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Arlington Board Says ‘NO’ to HOT

A voice of reason has broken through the constant chatter about the metro area’s infamous HOT lanes. Instead of ‘High Occupancy Toll,’ they ought to be called what they will become, High Income Toll lanes.

Name it what you will, but this Bonus for BMW’s, or Cruises for Cadillac’s, or Lightning on a Lexus, will only speed the way for those who, in this economy and this region, have the bucks to shell out “an estimated trip cost of $5 to $6” per HOT trip. [ Virginia DOT ]. Think of a mom, on minimum wage, who has to get home fast to help a sick child. Can she afford to cough up that much? It may be chump change for some, but it can be food or electricity or rent to others.

And now, thanks to a suit filed by County Attorney, Sephen Mac Isaac, a court is going to have to consider what apparently none of the officials overseeing this new massive river of concrete on 395/95, took into consideration. That would be the deterioration in quality of the air it would shed on us Arlingtonians, who have a habit of breathing most days. [ Washington Post ]

Oh, we’re such complainers, aren’t we? Always caring about peoples’ health and economic problems. If only we were like the Town Hall screamers and trampled all over the rights of individuals in need, this mammoth rich-guys speedway would be within reach.

Fortunately for all of us, the work had to stop, because the economic crash (why aren’t any Wall Street bankers in jail?) has collapsed state revenue and ‘the market’ is skittish about buying the bonds to support this “private/public venture.” [ Washington Post ]

You won’t fund us shedding any tears. Yes, construction halts mean jobs lost, and that is terrible in any instance. But why not put those same workers along Columbia Pike to construct the long agreed-upon trolley [ Pike Transit ] that will surely cut down on the Pike’s daily tsunami of rush hour fumes.

So, thank you, County Board, for standing up for us to halt HOT, and for your continued work to weaken the movement to widen I-66.

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