Don’t ask for whom the toll tolls. It tolls for thee.
I know we’re desperate for money, but charging out-of-staters to drive into the state is a lunatic idea. What’s to stop other states from returning the favor? It’s a classic example of the Prisoner’s Dilemma that dcshol wrote about yesterday. We start charging out-of-staters tolls and they return the favor. Soon a toll war starts.
I’d like to think Gov. Patrick’s idea is some sort of political ploy, but I don’t see any evidence for that. As a Westerner who rarely uses the Pike, I’m not particularly concerned about tolls and have only kept half an eye on toll controversies. But it seems to me that there’s a distinct lack of leadership on the issue. I know it’s complicated, but someone tell me I’m wrong.
Governor Deval Patrick said yesterday that he was interested in implementing tolls on interstate highways at the state’s borders and that his administration had contacted the federal government about the idea.
“What I would love to see is . . . border tolls at all of the interstate entrances, maybe Route 3 as well. In other words, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York. If we did that right, it would be possible to remove all of the tolls inside of the Commonwealth. Maybe you’d keep something at the tunnel,” he said in an interview on WBUR-FM’s “Radio Boston” show hosted by Jane Clayson. It wasn’t clear which tunnel he was referring to, but tolls are currently being charged at the Ted Williams and Sumner tunnels.
“We have made those overtures to the federal authorities to see whether they would work with us, and they’re open to it,” Patrick said.
The federal government would have to approve any such proposal.