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For Whom the Road Tolls 8.7.12
For Whom the Road Tolls
Governor Bob McDonnell is proposing to toll I-95 near the North Carolina border.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) estimates I-95 serves 45% of Virginia's population. Its briefing material describes I-95 as the "economic backbone of Virginia" and "connect(ing) Virginia to the world's largest economy."
VDOT estimates about 70% of travelers on this stretch will be from out-of-state. While requiring non-Virginians to pay more for using our highways is fair, at $4.00 per trip for those Virginians using this I-95 stretch the additional cost could exceed $1,000 per year.
Projected I-95 needs over the next 25 years total $12.1 billion; projected available revenues only $2.5 billion. At an estimated $35-$40 million per year in tolls (or $875 million to $1 billion over 25 years) the gap remains large.
For more information on this proposal, click here.
Tolls would be much more legitimate (and more reasonably priced) if part of a more comprehensive, broader-based effort requiring all Virginians to pay a more equitable share of maintaining the transportation network they use and building the transportation network they need.
This is another example (along with the Dulles Toll Road) of an extraordinary financial toll being placed on a few, while the majority of Virginians continue to "ride" for free and the majority of Virginia's surface transportation network continues to become more congested and in a greater state of disrepair.
The I-95 Corridor Benefits Most Virginians
Why Make Only a Few Pay for Its Improvement?