Toll roads

Sunday, August 8, 2004

The Joplin Globe

Toll roads could become a hot-button issue in the Missouri Legislature next year as the next governor and General Assembly wrestle with how to improve the state's deteriorating highway-and-bridge infrastructure without asking motorists for the keys to their wallets. ...

One day Missourians may decide to let the toll-road camel stick its nose under the transportation tent as an easy funding means to raise the standards for the state's highways. If that happens, they should do so with expectations that the camel not only will find a permanent home, but will grow ever larger and will never go away.

A better approach is for the General Assembly to give Missourians a highway funding package that is tailored specifically for highways and bridges, that will sunset in, say, 10 to 12 years, and that doesn't transfer money to any other forms of transportation. We think voters would approve it.

They also will require a guarantee that revenue will go for projects proposed. ... Voters haven't forgotten or forgiven the failure of the 15-year plan. ... They may never forget, but they will forgive and put more money into highways under the right conditions.

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