Can you chime in asking for (De)congestion Pricing Before Freeway Expansion?
The Oregon Department of Transportation’s Online Open House on Congestion Pricing closes today. The No More Freeways Coalition has been closely following ODOT’s committee; we firmly believe that congestion pricing is an equitable, cost-efficient, climate-smart and necessary policy to alleviate congestion BEFORE we spend $450 million on an unnecessary freeway expansion that won’t solve congestion.
If you haven’t already submitted commentary, please check out ODOT’s Open House and make sure your voice is heard.
Our position, that we encourage you to share with ODOT:
- Congestion Pricing is Great!
- We should price any freeway inside the urban growth boundary and study impacts before *any* lane expansion.
- Revenue from pricing should be invest in transit operations (if legally viable under the Oregon Highway Trust), transit physical improvements, biking and walking, and NOT for further expansion of freeway and car capacity
- We should listen to advocates including OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Community Alliance of Tenants, and Verde sitting on the advisory committee to ensure congestion pricing is instituted appropriately and doesn’t burden low-income folks.
For More on Congestion Pricing, check out:
Monday is last day to visit ODOT’s online congestion pricing open house – Jonathan Maus, BikePortland.org
Is Congestion Pricing Fair to the Poor? – Michael Manville. Assistant Professor, UCLA
Transportation equity: Why peak period road pricing is fair – Joe Cortright, City Observatory
How Congestion Pricing Influences Equity – Robert Krol, Mercatus Center
The next meeting of ODOT’s Value Pricing Advisory Committee has not been officially scheduled; it’s expected by the end of the month. Stay tuned.
TriMet’s Hiring Process, and Why it’s Relevant to our Freeway Expansion
Last week, we really enjoyed this article by Jake Arbinder inDemocracy Journal detailing the failures of public transit agencies in Boston and New York; in his view, American transit agencies are suffering because of a broken “political economy.” This is a fancy, academic way of saying that the agencies and bureaucracies that make decisions about how and where to invest in trains and buses don’t have adequate mechanisms for citizens, advocacy groups, and political leaders to influence their decisions for the greater good of the region. If no one at New York’s Subway system can be held accountable for system delays, and the City Mayor and State Governor can bicker about who is responsible without taking action, how will the city ever move forward with improvements?
That’s why we’re thrilled to pass along OPAL – Environmental Justice Oregon‘s letter last week expressing skepticism of TriMet’s recent hiring process for their next General Manager. OPAL accurately points out the lax community engagement with the process, the lack of outreach to advisory committees, and the overall lackluster approach from TriMet in shaping itself to better serve the region.