisory committee hears about options for I-205 tolling

June Region 1 ACT meeting update

Last month, the Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation learned the next steps in the environmental processes for the I-205 Toll Project, and the five options currently under review. 

Lucinda Broussard, ODOT Toll Program Director, and Brendan Finn, ODOT Director of the Office of Urban Mobility led the presentation. They highlighted the launch of the Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee. Lucinda stressed the importance of collaborating with historically and currently underserved and underrepresented communities and how ODOT plans to pursue equitable outreach and project outcomes.

During the discussion period, the project team and commission members looked deeper into the I-205 Toll Project environmental review process. They considered how future I-205 construction projects could be funded depending on when tolls are implemented. 

The Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation was established as an advisory body to the Oregon Transportation Commission. Stakeholders collaborate on transportation issues, including 31 voting members who represent Clackamas County, Hood River County, Multnomah County, Washington County, the City of Portland, the Port of Portland, Metro, and TriMet. 

The commission will regularly discuss the I-205 and I-5 toll projects and take public comment to advise the Oregon Transportation Commission. View more details about the Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation on their website, including meeting materials from the June 1 meeting and information about their Aug. 3 meeting. 


Mark your calendars - comment period launches August 3rd

Have your say on I-205 Toll Project's purpose, goals and alternatives

An animated illustration of vehicles passing beneath a toll gantry.  

The I-205 Toll Project is preparing to launch a 45-day public comment period that begins Aug. 3 and continues through Sept. 16, 2020.

Throughout the public comment period, we will host activities where you can ask questions, offer feedback, and learn about the project. Your feedback will help determine which toll alternatives are selected to study in the next steps of the I-205 Toll Project environmental review process.

Stay tuned for more information and an invitation to share in the discussion starting Aug. 3.

We look forward to the time when we can gather again in person. Until then, we’ll see you online!  ODOT follows Governor Kate Brown’s executive order on public gatherings to ensure the safety of everyone who participates. Would your organization like a virtual briefing? Send us an email at oregontolling@odot.state.or.us.

Watch for announcements for how ODOT’s commitment to slowing the spread of COVID-19 will affect summer engagement.​

​Meet your Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee members​
ODOT’s Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee works to prioritize equity and mobility in designing the state’s regional toll program.

Committee members participate in a reception on May 27 to build relationships.Committee members participate in a reception on May 27 to build relationships.

The Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee has 15 members — some appointed by ODOT’s director and others selected through an open application process — who bring a spectrum of equity and mobility experiences and perspectives.

We selected members using a collaborative process between states, cities and counties. To start, we asked local agencies in Clackamas, Washington, Multnomah and Clark counties, as well as the City of Vancouver and Portland, for their advice on who should represent their communities. For transit and ride services representation, we asked TriMet, Ride Connection, CTRAN and SMART to identify members with equity and mobility experience. Then, to add experience in active transportation, racial equity, social equity and large business, we invited regional partners to offer recommendations. County coordinating committees and their technical staff in Clackamas, Washington and East Multnomah counties contributed, as did nearly 20 non-profit organizations in the Portland metro area.

We designated three at-large committee members through an open application process. Our project team reviewed more than 40 applications using a blind review system. They selected top candidates on diversity and equity criteria, including: commitment to, and experience in, supporting or advocating for equitable processes and outcomes; experience with the transportation system in the Portland metro area and/or Southwest Washington; and, interest in participating on the committee. From the original pool, the project team created a “short list” of five candidates; we named three of them to serve at-large.

Name
O​rganization
Abe Moland
Clackamas County Health and Transportation
Amanda Garcia-Snell
Washington County Community Engagement
Bill Baumann
Human Services Council
Diana Avelos Leos
League of United Latin American Citizen
Latino Youth Conference
Dr. Philip Wu
Oregon Environmental Council
Dwight Brashear
SMART
Eduardo Ramos
At-large member
City of Tigard
Fabian Hidalgo Guerrero
Causa
Germaine Flentory
Beyond Black/Play, Grow, Learn
Ismael Armenta
At-large member
Oregon Walks
James Paulson
WorkSystems Inc Board
John Gardner
TriMet
Kari Schlosshauer
At-large member
Safe Routes Partnership
Michael Espinoza
Portland Bureau of Transportation
Park Woodworth
Ride Connection


Alando Simpson, Oregon Transportation Commission Vice Chair, serves as the EMAC liaison.  

Phil Ditzler, Federal Highway Administration, serves as an ex-officio member.

The committee will advise the Oregon Transportation Commission and ODOT on strategies for toll projects planned on I-5 and I-205, during the NEPA process. In that capacity, members will offer guidance in solving problems with the regional transportation network and work to benefit historically and currently underserved and underrepresented communities.

Christine Moses, facilitator/change-manager and Chief Executive Officer for Buffalo Cloud Consulting, LLC, facilitates the Equit Christine Moses, facilitator/change-manager and Chief Executive Officer for Buffalo Cloud Consulting, LLC, facilitates the Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee.

Christine Moses, Chief Executive Officer for Buffalo Cloud Consulting, LLC, facilitates committee meetings. She describes herself as a community builder, change manager, and facilitator who believes everyone should win. 

As a facilitator/change-manager, Christine helps people understand each other so they can find solutions to their social justice, equity, inclusion, communications, and strategic planning issues. Her expertise in bringing people together will be critical to support the committee as they address complex issues for the I-205 and I-5 toll projects. 

"I firmly believe that when we address our equity issues and create inclusive education systems and workplaces, everything else falls into place," said Christine. 

Committee members participated in an online reception May 27 to meet and build relationships with one another. The first committee meeting is scheduled for June 29. Due to recent events in our local community and nationally surrounding systemic racism, we are dedicating the space to a Listening Session. This listening session will be held from 5:30-8:00pm. All meetings are open to the public.​

Visit our Advisory Committee page for more information.


Community leaders work with communities of color, immigrants and refugees to advise ODOT
Community leaders will advise ODOT on the barriers and impacts of tolling.

ODOT collaborates with the Community Engagement Liaisons Program to hire community liaisons. The liaisons recruit community members to boost culturally-specific and authentic public participation in our work. Liaisons work all over Oregon and Washington, but the majority reside in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.

Led by small business owner Ping Khaw, program liaisons think about ways to overcome barriers while exploring opportunities to form deeper connections with communities. As liaisons help us bridge cultural gaps, the collaboration enriches the public participation experience and provides communities with information.

Liaisons from underserved communities such as African, Latinx, Asian, Arabic and Slavic help identify specific ethno-cultural and language communities within the project area for the I-205 and I-5 toll projects team. These partnerships support and stimulate meaningful dialogue about the project while advancing these communities’ interests.


In community... from a distance
I-205 and I-5 toll projects team adapts to community involvement in the age of COVID-19.
Toll project team members met with  scouts from West Linn May 1.
Toll project team members met with scouts from West Linn May 1.

​The next generation of travelers will shape traffic patterns through the greater Portland area for decades to come. So on May 1, the I-205 and I-5 toll projects team conducted a virtual meeting with the West Linn Scouts to give them an overview of tolling.

We used Zoom to reach out to the 12- to 17-year olds, who asked lots of great questions, including how tolling might affect their families, wh​at it might mean for driving to school in the future, and how future traffic might affect their ability to ride a bike to school.

Also in May, we hosted a webinar for regional partner agency staff representing local governments throughout the region. Then, we kicked off June with a webinar for the ODOT Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation.

While COVID-19 makes community outreach more challenging, we are grateful to have technology solutions that allow us to continue providing virtual briefings to local governments and communities.

To see a list of recent and future toll briefings, visit our calendar. To request a webinar, email the project team at oregontolling@odot.state.or.us.

We look forward to the time when we can gather again in person. Until then, we’ll see you online! ODOT follows Governor Kate Brown’s executive order on public gatherings to ensure the safety of everyone who participates. Would your organization like a virtual briefing? Send us an email at oregontolling@odot.state.or.us.

Watch for announcements for how ODOT’s commitment to slowing the spread of COVID-19 will affect summer engagement.

Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee Update
New committee will develop equitable mobility strategies

Rush house congestion along I-5 in Portland.Rush hour congestion along I-5 in Portland.

Last month, we began forming an Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee​. The committee will advise ODOT on how tolling on the I-205 and I-5 freeways, in combination with other strategies, can benefit populations that have historically been underserved and underrepresented by transportation projects.

EMAC members will represent a variety of equity and mobility interests and perspectives in the Portland metro area and Southwest Washington including:

  • Transportation options and access.
  • Transportation affordability.
  • Environmental justice for historically underrepresented and underserved communities.

EMAC members will work together through 2022 to consider needs and opportunities for achieving community equity and mobility outcomes associated with the I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects National Environmental Policy Act processes. The committee will provide input to the Oregon Transportation Commission and ODOT as they decide how to implement tolls on I-205 and I-5.

The committee’s first meeting will be held in June.

We look forward to when we can see you in person, until then, we look forward to seeing you online. We are following Governor Kate Brown’s executive order on public gatherings and working to ensure sure our engagement opportunities are safe. Watch for announcements for how ODOT’s commitment to slowing the spread of COVID-19 will affect summer engagement.

I-205 Public Engagement: Coming this Summer

Learn and share feedback about the environmental review process
Community member participating in an Open House for the Value Pricing Feasibility Study in 2018

Community member participating in an Open House for the Value Pricing Feasibility Study in 2018

This summer, we will launch a public comment period for the I-205 Toll Project. This 45-day public comment period is an important part of the federally-required National Environmental Policy Act environmental review process that will examine different alternatives of where tolls would start and end on I-205 and how well they would achieve the project objectives to raise revenue and manage congestion. We want to hear from you at the start of the environmental review about the project's purpose and what we should consider as the project moves forward.

Throughout the public comment period, we will host activities to share information and hear your ideas. These activities will include events and online venues where you can ask questions, offer feedback, and learn about:

  • Current plans and next steps.
  • How modern tolling systems work.
  • The program's approach to equity.

Your feedback will help us determine which toll alternatives to study in the next steps of the I-205 Toll Project environmental review process.

Community Briefings

Learn more and share feedback on toll projects
Throughout winter 2019 and spring 2020, the project team met with elected officials and policy committees to share information, hear feedback, and answer questions about the I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects. Digital tools allow us to continue these presentations until the risks associated with COVID-19 have subsided. Visit the calendar to see our schedule.

Would your organization, committee or council like to receive a project briefing too? Let us know by sending an email to the project team.

Transportation experts participate digitally in a workshop in April 2020. They will inform the I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects. Transportation experts participate digitally in a workshop in April 2020. They will inform the I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects.

Regional Agencies Share Expertise through Working Groups

Transit and traffic modeling experts inform toll projects
Transportation experts meet at a kick-off workshop in February 2020. They will inform the I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects.

Transportation experts meet at a kick-off workshop in February 2020. They will inform the I-205 and I-5 Toll Projects. 

To shape the I-5 and I-205 Toll Projects, we are joined by transportation experts from across the region who serve on two technical groups: the Transit Multimodal Working Group and the Regional Modeling Group. Members of these two groups come from cities, counties, public transportation service providers and other public agencies across the region, giving us insights on how tolls could affect specific jurisdictions and the people who live or work there. They are sharing their expertise to broaden our understanding of opportunities, benefits and risks as we move forward.

The Transit Multimodal Working Group shares expertise and detailed information on current, planned and potential future transit service and active transportation networks. The group also provides input on how to best measure the potential effects of tolling on these travel modes as well as what elements can be incorporated into the Toll Projects to support multi-modal travel options. The Regional Modeling Group provides technical input on the approach to modeling for the Toll Projects, especially on the different modeling tools available to evaluate and compare Toll Project options.

These technical working groups inform our approach to the federally-required NEPA environmental review process. The NEPA process will evaluate different scenarios (referred to as alternatives) to consider where tolls will start and end on I-205 and how well they will achieve the project objectives to raise revenue and manage congestion.

The groups met for the first time, jointly, in February, and the Regional Modeling Group met on its own last month through a digital platform. Workshops continue over the next 18 to 24 months to address performance measures, project strategies and agencies concerns. Participants serve as a two-way link between their agency and ODOT, giving us local information on existing conditions and planned projects, voicing ideas and questions, as well as serving as a conduit of information about the Toll Projects back to their home agencies.

Stay tuned as the groups continue to take shape in the months ahead. 

Apply to serve on Equity and Mobili​​ty Advisory Committee:
Application period extended to May 1

Apply for at-large positions to develop equitable mobility strategies

Community members participating in Open House for Value Pricing Feasibility Study in 2018 

We are forming an Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee (EMAC) to advise on how tolling on I-5 and I-205 freeways, in combination with other strategies, can include benefits for populations that have historically been underserved and underrepresented by transportation projects.

Advice will be provided to the Oregon Transportation Commission and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). In providing input to the OTC, the Committee shall consider needs and opportunties for achieving community mobility and equity priorities as part of the NEPA process for tolling implementation.

The EMAC will be composed of about 15 members who represent a variety of mobility and equity interests and perspectives in the Portland metro area and Southwest Washington. Three to five of these members will be at-large positions filled through an application process. Other committee members will be appointed. Funding for time and travel may be available by request. The committee will meet between 15 to 20 times through 2022. Accessibility resources, including interpretation, will be provided as requested.

At-large members will be selected to represent a community of interest. These members will be asked to share information between the EMAC and the community they represent. In addition to seeking diversity on the EMAC respective to geography, demographics, and current interests, the committee will strive for representation from those with knowledge of historically underserved and underrepresented communities.

Interested in representing your community? Apply online. All applications must be received by May 1. The first EMAC meeting is expected to occur in May or June 2020. 

ODOT is committed to slowing the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Meetings of the newly formed EMAC will follow guidance of Governor Kate Brown and public health officials. ODOT encourages all public meeting participants to follow proper safety precautions and social distancing recommendations. Options for alternative meeting schedules and formats will be considered if needed.

 

Education and engagement activities

Learn more and share feedback on tolling projects

Community member participating in an Open House for the Value Pricing Feasibility Study in 2018


Throughout the year, we've been meeting with elected officials and policy committees to share information, hear feedback and answer questions about the I-5 and I-205 Tolling Projects. Digital tools will allow us to continue these presentations until the risks associated with COVID-19 have subsided. Visit the calendar to see our schedule. Would your organization, committee or council like to receive a project briefing too? Let us know by sending an email to the project team

Later this year, we will host events and launch interactive digital platforms to allow visitors to learn more about the I-5 and I-205 Tolling Projects and provide input. These events and online platforms will present information and provide opportunities for community members to ask questions and offer feedback. Through these platforms, you can learn more about:

  • Current plans and next steps

  • How modern tolling systems work

  • The program's approach to equity

Watch for announcements!

ODOT is committed to slowing the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Public events and meetings will follow guidance of Governor Kate Brown and public health officials. ODOT encourages all public meeting participants to follow proper safety precautions and social distancing recommendations. Options for alternative meeting schedules and formats will be considered.

ODOT to pause I-205 travel preference survey until fall

Provide input through April 24

Traffic on I-205 in Clackamas County


In early March, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) launched an online survey to learn about when, why and how often drivers use I-205 near the Abernethy Bridge and to evaluate drivers’ willingness to pay a toll to save travel time.

Since then, social distancing guidelines implemented as a result of Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Order 20-12 have affected travel patterns on I-205 and throughout the region. ODOT will pause the “I-205 Travel Preference Survey” and resume it later in 2020. If the survey were to be conducted as planned, recent changes in travel patterns could affect the data that is collected, making it less robust for planning and financial analyses.

The survey will remain available until April 24. This will allow interested individuals to complete the survey and give ODOT information about travel patterns during the COVID-19 emergency. Before this pause, ODOT had planned to mail postcards to a sample of residents in Oregon and Southwest Washington to notify them of the survey and encourage them to respond. ODOT will delay sending these postcards until fall 2020 (target date).

This survey delay will not negatively impact the study of tolling on I-205. The survey results are intended primarily to inform decision-making for toll rates. The results are also used to help determine alternatives for the design of the tolling system and the locations where the toll will be collected. ODOT will conduct initial analyses of these alternatives using results from previous surveys and will refine these analyses once the travel preference survey is restarted and completed.

By delaying the collection of additional data, ODOT will have survey responses from before, during and after travel conditions were impacted by social distancing. This will help the agency better understand travel patterns and how they relate to tolling.



ODOT to form new Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee

Apply now for at-large positions to develop mobility strategies that benefit historically underserved communities

Community members use stickers to identify locations on a map of the Portland metropolitan area at an open house.  

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is forming an Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee (EMAC) to advise on how tolling Oregon’s freeway system, in combination with other transportation strategies, can include benefits for populations that have historically been underserved by transportation projects.

The EMAC will also support the development of an equity framework to be used for the I-5 and I-205 Tolling Projects and for other state tolling locations that may be evaluated in the future. Advice will be provided to the Oregon Transportation Commission and Oregon Department of Transportation.

The EMAC will be composed of about 15 members who represent a variety of mobility and equity interests and perspectives in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Three to five of these members will be at-large positions filled through an application process. Other committee members will be appointed. Funding for time and travel may be available by request. The committee will meet about eight to ten times and will conclude in early 2021. Accessibility resources, including interpretation, will be provided as requested.

At-large members will be selected to represent a community of interest. These members will be asked to share information between the EMAC and the community they represent. In addition to seeking diversity on the EMAC respective to geography, demographics, and current interests, the committee will strive for representation from those with knowledge of historically underserved communities.

Interested in representing your community? Apply online or call (503) 837-3536 to request a paper application. All applications must be received by April 17.

ODOT is committed to slowing the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Meetings of the newly formed EMAC will follow guidance of Governor Kate Brown and public health officials. ODOT encourages all public meeting participants to follow proper safety precautions and social distancing recommendations. Options for alternative meeting schedules and formats will be considered if needed.

Web button with the words "Apply Now!" 

We Need Your Help to Improve Travel on I-205

Postcards mailed to residents with online survey link

An image showing congestion along I-205 in the Portland metropolitan area.  

As part of a comprehensive approach to manage traffic congestion and raise revenue for bottleneck relief projects, we need current data on how drivers use I-205.

ODOT is conducting an online “Travel Preference Survey”, a research instrument that asks users when, why and how often they use I-205 near the Abernethy Bridge and evaluates users’ willingness to pay a toll to save travel time. Results will be used to study the potential effects of tolling on I-205.

For the results of this survey to be representative of I-205 drivers, we need your help!

Your opinion is important. The more people who respond to the survey, the more precise the results will be. Participants who complete the survey can enter for a chance to win a $100 cash gift card.

We sent postcards with a link to complete the survey online to a random sample of residents in Oregon and Southwest Washington. If you have received one of these postcards, please take the survey following the instructions provided.

If you did not receive a postcard, you can still take the survey and share your thoughts by clicking the button below.

We will conduct another survey in the future to gather this information about I-5.

Web button with the words "Take the Survey" 

Learn and give input online about the I-5 and I-205 Tolling Projects this spring

A community member participates in a Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis open house in 2018.  

This spring, ODOT will host a virtual educational event and launch an educational website about the Tolling Program. The online platforms will present information about the I-5 and I-205 Tolling Projects and will provide opportunities for community members to ask questions and offer feedback. Specifically, these engagement opportunities will go into more detail in the following topic areas:

  • Current plans and next steps
  • How modern tolling systems work
  • The program's approach to equity

ODOT has decided to rely on digital tools to engage the community on the Tolling Program until the risks associated with COVID-19 are reduced.

Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.

​I-5 and I-205 tolling projects move forward with equity and community mobility as essential elements

Extensive opportunities to provide public input

Beginning this spring, ODOT will conduct an environmental review of tolling options for Interstate 205 and conduct additional planning work to define the start and end points of tolling on Interstate 5. You will have opportunities to provide input during this work.​

With the help of stakeholders and partner agencies, we have identified three equity and mobility priorities for tolling projects:
  • Improved public transit and other travel options
  • Options for people with low incomes and historically disadvantaged people who depend on the freeways
  • Strategies to support neighborhood safety and mobility
These priorities were recommended by a policy advisory committee, endorsed by the Oregon Transportation Commission and included in an application to the Federal Highway Administration to study tolling on I-5 and I-205. 

Extensive opportunities to provide input will be available as both projects progress. As project alternatives are developed and evaluated for I-5 and I-205, We will work with regional partners, neighborhoods, and community-based organizations to develop community mobility and equity priorities and strategies that will help advance the projects. The results of this work will be shared with stakeholders through public events and online surveys as the projects are being developed.  

Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation discusses decision process and public engagement for tolling 

This February, members of the Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation (ACT) emphasized the importance of regional collaboration and broad public engagement as the I-5 and I-205 tolling projects proceed.  

The Region 1 ACT will advise the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) and ODOT staff on tolling projects.  

At the February Region 1 ACT meeting, OTC chair Bob Van Brocklin said the OTC is proceeding with tolling projects knowing there is much to learn from the technical analysis, agency partners and the public.  

“We can’t predict tonight what the package will look like. We are committed to becoming educated before we decide what to do,” said Van Brocklin. 

The Region 1 ACT discussed several topics related to tolling, including:  
  • The importance of coordination with other regional projects 
  • Fairness to low-income drivers 
  • Timing for when tolling will begin 
  • Current diversion and potential travel pattern changes  
  • The role the Region 1 ACT will serve to help community conversations 
  • The need for broad public engagement  
  • The need for improved public transit and other transportation options   
The next meeting occurs April 6 in Cascade Locks and is open to the public. 

We need your help to improve travel on I-205  

Postcards will be mailed to residents with online survey link  

As part of a comprehensive approach to reduce traffic congestion and raise revenue for bottleneck relief projects, we need current data on how drivers use I-205.  

This winter ODOT will conduct an online “Travel Preference Survey” that asks drivers why and when they travel on I-205. Results will be used to study the effects of tolling the freeway.  

For the results of this survey to be representative of I-205 drivers, we will need your help!  

Your opinion is important. The more people who respond to the survey, the more precise the results will be. We will send postcards to residents in the seven-county region with information to complete the survey online. If you receive one of these postcards, please take the survey following the instructions provided.  

If you do not receive a postcard, you will be able to take the survey and share your thoughts by accessing the project website in the coming weeks.

We will conduct another survey in the future to gather this information about travel on I-5.  

Why is Oregon tolling? 

 
In 2017, the Oregon Legislature approved House Bill 2017 which committed hundreds of millions of dollars in projects to address congestion and improve the transportation system in the region and statewide. HB 2017 funded bottleneck relief highway projects, freight rail, improvements to transit and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The bill also directed the Oregon Transportation Commission to pursue and 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.

During the 2018 Feasibility Analysis, regional stakeholders, agency partners, and the public explored multiple options for variable rate tolling. This resulted in the identification by the Oregon Transportation Commission of two projects for further evaluation:
  • I-5 along a seven-mile stretch through central Portland approximately between N Going/Alberta Street to SW Multnomah Boulevard, the exact end points still to be determined. 
  • I-205 between Stafford Road and OR 213, on or near the Abernethy Bridge, the exact location still to be determined. 

ODOT submitted an application in December 2018 to toll these two routes to raise money for transportation improvements and reduce congestion, as required by HB 2017. In early 2019, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) responded to the Oregon Transportation Commission’s application to toll I-5 between Going Street and Multnomah Boulevard and I-205 at or near the Abernethy Bridge.

FHWA’s letter provides a basis for ODOT to move into the next phase of work. It lays out responses to key questions and describes what ODOT will need to do in order to secure federal approval for tolling these two sections of the Interstate. ODOT will continue working closely with FHWA to move tolling forward.

The locations for tolling that were advanced by the OTC reflect the recommendation of a 24-member Policy Advisory Committee which met to evaluate the technical analysis and public input from a Value Pricing Feasibility Analysis from November 2017 to June 2018. 

The OTC accepted the PAC recommendation in August 2018. It served as the basis for a draft application for OTC approval in December 2018. At this meeting, the five-member commission voted unanimously to accept the draft and submit a final application to the Federal Highway Administration by the end of 2018, as mandated by HB2017.

The next phase of work will include in-depth planning, traffic and revenue analysis, environmental review, and extensive public engagement. This analysis will focus on concerns raised frequently during the feasibility analysis phase of the project, including understanding impacts to low income and historically marginalized communities, needed improvements to mass transit services and other travel options and minimizing negative diversion impacts to neighborhood streets. ODOT will be launching this work in the near future. This phase is expected to take several years due to the rigor of the analysis and the extensive public engagement required.

Application to FHWA
​​

​In 2017, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2017, known as “Keep Oregon Moving.” This bill committed billions of dollars in projects that will address our congestion problem and improve the transportation system in the region and statewide. HB 2017 funded bottleneck relief highway projects, freight rail, and transportation options, including improvements to transit, biking and walking facilities and service. The Legislature also directed the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) to pursue and implement tolling on I-5 and I-205 in the Portland Metro region to help manage traffic congestion. A 2018 feasibility analysis, which included both technical analysis and public input, determined that tolling could help manage congestion and raise revenue on I-5 and I-205.​





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