The Facebook group Block the Mobile Bayway Toll has over 36,500 members as of the writing of this post. And with more people joining everyday, the message is clear. The majority don’t want any tolls on this new bridge and byway. And the people are also getting fed up with government leaders such as Governor Kay Ivey and ALDOT director John Copper not listening. So someone started a Change.org petition called “Call for the IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION/FIRING of ALDOT Director John Cooper.”
The petition reads:
As head of ALDOT, John Cooper has failed the people of Alabama and in particular the citizens of Mobile and Baldwin Counties. Despite substantial local opposition of both the citizenry AND local elected officials, Director Cooper has unilaterally decided to sell out the people of Coastal Alabama by choosing to privatize a section of the Federal Interstate (I-10) for the purposes of collecting money for a private corporation. Furthermore, in a blatant attempt to further extort the citizens of Mobile and Baldwin Counties, Director Cooper has again unilaterally decided to also privatize the previously constructed Wallace Tunnel in order to eliminate one of only two viable toll-free routes into and out of downtown Mobile.
Director Cooper has stated publicly that he and ALDOT have been trying to secure Federal funding for the I-10 Bridge project since the ’90s, but have been unsuccessful. This despite US Congressman Bradley Byrne publicly stating on MANY occasions that he could have secured up to 50% Federal Funding, but was told by ALDOT that they weren’t interested in his help because they had already decided to toll the project.
ALDOT has announced that the toll will be in the range of $6 per crossing. This toll represents an unfair economic burden on the citizens of Mobile and Baldwin Counties who rely on unencumbered access to both counties daily for their livelihood. The potential economic impact for the average commuter is in the thousands of dollars a year.
This is a clear example of a public official who has forgotten that he is supposed to do what is in the best interest of the public he serves. Imposing an unnecessary “Shadow Tax” on the citizens of Mobile and Baldin Counties without their consent is NOT in their best interest. Indeed, it smells of corruption at the highest level.
It is clear that Director Cooper IS NOT acting in the best interest of the citizens of Alabama, instead choosing to serve the interests of the private corporations who will participate in this P3 project against the will of the people.
We the people of Alabama, call for the immediate removal of John Cooper as the Director of ALDOT and the suspension of the entire I-10 Bridge project until such time that an investigation can be conducted by the appropriate authorities to determine if any criminal activity has occurred at ALDOT. The project also SHOULD NOT be restarted until adequate funds can be secured to allow for the construction of the bridge without the involvement of P3 corporations or tolling.
As of the writing of this post, 2,500 have signed this petition with more people signing every day. If you want to sign this petition, go to: https://www.change.org/p/governor-kay-ivey-call-for-the-immediate-resignation-firing-of-aldot-director-john-cooper
Categories: Roadscapes Stuff