17.4.17

WHEN THEY RUN OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY.

Reason's Robert Poole restates his case for toll roads in Wisconsin.  Yes, that is not going to sit well with loyal Cheeseheads who back in the day resented rolling their window down and chucking forty cents in a hopper at fifteen mile intervals or so, and they resent even more the buck and a half cash, or for frequent travellers, the interest-free loan inherent in the I-Pass to reduce the fleecing to six bits.  But the current expressways are almost as old as I am, and the money to fix them isn't there.  How bad is it?
Tolls are not everyone’s cup of tea, but thanks to its robust tolling program for major highways, Illinois is moving ahead with widening and reconstruction projects comparable to those that are stalled in Wisconsin. High-quality infrastructure is a key factor in business location decisions and economic competitiveness. Wisconsin needs to solve its highway funding shortfall, and toll-financed Interstate modernization is a powerful tool for doing so.
That's the world turned upside down, for sure.  It used to be a point of pride in Wisconsin that the major roads were in better shape when they came due for a resurfacing than Illinois roads were, new.  That's no longer the case.  And a libertarian writer not making the obligatory gripe about Illinois not phasing out the tolls when the original bonds were paid off?  (Yes, that was the intention.)  How things change.

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