Editorial: Want a fix for Louisiana’s sad roads? Time for tolls, not gas taxes

Louisiana’s highways are in bad shape. According to the Reason Foundation’s latest Annual Highway Report, Louisiana highways rank 37th out of 50 in overall performance. Louisiana is in 39th place for deficient bridges, 40th for poor urban interstate pavement, and 42nd place for rural interstate pavement.

Most highway spending comes from state and federal gas taxes. Efforts to raise gas taxes are unpopular as shown by a recent survey conducted by the engineering firm HNTB. While majorities are unhappy with congestion and decrepit roads and bridges, only 27 percent favored an increase in a tax (like the gas tax) paid by everyone. By contrast, 46 percent were willing to pay a toll to use new or replacement highways, bridges, and tunnels. That difference may be the key to fixing a big part of Louisiana’s highway problem.