Tuesday, October 21, 2014

COAST joins broad coalition opposed to tolls for Brent Spence Bridge

Today's Enquirer has it: COAST has joined the broad coalition on both sides of the Ohio River against tolls on the Brent Spence ridge.  Read it here.


  1. I don't get it. The bridge needs replacing, now. That is a no brainer. COAST is opposed to new taxes. So... What is your funding plan?

  2. "Need?!?" 'Need' is a very strong word. The bridge is in no danger of falling down. Strictly speaking, it doesn't "need" replacement now. It's more correct to say that it would be more convenient for some people if it were replaced now instead of in 2040. That's when it comes up in the standard replacement rotation for national highway bridges.

    COAST is OK with using the gas tax to maintain or replace this bridge, as it has been doing for many decades since the its inception.

    COAST is also OK with revamping our entire highway infrastructure to function as a purely toll-based system. Due to an immature electronics industry, this option was not available to the highway system's original designers, but it could work very well in today's online society. Such a system would rightly place the financial burden of highway infrastructure solely on its users.

    What we're not OK with is doing both. Tolls on top of taxation is inherently unfair, and is solely the result of wasting highway trust fund dollars on non-highway activities, such as sound walls and streetcar boondoggles.

  3. Ahhhh... I see... thank you for your reply.

    First, if we started now, the bridge would be ready in ~2024.

    "Need" or "Want"? Well, I-75 was 2 lanes each way to Dayton, I guess we didn't really "need" to expand it when it became functionally obsolete due to being above capacity. So, I suppose one COULD say the BSB does not "need" replacing until it is ready to catastrophically fail.

    I suppose not everyone believes there is a 'need' for an efficient path to from SW OH / N KY. I've not met such a person before today.

    Taxes plus fees are not "inherently" unfair. They each have a place. I pay taxes for Hamilton County Parks. Then I have to still buy a sticker to park at the bike trail lot. They each serve a purpose.

    Per COAST's mission, we could raise gas taxes to the rate of inflation to get infrastucture funding. That has problems too. VMTs are on the decline, MPGs on the rise.

    Does COAST have investments in ferry boats? Teleportation research?

    I'm sorry but the streetcar boondoggle and sound walls do not get us a replacement for the BSB.

    You guys usually make sense... now, not so much...


  4. Anonymous you have been Bamboozled by the Bridge. There are no proposals by anyone to "replace" a bridge. There is a proposal to build a new bridge alongside the existing Brent Spence Bridge. If you are driving from Ohio and you are choosing to drive to Covington, you will be on that new bridge. If you are in Ohio and driving anywhere South of Covington you will be driving the existing Brent Spence Bridge for the next 50 years. We have found the itemized cost for refurbishing the Brent Spence Bridge in Kentucky Department of Transportation documents. It's $72,000,000. The State of Kentucky however has decided to not maintain the bridge and is attempting to take those maintenance costs and roll them into the capital costs of the new bridge and spaghetti junction. Now if that isn't an affront let me lay this sorry trip on you. Instead of just building a new bridge here, the State of Kentucky has decided to divert $750,000,000 in gas tax revenues to double wide the Mountain Parkway in Eastern Kentucky...without tolls. Tolls wouldn't make a difference there because that cockamamie road only carries 3,600 cars per day.

  5. Oh one more thing; please sign our petition at NoBStolls.com and learn more at NKYUnited.com

  6. Mr. Frank, thank you for your perspective.

    We do have a shortage of safe lanes of traffic to/from our state/commonwealth, would you agree? (Adding lanes would not happen in a BSB refurbishment).

    I am no traffic engineer but it seems self evident that the overcrowded and scrunched-laned BSB, with no margin or emergency lanes, is unsafe. Its continued use as-built and as-used will predictably result in needless injuries and deaths, with an exceedingly high probability. Is that also a point we could agree on?

    Bridges cost big bucks. Agreed?

    Those three points seem incontrovertible, just from looking at the situation as a bridge user.

    I have traveled on the Tappan Zee and the Betsy Ross bridges & other toll bridges... Commuters pay $60/month for a pass, or $5 in one direction to use the bridge. Nobody likes new bills added to his/her daily or monthly expenses. The money needs to come from somewhere, and federal gas tax revenues have declined, but with aging infrastructure. That is out of balance.

    I don't understand why KY would be allocating $750M to the Mountain Parkway. That does sound wacky.

    To date it has been my impression that certain N KY politicians are living in a dream world to appease their constituents. I will, however, study the referenced website and look for a viable alternative funding plan. Thanks for pointing me to that resource. -Matt

  7. Dear Mr. Frank, having read the website, it says:

    ...according to the Federal Highway Administration, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet the bridge is structurally sound. A safety inspection of the bridge was completed in late September 2014. Inspectors found the bridge to be safe and "structurally sound."


    "Last January, a 41-year-old father of three was killed when his car stalled on the bridge. The car was demolished when it was hit from behind by a truck loaded with garbage. The truck dragged the dead man's car 500 feet before it could stop."



    What in this article is difficult to accept?

    Thank you again, -Matt


We follow the "living room" rule. Exhibit the same courtesy you would show guests in your home.