Sakonnet Tolls Opposition Platform
Common Fence Point Improvement Association - Concerned Island Taxpayers - East Bay Patriots - Little Compton Taxpayers Association - Ocean State Tea Party in Action
– Portsmouth Business Association - Portsmouth Concerned Citizens –
Rhode Island Statewide Coalition - Tiverton Citizens for Change - Tolls Petition Group
STOP THE TOLLS!
SAKONNET BRIDGE TOLLS PUBLIC MEETING
7:00 PM - Monday, December 3, 2012
Portsmouth High School Auditorium
7:00 PM - Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Tiverton High School
All citizens of East Bay are encouraged to attend this important public meeting. This is the best and probably last chance to make our case against the proposed tolls. We need everyone at this meeting to hammer home the message that the people of East Bay and Portsmouth strongly object to the tolls. A strong turnout will ensure that the Governor and Assembly know the high level of our objection to this new tax on East Bay. We must make this opportunity count!
If you don’t go Monday evening the proponents of this toll will win.
Bring your friends and signs!
26,000 have signed a petition opposing the tolls on the Sakonnet Bridge
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation and Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will conduct this public meeting on the decision to impose tolls on the new Sakonnet Bridge. This meeting is required in the process to obtain Federal approval. The Federal government furnished 80% of the cost of the bridge.
The decision to toll was made before the impact and traffic studies were conducted.
STOP Committee Points
East Bay residents and business owners are opposed to this bill to unprecedented levels. 26,000 people have signed the petition opposing the tolls.
This toll will badly damage local businesses and disrupt the social commerce of the East Bay. The tolls will adversely impact one of the better economic areas in the State. The primary concern of State Government in this economic downturn should be the improvement of business, not its suppression.
Fairness: This toll on a State maintained public transportation asset burdens the people of East Bay with a cost that is not borne by the rest of the State. The revenue excess to bridge maintenance will be spent to maintain East Bay roads and relieve the DOT from the financial obligation to fund those efforts. The 33 cent State fuel tax paid by the people of East Bay will therefore be spent in other parts of the State. All people in the State should bear the burden of transportation costs equally.
The tolls are going to push a large amount of traffic up already crowded Metacom Road in Bristol and Warren.
The approximately $4.2 million in State fuel taxes that goes to the General Fund should be redirected to the transportation budget for bridge maintenance.
State Vehicle License and Registration revenue exceed $60 million. None of these funds go to transportation. Some of this funding should be used to supplement DOT’s budget to eliminate the tolls.
DOT mismanaged its debt budget and the maintenance of the bridge. How does a toll solve that problem? While DOT Director Lewis is a good administrator, the problem lies in the Assembly and the chronic underfunding of the State’s transportation needs. The tolling of the Sakonnet Bridge will have to be only the first step. Tolls on the State owned highways will be next. Are we going to toll the whole state because transportation taxes are not used for transportation?
The toll has not yet been set by the RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority.
The working proposal by the Turnpike and Bridge Authority is for an 83 cent toll each way for those Rhode Island residents with E-ZPass. For those from out of State or without the electronic system, it will be $4.00 each way.
The economic impact study, the environmental impact study, the study on the impact on local traffic patterns and as a consequence the surrounding communities, are unfinished and were begun after the Assembly made the decision to impose tolls. It is clear the Governor and Assembly decided to impose tolls on East Bay regardless of the impact on our communities.
The traffic survey is also not available.
This bridge is both a commuter and a community bridge. The toll will upset traffic patterns, family life and damage local business.