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2-Minute Charlotte: Pressure building against future Charlotte toll lane projects

Toll lanes are in the works for several of Charlotte’s interstates
Toll lanes are in the works for several of Charlotte’s interstates Charlotte City Council

2-Minute Charlotte gets you caught up on the day’s most important local news before your coffee has a chance to cool down. Today’s edition: 328 words. Expected reading time: 1 minute, 38 seconds.

At this point, everybody is saying it’s too late to stop the toll lanes coming to I-77 north of Charlotte. The contract is signed.

But it looks like Charlotte leaders are now going to take a closer look at all the toll lanes in the works for the city’s other interstates. After months of staying pretty silent on the issue, Mayor Dan Clodfelter is signaling that he’s not fully on board with signing off on the plans.

BACKGROUND: Long-range plans call for “managed lanes” on U.S. 74 heading into town, and on I-485 in south Charlotte. Long-range might not be the right word, though, because some of the projects are planned for as soon as 2017. These lanes are generally separated from the rest of the highway, and charge a fee in exchange for a guaranteed speed of 45 mph. People who like them say that simply adding more regular lanes doesn’t help gridlock, while this solution will.

WHY THIS MATTERS: Lots of people are upset about the toll lanes on I-77, which are a little different because they’re being built by a private developer instead of the state Department of Transportation. But elected officials didn’t seem to really get involved in that project until it was so far along in the process that it felt inevitable. Perhaps they’ve learned their lesson?

What people are talking about

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What to watch for

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