Talk About Tolling

As another group of local government officials stands up in opposition to tolling the Mountain View Corridor (MVC), I was surprised to read this in the Salt Lake Tribune:

While the Utah Department of Transportation has explored user fees as a funding option – one that could cost some west-siders up to $200 a month – state Transportation Commission Chairman Stuart Adams said his panel hasn’t seriously considered it.

“I don’t think anyone wants to take a tool out of the toolbox and throw it away,” Adams said, “but it isn’t a tool that has been talked about.”

I could not believe that the Transportation Commission has not discussed tolling yet. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has and there are rumors that congestion pricing will be recommended for freeways nationally.

It’s about time that the Transportation Commission started talking about this tool – and they should apply it across the board. Ideally, I-15 and the MVC should each include congestion pricing along-side a free lane or two (meaning always free rather than only free when traffic is low).

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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2 Responses to Talk About Tolling

  1. Brad says:

    Tolling or congestion pricing will allow those who can afford to, drive on the highways while pushing more people onto the already crowded streets. Where will the money that is collected going to be spent? Will tolls collected in SLCo be spent in SLCo and not elsewhere in the state? This still doesn’t fix the problem of our poor public transit system and failed land use planning.

  2. David says:

    If tolling is not imposed on every lane then those who can’t afford it will still have driving options. Where the tolls would be spent is a question that can’t be answered until groups such as the Transportation Commission finally start wrestling with the possibility of tolling.

    You are right that tolling does not fix (or even approach) the issue of failures in land planning and poor public transit. Those things certainly need to be addressed as well (I think my position on that it pretty clear).

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