In testimony this week on Capitol Hill the states' highway lobby AASHTO (Association of American State Highway and Transportation Officials) argued against Senator Frank Lautenburg's so-called Commuter Protection Act, S2006.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's ventures in surface transportation are entangling it deeper in local controversy. The major county government involved, Fairfax County is now divided over the huge tolls that MWAA says are needed to provide the bulk of the funding for a new $5 billion rail transit line.
The county board this week deferred a vote when speaker after speaker attacked the MWAA funding plan which could see tolls on the 12 mile Dulles Toll Road go from $2.25 to $4.50 next year and $6.75 by 2018.
Britain's prime minister (PM) David Cameron said in a major speech on infrastructure that tolls are the only way Britain can add to motorway (M) and trunk road (A) capacity. The immediate project to be toll-financed is a new A14 motorway.
Senate negotiators traded off pro- and anti-toll amendments in gaining a majority for S1813, the stopgap bill that reauthorizes bloated federal highway and transit handouts based on a diminishing stream of gasoline tax collections and a whole array of budgetary accounting gimmicks and wishful thinking.
Tolls subject of conflicting amendments in US Congress - state rights tolling coalition calls for political actionBy Peter Samuel on February 15, 2012
Patrick Forrest, a leading Republican candidate for the Virginia state Senate is making tolls on the Dulles Toll Road (DTR) his major campaign issue, and he has endorsed a website and a petition no17tolls.com - a take on a projected $17 round-trip toll within five years. The roundtrip toll now is $4.00 (2 mainline toll plaza tolls of $1.25 and 2 x 75c ramp tolls or Greenway collected end-toll).
US secretary of transportation Ray LaHood (Dem) and US House of Representatives transport committee chair John Mica (Repub) are both out of touch with public opinion in their hostility to use of tolls to rebuild interstates and relieve congestion - according to surveys by the big Kansas City based engineering firm HNTB.
Declaring gas tax financing of roads "not sustainable" the Florida secretary of transportation Ananth Prasad said recently that tolls will be the first choice for financing all new capacity and doing major bridge replacements in Florida.
Virginia and federal officials are discussing a US Government permit for tolls along the length of I-95 from the Potomac River in Alexandria south to the North Carolina border. A preliminary application was submitted by Virginia in January for tolls on VA/I-95 under the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation pilot program.
The Providence Journal reports that Rhode Island DOT are not discouraged from plans for tolling I-95 in that state by remarks from US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Dana Nolfe chief spokesman for the DOT said Governor Chafee's plan fits the reconstruction provisions of current law on tolling the interstates.