- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 24, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

D.C. officials are downright greedy and jealous.

Unappreciative of the bejeweled crown that the Fore Fathers bestowed upon the District, they are becoming despotic-like, raping not only the common city dweller for financial gain, but ever thinking of new ways to go after other taxpayers.

So goes Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s fiscal 2015 budget request, which proposed toll roads.

The D.C. Council ponders the issue on Tuesday and should concede that it’s another way to execute a commuter tax, something their counterparts in Maryland and Virginia have always greeted with a thumbs-down.

Now there’s the new nascent threat: D.C. officials are eyeing high-occupancy vehicle lanes and toll roads for motorists entering the District.

The project is part of a $5.9 million study, and it’s under consideration by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, on which Virginia and Maryland have a voice.

Proposed by the city’s planning and transportation brain trust, the no-longer-free roadways would be on the 14th Street Bridge, the Southeast/Southwest Freeway and Interstate 295 near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and National Harbor in Maryland.

And, according to the plan, even if some lanes of those roadways are designated for high-occupancy vehicles, or HOV lanes, the study will consider “subsequent conversion” of the HOV lanes into high-occupancy toll lanes, or HOT lanes.

Once D.C. goes HOT, it’ll hit a point of no return.

In other words, cross a bridge or freeway into the nation’s capital and motorists will have to pay extra.

To take your kids to the Smithsonian or attend an event at the Kennedy Center.

Catch a Nats game.

Jog along the National Mall.

Canoe on the Potomac.

Story Continues →