State commission approves plans for tolls along I-5 and I-205

KPTV photo.

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Oregon Transportation Commission members voted on Thursday to move forward on proposed tolling plans for two local highways.

The first potential tolling location is on Interstate 5 near Going Street to Southwest Multnomah Boulevard; the second is on Interstate 205 near the Abernathy Bridge.

The move was already approved by the House in the 2017 legislative session but still needs approval from the Federal Highway Administration.

The OTC on Thursday heard from community members who oppose the move.

“If you start the tolling at the Going and Alberta Street exit, as is proposed in here, you will encourage diversion into residential neighborhoods that ill-equipped to handle it, thanks in part to that historic under-serving of that community,” Chris Trejbal, chair of Overlook Neighborhood Association, said.

The Overlook Neighborhood Association would prefer the toll be placed just south of Hayden Island.

Proponents argue the tolls will help raise money for much-needed transportation improvements, among other benefits.

“The state of Oregon has the opportunity to be a national leader and to really create a pricing system that helps decrease congestion, to increase affordable transportation options for both people and goods, and to decrease our carbon emissions,” Shoshana Cohen with the Portland Bureau of Transportation said.

It’s early in the process and prices have not been set.

The request will now be submitted for the FHA for approval. If it passes, officials say drivers still won’t have to worry about paying tolls for several more years.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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