Protect and Serve? Nah. Generate revenue

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It's all part of plan to keep the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority out of the red.

Pretty sad state of affairs there in MA. [rolleyes] This should surprise nobody here however. [thinking] I feel bad for you guys. [sad2]
 

Scrivener

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Hardly an exclusively Massachusetts tactic.

Ask me about the Barney Fife in RI who stopped me for "signalling" the (almost non-existent) cars and then, what that drivel failed, wrote me a BS ticket w/a CS fine for failing to use my signal when I pulled over for him.

OH - he also claimed to have seen me see him.

Note that this was:

1. At 10 PM

2. He was on the OTHER side of a 4-lane highway;

2. In December (we were returning from touring the Christmas mansions in Newport); and

4. My car has aftermarket tint on the windows.

The only thing Barney saw was out-of-state plates. And some attitude when I asked him when wanting to see where one was going (i.e., why I used my high beams) became a stoppable offense........
 
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Yeah, I was pretty surprised to hear this on the radio this morning. I mean, we all knew it happens, but this was the first time I'd heard somebody in government not only admit it happens but be completely unabashed about it. <sigh>
 

doobie

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Keep them on the pike! Just means I'll take 2 instead...and you lose your revenue for tolls!
 

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I think it's a bold faced attempt at revenue enhancement. Nothing to do with traffic safety at all, just greed. I can't imagine that the troopers are too happy about this since they are the ones that are going to get the shit about it.

Gary
 
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Here's an idea... raise the tolls and eliminate the speed limit. I'd be willing to pay the toll and commute on the pike if it meant I could legally drive 100+ mph. According to Google taking the pike for me would add 2 minutes to my commute, I think if i could do 100 from 128 to 495, it would be quicker than taking Rt 2 and the state would get toll money out of me.

edit: or here's a better idea, go to an all electronic toll system... think about how much money would be saved by not having toll collectors.
 
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It will just become another lucrative overtime deal for many of the troopers. If you are a trooper and are not making a yearly income in the low six figures, then you have to be doing something wrong. The simple fact is that there won't be enough personnel available to do the type of traffic enforcement/revenue generating operation that is being proposed, so it's just another way to make some more OT money.

Mark L.
 

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edit: or here's a better idea, go to an all electronic toll system... think about how much money would be saved by not having toll collectors.

Be careful what you ask for. An all electronic toll system means that they can make any road a toll road. Google "Open Road Tolling" and see what I mean.

Right now this requires transponders on each vehicle but in the not distant future, they will be doing it using high speed cameras that will capture your license plate state and number and bill you automatically. Don't pay the bill and you won't be able to renew your license or registration.

Gary
 
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Be careful what you ask for. An all electronic toll system means that they can make any road a toll road. Google "Open Road Tolling" and see what I mean.

Not only that, they won't even need troopers. They'll just calculate the time it took for you to go from toll 1 to toll 2 and if you were speeding, they'll send a ticket in the mail. Sounds great! [thinking]
 

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The pike has always been terrible. Only road I know of where you
pay money to drive on it and generally get hit with a higher level of
speed enforcement than you would otherwise!

A good friend of mine once told me that a buddy of his dropped a
friend off on the side of the road, so he didn't have to get off the
pike. A cruiser came along and demanded that the driver pay
him the 50 cents or whatever it was at the time. The whole
thing may be a wives tale but it would not surprise me if the state
resorted to things like that. [laugh]

And yes, OH is terrible. The various agencies there basically
accept bribes from insurance companies (eg, free RADAR and LIDAR
guns if they bag more speeders) Traveling through OH with a
vehicle means you -will- get pinged several times. VA, CT,
and NJ are all pretty bad in terms of getting pinged by LEOs.


-Mike
 
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The staties at the Soldier's Field Rd barracks pull a hundred yards down the access road every day and pull people for crossing over the white line while merging onto SFR. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. When they've shot enough fish they make a turn into the alley and back to the barracks for coffee and donuts.

Actually, I'm sorry. What I said isn't entirely fair. They are NOT out there every day. They are never out during inclement weather.[wink]
 
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Many of the toll roads in TX were all electronic. If you have a transponder you just zip through, otherwise you have to pull over and go through a toll booth. During peak time there is someone there to hand money too, they give you change and throw the money in the basket for you. During off peak times there is a change machine like at a laundry mat. Some of the newer tolls just take a picture of your license plate and bill you the toll. If you have a transponder it uses that instead and the toll is a lot cheaper.

Here is the biggest different in TX though... they build a new highway and it's a toll road, once the road in paid for, they actually take the tolls down.

The Mass Pike has been paid for for along time and is now just a revenue source for the state. I don't think people would have an issue with the tolls if:
A: the money only went to maintenance and running of the Pike
B: the state continuously improved I-90 with the money from the tolls (maybe a 4th lane or other traffic flow improvements so the Mass Pike could be a high speed east/west passage at any time of day.

Why did the state use the Mass Pike to pay for the big dig instead of making 93 through the city a toll road?

I have no problem paying extra for better service, i.e. paying a toll to drive on a better road, or to pay a toll to pay back the creation of a road that is to benefit those who drive on it, or to maintain it as a superior road, or for major improvements.
 

Rockrivr1

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Not only that, they won't even need troopers. They'll just calculate the time it took for you to go from toll 1 to toll 2 and if you were speeding, they'll send a ticket in the mail. Sounds great! [thinking]

The Mass Pike already does this. The limit is set somewhere around 90 mph. If your average speed is above that between where you got on and where you got off, they will send you a ticket. I don't think they will lower the speed limit level as you'd most likely get a lot of people dumping their transponder. Then again, you never know.
 

M1911

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I have no problem paying extra for better service, i.e. paying a toll to drive on a better road, or to pay a toll to pay back the creation of a road that is to benefit those who drive on it, or to maintain it as a superior road, or for major improvements.

I have a problem with toll roads -- they are horribly inefficient ways of raising revenue. It costs us ~ $.30 to collect each $1 of toll. They waste gas. They waste valuable real estate. There are more accidents near tollbooths. They increase pollution.

We could keep the state revenue neutral (that is, not collect any more money from taxpayers next year than this year) but increase the net income to the state by ~$75 million, simply by eliminating tolls and raising the gas tax.
 

dwarven1

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The Mass Pike already does this. The limit is set somewhere around 90 mph. If your average speed is above that between where you got on and where you got off, they will send you a ticket.
And you know this how? I've heard rumors for years, but I've never heard any proof.

Just curious; I don't average 90 from toll to toll so it'll never be a problem for me. [wink]
 
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That's nothing new. The California Highway Patrol generates considerable revenue there, where 67 in a 55 will get those blue lights in your mirror, and the police give jaywalking tickets (I've had two: $45 each). I remember when a small unincorporated town (Santee) wanted to become a city, the sheriffs suddenly began enforcing *every* traffic law, to the letter. They raised enough funds to incorporate rather quickly.

All traffic laws involving fines are a balance between revenue and deterrence. Nothing new, though New England is an odd place to start an enforcement/revenue building campaign. Many folks here seem to think that traffic laws aren't real laws.
 

Rockrivr1

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And you know this how? I've heard rumors for years, but I've never heard any proof.

Just curious; I don't average 90 from toll to toll so it'll never be a problem for me. [wink]

My ex wife works for the turnpike. She was a toll collector at first and the last time I heard she was still working in their accounting department. (Counting all our cash) She's seen some revenue from this and had it confirmed by someone in her management team when she asked back when we were still together.

Who knows. Maybe it's an urban legand even within the turnpike ranks. I'm not willing to find out though. A 90+mph ticket is real expensive.
 
J

Jose

The Kansas Turnpike has their toll booths on their off and on ramps. You pick up a ticket then zoom off into the on-ramp. Get off and stop at a booth at the end of the ramp to pay.

The road is unobstructed for its entire length except at its northern and southrrn terminus where the KS Tpk becomes I-35 into Oklahoma in the south and I-70 in Kansas City, Kansas. There you have a traditional set of booths across the road because there is no other way to handle it.

It boggles the mind that anyone would consider destroying traffic flow on a limited access roadway every few miles with toll plazas. Supremely stupid.
 

Rockrivr1

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The Kansas Turnpike has their toll booths on their off and on ramps. You pick up a ticket then zoom off into the on-ramp. Get off and stop at a booth at the end of the ramp to pay.

The road is unobstructed for its entire length except at its northern and southrrn terminus where the KS Tpk becomes I-35 into Oklahoma in the south and I-70 in Kansas City, Kansas. There you have a traditional set of booths across the road because there is no other way to handle it.

It boggles the mind that anyone would consider destroying traffic flow on a limited access roadway every few miles with toll plazas. Supremely stupid.

You should drive on the NJ Turnpike to see how a state can effectively destroy the flow of traffic. That road easily surpasses the Mass Pike with being a complete PITA!
 

MetalgodZ

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What bunch of crap. New York State has started pulling this crap too, IIRC. I believe that there's a nice new "High Risk Out-of-state Driver Surcharge" in effect. Get a speeding ticket and get an additional $400 fine. [shocked][angry]
The Kansas Turnpike has their toll booths on their off and on ramps. [...]unobstructed...
That's pretty much how the Mass 'Pike is.
 
J

Jose

You should drive on the NJ Turnpike to see how a state can effectively destroy the flow of traffic. That road easily surpasses the Mass Pike with being a complete PITA!

I have. My parents lived in Morris County, NJ for the last two years I spent in college. I drove many weekends from Annapolis to Kinnelon.

The NJ Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway are both hell holes.
 
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