© 2023 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oregon seeks public input on potential tolling policies

The Interstate 5 freeway through North Portland in the Albina neighborhood, April 9, 2021.
Kristyna Wentz-Graff
The Interstate 5 freeway through North Portland in the Albina neighborhood, April 9, 2021.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is seeking input on proposed changes to its policy relating to toll roads.

Aside from a handful of bridges, no Oregon highways currently charge drivers a toll. That could change in the coming years as ODOT is exploring tolls as a way to manage congestion on Portland area expressways.

To prepare for the potential advent of toll roads, the agency is examining its current tolling policies and proposing some tweaks. The goal is to better define toll-related terms and make the objectives of tolling more clear.

The decision about whether to actually implement tolls hasn’t been made yet. Right now, the state is taking comments on what a tolling policy would look like, should tolls be put in place.

“This is not just a policy for the Portland metro area, even though that’s the only location currently that we’re really exploring these,” said Erik Havig, the statewide policy and planning manager for ODOT. “The policy is being set up in case there may be other locations across the state in the future where we may want to consider this.”

ODOT has scheduled a virtual public hearing on the tolling policy for Wednesday, July 20. Written comments are being accepted through Aug. 1.

Copyright 2022 KLCC

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”