In response to a proposed plan to toll existing interstates, an organization known as the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates, which describes itself as “a coalition of individuals, businesses and organizations working to maintain the longstanding policy of protecting existing interstates from new tolls” has come down quite forcibly against the concept.
In a statement from Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates spokesman Julian Walker, in response to the re-release of the GROW AMERICA plan by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the group noted:
“The recycled plan to lift the ban on tolling existing interstates has aged horribly in the year since it was first offered. Tolling interstate lanes which drivers now freely access is an inefficient financing mechanism that is the worst possible approach to raising transportation revenue.
“The idea has already been rejected by lawmakers, the public, and community leaders in the few states with a federal exception to the tolling prohibition. Tolls also divert heavy highway traffic onto secondary streets, which leads to premature road breakdown that costs local taxpayers, and they endanger public safety when rescue workers are delayed in responding to emergencies.
“This plan would also let states redirect toll revenues to completely unrelated projects, abusing public trust and exploiting highway drivers with a tax on interstates to pay for trolleys, public transit, and unspecified environmental projects, all without solving the transportation funding problem.”