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Hermiston pleads for studded tire relief

Hermiston pleads for studded tire relief

I contacted Mayor Hales office 9 months ago regarding asking the Oregon Legislators to do something about this issue. They refused. I have sent them another request and here it is:

Charlie Hales:
I’ve has some contact with the person responsible for our roads. I asked that you propose somthing to the legislators to solve the destructive use of studded tires on our roads. The 10% of drivers that use studded tires are cutting road life in half. 90% of Portland area drivers that don’t use studded tires are being unfairly taxed by a small percentage of drivers. You didn’t win your election by 90%? You WILL win by 90% of voters if you stand up and defend our roads, (from Les Schwab). The attached article is ODOT and the City Of Hermisston pleading for drivers to not use studded tires. If little Hermiston can say something, so can the City of Portland. You’ll never fix our roads as fast as their being chewed up by studs. Preservation and Conservation of our roads is good climate change policy.
Thanks for your time


Oregon Legislators pressured by Lobbyist to do another study instead of a fee

Lobbyist driven politics is alive in Salem. Rep. Mitch Greenlicks proposed studded tire fee magically turned into a new study. I suggest the Legislators open their eyes while driving. It’s even a lot more than the $10 they were proposing. I’m sick & tired of driving on unsafe rutted out and chewed up roads. 84% of Oregonians don’t use studded tires, it’s a small minority of drivers, who should pay for their privilege to ruin our roads. If studded tires were required in winter then 100% of Oregonians would use them.
Les Schwab and the Gallentin Group are responsible for derailing this much needed legislation. There have been numerous studies ALL calling for a ban or fee and studded tires, yet special interest rules the day in Salem.
Please write your Legislator and tell them you want something done on our behalf not Les Schwabs.
Jeff Bernards

Pendleton Tire Dealer offers free studded tires, if you need them.

As a tire dealer and nearly life long resident in eastern Oregon I would like to comment on this debate. Often we continue to do things just because we have always done it that way. Personally I have never owned studded tires. I have nearly always owned a 4WD vehicle and never felt the need for studs. That said, the advances in tire tech over the past even 10 years have made studs as out dated as a TV with no remote control! Several tire manufacturer’s world wide have brought to market new technology that far surpasses the results of nearly every studded tire. 3-D sipping, Rubber compounds that get more grip the colder it gets, Silica glass embedded in the rubber, just to name a few. Lots of you remember the walnut shell and sawdust tires back in the day, Silica performs the same way. Here in Pendleton we get a 114″to 112″ ice storm every few years, we had one New Years Day 2013. I was out on the paved roads of Umatilla county and it was SLICK. My 4WD 112ton pick up wears a set of Nokian Rotiiva tires made in Finland. I was amazed at how well I got around – I could honestly tell the difference. Met a friend who was running new studded tires on his 4WD 112ton pickup and he was not doing any better than I was.

Second point to running non studded tires designed to run all year long is, saving the cost of winter and spring change overs, or buying a second set of wheels, let alone the hours spend with your car in the long lines for change over because everyone else picked the same day to have their tires swapped. I have over several years challenged customers to try a studdable tire un-studded and if they felt that they did not get around just as well without studs bring them back and I would stud them for free. I have never studded even one of those tires.

All things change over time with technology. Let’s let the tire industry advance as well. Here is a great example: When I was in high school in the mid 70’s no one had a cell phone, let alone one that could access the internet or adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere.

Change can be good.

If anyone has questions look me up on your cell phone and give me a call, I’ll be happy to answer anything I can.

Scott Sullivan
Pendleton Tire Factory
Pendleton, Oregon

3 Bills proposed in 2013 Oregon Legislative Session to Fee Studded Tires

Three bills are being proposed during the 2013 Legislative Session to regulate and/or fee studded tire use.

These comments rate the effectiveness of these attempts to put the cost of studded tire damage on the persons responsible for these burdensome costs.  State law requires that people who compromise our roads pay for any damage they’re responsible for.  This law has never been enforced due to special interest (Les Schwab & the NW Tire Dealers Assoc.) influencing legislators and blocking attempts to fee or ban studded tires.

House Bill 2277
Directs the Oregon Department of Transportation to determine biennially the amount of damage from the use of studded tires and the number of drivers using them, requires a permit to use studded tires which bears  the cost, and creates a traffic offense of operating motor vehicle with studded tires without a permit, punishable by a maximum fine of $500.
Sponsors: Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland

Pros:  This has the potential make users pay if ODOT realistically asseses the true cost of studded tire damage.  In conversations with Lucy Moore, head of ODOT’s Maintenance she told me it’s probably “$500,000,000 in damage every year”.  If they use the “we repair $11 million in damage every year”, that’s not the costs, that just what they spend.  ODOT has backlogged over a billion dollars in studded tire damaged road maintenance.  The system could be as simple as the snow-park permit.

Con: It doesn’t address the lack of necessity for studded tires most of the 5 months they are in use.  Drivers from out of state wouldn’t pay, yet their studs damage our roads too.

Conclusion: Of the three bills this has the greatest potential to make studded tire users pay for the damage they cause and reduce the use of the studded tires.

House Bill 2278
Imposes a per tire $10 fee, collected by tire dealers when they sell a new tire with studs or install studs in a tire.  The bill doesn’t apply to retractable studded tires.
Sponsors: Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland; Rep. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland; and Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton.

Pro: At least studded tire users are being forced to pay something.

Con: The charge is inadequate to  cover damage nor deter purchases. Does not charge the people who currently have studded tires.  Drivers can buy studs in border states or used tire on Craigslist and not pay the state fee.   Drivers from out of state wouldn’t pay, yet their studs damage our roads too.  Out-of-state truckers pay for using our roads and so should studded tire users. Retractable studded tires should be included in the bill.  Once you’ve paid the fee, you feel entitled to continue to use your studded tires, whereas with a yearly fee you may decide in the 2nd year studs aren’t really necessary.

Conclusion:  This bill has too many drawbacks to even be considered.

House Bill 2397
Imposes a fee, collected by tire dealers when they sell a new tire with studs or install studs in a tire. Amount of fee is to be determined during the session.  The bill would not apply to retractable studded tires.
Sponsors: Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie; Rep. Jules Bailey, D-Portland; Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland; Rep. Chris Harker, D-Beaverton; Rep. Paul Holvey, D-Eugene; Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland.

Pro: At least studded tire users are being asked to pay something. If the fee were $300 or $400 (the cost of studless tires) then it has potential to incentivize drivers to choose something other than road damaging studded tires.

Con: Does not charge the people who currently have studded tires.  One could buy studs in border states or used studded tires on Craigslist and avoid paying the state fee.  Drivers from out-of- state wouldn’t pay, yet their studs damage our roads too.  Retractable studded tires are studded tires and should be included in the bill.

Conclusion:      Overtime, and with a realistic fee, this bill would address some of the issues regarding damage from studded tires and the cost to repair the roads.

In Summary the best solution is to ban studded tires and force users to switch to modern studless snow and ice tires.  They have proven to outperform studded tires in a wider range of winter driving conditions without the road damage and the safety issues regarding rutted roads.
Your support is important please write you legislator and tell them how you feel about studded tire use in Oregon.
Thanks for your support
Jeff Bernards

Spokane Editorial Board Recommends Banning Studded Tires

In a city that gets more Snow & Ice, than most of Oregon. the Spokesman-Review editorial board recommends that Studded tires be banned.  With shrinking road maintenance money available, it’s time to protect our valuable infrastructure, it’s past time.  Special interest, mainly Les Schwab and the NW Tire Dealers Association have allowed their unsustainable business model to be continually subsidized by the public.  Not only do studded tires cut road life in half, roughed up &  rutted roads cut tire life for all of us.  It’s time to send these special interest businesses a message by BOYCOTTING LES SCHWAB & WRITE YOUR LEGISLATOR and tell them you want this crucial issue resolved.

Read the Spokesman-Review story HERE