Possible Interstate Tolling Expansion
As a member of the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI), the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) works with the ATFI on a regular basis to ensure that your right to ride is not infringed upon with heavy interstate tolling. Please take a few minutes to review this and respond.
The MRF has learned that the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), which has jurisdiction over the Interstate Highway System, is considering expanding interstate tolling at its June 24th bill markup.
Please take action by sending an email to your Senator if they sit on the EPW Committee. Add a sentence urging them to contact Chairman Inhofe directly about rejecting tolls!
Tell the EPW Committee “NO TOLLS” in just 15 seconds
Over the past seventeen years, the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP) has served its purpose and demonstrated the unviability of tolling existing interstates. Six states have pursued tolls via the ISRRPP, and all failed primarily due to the widespread public outcry over tolling’s negative consequences, which in some cases even triggered legislative action to protect interstates from tolls. Pilot programs are meant to be temporary. Now approaching twenty years, the ISRRPP has run its course and should be repealed, not expanded or made more flexible.
We all know that tolling existing interstates would have serious negative consequences. Businesses would face higher operating expenses and be forced to pass those costs on to consumers. Commuters and travelers would face steep cost increases, and hourly employees might have to work an extra hour per day just to pay the toll to and from work. Traffic diversion around tolls onto secondary routes would cause congestion, increased accidents, higher road wear and repair costs for local governments, and slower first response times. The cost to ride will be dramatically higher.
Additionally, our Founding Fathers gave Congress the responsibility to regulate commerce; this now includes funding and maintaining the Interstate Highway System, and passing the buck to the states is an abdication of duty and violates the spirit of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. It may be politically expedient to frame it as a “states’ rights” issue, but this ignores the safety, equity, and interstate commerce implications. Most importantly, it will not solve the highway funding problem.
Please join the MRF in urging the EPW Committee and its Chairman, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), to protect interstates from the burden of new tolls.
To learn more about ATFI and join the Alliance please visit www.tollfreeinterstates.com.