Traffic jam in the middle of the highway

Congestion pricing can help clear up choked roads.

In some states, people choose to pay extra to get where they want to go faster.

There are special express lanes that people can pay extra to use. Beat traffic. Save time.

And although any sort of benefit like that can accrue more to people with plenty of money, it’s not only people who have lots of money who use them.

Four years ago, the Legislature enabled the Oregon Department of Transportation to do another kind of congestion pricing. Tolls could be set on I-5 and I-205 so that they would be higher during peak times. It would encourage more people to work their schedules to drive when it would cost less.

This legislative session, that could suffer a fatal blow, as reported by Willamette Week. House Bill 3055 would cancel congestion pricing and replace it with fixed tolls. Fixed tolls might bring in more revenue to build more roads. Congestion pricing could help reduce traffic and make the existing system better able to handle traffic. Those are the theories, anyway.

Maybe you don’t spend too much time on I-5 or I-205 for it to matter to you. But if the change happens there, it could influence what happens elsewhere. Tell you legislator what you think or write us a letter to the editor.

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