A Utah taxpayer group is working on a bill to suggest to
lawmakers that would allow toll collection in the state to be based on traffic congestion.
Mike Jerman, vice president of the Utah Taxpayers
Association, said the goal is to have price bumps in tolls at times of the day
when there is heavy traffic on all new state highways.
The most likely candidates would be the planned Mountain
View Corridor near Salt Lake City and the Legacy Parkway, which is a 120-mile
highway proposed to run from Brigham City to Nephi.
The proposed pricing system would outfit vehicles with
transponders to communicate with highway sensors.
"It makes sense to implement (congestion pricing) on new
roads," Jerman told The Salt Lake Tribune.
"For us, the main issue is slowing the growth of vehicle miles traveled."
Jerman said he predicts that if congestion pricing is
implemented, congestion would decrease, leading to less demand for new
Despite the discussion of adding tolls, officials with the
Utah Department of Transportation said they have no plans to turn the Legacy
Highway into a toll route.
Funding for the Mountain View Corridor has yet to be determined.
A new law in the state authorizes the Utah Department of Transportation to join
with a private partner to finance and build toll roads.
As an alternative to tolls, Sen. Ed Mayne, D-West Valley,
said a better solution to fund transportation work would be to increase the
state's sales tax by a penny. A 1-cent increase would generate more than $500
million annually, the Deseret Morning