Monday, July 14, 2014

No Toll Increase Supporters interviewed for Washington Post Article about Rising Tolls

Tysons Corner is home to four of the five stations 
built for the first phase of the Silver Line. 
(Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Mary Pat Flaherty of the Washington Post contacted Delegate Dave LaRock's office last week, looking to interview folks from NoTollincrease for an article she was writing. There are some great quotes from NoTollincrease supporters and other good information in the article:
Dulles Toll Road users are shouldering nearly half of the costs of Metro’s soon-to-open Silver Line, a far bigger share than originally predicted.
Those drivers also face the biggest exposure for any additional cost overruns or delays on the rail line set to open July 26 — seven months late and $150 million over budget.
Commuters are vulnerable because tolls are the one share of the Silver Line project’s funding formula that is not capped at a fixed dollar amount or percentage of the final tab.
Since construction began five years ago, there have been five toll increases that spiked a common round trip from $2.50 to $7 or, viewed as a monthly tab for typical weekday commuters, from $50 to $140.
The impact of the line’s rising costs has been painfully apparent to drivers who use the road regularly.... 
Quote from No Toll Increase Petition Signer John Fringer:
The line “squeezes money out of us who are forced to use the toll road to pay for the cursed Metro,” said Fringer, 61, who pays $140 a month on round trips between Reston and his environmental engineering job in Rockville. His frustration is compounded, he says, by elected officials who “always get self-righteous about how the Silver Line is needed when you protest the tolls. It’s truly maddening.” 
Another comment from a No Toll Increase supporter:
But some commuters are skeptical.
“Tolls are a real cash cow,” said Erik Thompson, 41, who stopped using the toll road about 18 months ago when his tolls hit $70 a month for his commute between Waldorf, Md., and his job as a recruiting manager in Reston.
“I can see the Silver Line from my office, but to use it, I’d have to go end-to-end on Metro and take about two hours. I’m not doing that,” Thompson said. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

27% Toll Increase January 1st - Pay Up or Fight Back?

What you were promised:
2005 seems like a long time ago. President George W. Bush was sworn in for his second term, Pope John Paul II passed away, and Saddam Hussein went on trial in Iraq. A lot happened that you may have forgotten, or at least, that’s what the folks on the Commonwealth Transportation Board are banking on.

Back in 2005, they released this press release. In it, they announced a toll increase from 50 to 75 cents at the main toll plaza on the Dulles Toll Road, and from 25 to 50 cents on the entrance and exit ramps. According to the CTB, “The quarter toll increase will complete Virginia’s share to fund Phase 1….[and] will also help to fund part of Phase 2. The projected cost is $3.5 billion.” 

The resolution the CTB passed said they might need to make "...a second toll rate adjustment in an amount similar to the adjustment made by the Board in this resolution at or near the time of the commencement of construction of Phase 2;..."

Phase 1 had an estimated completion date of 2011, and Phase 2 of 2015.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Virginia Purchase the Greenway!?

Del. Joe May, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has introduced HB1979, legislation that would purchase the Dulles Greenway from its private owners, and place it under Virginia ownership.

Government to the rescue . . . right ? Not so fast.

Toll increases on the Greenway are currently limited by the authorizing legislation, but if Virginia purchases the Greenway, that limit on toll increases no longer applies. Now keep in mind that in 2006 Joe May cast his vote to hand over the Dulles Toll Road (DTR) to MWAA and put in motion the debacle that has led to soaring DTR tolls.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gov. McDonnell’s Transportation Plan Doubles Down on Flawed Dulles Model

Hamilton, VA—January 10, 2013

Gov. McDonnell’s transportation funding plan raises several concerns for Virginia citizens. In his plan, the Governor proposes abolishing the current gas tax and substituting a 16% sales tax increase to generate revenue for transportation funding. Released last week, the plan makes it clear he intends to approach transportation funding in the Commonwealth by employing flawed methods as used on the Dulles Metro extension. urges the Governor to reconsider his plan, and asks the General Assembly to reject any similar plan put before them.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Our Stories- How DTR Tolls Hurt Our Families

We can talk about the environment, traffic, injustice, etc. but where it really hits home is when we explain how increased tolls on the Dulles Toll Road hurt our families. We are all local residents just trying to protect our families and our way of life. Here are some of our stories:

From Erik:
Hello, my name is Erik and I am a Maryland resident. I commute to Reston daily. For the past 12 months I’ve being taking alternate routes to avoid the rising cost of the Toll Road. Please feel free to share my story with everyone.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Solution: Tolling the Airport Access Road

UPDATE 12-12-2012: The MWAA Board approved an amendment to their lease agreement, which would allow non-aviation commercial development on their property. Gov. Bob McDonnell should refuse to sign this amendment until MWAA allows tolls on the Airport Access Road.
It is not fair to take money from one person and give them absolutely nothing in return. That is exactly how many view the idea of extracting tolls from Dulles Toll Road users to fund the Silver Line extension.

Planners claim the rail extension will help the Dulles Airport grow. In a more perfect world, people who use the Silver Line and the Dulles Airport would be the ones paying to build the rail line. Instead, through a mixed up set of decisions, the current plan has train riders and airport customers paying very little. That needs to change.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fatally Flawed Toll Scheme is Falling Apart

Surprise! Surprise! The ill-conceived Dulles Rail funding scheme that was hastily thrown together is falling apart!

Citizens are furious at the audacity of elected officials standing mute, ignoring the injustice of shackling hard-working commuters with the tab for this mega share of Dulles Rail, which most know, is a developers perk. Piling more oppressive tolls on the backs of Dulles Toll Road users after they were told the road would become a free road is the kind of blatant deception that ought to mark any aspiring politician as a Traitor for Life. With a few notable exceptions, politicians have ignored warnings from credible experts and pumped up this dog-of-a-project with phony promises.

Now, as bidding for Phase 2 of the project has been narrowed to five competitors, it seems that experts’ concerns and commuters disgust are finally starting to sink in with those calling the shots.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lawsuit: MWAA Toll Increases are Unconstitutional!

UPDATE October 12, 2012: The Federal Circuit issued a decision to transfer the case to the United States Court of Appeals for 4th Circuit. This means we won't actually get a decision in the case for a while. The Federal Circuit decided that MWAA was not a "federal instrumentality", and thus sent the case to the 4th Circuit.

While we would have preferred for the Federal Circuit to prohibit MWAA from collecting DTR tolls and diverting them to the rail project, there is still a possibility of the 4th Circuit doing so. Meanwhile, we should continue to ask Gov. McDonnell and our legislators to take our road back and have MWAA fund Dulles Rail by tolling their Airport Access Road.

Monday, September 10, 2012

VDOT: Retake the Dulles Toll Road

UPDATE 9-9-2012: Senator Black has written a letter urging Gov. McDonnell to retake the Dulles Toll Road. We need you to do two things:
1. Ask your legislators to support this effort
2. Contact Gov. Bob McDonnell through his official website or at
(804) 786-2211 to encourage him to take action NOW to save our toll road from MWAA!

Wouldn't it be crazy if your community was threatened by an approaching storm, but local authorities did little to help citizens avoid the pending danger? That is about where Northern Virginia stands with the perfect storm of Dulles Toll Road tolls, traffic and taxes that is bearing down on us. There is a lot of talking among politicians, but meaningful action is scarce.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

You Can Stop the Toll Increases

Something has gone wrong with your Dulles Toll Road…and it must be fixed!

If you think something has gone wrong with your Dulles Toll Road, you’re right. The good news is, there is a much better way if some tough choices are made.

First, MWAA, the folks you hear about in the news wasting public dollars on travel and extravagant meals are the ones who are in control of the Toll Road. That is at the root of the problem and needs to change. MWAA answers to no one and judging by their actions, they could not care less about how their decisions affect you and me. MWAA is the middle man we cannot afford.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Donate $100 NOW to save $1,000/year in tolls

Fighting higher tolls costs money! We are fighting for you.

Our first goal is to STOP THE TOLL INCREASES because it is wrong to impose this cost on Dulles Toll Road users, making this a road for just the wealthy.

When you donate $100 NOW this could save $1,000+ a year in tolls for many years.

Donate $10 or more, and we'll get you a NoTollIncrease bumper sticker!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stop Tollmageddon

Solution 1. Retake the Dulles Toll Road
Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton on April 14, 2012, said the Commonwealth was so unhappy with MWAA that it would rather finish building the Silver Line itself.
“We are actively evaluating whether we can take the project over. These guys (MWAA) are a disaster,” Connaughton said. “We’re at the point, quite honestly, where we think we could potentially do it better, cheaper, faster.”

Monday, August 13, 2012

Toll Avoidance, Rt. 7 Traffic, and the Environment

Higher tolls are bad for one primary reason: they force all but the most wealthy drivers off the Toll Road. The result of this is that the alternate free roads see drastically increased congestion. How bad will the increased congestion be? We really don't know, because the people planning the Dulles Rail Project hid the data.

When are Tolls Going Up?

Tolls were projected to double to $4.50 on Jan. 1, 2013, then keep rising at a level to keep future usage at about 75% of current usage.

MWAA is currently proposing to use $150 million from the Commonwealth of Virginia to 'buy down' the toll increases for two years, so that a $0.50 hike will take place Jan. 1, 2013, another $0.75 Jan. 1, 2014, and another $1.00 Jan. 1, 2015.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sample Letters to Elected Officials

Dear Delegate Comstock,

The pending toll increases on the Dulles Toll Road are an enormous threat to quality of life for your constituents, and they realize it. When tolls double, up to 50,000 cars/day will be diverted off of the DTR, with most of them diverted onto Rt. 7, Rt. 193, and neighborhood roads that go straight through neighborhoods in your district. For reference, Rt. 7 handled approximately 60,000 cars/day between the Loudoun County line and the beltway, and Georgetown Pike runs 20,000 between Rt. 7 and the Beltway (VDOT's 2010 AADT report). These roads are already congested and cannot safely absorb this influx of additional traffic.

Friday, August 3, 2012

AAA Mid-Atlantic: Dulles Toll Road "Reverse Robin Hood Syndrome"

AAA Mid-Atlantic recently exposed the pain that will come to Loudoun and Fairfax Counties from the planned toll increases on the Dulles Toll Road (DTR). Toll avoidance will make traffic worse for everyone except the extremely wealthy who will find the DTR wide open because most people won't be able to afford an extra $1,125/yr. in tolls to commute.
That increased traffic will lead to more accidents, more time and gas wasted idling in traffic, and less time spent with family and friends. Help us spread the word: No Toll Increases!