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Hampton Roads area Chesapeake - Hampton - Newport News - Norfolk - Portsmouth - Suffolk - Virginia Beach
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Virginia
97 posts, read 370,252 times
Reputation: 90

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I have not seen a thread about this and would like to know how you all feel about this ??

My husband and I thought we would retire here after he completes his 20 years with the Navy, but now it is up in the air.

On top of the toll expenses come new charges for fixing the sewer system and today the VA Pilot announced that there will be an increase to our gas bill.
In the end I am wondering who can afford to still live here. I usually DO NOT complain about this area and after living here since 1996 it has become my home, but I don't think our budget can handle all these increases.

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Old 12-21-2011, 09:15 AM
 
5,952 posts, read 9,006,487 times
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I never take the midtown tunnel, but if you're worried about the toll just take the downtown tunnel.
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:35 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,360,151 times
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We have the navy here and we have water everywhere which means that we need crossings and they can't be simple bridges (they have to be tunnels). So if people want to keep driving every where, we need to expand capacity or reduce population. Since we continue to expand out into suffolk etc... (rather than building high density near city centers) we need to increase capacity. I feel like it needs to be paid for somehow and tolls are one way to do it. Another way is to increase taxes, which you will pay for also in an indirect way.

What is tough about the tolls is that they hit commuters really hard if they go through that particular section every day. Some might argue that tolls allow the "people that use it" to pay for the service, which is fine if every road is a toll road, but when 98% of the roads don't have tolls it really sucks when that section you travel on every day does have one.

The sewer fees you are referring to are projected to increase from ~$20 to ~$60 a month over the next 20 years IIRC. When you see fees triple it sounds terrible, but what you are really talking about is an extra $40 a month in 2035 which isn't that terrible unless you are on a really tight budget. That hardly outpaces inflation and if you consider that the fees are probably too low right now, it isn't that unreasonable in my opinion.

Overall, sewer and gas fees are going to be rising across the country, not just locally. We have aging infrastructure and environmental issues just like lots of other cities. Overall, taxes and fees are still pretty low around here compared to a lot of other places. So I feel your pain (I drive over HRBT every day) but I think these are necessary evils if we don't want the area to turn into a run down ****hole. Hopefully we can all figure out a way to make it work and still pay the bills.
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