Author Topic: Problems with Tolls?  (Read 4076 times)

CSX_CO

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Problems with Tolls?
« on: December 29, 2016, 01:01:51 PM »
Having partially grown up in N Illinois, I don't understand the consternation with tolls?  Chicagoland has quite a few toll roads around the city. RFID technology has made paying tolls much more efficient.

There was a HUGE uproar when they rumored that I-69 was going to be built as a toll road.

I see the same uproar over bridges into Louisville going to a toll system.

So, why the uproar?  Is it because the users of the roads are directly paying for use of the road?  Rather than having that money taken in a gas tax (which will be going up) and spread all over?

We all require roads for our economy.  Younger generations are shunning automobiles.  So there is a loss of registration fees.  More fuel efficient cars don't use the gas we once did.  The balance will need to be made up.

So why not put the burden of upkeep on those using the roads?  I'd be more than happy to pay for an interstate if it meant my user fees went to that road. Too often the Federal gas taxes go to build a freeway in some far away state, while our local roads suffer.

IndyHog

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2016, 01:56:15 PM »
I too have no problem with tolls. In parts of the US they have been a part of life for a long time. To me it only makes sense that someone who uses a road should pay for it's construction and use. Maybe some roads out west would fall by the wayside but we can't keep subsidzing long stretches of unused highway. With all the hybrids, electric and high gas mileage cars the current funding process just doesn't work. Higher gas taxes will fall disproportionately on the people with gas guzzlers while the guy with the Tesla pays nothing. We have the technology to toll every road out there without the toll booths of yesterday, shouldn't we do it more. The only downside is the bloated Toll Authorities that oversee the toll roads. Might even help the railroads out.
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Rick

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2016, 04:40:57 PM »
Thanks for starting a new thread.  The other was getting way off track.  No problem with tolls from me.  I'll pay .60 to shave 15 minutes off my drive.  It's only a couple bucks to get from my place to either state line and shaves quite a bit of time


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SankyInbound

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 07:11:04 PM »
I think most citizens issue with a NEW toll is the fact that there are more cars and trucks on the roads today thus more revenue should be generated by the registration and fuel taxes.  Anyone that wants to argue that point needs to stop at any truck stop or rest area during lunch time.  Also consider how many parking garages, parking lots, parking spaces, truck stops, and gas stations have been torn down or eliminated in your local shopping or working areas over the last 10 years, probably not many.  More parking is always an issue in ANY metro area and more truck parking and new truck stops have been springing up too. 

Take a look at your receipt from getting your plates renewed for a regular automobile and see what percentage of that is all tax, not to mention all the other tax that a person and corporations pay and it seems like there is some serious mismanagement going on.  Then go get a tractor trailer, truck over 7,000 lbs, or any heavy commercial vehicle plated and prepare to get a personal loan, the state of Indiana will cut your plate fees in half if the truck is for farm use, but it's still high if you ask me.   

I used to have a motorcycle and Indiana charges a $20 wheel tax for the bike, same as my truck.  Doesn't make sense, I only had half the wheels on the bike, used half the road, and was 1/16th the weight of your typical three quarter ton 4x4 truck, why does a motorcycle have to pay the $20 wheel tax then?  That wheel tax was introduced around 2004-2005 and I am sure it will never go away.  Think of all the revenue generated by adding $20 to each vehicle registration in the state, but I guess that still isn't enough.  The state is raking in money from fuel taxes, vehicle registrations, construction permits, oversized permits, traffic tickets, etc.  Mismanagement is the problem.  I bet construction jobs are bid with as much honesty as doing work for any other huge corporation where there are favorites and pockets padded and prices largely inflated, I mean after all, it isn't their money.  This I-69 project has been a prime example of lack of planning and management, building a road they state has no money to build.  Contractors walking off the job, no locked in plan for the final phase, all to maybe shave 25 minutes off the drive from Indy to Evansville.  I understand the road is expected to run all the way to Texas but it sounds like the states that it has to pass through to get there don't have the funding either. 

I have only driven the toll roads around Chicago a few times, but how is it safe and efficient to be cruising down a free way then all of the sudden you have to mash on the brakes, wait in traffic, pay a toll, and repeat this process while underway multiple times on the same freeway, who's bright idea was that?  Have a toll booth on the exit ramps like every other toll road.  And don't think that just because you are throwing your nickels at the toll both that each of them is going directly into the road you are getting ready to travel on, especially with the privatizing of the toll roads that has gone on here in Indiana...  That is a guaranteed revenue stream and they are making the dough and using it how they see fit, and getting what they think they can out of drivers.  Get online and run the toll calculator for a five axle class 7 truck 80,000 lbs or less, your standard tractor trailer, and see the revenue they are making off of every truck, that's a lot of dollar signs rolling down the toll road.  PA turnpike wants over $330 for a tractor trailer to cross the state, 443 miles, 75 cents a mile.  Seems high to me.
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trainmaster53

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2016, 07:30:35 PM »
As I stated on another sight. I have Family in Kentucky, who wants to know why we have to pay a Toll on a Federal Highway. They to want to know where the Tax Dollars is going for theses Highways. I think I once heard that History would Repeat its self. I have a Problem with being charged a Tax at the Pump and again when I get My License Plates. RIP OFF BIG TIME.

trafficcritic

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 09:46:07 AM »
I lived in Austin TX for 8 years.  Most of my experience with toll roads is in the Austin and Dallas areas.  Anyone who has been through ATX knows that I-35 is a clusterF#*& 6-lane parking lot through downtown during peak times.  A few years ago they built a new toll road to bypass Austin.  You can drive on the toll road without a transponder, and they will send you a bill in the mail to your registered address.  It cost about 5-6 bucks for cars. Anyone with half a brain cell who wants to get past Austin and cares anything about their time, vehicle wear & tear, and frustration, would gladly pay the toll to bypass the city traffic.

Except it's all backwards, they need to make I-35 the toll road and turn the current toll road into the freeway.  With all of the semi trucks and thru traffic that drives through downtown Austin to get between Dallas and Mexico, it would make the most sense to turn that portion of I-35 into a toll road and use those tolls to pay for the new bypass.  This would have worked to benefit EVERYONE, the users of both highways.

In 2016, Austin added a single dynamically tolled lane to both directions of MoPac (the highway cut in half by the UPRR through Austin), and I'm not sure how that debacle has turned out. Mopac was similar to I-35 with its rush hour parking lot characteristics. It probably still is, even with people paying tolls to use the express lane.  The higher the demand for the toll lane, the higher the toll.  This is one toll road that I haven't used yet, so I can't really opine on it yet.

Dallas turned part of I-635 into a double-deck, dual use tollway a couple years ago.  It has something like 6 lanes of express toll lanes situated above 6 lanes of local/untolled traffic, plus 6 lanes of frontage roads.  This has helped alleviate a severe bottleneck in north Dallas, but there are still major problems with traffic there.

I am in full support of toll roads and I believe I-69 to Evansville should have been built as a toll road.  I think the new US 31 through Kokomo should be a toll road as well.  But if you have driven on these new highways you know that while they look pretty, they weren't built to last, and are already falling apart in places.

They could've built all these new highways as toll roads, and used the leftover gas tax money to fix the crap roads and bridges that we had to begin with.  But with the cronyism and corruption in our state's incestuous pavement and asphalt lobby, we'll see pigs fly before a quality job gets done right the first time.

I'd like to see something like Rockville Road through Avon turned into a Keystone Avenue-type limited-access highway with tolls.  Get rid of all the stoplights and put in roundabout style exits at all the intersections.  I think most people would rather pay tolls than sit in stop & go traffic... This means they waste a lot less gasoline & time, and can put their money toward tolls instead.

trainmaster53

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 03:24:16 PM »
I would think that a lot of people have better things to spend money on, other than paying a toll to get somewhere. I for one have grand kids and a Great Grand Daughter that I would rather speed some money on. I think I spend enough on Gas Taxes and Wheel Taxes that I do Not need to Spend what little money I have on Tolls. I  like many are on a Limited Income.

CSXT contractor

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 06:31:23 PM »
As a boater I pay road tax on every gallon of gas I buy, even though there is zero chance my boat will ever hit the road.

trafficcritic

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 06:43:32 PM »
I would think that a lot of people have better things to spend money on, other than paying a toll to get somewhere. I for one have grand kids and a Great Grand Daughter that I would rather speed some money on. I think I spend enough on Gas Taxes and Wheel Taxes that I do Not need to Spend what little money I have on Tolls. I  like many are on a Limited Income.

I think just about everyone else including myself is in the same boat as you. No one would rather spend money on tolls than other necessities, but they are becoming a fact of life.  With every state government seeming to want to make up for budget deficits and shortfalls, they are having to come up with new ways to fund our sprawling road infrastructure.

In my opinion, having a toll for the new I-65 Louisville bridge is a scam.  The gas tax or Major Moves funding should have been used to make that new bridge.  However, the East End bridge (the one a few miles east of DT Louisville) should by all means be a toll road, since it is new terrain construction.

You can see I am pro-tolls if it is going to be new-terrain construction (ie. I-265 bridge) or complete overhauls of our existing roads (Keystone Ave/US 31/Carmel).  I am against raising gas taxes unless there is a guarantee they will fix all our crumbling roads.  I would have no problem paying $2 worth of tolls each way if it meant US 36 through western Marion and eastern Hendricks Counties was a limited access highway with no stoplights.  Just in gasoline alone and time savings, a toll would be well worth not having to put up with the crap out there now. We have to fund all these road projects somehow, and with the state seeming to be cash-strapped (although I hear we have billion dollar surplus), a toll road seems to be the only way to go nowadays.

These are just my opinions and only my opinions though.

trainmaster53

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 08:00:11 PM »
Only because We the People continue to let these State Officials Get By with this. We need to put a Stop to all off these Taxes that they the Government Officials in theses States keep adding on us.

SankyInbound

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2016, 11:04:17 PM »
States have no money coming in because in every town and city there was once large industrial employers in the area providing a good source of tax revenue through property taxes and trickle down economics...
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xgap

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2016, 01:22:35 AM »
Only because We the People continue to let these State Officials Get By with this. We need to put a Stop to all off these Taxes that they the Government Officials in theses States keep adding on us.
LOL, Looks like most voted the same folks back in at our Statehouse?

Yep, not enough revenue to maintain what we have, let alone build new. So tolls and other forms of a use tax will have to happen.
IMO, I69 Indy to Evansville which will include a new Ohio River TOLL bridge should have been put off until we fix some existing.
How's that I69 Northeast Indy Dragway running? And seems a minimum of a 6 lane I65 across the state is needed. But I would
prefer a Missouri  type parallel access road setup.
But Hey, down here most folks will gladly pay $2 for a ride on the 30 Years Too Late Bridges, I think they throw in the Tunnels for free. HNY!

mononradio

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2016, 01:43:48 PM »
If you look back over time, most of the "new" additions to the highway system parallel an already existing railroad corridor.
A perfect example is the "Hoosier Heartland Highway," Indiana 25.
It was supposedly built because the old 25 was unsafe (gravel trucks mostly).  But today, fatalities are still occurring on the old road, and based on my gut feeling, the new 25 is no safer, because of the at-grade intersections installed to save money.
In the past, the interstate system roughly followed existing railroad corridors.

As soon as a new highway is built, within a few short years, truckers start "finding it," and pretty soon the new highway is just as congested and full of potholes as the old ones.

While I am generally a rail advocate, it appears at least from the standpoint of freight, that railroads dropped the ball.
If there had been a decent effort to expand and modernize, such as eliminating or avoiding the Chicago gridlock, where it often took weeks to get a carload from one side of the city to another, not nearly as much freight would have been driven over to highways.

And pulling up industrial spurs or spiking switches all around the country because a business did not generate 100+ car loads at a time, did that turn out to be wise thinking?

One can make the argument that public investment, whether through tolls or taxes, has caused the demise of rail except for grain, coal, and chemicals.
Or one can argue that bad management and greed by railroads brought it on. 

SemperVaporo

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2016, 04:13:17 PM »
I have often thought that if you built a 4 lane superhighway from Noplace to Nowhere it would soon be clogged with traffic.  That line from "Field of Dreams" applies... "If you build it, they will come."
 
As for the Interstate system "following" the old rail routes... umm... they didn't just "follow" them, they built directly on the ROW after the tracks were removed and the land abandoned as a "cost saving measure" by the RRs.
 
I agree that the RRs mostly shot themselves in the foot by abandoning routes that had minimal traffic and in the process opened the door to other forms of transportation for that minimal, but constant, goods traffic.  The RRs may have saved some land taxes by the abandonments, but they also threw away a source of income (minimal or scant as it may have been).
 
I read words to the effect that the main business routes were making the big bucks and they could not be bothered with the poor revenue generated by the lines they were abandoning.
 
Seems to me there was a period during the bankruptcies and mergers that the RRs were scraping the bottom of the barrel for every dollar... dollars that the abandoned lines might have been generating for them.  And I see it still occurring today with RRs not wanting to bother with LCL or general freight or passenger service in the areas where the public is clamoring for it.
 
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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2016, 05:44:59 PM »
Just had family up from Kentucky.  They told me the southbound I-65 will not be toll but the northbound will be.  I for one am not going to pay for what has been a non toll bridge my whole life. I will either get off on old 31 (second street) and cross or smear the mud on the license plate and go.  They want tolls, they need to put in toll booths.

CSX_CO

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2016, 06:06:44 PM »
Just had family up from Kentucky.  They told me the southbound I-65 will not be toll but the northbound will be.  I for one am not going to pay for what has been a non toll bridge my whole life. I will either get off on old 31 (second street) and cross or smear the mud on the license plate and go.  They want tolls, they need to put in toll booths.

RFID technology eliminates the need for toll booths. Why on earth would anyone want more traffic delays while people stop and pay the toll?

IndyHog

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2016, 06:45:19 PM »
Just had family up from Kentucky.  They told me the southbound I-65 will not be toll but the northbound will be.  I for one am not going to pay for what has been a non toll bridge my whole life. I will either get off on old 31 (second street) and cross or smear the mud on the license plate and go.  They want tolls, they need to put in toll booths.

Are you sure about that? I've been over the bridges several times lately and the southbound 65 lanes have a large gantry with cameras aimed every which way. Be careful about obscuring your plates. I imagine there will be a lot of enforcement in the area. Good luck on the Second St bridge. Everybody and their uncle will be using it.
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trainmaster53

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2016, 08:17:34 PM »
When I 70 and I 465 were built, They were both considered out dated before they were finished. The Reason was they were to small to handle the Traffic that would be using them. As for I 70 into the Downtown area of Indianapolis, It was already Land Locked.  With No way to expand it. More of the States poor Planing

CSX_CO

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2017, 07:11:18 AM »
Indy isn't exactly a great example of traffic congestion.  After about 8pm 465 isn't very full, and the same can be said about 70.  No sense building 6 lanes that are needed for high traffic volumes 2 hrs a day.  Bad driving habits can account for most of the congestion, and not really volume.

indyspy

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Re: Problems with Tolls?
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2017, 02:32:32 PM »
Just had family up from Kentucky.  They told me the southbound I-65 will not be toll but the northbound will be.  I for one am not going to pay for what has been a non toll bridge my whole life. I will either get off on old 31 (second street) and cross or smear the mud on the license plate and go.  They want tolls, they need to put in toll booths.

Use the Sherman Minton bridge.
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