That Route 422 Tolling Plan? Officially Dead For Now
PHILADELPHIA PA – Chalk this one up as a win, at least for now, for the area’s commuting public.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) threw in the towel this week on its two-year-old proposal to impose tolls on drivers who use U.S. Route 422 from King of Prussia to the Berks County line as a means of paying for improvements there. The toll plan was heavily criticized from the start, as opponents derided it as a special tax from which they would receive questionable benefit.
“Public and political sentiment told us that people would rather see a comprehensive statewide solution than a local toll,” DVRPC Executive Director Barry Seymour conceded Tuesday (Oct. 4, 2011) on the agency’s 422plus.com website.
A state Transportation Funding and Advisory Commission in August “proposed a comprehensive package to increase funding for transportation infrastructure across Pennsylvania. Support and passage of this package will enable critical transportation improvements to proceed, without a toll,” Seymour noted.
Whether the commission’s recommendations will be fully implemented, however, remains to be seen. So, too, does whether it will generate enough money to allow substantial improvements to 422, which twice daily becomes so choked with traffic that it slows to a crawl.
Although he acknowledged the plan could currently go no further, he also added that Philadelphia-based DVRPC’s study of the issue – in partnership with PennDOT, SEPTA, and Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties – indicated “a modest toll managed by a local authority could pay for these improvements, and have them in place far faster than waiting for available funds from Harrisburg or Washington.”
In its pages, Seymour added, the study continues to maintain tolls could be a viable way to proceed if the situation on 422 worsens, or if the advisory commission’s suggestions fail to bring in enough revenue.
Those recommendations include shifting some non-roadway expenses taken from gas tax revenues, which are earmarked to pay for highway improvements, to the state general fund; renewing vehicle registrations every two years, and drivers’ licenses every eight; closing some driver license centers; and allowing uninsured motorists to pay a $500 fine instead of having their registration suspended.
As its closing volley on the subject, the partnership released 12 different downloads on most aspects of the project it studied. Among them were:
- Seymour’s cover letter;
- A summary of the study’s findings; and
- The tolling study’s traffic and revenue forecasts.
- Route 422 study: Tolling may not be best option (The Mercury)
- Route 422 toll plan gets red light, on indefinite hold (Reading Eagle)
- Official: Tolling Feasible But Not Solution (Pottstown Patch)
- Plan to put tolls on Route 422 appears dead for now (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Related (to U.S. Route 422 Corridor planning):
- Route 422 Toll Plan Officially Dead, At Least For Now
- Lawmakers, Editorials Press On Transportation Funding
- Chamber Presents Members’ Forum On 422 Proposals
- Toll Road, Rail Line Deal Announced … NOT For 422
- Candidates Criticize DVRPC Toll Info Position
- On 422 Toll Plan, DVRPC Fights Information Requests
- Notebook Worthy (U.S. Route 422 Forum Edition)
- Drivers will subsidize new rail line in 422 tolling plan
- Agendas Abound Tonight At 422 Forum In Royersford
- Quigley Seeks Crowd As Source Of Comments On 422
- State Road Tolls A Future Funding Solution, Official Agrees
- Report Expected To Suggest Law For Road Toll Authority
- I-95 A Big Problem; 422 A Solvable Problem (With Tolls)
- Even With Tolling, 422 Might Be Free (For A Few Miles)
- County Candidates Brown, Castor Oppose 422 Tolling
- Quigley, Other Reps Questioning 422 Tolls Proposal
- 422 Toll Proposal Wins Some PA Commission Backers
- Exec Highway Group To Hear Rt. 422 Tolling As ‘Model’
- 422 Questions Answered, For Your Viewing Pleasure
- In 422 Tolling, Planners Say, Studying Doesn’t Make It So
- Former Reporter Asks Commissioners To Support 422 Tolls
- Online Survey Seeks Opinions On Local Road Congestion
- 422 Plus Project Plays Offense With FAQs Debut
- Peering Into The Future? Gov’s Bridge Proposal And 422
- Another Township Endorses 422 Master Plan
- Neighboring Limerick Supervisors Endorse 422 Master Plan
- Understand 422 Plan Endorsement, Lower Pottsgrove Advised
- Lower Pottsgrove Holds On 422 Plan Endorsement
- Engineers Claim PA Roads Worse Now Than In 2006
- Tuesday Session Tackles Funding For 422 And Elsewhere
- Tolls, Lower Pottsgrove Station Part Of 422 Plan
- Pending Decision May Affect Route 422 Projects
- Last Day For Your Say On Route 422 Plan
- Notebook Worthy (Aug. 24, 2009)
- Consultants Express Interest In Studying 422
- Don’t Like 422 Tolling? Website Wants Your Alternative
- Truckers Alerted On Highway Partnerships Bill
- In 422 Debate, Time A Hindrance And Help
- Notebook Worthy (June 29, 2009)
- Growth, Planners Say, Is 422’s Growing Problem
- Tech Used To Draw For 422 Meetings
- Route 422 Toll Meetings Next Week
- 422 Repairs, Delays Start Tuesday
- 422 Proposal, Like Traffic, Creeps Ahead
- Got A Route 422 Idea? Time To Air It
- Train Service On The Front Burner Once More