A good toll road is no toll road at all.

But don’t take my word for it. Just ask people in New York, New Jersey, Florida and California. They’ve had toll roads for years and have increased traffic congestion, high toll costs, excessive noise and high levels of environmental pollution.

If there’s an ounce of dignity and the need to do the right thing, we must speak out against toll road projects and plans and force legislators to find better alternatives.

The majority of drivers do not want toll roads, yet many elected and appointed officials still continue to push aside the will of the people they serve. Any reasonable person must be able to see that toll roads merely are another form of regressive taxation. In addition, toll roads are NOT cost-effective over the long term.

While we’re told that there are optional adjacent roadways in place for those who do not want to pay the tolls, the reality is quite different. Many of those side roads need repair and often cause increased traffic flow and are without sufficient turn roads that can cut across or under toll lanes.

Furthermore, all drivers will pay tolls, whether they use the toll roads or not. We will pay tolls many times over in purchasing goods and services from businesses that use the toll roads. Inevitably, businesses pass along such toll costs to their consumers.

Toll roads are nothing more than special-interest profiteering. What are tolls if not new taxes?

In addition, very few toll roads are dismantled once the roads are completely paid for; consequently, tolls become a burden to the people as an ongoing tax source. Those managing and operating the toll roads generally manipulate and increase the cost of tolls as per the days and times of greatest usage, so, during increased traffic hours it is not unusual to see toll costs escalate substantially.

In conclusion, toll projects and plans should be eliminated primarily because they are not cost-effective, not necessary, and the people don’t want them. In addition, the implementation of toll roads generally cause other issues or problems, including noise and environmental pollution, increase in traffic accidents and fatalities, decrease in adjacent home property values, etc.

Special-interest officials must not determine the direction of our transportation needs. Rather, options other than toll roads must be a priority to collect revenue to build and maintain our roadways and the people must be permitted to decide what is in their own best interests — or at least the plan should be part of a public referendum.

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