The anti-toll opposition's naive notion of 'ring fencing' a new fuel tax – the sad American experience: An op-ed for a S African newspaperBy Peter Samuel on August 26, 2012
2012-08-26: An op-ed written for a South African newspaper, by Peter Samuel: Many critics of tolls simply don't want to pay for a using a road. They want a free ride.
There is an especially misleading, ill-informed and - if we might editorialize - plain stoopid editorial on HOT lanes and tolling in The Washington Times November 1. Addressed to Virginia voters it attacks the McDonnell administration for "sticking stubbornly by its unpopular decision to convert Interstate 95 into one big toll road."
It cites a Quinnipiac University survey that, it says, found 52 percent of Virginias who "don’t want tolls."
Paul Mulshine, a columnist of the Newark Star-Ledger declared recently that all freedom loving people hate tolls. He claims that an anti-toll spirit is reflected in a 1975 trucker folk song by CW McCall called "Convoy" in which a trucker on the west coast decides to "put the hammer down" - accelerate away from the cops rather than pull over.
There are solid arguments that financing of a new rail line in the median of Dulles Toll Road with toll revenues is bad public policy. The area of northern Virginia beyond Tysons Corner is predominantly automobile-country with dispersed workplaces, and suburban houses. And it's prosperous enough for every adult to own their car.
The US House transportation committee's 'Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009' (STAA2009) released today proposes a heavy hit on tolling, road pricing and traffic management. It would revoke four longstanding federal legal authorities for tolling while providing general authority to control toll projects at a new "Office of Public Benefit" within FHWA.
STAA2009 would terminate:
We've at last obtained copies of the text of two mystery bills on tollroad concessions introduced in the US Senate six days ago (April 23) and greeted with loud applause by Washington DC trucker lobby groups, although neither of the senators sponsoring the bills - Jeff Bingaman (Dem NM), Chuck Grassley (Rep IO) had made any statement until mid-morning today.
Also the mystery tollroad bills were not listed in legislation sponsored by either senator on their websites.