Interstate Highway Tolls

NJ Turnpike tolls

President Trump has proposed to end the ban on having tolls on the interstate highway system. He wants to make it easier for states to raise money to pay for interstate roadway rehabilitation projects.

Per USA Today, “President Trump hopes to finance more highway and bridge projects, with his proposal Monday aiming to lift the longstanding federal prohibition against such fees on interstate highways.” The 1956 Interstate Highway Act for the most part prohibits putting tolls on interstate highways. There are exceptions in the act for highways that already existed when the law went into effect, examples are the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Kansas Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. They were allowed to continue to collect tolls to avoid the building of parallel roads.

If the federal prohibition on having tolls on interstate highways is dropped it would give states an option to adopt a funding stream that would to allow the financing of construction bonds. The 1956 Interstate Highway Actcreated a 41,000-mile “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways” that would, according to Eisenhower, eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes, traffic jams and all of the other things that got in the way of “speedy, safe transcontinental travel.” At the same time, highway advocates argued, “in case of atomic attack on our key cities, the road net [would] permit quick evacuation of target areas.” For all of these reasons, the 1956 law declared that the construction of an elaborate expressway system was ‘essential to the national interest’.”

It seems to me that by putting a toll on any federally financed roadway it would be counter productive to the economy of the United States. The cost of shipping via truck would skyrocket and thus the cost of essentials such as fresh food and other necessary staples would also rise. So if a toll is imposed on an already free highway then it would not be a benefit to the people and thus it would run contrary to the act that created these roadways.

Unfortunately many Republicans can not see that they would be hurting not only the middle-class, but it would in the end harm the profits of many companies both large and small. This is something that I would think that they have not fully thought out and do not realize that it would hurt the very people that makeup their support base.

Trump must reevaluate this proposal before he and the rest of the Republicans do damage to our economy.

That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike

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