White House opens door to tolls on interstate highways

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 10, 2013
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, removing long-standing prohibition.

With pressure mounting to avert a transportation funding crisis this summer, the Obama administration Tuesday opened the door for states to collect tolls on interstate highways to raise revenue for roadway repairs.

The proposal, contained in a four-year, $302 billion White House transportation bill, would reverse a long-standing federal prohibition on most interstate tolling.


Though some older segments of the network — notably the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes and Interstate 95 in Maryland and Interstate 495 in Virginia — are toll roads, most of the 46,876-mile system has been toll-free.

“We believe that this is an area where the states have to make their own decisions,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We want to open the aperture, if you will, to allow more states to choose to make broader use of tolling, to have that option available.”
you are now free to move around the country,,,,,,,as long as you pay the appropriate toll :mad:
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
1,061
Raising the gas tax is a better idea than this…. And considering the administration wants more fuel efficient cars on the road, it's a win-win there.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,008
16,453
The Misty Mountains
Raising the gas tax is a better idea than this…. And considering the administration wants more fuel efficient cars on the road, it's a win-win there.
Your idea definitely has the potential to raise more revenue. That's why I could see the GOP being against it. They seem to be against revenue if it goes to the government.
 

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,006
11,823
you are now free to move around the country,,,,,,,as long as you pay the appropriate toll :mad:
I'm on both sides of the fence for this.

Recently, I took a flight to Oklahoma City to get to my grandmother's 80th birthday party. The party was in Hugo, Oklahoma. From OKC, the quickest route to Hugo was to take I-40 east to Henryetta, then the Indian Nation Turnpike south to Hugo.

Alternatively for my parents coming down from Omaha, they had to take I-29 south to Kansas City, to US-71 South (now I-49) to Joplin, then I-44 to Tulsa, to US-75 south to Henryetta, then the Indian Nation Turnpike. Hugo is the last exit on the Indian Nation Turnpike.

Now, and even my wife pointed this out (keep in mind, she's blind), that the stretch of I-40 from OKC to Henryetta was the worst kept stretch of road she had ever been on. The holes in the road, lack of maintenance, patching, etc., was atrocious; she has never been one to get carsick, and this came close for her. By contrast, the Indian Nation Turnpike was the smoothest out of that entire ride. Well kept, and very smooth. She tends to sleep on car rides, even on short distances. I-40 kept her awake. The turnpike did not.

The same was said about my parent's drive, as I-44 is the Will Rogers Turnpike. Smooth as a baby's bum once they hit it going towards the OK/MO state line.

My point: as much as toll roads suck, as you pay for its use, the money taken from it does go back into the maintenance of the road, and you do see and feel the results.

On a side note, I would LOVE to see Route 66 get revived. After being on it so many times without realizing it, I think it would have been cool to see how it looked in its heyday. Having been through Joplin, Sapaulpa, OKC, Kingman, Flagstaff, Seligman, Oatman, and Barstow so many times and not realizing what I was on, seeing the history of it, let alone having the chance to actually drive it would be really cool.

BL.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
10
NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
you are now free to move around the country,,,,,,,as long as you pay the appropriate toll :mad:
You still are, but the problem is that the gas tax isn't covering the bills to keep these interstates going, more money needs to be brought in to keep these roads paved and safe.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,140
13,983
It's blatantly obvious that something needs to be restructured as far as funding our infrastructure is concerned. Our infrastructure is on the verge of collapse, because we've refused to fund it adequately. The USA has deferred maintenance for so long that its going to cost us big time now, the further it's put off the more expensive it becomes.

Why the hell have we been ignoring the obvious for 30+ years? I find it odd that the Baby Boomers were the ones that did all the can kicking, but are now outraged at the effects of their own voting and self interest. Thanks for the nearly third world infrastructure guys, I'm sure while we're climbing out of our mountain of student debt (again because the religion of Reaganomics we've been following for 30+ years, regardless of the makeup of Congress or the White House, refusing to invest in the youth and education adequately) that we'll be able to rebuild the country, and your nursing home costs.

But hey, I'm the self interested and lazy generation that caused all of this right?
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
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Shady Dale, Georgia

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 10, 2013
681
38,913
Criminal Mexi Midget
It's blatantly obvious that something needs to be restructured as far as funding our infrastructure is concerned. Our infrastructure is on the verge of collapse, because we've refused to fund it adequately. The USA has deferred maintenance for so long that its going to cost us big time now, the further it's put off the more expensive it becomes.

Why the hell have we been ignoring the obvious for 30+ years? I find it odd that the Baby Boomers were the ones that did all the can kicking, but are now outraged at the effects of their own voting and self interest. Thanks for the nearly third world infrastructure guys, I'm sure while we're climbing out of our mountain of student debt (again because the religion of Reaganomics we've been following for 30+ years, regardless of the makeup of Congress or the White House, refusing to invest in the youth and education adequately) that we'll be able to rebuild the country, and your nursing home costs.

But hey, I'm the self interested and lazy generation that caused all of this right?
http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisconover/2013/01/08/mr-president-we-do-have-a-spending-problem/


Obama ****we Don't have a spending problem ****

WHY the hell is raising taxes the only "option" presented? lets end the freaking wars, why are we still giving foreign aid to other nations?
 

hallux

macrumors 68030
Apr 25, 2012
2,774
485
Here in NY, The Thruway (I-90 E/W and I-87 N/S from Albany to NYC) was supposed to be toll-free MANY years ago. We're STILL paying tolls on it, it costs $5.00+ for a passenger vehicle to get from Albany to almost NYC, or Albany to Rochester. To make matters worse, the Erie Canal is run by the NYS Thruway Authority, but doesn't bring in enough to cover its own costs so our tolls from the highway pay for upkeep on the canal.

They've done A LOT of work to it in the last few years but there are bridges that are just outdated and it'd be nice to have it toll-free but the tolls just keep going up.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
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zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
488
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United Kingdom
http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisconover/2013/01/08/mr-president-we-do-have-a-spending-problem/


Obama ****we Don't have a spending problem ****

WHY the hell is raising taxes the only "option" presented? lets end the freaking wars, why are we still giving foreign aid to other nations?
You don't have a spending problem. Government expenditure in the U.S. ranks way below average for OECD countries. Tax revenue, however, also ranks way below average.

You have a revenue problem, given that I can't think of any spending you could reasonably cut at this moment without stripping your Government to its bare-bones. Except the defence budget, of course, you could save hundreds of billions there.
 

jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 10, 2013
681
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You don't have a spending problem. Government expenditure in the U.S. ranks way below average for OECD countries. Tax revenue, however, also ranks way below average.

You have a revenue problem, given that I can't think of any spending you could reasonably cut at this moment without stripping your Government to its bare-bones. Except the defence budget, of course, you could save hundreds of billions there.
more than happy to kill it.:D
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,538
7,787
CT
Here is the problem, we are supposed to spend the gas tax on roads. But then they decide that the money would work better in the general fund so the roads don't get fixed. We used to have tolls in CT until there was a horrible fiery crash as a truck barreled through the toll and people were killed. Since then every attempt has been shot down. Plus traffic is bad enough as it is.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,140
13,983
http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisconover/2013/01/08/mr-president-we-do-have-a-spending-problem/


Obama ****we Don't have a spending problem ****

WHY the hell is raising taxes the only "option" presented? lets end the freaking wars, why are we still giving foreign aid to other nations?
I agree fully, especially considering that our "aid" is almost entirely just giving countries money to buy our weapons. Employment programs for the last major manufacturing industry in America.

----------

Here is the problem, we are supposed to spend the gas tax on roads. But then they decide that the money would work better in the general fund so the roads don't get fixed. We used to have tolls in CT until there was a horrible fiery crash as a truck barreled through the toll and people were killed. Since then every attempt has been shot down. Plus traffic is bad enough as it is.
Which is why I'm glad for the Busway. As much as it's ridiculously overpriced, anything that will nudge our residents into mass transit is a welcome change in perspective.
 

FrankieTDouglas

macrumors 65816
Mar 10, 2005
1,489
1,954
What do you mean, opens the door to the idea? Has anyone ever driven through Ohio...

or Indiana...

or Illinois...

or Massachusetts...

or Delaware...

or New York...

or Maine...

or New Hampshire...

or Maryland...

or Connecticut...

or West Virginia...

or Washington...

or Texas...

or New Jersey...

or Pennsylvania...

or California...

That's off the top of my head, the states I've paid tolls in while driving on the interstate. A road trip across the country factors in an extra hundred dollars just in tolls. The best part is none of these toll booths accept credit cards, so if you're caught by surprise at one, suddenly you're getting a $25 bill for a $1 toll in the mail, due to "processing fee."

Has no one ever driven in another country? Canada's roads are horrible. Ireland? Atrocious! UK? France? America's roads are so vastly superior in my experience. But you know what benefit they get in place of horrible roads? Single payer healthcare. On a recent trip to Winnipeg, while talking about the road system across western Canada, this was eloquently pointed out to me: "We have ****** roads, because our money goes to making sure we have healthcare."

So if the idea is now to propose even more tolls on the interstate, while we still do NOT have a national healthcare plan, then **** that. It's a double shaft with no true efficiency.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,140
13,983
On the positive side, Georgia has no toll roads. Not a one. We have the Peach Pass Lane and we have a few toll bridges but not a single road with a toll on it.
So that explains some of why your state is so mismanaged financially that is takes more from the federal government than it pays. ;)
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
So that explains some of why your state is so mismanaged financially that is takes more from the federal government than it pays. ;)
Could be. Truthfully, Georgia has improved a lot since 2003. It does have quite a ways to go but it is making progress. Don't tell my neighbors but I was born in Akron. I escaped during the Celeste Administration.