Al's Rantings

A view of the world from a hillbilly perspective.

Location: Virginia

I was born and went to school in the heart of the Appalachian mountains, in southern West Virginia. After graduating from college, I got married, and began working in Bristol, TN. I have have various jobs from Tennessee to up state New York and a few points between. Now I work in West Virginia. Some day, I want to live in Alaska.

Friday, December 16, 2005

West Virginia Turnpike

Bad news for those of us who have to travel the West Virginia Turnpike. The tolls are increasing from $1.25 to $2.00 for a car. This is scheduled to happen 1/1/2006.

I do not understand why, the WV Turnpike exists. Travel on Interstate 77 is free from Cleveland, OH, to Columbia, SC. Except in West Virginia where we have a toll road. Even in WV, the tolls are only for the part of I-77 that is in southern WV, between Charleston and Bluefield. From Charleston to Parkersburg, there is no toll. So people in the poorest part of the state, the Appalachian coal fields, must pay to drive on this 4 lane road. To make things worse, there is a nuisance toll of $0.25 at Beckley to get off I-77 to go white water rafting.

The turnpike is a joke. Why not make it free to travel the turnpike as this author suggests? According to this article,

"The Parkways Authority was created to invent ways to spend the snowballing money. Some of its abortive plans were lulus. Clipping Yankees worked so well that revenue soared. Then in 2004, another $200 million in bonds was authorized — apparently in an effort to keep tolls on the Turnpike forever."

This increase is rationalize by saying that 75% of the revenue comes from out of state cars and trucks, aka Yankees. My perception is that a lot of "make work" projects are done on the turnpike. It seems there is always construction on the turnpike. A lot less than the part of I-77 that runs from Charleston to Parkersburg.

Just say no to raising the tolls!


Blogger Jerry Fuhrman said...

West Virginia charges a tax for use of I-77 just as it charges for everything else that moves over there. It has one of the highest per capita tax burdens on its modest citizenry of any state in the USA.

Just a thought.

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