More Toll Road Shenanigans

Posted in Road Issues at 1:26 pm by wcnews

BOR points us to a report from TxDOT to the 110th Congress about how they want to toll every road in the future, even those that are already built. It’s entitled, Forward Momentum (.pdf).

McBlogger has more on that and also the idiocy of how the it’s costing the tollers in the Dallas area mailing bills for 25 cents that actually cost 30.8 cents to produce.

And Ben Wear has an upbeat article in today’s AAS that tells us that now there is a Third way to pay tolls added: Drive through and get a bill.

Drivers will be given a third way to pay to drive on the toll roads, a new approach in the rapidly evolving world of toll roads typically called “open-road tolling” or “video tolling.” It will be more expensive than paying cash or using a toll tag.

Under the plan, drivers who don’t have a toll tag nonetheless will be able to remain on the main lanes at the 70 mile-per-hour speed limit and use the faster, nonbooth lane on entrance and exit ramps.

Cameras suspended on overhead gantries (alongside equipment that reads electronic toll tags) will shoot pictures of the license plates of such drivers and the registered owner of the car will be billed. Invoices would come once a month, and the toll charges would be approximately 33 percent higher than the normal cash rate of about 12 cents a mile.

It appears they’ve got a way around the aforementioned billing blunder:

With video tolling, there will be one mailing a month instead of a separate mailing each time a scofflaw runs through a toll point. People who don’t pay after receiving that first invoice will get a second invoice, Powell said. Then, if they still don’t pay, they’ll get a violation notice. And that $5 charge will apply to each toll transaction on the bill.

So you won’t get one bill for 30.8 cents you’ll get a whole bunch. And yes, don’t freak out, every time you’ve been driving through that toll booth they’ve been taking your picture. So smile next time or, ahem, wave at them. I also thought this part was interesting:

The Loop 1 tollway plaza near Merrilltown Drive has 16 cash booths (the plazas on Texas 45 North and Texas 130 are much smaller). If enough people use toll tags and open-road tolling, many of those booths might become unnecessary.

“I honestly hope we have a surplus” of booths, Powell said. “I can’t say we would have done anything different if we’d have known (about video tolling plans). When you have a multimillion dollar project, you want to be careful not to make any mistakes. And to undersize the toll plazas would be a big mistake.”

It’s always great when someone is asked, don’t you think you could have done such-and-such better? Then they say well even if we could have we wouldn’t have.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » TX Tags and 183-A said,

    June 6, 2007 at 11:46 am

    […] confusion. Especially when earlier in the year, as the first toll roads opened, we were told not to worry, just drive through and you’ll get a bill. While it’s mentioned in that article that 183-A won’t be using “video […]

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.