WBTV Speak Out Editorial: I-77 Congestion - Toll Lanes NOT the Answer

I-77 Congestion - Toll Lanes NOT the Answer

"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.

Let's take a little drive on the highways of North Carolina….

I-85 through Gaston County – 6 to 8 lanes wide…

U. S. Highways in the eastern part of the state – 4-6 lanes and wide open.

Raleigh – I-40…I-440…I-540…Just a coincidence that our state legislators drive those roads?

And I-85 through Salisbury – 8 to 10 lanes for about a decade.

Which brings us home to Charlotte – most populous city in the state…crossroads of two major interstates.

An outer belt woefully inadequate when it was built – worse now and still not completed.

To be fair, I-85 is now wider and getting better.

Which brings us to I-77. Six narrow lanes carrying the largest volume of traffic in the state.

With a carpool lane that only single-passenger vehicles seem to use.

What's the proposed solution to 77's congestion? A toll lane.

So, people who won't use a free HOV lane are gonna now pay $10- 20 a day on the toll lane?

We don't think so.

Some say if you want new roads, you gotta pay for them.

Well, that's the point.

We already DO pay for them with our gasoline taxes.

Some of the highest in the nation.

We think ALL lanes should be open to ALL drivers.

If you agree, let the decision-makers here and at the state capital know.

Call them, write them, text them.

"Drive" home your point.

Tell us what you think, SpeakOut@wbtv.com