No one likes to pay more to drive on highways but the state's future transportation grid may be paved with more toll roads.

That's the sentiment of a U.S. Transportation official who visited here last week. Tyler Duvall, an assistant secretary of transportation, told a state House subcommittee that planners need to tap the private sector for investors that would be paid back by tolls.

In Dallas, where traffic jams and road rage have become a way of life, toll roads have become nearly as congested as the free streets. Planners keep pushing the toll roads farther into the housing areas to pick up more commuters who don't mind paying a few more bucks each day to save time.

Oklahoma's toll roads already account for 13 percent of the nation's toll roads. In the past decade, toll roads have opened in north Oklahoma City and on the south side of Tulsa. In both areas, drivers have choices and can save the tolls if they have more time.

To our southwest, commuters to and from the Chickasha and Lawton areas have benefited immensely from the new spur linking the turnpike to State Highway 9 West.

Normally, raising fuel taxes would be an option for road building and rebuilding. But higher fuel taxes wouldn't normally benefit Oklahoma. Drivers here already pay in more federal taxes than we get back. Drivers in more populated parts of the country benefit from a fuel tax increase.

Additionally, as vehicle mileage increases, the amount of the tax will decrease. At the same time, the cost of building roads goes up each year.

Trending Video