The Oregonian Editorial Board reversed their support for a studded tire ban in today’s paper:

An effort to place a studded-tire ban on the November ballot fizzled last week, when backers failed to turn in enough signatures by the state’s filing deadline. Unfortunately, a fight could be looming anyway, as the man behind the proposed ban says he’ll bring the matter to the Legislature, which has turned aside numerous such attempts in the past.

Here’s hoping for legislative consistency.

Essentially the Op Ed says that studded tire users should get a little more traction a couple days a year, while we have to hydroplane in ruts year round. Something doesn’t seem right about that.

I asked Lucy Moore, ODOT’s maintenance person, about the accuracy of the $40 million damage estimate,  her response was that it’s probably closer to $500 million.

If the cost were so low, wouldn’t ODOT’s $4 billion annual budget afford the fixing of studded tire ruts. That’s only 1% of the budget, there shouldn’t be any ruts if they are following through with that level of maintenance.

The Oregonian Editorial Board wants to maintain the status quo–a system that is highly unfair for the 84% of us who do not use studded tires.  The 16% of drivers that use studded tires need to to pay for the undue burden they cause to our roadways, just as truckers pay for their impact via a Weight-Mileage tax.  It’s time studded tire users pay their way.

Senator Ted Ferrioli of Baker and Eastern Oregon uses stud-less snow tires to attend session in January, he thinks they work fine.

Les Schwab’s business interest is behind the failure of the Legislature to act on this issue. A Les Schwab tire dealer chaired the Transportation Committee that failed to act on the proposed inadequate point of sale fee of $12.

One studded tire chews up a half to three quarters of a ton of asphalt over it’s life.  Studded tire use in Portland cuts our road life in half.  Studded tire use poses serious environmental hazards, spewing asphalt dust into our lungs.  We cannot afford these environmental impacts any longer.

Before Bend Bulletin’s Erik Lukens was hired as as the Oregonian’s new Editorial Page Editor, the Editorial Board endorsed our Initiative.

I spoke at the Democrats of Deschutes County meeting, 80% of the room wanted studded tires banned. I gathered signatures in Bend too, I got 75 signatures at an event only 2 people wouldn’t sign. I gathered 3000 signatures myself and talked with lots of people, the vast majority want studded tires banned. The residents of Deschutes county care about our infrastructure.

Please comment on the article with your take on the issue.