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Protesters believe toll roads in Arizona’s future

PHOENIX — The future is now for dozens of people
who gathered at the State Capitol Wednesday to protest toll roads, of which there are none in Arizona.

But the protesters believe they’re coming.

Al Tracy said he believed Arizonans will be paying to drive on some freeways within the next year.

“We dodged the bullet last year when (Arizona Department of Transportation) was considering turning a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 15 in northwestern Arizona into a toll road,” the protester said.

Lori Brewer also believes tolls on the roads are in the future.

“It’s double taxation and we already pay fuel taxes. Once the first toll road happens it opens the doors to multiple toll roads. Just like they have in California and Texas,” she said.

ADOT issued the following statement:

“Given the funding gap between the need for future transportation options and the reality of insufficient funds to pay for them, the state has established a program allowing for the exploration of public-private partnerships, which include toll roads. But no toll road proposals are on the map at this time.

“ADOT adds that current gasoline taxes haven’t changed since 1992 and don’t provide the same level of funding that they once did to support highway maintenance and construction.”