NCDOT to Towns: If You Don’t Want HOT Lanes, You Need to Tell Us

At Cornelius’ last town board meeting, Mayor (now Senator-elect) Jeff Tarte proclaimed “the state wants to change the policy to tolling.” Jeff’s also on record as saying toll lanes are the “new normal” when it comes to road funding.

Since he’s packing his bags for Raleigh, he must be tied in with the current thinking of the movers and shakers over there so we’ll assume he speaks for the inside-the-Raleigh-Beltline crowd.  But I wondered… does he speak for Mecklenburg?  For Lake Norman?  What if a local region wants something different?  Must Raleigh cram toll lanes down our throats even if we offer a different solution?

Well, your fearless blogger went straight to the source and asked Louis Mitchell, NCDOT Division 10 Engineer.  For all intents and purposes, Louis is the “voice” of NCDOT for Mecklenburg.

In a Dec 1st email I asked if the towns replaced the $22M gap now covered by tolls with a municipal source of revenue, would NCDOT build general purpose lanes instead of HOT lanes?  Further, before NCDOT awards the contract next summer, would they give us time to consider alternatives?  After a bit of prodding Louis responded.  Here is his email:

The email speaks for itself.  Huntervsille, Cornelius, Davidson, are you listening?  If we want NCDOT to consider alternatives…. uhhhhh…. we first have to ask.  Tolls do not have to be the “new normal.”

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