BoomBozz Taphouse
$20 Worth of Food for Only $10!

July 30, 2013

For whom the bridge tolls

The Ohio River Bridges Project unveils a pricing proposal, and (surprise!) some people aren’t happy

Avery Koler brought white poster board with the handwritten quip, “This sign is more transparent than the Ohio River Bridges Project.” He planned to hold the visual aide up during the second of two public meetings held by the ORBP to discuss proposed tolls and their potential impact on low-income and minority communities. Koler, a Louisville Climate Action Network board member who characterizes the proposed tolls as immoral, was ready to show his support during community leaders’ and concerned citizens’ impassioned pleas for income-based toll considerations.

Instead, Koler found the public forum wasn’t a standard town hall meeting where a protest sign would fit in but an open house, with a looped five-minute video explaining the project and a dozen project officials milling about maps and renderings, answering individual questions. Comments were taken via paper forms and orally via onsite court reporters. Though a press conference was held so local legislators could publicly voice outcry over what they call a regressive tax on the poor, the official meeting was woefully understated, considering how opinionated people are when it comes to transportation issues, especially bridges.

Koler was one of many disappointed at the format and worried that outrage and suggestions regarding tolls and the bridges will fall on deaf ears. “This feels like an attempt to build the impression of inevitability, when it is not inevitable,” he says.

Project officials unsurprisingly feel otherwise, saying they are willing and open to the 150 online comments submitted through kybridges.com and the 250 submitted in person during the two open-house meetings held this month.

The ORBP is one of the country’s largest transportation efforts — and it’s costly. Since the public conversation on tolls began years ago, fervor has centered on not tolling existing bridges that are already paid for. Proposed now is a plan that would toll three of Kentuckiana’s five eventual bridges: a new East End Bridge, which will connect Prospect, Ky., and Utica, Ind., and the I-65 bridges, which will consist of a revamped Kennedy Bridge for southbound traffic and a new Downtown Bridge for northbound traffic.

The Clark Memorial Bridge, better known as the Second Street Bridge, and the Sherman Minton Bridge, which connects west Louisville with New Albany, will remain free.

Proposed tolls include $1 per crossing for “frequent commuters,” a term that hasn’t been defined; $2 per crossing for commuters not classified as frequent; $5 per crossing for panel or box trucks; and $10 per crossing for semi-trucks or tractor trailer rigs. Additional fees or higher tolls would be tacked on for commuters not paying via a wireless transponder system, which automatically deducts funds from a prepaid account whenever it crosses a bridge. (Those without transponders would have a photo of their vehicle taken as they crossed the bridge and be held accountable for fees later. No physical tollbooths will be installed.)

 

That undefined standard of “frequent” is a pressing concern for many, says Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe. Numerous residents have raised concerns about how people with atypical schedules will be affected.

“What constitutes a frequent commuter? Not everyone works 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. Some work 12 hours on, 12 off. Some do four 10-hour shifts,” says Wolfe. “Those people are concerned. If the threshold were 40 crossings per month, would they qualify? It’s a valid concern.”

It’s a concern student Misty Trunnell addressed as one of several speakers at the press conference held outside the ORBP’s Kentucky open house. The Louisville resident typically tries to schedule her classes at Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg, Ind., on the same weekdays to cut down on gas costs and drive time but wonders if doing so would mean paying a higher toll rate. She calculated her current transportation costs to be 9 percent of her income and says tolls would almost double it to 17 percent. Doable, but barely, on her meager income, which comes from being an assistant to a disabled woman, as well as whatever odd jobs she can fit in between school and being a mother.

“When you’re on a limited income, you know where every dollar is,” Trunnell says. “I’d have to reconfigure everything.”

Officials note that, compared to other tolled bridges past and present, the ORBP proposed tolls are reasonable. The Second Street Bridge opened in 1929 with a 35-cent toll, which is $4.64 in today’s dollars.

Still, even at the lowest rate of $1 per crossing, a commuter could pay upwards of $500 annually in tolls. For a minimum-wage earner, that’s equivalent to 70 hours of work. The comparison was made by nine Kentucky legislators in an open letter to Gov. Steve Beshear, asking him to support House Bill 129, which would give an annual reimbursement of up to $500 a year in toll-related work costs to anyone eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit.

HB 129 would also exempt TARC buses from tolls. TARC buses cross the bridges 946 times per week during their fixed routes. Additionally, TARC3, the paratransit service available for people with disabilities, crosses the bridge 140 times every weekday. Making these vehicles pay $10 per crossing would strain an already stretched public transportation system and could result in higher fares for riders, which would disproportionately affect low-income and minority communities.

A 2009 TARC survey found 47 percent of riders had an annual household income of less than $20,000 and 24 percent were between $20,000 and $39,999. The same survey found that 59 percent of riders were African-American. Although comparable survey data from 2013 has yet to be analyzed, TARC Marketing Director Kay Stewart says nothing indicates significant change in those ridership statistics.

Stewart says she is “cautiously optimistic” TARC will be exempt from tolls. Earlier this month, the board of directors overseeing TARC approved a resolution seeking exemption from the bridge tolls.

The states have dedicated $20 million toward improving TARC routes and awareness. It’s one of many components meant to lesson the impact on the low-income community. Others include offering low-cost transponders, allowing low minimum balances on transponder accounts, and making replenishing those accounts easy and accessible.

A six-person bi-state committee will ultimately make decisions on tolls, which are supposed to go into effect in 2016. That means, open houses aside, there’s still time.

“I don’t think it’s fair or reasonable to instill tolls on the working poor,” said Sen. Gerald Neal (D) at the press conference against tolls for the low-income community. “I’m calling on state officials to not write in stone these tolls. Take this issue seriously.” 

bridge tolls

By JimLahey
“I don’t think it’s fair or reasonable to instill tolls on the working poor,” said Sen. Gerald Neal...
Surely he said "impose", right? Who is transcribing these things? I hope he didn't say "instill".

While tolls may cause disparate negative impacts for the poor, are we also adding up positive impacts for the poor? What if easily-passable bridges extend the radius of job prospects for everyone? I would gladly pay $2/day in exchange for safe and efficient travel to a better job than the one I have now. And even if my job doesn't involve crossing the river, reduced congestion on the interstates might make it easier to get to my job wherever it is.

The proposed fee structure for varying trip quantities doesn't make much sense. This structure creates a "donut hole" in which it would be cheaper to take more trips in order to surpass the price break. A more sensible policy would charge $2 for the first X trips per month, then a discounted rate for all trips above that number. First 10 trips within a month are $2, after that $1, no one gets special treatment.

Does anyone have any good info on the fiscal status of TARC? I'm new here and don't know what the deal is. Adding a reasonable infrastructure toll should come out as a wash for what is essentially another part of infrastructure (a municipal bus service). While the toll might add to the costs side of the balance sheet, the added efficiency of travel combined with the expected increase in ridership should cancel out the additional nominal costs. If TARC cannot afford $10 per crossing, then TARC has bigger problems than the proposed toll.

Great post I would like to

By johnmak1122
Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article. what does bubblegum casting do

This is a excellent site,

By jazonewil
This is a excellent site, would you be interested in doing an interview regarding how you developed it? If so e-mail me! horney wife, looking for an affair pennsylvania extramarital affair personals, getting laid wife rhode island watching my wife getting laid, hot wife allie arizona hot pictures of my wife flirt dating single love 2008 maine online

Great post I would like to

By jimy5500
Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article. text your ex back download review

Sarah Harris, founder of

By Commenterman
Sarah Harris, founder of Emmis Communication’s ‘Incite’ division, shared national and local case studies with Revenue Summit attendees today. Incite is a separate division of Emmis dedicated entirely to cause marketing. It now represents 5% of the company’s total revenue. Harris shared these tips for local media companies that want to increase the amount of cause marketing that they are doing See more

it won’t be a taboo topic

By jimy5500
it won’t be a taboo topic however generally people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers eunhae.info

Thank you for another great

By jimy5500
Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information. Buy levitra paris

I am very much pleased with

By jimy5500
I am very much pleased with the contents you have mentioned. I wanted to thank you for this great article. website

Tattoo Machine kits

By celen
Those lacking transponders would hold a photo of their auto taken as they crossed the cross moreover be held answerable for fares soon. No brute tollbooths inclination be installed.Tattoo Machine kits

I have recently started a

By jimy5500
I have recently started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly. clash of clans hack

I would analogous to

By celen
I would analogous to recognize plus about this virtuoso. Blesss for the story.observe it up.http://uto.1admin.name/986857

This is really a nice and

By jimy5500
This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. https://www.rebelmouse.com/thegirlfriendactivationsystem/

After reading about how big

By vicd84
After reading about how big this bridge should be, it's weird that people are so amazed about the construction price.... Think about the amount of work, the quantity of building materials needed, not to mention the mechanical and electrical machines needed. And if you want quality stuff, like the welding supplies from http://www.usweldingsupply.com/wholesale.htm you have to pay more... The costs seem very reasonable.

I would like to say that

By jimy5500
I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. Develop a Brand

I am very happy to discover

By jimy5500
I am very happy to discover your post as it will become on top in my collection of favorite blogs to visit. http://slideshare.net

I must say, I thought this

By Commenterman
I must say, I thought this was a pretty interesting read when it comes to this topic. Liked the material. cheeboi

Its like you read my mind!

By albinamuro2
Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. recommended you read

After reading your article I

By albinamuro2
After reading your article I was amazed. I know that you explain it very well. And I hope that other readers will also experience how I feel after reading your article. Invoice Discounting

All the contents you

By albinamuro2
All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.Thanks. stop dog barking

A blog award is an award for

By albinamuro2
A blog award is an award for the best blog in a given category. Some blog awards are based on a public vote and others are based on a fixed set of criteria applied by a panel of judges. gold backed ira

I am very interested in this

By albinamuro2
I am very interested in this article and you have really helped me. I have just told a few of my friends about this on FaceBook and they love your content just as much as I do. Seacret Direct sales agent

I am glade to read this,

By albinamuro2
I am glade to read this, Thank you so much for providing individuals with such a breathtaking opportunity to read from this blog. It is always very enjoyable. Jason Bond picks

Acknowledges for sharing

By celen
Acknowledges for sharing Well this is truly remarkable yea.Would passion to foretell a small better of this. conveyor rollers

You can do something much

By jimy5500
You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best. clash of clans hack

Thanks for the nice blog. It

By jimy5500
Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I'm happy I found this blog. Cat Collars

I learn some new stuff from

By jimy5500
I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information. click here

I wanted to thank you for

By jimy5500
I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. stock astrology

I am happy to find this post

By ronan1122
I am happy to find this post Very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I Always prefer to read The Quality and glad I found this thing in you post. Thanks bubblegum casting

Interesting topic for a

By ronan1122
Interesting topic for a blog. I have been searching the Internet for fun and came upon your website. Fabulous post. Thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge! It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. I'll be sure to check back again real soon. bubblegum casting

hello, your website is

By ashleydanielle
hello, your website is really good. We do appreciate your give good results bobby rio magnetic messaging ebook

Koler was one of many

By AllanRoberts
Koler was one of many disappointed at the format and worried that outrage and suggestions regarding tolls and the bridges will fall on deaf ears. “This feels like an attempt to build the impression of inevitability, when it is not inevitable,” he says. Top Ten Web Hosting

It is imperative that we

By ashleydanielle
It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. I am already done it and find that this post is really amazing. https://www.rebelmouse.com/oldschoolnewbodyreviewf4x/

Excellent article. Very

By alax5
Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. buy likes on instagram

bags

By luoyu
It also isnt about the way the watch looks. I have an expensive watch that was given to me as a gift. It was a hand-me-down from someone who can afford the luxury of an expensive watch, actually, since I gained possession of this when they bought used fancier version. Im not known for my lavish income Im guessing that people have no idea that its expensive. To that point, the Rolex serves to reinforce a persons brand, not generate it. A poor man wearing a looks like a poor man with a. However, http://cheapaboots.com for the right man, the Rolex Oyster will serve to reinforce the idea that they is doing well indeed.

Nice to be visiting your

By ronan1122
Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it continues to be months for me. Nicely this post that i’ve been waited for so lengthy. capture his heart and make him love you forever

An interesting dialogue is

By jimy5500
An interesting dialogue is price comment. I feel that it is best to write more on this matter, it may not be a taboo topic however usually individuals are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers. double stroller side by side

I really enjoyed reading

By jimy5500
I really enjoyed reading this post, big fan. Keep up the good work andplease tell me when can you publish more articles or where can I read more on the subject? life alert phone number

Awesome and interesting

By raynaa1122
Awesome and interesting article. Great things you've always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post. more great reviews at www rebelmouse

This is very educational

By jimy5500
This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1t13ru_DMo

Thank you for taking the

By jimy5500
Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful! like this one at www rebelmouse

Thanks for sharing this

By jimy5500
Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people.. https://www.rebelmouse.com/dramamethodreview/

You make so many great

By ronan1122
You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. https://www.rebelmouse.com/michaelfiore/

Thanks for sharing this great article

By arcarro
carbono do que os de origem veículo e sua condição operacional. Os ar condicionado de origem luvas é aconselhável quando existir o acionamento ou desligamento parafínica. ar condicionado de maior manutenção obtidos de um mesmo tipo do ar condicionado veiculo de manutenção automotivo, deixam maior de resíduos que os de menor manutenção. Também, ar condicionado refinados uso de luvas é aconselhável quando existir o acionamento ou desligamento das mangueiras.

I real delighted to find

By ronan1122
I real delighted to find this site on bing, just what I was looking for : D also bookmarked Dale Buczkowski

Outstanding post, you have

By ronan1122
Outstanding post, you have pointed out some good details , I likewise conceive this s a very good website. hebergeur minecraft

This is really a nice and

By ronan1122
This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it https://www.rebelmouse.com/jasonkingfriendsintolovers/

hello, your website is

By ronan1122
hello, your website is really good. We do appreciate your give good results Visit Comalgerie

The news that the Second

By dazzlema
The news that the Second Street Bridge and Sherman Minton Bridge will remain free was nice to hear, I travel often between West Louisville and New Albany with my jeep from jeep Dealer Westchester. I am not against paying a small fee because I know these money will be invested in useful projects, the problem is that the authorities did not think to create a kind of ticket system for people that have to cross the bridge twice a day.

Think about everything from

By comment
Think about everything from your underground room, and the cellars of everyone you know, congealed into six huge spheres is bubblegum casting legitimate

soccer

By soccerkent
“I don’t think it’s fair or reasonable to instill tolls on the working poor,” said Sen. Gerald Neal (D) at the press conference against tolls for the low-income community. “I’m calling on state officials to not write in stone these tolls. Take this issue seriously.” I very much agree with this view.soccer jersey:wholesale soccer jerseys