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Author Topic: Virginia plans to toll I-81  (Read 10981 times)

sprjus4

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #125 on: January 17, 2019, 11:23:32 PM »

This gave me a good laugh

"However, research could find no state that charges tolls for the length of an interstate highway’s full span within its borders."

Might wanna research again  :-D

Article - https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/i-81-legislation-proposes-tolling-rates/article_4b808c30-10a0-5adb-8daf-845c94c4798f.html
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #126 on: January 17, 2019, 11:29:39 PM »

Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
It's been mentioned that it could be a "toll violation" fine, which is way higher.

If they have the technology to legally and fairly determine if someone is deliberately avoiding a toll, they could simply go ahead and charge the toll and leave it at that.
So are we now going to restrict people to be required to pay tolls? If someone opts to get off a roadway to avoid a toll, then they should be able to do that with no penalty or toll charge. If you really want them to pay, then toll the entire interstate. But it's been said before, Virginia does not want to do that.

The best solution would be to toll rural "segments" of I-81, distances of about 20-25 miles in rural areas. Pick areas where U.S. 11 goes through different towns and toll mainline I-81 and ramp tolling in that segment. Make the "toll-free" alternative less convenient, but don't fully block it. It would obviously draw more people to stay on I-81 rather than go 25 MPH through 2-3 downtowns of small towns, but they would still be allowed to.

On the contrary, the issue with tolling a rural segment that also has 55 MPH U.S. 11 running parallel to it, is it would be only a little less convenient to avoid. So tolling areas that the parallel route is less convenient, slow, and not preferred is better.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #127 on: January 18, 2019, 07:36:29 AM »

Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
It's been mentioned that it could be a "toll violation" fine, which is way higher.

If they have the technology to legally and fairly determine if someone is deliberately avoiding a toll, they could simply go ahead and charge the toll and leave it at that.

I wonder, though, at what point does it then stop? Should they also try to charge the toll for people who use the parallel route for as long as possible when the obvious reason is to avoid the toll? The example that comes to mind is I-295 in New Jersey—we all know it’s quite common for people to use I-295 from the Delaware Memorial Bridge up towards Trenton and then enter the Turnpike at either Exit 7 or Exit 7A. Should those people be charged the Turnpike toll (assuming, for discussion purposes, that New Jersey law were to authorize this little stunt) because they presumably used I-295 to avoid the toll? (To be clear, I’m assuming I-295 would otherwise remain free, so if you used it to go to, say, Trenton, you wouldn’t pay.)

I find the whole idea peculiar because when you designate a particular spot for collecting tolls, I don’t see how it can possibly be a “toll violation” to avoid that spot. If you don’t want people avoiding it, you have more toll collection spots. That’s what North Carolina was proposing for I-95 before they dropped the idea: Toll gantries were to be in places where it was a longer distance between interchanges, and they also planned to toll the ramps at the next interchange or two to either side of the mainline gantries. (This is basically what sprjus4 suggests.)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 07:39:36 AM by 1995hoo »
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Roadsguy

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #128 on: January 18, 2019, 11:48:08 AM »

Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
It's been mentioned that it could be a "toll violation" fine, which is way higher.

If they have the technology to legally and fairly determine if someone is deliberately avoiding a toll, they could simply go ahead and charge the toll and leave it at that.

I wonder, though, at what point does it then stop? Should they also try to charge the toll for people who use the parallel route for as long as possible when the obvious reason is to avoid the toll? The example that comes to mind is I-295 in New Jersey—we all know it’s quite common for people to use I-295 from the Delaware Memorial Bridge up towards Trenton and then enter the Turnpike at either Exit 7 or Exit 7A. Should those people be charged the Turnpike toll (assuming, for discussion purposes, that New Jersey law were to authorize this little stunt) because they presumably used I-295 to avoid the toll? (To be clear, I’m assuming I-295 would otherwise remain free, so if you used it to go to, say, Trenton, you wouldn’t pay.)

I find the whole idea peculiar because when you designate a particular spot for collecting tolls, I don’t see how it can possibly be a “toll violation” to avoid that spot. If you don’t want people avoiding it, you have more toll collection spots. That’s what North Carolina was proposing for I-95 before they dropped the idea: Toll gantries were to be in places where it was a longer distance between interchanges, and they also planned to toll the ramps at the next interchange or two to either side of the mainline gantries. (This is basically what sprjus4 suggests.)

The simple answer is to charge every driver pulled over for any reason east of the Mississippi River a $4 toll for shunpiking. :colorful:
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sparker

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #129 on: January 18, 2019, 12:00:37 PM »

Well....it looks like it may well be litigation time in the Commonwealth.  The ATA, which is actually based in VA (Arlington), has hinted, according to the article cited below, that they may file suit against VDOT, claiming that the toll structure proposed constitutes an undue burden on interstate commerce.  They've even got a very specific website up to elucidate (as well as promote) their position.  Look for yourselves:

https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-I-81-tolls

and the ATA site on the subject:  www.keeptollsoff81.com

Let the fun begin!
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 04:10:51 PM by sparker »
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kalvado

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #130 on: January 18, 2019, 12:09:33 PM »

Well....it looks like it may well be litigation time in the Commonwealth.  The ATA, which is actually based in VA (Arlington), has hinted, according to the article cited below, that they may file suit against VDOT, claiming that the toll structure proposed constitutes an undue burden on interstate commerce.  They've even got a very specific website up to elucidate (as well as promote) their position.  Look for yourselves:

https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-I-81-tolls

and the ATA site on the subject:  www.keeptollsoffI-81.com

Let the fun begin!
Doesn't work for me.
Page not found and site not found respectively.. Is the fun over?
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Takumi

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #131 on: January 18, 2019, 12:10:23 PM »

I’m getting bad links for both of those.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #133 on: January 18, 2019, 12:38:34 PM »

OK, first link:
https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-i--tolls/article_3149210d-9d46-5361-8afc-1e47cf487c34.html
Hopefully it works

So it seems that they don't want tolls on 81, yet their main complaints are that truck tolls are excessive compared to car tolls and the proposed annual pass.  So they're not really complaining about tolls existing; they just want fairer tolls.

Anyway, the trucking groups have filed numerous lawsuits in the past all around the country.  Nearly all of them have failed.
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froggie

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #134 on: January 18, 2019, 12:53:10 PM »

^ I believe Federal law is on VDOT's side on this too.  The tolling package they're proposing goes specifically to I-81 improvements, well within the Federal program allowing this (and presuming VDOT snags one of the 3 pilot slots that FHWA has reopened for the program).

Truckers can piss and moan all they want, but the harsh reality is that these types of improvements need a funding source...existing transportation funding sources aren't enough...and trucks already are getting subsidized given both their volume and the level of damage they cause to a roadway and bridges in relation to how much they actually pay in diesel, wheelage, and registration taxes.
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kalvado

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #135 on: January 18, 2019, 01:45:11 PM »

^ I believe Federal law is on VDOT's side on this too.  The tolling package they're proposing goes specifically to I-81 improvements, well within the Federal program allowing this (and presuming VDOT snags one of the 3 pilot slots that FHWA has reopened for the program).

Truckers can piss and moan all they want, but the harsh reality is that these types of improvements need a funding source...existing transportation funding sources aren't enough...and trucks already are getting subsidized given both their volume and the level of damage they cause to a roadway and bridges in relation to how much they actually pay in diesel, wheelage, and registration taxes.
Well, they need some negotiating room - so demand a lot to give some and get some middle ground. Nothing new.
However if I were to fight against uncontrollable tolls - I would try to push for limitations on how tolls are spent (Penn turnpike, hello!) and for some "fair" ratios between in-state, out-of state, truck and car tolls.
Taxation without representation is the favorite american thing, and insisting on locals bearing some share of the burden ensures some representation - e.g. politicians cannot set rates without feedback. Same with truck-car ratios (maybe push to have them fixed across the board?) to make sure pressure against too high tolls is applied by a wider group - car drivers outnumber truck drivers by a lot... 
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vdeane

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #136 on: January 18, 2019, 02:33:23 PM »

Quote from: vdeane
• Tolls expire when any bonds supported by tolls are retired
Any?  So if they issue 10 bonds, and pay 1 off, the tolls are gone?

If they build it out to 6 or more lanes on the entire route, that will probably take at least 10 years and there will be more bond issues, probably $8 billion or more, and it will be a loooong time before all the bonds are paid off.
Except the bullet point doesn't say "all".  It says "any".

Unrelated to the language of the bullet point, aren't the tolls for the specific recommendations in the study, not a general widening of the entire road?

This gave me a good laugh

"However, research could find no state that charges tolls for the length of an interstate highway’s full span within its borders."

Might wanna research again  :-D

Article - https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/i-81-legislation-proposes-tolling-rates/article_4b808c30-10a0-5adb-8daf-845c94c4798f.html

The only one I can find if I-90 in Indiana, and that's only after staring at Google Maps and noticing that the covered the entire barrier system with pervasive ramp tolls.  It probably would have been easier to just add ramp tolls to whatever new interchanges they wanted to add rather than convert from the ticket system for how pervasive they made it, so I can see why it would be unexpected.

I'm not counting more minor sections - otherwise you could add I-276 as well.  Most of the interstates on the large toll roads have free sections on the toll road and/or exit at some point.

Are you sure that the "penalty" is not equal to the toll itself?
It's been mentioned that it could be a "toll violation" fine, which is way higher.

If they have the technology to legally and fairly determine if someone is deliberately avoiding a toll, they could simply go ahead and charge the toll and leave it at that.
So are we now going to restrict people to be required to pay tolls? If someone opts to get off a roadway to avoid a toll, then they should be able to do that with no penalty or toll charge. If you really want them to pay, then toll the entire interstate. But it's been said before, Virginia does not want to do that.

The best solution would be to toll rural "segments" of I-81, distances of about 20-25 miles in rural areas. Pick areas where U.S. 11 goes through different towns and toll mainline I-81 and ramp tolling in that segment. Make the "toll-free" alternative less convenient, but don't fully block it. It would obviously draw more people to stay on I-81 rather than go 25 MPH through 2-3 downtowns of small towns, but they would still be allowed to.

On the contrary, the issue with tolling a rural segment that also has 55 MPH U.S. 11 running parallel to it, is it would be only a little less convenient to avoid. So tolling areas that the parallel route is less convenient, slow, and not preferred is better.
Or put the tolls everywhere and set up a commuter plan that people could sign up for if they make a certain minimum of trips each month allowing them to ride the first 50-100 miles per day for free.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #137 on: January 18, 2019, 04:09:44 PM »

Quote from: vdeane
• Tolls expire when any bonds supported by tolls are retired
Any?  So if they issue 10 bonds, and pay 1 off, the tolls are gone?
If they build it out to 6 or more lanes on the entire route, that will probably take at least 10 years and there will be more bond issues, probably $8 billion or more, and it will be a loooong time before all the bonds are paid off.
Except the bullet point doesn't say "all".  It says "any".

Wording problems in their sentence.  If say they issue 5 toll revenue bond issues, and when one of them gets paid off, I seriously doubt that they meant to remove tolls then.

Unrelated to the language of the bullet point, aren't the tolls for the specific recommendations in the study, not a general widening of the entire road?

Yes, that widening of the entire route was my comment; but my way of saying that there will be more issues of toll revenue bonds to continue with the widenings after the initial $2.2 billion program is completed.
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sparker

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #138 on: January 18, 2019, 04:14:01 PM »

^^^^^^^^
Looks like the Bristol Herald-Courier no longer has the article available.  However, I did correct the listing for the "keep tolls off I-81" site; it now works fine:
                                  www.keeptollsoff81.com
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #139 on: January 18, 2019, 04:53:54 PM »

^ I believe Federal law is on VDOT's side on this too.  The tolling package they're proposing goes specifically to I-81 improvements, well within the Federal program allowing this (and presuming VDOT snags one of the 3 pilot slots that FHWA has reopened for the program).

Truckers can piss and moan all they want, but the harsh reality is that these types of improvements need a funding source...existing transportation funding sources aren't enough...and trucks already are getting subsidized given both their volume and the level of damage they cause to a roadway and bridges in relation to how much they actually pay in diesel, wheelage, and registration taxes.
Sort of agree, but you have to see both sides of the story. Those tolls are expensive on truckers, $55 one-way. Sure, they might get subsidized for other things, but the tolls come out of their pockets, or shipping prices increase. I disagree with the concept of a tolled I-81, but at the same I can understand why it is needed. If increasing taxes could help bring funding in though, I would say they should go that route, or at least study it and see what the differences are.

But them designating drivers that drive around the tolled section as toll violators, and charging fines is absolutely ridiculous, and I don't think federal law would back that. If they want to though, install ramp tolls for all, except w/ a pass, that's fine. But specifically targeting thru-traffic is absurd, even if they are just getting charged normally. If a free alternative is available, they should not be allowed to designate you as a toll violator and charge you fines for using it, or even the toll simply because you skipped the mainline.

^^^^^^^^
Looks like the Bristol Herald-Courier no longer has the article available.  However, I did correct the listing for the "keep tolls off I-81" site; it now works fine:
                                  www.keeptollsoff81.com

https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/trucking-association-hints-at-lawsuit-over-i--tolls/article_3149210d-9d46-5361-8afc-1e47cf487c34.html
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #140 on: January 18, 2019, 07:07:50 PM »

This gave me a good laugh

"However, research could find no state that charges tolls for the length of an interstate highway’s full span within its borders."

Might wanna research again  :-D

Article - https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/i-81-legislation-proposes-tolling-rates/article_4b808c30-10a0-5adb-8daf-845c94c4798f.html


I agree with vdeane here...In PA, 70 and 76 aren't fully covered. In DE, MD and NJ, 95 isn't fully covered. Even 276 isn't fully covered in PA anymore unless they cut it off at 95. 
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Evan_Th

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #141 on: January 18, 2019, 07:43:11 PM »

This gave me a good laugh

"However, research could find no state that charges tolls for the length of an interstate highway’s full span within its borders."

Might wanna research again  :-D

Article - https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/i-81-legislation-proposes-tolling-rates/article_4b808c30-10a0-5adb-8daf-845c94c4798f.html


I agree with vdeane here...In PA, 70 and 76 aren't fully covered. In DE, MD and NJ, 95 isn't fully covered. Even 276 isn't fully covered in PA anymore unless they cut it off at 95.
I-90 in Massachusetts and Indiana is fully tolled, as is I-335 in Kansas. 
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Roadsguy

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #142 on: January 18, 2019, 07:46:27 PM »

This gave me a good laugh

"However, research could find no state that charges tolls for the length of an interstate highway’s full span within its borders."

Might wanna research again  :-D

Article - https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/i-81-legislation-proposes-tolling-rates/article_4b808c30-10a0-5adb-8daf-845c94c4798f.html


I agree with vdeane here...In PA, 70 and 76 aren't fully covered. In DE, MD and NJ, 95 isn't fully covered. Even 276 isn't fully covered in PA anymore unless they cut it off at 95.

I-276 ends at 95, so it is still tolled along its entire length, though this briefly wasn't true after they implemented the electronic westbound-only bridge toll (13 to 130 is free).
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vdeane

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #143 on: January 18, 2019, 07:52:48 PM »

I-90 has had a rotating cast of free sections in MA.  Exits 1-6 were free for cars for a time, as was exits 16-17.  Currently the areas around Springfield and Worcester are free.  I-335 strikes me as being in a different league than I-81 through VA, as it's basically a 3di connector between I-35 and I-70 that exists so the Kansas Turnpike can be entirely on the interstate system.

Yes, that widening of the entire route was my comment; but my way of saying that there will be more issues of toll revenue bonds to continue with the widenings after the initial $2.2 billion program is completed.
Are they allowed to expand the scope after the initial program is completed?  I was under the impression that they're strictly limited to what's recommended in the study, no ifs ands or buts.
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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #144 on: January 18, 2019, 10:39:38 PM »

^ For certain sections.  But the entirety of I-90 in Mass is toll-supported.
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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #146 on: January 19, 2019, 10:06:43 PM »

^ For certain sections.  But the entirety of I-90 in Mass is toll-supported.

Except the issue in question is charging tolls, not supporting with toll dollars.
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #147 on: January 19, 2019, 10:17:27 PM »

^ For certain sections.  But the entirety of I-90 in Mass is toll-supported.

Except the issue in question is charging tolls, not supporting with toll dollars.
I don't know. If the article is trying to say they couldn't find any other examples like I-81, then this works because like I-81, only certain sections would be tolled, but all toll-supported.
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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #148 on: January 19, 2019, 11:09:37 PM »

^ For certain sections.  But the entirety of I-90 in Mass is toll-supported.
Except the issue in question is charging tolls, not supporting with toll dollars.
I don't know. If the article is trying to say they couldn't find any other examples like I-81, then this works because like I-81, only certain sections would be tolled, but all toll-supported.

The Maryland and Delaware turnpikes. 

Only certain sections are tolled, but all toll-supported.
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vdeane

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Re: Virginia plans to toll I-81
« Reply #149 on: January 19, 2019, 11:20:27 PM »

Barrier systems are weird.  I tend to think of the MassPike as being similar to the Thruway, with the free sections being analogous to the free portion in Buffalo outside the ticket systems.  I also tend to think of VA's I-81 proposal as being most similar to the Garden State Parkway, without the half interchanges.  Maryland I-95 I think of as a toll bridge, and Delaware is, well, Delaware.

Also worth noting that even going by a "toll supported" definition (which is not what the sentence said in the article we're talking about), Maryland and Delaware's toll sections of I-95 don't span the state.
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