6/5/2008Texas: Neighborhood Streets to Receive Tolls
Officials in Dallas County, Texas create plan to toll existing city side streets to force motorists to use tolled freeways.
Officials in Dallas County, Texas are pushing to use gas tax funds from taxpayers around the nation to add tolls to existing free neighborhood streets. Earlier this year regional officials made a first-of-its-kind "arterial street pricing" proposal designed to land the approval of Federal Highway Administration officials committed to spending $1 billion in taxpayer funds to bankroll innovative ways to raise taxes on drivers. Although FHWA chose higher priority projects instead, officials are still hopeful the plan can be implemented.
Last year, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Assistant VP Koorosh Oyai told a panel of transportation experts that all agreements and policies were in place to begin taxing motorists each time they use Mockingbird Lane, a major thoroughfare in the town of Highland Park that is often used as an alternative to various tolled routes. Leaders in the wealthy community of 9000 residents quickly agreed to the idea with the intention of discouraging those who cannot afford the tax from entering.
The system would be designed to only toll those who enter and leave the zone within a certain time so that Highland Park residents themselves would not subject to the toll. Much of the road has been closed in the past year due to a major reconstruction project.
The Dallas Morning News first reported on the Mockingbird Lane proposal earlier today. Local government officials suggested to the Morning News that they would "study" the tolling proposal and attempt to land federal funding next year.