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vdogg

Tolling in Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads Tolls  

24 members have voted

  1. 1. Tolls, are they needed?

    • Yes-We need money now, or we will lose federal funding for these projects
      10
    • No-This will only exacerbate problems short term, and not fix anything long term
      4
    • Other-state government needs to learn how to spend money better
      5
    • Other-gas or sales tax or both should be raised instead
      5


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vdogg    327

This has been a touchy issue for all of us and in order to focus the debate a bit more I've decided to create a poll on the subject. If you vote, please explain why you voted the way you did. If there are more questions I should add, or rephrease, please let me know.

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gosscj    0

Forcing people to come to a complete stop before crossing the busiest sections of interstate in the area is absolutely not the way to speed traffic at those points. Also, who's going to want to fork over a few bucks up front for every car ride they take? It would be so much more convenient to just pay a few cents on every purchase you make and let that go toward building more a efficient transportation infrastructure. I know I'm not saying anything new here and that's my biggest gripe. It's just common sense! I can think of nobody who would choose to pay tolls over slightly higher taxes except those people who would never use the routes that will be tolled. And I would think those people would be few, for one thing, and also that they should contribute too because almost all of them will see the benefits from a better system anyway.

I guess I should add, though, that now that we're in this situation where major projects might actually be taken up and we've resoundingly rejected any other way to pay for them, I would much rather pay tolls and have the projects than not pay the tolls and lose the possibility of some relief.

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vdogg    327

Forcing people to come to a complete stop before crossing the busiest sections of interstate in the area is absolutely not the way to speed traffic at those points. Also, who's going to want to fork over a few bucks up front for every car ride they take? It would be so much more convenient to just pay a few cents on every purchase you make and let that go toward building more a efficient transportation infrastructure. I know I'm not saying anything new here and that's my biggest gripe. It's just common sense! I can think of nobody who would choose to pay tolls over slightly higher taxes except those people who would never use the routes that will be tolled. And I would think those people would be few, for one thing, and also that they should contribute too because almost all of them will see the benefits from a better system anyway.

I agree but honestly if we can't pass a 1 cent tax increase the prospect for any tax increase will not be good. I voted that the tolls were needed 1.) Because we have to come up with a funding scheme this year or those projects will be cancelled and 2.) Because i don't think a tax increase will ever pass, at least not in time for us to save these projects. I truly believe, however, that once people experience the pain of tolls for a while those tax increases will start to look mighty tempting, and perhaps this issue will be revisited in the future. Keep in mind, they have stated that they want tolls in place by the end of the year so this is not some far off thing, this is right around the corner folks. :wacko:

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vdogg    327

I can think of nobody who would choose to pay tolls over slightly higher taxes except those people who would never use the routes that will be tolled.

:lol: Excellent point, I didn't think of it that way. Isn't that the way it always is though, the ones who are affected the least make the most decisions. <_<

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urbanvb    64

Let's see, I am not too familiar with the tunnels before I moved here 10 years ago but it seems they did have tolls.. right? .. but that was then and this is now and they are a bottleneck even without tolls. I honestly cannot imagine how backed up those areas will be with tolls.. even more so in the summer time. What a nighmare that will become.

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johnhowell    0

Tolls definetly suck. We pay enough in taxes already. Instead of the government taking in more money, I think they should use the money they have more wisely.

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Stunad    0

I voted in favor of the raising the gas tax measure. My rationality behind this is that it is easier for one to pay a few extra cents for a gallon of gas, which is purchased once a week than it is for some poor sap to pay $2.00 a day to go to work. In that structure, that commuter pays for the better highway system. I personally wouldn't have to pay much into the system but would benefit from the systemwide improvements. The argument that the taxes hurt lower income workers is nullified when you look at the payout: $2.00 X 5days =$10.00. VS $.10 cents X 20 gallons (per week) = $2.00. These numbers are just guesses and generalizations of tolling and driving patterns. My argument here is that it is rather unfair to punish people that drive through a certain tunnel and force them to pay for everyone else. Lets clean up the process of developing new tunnels and highways first...then we can pay as low of tax that is necessary to provide that "steady stream of revenue" that we're all hearing about.

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JPN0731    7

If they had a 3rd crossing ready to go now, I would be all for the tolls. The rates are supposed to be $1.65 or so for the 3rd crossing/MMBT/HRBT and 65

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rusthebuss    1

I voted no tolls! We have been paying for the rest of that state for how long????? Its time the rest of the state take care of us and NOVA! Its also time that Richmond kick in its fair share to the rest of the state! If we are in a crisis then why can't Richmond kick its fair share in?? Also, don't people think that these tolls might hurt us with the port expansions and now NC is talking about building a decent size port with no tolls around it????? No traffic to deal with and cheaper overhead costs. Richmond, or the state I should say, needs to realize this and really dig deep into this! Why should we be penalized for something the state mismanged???? I can remember them discussing these issues when I was a kid. They give us no other means of getting back and forth but they want to penalize us! I still questioned how much of the money actually stays here. I wouldn't have minded the gas tax but I highly doubt majority of it would have stayed in HR.

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hoobo    1

I can understand the anti-tax, better vdot management complaint. But the rallying cry that tolls will slow down traffic is solved fairly well with a Fast-Track/Pass system. With the exception of the summer tourist season, most drivers on the tunnels are commuters and tractor-trailers. These are the target customer for transponder systems. That should resolve most, if not all, traffic tie-ups caused by tolls.

If HR waits for the state to clean up VDOT and fix the tax fund mechanism, no new major highway projects like 64 widening, 460 expressway, SE parkway, 3rd crossing, or 2nd midtown tunnel will get built. The HR delegation needs to fight for HR's fair share, but in the meantime, the area can't wait around for the results. HR needs to be proactive in its transportation needs.

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erdogs    0

I can understand the anti-tax, better vdot management complaint. But the rallying cry that tolls will slow down traffic is solved fairly well with a Fast-Track/Pass system. With the exception of the summer tourist season, most drivers on the tunnels are commuters and tractor-trailers. These are the target customer for transponder systems. That should resolve most, if not all, traffic tie-ups caused by tolls.

If HR waits for the state to clean up VDOT and fix the tax fund mechanism, no new major highway projects like 64 widening, 460 expressway, SE parkway, 3rd crossing, or 2nd midtown tunnel will get built. The HR delegation needs to fight for HR's fair share, but in the meantime, the area can't wait around for the results. HR needs to be proactive in its transportation needs.

Ditto!

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rusthebuss    1

I can understand the anti-tax, better vdot management complaint. But the rallying cry that tolls will slow down traffic is solved fairly well with a Fast-Track/Pass system. With the exception of the summer tourist season, most drivers on the tunnels are commuters and tractor-trailers. These are the target customer for transponder systems. That should resolve most, if not all, traffic tie-ups caused by tolls.

If HR waits for the state to clean up VDOT and fix the tax fund mechanism, no new major highway projects like 64 widening, 460 expressway, SE parkway, 3rd crossing, or 2nd midtown tunnel will get built. The HR delegation needs to fight for HR's fair share, but in the meantime, the area can't wait around for the results. HR needs to be proactive in its transportation needs.

I totally agree but we need to start to resolve the problems that we are having in Richmond for this area. We could really loose out to that NC port with these tolls! They need to start bringing in high paying jobs here to support the high cost of housing and now these freakin tolls!

Eventually we are going to be priced out of the area and this area will fall flat on its @ss. We have to be careful on what we do and the decisions that are being made for this area.

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hoobo    1

I totally agree but we need to start to resolve the problems that we are having in Richmond for this area. We could really loose out to that NC port with these tolls! They need to start bringing in high paying jobs here to support the high cost of housing and now these freakin tolls!

It could be argued that without the tolls, the 3rd crossing will not get built. Thus with increasing HRBT traffic, Norfolk Terminals will get choked. Tolls may also push modernization of the freight rail system. After being reminded of the massive APM Terminal set to open in 2007, which will vault HR far ahead of Charleston in container volume, I believe NC's proposed port which won't open for another decade will be a small fry come that time.

Tolls have their pros and cons. A sunset clause and legislation keeping the money in HR would be required. I also have another idea on tolls: peak-hour tolls. Instead of tolls all day, have tolls only during the hours of 6-9 am and 3-6 pm. Either with Fast Track or regular rush hour traffic, the peak-hour only tolls wouldn't increase travel time much and would force a change in people's commute habits.

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vdogg    327

idea on tolls: peak-hour tolls. Instead of tolls all day, have tolls only during the hours of 6-9 am and 3-6 pm. Either with Fast Track or regular rush hour traffic, the peak-hour only tolls wouldn't increase travel time much and would force a change in people's commute habits.

Actually, this is part of the plan. Toll rates will change depending upon time of day, sort of like the congestion pricing they have in London.

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hoobo    1

Actually, this is part of the plan. Toll rates will change depending upon time of day, sort of like the congestion pricing they have in London.

Oh, didn't know that. Anyway, I was suggesting that tolls only be placed during rush hour and there be no tolls during other times of the day. Unless that would cause too much confusion.

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vdogg    327

Oh, didn't know that. Anyway, I was suggesting that tolls only be placed during rush hour and there be no tolls during other times of the day. Unless that would cause too much confusion.

Now, that's not in the plan. I think there will always be a toll during some part of the day, just that the rates will be lower durning off peak hours to encourage drivers not to drive during rush hour.

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vdogg    327

In Virginia, I believe the congestion toll pricing will occur in the Washington metro area before Hampton Roads will ever see it.

I'm saying this because this was actually mentioned as part of the plan. Whether that makes it through to the end we'll just have to see. Seeing as it's a 99% likelyhood that tolls are coming back I think that congestion pricing, to encourage people to drive during off peak hours, may actually be in place here far before D.C. We only have but so many access point to this region, where D.C. doesn't have that issue.

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vdogg    327

Bill revision to strip authority of tolling power :unsure:

- A group of Hampton Roads delegates has agreed to strip away the tolling powers for a proposed regional transportation authority, leaving the area with no ability to raise money for its top road construction projects.
I think these people have absolutely lost their minds. <_<

The Newport News lawmaker said he also is responding to uneasy Northern Virginia delegates, who have failed to secure new transportation dollars for their own region this year.

"It would not be fair for a region that has worked so hard to not get any money and then we come in at the last minute and get it," Hamilton said.

The sponsor of the Hampton Roads tolling legislation, SB192 , said he opposes Hamilton's plans to rewrite the measure.

:huh: Are you freaking kidding me? I'm sure the good people of Newport News had no intention of electing this man to look out for NoVa first. NoVA can handle its own. Our region should be our delegates priority and there is absolutely no excuse to come home with anything but some form of funding plan in hand. We need to save these projects.

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vdogg    327

"It's not even rational to say that because Northern Virginia can't get it together and get an agreement to help their region that they're going to knock Hampton Roads out," he said. "For the Hampton Roads delegates to sit there and let them do it, I'm pretty distressed about that."

No kidding. So where do we go from here I have to ask? No tolls, no taxes, no roads, period. Our transportation future is looking pretty bleak.

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odumonarch    0

I can understand the anti-tax, better vdot management complaint. But the rallying cry that tolls will slow down traffic is solved fairly well with a Fast-Track/Pass system. With the exception of the summer tourist season, most drivers on the tunnels are commuters and tractor-trailers. These are the target customer for transponder systems. That should resolve most, if not all, traffic tie-ups caused by tolls.

If HR waits for the state to clean up VDOT and fix the tax fund mechanism, no new major highway projects like 64 widening, 460 expressway, SE parkway, 3rd crossing, or 2nd midtown tunnel will get built. The HR delegation needs to fight for HR's fair share, but in the meantime, the area can't wait around for the results. HR needs to be proactive in its transportation needs.

I agree. VDOT used to be so bad, projects were running behind schedule, and underbudgeted. A lot of cost overruns cost the state money, so the state needs to spend the money better on their priorities. Why not use a portion of the surplus that Virginia has to pay for all of the cost overruns on road/bridge projects?

If I get a job with VDOT, I'll put out the insider info on VDOT and what they are doing so as to just let ya people know when and what money the state puts in for projects like the 3rd Crossing, Richmond, Roanoke, NoVa projects, etc. :thumbsup:

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rusthebuss    1

I agree. VDOT used to be so bad, projects were running behind schedule, and underbudgeted. A lot of cost overruns cost the state money, so the state needs to spend the money better on their priorities. Why not use a portion of the surplus that Virginia has to pay for all of the cost overruns on road/bridge projects?

If I get a job with VDOT, I'll put out the insider info on VDOT and what they are doing so as to just let ya people know when and what money the state puts in for projects like the 3rd Crossing, Richmond, Roanoke, NoVa projects, etc. :thumbsup:

Cool I would appreciate it! Are you going to school to be a civil engineer?

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odumonarch    0

I just got a job offer plus acceptance into the VDOT's Civil Engineering Scholarship Program, and my pay rate for the position is $10.67 per hour. Should put up a lot of insider info. starting in the middle of May of how the state spends its dollars on transportation. :yahoo:

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I just got a job offer plus acceptance into the VDOT's Civil Engineering Scholarship Program, and my pay rate for the position is $10.67 per hour. Should put up a lot of insider info. starting in the middle of May of how the state spends its dollars on transportation. :yahoo:

Congrats!! Can't wait to hear some info! :thumbsup:

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