Firm hired to push Toll Roads just latest step in plan to force you out of your cars by Slager and Visclosky
June 20, 2018-Indiana Republicans are joining with Congressman Peter Visclosky to push for statewide tolling on all highways. The Indiana Department of Transportation, pursuant to a law pushed by Valparaiso Representative Ed “Toll-A-Day” Soliday, has engaged a consulting firm which has long advocated for more toll roads. According to their website, HNTB has been involved with developing “more than 60 toll roads.” (See http://www.hntb.com/getattachment/Newsroom/Press-Kits/Tolling/HNTB-Tolling-Data.pdf.aspx ) According to the terms of the Contract, the firm will engage “stakeholders” to sell the program first:
The CONSULTANT will perform the following activities through February 2019: 3.1. Public Involvement Management Application (PIMA) Objective Maintain a stakeholder register (database) in an electronic form that facilitates project comment and response, mailings, e-mail alerts and other Client outreach to individuals and individual organizations. Measure and report amount and effectiveness of stakeholder engagement in shaping final deliverable(s) and perceptions of the agency, its engagement process and its project-specific decision-making. (HNTB Consultant Contract, Appendix C, Paragraph 3)
In short, the State is going to tax you to pay someone to lobby your local elected officials to tax you more. This is the lunacy of the Visclosky/Slager Plan.
After the Consultant develops a list of stakeholders and engages those stakeholders, they are then to go to the public to try to sell the plan. Even then, the Consultant is to engage “business, community and environmental justice leaders:”
3.2.1. Statewide Communication Plan Develop an 18-month communications plan that guides public information and community engagement efforts through the initial phases of the project. The plan will: o Define goals and objectives. o Identify target audiences. o Describe communications tools, strategies and tactics for effectively engaging with citizens – particularly business, community, and environmental justice leaders. A key strategy will be to provide information that illustrates how improvements to Indiana’s Interstates are essential to the continued safety, economic growth and quality of life. o Describe how to build awareness and understanding of tolling as a funding and traffic management solution. (HNTB Consultant Contract, Appendix C, Paragraph 3.2)
HNTB commissioned a survey in which they say “84% of Americans are willing to pay higher taxes and tolls if those funds are guaranteed by law to be used only for transportation infrastructure.” (See http://hntb.com/getattachment/Newsroom/Press-Kits/America-THINKS-surveys-(1)/HNTB_InfraCost_2017.pdf.aspx) We have requested raw data from the survey and will present it here if and when it is received.
Obviously they don’t really want to hear from you so if you don’t want all of our highways tolled, you should contact Hal Slager and Ed Soliday and tell them you are tired of their tax increases.