2013-01-28: A sweeping bill to put tolls on Connecticut highways has been filed in the Connecticut state house. HB5125 is elegant in its simplicity. Titled "An Act Establishing Tolls on Connecticut Highways" it provides "That the general statutes be amended to establish tolls on Connecticut's highways."
2013-01-25: North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) say they have agreed with TxDOT on the general terms of cooperation for working together on the extension of Texas State Route 360 (TX360) as a tollroad from I-20 in Tarrant County about 10 miles south to US287 just inside Ellis County.
2013-01-24: The Pennsylvania Turnpike is being hit by some negative local media reports. At the weekend the Pittsburgh Tribune Review carried a report of poor planning leading to demolition of six bridges less than 20 years old. One mere 13 year old span was demo'ed in 2010.
The demolition of bridges that are designed for a life of about 75 years was made necessary by third laning - a project whose plans date back to 1997.
Focus groups in Washington DC metro area show support for toll express lanes network, strong opposition to VMT charges
Focus group discussions conducted for the National Capital Region transport planning board (TPB) show deep and wide public opposition to any mileage based road charges but clear support for networks of premium service toll lanes in existing highways. The report titled "What do people think about congestion pricing?" was released today.
2013-01-22: Gothenburg, second city of Sweden (metro pop 900k) began a central area cordon toll January 2. The toll is levied for motor vehicles entering and exiting the city center between 6am and 6:30pm workdays, the charges being 8Kr, 13Kr or 18Kr (@15c/Krona this is $1.20, $1.95 and $2.70.
2013-01-22: There's a disconnect between public officials and the public over tolls. Poll after poll after public opinion poll shows tolls are the most politically acceptable way of paying for major road improvements. Yet politicians, reporters, and lobbyists hardly even consider it. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell even managed in his recent proposal for road financing with a 16% hike in the state sales tax not to mention tolls once.
Reduced shoulders and more but narrower lanes are analyzed by transport economists Kenneth Small and Chen Feng Ng (Small & Ng) in the latest issue of "Access" magazine (Fall 2012, #41). They look at a typical 40 foot wide roadway which AASHTO standards suggest is good for two 12' travel lanes, and shoulders rightside of 10' and leftside 6'.
Varied toll rates on select corridors raise more revenue and manage traffic better than flat VMT toll - modeling of LA traffic
2013-01-18: Modeling by a CDMSmith/Parsons Brinckerhoff team for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) suggests that congestion in the greater Los Angeles area will be effectively reduced and toll revenues maximized with a combination of (1) regionwide variable tolls (2) premium service on a limited or 'strategic' network of toll express lanes (3) downtown cordon pricing including the 'box' of freeways around the central business district.
Dulles Greenway on books as a net liability to Macquarie of $490m - would they pay the state to take it? SILLY ACCOUNTING
2013-01-17: Accountants, accountants, what troublesome $#s they crunch! The latest balance sheet of TRIP II, the Macquarie owned holding company for the Dulles Greenway tollroad shows total liabilities of $1,018m (rounding to the nearest $m) versus total assets of $528m. It's net worth is therefore minus $490m.
2013-01-16: A bill just introduced in the Maryland state Senate requires the Maryland (Toll) Transportation Authority (MdTA) to start the EIS process of studies, outreach, planning and permits needed for a new Chesapeake Bay bridge. The bill SB0093 is introduced by the Minority (Republican) Leader of the state Senate E J PIpkin and other eastern shore delegates.