Mission Statement: Dedicated to keeping tolls off 540 in the Triangle area of North Carolina.

Why No Tolls?

These are many of the reasons why there should be No Tolls on 540:

  1. Tolling parts of the 540 loop and not the entire loop is not fair.
  2. The recently open section called NC-540 was paid for with tax dollars and federal funding. The NC Turnpike Authority (NCTA) wants to place tolls on it to double dip into our pockets (which is why it is not currently called I-540). The road had to be called NC-540 to get around some of the restrictions in Title 23 United States Code Section 129 “Tolling Agreements”. Also, prior to the amendment to Senate Bill 1381 (passed in July 2006), it was illegal in NC to put a toll on a already existing road, in other words, one that was already paid for with your tax dollars. The amendment changed that in favor of the NCTA, an organization in which the NC Legislature helped create by appointing its Board of Directors. Seems fishy doesn’t it?
  3. The NC “equity plan” allows rural counties to have immaculate 4 lane highways where there are more cows than people per square mile. This takes money away from the urban growth areas that really need it. Even US Senator Dole is pressing Lyndo Tippet on the equity plan.
  4. Environmental Justice – the way in which a public road, if tolled, could discriminate against those with a lower income, particularly if a toll road is built with no cash option. Lower income families have a more difficult time gaining credit, typically needed for a cashless system.
  5. The Special Transit Advisory Commission (STAC) is delivering a transit plan to us, yet, their plan has nothing about roads, only rail and bus. A full transit plan would also include roads. To reach their goal, they play to ask us to pay higher taxes and higher fees on our cars, all the while the NCTA is going to ask us to pay tolls on part of 540 and 147? Let’s review, pay higher taxes AND tolls? At the very least, if we are going to pay higher taxes and vehicle fees, let’s include 540 and 147 so they are built WITHOUT TOLLS.
  6. The Governor Easley’s 21st Century Transportation Committee supports the toll road, why? Governor Easley, Marc Basnight, Lyndo Tippett, Lanny Wilson and others have outside agendas. Not only that, 2008 is the last year of the Easley administration. Should we let an OUTGOING administration make the decision on toll roads for our area? No. Let the new Governor’s administration make the decision so they will be in office and held accountable if they make poor decisions. Senators, Representatives and the Governor who are leaving office have no such accountability.
  7. The creation of the NCTA is the same as forming another company. This was done using your tax dollars on loan from the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT), to be paid back by toll revenues. The NCTA says this as if toll roads are already in place. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars must be found to pay for the tolling infrastructure, employee salaries and benefits, etc.
  8. How much extra money above the cost of the highway without tolls does adding the tolling infrastructure add to the equation? The NC-540, a 4.8 mile section of the 540 loop, was built for about $20 million per mile, just shy of $100 million. The NCTA claims the next section, almost 20 miles in length, will cost over $800 million. $20 million per mile on 20 miles is only $400 million. In 3 years the cost of building a section of highway has doubled, we think not.
  9. The NCDOT is already a monster organization that has run away with itself, why create the NCTA to do the same? The NCDOT is already failing to manage its projects costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Why not straighten out the NCDOT problems before creating the NCTA which will no doubt cause their own?
  10. So far, the NCTA cannot specify a toll amount, only throwing around $2 as a “guess estimate”. At $2 to go from home to work, then $2 to go from work to home, that is $4 per day, $20 per week and $1040 per year. That is a serious budget item in many households.
  11. Privatization (a.k.a. – public/private partnership) is NOT the answer. When the NC Legislature ended their 2007 session and the budget did not include the GAP funds ($20 million) the NCTA wanted in order to start building toll roads, they are now looking to privatization. This means a foreign investor could own NC roads. What does a private investor want? Profit. How is profit achieved? High profit is achieved by having higher toll rates and roads that remain tolled for a LONG time. Indiana just recently created such a road and tolls are slated to be on that road for 75 years! Your children’s grandchildren (or maybe even great-grandchildren) will still be paying for this HUGE mistake.
  12. Toll collection areas slow down traffic – EZ-Pass is *not* a foolproof solution.
  13. The State of NC claims we have no money for roads, yet a State surplus was declared *after* the NC General Assembly raided the Highway Trust Fund for more than $170 million this year alone.
  14. EZ-Pass systems allow the State to play “Big Brother” and calculate your speed between toll booths and knowing where you are on the road.
  15. EZ-Pass systems are responsible for “phantom tolls” where you are over billed for exiting a toll road at an outrageous rate because the transponder didn’t mark your vehicle as entering the toll road.