Grand County to bureacrats: Think outside the toll booth on I-70
April 3, 2008
To the Editor:
A toll on Interstate-70? Let’s assume for a moment that the state government really needs more money ” a very doubtful premise ” but follow along.
Let’s say we need to build more roads, bridges and tunnels. Current tax rates aren’t enough, we’re told. So we get a group of people together to decide the best way to tax folks for that money.
Who else but bureaucrats and politicians would say, “Let’s put up barriers on the road, stop all the traffic, have them line up and wait to give money to a government employee at the barrier?
“And we’ll stop them going both ways … every trip … forever.”
Sounds much like a pay toilet in a diarrhea ward.
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Ever wonder how much gas is wasted waiting to pay the highway toll taxes? How much pollution is caused by the lines of vehicles?
If ordinary people made up such a committee they would agree to increase some existing tax, like the gas tax. Probably, after careful analysis, they would tell the government that they have too much tax income already.
Some say that tolls are a way to get outsiders to pay for the roads. Yeah, and what portion of the tolls comes from outsiders and what are you when you go to their state?
Tolls allow the people who use the roads to pay for them, some say. Who doesn’t use the roads? Even if you don’t own a car, you do use the toll roads. That’s right ” the trucks that bring food and clothes to your stores use the toll roads.
Face it, toll roads are a touch of insanity, and once in place they never go away. It is just an evil way to tax us.
On a broader view, has the highway department done an origin-destination study on I-70? I’m sure they have traffic counts (because I think they can count) but do they know where people are coming from and where they are headed?
If they had such data could it be that much of the I-70 traffic is headed to Aspen/Vegas/Southern California or to Grand County/Steamboat/Salt Lake City/Northern California? Isn’t a whole new bore through the Continental Divide needed?
Listen up, bureaucrats and politicians, think outside the toll-booth.
Winter Park Highlands