Toll Road Opponents Launch Petition Drive
Toll road opponents launched a petition drive Monday to prevent what they say would be motorists paying twice to drive on the same highway. Al Tracy said building new toll roads is one thing, but converting high occupancy vehicle lanes into toll lanes on Valley highways is another. He said that gives area drivers the choice of stewing in traffic or paying up and that is not right.
“Everything in Arizona will go up once we institute them, because everything is transport,” Tracy said. “We don't have a seaport here. So everything has to be trucked, and those costs will be passed on to the middle class who pay all the taxes anyhow. And it's a tax on a tax.”
But Eric Anderson of the Maricopa Association of Governments said the tolls could be used to add another HOV lane increasing freeway capacity and giving motorists more choices.
“If you're in a hurry, you have to pick up a child, that's one people talk about a lot,” Anderson said. “You've got a meeting or doctor's appointment; you can jump in that HOV lane, pay a toll, and get out of the general purpose lane congestion.”
Initiative backers have until early next July to gather nearly 260,000 signatures to put the issue on the ballot.