Author Topic: Voters vs Toll Booths  (Read 1028 times)

sandyshoes

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Voters vs Toll Booths
« on: June 10, 2019, 01:02:47 PM »
I know I'm WAY late to this party, life's been busy...  Thirty-two years ago, in 1987, with Tommy Hazouri as our Mayor, Jacksonville voters abolished toll roads/booths.  Now they are coming back.  So just HOW and WHEN did the voters get the opportunity to vote yes or no for the return of these beasts?  I don't recall hearing anybody voicing opinions one way or the other;  it seems as if it was just foist upon the taxpayers.  Fill me in?  How does something happen without the voters?  Thx.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 01:04:29 PM by sandyshoes »

Steve

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2019, 01:10:46 PM »
This is the fallacy of what people either forgot what they voted for, or plain didn’t understand it. Jacksonville NEVER voted to permanently ban toll booths. They simply voted to replace all existing local tolls to fund JTA with a 1/2 cent sales tax increase to fund JTA. That passed.

Nowhere in that ballot measure did it prohibit the State from implementing tolls in the city limits.

Charles Hunter

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 01:19:56 PM »
What Steve said.  Although, apparently, people DID think they were voting to "ban tolls forever," however incorrect that assumption.

Kerry

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2019, 08:34:22 PM »
I'll say this about toll roads, it gives you a good estimation of how high the gasoline tax should be.
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Peter Griffin

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2019, 07:21:24 PM »
funny thing about the new tolls is they're either on roads with free lanes, or roads designed to take you clear around Jacksonville. the old toll roads were to get you across the river, I can see why those were decided against, but these hardly affect most commuters in the city

I like toll roads. There I said it!

Ken_FSU

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2019, 08:23:44 PM »
I know I'm WAY late to this party, life's been busy...  Thirty-two years ago, in 1987, with Tommy Hazouri as our Mayor, Jacksonville voters abolished toll roads/booths.  Now they are coming back.  So just HOW and WHEN did the voters get the opportunity to vote yes or no for the return of these beasts?  I don't recall hearing anybody voicing opinions one way or the other;  it seems as if it was just foist upon the taxpayers.  Fill me in?  How does something happen without the voters?  Thx.

Let's not forget though that gas taxes haven't risen at the federal level since shortly after Jacksonville's toll bridges were abolished. Sure, Florida has increased them to keep pace with inflation, but that doesn't do a lot of good when fuel economy has increased to the point that a gallon of gas gets you twice as far in 2019 than it did in 1987.

The roads aren't going to pay for themselves.

I actually think the new toll roads are smartly, and fairly, implemented.

The existing roads maintain multiple free lanes for those who don't want to - or can't afford to - pay a premium for express lanes. And the proceeds from the express lanes are used to pay off the new lanes and eventually add additional capacity.

The express lanes (I believe) become free during off-hours, and those utilizing public transit also get to enjoy the benefit of the express lanes without paying the toll.

Unpopular opinion, but I'll take more toll roads, more aggressive congestion pricing, or a higher gas tax reflecting the true cost of transit over continuing to have the lower working class subsidize thousands of white collar workers commuting into and out of the city from St. Johns County every day. Especially if we can get our act together with mass transit in this city.

God forbid, long-term, we might even see more rational land-use patterns start to develop, instead of just spreading everything out wherever there's open land.

thelakelander

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2019, 02:45:20 AM »
I doubt the managed lanes pay for theirselves or encourage different land use patterns. What they do accomplish is making the loss to build them less.  They're also free at points right now because the demand isn't there. As time goes, they'll eventually charge a toll 24/7.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Charles Hunter

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2019, 07:14:24 AM »
I doubt the managed lanes pay for theirselves or encourage different land use patterns. What they do accomplish is making the loss to build them less.  They're also free at points right now because the demand isn't there. As time goes, they'll eventually charge a toll 24/7.

This is correct.

Peter Griffin

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2019, 09:34:06 PM »
I doubt the managed lanes pay for theirselves or encourage different land use patterns. What they do accomplish is making the loss to build them less.  They're also free at points right now because the demand isn't there. As time goes, they'll eventually charge a toll 24/7.
Do you have any source to back up the idea that they'll be charged 24/7?

Steve

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2019, 10:31:00 PM »
I doubt the managed lanes pay for theirselves or encourage different land use patterns. What they do accomplish is making the loss to build them less.  They're also free at points right now because the demand isn't there. As time goes, they'll eventually charge a toll 24/7.
Do you have any source to back up the idea that they'll be charged 24/7?

Probably the same statement I saw (I’ll see if I can find it) that said for the time being (paraphrasing) the lanes outside of rush hour would be free. They wouldn’t say “time being” otherwise.

Now, there is no timetable on “eventually”. The lanes in the other part of the state (and county) are designed variable so that a desired speed limit is achieved. If traffic causes the average speed to drop, then the state plays “economics 101” and raises price to lower demand. The inverse is true also.

Right now there isn’t enough traffic to warrant charging outside of rush hour but I have no doubt this will change long term.

Kerry

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2019, 09:55:19 AM »
I have been having this debate with family regarding the 'free' times so maybe someone here knows.  When it says 'free' is it only free to SunPass users and anyone else we incur the fine.  Have any of you used the free time and not have a SunPass?
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Peter Griffin

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2019, 10:23:30 AM »
I have been having this debate with family regarding the 'free' times so maybe someone here knows.  When it says 'free' is it only free to SunPass users and anyone else we incur the fine.  Have any of you used the free time and not have a SunPass?

I ain't about to try without a SunPass, but I have driven it during the free times with my SunPass and was not charged (obviously).

On the FCE they'll do toll-by-plate if you don't have a SunPass, but that's a whole roadway, not a convenience feature like the Express Lanes.

thelakelander

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2019, 10:37:39 AM »
I'm in Central Florida for work the most part these days and my job requires me to manage various transportation studies across nine counties, so I've had SunPass for a while. Kerry, I wouldn't travel in those lanes without a SunPass even if they are free. Besides, why? If they are free that basically means you can go just as fast in the free regular lanes: https://www.sunpass.com/en/support/expresslanes.shtml

I doubt the managed lanes pay for theirselves or encourage different land use patterns. What they do accomplish is making the loss to build them less.  They're also free at points right now because the demand isn't there. As time goes, they'll eventually charge a toll 24/7.
Do you have any source to back up the idea that they'll be charged 24/7?

See Express Lane Section: https://www.sunpass.com/en/support/faq.shtml or https://www.sunpass.com/en/support/expresslanes.shtml

Since they charge some sort of fee 24/7 for every other similar facility that has been built within the state, there's no reason that Jax would be an exemption to the rule.
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2019, 12:33:16 PM »
I heard from a friend who works at FDOT, and was told that no SunPass transponder is needed to use the I-295 Express Lanes during the off-peak hours, when tolls are not currently charged.  But, there was a caution, that it would be best to have the SunPass, in case you find yourself in the Express Lane during the toll times. For example, if the clock in your car is fast, and you think it is 10:05 (free time), but it is really 9:50 (tolls in effect). Then, you would face the toll plus a penalty.

Oh, and - for the time being - the toll is a flat 50 cents, no higher charge when congestion is worse.  But, that will change, eventually.

Charles Hunter

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Re: Voters vs Toll Booths
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2019, 12:35:54 PM »

<snip

Let's not forget though that gas taxes haven't risen at the federal level since shortly after Jacksonville's toll bridges were abolished. Sure, Florida has increased them to keep pace with inflation, but that doesn't do a lot of good when fuel economy has increased to the point that a gallon of gas gets you twice as far in 2019 than it did in 1987.

The roads aren't going to pay for themselves.

<snip>


This is why some states are experimenting with usage taxes based on miles driven.