Help stop tolls on Interstate 95

Published 1:28 pm Saturday, August 25, 2012

To the Editor:

Funding transportation has been an ongoing issue in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and Southside Virginia.

Each year at the General Assembly, we discuss the congestion and gridlock in Northern Virginia, as well as the needed repairs/maintenance of our roads in rural Virginia.

Legislation has been introduced for years with the support of businesses to increase gas or sale taxes because these fees will affect everyone rather than one specific geographic location. These bills die upon arrival in the General Assembly due to the no-tax pledge by the majority party.

Now, the Gov. Bob McDonnell and the Transportation Board have proposed to fund the Virginia transportation problem on the backs of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the Commonwealth (Southside Virginia) by tolling Interstate 95.

The governor has failed to listen to the people. Southside Virginia residents travel on I-95 for their medical services, employment, college education and shopping. Additionally, many localities with an 8 percent to 11 percent unemployment rate have worked for years to develop industrial sites to promote economic development/jobs along the I-95 corridor.

An $8 toll on a daily basis is unfair and ridiculous for these economically depressed residents who barely get paid above minimum wages. What will happen to the trucking industry?

A $24-a-day toll for truck drivers will divert traffic to secondary roads, which are already in need of repairs and pose a public safety problem for our farmers and local travelers.

Citizens, this is your time to take an active part in government. Your voice and help is needed to make a difference.

The final decision for tolls on I-95 will be made by the federal government. Contact your federal legislators, Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb, and U.S. Reps. Eric Cantor, Randy Forbes, Bobby Scott and Robert Hurt, and voice your concerns.

Keep writing Gov. McDonnell and Roger Cole, representative on the Transportation Board. This I-95 toll will not only affect us now, but many years to come.

Please act now. Working together we can make a difference.

Delegate Roslyn Tyler
Virginia General Assembly
75th District