Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Transportation Funding Advisory Commission

Is Tolling 422 the ‘Only’ Solution to Traffic Nightmare?

Tolling of 422 continues to be a topic of discussion. A few days ago, Barry Seymour,Executive Director of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) wrote an editorial with claims that tolling is the best option to improve 422 traffic problems. This article reconfirms Seymour’s presentation last month to Gov. Corbett’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission.

Here’s some interesting statistics from Seymour’s editorial:

About 65,000 commuters drive each day between Royersford and Collegeville; and within the next 25 years, that number will increase by 44 percent to over 93,000 commuters. Today, the average 422 commuter spends the equivalent of two weeks vacation stuck in traffic; by 2035, without additional capacity, time wasted will grow to the equivalent of four weeks, and the road will be in gridlock.

Seymour claims that 422 improvements will cost $700 million in improvements over the next decade and laments that few options are available for funding. With the Federal government dollars decreasing and PennDOT’s budget of $243 million over the next 8 years, what alternatives remain? If you support Seymour’s theory, you quickly conclude that tolling 422 is about the only way that to improve the daily commuter nightmare.

Because the Transportation Funding Advisory Commission will be finalizing and delivering its recommended plan to Corbett by Aug. 1, Seymour likewise is continuing to put forth his case. Expected in the plan will be a recommendation for a local taxation authority dedicated to specific roads in a given region. The idea of a local multi-county taxation authority is to direct funding for local improvements.

According to Seymour, “ . . . By 2035, a commuter who travels the full distance on the expressway would save more than 40 minutes daily or about $7,000 per year in travel time value.” With the clock counting down to the deadline for the governor’s Transportation Funding Advisory Commission, Seymour needs to make sure he has a voice in Harrisburg.

To read Seymour’s editorial, click here.

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