Thursday, September 25, 2008

Heading in the right direction

The Pike is considering stupendously large toll hikes, maybe close to doubling the tolls near us (Allston-Brighton, Weston) or adding $5 (not a misprint) to the tunnel tolls or re-instating the western tolls or some combination or blend.

Good: the Pike is looking to tap drivers for upkeep of state highways instead of a subsidy from the general fund.

Bad: there still seems to be no momentum for ending the subsidy to north/south traffic on I-93.

Worrisome: a big toll hike is going to send toll avoiders onto Newton streets; we'll need mitigation

Of course, this would all be less of an issue if we'd get around to stemming the erosion of the gas tax. But, Bernard Cohen and the rest of the Pike board considering such drastic action suggests that maybe a responsible gas tax hike is in our future.

1 comment:

DK said...

The implication is that more drivers will want to avoid the higher toll. We will experience less traffic on the Pike, more traffic on Route 9 and perhaps worse of all, more traffic getting to and in Newton Corner and on little St. Charles/Charlesbank to get to & from Boston via Storrow Drive.

Mitigation? Who expects any mitigation?

The Pike needs the money badly, but this idea is unfair because it continues an unfair system of taxing commuters traveling east-west while continuing to give north-south commuters a free ride.

I am now a believer that the Pike should be folded into MassHighway. We need gas tax increase, badly, and maybe tolls at the state line, and an increase in the $29 inspection fee.