North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory should direct the state Department of Transportation to withdraw its application to toll Interstate 95 under a federal pilot program and put the tolling idea permanently to rest, Scott Aman, president and CEO of New Dixie Oil Corp., said in a recent op-ed in the "Fayetteville Observer," published June 5. Aman also serves on the board of the No Tolls I-95 Coalition.
As the letter points out, although the N.C. House has passed legislation that requires NCDOT to provide the same number of toll-free general purpose lanes that existed prior to any implementation of tolls, the governor doesn't need to rely on the General Assembly to stop the tolling initiative. Gov. McCrory has the authority to direct the DOT to simply withdraw its participation from the federal pilot program.
"Gov. McCrory could make good on his campaign promise today if he wanted to, and relieve the concerns of all North Carolinians who recognize the pitfalls of tolls on this important interstate," Aman wrote. "At a time when the governor has made promoting business, jobs and tourism priorities of his administration, establishing tolling facilities on I-95 would counter all of his efforts. North Carolina should be raising the welcome sign to businesses and tourists, not raising a stop sign that sends the message that North Carolina is closed for business and visitors."
To date, more than 5,500 individuals have signed an online petition to oppose the tolls, and 20 local governments have passed resolutions against the plan.
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