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Buses? Bikes? Big Screens? Benefit Toll Payers?

 

May 2, 2019 UPDATE: Tonight's I-66 Commuter Choice public hearing and NVTC Meeting will be live-streamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjP_JW-9NXY&feature=youtu.be

Dear Friends,

 

How Will I-66 Tolls Be Spent?

Buses? Bikes? Big Screens? Benefit Toll Payers? 

 

You can help decide by voting with online comments here, or better yet, in person at an open house event next Thursday, May 2 from 6–7pm in the lobby of the Navy League Building, 2300 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, Virginia with a public hearing to follow during the monthly NVTC meeting. Attendees will have three minutes to present comments to the Commission on the FY 2020 project applications. You can also read more about the proposed FY 2020 projects and provide comments on the NVTC website here.

 

What are the Rules governing the spending?

Here are the rules: Toll money is supposed to go to projects that benefit toll payers. Keep in mind most tolls come from western Fairfax, Loudoun, and points west (because, thanks to McAuliffe, Northam, and Sen. Saslaw, reverse commuters going West in the a.m. and East in the p.m. are freeloading).

 

What are “Projects that benefit toll payers?”

 

Program administration - $400,000/year
Keep in mind that an average one-way toll on I-66 is $10 per trip. At that rate, it takes 40,000 tolled vehicle trips per year just to figure out how to spend the toll money.

 

Recommended input to NVTC:

“Don’t spend so much toll money on red tape and consultants.”

 

Advertising and Promotion/Outreach - $1,723,000
Some people still like driving cars. Others want to modify that behavior and force people to use transit instead. (Not exactly a market preference-driven system.)

 

172,000 tolled vehicle trips promoting non-car transportation
 

Recommended input to NVTC:
“Skip the transit promotion and fund road improvements and buses.”

Dollars spent improving roads - $0
If you guessed road improvements would be on the list, WRONG!

 

Recommended input to NVTC:
“Fund road improvements.”

 

 

Real Time Transit Information Screens - $250,000
Yes, that puts big screen TV’s at libraries and commuter stores, and eventually in lobbies of condominium buildings.

 

25,000 tolled trips for big screen TVs.
 

Recommended input to NVTC:
“Don’t spend toll money on TVs; people can get the information they need from their phone.”

 

BikeShare and bike racks - $1,052,100
These are seasonal of course, and help people who don’t want to buy their own bike.

105,210 tolled trips for bikes
 

Recommended input to NVTC:
“Fix roads and put new buses on the road where the demand exists and let people buy their own bikes.”

 

Arlington Traffic Management System - $800,000
An Arlington Traffic Management System that qualifies as a “…project that benefits toll payers on I-66”. That takes a pretty good imagination.

80,000 tolled trips to pay an for Arlington Traffic Management System.

Recommended input to NVTC:
“Fix roads and let Arlington pay for their own stop lights.”

 

Loudoun, PRTC and Fairfax Buses - $17,652,643 
Buses are good, especially if they are full of people. Spending on buses and commuter lots is one of the most popular and sensible uses of tolls after road improvements.

Recommended input to NVTC:
“Fix roads and put new buses on the road where the demand exists.”

 

I hope many toll-payers and citizens in general will comment that these funds must not be wasted, but be spent in a way that will truly benefit toll-payers.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

I encourage you to keep in touch with me and my office over the coming months. I value the feedback you provide on a continual basis as it helps me do a better job of representing you. We are here to serve you! You can reach us at info@voteLaRock.us, 540-751-8364, Facebook, and Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

CONTACT ME!

 

Email:

DelDLaRock@house.virginia.gov

 
Richmond Office (Jan-Feb):
(804) 698-1033
 
District Office:
P.O. Box 6
Hamilton, Virginia 20159
(540) 751-8364
 
Social Media:
 
 

 

As you know, I've opposed the tolls on I-66 Inside the Beltway (ITB) ever since Gov. Terry McAuliffe first proposed them in 2015.

 

Unfortunately, my budget amendments and legislation to remove, reduce, and reform the tolls have not been successfully implemented, thanks to opposition from the Governor and some Inside-the-Beltway Democrats.

 

I serve on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), the entity that decides how to spend the toll revenues. Basically, the requirement is that the toll funds must be used to "benefit toll payers." But benefit is wide open to interpretation.

 

Over the first two years of the program, while about $17 million in new bus service in Loudoun, Prince William and Fairfax has been funded with the I-66 ITB tolls, a lot of projects with, shall we say, "less obvious" benefits have also been funded.

 

The next year of your toll money will be allocated to various projects by the NVTC soon, following public input at hearings next week and in May. Once again, there is a good possibility that millions of dollars will go to program admin, advertising (trying to get people to abandon their cars for transit) and buying bikes.

 

The NVTC is holding an open house event next Thursday, May 2, from 6–7pm in the lobby of the Navy League Building, 2300 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, Virginia with a public hearing to follow during the monthly NVTC meeting. Attendees will have three minutes to present comments to the Commission on the FY 2020 project applications.

 

You can read more about the proposed FY 2020 projects and provide comments on the NVTC website here.

 

 

 

WTOP on last round of toll spending:

How I-66 toll money will be spent; about $12 million last round:

 

https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2018/05/66-toll-money-will-spent/

 

Phone: 540-751-8364

Web: VoteLaRock.us

Email: info@VoteLaRock.us

Authorized and paid for by Dave LaRock for Delegate

 


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