Members of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut recognized the critical importance of Transportation for Connecticut by designating transportation as a legislative priority. Transportation is critical to keeping our economy viable, our workers working and making Connecticut competitive and modern.
The League continues to believe that the principal goal of any transportation policy must be the reduction of all vehicular traffic on Connecticuts roads.
The return of tolling to Connecticut is inevitable. With diminished revenues from traditional transportation funding sources like the gas tax, electronic tolling is the wave of the future in transportation financing. The League strongly supports the usage of tolls as a congestion reduction measure and revenue generator for the State Transportation Fund.
While we strongly support the usage of tolls as a congestion reduction measure and revenue generator for the State Transportation Fund, we oppose the placement of tolls at or near Connecticuts borders for the following reasons:
1. Locating tolls near Connecticuts borders is vulnerable to legal challenges.
2. The effort will do nothing to address Connecticuts congestion problems that cost the state upwards of $500 million a year in economic activity, continue to pollute the States environment.
3. Locating tolls at the borders would hinder regional economic growth.
Thus, the League can offer only limited support for proposed bills SB 31, HB 5949 and HB 6136 as they focus primarily on establishing tolls at the States borders. We also believe that HB 6200 is not addressing the fundamental problem of highway congestion and infrastructure funding.
Instead, we urge the Transportation Committee to support tolling options that will offer more benefit for Connecticut residents: congestion pricing. We suggest that this program would be most effective in Southwestern Connecticut, the hotspot for the States highway congestion. Congestion pricing in this area will allow the State to more efficiently use limited roadway space and more effectively distribute vehicle trips to less congested times of day. This is feasible because a large portion of peak hour trips are discretionary.Congestion pricing would encourage those optional trips to be shifted to less congested times of day. Based on this experience, the program could be expanded to other impacted areas.
Transportation Specialist, LWVCT