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Old Posted Apr 18, 2020, 1:36 PM
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ardecila ardecila is online now
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
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^ Generally, highway lanes built with Federal dollars can't be tolled. This applies to interstates and other Federal aid highways. The longstanding Federal policy is that they don't want citizens to pay twice for a highway (once through gas taxes, again through tolls).

If you add lanes to a highway, those lanes can be tolled (as HOT or tolled express lanes, for example) but the original lanes in most cases were built with Federal funding and therefore must remain free. There's a good overview here:
https://reason.org/commentary/its-ti...-aid-highways/

Right now there is a pilot program to allow tolls at three different locations on the interstate system - so far no state has managed to do it, because it's too controversial. Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Missouri all tried to get one of these special exceptions but they all ran into fierce opposition from local residents and politicians and had to pull out.

Even NY's congestion pricing is going to require special permission from FHWA, since some of the free bridges into Manhattan and the FDR/West Side Highway were added to the Federal highway system over the past 50 years so they could be rebuilt with Federal funds. Trump was threatening to withhold that permission, so who knows how it will turn out?

However, most other American cities are even more reliant on interstate highways than NY, so it will be very difficult to implement congestion pricing if the interstates can't be tolled. I suppose you could maybe toll the offramps within the pricing zone, leaving the highway mainline free of charge for through traffic. I'm really not sure if that would be allowed or not...
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Last edited by ardecila; Apr 18, 2020 at 1:55 PM.
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