Transportation plan might take a toll...

Transportation plan might take a toll on you

There are 59 comments on the Hampton Roads Daily Press story from May 27, 2008, titled Transportation plan might take a toll on you. In it, Hampton Roads Daily Press reports that:

Federal officials say tolling programs can encourage carpooling and cut down on rush-hour traffic congestion.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hampton Roads Daily Press.

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sayagain

United States

#1 May 27, 2008
Not one of the politicans seems to want to remove the grantor,s tax. There is no connection between road construction and the sale of one,s house---better start to get warm to that.
BigMike

Virginia Beach, VA

#2 May 27, 2008
A perfect example of the larger part of the problem is how far out of touch our state delegates are. To quote "said Del. Phil Hamilton, R-Newport News. "I don't know of any great opposition to tolls". Is he living in a cave somewhere? There is HUGE opposition to tolls by his constituents. Then there is Del. Tom Gear, R-Hampton. "I could get warm to tolls.""Four dollars (a gallon) is like nothing anymore,". His constituents will have a problem getting "warm" to tolls and $4 a gallon may be nothing to him but to the rest of us it is HUGE. We need to vote these clowns out.
christianpen

Norfolk, VA

#3 May 27, 2008
It will cause more congestion if people have to stop and pay a toll. If they don't toll all bridges, tunnels etc., people will find alternate ways to skirt the the toll on the HRBT and that will be a bigger mess. I don't know about everyone else but $4.00 for a gallon of gasoline is a big deal to me. Not to mention, college students who commute to ODU and other universities. It is a big deal to them. They have a hard enough time just trying to fund their college education.
Mike

Newport News, VA

#4 May 27, 2008
Other modes of transportation? What a bunch of crap! Hampton Roads public transportation is either substandard or nonexistent! Come on lawmakers think of other modes of transportation for use and we will use it!!!!!!! Maybe we need to elect officials that are ready for modern times.
Don

Virginia Beach, VA

#5 May 27, 2008
What part of NO NEW TAXES do they not understand. How about NO RE-ELECTION! Maybe they will understand that.
Lori

United States

#6 May 27, 2008
What a bunch of morons! I don't know anyone around me that says $4 a gallon for gas is a drop in the bucket for them. It must be nice for some people who can spend that kind of money and not worry about whether they will have food or enough money to keep a household running. These are the type of people we put in office?!! They dont care about the public only their tee time.
steve

Doswell, VA

#7 May 27, 2008
I drive across the Monitor-Merrimac twice a day... im already paying enough for gasoline. Tolls are not the answer.
Build a light rail and tell these dumb politicians to jump in front of it.
Joe Ford

United States

#8 May 27, 2008
I dont think the $4 a gallon is nothing comment meant it is nothing, I think his point was gas is so close it might as well be $4 which will burden people. Phil Hamilton is a moron though for claiming no opposition to tolls. Tolls are an extremely inefficient method of taxation. The overhead is enormous, toll booths, toll collectors, toll machines, money counters, employees, etc etc. I know in this era of high gas prices people dont want to see even higher gas taxes but gas tax would be a true user fee. People who drive more pay more, people who carpool or drive less pay less. Plus the system to collect the fees is allready in place so a big chunk of the money wont get wasted in collecting money.
Any money collected needs to go into a rail system from Williamsburg to Virginia beach with a handful of side spurs.
Wow

Chesapeake, VA

#9 May 27, 2008
Get real people. You use it, you pay for it. Tolls may be unpopular, but they are the only fair way to fix the road that needs fixin; i.e., the HRBT! I don't like it, but I know it has to be done.
John

Hampton, VA

#10 May 27, 2008
Forget about expanding the HRBT . When gas and diesel get to $12 a gallon or more, who will be driving anyway?
Toscano

Newport News, VA

#11 May 27, 2008
Lets see the Virginia Republicans said, "we promise to get rid of the car tax if you elect us"!

BIG LIE!

Then they said, "we'll keep taxes low by running government efficiently".

BIG LIE!

Then they cooked up an ILLEGAL UNCONSTITUTIONAL REGIONAL GOVERNMENT PLAN to fix transportation.

Now they want to put tolls on the roads?

The only thing these Republicans should be worried about is how they will act when they lose the House of Delegates in 2009. THEY ARE ON THE WAY OUT!

REPUBLICAN LEGACY IN VIRGINIA?

BROKEN PROMISES, LIES, ILLEGAL UNCONSTIUTIONAL GOVERNMENT, TOLLS AND MORE TAXES THAN THE DEMOCRATS EVER DREAMED OF!
Blair Witch

Newport News, VA

#12 May 27, 2008
Wow wrote:
Get real people. You use it, you pay for it. Tolls may be unpopular, but they are the only fair way to fix the road that needs fixin; i.e., the HRBT! I don't like it, but I know it has to be done.
The best way to deal with the transportation problems in Hampton Roads is to revamp the Mass Transportation System.

The horse and bugy days are gone it's time to redo the System, at best it's an uneffective system in place and could be rethought to increase ridership and provide access to individuals that currently have on access. Hampton Roads is a automobil depend community. There is absolutely no reason in a progressive state that traveling 30 miles should take more than 2 hours. Presently getting from the peninsula to the Va Bch Oceanfront is an all day affair.

Someone living in Hampton and working downtown Norfolk can't use Mass Transportation to get there in a reasonable time.

An overhaul of the system will have a great benefit to the HRBT and other locked roads in Hampton Roads. Light Rail and spurs will reduce the traffic on the roads.
uh-yeah

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#13 May 27, 2008
A combination of methods might be the right answer. No one item will please everyone, so the lawmakers should go ahead and dvise aplan that will piss everyone off! Light rail, gas tax, and tolls for all! If people don't like it they can carpool or move closer to work.
uh-yeah

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#14 May 27, 2008
In any case folks right now can do SOMETHING to alleviate the situation of driving to work alone. The solution is simple, and not subject o voting on in the state govt, VDOT, etc. Use your haeds folks and figure out a way to drive less. Then anything the govt does do (a stretch I know) will be icing on the cake.
Depressed Hamptonian

Portsmouth, VA

#15 May 27, 2008
I guess we need to start meeting as a "grass-roots" group and find a person to run against EACH one of these "Republicans" even if it means a third party (independent) status, because, I guarantee if they have no one who runs against them that is conservative, they will be put back in office.
We need a true conservative to run and I am just about ready to put my hat in.
If someone wants to run in Hampton, I will work for your campaign if you run on conservative values.
CUT the bloated State budget, and let's get on with it!
Good grief, where is my half cent tax increase for roads gone to?
hampton lover

United States

#16 May 27, 2008
dont you just love it when they quote Gear. what a buffon. he cant put a coherent thought together yet idiots in my community keep voting for him. we are truly the laughing stock of Hampton Roads for electing this fool.
Depressed Hamptonian

Portsmouth, VA

#17 May 27, 2008
Anyone ever conside the impact of housing and their values when you put a light rail system in?
Look at Chicago. What if they decided to put the light rail next to your property, or better yet, on your property?
How many people actually use the bus now? I see about 89% empty all the time, but they still run.
Once they drop you off at your station, how are you going to get to your destination? Are they going to make drop off points at every building or workplace?
You think you can just walk from a station to work? We are not designed like DC, which is underground. It would take alot of property to make stations convenient (which if they aren't, we are just blowing money in the wind because no one would use them) And what about scheduling? Hope your boss is flexible. Or, I hope you are about getting up at 4am to get to work on time.

We are at Sea Level, so we can't put it under ground.
Who wants their house next to a rail system?
Just wondering if those who propose light rail ever considered these issues?
No one with a car is going to give it up to light rail. Sorry, they just aren't, otherwise, we would all be touting the light rail mantra.
phil ramone

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#18 May 27, 2008
Depressed Hamptonian wrote:
I guess we need to start meeting as a "grass-roots" group and find a person to run against EACH one of these "Republicans" even if it means a third party (independent) status, because, I guarantee if they have no one who runs against them that is conservative, they will be put back in office.
We need a true conservative to run and I am just about ready to put my hat in.
If someone wants to run in Hampton, I will work for your campaign if you run on conservative values.
CUT the bloated State budget, and let's get on with it!
Good grief, where is my half cent tax increase for roads gone to?
I don't think we need any "true conservatives". You grossly overestimate bothe the voting bloc strength and the virtue of what passes for "true conservativism" these days. What we really need are people who aren't bought and paid for by the highway contractors. The problem isn't solely taxes, although that stupid "no taxes" pledge is what has hemmed in these "true conservatives" in the legislature. The problems is that the package of proposed fixes is far more grandiose and unrealistic than we can afford or than makes sense, even with a slight tax increase. I, for one, would be able to stomach a mild tax increase if I knew that what I was paying for was a decent value for the money. I don't see it with the 2-1/2nd Crossing. That just reeks of an overpriced boondoggle whose main feature is to make the contractors very rich at our expense. However, a historical hallmark of the Republican Party, whether it is at the state or the Federal level, has been to let those interests gorge themselves at the public trough, so it's no surprise that this is what they want to foist on us. Besides, they've found all sorts of ways to be able to tell people that they would have done all of these great things and "no new taxes" were raised -- on certain parts of the state. We don't need "true conservatives" - we need representatives who know their "A" from a hole in the ground. Not many "true conservatives" seem to fit that bill these days.
Mojito

Hampton, VA

#19 May 27, 2008
Joe Ford wrote:
Tolls are an extremely inefficient method of taxation. The overhead is enormous, toll booths, toll collectors, toll machines, money counters, employees, etc etc.
While you may see tolls as inefficient...people are already sitting in traffic with no improvements in sight. Tolls will not make it worse, but will provide income to make needed future improvements.

There are 80,000 vehicles per day at the HRBT. Just a $1 toll will bring in $204,400,000 per year.

The land for the tolling booths is already there (from when the HRBT had tolls before). Even if you use $1 million/year to fund the tolling operation itself, there is still a lot of money left over to put into a fund to add tubes to the HRBT.

And multiply that at every major crossing...

Light rail and a decent transit system can help, but they cost more than roads to build. Some would say use the existing rail lines...except CSX isn't all that interested in giving them up.
Depressed Hamptonian

Hampton, VA

#20 May 27, 2008
I say "true conservatives" BECAUSE the two mentioned in this article say they are Republicans.
The Republican Party has been known in the past as conservatives, although moderates are now a big part of the party.
I am not saying a conservative can fix this problem, but what I am saying is that if you are going to be a Republican, than be one and not one in name only.
I totally agree, we need normal people who know the price of bread, the amount taken out of their paycheck each week, the cost of things because they live in a budget.
Until we get rid of career politicians who lose touch with their constituency, we will always have this as our answer.
We need term limits because until they can forget all about getting re-elected and focus on their job as a statesman/woman, then, they will always cave to the big interests, whether it be developers or other special interest groups that dont' represent the entire population they represent.
The budget is rising past the pace of inflation. They need to sit down and figure out what is the FUNCTION of government and get out of the business of handouts and concentrate on transportation, security, and commerce and cut the rest. I didn't include education because at its current status quo, I am not sure if that is what you can call it. That is a total other issue anyway.
As for highway contractors, these businesses are folding daily. I know. It isn't the contractors that are up there lobbying. It is developters doing that.
The costs of road construction outpace any of the VDOT estimates because those estimates are years old and the price of goods, especially asphalt.
The heavy equipment used to do the jobs require diesel fuel which has hit the roof. Should a company bidding those jobs just eat that extra cost? I don't think that would be a good business practice.
So, when a bid comes in and all companies bidding outprice the estimate, who is at fault? VDOT for using old pricing standards without taking into consideration the current costs of materials, labor, etc. or a company who wants to stay afloat because one job is better than none and that is what is happening to these companies. There
is NO roadwork jobs right now. The few that are out there are barely enough for the few companies left that haven't already fired half their crews, etc. to argue over.

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