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Pay a Toll to Avoid Traffic on 64?

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Posted at 9:31 PM, Jun 05, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-05 23:35:57-04

Scott Mills drives 150 miles a day, most of it on Interstate 64 with break lights filling his line of vision.

"I was like the angry guy, you know cussing up at the traffic," Mills said.

Mills may not be have to wash his mouth out with soap much longer.
VDOT is looking into a private-public partnership that would allow anyone to use HOV lanes, and hopefully avoid the worst traffic congestion, but it will cost them.

"So if I'm stuck somewhere and I have an option to pay a few dollars or whatever the cost would be to get somewhere and make 50 or 100 I mean obviously I'd take that," Mills said.

Details from VDOT are limited, it's unknown how much drivers would have to fork over to use the hot lanes.
But how much would you pay if it saved fifteen minutes?

"If it could take that much time off I'd probably pay ten dollars, give or take." said Jamaree Ford. "I mean cause your time is money."

Drivers we talked to say they want the money from hot lane tolls to be used to improve the pothole ridden interstate, widen the road, and create more lanes.
Not everyone is sure they'll do much in achieving their goal of easing traffic.

"If you pay for the money then there's going to be a lot more people in the HOV then you're going to get accidents, backups, it kind of defeats the purpose," said Mark Betts.

Is the toll fair?
It's voluntary, you don't have to pay it.
But no matter what the fee is to use the hot lanes it'll be a lot easier for the rich of Hampton Roads to pay it than cash-strapped drivers.

"People that don't have the money would stay in the regular lane and people that do have the money use the hov. that might relieve some of the traffic for the regular people," Betts said.