WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Like It or Not, The Toll Lanes Are Coming

WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Gas Tax Responses

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

They say "You can't fight City Hall." Well, evidently, you can't fight the North Carolina Department of Transportation either.

As you may have heard, the I-77 toll lanes are now a done deal.

Wait, let me correct that. According to a press release, they're not "TOLL lanes," they're "EXPRESS lanes."

And for a fee, you can zip on by your neighbors "general purpose lanes."

After building the $650 million dollar project, Cintra will pocket the tolls on it for 50 years.

At least $284 million of the funding will come from a Federal transportation loan and the North Carolina D. O. T.?

That's right, your tax dollars building a road that you can't drive on unless you pay for it…AGAIN.

There's also a non-compete clause which says that no new FREE lanes can be built in that area.

Four local cities and Mecklenburg County have passed resolutions asking questions or calling for a delay.

They were ignored.

The city of Charlotte hasn't taken a position on the matter…hasn't even debated it.

That takes courage, and it implies a tacit endorsement of the plan.

In the same way that the people's voices were ignored when the uptown arena was built a decade ago, it doesn't seem to matter what YOU think.

"City Hall" will do what City Hall wants to do.

How's our "representative form of government" working out for us?

Seems that maybe money trumps democracy.

Tell us what you think, SpeakOut@wbtv.com.