Proposal of turning Route 422 into toll road

June 6, 2011 3:24:22 PM PDT
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission proposed taking 25 miles of Route 422 in Montgomery County, between King of Prussia and Pottstown, and making it into a toll road.

The proposal would charge drivers 11 cents per mile, or $2.75 each way.

InterAction: Do you think tolls will help ease congestion on Route 422?

The Oaks Garden Center is a little oasis, right off of Route 422. And though the highway brings business, both workers and shoppers here say congestion is the first thing they think of when the road is mentioned.

"I try to avoid it at all costs before 10 and after about 3," Cristina Swinney of the Oaks Garden Center said.

Some 65,000 commuters drive on 422 between King of Prussia and Pottstown every day. Widening the road would relieve rush-hour traffic jams, but would cost millions of dollars.

"I do agree that it needs to be widened, but I think the toll will be an added burden on people," Lois Friel of Audubon, Pa. said.

Today, members of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission brought their idea for generating that money to Harrisburg. As stated above, they want to see 422 become a toll road. Drivers would pay 11-cents a mile.

It's not an idea with much popular support.

"You ask anybody to start paying for something that they are getting for free, trust me, you're going to have some issues, no matter what the intentions are," Bill Lorenz of Royersford, Pa. said.

People who live along the highway fear the congestion will just move into their neighborhoods as drivers try to avoid paying the tolls.

"I will not use it, I don't use it that much now, but I won't use it at all," John Lorenz of Linfield, Pa. said.

"If they put a toll on there then everyone will be using my back roads and it's going to be a mess," Cyndi Knecht of Phoenixville, Pa. said.

The toll plan won't be happening any time soon; it would have to be approved by the commissioners in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties, the state and federal transportation departments and the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

The Planning Commission has set up a website with answers to frequently asked questions: