Excerpt from West Linn Mayor Rory Bialostosky Press Release:
City of West Linn Mayor Rory Bialostosky wrote a letter to Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) leaders criticizing the agency’s recently released survey, which purportedly asks for feedback on how to build a regional tolling system that “works for our communities.”
“The survey appears to represent an attempt by ODOT to manipulate public input to receive only positive feedback for ODOT’s plan to institute the Regional Mobility Pricing Project,” Bialostosky wrote. “The survey presented to the public quashes dissent and some questions lack essential context and lead members of the public to select answers that represent conclusions that they may not wish to support.” Bialostosky identified several issues, including questions that lack context and rely on misleading assumptions; survey design that does not allow for meaningful public dissent from the State’s tolling plans; and presentation of options that have not been analyzed with sufficient rigor to allow local governments and the public to comment meaningfully. He supported his analysis with details from the survey language as well as public feedback posted on social media.
“While toll collection has been paused until 2026, the State continues to barrel down the path of inequitable tolling that is not regional and will result in some residents paying drastically more than others solely based on where people live in the region and their activities in daily life,” Bialostosky concluded. “Key data detailing localized diversion in the different scenarios is also missing, precluding local governments and residents from expressing informed opinions on the options. If equity truly is the central tenet of the ODOT process, as is always talked about by officials and key legislators, the current tolling plan and approach cannot move forward.”