Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pulling a fast one with Fast Lane

Fast Lane works. It's fast, convenient, and helps increase traffic flow. That should be financial incentive enough for the state, but apparently they aren't done charging you to travel on their roads. The state now plans to charge for replacement transponders because, well, other states are doing it.

Fast Lane already pays for itself. Toll collections are more accurate, meaning the state loses less money. The toll plazas no longer require as many workers, so the state doesn't have to pay salary, health and other benefits, or a pension. All it has to do is cover the equioment installed. There's less idling traffic, which cuts pollution significantly. Hell, you could argue that people are getting to work faster, increasing productivity for the state's employers.

And with all that, you are going to charge someone extra money to do somethig you want them to do in the first place? This makes sense how?

It doesn't help that the tolls are a selective tax that should have been abolished years ago, when the intial projects they funded were paid off. I'll accept the fact that we do have to pay for the Big Dig. But we all should foot the bill for public works projects that benefits all of eastern Massachusetts. The South Shore gets a free ride into town every morning, paid for by me on the North Shore and all those poor slobs in Metrowest. The idea that there's not space enough for a toll plaza is foolish. You just built:

  • a tunnel which required freezing the living earth under your feet and spanning water so dirty divers couldn't see their own hands
  • the widest cable-stayed bridge in the world
  • one of the busiest interstate highway interchanges in the world (90/93)
  • a subterranean highway while the existing highway remained in use above it
And you're telling me putting an outhouse-sized booth on a ramp at the Mass Ave. exit on 93 is just too difficult to handle?

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