Ramblings of Silver Blue


20 Nov

Can we have some logic here, please?

Rush-hour tunnel tolls proposed to ease crunch
By TOM HOLDEN, The Virginian-Pilot
© November 20, 2003

Among the region’s bottlenecks, few compare to the Downtown Tunnel. It handles tens of thousands more vehicles each day than it was designed to carry, and there’s no relief in sight.

Or is there?

A local transportation official on Wednesday presented an idea for easing congestion in the tunnel: charging people who use it during rush hours.

“Congestion pricing” may be the answer for a region otherwise “out of options” for soon lightening traffic jams, said Dwight L. Farmer, deputy director of transportation for the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.

Farmer said rush-hour tolls on crowded passages like the Downtown would discourage people from making unnecessary trips during peak travel periods and could help tide the region through its worsening traffic until new road and tunnel projects can be built.

Excuse me. Tolls create traffic and increase commutes. So, we’re talking about making a situation worse that will, as the article says, bring in only 6.5 million dollars a year, whereas a new tunnel would cost 700 million. The article also says the 6.5 million would be set aside for road maintenance. So, basically, they’re “hiding the pea” when it comes to road repair and construction.

What’s to keep Virginia from hitting more budgetary problems (see prior post) and deciding that 6.5 million is needed elsewhere? (They’ve done it before, they’ll do it again.)

Sometimes…. (shakes head and goes for coffee)

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