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Jaime Herrera Beutler Presses Oregon’s DOT to Clarify Authority, Public Engagement of Tolling Advisory Committee Ahead of Nov. 20 Meeting

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Washington, D.C. , November 14, 2017 | comments
Today, U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler formally requested Oregon’s Department of Transportation to answer questions regarding the authority and public outreach of its tolling advisory committee. The committee’s first meeting is scheduled for Monday 8:30 A.M., November 20 in Portland.
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Today, U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler formally requested Oregon’s Department of Transportation to answer questions regarding the authority and public outreach of its tolling advisory committee. The committee’s first meeting is scheduled for Monday 8:30 A.M., November 20 in Portland.

The text of Jaime’s letter follows and a PDF version is available here.

Matthew Garrett, Director
Oregon Department of Transportation
355 Capitol St. NE, MS 11
Salem, OR 97301-3871


Dear Director Garrett,

As an elected representative of the citizens of Washington who are among the heaviest users of Interstate 5 and Interstate 205, I write to seek clarification on the process by which Oregon will finalize the tolling plan called for in Oregon’s House Bill 2017.

It is my understanding that Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) will develop the final detailed proposal for the tolls on I-205 and I-5. OTC has created the Portland Region Value Pricing Policy Advisory Committee, and has allotted three slots of the 20 person committee for Washingtonians. The Advisory Committee’s first meeting is quickly approaching on Monday, November 20. My questions are:

- What statutory authority does the Advisory Committee have, if any?
- Is there any statutory requirement that the OTC must adhere to any of the advisory committee’s conclusions?
- If OTC disagrees with those conclusions, does it have the authority to disregard them?
- Is there any statutory requirement for OTC to consider any minority/dissenting opinions from the committee?
- How did OTC determine that three representatives from the state from which a majority of the cross-bridge trips originate out of 20 members was an appropriate allotment?
- The advisory committee’s first public meeting is at 8:30am on the Monday of Thanksgiving week in downtown Portland (November 20). What effort will be made to advertise this and future meetings to Washington residents?
- Will any future meetings be held in a location more convenient to Washington residents?
- Will any consideration be given to holding future meetings at a time more convenient than the Monday morning of a holiday week when many interested stakeholders will be unable to participate?

Thank you in advance for your responses to these questions.

Sincerely,
Jaime
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