In a time when many families are struggling just to get by, is it the right time to further burden cash-strapped families with an additional cost in the form of a toll? No one is arguing that the I-5 bridge doesn’t need to be replaced, but is it responsible to do it now?
I personally commute to Portland for work six days a week, and I know I am not alone. The cost of tolls over the course of a month would be substantial, especially after adding on top of that the soaring gas prices.
Another aspect to take into consideration is the amount of the toll. In the beginning of the talks to replace the bridge I heard figures as high as $3 to $5. For many families this would be such a huge additional cost in an already tight budget. In my case, it would be an extra $30 a week.
I think having a toll would be reasonable only if the cost is kept within an affordable range and only until the bridge is paid off.
Politicians and planners must carefully take into consideration the large number of Clark County residents who work in the Portland area. I hope they consider the potential financial consequences of their decisions on families.