Anti-toll meeting tonight in Pennsylvania

| 9/10/2007

A grassroots organization hoping to stop tolling on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania invited lawmakers, transportation officials and the public to attend a meeting Tuesday evening, Sept. 11, in Mountain Top, PA.

Mountain Top on the Move, a non-partisan group that promotes commerce and lifestyle in the Northeast Poconos region, has scheduled the meeting for 7 to 9 p.m. at Crestwood High School, 281 S. Mountain Blvd., Mountain Top, PA.

On the list of invitees is Joseph Brimmeier, CEO of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, who has been touring the state to promote tolling on I-80 as an alternative to the state leasing the turnpike to private investors.

But, tolls on I-80 don’t sit well with many Pennsylvania residents.

A spokesman from Mountain Top on the Move told the Standard Speaker newspaper that a big reason for the meeting is that state officials have not yet called any official public hearings on the topic of tolling.

The group invited elected officials from local, state and federal jurisdictions to address the public’s concerns.

Federal lawmakers are back in session in Washington, DC, therefore, they will likely send staff members to the meeting to have a presence, said Government Affairs Associate Melissa Theriault of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s Washington, DC, office.

“It sounds like it’s going to be a good public forum,” Theriault told Land Line.

Theriault said OOIDA members and truck drivers in the region should try to attend Tuesday night’s meeting while continuing to contact their lawmakers to oppose tolling on I-80.

OOIDA officials continue to stress that interstate tolls amount to double taxation for truck drivers who already pay significant user fees.

– By David Tanner, staff writer