Michigan motorists offer opinions on proposed toll road system i - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Michigan motorists offer opinions on proposed toll road system in Michigan

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VIENNA TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (05/02/14) - Would you pay a toll to drive on some state roads?

State lawmakers are considering just that.

Tucked away in a series of road funding bills is the phrase "public-private partnerships." That's political talk for toll roads.

Michigan has never had toll roads. Federal policies had made it difficult for states to charge tolls on Interstate highways, but changes in Washington could lift some of the restrictions.

Some politicians have said making I-69 a toll road could generate revenue from trucks crossing into the state from Ontario.

Michigan motorists are split on the issue.

"Michigan has the worst roads in 50 states. A lot of the toll roads we travel on, they're wonderful," said Mary Smith, of Eastpointe.

"My concern with toll roads or any kind of taxation is the government has shown over and over they don't spend it on what it's supposed to be used for," said Robert Hines, of Shelby Township.

"Other states have them. They seem to work fine and the roads seems to be in good shape. So, are we better or worse off with them? We probably would be better off with them," said Steve Veresh, of Monroe.

"I don't personally like toll roads. I think it slows down the traffic flow. And I think it deters tourists from coming to the state of Michigan," said Julie Haase, of Petoskey.

"I don't think I'd be real happy about it, but I think if we could maintain them a little better, that it might be worth the investment. If it was a fair amount they charged and if the upkeep was maintained, I think that would be a good idea," said Mike McCann, of Roseville.

"If it will fix the roads, yes. I wouldn't mind paying a buck to drive all the way up north," said Bob Trost, of Westland.

"I think it would be a good idea. Plus, it would take maybe away from some of the taxes that are going toward highways," said Linda Hodges, of Lake Orion.

The talk of creating toll roads comes as the state legislature considers replacing the gas tax with a six percent sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel.
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