Utah group says no to tolls

| 11/7/2006

In Utah there's now an opposition group to the proposed Mountain View Corridor toll road that would connect Interstate 80 and I-15 southwest of Salt Lake City.

A group of mayors and business leaders are raising money for a lobbying and public information campaign against efforts to make it a toll road.

Russ Wall, mayor of Taylorsville, said the group would like to see a freeway along the corridor, but not a toll road.

"It would help somewhat if it was a freeway," Wall told "Land Line Now" on XM Satellite Radio. "Since they're proposing it as a toll road, I would anticipate that a good portion of the population would bypass that and continue to travel east through our city, clogging our already clogged roads and to access a true freeway."

No funding is currently available at the Utah Department of Transportation for a free highway, according to the Deseret Morning News.

More than 500 businesses have joined the cities of Taylorsville, Kearns and West Valley City in opposing tolls.

"The best thing we can do is educate people as to what tolling really means for them," Wall said. "I'm afraid that once one toll road is built, you'll never see another free road built."

The Utah Trucking Association is also on record as being opposed to the tolls.

Together, the group wants to influence the Utah Legislature to search for other funding mechanisms for the Mountain View Corridor.

The head of the Chamber of Commerce for Taylorsville and two other cities says toll roads are unfair because they require users to pay for the roads twice - once at the toll booth and again at the fuel pump.