Jean-Paul Garnett: Tolls and taxes
The Feb. 2 letter “Impatience takes a toll” in The News & Observer stated the reason for tolls on the western/southern arc of I-540 was that impatient Western Wake County residents had to have their highway right away without waiting for construction funded by taxes.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Cary News.
#1 Feb 18, 2013
I don't believe that to be the case. Recall that the NC Turnpike Commission (or whatever it was called at the time) was established to study whether NC needs a toll road or not. Surprise, surprise, they said it did. Anytime you give somebody a job, they'll do it. And anytime you are asked to show the benefit of extra money, a benefit can be found. People in Western Wake County definitely needed a better road than Hwy 55, since the two lanes going through downtown Apex were painful in the morning. Was the road needed? Yes. Did NC have to toll that road? No. Did they have to start before funding was available? No. Would the world end if the existing 2 lanes were used even for the next 2 years? No. Were there other options for funding? Sure. Question I have is why in the world NC decided to even consider tolling for the first time ever? Yeah, there is more traffic, but does that not also mean there is more revenue from gas, vehicle taxes, etc.? I see no reason for tolls.
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