Here's what readers said about road tolls coming to two Portland interstate highways, and how they could burden working-class people ("For Whom the Road Tolls" WW, July 12, 2017).
Hoyt Schermerhorn, via wweek.com: "One of the main points of tolling is to get a relative few people out of their private autos and on to some other mode, mainly transit. Without providing vastly improved transit options, any tolling scheme will be a failure, both functionally as well as politically."
JoeCommentor, in response: "'Relative few'? Is that why the freeways are jammed for three hours each morning and night? The blame for traffic comes squarely down upon the shoulders of the employers not paying a living wage for residence within their town of employment."
@VerbioGroup, via Twitter: "This will affect workers coming in and out of Portland. Will businesses pick up the tab?"
@BikePortland, via Twitter: "Don't people also pay a 'toll' to ride bus and MAX? Why do people expect most expensive (to society and city) transpo choice to be so cheap?"
@pdxvisionzero, via Twitter: "Interesting how people are OK with billions spent on highway projects but not paying for it personally."
Jorge Da Silva, via wweek.com: "People can't take public transit because it does not work. You cannot depend on it. It does not run 24 hours. It runs so infrequently that you will miss your appointment if you miss your bus/train."
@enobacon, via Twitter: "The edge of Portland is not a long bike ride from downtown (10 miles on an e-bike even). Where is the bike freeway?"
Cspdx11, via wweek.com: "I find it ironic that people are complaining about congestion leading to long commutes while asking poorer people on the outskirts to give up their cars and take long commutes on public transportation. Not everybody can bike…due to health reasons, age, time constraints, capacity."
Katherine Howard, via Facebook: "They need to toll Washington drivers who have long had a free ride in Oregon. We tolled the Astoria Bridge because Washington wouldn't help pay for it. Now it's time to toll I-5 and 205 to pay for Oregon infrastructure, while they are earning their living in Oregon."
Marie Sorbel, in response: "I pay so much in Oregon state income tax AND still pay my home state sales tax and literally all I do is drive a federally funded freeway on my commute. A toll is going to hurt my family so much. I commute three hours a day because I'm NOT wealthy!"
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