Here is an I-66 Toll Update that Delegate Bob Marshall sent out in email yesterday.
On Monday I sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation, Aubrey Layne and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) asking them to delay their vote yesterday to give preliminary approval to the I-66 Outside the Beltway tolls until they could meet in Northern Virginia and hear from concerned citizens. (Check out the Fox5 story above.) Unfortunately, they ignored my request. The final CTB vote to go ahead with the tolls in the I-66 project will be on December 9th in Northern Virginia. If you live in Northern Virginia I encourage you to contact VDOT at firstname.lastname@example.org with your concerns and plan to attend the meeting if at all possible. If you don’t live in Northern Virginia this should still be an issue of concern to you since it will set a precedent that the Governor and unelected Board members can take a road that is already paid for and slap tolls on it in spite of massive citizen opposition.
I have reviewed the Transform 66 website (www.transform66.org) and sent another letter today to Secretary Layne and Governor Terry McAuliffe encouraging them read VDOT’s own website because it conflicts with some of the statements they have made with regard to the Transform I-66 projects.
VDOT’s own 2012 and 2013 studies said:
- tolls would be from 15-20 cents per mile;1
- the conversion of existing I-66 lanes to toll lanes “do not assume that existing lanes would be tolled,” and “were not analyzed;”2
- that public support for tolls would have to be generated, and that questions remained about tolling existing lanes.3
Secretary Layne and Governor McAuliffe are undermining public trust for this project by failing to properly inform the public. No I-66 Message Boards were used to alert drivers to potential tolls and they have provided no analysis nor justification for such tolls.
The 2014 VDOT I-66 survey of I-66 users mention tolls four times, but not the price of such tolls. How can the Commonwealth Transportation Board vote to give authorization to this project without even know the costs of the potential tolls?
I fully support the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority prioritizing using the annual $315 million in funds they receive from the Northern Virginia taxes collected to widen I-66 inside the Beltway, expedite extending VRE to Gainesville/Haymarket, add additional parking at VRE and Metro parking lots and create 4,000-6,000 park and ride spaces in areas that do NOT take family farms.
Delegate Bob Marshall
1 “The toll for the peak periods in the peak direction for Package 1 was set at 15 to 20 cents per mile (in 2007 dollars), depending on the demand in each segment. In the reverse-peak direction for the peak periods the toll was about 20 percent lower than the peak.”[page 3-25 I-66 Multimodal Study Final Report, June 8, 2012 http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/resources/NorthernVirginia/I-66_Multimodal_-_Final_Report.pdf
2 “ … Options that simply converted existing lanes to tolled lanes were not analyzed; rather it was assumed that any tolling option would require adding additional capacity.”
“… the tolling scenarios assessed for this high-level Tier 1 tolling analysis do not assume that existing lanes would be tolled, but rather that tolls would be applied to new roadway lanes, with the most likely scenario resulting from tolls applied as part of a HOT lanes system that allow 3+ occupant vehicles to avoid paying the toll. [Page 9-8, Transportation Technical Report, I-66, http://www.vdot.virginia.gov/projects/resources/NorthernVirginia/I66_TransportationTechnicalReport_2013-02-25-ForWeb.pdf ]
3 “Policy issues with tolling existing capacity on an Interstate wold need to be addressed; Potential policy issues with tolling Dulles Airport users; Public support for tolling existing capacity would need to be addressed.” [page 1-4, I-66 Multimodal Study, Supplemental Report, August, 2013, http://www.virginiadot.org/VDOT/Projects/Northern_Virginia/asset_upload_file118_54324.pdf
I-66 Improvements Study, Finalized Survey, Southeastern Institute of Research.