|Chamber Releases Results of I-80 Tolling Survey|
The Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce recently conducted a non-scientific survey to solicit Chamber members’ opinions regarding the proposed tolling of Interstate 80. According to Lew Dryfoos, III, Chamber Vice President of Transportation, “The intent was to design a survey that was not biased. 1262 invitations were emailed, a link was placed on the Chamber’s website, and information on how to participate was in the Chamber’s monthly newsletter.” Dryfoos further states, “of the 1262 invitations sent, 231 were bounced back for some reason or another; 361 people opened the invitation and 147 participated.”
Survey results included:
When asked if members were in favor of the proposal, 87.7% were either strongly opposed or somewhat opposed to the plan. 11 of those responding (7.4%) were either strongly or somewhat in favor of the plan.
Although there were many reasons for opposition, most identified were expected rise in consumer prices and congestion of local roads.
78.8% of those responding stated that the plan would have a negative impact on their business. (52.3% a direct negative impact).
47.6% indicated that the negative impact would be either severe or significant. 31.2% expect a minor impact.
89.1% thought that the Chamber should oppose the plan.
All types of business responded.
All sizes of business responded.
86 members responded with alternative measures to fund transportation. Some of the most frequently mentioned were:
a. Using casino money
b. Increase efficiency in PennDOT and highway system
c. Toll entry points/borders into PA
d. Use or increase fuel tax
e. Use gas extraction fund
Other comments included:
a. Toll all roads-Don’t just single out I-80
b. Reduce waste
c. Poor conditions of roads
According to Mr. Dryfoos, “The survey was shared with our board of directors at our January 11th meeting. We are in the process of sharing this information with our members and will also communicate the results with our elected officials, PennDOT and other chambers and entities impacted by this proposed plan.” Dryfoos further states, “Due to these results, our Chamber will continue to oppose the proposed tolling of I-80.”
To join The Chamber, please download, complete and fax or mail this form to the Chamber.
(Call 570-455-1509 for membership fee, based on company size.)