Mayor’s Corner: April 2023

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I-205 and Abernathy Bridge Tolling

This month I want to raise our community’s awareness on the I-205 Toll Project and next month I will review the Regional Mobility Pricing Project (RMPP).  Both of the projects will impact every resident and business in Tualatin.  I am discovering that many residents are not aware that tolling is anticipated to start on I-205 at the end of 2024.

Oregon House Bill 2017 directed the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) to seek approval from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to implement variable rate tolls on the I- 5 and I-205 corridors within Oregon.  The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is moving forward with planning and implmentation of variable rate toll projects on I-5 and I-205.  Per ODOT variable rate tolling can be used to manage demand and encourage more efficient use of the transportation system by shifting trips to less congested times through toll pricing.  If you drive a tollway during peak hours your toll will be higher in cost than if you drove it during off-peak hours.  The revenue raised by tolling is to be used to finance roadway improvements.  

Variable-rate tolls on the I-205 Abernethy Bridge and Tualatin River Bridges are to raise revenue for construction of planned improvements (additional lanes) on I-205 from Stafford Road to OR 213.  All lanes of I-205 will be tolled between the Abernethy Bridge and Tualatin River Bridges, there will be no free lanes.  This has caused serious concerns of diversion amongst the cities of Clackamas County.  Diversion is when drivers decide to use alternate routes rather than pay the toll.  This diversion is usually onto roads not meant for a significant amount of vehicles thereby clogging up the route and bringing traffic to a crawl.  The cities of Tualatin, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Canby, and Oregon City will see their streets full of vehicles looking for alternate east-west routes than I-205. Clackamas County cities also are concerned about 1) the lack of public transit in the area of I-205 as an alternative to having to pay the toll; 2) the financial impacts on residents and small businesses; and 3) if there will be any net revenue after paying for the costs of construction and toll administration to pay for decreasing the impacts of diversion, increasing public transit, and funding other needed transportation improvements in the area.

We are at critical milestone with I-205 Toll Project.  ODOT has released an environmental assessment (EA) for public comment.  This report identifies the potential short- and long-term effects of the I-205 Toll Project on the transportation system, local communities, the economy, and the natural environment, and potential solutions to address negative effects.  Residents, city staffs, and city councilors have until April 21st to file comment with ODOT on this assessment.  It is critical that we all provide comments if flaws or omissions exist in the assessment.  You can find the EA at tinyurl.com/e9ch4csv.  On April 5th ODOT will host a I-205 Toll Project Environmental Assessment information table at the Tualatin Library from 10 AM until 2:00 PM.  If you want to learn more about the tolling projects from a non-ODOT source check out: www.oregontollingupdates.com.

Residents have asked me can we stop tolling?  One way to do this is to contact your state elected officials.  The Oregon Legislature directed ODOT to do this, so they could also stop it or change the process.  Call, email, or write both your representative and senator to tell them the impacts tolling will have on you, your family, or your business.

Jules Walters

House Representative, District 37
503-986-1437
Rep.JulesWalters@oregonlegislature.gov

Courtney Neron

House Representative, District 36
503-986-1426
Rep.CourtneyNeron@oregonlegislature.gov

Rob Wagner

Senator, District 19
503-986-1719
Sen.RobWagner@oregonlegislature.gov

Frank Bubenik

fbubenik@tualatin.gov
971-420-7443

State of the City

Please attend Good Evening, Tualatin on April 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the City Services Center, 10699 SW Herman Road.  There will be a reception from 6 to 7 p.m. and the program from 7 until 8 p.m.  The program will be an entertaining recap of city accomplishments over the past year. 

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