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vicupstate

Ask not for whom the Road TOLLS, it tolls for thee

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SC asks for Toll authority on I-95

Rather than do the sensible thing and rise the gas tax, we will soon be paying tolls on existing highways. NC, VA and other states will do the same.

Permission given to toll I-73

I-73 has gotten approval for tolls (the first time that has been approved in the US) also. I don't have an issue with that, since it is totally new construction. I-95 is a different story. More time wasted, more needless state emolyees working the booths, more pollution, all so that a politician can say "read my lips, no new taxes' all the while, the toll (on I-95) is just a back-door tax increase.

Tolls raised on I-95 should only go to I-95, IMO, if we must have a toll. But you know that won't happen. Raise the gas tax a few pennies and be done with it. That would be much more efficient.

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I admit - I understand their reasoning with I-95, it is less driven by South Carolinians than I-26, I-77 or I-85. I would imagine with 95 & the new 73 they would be taxing mostly out of state residents pass through on their way to Florida or the SC coast.

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Im all for it. Tax the hell out of 'em. Its a user-based tax. If you don't want to use it, don't take that road. This ensures that everyone who passes thorugh our state is helping to pay for the maintenance of our roads.

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I admit - I understand their reasoning with I-95, it is less driven by South Carolinians than I-26, I-77 or I-85. I would imagine with 95 & the new 73 they would be taxing mostly out of state residents pass through on their way to Florida or the SC coast.

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Raise that one too. There's a reason our interstates suck in SC, and that we have no alternative modes of transportation to get around. Not everyone who passes through SC buys gas here.

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Raise that one too. There's a reason our interstates suck in SC, and that we have no alternative modes of transportation to get around. Not everyone who passes through SC buys gas here.

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All the more reason to raise the gas tax. I think that all interstates should be tolled. Interstates in Europe are tolled, and they work just fine. We will never seriously consider alternate modes of transportation as a society as long as we subsidize the automobile the way that we do today.

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^The alternatives have to be just as viable for them to be considered. But that goes back to government heavily favoring roads as opposed to other forms of transit.

By the way Vic, way to get creative with the title of this thread. ;)

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I would definitely raise the gas tax when prices decrease back to normal market conditions ($1.29-$1.49), then establish a special death tax for station operators who gouge the price and are willing to heavily pay for their demerits.

Tolling roads is also a good idea. Too bad the idea was not considered for Charleston's Ravenel Bridge.

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I dont think gas prices will ever get back down that low again.

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Same here. I doubt they'll even get below $2/gallon again.

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All the more reason to raise the gas tax. I think that all interstates should be tolled. Interstates in Europe are tolled, and they work just fine. We will never seriously consider alternate modes of transportation as a society as long as we subsidize the automobile the way that we do today.

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Tolling all interstates would at least be more fair. But raising the gas tax would have the same effect (increasing the cost of highway transit) without the added pollution and increased waste of time and gas at tolls.

The government does indeed subsidize roads in opposition to other forms of transit. I completely support stopping that.

Oh it was considered. It was a big political issue at the time, believe me. Vehement opposition by the folks in Charleston stopped it. Politically, Charleston is the top dog in SC and they used that considerable clout to kill the idea. Financial support from Charleston County via it's 1/2 cent sales tax filled part of the funding gap that NOT having a toll left.

Given the new Ravenel Bridge is in the middle of a major urban area, adding a toll stop would make for a traffic nightmare. I'm glad Charleston got there way.

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The fed has granted permission for HOT lanes for I-95 and I-26 south of Columbia. The article doesn't elaborate on HOT lanes, but the acronym stands for High Occupancy Toll lanes. Its similar to an HOV lane, but you just have to pay to use it. This will be an effective way to increase capacity on these interstates and give drivers another option if they want to pay for it.

The Greenville News

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A nickname for them for the proposed HOT lanes in Atlanta are "Lexus Lanes".

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I hope the side roads can handle the traffic increase they'll see if they do put up toll booths. That might be good for some of the small towns that were bypassed when the interstate came along.

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It wouldn't be the whole interstate from what I understand. Just the additional lanes.

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^^Oh, I know that's what they are saying now, but I don't believe that for a second. You watch, they'll toll any access to it. If not at first, within 2 years of the HOT lanes.

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How much will it take to construct HOT lanes? I wonder how long it will take to start making money?

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Here is the followup article. It doesn't say how much it would cost. I think this is all very preliminary. It will be a while before we know how much it will actually cost. I-95 seems to be the priority.

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I think since Columbia and Charleston are the states bigger cities and that is where a lot of the traffic is it would be a good idea for I-26 to have a toll between them. There really isnt too much traffic between Greenville and Columbia as compared to between Charleston and Columbia. I-95 definetly deserves to be tolled because so many beach goers use it.

-E

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More importantly, people traveling across our state on I-95 use our roads but don't contribute enough to their maintenance. And since nobody in the State House has the testicular fortitude to suggest raising the gas tax, this is the next best choice.

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I think its a great idea and I bet a lot of people will use the toll lanes so they can save time. What we really need is an 8-land toll road connecting I-20/I-95 to Myrtle Beach.

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20095291/

Due to pending highway fund shortfalls... we'll probably see a significant increase in the number of toll roads in the future. But I'd rather see the funds raised through increased gas taxes as it provides an incentive to be more fuel efficient. For most people traveling long distances, interstates are the most efficient and safest way to get from point A to point B. Do we really want to incentivize people to take roads that are less efficient and less safe?

Of course, with a toll we are effectively taxing out-of-state citizens... which is worth considering.

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I think tolls are the way to go. While I am in favor of raising the gas tax, that would be a politically difficult thing to do when we already have high gas prices. Tolls tie the costs of building and maintenance directly on the use of the road. That way, people in Union County don't have to pay for an interstate in Jasper. NC is also considering tolls on 95, so there's a good chance the whole thing could be tolled some day, so we may as well get it out of the way.

I think that generally we are going to see a gradual shift towards alternate modes of transportation. The interstate system is "finished" according to the original plans, so now they ahve to figure out the best way to maintain it. I think one step would be to adjust the reallocation of state's tax dollars. Right now, SC gets back less than it sends to the Fed for transportation (92 cents on the dollar). With the 4th largest road network in the nation, it seems like that should be adjusted.

http://www.scdot.org/inside/HighwayPolicy/...alfunding.shtml

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