Paul Edgar is a retired business automation consultant who has been active in transportation issues for more the 10-years in the Portland/Vancouver region. Last year he was one of the students with the PSU/PDOT transportation class.
Congestion in core Portland is killing people and businesses. We do not have the desire or the finances to add more capacity to our roads and freeways. We know that we cannot make changes in piece-meal fashion where we can destroy any balance that exists with our major connections coming into and through core Portland on I-5/I-405/I-84 and Westside highway 26.
Congestion is most often a result of high levels of commuter traffic in the AM and PM Peak Period Rush Hours (PPRH). This can be demonstrated on with vehicle count information gathered on the mentioned I-5/I-405/I-84 corridors and Highway 26 coming into and through Portland.
We need to create alternatives to the use of these corridors and dependence on the use of these corridors because there are NO reasonable alternatives to their use.
One element in reducing this killing congestion can be found in the use of (Transportation Demand Management) TDM/Tolling methods in Peak Period Rush Hours. We cannot continue to KILL PEOPLE and that is exactly what is happening with, using an example of the I-5 corridor through Portland.
It has been reported by multiple sources that the I-5 corridor between Portland and Vancouver Washington has the 3rd worse air quality conditions found in America right now. The people who are paying the price the most are those who live within 1000 feet of this freeway followed by those caught in the congestion. All of these stakeholders to the most part are trapped by the fate of their choices. Many are however just kids and they do not have a vote or a choice, until they become of age.
So what can we do right now to reduce this level of congestion that is KILLING PEOPLE and that is to put on new and aggressive TDM/Tolling methods on all freeway, interstate corridors and major state highways that feed into downtown Portland. These TDM/Tolling Stations can be placed at each of the metered on-ramps that feed into this network of roads.