Roanoke, Virginia Editorial: Are tolls on I-81 really the answer?

A few times a year I have to venture to Richmond for some meeting or errand. Typically I drive one of two ways: I take Interstates 81 and 64 to whatever convenient downtown exit, or I follow U.S. 460 to 360 and take Hull Street all the way across the bridge. I usually avoid the various parkways and expressways that my GPS will suggest. Why?

Because I’m avoiding tolls.

The General Assembly is currently considering various proposals for how to “fix” Interstate 81 and how to pay for such improvements. One of the most likely remedies under consideration is to begin collecting tolls from travelers on I-81. In theory these will be collected electronically, not by traditional toll booths. Cars and trucks would pass under scanners every 50 miles or so, and be assessed the appropriate amount.