Should Portland Help Pay for Sellwood?

Mayor Adams is being accused of dragging his feet on the City’s contribution to the Sellwood Bridge replacement.

But let’s step back a bit. Is it the best use of $8M/year of the City’s share of increased gas tax revenues to fund a County facility (we’ll leave aside the question of whether having the County own the Willamette River bridges is rational or not – that’s a question for another post)?

Clearly the Sellwood connection is a vital part of Portland’s arterial network. But what are the other options? Given the large percentage of users of this bridge from outside the City and the County I think tolling might be a very good solution to better allocate costs to users. And that would free up $8M/year for other uses like sidewalks, bicycle facilities (or insert your favorite project here).

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