As part of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, Congress passed legislation that will allow three states to impose tolls on existing interstate highways. The Arkansas Highway Commission announced plans for Arkansas to be one of those three states.
In November, a coalition, Citizens for Safe and Efficient Highways, was formed to fight implementation of tolls on existing interstate highways. OOIDA and a number of other groups are involved, including the American Trucking Assns., the American Highway Users Alliance, the Arkansas Motor Carriers Assn. and others.
“The battle to stop tolls in Arkansas will be a tough one,” says an OOIDA e-mail to members, “as the Arkansas Highway Commission answers to no one. Commissioners are appointed to 10-year terms by the sitting governor, but neither the governor nor the state legislature has any direct control over the actions of the commission. The commission has the authority to apply to the federal government for permission to toll Arkansas interstates, and to build the tollbooths.”
If you are an Arkansas resident, you can write, call or fax the commissioners. Write to Commissioners Herby Branscum, Buddy Benafield, Mary Hickerson, Bobby Hopper, and John Lipton at P.O. Box 2261, Little Rock, AR 72203, (501) 569-2244, fax (501) 569-2698. The next meeting of the Highway Commission is scheduled for Jan. 6, 1999.
For more information, call OOIDA's Call to Action Department at 1-800-444-5791.