Gary Langston, President of the Indiana Motor Truck Association, urged Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb to remove consideration of tolling from all of Indiana's Interstates just as he did for I-465.
In an editorial published in the IndyStar, Langston questioned why citizens in Seymour, Lafayette, Ft Wayne, Terre Haute, Evansville, Columbus, or Richmond, Ind., should pay tolls when the people of Indianapolis or North West Indiana won’t?
The Governor earlier this year said that tolling shouldn't be considered around the Indianapolis loop.
"It’s refreshing to see the governor step in and boldly take tolling off the table around the loop in Indianapolis. The challenge now facing Holcomb will be how he answers to other Hoosiers when they ask him why the people of Indianapolis are special and they aren’t," Langston wrote.
"Placing tolls on roads that already exist today is inefficient, dangerous, expensive and widely unpopular with Hoosiers. Gov. Holcomb ... [is] correct in saying so. We should demand no less of all our elected officials and that the governor expand his correctly placed prohibition of tolling I-465 to every Indiana interstate."
IDOT on Nov. 1 issued a feasibility study that claimed the state could raise up to $53 billion by tolling six other major Interstates.
The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates, of which NATSO is a founding member, sharply criticized INDOT for issuing a tolling feasibility study that presented a misleading and unrealistic outlook for Indiana’s potential use of tolls.
The study, which was ordered by the Indiana General Assembly, makes estimates that assume federal approval for tolling programs and touts inflated revenue projections that exclude hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for construction, collection, enforcement and insurance of toll gantries.
Furthermore, the economic impacts calculated for a potential statewide tolling program fails to account for the loss of business and opportunity costs of higher transportation costs, and ignores the cost of traffic diversion around communities where tolls would be located. The study assumes that up to 22 percent of traffic will divert off of the toll roads, which means more crashes, congestion on local roads, higher maintenance costs, delayed first responders and other harmful consequences for these communities.
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