December 21, 2006
CO2, i.e., Connect Oregon 2, the expected follow-on from Governor Kulongoski to his $100M lottery-funded transportation package from last session, is apparently only the beginning in the minds of some regional leaders.
The Daily Journal of Commerce is reporting that business and government leaders are looking for a broader transportation package from the next legislature.
December 22, 2006 6:45 PM
I'm still surprised with all the transportation innovations that have come from Oregon that variably priced HOT (High Occupancy/Toll) lanes aren't common here. They're a great way to pay for additional lanes that allow for more users, including buses, carpools, and those willing to pay.
The Reason Foundation (I think I have that right) did studies that showed how metro areas can add a complete HOT network backed simply by the 35 year revenue, which allows for predictable bus times, immediately creates a BRT network, and allows those who need to travel quickly to do so.
It seems that if Oregon wants a low-cost way to expand it's roadways, they'd cite projects like San Diego's I-15 as an example of a community using a smart growth plan, but still working to improve it's roads at the same time.
Having lived in San Diego when the community voted for a 1/2% sales tax increase to pay for a large trial segment, it seemed like the easiest sell of the full transportation package it was a part of. It helps transit users as well as freeway users by removing some cars and busses from the general purpose lanes, and created funding to keep improving I-15's GP lanes with additional auxillary lanes, in addition to interchange improvements.
December 22, 2006 8:24 PM
Chris Smith Says:
As the Columbia Crossing poll data indicated, tolls are a pretty foreign concept in this state. It's going to take some changes in attitude.
December 24, 2006 10:36 PM
Dave Brook Says:
My sense is that as long as the public perceives the choice as being toll or no-toll, they'll naturally choose no-toll. If it became a toll or an increase in gas tax or motor vehicle registration or something like that, tolls would look a lot more attractive to most people (assuming, of course, that the spin-meisters don't get a hold of it!)
I think I read that the toll on the original bridge in 1960 was 25¢. In today's dollars that $1.44 if I did the math correctly (576%). Of course I'm sure people were happy when the toll was discontinued but they were probably happier that the bridge was built in the first place. It would be interesting to know how much traffic volumes changes when the toll was discontinued.
December 25, 2006 3:16 PM
Paul Edgar Says:
At the recent Tolling Forum in Vancouver Washington a few weeks ago it was stated that Tolls should not be used un-less your are creating more capacity.
The I-5 Corridor would remain a 2 and 3-lane corridor no matter how wide a new replacement Interstate Bridge might be. The CRC Task Force is proposing a total of 6-lanes to the best of my knowledge.
The number of lanes is not indictive of increasing capacity in the I-5 corridor unless someone knows new dymanics where a funnel with a large top and a small throat now all of a sudden works different.
We are going to get the 2-lane Delta Park section of the I-5 corridor widened out to 3-ligament lanes and any projected gains talked about by the CRC Task Force that uses this new capacity in its calculation of benefits is just another over stepping of any benefit analysis incorporating those gains by any new CRC Interstate Bridge Replacement Project.
Let no-one tell anyone that Tolls are anything but a regressive TAX that disproportionately affect the poor or low-income at a very high level.
If there is anyway to not have or use Tolls in a corridor that exists and where there will be no true increase in corridor capacity the public will be better served for it.