Toll roads in Michigan could mean more city traffic - WNEM TV 5

Toll roads in Michigan could mean more city traffic

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MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) -

For the first time ever, the federal government says it wants to allow states like Michigan to add tolls to their roads.

Michigan has long been prevented from adding tolls to highways because those roads once received federal funding.

But with toll roads now on the table, area residents are wondering how the change might affect traffic on local roadways.

Many Mid-Michigan drivers say, if Michigan highways become tolls they will likely steer clear. If toll roads are avoided, many wonder how that could impact local communities.

Studies have shown toll roads reduce congestion on the highways, but some residents say they worry about possible congestion in their neighborhoods, especially since they themselves would avoid a toll road.

But not everyone agrees some feel that extra traffic could mean extra business.

Jeff Cranson with Michigan Department of Transportation says it's too early to tell what impact a toll road would have in a community economically or in terms of congestion.

Cranson says it's not even clear yet if tolls are the best option for Michigan. He says tolls are only a long term solution that won't address what needs to be done right now.

Meanwhile, drivers say they're torn over tolls being the best source of funding for road repair, but they do agree something has to be done soon about Michigan roads.

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