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Oregon Department of Transportation is seeking people to advise on neighborhood impacts, transit and equity as it relates to tolling

PMG FILE PHOTO - The 2017 Oregon Legislature wanted toll revenues to help pay to replace the Abernathey Bridge on I-2015 with a wider and safer structure.On Monday, March 16, the Oregon Department of Transporation began accepting applications for at-large positions on the new Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee.

The Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee (EMAC) will develop an equity framework for the Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 tolling projects and for other future tolling locations in the state that may be evaluated in Oregon. The committee will advise the Oregon Transportation Commission and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

The Oregon Transportation Commission directed ODOT to form the committee to advance equity and mobility priorities for tolling. In 2018, the Portland Metro Area Value Pricing Committee set out three priorities it said were necessary for the program to move forward.

The three priorities are:

Neighborhood Impacts: Rerouting onto non-tolled surface streets takes place now from drivers avoiding highway congestion. How will tolling alter travel patterns?

Transit: A robust transit system makes sure sufficient travel options are available. Understanding the availability of transportation options — mass transit, bicycles and walking, in particular — and whether additional investments are needed.

Equity: Low income and communities of color have historically been underserved by transportation planning decisions. How can tolling projects be developed to lead to more equitable outcomes?

The new committee will be made up of about 15 members who represent a variety of mobility and equity interests and perspectives in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Three to five members will be at-large positions selected through the application process. Other committee members will be appointed by the director of ODOT. Funds for time and travel may be available to committee members.

The committee will meet approximately eight to 10 times and will complete its work in early 2021. Accessibility resources, including interpreters, will be provided as requested.

Background

The goal of the I-5 and I-205 Tolling Projects is to manage congestion and generate revenue to fund bottleneck relief projects, as directed by the Oregon Legislature in 2017.

House Bill 2017 committed hundreds of millions of dollars to address congestion and improve the transportation system in the Portland metro region and around the state, including freight rail projects, transit and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

The bill also directed the Oregon Transportation Commission 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.

Interested community members can learn more on the project's Equity and Mobility web page at: oregon.gov/ODOT/tolling/Pages/Mobility-Equity

The online application can be found at: survey.participate.online

For more information about tolling visit: FAQ on tolling


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