Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lawsuit Seeks to Stop Toll Road Hikes

A group led by a longtime Dulles rail opponent has filed another lawsuit to try and stop the rail extension, this time by going after its toll-based financing.

According to the Fairfax Times, "the Dulles Corridor Users Group, founded by Chris Walker, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia on Aug. 6 asking the court to stop the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority from collecting tolls on the Dulles Toll Road. The Reston-based Parkridge 6 LLC is also a plaintiff.

"Named defendants include U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority President and CEO Jim Bennett, and Virginia Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer.

"The airports authority fully took over management of the toll road and the rail project from the state last year in exchange for the right to collect future toll revenues and set toll rates. The authority is using toll revenue to back construction bonds for the second half of the rail construction.

"The 131-page complaint argues that the tolls are tantamount to a tax because they are being used to back construction bonds. The bonds are funding a portion of the first phase of the rail line, through Tysons Corner and out to Wiehle Avenue in Reston, and the bulk of the second phase to the airport.The airports authority does not have the authority to levy taxes under the Virginia Constitution, the complaint states, and should not be allowed to raise tolls."

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  1. Well, on the Greenway a private company is raising the tolls - and THAT fee is out of control. And, oh, by the way, I want the rail. RE values will skyrocket, traffic will decrease and taxes needed to pay for road construction will decrease or at least not increase.

  2. Thanks Vicky for the comment... How do other commuters out there feel about the toll hikes, Dulles rail or the lawsuit? Let us know.