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Biden Supports Rhode Island Governor’s Truck-Only Tolls


kscarbel2
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Transport Topics  /  May 31, 2016

The ongoing battle between Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and the state’s trucking association took another turn on May 27 when Vice President Joe Biden flew to the Ocean State to publicly express his support for RhodeWorks, Raimondo’s truck-only tolling infrastructure plan.

“Gov, you took a lot of heat … but you got the bill passed … to provide $850 million to modernize your infrastructure and make your state more competitive,” Biden told a gathering at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s facility in East Providence. “And you found a funding source. Every other state, except Connecticut, in the Northeast Corridor levies a toll on large commercial vehicles rolling through their states. That’s not because they go looking for an easy target. They do the most damage. They’re heavy. … We need the trucking industry. We need it badly, but it can afford to pay the toll because it’s supposed to be proportionate.”

Chris Maxwell, CEO of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, doesn’t see it that way.

“Vice President Biden’s endorsement of RhodeWorks, while not surprising, leads us to wonder how an administration that espouses non-discrimination and societal shared burdens could support the discriminatory tolling of one sector to shoulder 100% of the infrastructure burden,” Maxwell said. “Contrary to Mr. Biden’s chiding comment that ‘they can afford it,’ Rhode Island’s trucking industry, its business owners and its consumers can ill-afford the effects of truck-only tolling.”

Biden, who was joined for his speech by Raimondo and Rhode Island’s four-member congressional delegation, had earlier examined the East Shore Expressway Bridge, which has been partly held up for 10 years by wooden beams he termed “Lincoln Logs” and “shameful.” The bridge, which trucks weighing more than 17 tons are prohibited from using, is a reason why Rhode Island leads the nation with 21% of its bridges considered structurally deficient.

As the Federal Highway Administration considers whether to approve RhodeWorks, Biden praised Raimondo as “one of the few governors to step up and lead [on infrastructure]. I wish every governor understood the opportunities that come with modernizing infrastructure. ... Companies are not going to stay in states unless they can cheaply, efficiently and safely get their products out to the global market. … That’s why it’s so critical what your governor and your Legislature [are] doing. … It’s about economic dynamism, competitiveness, productivity and safety. It’s about the kind of country we want to be. Your governor gets it in her bones.”

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While I may not agree with only tolling trucks, roads are actually designed with trucks only in mind. Trucks wear roads so much that road designers literally don't even take wear from cars into consideration. They design for the truck traffic and that's it, when it comes to wear.

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Rhode Island is in the top 5 states with the highest taxes, ahead of N.Y. and California. Where does all that revenue go to?

http://www.golocalprov.com/politics/fecteau-biden-is-wrong-on-rhodeworks

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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"The ongoing battle between Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and the state’s trucking association took another turn on May 27 when Vice President Joe Biden flew to the Ocean State to publicly express his support for RhodeWorks, Raimondo’s truck-only tolling infrastructure plan."

Sounds like a boondoggle.  Why not do it the straightforward way? 

If the citizens of Rhode Island really want better roads, then put it to a bond vote in November.  If the voters approve the bond initiative, then the state sells the bonds to investors and gradually retires the debt by collecting tolls from every vehicle.  Same way schools get built and waterworks get built, and city streets are maintained.  Seems to me, everyone who drives on the roads will benefit from the improvements, so, every driver should pay.  

Could it be that the citizens of Rhode Island feel taxed to death and the governor knows they wouldn't approve tolls and a bond issue?  Therefore she circumvents the citizens and taxes a group (trucking association) who has no say.  Just my two cents from afar.     

 

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