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The basics of Gov. McAuliffe’s I-66 toll plan

Virginia Department of Transportation
Initially unveiled in March, a proposal from Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration to toll I-66 inside the Beltway is gaining high-profile opposition by the day. More than 120 people attended a public information meeting in Ashburn last week to learn more about the plan. Here are the basics.

-A key component of the tolling plan – and that which is sparking the most opposition -- is currently proposed for implementation in 2017.

-The proposal is fairly convoluted. According to the McAuliffe administration, tolling is proposed on I-66 in both directions between I-495 (the Beltway) and U.S. Route 29 in Rosslyn during rush hours. Vehicles with three or more people would travel the lanes for free during peak periods, while other drivers would pay to use the lanes. The lanes would remain free to all traffic during off-peak periods. 

Currently, both lanes on I-66 are reserved for two or more people during weekday rush hours – eastbound from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and westbound from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It's been estimated that up to 35 percent of I-66 drivers during the morning hours violate that restriction.

-Loudoun lawmakers and candidates have largely spoken out against the tolling plan, claiming it will cost the county’s D.C. commuters nearly $35 round-trip if they use the Dulles Greenway, Dulles Toll Road and then 66 under the tolling plan. The peak tolls on I-66 under the new rate would be $9 in the morning and $8 in the evening.

-Here's the line from the McAuliffe administration: "By converting the HOV lanes into tolled express lanes during peak periods, traffic would move more efficiently providing reliable trips for carpoolers, buses, and toll-paying drivers. Critical multimodal improvements will also be implemented within the I-66 corridor or on surrounding roadways. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) would manage the tolling."

-There are three public meetings this week in Northern Virginia -- though none in Loudoun. The meetings are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the following locations: Monday, Oakton High School, 2900 Sutton Rd., Vienna; Tuesday, VDOT Northern Virginia District Office, 4975 Alliance Dr., Fairfax; Wednesday, Piney Branch Elementary School, 8301 Linton Hall Rd., Bristow.

Click here for more information on VDOT's "Transform 66" plan.


Democrat candidates are speaking out against the tolls now…two weeks before the election.  But the day after the election they will sing a different tune and line up behind their Democrat Governor, Terry McAuliffe, to ram these tolls down our throats.

Don’t fall for it, people. Vote Republican and stop these tolls.

Oh yay! More taxes to support the paper shufflers.

a terrible idea by a terrible Governor.

From a purely political angle, I don’t get it. Fairfax County is hit hardest, and Fairfax County is the one that pushed McAuliffe over the top.

I’ve never liked tolls because they are selective taxation. (The Greenway is a little different because of the private money, so I’m not including that in my equation.)It’s like “Northern Virginia should pay tolls, because Northern Virginians are the beneficiaries….But for the rest of the state’s highways, it’s ‘All for one and one for all.’”

And on a semi-related topic, I’d say that about half the negative-campaign election material I’ve received thus far relates to this issue. It’s a big deal.

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