If Tolls Were a Bad Idea During the Election, They are Still a Bad Idea Today
During the gubernatorial campaign, Pat McCrory spoke out against toll lanes on I-95. (Like I-77, that stretch of road has not been improved for decades.) He expanded that opposition during a gubernatorial debate by stating his opposition to toll lanes across North Carolina – especially for existing roads. Democratic candidate Walter Dalton concurred.
Both Democrats and Republicans should be pleased that their candidates opposed the use of toll roads as an additional source of road funding. Toll roads are more expensive than general purpose lanes because they incur operating costs. In fact, most toll roads barely cover their operating costs leaving little to repay construction costs.
If Governor McCrory opposed tolls last Fall, we hope that he will stand by his word and put a stop to them today. We have not heard McCrory comment on the proposal to widen I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville with high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. The proposal calls for the new lanes to be built and managed by a public, for-profit (and possibly foreign) company with a 50-year contract. As our Governor, he is in the position to act on his opposition to toll lanes and put a stop to plans to widen I-77 with HOT lanes.
A bad idea during the campaign is a bad idea today. Where are you on tolls, Mr. Governor?