A Virginia Supreme Court Judge voted for the bill that's subjecting the Downtown and Midtown tunnels to tolls when he was a legislator in a total conflict of interest yet he has not recused himself from the case. Other judges have ties to law firms or other interests connected with the private firm wanting to impose tolls on Virginians. The swamp is so murky it's almost as if the whole case has to be scrubbed by an outside court - will this end up before the U.S. Supreme Court? How many of those justices could also be compromised by the special interests involved in tolling?
Justice's interest in tolls case questioned
By Andy Fox
RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) - "A judge shall respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary,” – Canons of Judicial Conduct for the State of Virginia
There are seven State Supreme Court Justices who will decide if tolls will come to two tunnels in Hampton Roads. And some believe one of those justices may have a conflict of interest in the case.
Investors Go Negative On Toll Roads
Motorists can expect to pay more as toll roads hike rates to meet mounting debt payments.
September 12, 2013
Driving on toll roads will continue to be a growing expense for motorists, according to a special report released Tuesday by Moody's Investors Service. The credit ratings agency keeps tabs on 42 American toll roads that collectively hold $80.2 billion in debt. Since toll road traffic remains depressed, motorists using these pay routes will have to pay higher tolls to meet the debt burden. While state and federal transportation officials remain bullish on tolling, Moody's is cautioning potential investors.
"Moody's outlook for the US toll road sector remains negative in 2013," the analysts noted. "Our February 2013 US Toll Roads Outlook report noted that negative credit pressures continue to outweigh the positives."
Toll tags & tracking: Big government coming to a road near you
By Terri Hall
October 3, 2013
Whether it’s license plate readers, toll tags, or mobile phones, one thing is certain - you are being tracked. A recent uptick in reports of toll tags being used to track vehicle movements has created a firestorm of controversy over how such information can be used, more importantly, abused, and how such invasions of privacy are justified to travel a public road.
In the age of electronic tolling, most Toll Tags and EZ Passes are embedded with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology that allows toll equipment to detect and record when a car passes through its gantry for billing purposes. Toll agencies promise the information is only used for billing and toll collection, yet there’s rarely any policy in place to protect personal information, how long the information is stored, and to whom the data can be sold to or shared with.
Fitch can spin it all it wants, but public private partnerships ALWAYS involve public money for private profits, cost too much to be worth the supposed public benefit, and at the end of the day mean underutilized roads due to high cost.
Credit Rating Firm Catalogs Toll Road Woes
Throughout the world, toll road projects go bankrupt or face increasing risks according to Fitch Ratings.
Fitch Ratings, sees trouble ahead for toll road projects and public private partnerships in general. In a report issued Monday, the credit rating agency outlined the failures of tolling and related projects in the United States and around the world, though the agency remains optimistic on the viability of this road funding mechanism.
"While one can view public private partnerships as a glass half full or as a glass half empty, it is Fitch's view that the former is the better perspective," the analysts explained. "Public private partnerships can provide public value, but need to be carefully crafted to address all stakeholder concerns. When public private partnerships are viewed to have failed, the issue is often inappropriate transaction design and application."
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