Dorchester Debate: Gas Tax vs. Congestion pricing

Here is the first issue being debated at Dorchester.

Resolved: Oregon should phase out the gas tax and phase in tolls and congestion pricing to pay for roads and highways.

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Posted by at 10:36 | Posted in Measure 37 | 11 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • News

    The Dorchester delegate vote result:

    YES: 52
    No: 239

  • Bob Clark

    I wouldn’t mind seeing some sovereign wealth fund or other big buck funds come in and build a west-side bypass of Portland city proper. Presumably such concerns would use tolls to finance building it and running it. This would relieve the North Portland congestion and reduce the Columbia crossing project to just refurbishing the existing I-5 bridge. Oregon and Washington governments would not have to raise a whole bunch of capital.

  • Steve Plunk

    I don’t know who is pushing this but it’s the wrong issue.

    ODOT receives plenty of revenue to take care of Oregon highways but refuses to reform itself into an efficient agency. I find it interesting that a state bureaucracy full of engineers farms out it’s engineering work to outside contractors (usually ex-ODOT employees).

    The remaining time is spent formulating transportation plans that have little value and are regularly re-written a few years later. An apt description is they spin their wheels rather than get things built.

    ODOT will soon make a push to raise the gas tax (and weight mile tax, I’m in the trucking business) in the next legislative session. The same old song and dance will be used, crumbling infrastructure, cheaper to do it now than later, we haven’t had an increase in years. All this ignores the fact it is the most wasteful, bureaucratic, money pit in the state.

    Congestion pricing is already in place and it’s called delays. Time is money and when the delays become long enough drivers will adjust their habits to a more efficient travel time. The gas, as it is, is still the most efficient way to collect transportation fees for the state. This is a silly resolution wasting everyones time.

  • Richard Brown

    I would love to be there but I have another convention next month and only can afford one. As for this issue I would say no because I am not keen on behavior taxes. Especially in a place like Portland where Metro is doing its best to force everybody out of their cars. In addition as a worker in the electronic manufacturing industry, one often doesn’t much of a choice where one works. One goes to work where the job are at often areas with poor public transportation.

  • Jerry

    If ODOT would do its job instead of blatantly wasting all the money we would not have such traffic problems. They are the worst in bloated, ineffective government agencies. The state would be better off without ODOT at all.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to see our auto and truck taxes used for fixing our traffic problems first.

    Instead of subsidizing Light Rail, Transit Bike and Walking paths Smart Growth Projects and traffic calming before we propose anything new!!

    First things First

  • eddie

    ODOT is rife with graft and corruption, from all I’ve heard. Awarding contracts for substandard work at top dollar to contract partners for… well, you know the drill.

    Multnomah County and Portland, meanwhile, further tighten the screws by creating congestion wherever possible. I think there’s more “traffic calming” here than anywhere outside an amusement park parking lot.

    Changing from a gas tax to a congestion penalty would simply give the metro area the power to further bear down on automobile users, without actually addressing the problems of a road and freeway system last expanded 30-40 years, and many hundreds of thousands of residents ago.

    Better to clean house at ODOT, maybe have an independant inspection of highway work done, then use the resulting data to flush out the logjammers in that department. Then ensure that gas taxes received go for repairs and expansions ONLY. Instead of being scattered about for pedestrian walks, bike paths, speed bumps, chicanes, restriping to remove lanes, traffic circles, light rail, trams, streetcars, and transit malls.

  • Jack

    I see the Vote at Dorchester was Yes 52 – No 239 Put me down on the NO side. What a stupid Idea. What RINO came up with this?

    Ps: eddie said Better to clean house at ODOT, maybe have an independant inspection of highway work done, then use the resulting data to flush out the logjammers in that department.

    Eddie it will take a Republican Governor to do this.

  • Jerry

    Here is one thought. How about taxing the people who drive in the peak rush hours, but instead of the state keeping the money it all goes to anyone who rides their bike to town during those same hours??
    Now this is a plan!

    • Rupert in Sprinfield

      How about simply taxing bike riders an annual fee and instead of the state keeping it, giving it back to anyone who has a registered car? They paid the taxes to build the bike lanes in the first place.

      How about licensing and registering of bikes and requiring insurance so they can be held responsible when they blow through a red light or stop sign?

  • Bad Boy Brown

    I just came back from a trip to Phoenix; and after being someplace where they are actually building three and four lane highways, have no graffitti on the freeways, and the traffic actually moves at ruch hour – I realize what a transportation toilet Oregon really is. Never saw a single bum begging for money at the freeway ramps either.

    When you drive the 101 Loop freeway aroung Phoenix and see how pathetic I-205 and I-5 are in comparison, you will realize these a-holes at ODOT are simply wasting our money and our time every day with these pathetic excuses for roads.

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