As tolls begin, protesters keep fighting


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Just last night, drivers could pass through the Downtown and Midtown tunnels for free. That changed at midnight, when tolls went into effect.

That didn’t stop groups opposed to the tolls from protesting. No Tolls HR gathered outside the NTelos Pavilion Saturday.

“I’ve had friends that work in Virginia Beach, some already moved,” said Keasha Bagby, a longtime Portsmouth resident.

Bagby, who works in Chesapeake, is worried the cost of the tolls will force her to move, too. She joined No Tolls HR Saturday morning.

“I’m hoping our voices will be heard in Richmond,” said Chris Cushna, a member of No Tolls HR. “I’m hoping that Governor McAuliffe, who at least reduced it temporarily, will find a way out  and not allow this deal to go forward.”

Even if nothing changes in Richmond, people in Portsmouth have their own plans.

“I will not use the tunnel. I’ll use the other bridges, I’ll take the ferry, and I’ll have to pay for the ferry but it will be much more enjoyable and I don’t have to pay [Elizabeth River Crossings],” Cushna said.

Bagby worries that might not be enough.

“I’m afraid that we’re going to be losing a lot of taxpayers, a lot of citizens,” she said. “I just don’t want Portsmouth to fade away.”

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