Opinion: Let's unite to stop ODOT's tolling 'money grab'
This proposed tolling/congestion pricing is like a virus, and it will infect a lot of people. It will mutate and become more dangerous unless it is stopped.
This will create a massive diversion of traffic — ODOT calls it rerouting — and it will flow to all of the side streets, roads, highways and bridges that do not have the capacity and design necessary to safely handle this traffic. It will result in loss of life and will come at the cost of jobs and investments.
When Interstate 205 is widened, the Biden infrastructure bill has an earmark to fund this project. This funding will eliminate the I-205 bottleneck and make seismic improvements to the Abernethy Bridge. There will not be any need for tolling, except to gouge more money to continue to pay for more nonessential projects, with limited benefits.
Tolling is indiscriminate in how it hurts middle- and lower-income families. It solves nothing, except to feed the bureaucracy.
ODOT, the Oregon Legislature, Metro and the Oregon Transportation Commission's tolling plans are the reason why we have formed a committee to have an initiative referendum prepared to stop the tolling of our roads, highways and bridges without a vote of the people. We will fight this money grab.
This initiative will happen, and we know we will receive the support — with money and signatures necessary — to get this on the ballot, with a plan for the fall 2022 election.
Keep watching, everyone, and join us in our efforts to stop the madness of the tolling virus and help us prevent it from mutating across the good state of Oregon.
Oregon City resident Paul Edgar is a member of the Clackamas County Historic Review Board.
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