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Georgia lifts ban on tolling regular lanes

Georgia lifts ban on tolling regular lanes

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

12:34 p.m. Thursday, December 10, 2009

The state Department of Transportation has lifted a ban on projects that place tolls on existing regular traffic lanes.  The DOT board lifted the ban as it approved a Managed Lane System Plan, a proposed network of optional toll lanes that would span the far-flung Atlanta metro area.

The board put the ban in place in 2005 following public outrage over a proposal to rebuild Ga. 316, and pay for it by tolling all the lanes.  That proposal was shelved.

Lifting the ban paves the way for projects that could charge drivers to use some regular traffic lanes they now use for free on highways such as the Downtown Connector, as part of a larger regional network of optional toll lanes.  Some other lanes on the road could still be left free.

DOT’s first toll projects wouldn’t affect existing regular lanes.  They either put a toll on an existing HOV lane, as with I-85 in Gwinnett County, or would build new optional toll lanes, as with I-75 in Cobb County.  DOT officials stressed this week that putting a toll on a regular traffic lane in addition to such measures would be done only in rare cases...  FULL ARTICLE

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