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NorthCoast

Highway Toll Roads

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Sorry if this has been brought up before but the recent move in the legislature to increase Michigan's gasoline tax in order to increase revenue and further fund our highways got me thinking.

Is it time that Michigan began tolling its major interstate/state highways.?

I've driven on I-90 through Indiana and Ohio countless times and the quality of the road is amazing. I've also noticed, and perhaps this is a result of geography more than anything else, that there isn't nearly as much sprawl. Most of the necessary highway services are confined to strategically placed rest areas with gas stations, fast food chains, and convenience stores.

If yes, do you toll all highways or just specific ones?

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Sorry if this has been brought up before but the recent move in the legislature to increase Michigan's gasoline tax in order to increase revenue and further fund our highways got me thinking.

Is it time that Michigan began tolling its major interstate/state highways.?

I've driven on I-90 through Indiana and Ohio countless times and the quality of the road is amazing. I've also noticed, and perhaps this is a result of geography more than anything else, that there isn't nearly as much sprawl. Most of the necessary highway services are confined to strategically placed rest areas with gas stations, fast food chains, and convenience stores.

If yes, do you toll all highways or just specific ones?

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I don't know a lot about this subject, but I think that it would be very hard to convert some of the existing roads into tollways mainly because there are so many exits already. I-75 and I-94 would be the ideal routes but then the question is do you add toll booths to each exit as they enter and exit or do you have a general tool every so often which people can avoid since there are so many exits.

I have an idea that might work, The bridges already have tolls but what about having toll booths at the state line for the major routes I-94, 69, and 75 and US 31, and 23. according to MDOT thats over 160,000 cars a day that travel through those spots.

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I don't know a lot about this subject, but I think that it would be very hard to convert some of the existing roads into tollways mainly because there are so many exits already. I-75 and I-94 would be the ideal routes but then the question is do you add toll booths to each exit as they enter and exit or do you have a general tool every so often which people can avoid since there are so many exits.

I have an idea that might work, The bridges already have tolls but what about having toll booths at the state line for the major routes I-94, 69, and 75 and US 31, and 23. according to MDOT thats over 160,000 cars a day that travel through those spots.

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Some state inspectors are equipped with portable axle scales. This allows them to setup random check points to catch at least some of the over weight trucks attempting to avoid scales. The only down side is that these portable scales are not as accurate as conventional truck scales. Also if the scale is set on an incline surface, say a road with a very pronounced crown or a hill, it will throw off readings.

Cars & trucks will circumvent the toll booths just like overweight trucks currently avoid the scales if they know they're overweight. I doubt Federal Highway Administration would allow it either.

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Some state inspectors are equipped with portable axle scales. This allows them to setup random check points to catch at least some of the over weight trucks attempting to avoid scales. The only down side is that these portable scales are not as accurate as conventional truck scales. Also if the scale is set on an incline surface, say a road with a very pronounced crown or a hill, it will throw off readings.

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Most new toll projects don't incorporate tollbooths these days. Tolls are collected through automated/electronic methods, particularly if the toll facility is a "HOT" lane or express lane (or other variation on the "managed lanes" concept). In a HOT lane facility, the "free lanes" general purpose lanes are (still) available, but those who are willing to pay can use the high-occupancy vehicle lanes, therefore making them high-occupancy/toll lanes (HOT). Express lanes are specifically set aside to manage traffic flow through congestion or value pricing, so those willing to pay can use them. The cost to use those lanes can vary with time of day and demand. The FHWA has a lot more information on those concepts, too.

Regardless if the facility is built/reconstructed to provide more/enhanced capacity or is built/reconstructed to manage travel demand and traffic flow, tollbooths, with a few exceptions, will be seen less and less.

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Toll roads don't work as well in peninsular states. In states that carry interstate traffic, it makes sense to ask for a toll for that traffic because income taxes and business taxes will not be collected from those drivers, and gasoline taxes will only be collected if they fuel up in the state. In a place like Michigan, if you are using our highways you are almost certainly either departing from or arriving in Michigan, which makes it far more likely that you are going to be taxed on something anyway.

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Maybe MDOT could look to cut the multitude of layers of buerocracy they have, instead of just asking for more money.

Like most governmental operations, if they were a private company, the board would be doing jail time.

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Perhaps the logistics are too much to overcome but sometimes I feel like this entire state is stuck in the "we've never done it that way" mode and can't picture anything radically different from how it currently exist.

Maybe the tolls could just be on certain highways. They certainly don't have to be on all of them. I-94 and I-75 both are major national highways which have a lot of interstate travel on them. Ohio is currently toying with the notion of tolling their portion of I-75.

Whatever the solution is, its pretty clear Michigan needs to come up with alternatives for collecting transit revenue not only to keep our highways in shape but to possibly fund alternative mass transit development as well.

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You make "glittering generality" statements. Do you have examples or documentable facts to back up your opinions? I can get frustrated by them at times but some of the things they have to do are mandated by the Federal Highway Administration.

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Then in that case, how about setting up tollbooths at the state boarders. A very good spot would be I-94 to catch traffic coming to and from Chicago. Another would be I-75 to catch traffic going to and from Toledo and Sandusky.

Toll roads don't work as well in peninsular states. In states that carry interstate traffic, it makes sense to ask for a toll for that traffic because income taxes and business taxes will not be collected from those drivers, and gasoline taxes will only be collected if they fuel up in the state. In a place like Michigan, if you are using our highways you are almost certainly either departing from or arriving in Michigan, which makes it far more likely that you are going to be taxed on something anyway.

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Then in that case, how about setting up tollbooths at the state boarders. A very good spot would be I-94 to catch traffic coming to and from Chicago. Another would be I-75 to catch traffic going to and from Toledo and Sandusky.

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If yes, do you toll all highways or just specific ones?

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