Editorial: With accurate information, WV turnpike can plan upgrades

Sometimes it can feel good to be wrong.

The West Virginia Parkways Authority, which operates the West Virginia Turnpike, was told doubling tolls would lead to a decline in traffic. It didn’t.

According to an article in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, a study done by the consulting firm CDM Smith before the tolls were doubled earlier this year said the increase in the fee would cause commercial truck traffic to drop 19.6%. It actually has been up about 1%.

As Parkways General Manager Greg Barr noted, CDM Smith overestimated the amount of commercial truck traffic that would divert to other routes after the toll hikes. There just aren’t any viable alternatives that would not cost trucking companies more in travel time, mileage and fuel consumption, he said.