Man Takes Fight Over I-540 Toll Road to Web

Posted May 15, 2007
Updated May 16, 2007

— The North Carolina Turnpike Authority wants to build and operate an extension of Interstate 540 as a toll road, but one man's fight against tolls is already under way.

David McDowell recently started a Web site -- The Web site has toll-related stories, updates on petition drives, and reasons why he does not want I-540 to be a toll road.

"I don't think that a portion of Wake County should have to pay tolls when another portion of the county does not," he said.

"We understand that there's public anxiety over toll roads. There always is," said David Joyner, executive director of the N.C. Turnpike Authority.

Joyner said the current plan would keep I-540 free across north Raleigh and put tolls on the highway through western Wake County, but it is a matter of money.

"The dollar's not going nearly as far today as it did just 10 years ago. In fact, we're getting about 50 percent of the buying power from our gas tax as we were just 10 years ago," he said.

The N.C. Turnpike Authority received special legislation to turn I-540 near Highway 55 into a toll road a few years after it opens as a free road. The legislation remains a topic of debate.

"The state is not telling people what's going on. They're going to try to force tolls upon us, and I don't think it's right," McDowell said.

The N.C. Turnpike Authority said it has nothing to hide. McDowell said North Carolina used to be the "Good Roads" state, and he does not want it to become the "Toll Road" state.


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  • chargernut69 May 17, 2007

    guess why the local politicians want the road built so bad?... They own the land around where the road is going to be built on! Plus, they either own or have investments in the development companies that will be building the houses & gas stations, etc.

    Do you think they will vote NO for the tolls?... They want to get to their money as soon as they can. Think I am kidding?... look into who owns the land in the Apex area... (Hint - Member of NC legislature who lives in Apex)

  • NC to GA May 16, 2007

    --Magnus... You've got that backwards. And just think of something logically... Locals using toll roads are stopping and starting and using pass cards if they choose. Interstate traffic is zooming at 70 miles per hour through (get the name here...) inter-states. You, and any other person who proposes tolls on I95, expect interstate travelers to come to a complete stop in the interstate to pay a toll? Beyond stupid is the only way to describe any suggestion of tolls on an interstate (which was funded by the federal government a long time ago) and no tax money from anyone who is paying taxes today.

  • magnus May 16, 2007

    Figures. Get a few politicians that move down from New Jersey and they get to missing their precious toll roads. Tolls have no business being on a metropolitan loop like 540. They belong on through roads like I-95.

  • T-Man May 16, 2007

    re Wah Wah,
    So it makes sense to you for those of us who live in SW Wake Co to pay for the road in taxes, then pay for the road in tolls as well? Our taxes paid for the Northern part of 540 and should pay for the rest of it as well. I don't see how anyone could say that it's fair for part of 540 to be free, and part be toll... it's the SAME road!

  • lboyette May 16, 2007

    Lyn1201,I totally agree with you.In N.C. you are taxed to dealth.I came in 1989 for college and I have seen it grow which is a good thing.But I now own a home I pay property taxes for my house,my two vehicles,food,etc.and now toll's???,When you look at the break down of your property taxes and very little if any goes to the house or the vehicle your taxed for.where is all the money.they need to cut some salaries of the decision makers who are screwing up the economy for us to have to reach into our pockets.I don't have any children and I have to pay taxes for the schools etc, it is rediculous.I love living here but it equals out once you calculate the taxes you pay here,to the same as living in New York.For before gulianni came along N.Y. had no tax on food or clothing now look at it.We are being governed and control by people who would tax us to tear down a less than 10 year old building downtown(civic center) rebuild it with our tax money and now we are over croweded.

  • RainierBeer May 16, 2007

    hmm, interesting that to get to n ral from western wake, you could just drive up 55 and catch 540 - toll-free. that new 540 section is slated to open this fall.

  • Not_So_Dumb May 16, 2007

    Why not let Western Wake take one for the team with toll roads? We already are for year round schools!
    Why not one more thing?

  • Lyn1201 May 16, 2007

    my thoughts are this. I am from Florida originally, NC taxes you to death here. You have the road tax when you get the tag, this is supposedly used to help with roads, then y ou have the property tax on your vehicle whether you own them or not and I was told by DOT this is for the privelege of driving on the roads of NC, then theres the state tax. Come on NC, give it a rest, for God sakes. Florida, you dont even have a tax at the grocery store on food. If corn is 3 ears for 99cents, thats what you pay 99cents. The taxes on food here is outrageous as well. Im sorry but I am one of the ones that will go out of my way to avoid the toll road, they get enough of my money. Florida has tolls, but no state tax, no property taxes on your vehicles, cats dogs boats, geeez, enough already.

  • mslisac363 May 16, 2007

    We first of all pay high taxes on gas, and it's already costing people like me enough just to buy gas to get to and from work. Yes people that make plenty of money want mind the other cost, but the lower class working people should be considered also.

  • ladybug467 May 15, 2007

    Make it a toll road, let those who use it help pay for it. If I ever wanted to drive on it I wouldn't mind (and I live in the area, all my life) but New parts of roads have nothing to do w/ the Old parts, that is life. The north Raleigh area needed it before the Cary area did. Fact is fact. Just finish it.