This Dog and Pony Show that is difficult to watch
August 14, 2023
Little things, when unattended, lead to bigger things… which can then lead to… well in this case, a bit of a Dog and Pony Show.
The Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) has finally gotten bond approval from both Oregon and Washington Legislators so that Federal “Match Fundings” can move forward. As it is, the IBR looks to be $2 to $4 Billion in-the-hole, which will have to be funded, mostly, thru tolls. But wait, now Tri-Met wants millions for Operations and Maintenance.
The Equity and Mobility Advisory Committee (EMAC) seems a bit miffed at ODOT. At this past weeks meeting the presented toll plans did not come with projected outcomes. They did make it thru the meeting seemingly agreeing with ODOT’s point of view but we might have sent them back to get it right.
And NEXUS, also presented at the EMAC meeting, gets a look over by the Regional Toll Advisory Committee (RTAC). ODOT is rushing for information about these projects so the Governor has them on her desk by December.
Tolling is the funding mechanism that ODOT is banking on funding these project. No one seems to be happy right now… and we think the show is just getting started…
Article 1 – The IBR is slated to have a new extended Yellow MAX line run along side it and dump into Vancouver. The $1 to $1.3 billion dollar line, which is now said to cost up to $2 billion, comes with a hefty fee… $21 million for Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of which Tri-Met says it will not pay.
This is the same Tri-Met that only receives 11% of funding from ridership and the rest from our taxes. Now they want the Legislators to fund this new venture.
This article, from Clark County Today, illustrates how one government bureau is sure to fund another. Tolls will certainly play a part if O&M has to be supported by ODOT.
Article 2 – EMAC had a meeting this last week with ODOT to outline plans for Congestion tolling on I-205 and I-5. Presenting 3 different options, ODOT had nothing to show for effects on the surrounding communities for any of their ideas.
This YouTube video is just over 2 hours but is educational in how ODOT works. It is a bit rough at the beginning, bad audio from the ODOT presenter. But this is a classic example of the tolls that are soon to come upon us.
Article 3 – NEXUS is the connection of things. In this case, it is the connection of projects that will help mobility in concert with Congestive Pricing. To define simplistically, what projects will help communities deal with traffic when it diverts onto their streets.
This Memorandum, of the Urban Mobility Strategy, highlights how NEXUS programs will be assessed and which gets prioritized. Note that ODOT is asking for NEXUS projects to be submitted for 50 miles of Interstate Hwy (I-205 and I-5). FYI, there is no mention of how any of these NEXUS Projects are to be funded.
TriMet is playing hardball with the Legislators