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