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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 9:48 PM
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Portland Metro Freeway/Highway/Roads News and Discussions

9W would need tolls, too, report says
Newberg-Dundee bypass - Toll prices on both routes would depend upon who gets exempted and state funding


Wednesday, December 13, 2006
LISA GRACE LEDNICER and JAMES MAYER

A private toll road bypassing Newberg and Dundee could work financially and politically if motorists who use Oregon 99W also pay the toll, with residents and visitors getting a free pass, the Australian company exploring the idea said Tuesday.

Any tolling option chosen needs to ensure that the traffic causing the problem "pays for the solution," Nick Hahn, project manager for the Macquarie Infrastructure Group, told the Oregon Transportation Commission at a meeting in Portland.

The company's 167-page report said a toll of $3.50 for through-traffic on both roads, with Newberg and Dundee residents paying a flat fee of $1 to use the bypass, would bring in enough money to build and run the bypass for 50 years but only if taxpayers put up $150 million. Eliminating all public support for the project would require a $5 toll.

Macquarie, one of the world's largest toll-road operators, would put up $379 million in construction costs. The state would contribute $50 million towards construction and $100 million to buy the right of way to build the 11-mile bypass, according to Macquarie's proposal. The firm would operate the road under an agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation, with ownership reverting to the state after five decades.

The report, which mentions nontoll financing options only briefly, is the most detailed to date of how tolling could help pay for the Newberg-Dundee bypass. If the state pursues Macquarie's proposal, it will serve as a blueprint for using tolls to pay for other costly road projects, such as widening the southern portion of Interstate 205 and building a new Sunrise Corridor highway from I-205 to Damascus.

Transportation commissioners questioned the assumption that ODOT would commit $150 million to pay for the road. Commissioner Gail Achterman noted that by 2008, when Macquarie proposes to begin building the bypass, the transportation agency will have only $50 million a year to invest in new projects for the entire state.

Yamhill County officials said they need more time to study the report before deciding which financing option makes the most sense.

"It's hard for me to sense how people are going to react to this," said Yamhill County Commissioner Leslie Lewis, who said she prefers putting tolls on just the bypass. "Clearly, they reacted badly to tolling the entire corridor. Whether this will have any public acceptability, I don't know."

Yamhill County residents and officials have been pushing for the bypass for decades as traffic has increased on 99W, which links the Portland area with the county's wine country, the Oregon Coast and Spirit Mountain Casino. But the project has never been a high priority in a state with dwindling resources for highway projects and many pressing transportation needs.

Macquarie signed an agreement with the state in April to study the project's feasibility. Tuesday's report is one in a series of "milestones" in the agreement that allows either party to pull the plug on the project. If Macquarie ends up signing an agreement with the state, the bypass could open for motorists in 2011.
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 9:52 PM
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Duh! Of course, if you toll both routes you'll make more money. To me, this proposal reeks. Isn't the idea of a toll the idea that we're paying for a new road, not a chance to make a few quick bucks off the poor residents of the Willamette Valley?

I mean, how do you toll this:


Please, somebody say I'm misunderstanding this. If not, Newberg residents, get your toll tags ready....
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 11:36 PM
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that is a really high toll to pay too. I so would never be using that road if I lived out there, couldnt afford to. Good thing I live downtown and walk everywhere. Well I do hope the people of that area dont get their asses handed to them.
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2006, 12:49 AM
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I don't mind toll roads...if people complain about traffic congestion yet don't want to pay more taxes, toll roads are what they get. Are people on the east coast and europe dumber than west coast people? Or smarter?
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2006, 6:45 AM
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I am always in favor of raising taxes! It sure beats tolls!
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2006, 9:40 AM
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Originally Posted by i-215 View Post
I am always in favor of raising taxes! It sure beats tolls!
Well, unfortunately, people up here don't think like that. I guess you can't blame them, tho, the oregon legislature is awful. They can't get anything important done. There isn't a sales tax here either so that makes it harder to find temporary, fast ways to get money by implementing a sales tax increase. I guess we could also keep going up the ladder to the federal government--who decides to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on a ridiculous war instead of putting that money in to education, social services and roads, etc...but i won't go further in to that
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Old Posted Dec 14, 2006, 3:34 PM
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Even as a Replublican, let me just say that that could change. I think we'll see more money spent on domestic issues with this congress ... even if they are all... cough cough... well, that other party.

I agree, Oregon's legislature is a mess. They can't even put a stop to the "we'll tow away your car" insanity, that cost me $270 last year. I guess Multnomah County had some protections for citizens, and Clackamas has some too, but because I was towed 14 miles from Willamette to SE Portland I went "across county lines" therefore no protections applied to me, so they socked it to me. And there's no sense arguing with Retreiver Towing because they'll just charge you another hour for "storage." Uugh! It's the only state in the nation that has such a car towing racket going on, that I've ever seen ... and Oregonians are getting shafted for it.

But I'm getting off topic. Personally, it would be great to see 99W be a freeway. However, I could see that if most the traffic is casino traffic, a toll 99W Bypass could make some sense, even if I'm opposed to it. But the idea of tolling both sides - the town side and the freeway side is a joke! There always needs to be a free alternative!

Anyone else feel my indignation? Plus, how do you toll a "Main St."?
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Old Posted Dec 15, 2006, 1:36 AM
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According to what I've read, there are only 16,300 cars/day that use the corridor. That's actually not a lot of traffic... I-5 between Salem & Portland has like around 150,000. So a $350 million 11 mile road ends up with a very high toll.

Sounds like, from what I've read, Dundee is trying to toll everyone from McMinnville who commutes into Portland.
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Old Posted Jul 27, 2007, 9:12 PM
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Key private partner drops out of Newberg-Dundee bypass project

Key private partner drops out of Newberg-Dundee bypass project
Posted by The Oregonian July 27, 2007 11:27AM
Categories: Breaking News, Yamhill County

NEWBERG -- A long-planned bypass to ease congestion at the gateway to Oregon's wine country was dealt a blow today when a key player dropped out of the planning process.

Oregon Department of Transportation officials, working with Macquarie Infrastructure Group, an Australian corporation, had hoped that a public-private agreement to build and operate the so-called Newberg-Dundee Bypass would generate enough money through tolling to make the project profitable.

A review of the project indicated that wasn't possible, said Adam Torgerson, an ODOT spokesman.

"We've agreed that it's just not financially feasible under a public-private concession agreement to build this project as planned," Torgerson said.

Still on the table are a number of options included in a report by an outside analyst, Bear Stearns, which suggested that a public-sector model could cut financing costs of the estimated $500 million project.

Chief among them are a public-sector tolling option, building the 11-mile bypass in phases and reducing the scope of the planned project.

Torgerson said ODOT officials have not yet had time to thoroughly evaluate the consultant's suggestions, although he did say that scrapping the public-private plan will likely delay any construction start beyond the 2008 or 2009 dates originally eyed.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingn...drops_out.html
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2007, 12:56 AM
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Good. Both Macquarie tolling projects (Sunrise and Newberg-Dundee) were going to rip off Oregonians... why let the private sector charge twice as much as a public tolling project would equate to? Haven't we been paying attention to their rip-off schemes in Indiana and Texas?
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2007, 4:03 AM
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Damn, nothing is going to get done about this. :shakinghead:
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2007, 6:32 AM
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^^Ditto...The public is ridiculous--they want better roads and less congestion but they bitch about tolling and then vote down any tax increases. HELLO!! Who the hell do they think is going to pay for it?! I guess the magical road fairy will just wave her wand and then POOF! Sunrise corrior and Newberg bypass! Its that easy...I'm usually against privatizing things but when you the let the public try to make decisions things will never get done.
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Old Posted Jul 28, 2007, 10:11 PM
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^there is ABSOLUTELY no reason a private company should have control to toll public roads. If a private company wants to purchase right of ways, build a roadway, and toll the hell out of it, all the more power too them But I have to agree with Rep. DeFazio in this Blue Oregon article.

Quote:
In the Mother Jones article, they point to the toll road scandal in Indiana -- where Republican Governor Mitch Daniels gave a multinational company the rights to charge tolls for 75 years. There's an extensive segment with Congressman Peter DeFazio -- due to become the chairman of the Highway and Transit Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Here's that clip:

The hearing was a fairly docile affair—that is, until Oregon's Peter DeFazio, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, got his turn questioning [Governor Mitch] Daniels. "So you're saying that there's no political will to raise the tolls," he began, "but if you enter into a binding contract which gives a private entity the right to infinitely raise tolls, then that'll happen—but politically you couldn't say we're going to go out and raise the tolls."

"Well, you're a busy man, Congressman," Daniels responded dryly. "I don't expect you to understand our state."

"No, sir. I'm just asking a question," DeFazio shot back, his voice rising. "Are we outsourcing political will to a private entity here?"

When DeFazio spoke with Mother Jones months later, he was still seething. Daniels, he said, "just screwed the state of Indiana and the people of the state of Indiana." In his view, mig-Cintra has "a license to print money here. They do the deal, put money up front, turn around and go to a bank, which will gladly give them whatever they want, and pay themselves back, and they are left with equity and debt. They are projecting that they already would have broken even around the 15th year. So we've committed an asset for 75 years and after 15 years the state could have been making money on it."

DeFazio continued, "When you look at the Chicago Skyway, that's even worse. They are not even reinvesting the proceeds of the sale in transportation. They're using them for operating costs. That would be like anybody selling their assets in order to live. You can't sell your assets very long to put food on the table—before long you're out of assets. Chicago has sold an asset, which will be extraordinarily profitable for the company that got it."

DeFazio's take harkens back to Eisenhower and his vision of a national highway system as vital to economic development, commerce, and even national security. "It's a scam, basically," he says. "And you lose control of your transportation infrastructure. It means you fragment the system ultimately. It just does not make sense for an integrated national transportation system."
http://www.blueoregon.com/2006/12/peter_defazio_i.html


Once the roadway is congested enough, or failing, the residents will eventually tax themselves, or allow a public agency to toll, to fund the upgrade or risk having the highway completely shut down.
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Old Posted Jul 29, 2007, 1:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkDaMan View Post

Once the roadway is congested enough, or failing, the residents will eventually tax themselves, or allow a public agency to toll, to fund the upgrade or risk having the highway completely shut down.
The road has been "congested enough" for 20 years now. Fact is that Dundee is way, way too small to tackle this. The lack of inertia is shocking, this is a state issue and has to be handled with state and federal funding. To say that Dundee should tax its way out of the problem is silly, what quadruple the local property tax? That will not even cover half of it. At some point, a bigger entity has to take a pool of funds and do the bypass. Then there are locals who post those asinine "don't build a tollway" signs. WTF?

Screw it, to get to the Coast, it is faster to drive way down out of the way to friggin' Salem already.

Same thing with Sandy and Sisters, they have strangleholds over some vital roads for tourism and commerce in Oregon, and those problems have been around for a decade or more and absolutely NOTHING is being done about it.
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Old Posted Jul 30, 2007, 2:40 PM
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I agree that Dundee is too small to pay for this themselves. However, all these small communities team up to defeat any tax, gas or otherwise, to produce a statewide road improvement effort. I personally find other ways around, even if it means longer detours, while these small towns continue to see more and more congestion. Between traffic in their precious little towns getting as bad as some stretches of Portland, and new residents moving in, eventually they will look at local and than statewide solutions when the price tag shocks them into reality.
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Old Posted Jul 31, 2007, 7:49 AM
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commuter rail...

But in all reality major highways should not run right through small towns or downtowns. Europe did it right by routing all of their major highways & freeways AROUND the cities and towns, not through them, since that just creates conflict.

Last edited by zilfondel; Jul 31, 2007 at 8:03 AM.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 4:12 PM
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4th Avenue to become Cesar Chavez Boulevard

City's pick for Chavez street: 4th Avenue, not Interstate
Portland commissioners vote 4-1 to rename the downtown
Friday, November 16, 2007
JAMES MAYER
The Oregonian

Race, promises and politics all came to a head Thursday as the Portland City Council voted to rename Fourth Avenue in downtown for farmworker champion Cesar Chavez.

At the end of an emotional four-hour hearing that capped months of rancorous debate and charges of racism, council members said they hoped the compromise would be seen as a fitting tribute to a Latino hero in a city that has none.

"I see this as a way of taking it from not-in-my-backyard to putting Cesar Chavez in our front yard," Commissioner Dan Saltzman said.

In choosing Fourth Avenue, the council turned down a proposal pushed by Mayor Tom Potter and a committee of Latino leaders to rename North Interstate Avenue for Chavez.

The name change, passed on a 4-1 vote, won't be official until the city planning commission holds hearings and the renaming proposal returns to the council for a final vote. An ordinance setting out that procedure will come to the council next week.

Potter cast the only vote against renaming Fourth Avenue, saying he was saddened by the action.

"In my heart, I will always believe that renaming Interstate was the right thing to do," he said.

The other commissioners spoke about what they saw as a flawed process that unnecessarily set the Latino community against North Portland businesses and residents near Interstate Avenue.

"I think it's time to end the ugliness," said Saltzman, who along with Commissioner Erik Sten came up with the Fourth Avenue compromise and sold it to the other council members during intense conversations Wednesday.

Saltzman said the city was at legal risk for not using the proper procedures in exploring the Interstate renaming. And he worried that a threatened referendum sponsored by opponents would turn into a divisive debate over immigration policy.

Sten first voted against the motion to substitute a resolution renaming Fourth Avenue for one renaming Interstate, even though it was his idea, arguing that the hearing convinced him that the Latino community deserved the affirmation. But he voted for the new resolution renaming Fourth.

"I do believe we can come together over Fourth Avenue," he said.

But if the commissioners thought their eleventh-hour compromise would calm the storm of bad feeling, they were mistaken. Dozens of supporters and opponents of the Interstate renaming kept waves of recriminations coming -- from accusations of intolerance aimed at all sides to criticism of the city's handling of the entire effort.

For months, supporters of renaming Interstate have argued for the need to claim a Latino landmark by honoring Chavez. But the idea met with vigorous opposition from Interstate neighbors who argued that they strongly identify with the current name.

For Interstate supporters, the idea of switching to Fourth was insulting.

Maria Lisa Johnson, executive director of the Latino Network, lashed out at the four council members for substituting their judgment for the choice of the Latino leaders who picked Interstate.

Decisions in liberal Portland "are still made behind closed doors by white men who have our best interest at heart," Johnson said.

Ron Herndon, executive director of Albina Head Start and a longtime civil rights activist, said the renaming committee took the commissioners at their word when they indicated they supported the plan. Now, the committee feels betrayed, he said.

"What makes it worse, is you are talking to people who have had promises broken for generations," Herndon said.

Commissioners defended their change of heart, arguing that their early backing for Interstate depended on support from the neighboring community, and when that didn't materialize, they had a right to reconsider and to look for a way out of the mess.

For the most part, Chavez supporters ignored the commissioners' compromise idea and praised Potter for sticking up for renaming Interstate.

The businesses and residents who opposed renaming Interstate thanked the commissioners for coming up with an alternative and repeated their objections.

"I don't think I'll vote for another chief of police for mayor," said Pamela Brooks-Haines, co-owner of a coffee shop on Interstate Avenue. "It takes tact and diplomacy, and you have allowed this to be about race and racism, and I am disgusted."

Chris Duffy, chairwoman of the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association, said she still opposed renaming Interstate, but she called for a time of healing.

In downtown, the new idea to rename Fourth Avenue for Chavez didn't exactly get a warm reception from the surrounding community.

"No way, it's between Third and Fifth, and that's why it should stay Fourth Avenue," said Andrew McKinney, a bike messenger. "I don't see why it needs to change."

Samantha Moreland, a barista at the Three Lions Bakery at Fourth and Taylor, said a more fitting tribute would be a park, a special event or even a statue.

"It's just a street," she said. "Isn't there something better we could do to honor him?"

Several business owners declined to discuss the issue, deferring to their corporate bosses. Even owners of small, privately owned businesses were reluctant to take up the issue.

Sandra McDonough, president of the Portland Business Alliance, the city's major business lobbying group, said the group would have no position.

Stuart Tomlinson contributed to this report. James Mayer: 503-294-5988; jimmayer@news.oregonian.com
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/orego...690.xml&coll=7
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 4:34 PM
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Personally I think NW Couch would have been a much better solution. It's a prominent street(which will only become more prominent with the Burnside coupling) the runs the socio-economic spectrum in it's 19 blocks. There are also relatively few business which would have to change stationary. Since it begins with C the system wouldn't be messed up like renaming 4th.
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 6:00 PM
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^that would never happen. The NW nimbys would blow their tops off if anything in their precious neighborhood was changed, especially a street name!
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2007, 6:09 PM
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What an odd city to have a street named after a latino leader.
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