Responding to a recent commentary discussing the growing backlash against the Virginia Department of Transportation's plans to toll Interstate 95, the Partnership to Save Highway Communities said that opposition is growing for good reason. Tolling I-95 won't just cost drivers more--it will have a ripple effect on residents, businesses and localities.
Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell recently suggested that "if you don’t want to pay a toll, don’t use 95.”
Many drivers will likely take the governor's advice, and the resulting traffic diversion away from I-95 will cause big problems. Residents who use area secondary roads or I-85, I-81 and 301 should expect greater road congestion and more accidents. Localities will spend millions of dollars more in road repair.
Travel plazas, truckstops, c-stores and restaurants near I-95 exits will see fewer interstate customers; all businesses who receive deliveries via I-95 will pay higher transportation costs.
Raising revenue for transportation is critical to the economic vitality of the Commonwealth, the Partnership said, but tolling I-95 will only serve to further Virginia’s transportation problems, not solve them.
Opposition to the I-95 tolling plan continues to mount, with the leaders of six Virginia counties and towns voicing their disagreement at a press conference last week.
This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
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