Tillis 2012: Tolls are bad. Tillis 2013: Tolls are OK.
A Mecklenberg County-based grassroots group has released some rather provocative video featuring state House speaker Thom Tillis. In the video, Tillis can be seen and heard addressing a group of truckers in 2012. The speaker can be heard telling the truckers that he opposes tolls on I-95, fearing that they could spread to I-77.
In 2013, Tillis has become a proponent of HOT lanes — a concept where sections of public roads are leased to private companies to manage on behalf of drivers who pay an extra fee for the privilege of driving in those lanes. Tillis and other pro-HOT lane supporters are targeting I-77 in Mecklenberg County for the system’s North Carolina debut. A pretty loud and rowdy grassroots protest has resulted.
Widen I-77, the leading opponent of HOT lanes on I-77, hosted a town hall forum this week to provide information to concerned residents. (Video of the event is here. Around the 12:00 mark, you can see the video of Tillis.)
In the video, the town hall moderator presents information contradicting HOT lane supporters’s claims that toll roads ease congestion and save taxpayer money. Widen I-77 has launched an online petition drive aimed at stopping the implementation of a HOT lane toll system on I-77.
According to speakers in this video, local transportation authorities at the Mecklenberg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization (MUMPO) have said the state has the final say on HOT lanes on I-77. Widen I-77 presents a quote in their video from Tillis suggesting that MUMPO makes the call on HOT lanes.
(For what it’s worth, a Mecklenberg senator has introduced legislation in Raleigh seeking an exemption for MUMPO board members from ethics reporting requirements. )
4 thoughts on “Tillis 2012: Tolls are bad. Tillis 2013: Tolls are OK.”
It’s notable that the Mecklenburg county Republican Party has vehemently opposed tolling roads but Republican Thom Tillis is all gun-ho for the idea of taking people’s money to pay for roads again they’ve already paid for.
Tillis has the opportunity to do the right thing for NC and his constituents in Mecklenburg County by saying no to tolls. If he throws us under the bus with HOT/toll lanes in NC, the Dems will run with that all the way to their victory. Tillis and the GOP should not let this happen under their watch — their super majority will turn into a super minority. What ever happened to elected leaders representing the will of the people?
The area needing widened(Exit23-36) is a “community”. Locals jump on I-77 to go two – three exits to dinner or shopping. We won’t be able to do this with the toll lanes. Exactly where will the entrances and exits be?? The widen group is the only group giving information. The other meetings are for commissioners with little time for public comment or questions. Where are our Mayors and Commissioners. They need to do what best for their community. 21 and 115 are already bumper to bumper. Does Davidson really want more traffic in their quaint town???? This is not in the best interest of “the people” – “the tax payers”.
This is a local issue. The area needing widened ( Exit 23-36 )
is a community. We hop on 77 to go a few exits to eat and shop.
Where will the on and off ramps be? Will they let us get on 25 and off at 30??? I doubt it. So 21 and 115 will be more congested. Does Davidson really want more congestion in the middle of their quaint town? The Widen group is the only group giving out information. The other public forums are speaking to Mayors and Commissioners and little time is left for questions or comments. Where are our Mayors and Commissioners?
Why aren’t they making decisions that are good for the people.
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