The Alliance for Toll Free Interstates (ATFI) held the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) in check this week after the group issued a misleading statement aimed at steering Congressional highway discussions toward tolling.
After Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and 11 former transportation chiefs issued a letter to Congress calling for a long-term solution to funding national infrastructure, IBTTA issued a statement saying it "joined" Foxx in his "gutsty" call for solutions. The statement was aimed at making readers think that the letter was an endorsement for the group's pro-tolling position.
ATFI, of which NATSO is a founding member, sharply criticized IBTTA in a statement saying, "While Monday’s letter from Secretary Anthony Foxx and 11 former transportation secretaries is a reminder of the need for compromise on this critical issue, it is not an endorsement of the widely-panned White House proposal to broaden states’ authority to place new tolls on existing interstates, despite attempts by a pro-tolling group to portray the letter as such.
"Removing longstanding barriers to interstate tolling isn’t gutsy, to the contrary, it’s a cowardly, pass the buck idea presented by the president that has found no traction in Congress and has been rejected time and again by states,” ATFI said.
The transportation secretaries make it clear in their letter, which never uses the word toll, that they differ on the right solutions but agree that short-term measures do little to fix the nation’s transportation funding shortfalls.
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