Correction appendedA “Frequently Asked Questions” page that ODOT has prepared regarding the tolling projects is very general and essentially has the tone that ODOT will mitigate traffic diversion impacts and look at ways to reduce the impact of tolls on low income persons. Their traffic studies conclude that tolling will reduce trip times on I-205 by 14 minutes over the 7 miles between the Tualatin River Bridge and just north of the Abernethy Bridge 20 years in the future, compared to the alternative not to implement tolling.

I doubt this will be the case, as these forecasts always miss the mark. Traffic speeds always slow and congestion resumes much sooner than projections. Of course I am talking about congestion on the freeway, not the traffic diverted to local roads. These roads will be gridlocked the day the tolls are in effect, in my opinion. Traffic studies would need verify that these opinions are true.

Cam Gilmour is now retired from serving as ODOT’s deputy director of finance and administration, Clackamas County’s director of transportation and development and the state of Washington’s transportation department’s chief operating officer.