A group of automobile hobbyists took the first steps Monday to quashing the chance of Arizonans having to pay to drive on roads they already paid to build.
An initiative measure would constitutionally prohibit the conversion of any existing publicly funded or maintained roads into any form of toll roads. Most significantly, it would quash efforts to take lanes now reserved for high-occupancy vehicles and allow motorists driving alone to use them — for a fee.
The issue is not just academic.
Maricopa Association of Governments already spends money to study whether to convert existing HOV lanes along Interstate 10 and other highways into toll lanes.
That would affect not just local residents — anyone trying to drive into or through the Phoenix metro area, particularly at rush hour, would be faced with the choice: Stew in traffic or pony up.