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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No tolls on 80

Breaking news from PennLive.com...

Federal government rejects state's application to toll Interstate 80, sources say

The excerpt: The U.S. Department of Transportation has rejected Pennsylvania's plan to toll Interstate 80, according to two sources with knowledge of the application. For months, the Federal Highway Administration has been poring over Gov. Ed Rendell’s proposal to remake I-80’s 311-mile, east-west track into a northern sister to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Sources say Rendell is expected to be notified of the decision today or tomorrow. They said the application will be rejected because it would violate language in a federal transportation law that would require money from I-80 tolls to be used only for that roadway.

There goes the budget...up in smoke.

You'd think these people would have trimmed things, balanced things, adopted austerity-type moves and whatnot. But instead, our elected leaders have continued to spend at profligate levels while all the while seeking out new revenues streams wherever they could find them.

Unfortunately, this potentially new revenue stream ain't happening.

In the long run, this is probably a good development for NEPA, because commercial vehicles are tolled by the number of axles. And trust me, it gets prohibitively expensive for the trucking firms in a big, big hurry. Oh, yeah, an added expense that gets passed along to all of us.

And if we're ever going to start filling our industrial parks again, we don't need that added expense making NEPA an unattractive target for warehouses and distribution centers.

Obviously, this is still developing, so expect Fast Ed's comments soon.


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