Urban Fold

Tolls Over Taxes for Transportation Funding

Residents in the D.C. area overwhelmingly favor tolls to fund highway construction and ease congestion.

A recent survery conducted by the Washington Post indicates that area drivers prefer tolls over taxes to fund new roads by 2 to 1. This attitude is in keeping with the philosophy of regional transporation planners who favor a "pay-as-you-go" system of funding. "There are no major projects being talked about that aren't envisioning some type of tolling," said Virginia Transportation Commissioner Philip A. Shucet. The trend towards road tolling appears to be catching on nationwide. "A majority of states, if not 90 percent of them, are all taking a hard look at tolls," said Jack Finn, senior vice president of HNTB, a planning and construction firm. "I think primarily it's a funding issue, because the need for highways continues to grow, yet our funding for them has not." Critics of tolling say that the system unfairly priced out the poor, but supporters firmly believe that the conception is the best way to deal with congestion.

Thanks to Peter Buryk

Full Story: New Tolls, Not Taxes, Favored for Area Roads

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