WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

McAuliffe Official Says Virginia Will Proceed Cautiously On Future Road Tolls

Virginia's top transportation official says the commonwealth will proceed cautiously when it comes to tolling more highways.

Federal law allows states to toll portions of interstate highways only if new lanes are added. An Obama administration plan would allow states to toll existing lane capacity under certain circumstances, but Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne says the state is not interested in doing so.

"Tolls make sense for additional capacity when there is a free alternative. Just tolling an existing road does not seem to us to be good policy," he says.

A state would toll more highway miles to raise revenue to expand its road and transit network, but Layne says you can't toll every available highway. Once the 95 Express Lanes are finished next year, Northern Virginia will have four toll roads already. Interstate 66 is likely next.

"Certainly tolls are a part of transportation funding, but they can't be the sole issue," he says.

Motorists have been reluctant to try the 495 Express Lanes on the Beltway in Northern Virginia, which were built by a for-profit firm and opened 18 months ago. So far, the EZ Pass-only toll road has yet to turn a profit.

WAMU 88.5

Anne Tyler: "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (Rebroadcast)

In her first live radio interview ever, Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler joins Diane to talk about her 20th novel, "A Spool of Blue Thread."


Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize

An artisanal salt producer is processing brine from ancient ocean deposits below West Virgina's mountains. The company, J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, ships to top chefs who value the salt's minerality.

Downed Russian Warplane Highlights Regional Divide On Syria

Hugh Pope, director of communications and outreach at the International Crisis Group in Brussels, explains the growing divide between Turkey and Russia on their priorities inside Syria.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.