Skip to comments.Law enforcement bracing for more semis on U.S. 20 in LaPorte County as Toll Road fees increase
Posted on 10/09/2018 8:12:39 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
LAPORTE Law enforcement in LaPorte County is preparing for the possibility of an already-congested and dangerous U.S. 20 being overrun with more semi-trucks as drivers avoid the 35 percent cost increase of traveling the Indiana Toll Road.
Much of that stretch of highway being down to one lane in each direction for resurfacing adds to the concerns.
LaPorte County Sheriff John Boyd said hes reached out to Indiana State Police to help patrol U.S. 20 if an increase in truck traffic becomes too much for his staff to handle alone.
Were going to prepare for it, Boyd said. Were going to closely monitor it and well adjust and reach out if we have to.
Gary Langston, president of the Indiana Motor Truck Association, predicted in an earlier Tribune article that there will be a much greater diversion of trucks off the Toll Road than anyone imagines, resulting in more congestion on toll-free highways and the possibility of more accidents.
The toll increase is strictly on trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds and went into effect Friday.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb worked with ITR Concession Co., the private operators of the Toll Road, on the rate increase, which is projected to generate $1 billion for the state infrastructure upgrades.
Boyd said he has no doubt truck traffic on U.S. 20 will increase because hes seen it happen during periods of road construction on the Toll Road.
Thats a concern for officials considering the highways already grim history. According to police, 12 of the 19 motor vehicle deaths last year in LaPorte County happened on U.S 20. Crash statistics for 2018 were not immediately available. However, Boyd said, they do seem noticeably down this year on U.S. 20.
Efforts have been made recently to slow traffic on the highway through lane restrictions. Rumble strips were also placed on the centerline by the Indiana Department of Transportation in response to the rash of serious injury and fatal crashes in 2017, Boyd said.
Leigh Morris, a former deputy commissioner of Toll Road oversight for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said he worries the higher tolls, while bringing in a financial windfall for the state, will hurt the LaPorte County community more in the long run.
This can be very advantageous to the state of Indiana, said Morris, but the true bottom line of it is going to be what happens as a result of the increased tolls.
People be crazy. They should have just left the lease alone and raised gas and diesel taxes by another dime.
Plus you have to avoid the Chicken Coups and the Weight Man.
Merciful Maude. There are going to be accidents over this bit of stupidity. Oh, my.
Like I said, Holcomb and his legisl00ture should have just raised the gas tax by another dime to get his $1B. The Democrats would have glommed onto that like a big dog.
Agree. Sometimes the Stupid is just a bit too strong in certain people to be undone.
Shunpiking by using US Route 20 instead of the I-80 toll road. I’d do it. Bet lots of truckers do also.
Ultimate Governor stupidity.
Yes, in this case, I actually agree with a truckers’ boycott of the Toll Road. What Holcomb is doing is a form of theft. He needs to be primaried, IMO.
At least when Kasicko monetized the Ohio Turnpike, a significant portion of the money went to accelerating the rebuilding of the turnpike’s concrete base.
“I have altered the agreement. Pray I don’t alter it further.” — Darth Holcomb
Thanks for the ping, Tol.
It would sure be nice if the coroner there sent the bodies of the motorists killed trying to avoid the tolls to Mitch Daniels, the ‘genius’ who came up with the idea of ‘privatizing’ the highway.
“Yes, in this case, I actually agree with a truckers boycott of the Toll Road. What Holcomb is doing is a form of theft. He needs to be primaried, IMO.”
The way it works for truckers is very simple: If they are NOT in a rush to get to their destination (for example, if independent, they don’t yet have their next cargo scheduled), then what the hell, save the money and stay off the toll road - that’s CASH in their pockets. I suspect that the fuel cost is a push (slower usually means better mileage, but stop-and-go traffic negates it).
I don’t mind the original agreement, but I DO mind this sudden jacking of truckers to effectively siphon money to the rest of the state, rather than simply raising the gas tax another dime or two. Theft.
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