Merritt Paulson, left, is among some in Oregon advocating for congestion pricing and tolls to help ease traffic in Portland and elsewhere.

Merritt Paulson, left, is among some in Oregon advocating for congestion pricing and tolls to help ease traffic in Portland and elsewhere.

Brad Loper/AP

Oregon lawmakers are considering an $8.2 billion transportation package that would include major infrastructure projects, repairs and projects to ease gridlock.

Merritt Paulson owns Peregrine Sports, which owns the Portland Timbers and the Portland Thorns.

He’s come out in favor of a topic only tangentially related to soccer — traffic and congestion pricing in Oregon’s largest city.

Paulson spoke to OPB host John Notarianni about how putting a cost on car use during peak traffic hours can encourage more transit use and reduce gridlock.

“My concern has nothing to do with my business. It starts with a global concern about carbon emissions. I’m certainly an Oregonian native and I care about this state and this city,” Paulson said.

“I want to be part of a solution and when you look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C., and federally, I think the onus is on regions and states to take the lead on carbon emission reduction,” he said.

Listen to the full conversation by clicking play in the audio player at the top of this article.