Ohio Turnpike Sued Because of Toll Increase to Help Fund Opportunity Corridor, Other Projects

by

1 comment

1601238_694166877313857_3684664822829124947_n.png

The Ohio Turnpike's 2014 rate increase to help fund the Opportunity Corridor and other infrastructure projects is unlawful, according to a recent lawsuit filed by a Cleveland woman.

The suit, first filed to the county common pleas court and then bumped to federal court this week, says the toll hike violate the constitution's commerce and equal protection clauses, among a host of other claims (read the full suit below).

Because the Ohio Turnpike's "maintenance, operation, and security" are "funded almost exclusively through tolls collected from Turnpike users," and that those who don't use the turnpike don't pay anything for it, that the Ohio Turnpike bumped up rates in January 2014 to raise millions of dollars to fund non-turnpike infrastructure projects is illegal, it says.

According to the suit, "The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission agreed to use Turnpike tolls to fund $930 million in such Unlawful Infrastructure Projects, which are not part of the Turnpike system." The suit cites the $39 million raised for the controversial Opportunity Corridor, $12.9 million for "improvements on U.S. 250 between downtown Sandusky and Bogart Road," among others.

"Because the increased Turnpike tolls, which are being used to fund non-Turnpike projects," the suit says, "are (1) not based on fair approximation of use or privilege for use of the facilities for whose benefit they are imposed; and (2) excessive in comparison with the government benefit conferred, they violate the Commerce Clause and are unlawful."

Read the full suit here:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.