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Tolls proposed for Cottonwood Canyons

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US 89:
Article from Fox 13: Toll roads proposed for Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons


--- Quote ---Faced with increasing congestion inside two of the state's most popular canyons, the president of the Utah State Senate is proposing turning Little and Big Cottonwood canyons into toll roads.

"The congestion we face in those canyons is extreme," said Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy.
--- End quote ---


--- Quote ---In an interview with FOX 13 on Tuesday, he specifically named the Cottonwood canyons as toll roads.

"Tolling is going be a big part of what we do to incentivize people to carpool and get on a bus to get up Little Cottonwood Canyon," he said.
--- End quote ---

Interestingly, they seem to be open to the idea of tolling other roads as well:

--- Quote ---Faced with a growing population and continual demands on Utah's roads, the Senate President acknowledged more roads across the state could be tolled.

"Tolling is actually going to be a bigger part of what we deal with our roads. We’re going to double in population over the next 30 years, and we’re going to need to have these kind of tools in our tool belt," he said.
--- End quote ---

Niederhauser’s bill, S.B.71, passed the committee unanimously, and now goes to the full state senate, according to this more recent article.

Rothman:
Hm.  Strange thing is that in the winter, I thought they had a shuttle system set up for skiers.  At least, that is the way it was last I went skiing up there a couple of decades ago.

US 89:
The bill passed, according to this article on KSL:


--- Quote ---it will be at least two years before Utahns see electronically monitored toll roads in the state, including in Little Cottonwood Canyon, where construction on an additional lane is set to start.
--- End quote ---

But here's the big change that was made, which is that tolls can now be expanded to any state road:


--- Quote ---The bill had been amended in the Senate to expand tolling to any state road, not just those that are newly constructed or expanded, as a way to increase transportation revenues.

"This is not a rush to go out and put toll roads all across the state," Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, the House sponsor of SB71, said during the House debate. He said it did not specify where tolls would be imposed.

"It does not enact tolls on Utah roads," Schultz said. "It does not install toll booths."

Schultz said the state doesn't want to be caught "flat-footed" as gas tax revenues dwindle with the emergence of alternative fuel vehicles. The gas tax covers about 50 percent of roadwork in the state, while the rest comes from the general fund.

--- End quote ---

Alternatively, couldn't there be an extra tax on alternative fuel vehicles to replace the gas tax, instead of requiring all cars to pay the tolls?


--- Quote --- The measure allows the Utah Department of Transportation to establish tollways on new or expanding roads as well as existing ones. It also allows the use of cameras and video technology to monitor toll roads and enforcement of high-occupancy vehicle lanes.

--- End quote ---

I'm all for policing the current HOV/HOT lanes better. I'd especially like if they could catch people who crossed the double-white line, but I'll take anything to improve enforcement of that lane.


--- Quote ---Niederhauser said the state will have "so many possibilities when we have electronic tolling because it's technology," suggest the high occupancy vehicle lanes on I-15 could be converted to electronic monitoring.

That would enable drivers who don't have passengers to be charged in more than just a single HOV lane, Niederhauser said, "maybe all the lanes at some point and it will be congestion pricing" that's higher in heavier traffic.

--- End quote ---

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to put up new tolls on Interstate highway general purpose lanes?



--- Quote from: Rothman on January 25, 2018, 09:24:37 AM ---Hm.  Strange thing is that in the winter, I thought they had a shuttle system set up for skiers.  At least, that is the way it was last I went skiing up there a couple of decades ago.

--- End quote ---

There are park-and-ride lots on Wasatch Blvd with shuttles that go up the canyons, but they fill up fast and most people just drive up the canyons themselves.

1:

--- Quote from: roadguy2 on March 02, 2018, 07:08:43 PM ---Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to put up new tolls on Interstate highway general purpose lanes?

--- End quote ---

It makes it ineligible for Federal funding, but it's not strictly prohibited.

vdeane:

--- Quote from: roadguy2 on March 02, 2018, 07:08:43 PM ---Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to put up new tolls on Interstate highway general purpose lanes?

--- End quote ---
For now, but with Trump's infrastructure proposal, I don't expect that prohibitin to last much longer.

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